What are you waiting for?

If you are chewing on something right now or you’re scared to get started on something you really want to do, you have to hear this story about my client and friend, Mary.

I met Mary in December when she was looking for a coach to help her with changing careers.  She had recently been laid off and was more interested in getting into something new, rather than wait around for her company to give her a call back when their numbers were better.

I was really excited to work with her because she was so passionate and creative and she seemed so ready to start the process – she was even inspiring me with her energy!  But when I proposed that we get started right away, I could see her taking a step back and I braced myself for the usual spiel:  no time or money right now.

Sure, it was Christmastime and the end of the year, which really does strap us all for cash and extra time, but I urged her to strike while her motivation was up.

In the end, Mary thought it would be better to start fresh in the new year and we’d talk then.  Well, between December and the end of January her job called her back.  With bills to pay and Christmastime credit card dues to pay off, she accepted her job back and put her ideas on the back burner.

Mary just recently called me up and wanted to talk. 

After two months of being back at her job, she has remembered what passion she had at the end of the year and she’s realized that she has to do something with her home business idea.

I told Mary, I’m not here to say I told you so but…

And I don’t tell you this to be a sassy know-it-all… I tell you this because I have been there myself too many times and I know what happens when I think too much about all the ins and outs of an opportunity.  I ignore my excitement, calling it a phase or momentary adrenaline that will surely pass.  And, like Mary, I rationalize and blame time and money for not being in enough supply. 

I think we all do this. But in the end, we just delay the inevitable because eventually the desire to do something can’t be quenched any longer with excuses.  So all we do is waste time when we could have been getting started and be further ahead right now.

Can you imagine a time when time and money will both align perfectly for you?  How long will you be waiting for this so you can then make a decision that would greatly benefit your life, your well-being and your happiness?  In my experience, a perfect time doesn’t exist.  The only perfect time is when you are ready to move forward and not let any obstacle stop you from your dream and living to your fullest potential.

So say ‘yes!’ to that opportunity, whatever it is.  Stop the excuses!  Try it once and you’ll be hooked. There really is no feeling like taking a risk for the benefit of your success and happiness.

What are you waiting for right now?  What have you put to the side because of time and money not being ‘right’.  Share on the Facebook community page.

If you’re ready to take a risk, you can play it smart by having a coach guide you into the best decisions and even help you with time management and making more money even faster!  Check out what’s possible for you at ashewoodward.com.

Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Visionary?

When it comes to starting a new venture, it can be tempting to think that, “it’s all been done before.” It can be a real challenge at times to keep going with this idea playing in the back of your mind, I know the feeling all too well, myself.  So how do new things get created and how are new visionaries born?  What’s different about the people that are brave enough to run with their ideas no matter what?  And, more importantly, how can we all get a piece of that?

To create a new idea or be a new face in an established industry, you have to first get rid of the idea that there are no new ideas. If that were true, there would be no innovation, no infomercials, no new iPhone every time I just by the most recent model.

Step two is to remember that the new idea you may have comes from you just being you.  There never has been and never will be anyone exactly like you in the whole history of the world.

[pause for effect…]

There’s a reason you are here and you have a special voice to bring to any project you give your all to.  There are new coaches popping up every day but I remind myself that I have a unique voice that will speak to certain clients.  Some people are meant to be my clients and some people are meant to find someone else. 

I recently heard it put like this:  If Adele thought to herself, “there are already a lot of singers out there, what can I offer?” then we all would have missed our on her amazing talent.

The other big key to starting something new is consistency. In my opinion, this is probably the most important key to success in anything – it even trumps passion.  You can have all the passion in the world for a project, but if you don’t work at it consistently it won’t go anywhere on your passion alone.  Your first step on the path to success is your first move that creates momentum. Then you have to stay the course and work at it on a consistent schedule.  This could be different for everyone.  A new blog could be every week, whereas developing a new habit should be every day.

So if you’re ready to take your plan to the next level, check in with these 3 things (stick to your guns and believe you can do it, value your unique voice, be consistent) and get started! 

If you really need just another small kick in the butt to get your wheels in motion, think of this:  how will you feel if someone gets to your idea first?  How will you feel if you wait too long and the client or customer you’ve been waiting to talk to has already chosen to go with your competition?

So get to it and share your thoughts below or join the conversation at facebook.com/beingthirties.

For more on this, sign up for my weekly newsletter at ashewoodward.com and you’ll also get first dibs on my new ebook: Do-Over:  How to Redesign Your Life to Get What You Really Want

Is Your Family Normal?

My husband is so funny.  The other day while he was doing dishes, I asked him if he had the day off for Family Day.  After a slow, ‘no…’ he paused and looked out the window for a moment.  Then, without knowing if I was still behind him, (so, to no one in particular) he blurted out, “What the F$%* is Family Day?”. 

I laughed from the hallway.

“Seriously,” he said, drying his hands, “Every day is Family Day, isn’t it?”

Family Day is a relatively new holiday (the first in Ontario was in 2008) so I think the confusion from my husband and other Canadians is that we don’t know what to do with it yet because we haven’t established any traditions.  From the sound of it, it seems like we have to jump in the car and visit our parents and grandparents or find a way to keep the kids busy all day.

But my husband is right – we are a family, even if it is just the two of us and our beloved fur babies.

Personally, I love the fact that this holiday is wide open for making new traditions.  It reminds me that the idea of family itself is the same. I don’t have to tell you that the idea of family nowadays can really mean anything you want – kids, no kids, lots of kids, step and half siblings, fur babies, reptile babies, whatever!  I love that this holiday is a reminder of that and I’m grateful for my own crazy family that breaks all the norms.

Even though my husband will be working, I got to spend a nice Valentine’s Day with him yesterday, touring through the countryside and cuddling up on one of the coldest weekends of the year. Tonight I’ll be home to go for an extra-long walk with my fur babies and I’ll cuddle up with them for a Family Day movie night. I hope you too enjoy this extra holiday in February to celebrate your family, in all its shapes and forms.

How will you be spending your Family Day or President’s Day?  I’d love to hear in the comments!

No plans? Get a head start on the week and year ahead with access to The Empowered Woman Summit, or go to ashewoodward.com to find out more about how coaching can help you design the life you’ve always dreamed of.

photo credit: Sarah Liora

Unleashing the Butterfly Effect in Your Life

Being the first months of the year, changes are buzzing around everyone’s heads.  Big dreams happen in January and February and hope for a miraculous makeover this year is our secret wish.  It really is an exciting time and great changes are possible if we can look out for the number one pitfall I see.  No matter what kind of change people desire, they see it as a change for life in the future.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that’s not where change happens. Change isn’t really about the future at all.

See, if you want your life to change, you have to change something about what you’re doing now.

You’re not planning for happiness only when you retire, are you? I hope your answer is no and that’s why you read this blog.  Happiness is for right now, in your thirties, which means something has to change today.

Something that you’re doing can be done differently and this will shift everything else.  This really is the change you want.  When things start to shift, you really make space for changes.  That’s also why we have to stay positive and focused on our dreams – so our dreams rush in to fill the gaps, not our nightmares.

What happens if you can’t see what to shift?  Shift something small until you get it right. Here are some small changes that can create shifts in other areas.

  • change what you eat for breakfast
  • stop wearing your signature colour
  • part your hair a different way. 

It’s sort of like the Butterfly Effect – one small thing done differently can affect the big aspects of your life. 

How do I know this, you ask.  Let me just give you a summary of what I’ve changed lately:  I’ve change which gym I go to on two days of the week.  This actually led me to new clients.  I also decided to work from home, rather than the local Starbucks for more of my day.  This has led to more focused work, surprisingly.

Maybe for you it’ll be that you have more energy to get things done if you have a better breakfast. Or maybe someone you’ve had your eye on will notice how you’ve changed your look.  That’s where hope begins and bigger changes can grow from.

So what small change can you make to affect your happiness in the present, rather than the future?  Leave a comment – I’d love to hear them all!  Or post it on the Facebook page.

For more information on me and my personal coaching services for thirtysomethings who want to powerfully design their lives for success, go to ashewoodward.com

Have a great week making small changes, thirtysomeone!

Finding Your Own Formula for Success

There’s a new ad for weight watchers where Oprah looks into the camera and tells everyone that each time she failed to lose weight led her to this moment to try again.  It’s a great message and I’m sure so many people can relate to what Oprah is saying:  it’s okay to try and fail because it’s all part of the journey.

While it is a great message, and almost convinces me to join Oprah and weight watchers even though I don’t think I need to, I can’t help but wonder about one thing:  Why can’t Oprah just apply the success she’s found in her career to finding success with weight loss?

I don’t mean to put her on the spot either, I personally love Oprah.  But love her or hate her, it’s an interesting question that we all might be facing.  Some areas of our life may be exactly how we want them but others never seem to come together or it’s a constant struggle. 

What I find interesting is that if we can’t replicate out own success in other areas, what’s to say we’re capable of replicating another person’s journey?  Even Queen O has trouble replicating her own success just in a different area of her life.  So what is it that makes us think that other success stories will relate to our own?

Perhaps it’s that Oprah can’t see how losing weight and growing a milt-billion dollar company are related.  Maybe it’s more likely that you see a correlation between your business and Elon Musk’s journey, rather than comparing how Oprah loses weight.

So all success isn’t all the same?

So then why are those lists of “Things Successful People Do” and “Top Ten Ways to Be More Like Richard Branson” so popular?

I guess I just like the idea that a formula for success is out there and that I will eventually find it. But Oprah has made me see that trial and error and being ready and in the right place and timing are all part of this equation.  I mean, if she can find it, but not duplicate it, then what hope do we have of duplicating anyone else?

But as I said, maybe it’s all about categories.  Business success is different from successful weight loss.  But that seems not quite right to me either; I think that it’s more about where you put your focus and priorities.  Oprah focused on her career – a lot!  And there were times when everyone knew that Oprah was losing weight again because we saw her in jogging suits on the cover of People magazine and there were health challenges with Dr. Oz on her show all the time.  During those times, she did lose weight so I wonder how she lost her focus…

I can’t speak for Oprah, it’s bad enough that I would die to just speak TO her, but her journey that she’s on, in front of everyone, is worth a look to put our own successes and failures into better perspective. 

The message here I think is: “Lessen your focus on others’ success and focus on your own; only you know how to make it there.  Focus, and you’ll reap the rewards.”  My other biggest believe is that you have to keep trying, testing and failing and eventually you’ll have a Euraka moment.  Everyone knows this quote by now:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas A. Edison on inventing the lightbulb

So where does your focus lie for 2016 and how will you be persistent in discovering your unique success formula?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments or on Facebook!

To find out how you can uncover your unique formula for success, get in touch to find out more about one-to-one coaching, visit ashewoodward.com.