Archive for Life Balance

Jun
02

Stop the Madness!

Posted by: | Comments (0)

stressed blond girlAre you on a roller coaster going up and down so quickly that it’s difficult to get off the ride? Perhaps the treadmill of your life is going too fast because you are being bombarded by too much coming at you? If you resonate with any of these statements, it’s time to stop the madness!

Since launching The Leadership Collaborative at the end of April, I’ve been out in the marketplace with intention; I’ve been speaking, networking and engaging the field to learn more. And boy am I learning what others in business are facing and it can all be boiled down to one word:

OVERWHELM!

This overwhelm is showing up in many ways; see which of these you can relate to:

  • Life changes/transitions are at an all time high—loss of a well-loved pet, moving, personal health issue, graduation, end of school, ailing family member and unexpected financial matters just to name a few.
  • Wearing too many hats—trying to run multiple businesses, taking on activities that aren’t aligned with passion or expertise, adding more to the plate without assessing what needs to be let go.
  • Mediocre financial results—just getting by, barely covering the expenses, surviving instead of thriving.
  • Too much activity—doing, doing, doing without any time to slow down, assess and plan with purpose.

If you can relate to any of these scenarios, let me ask from a place of deep humility and love the question that Dr. Phil always asks… “How’s that working for you?”

My hunch is that it’s not.

Now let me contrast the above scenario with another person I met last week. She decided to make a 180 degree shift from her 20-year career in the judicial system to launching a speaking/training business. She’s following her “lights” and integrating her love of photography into a platform that reconnects others to the core through nature as a vehicle to help them find their passion. She has a book coming out in August, she’s working on her website, promoting her speaking and because of her clarity, passion and plan she has opportunities abounding and she’s getting tangible results.

So why isn’t she overwhelmed? What makes her different that the others I mentioned above?

  1. She knows herself which helps her to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.
  2. She has a vision which guides her even in the chaos.
  3. She has a plan to take care of herself and slows down daily.
  4. She has a strategy and continually revisits it to adjust and stay in momentum.

Here’s the truth: If you want to stop the madness in your own life and eliminate the overwhelm, these four elements are essential and non-negotiable.

So what’s true for you? Are you ready to stop the insanity which is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

I’m on a mission to stop the madness! If you’re serious like me, then let me help you take a stand for your heart. Give yourself the gift of a 15-minute free, no obligation call to find out what your one next step is. Contact me to schedule your appointment today. At a minimum, schedule 15-minutes in your own calendar to slow down.

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

Photo Courtesy of Photoxpress ©Andrejs Pidjass

I am grateful for the many mentors and coaches I have partnered with during my journey. A special thank you to Teresia LaRocque who has shared some amazing insight that will help you shift into role of CEO for your business and your life.

teresiaWhoa, what a ride………. Last week was my first week as a MOMpreneur. Being the mom of a 10 week old and running a full fledged business, the concept of time management presents a whole new set of challenges.  “Going back to work” brought up many different emotions; sadness, joy, fatigue, gratitude, and most of all overwhelm.

As we enter the month of September many of you will be getting into the ‘back to school mentality” and refocusing your energy and time on your business.

Before that familiar feeling of overwhelm sneaks up on you, I want to share with you four “perspective shifts” that I am revisiting as I enter this new phase in my life and which powerfully supports stepping out of  reaction mode and stepping into super efficiency.

This perspective shift is based on one question: what’s most important? It may sound like a simple place to start, but when you really embrace this, it has a profound effect on how you run your business – and your life.

Here are some tips that I am embracing and I invite you to join me.

1.    Become the CEO of your business. When a good CEO starts her day, she has a plan. She moves with purpose, methodically devoting her full attention to each objective. She has results in mind. Does she answer every call that comes in? Does she let other people determine when to meet, and for how long? Does she run around putting out fires and saving the day? Not a chance. You are the boss of your company, and it’s okay to act like it. You get to decide where to invest your time, and that means you don’t necessarily respond to every little thing right away. Go ahead, let that call go to voicemail!

2.    You won’t get it all done – and that’s okay. It’s the dark side of ambition that driving need to get everything handled. It haunts our nights and eats into our personal time. Many of us believe that in order to be successful, we have to get everything done. It’s not true! Handle your biggest priorities (like your marketing activities) every day and let the small stuff take care of itself. It is OK if you don’t get it all done – really! Getting to the next level is about doing what’s most important – always.

3.    Perfectionism isn’t profitable. Remember the golden rule in business: ‘Tis better to get it done than to do it perfectly. Don’t waste time with details that don’t really matter in the end. If high standards are compromising your productivity or adding to your stress, take some time to explore whether you have an unmet personal need (such as a need for approval). If this is the case, find ways to meet your needs outside of work. (We’ll talk about needs in a future article, as I have found that unmet needs are one the biggest reasons we become out of balance – more later). Remember, your job is to make sure things get done – one priority at a time.

4.    Contain your business: declare office hours. When you’re self employed, and especially when you work from home, your professional life and your personal life tend to blend together. You conduct high-powered meetings over the phone in your pajamas (come on ……I know I am not the only one :-) your faxes end up with salsa smudges; you stop shopping for the kids back to school clothes to take a call from your assistant etc. But when you set up boundaries between your personal time and your work hours, you’ll start to experience some wonderful benefits:

bullet You become much more efficient. In an effort to make the most of your work hours, you stop tending to the minor details and start tackling the bigger picture.
bullet Your time off actually becomes “down time” so you feel much more rested.
bullet At the end of the day, you feel satisfied instead of resentful; in control instead of chaotic; purposeful instead of panicky. Of course, you only realize these benefits if you actually honor your office hours. Take them seriously, and demand that everyone else does too.

TLC Coaches challenge:
This month, be intentional about how you spend your time. Define your office hours and stick to your priorities. Constantly ask yourself, “Which result is most important now?” Post a sign or make a note to keep you focused, and when the end of the day comes, close the door.

Begin this fall with a CEO mentality and join me in having your business serve your life rather then feeling like a servant to your business!

Reproduced with permission from Teresia LaRocque’s ‘Leverage Your Business, Love Your Life’ newsletter. To subscribe, go to www.teresia.com. Copyright 2010 Teresia.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s most important to you? And what changes do you need to make to have a CEO mentality in your business and your life? Share your comments at the blog at www.shannonbruce.com.

Jul
29

A Time to Risk and Simplify

Posted by: | Comments (0)

hunt
“Simplifying is really about choices – prioritizing what is important – and then sticking to those choices no matter how tempting it is to add more to your to-do list. In fact, take those tempting activities and put them on a list of things not to do. You are the only one who can assume responsibility for your time and clarify what’s really important to you.”
Rick Warren

In returning from the Destiny Project Retreat in Hunt, TX, I have a lot on my plate since I was “unplugged” from technology for 6-days. In clearing my e-mails, I received the quote in a devotional from a client and it literally stopped me and took my breath away. As I read it, the truths laser pierced my heart reminding me that at every given moment, I have a choice about how I  “be” and “do” my life and work.

This idea that “I get to choose” is a hot topic for me post-Destiny Project retreat. I had the privilege of co-leading with my awesome friend and colleague Wendy Balman as we witnessed 13 incredible women break through their fears to reclaim the truth.  Each one overcame barriers and courageously pressed through the resistance to give themselves full permission to dream again. It was beautiful process to watch as each and every one uncovered their authentic desires, values, identity, mission and more.

We all left the retreat transformed, including me and Wendy. As we all re-enter the “world” after experiencing a slice of heaven on earth, we are navigating how to boldly remain on our own paths, learning  to guard our hearts as a wellspring of life. We choose to press on and persevere so we can become even more of the authentic masterpieces we are created to be.

What does this mean for you? It means this is a time to risk and simplify. Why? Because the world needs what you have to offer and the only way to unleash your true identity and to fulfill your unique mission is to follow the advice that Rick Warren has offered:

  • Prioritize what is important.
  • Stick to those choices no matter how tempting to add to your to-do list.
  • Put those tempting activities on a “not-to-do” list.
  • Assume responsibility for your time.
  • Clarify what really matters.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked self-employed and work at home professionals to share their tips for balancing work and life in the summer months and beyond. The bottom line of their feedback is this: Schedule your work time and play time, let go of non-essentials and get support.

Here’s what I’m curious about for you:

  • What changes do you need to make with your time as you schedule both work and play?
  • What will you let go of?
  • What support do you need?

All of this great advice is really about simplifying, yet clearly it’s risky based on the fact that so many, myself included, have such a hard time letting go of control. I encourage you to read the specifics that each friend shared as it could be helpful wisdom that guides in making the necessary changes in your life.

So now what? What’s your next step? I’d love to hear how you’ll simplify; feel free to share your comments at the blog at www.shannonbruce.com.



photo express_rockbalanceAs a business owner and woman, you are busy balancing the plethora of demands between your life and work. In fact many of you had great insight about the topic which you posted to my Facebook wall, which will be shared in a future blog. However, in the interest of staying “balanced” as I prepare for the upcoming Destiny Project Retreat in Hunt, TX, I’ve decided to leverage the wisdom and share several Best Business Women Tips that I received from my friend and colleague, Krista Dunk of KB Women.

Be sure to take a moment to read the insight from the many incredible business owners that shared tips with KB Women. You can read more at the KB Women Blog.

In the meantime, here is the quote that I shared:

“Imagine your business is like a coin. There are two sides to this coin which requires your attention so you can create both a thriving life and prosperous business. One side represents discovering who you are authentically, including your values, purpose, mission and personal definition of success. The other side is about applying this insight into your daily life by establishing practical systems, like how to work with clients, ways to market your services and a schedule that leverages your time. When you address both sides, including the spiritual and the practical, you will achieve authentic success.”

As you read this quote, I wonder what’s your next step to balance both the spiritual and the practical?

When I answer this question for myself, it’s truly about leveraging who I am in a way that helps me to achieve more with less effort. In this moment, that means using what is already available to benefit you by bringing you this KB Women blog post. This honors my values of connection, impact and contribution (the spiritual side) and allows me to accomplish the preparation I need (the practical side).

What insight do you have to offer? Share your comments at the blog. And have a great week.

Picture courtesy of Photoxpress © Styf

Soap over towelsRemember that commercial years ago where  a woman is overwhelmed and frustrated by the many demands for her attention? She finally took a stand and declared “Calgon, take me away!” This woman was really onto something that I think bears repeating. Her declaration points to the truth that we all need to step away from the chaos and demands of life to slow down, pause, breathe, check in and reassess.

So what about you? Could you use a “Calgon” break? Permission granted…Go for it! Maybe it’s not a bubble bath, but it could certainly be a ten-minute break to breathe or go for a quick walk. Or how about sitting down to eat your lunch at the table rather than “on the go” or standing up?! :-D

At some point, you will get caught up in the “doing” and “serving” others through your business and your life that you barely have time to think, let alone feel.  Some of you might press in and push through, while others shut down and just stop all together. In either scenario, you’ll reach the point where you are ineffective and unproductive forcing you to reevaluate.

So what’s the answer?

The answer is this: give yourself permission to pause. Take a quick assessment right now and contemplate the following questions.

  • What are you currently experiencing internally? Are you at rest inside? Or are you feeling chaos within? Name what you notice.

Once you tune in to what’s happening in your internal world, take a look at what’s going on externally by answering these questions.

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not?
  • What really matters?
  • What changes are needed?

Your answers to these questions will reveal some powerful truths. However, you’re just scratching the surface at this point.

There are actually deeper truths that need to be accessed.  This internal wisdom will actually help you on the front-end to be proactive in your life and business rather than reacting to the shut-down or burn-out that comes after you hit the proverbial wall.

When you give yourself permission to glean this inner wisdom, you’ll discover your true identity and life mission which reveals your purpose. With this information, you have filters for your choices and you can design a path to the life you’re intended to live. This keeps you anchored in peace while achieving greater impact and tangible results with less effort in both your life and your business.

destiny_new logoThere’s actually a coaching journey that can help you tap into these deeper truths. It’s called The Destiny Project and this week it went virtual under one website location with it’s own unique brand, identity, mission and purpose. What’s really cool about this journey is that it provides enough structure to keep you moving forward, blended with enough process that takes you deeper into the learning of who you truly are at the core.

Many say they don’t have enough time to dream because there’s too much to do.  How about you? What do you think?

What if the question isn’t how can you afford to dream, but rather the question was how can you afford not to? I invite you to contemplate this in your “Calgon” moment as you exercise your permission to pause.

Post your comments at www.shannonbruce.com; I’d love to read your thoughts and be sure to check out the new website because it’s pretty amazing! Thanks Michael Warden and Josh Tilton.

Photo Provided by www.photoxpress.com, Copyright Julia Britvich