Only Crazy People Claim to See the Future, Right?

A couple of days ago, I was lucky enough to catch Jen Sincero, author of You are a Badass,  in intimate conversation right here in Toronto.

When a woman from my book club told me about the event, I couldn’t believe it. How would crowds of thousands of people fit into the bookstore? I mean, she’s crazy-famous, right? A bestselling author and life coach – people are going to be breaking the doors down!

I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say and I desperately wanted her to sign my copy of her book because I had highlighted and flagged it up pretty good. It’s absolutely full of juicy nuggets to get you over yourself and get going. I just hoped I could strong arm my way to her.

Unfortunately, I arrived much later (and sweatier) than I had hoped but ….no worries. There were still plenty of seats and I was still able to find great seats for me and my friend.

Maybe I got the time wrong.  Nope. People had plenty of standing room too, and the doors to the bookstore remained fully in tact…

I guess I’m a little out of touch with reality being so immersed in the self-development/help/growth world that I think everyone else is too. I thought it would be like an amazing rock concert with moshing and crowd surfing. This is amazing S#*% man! My mind is blown!

All the while I could stand back and be the cool guy nodding his head like, I know man, I know. I’ve totally read the book and I’ve been down with these concepts for years, man.

Wrong.

Sincero was totally a rockstar all the way down to her great energy for her material. But she also has a great way of taking familiar concepts and adding a new perspective and energy to them. She knew exactly how to give the goods to this very lucky, intimate group. So much so that she snapped me out of my know-it-all head motions more than a few times.

My favourite riotous lick of the night was an answer to a crowd question on procrastination:

[this is a summary of Sincero’s genius answer; not verbatim]

Procrastination is fear –  a special fear laced with ideas of unattainable perfection.

Perfection as a reason to not get started on something makes no sense. If you believe that there is a perfect version of who you are or what you want to create, you’re a little nuts. Not even the Universe knows what your fully expressed self looks like, so why would you think you have any clue?

And why would you limit your future – any facet and any version of it – to your limited imagination? Creation works through us and evolves and creates our lives in ways we could never ever just imagine.

-Mind. Blown.

And just like that I feel like I can more easily say, “So long perfection, I’m so done with you.” (More easily – not totally).

Yet still, forever changed, I sat there re-evaluating every area of my life that was in the queue to be worked on in the ‘perfect’ state and at the ‘perfect’ time for the ‘perfect’ outcome.

I’m getting on all this s#*% tonight, I told myself. …Errr, right after I get my book signed.

IMG_3028.JPG

 

Just like I thought the place would be packed, I was wrong. There was a decent crowd, but it was pretty tame , which was awesome actually because I was one of the last to have my book signed and I really only waited about ten minutes.

Guess I can’t predict the future after all.

Hm.

Wanna work with me on what the Universe has in store for you next?

Check out the DO-Over Course HERE. Register before May 2nd!

 

 

Avoiding bad news lately? Here’s what it could cost us all.

So the last thing you may want to read is another article, post, blog meme, tweet, headline, status about Trump, right?  BUT WAIT!

Before you ignore, hide, sigh, cancel or avoid social media, I wonder if you’ll do something for me…

Ask yourself really why avoidance is sometimes our first reaction to “bad” news.

 

I’m hearing a lot of people talking about cancelling their social media accounts lately, at least for the time being.

Is this you?

Do you feel like it’s all just too negative? Too heavy?

Do you maybe feel like you don’t know enough about politics or the situation to actually comment?
Are you sick of how all this news makes you feel (helpless, vulnerable, angry)?

When Trump was elected, I tried to stay positive, saying that maybe this will help us wake up to many problems. Looking back, this may have been a little too light-hearted as far as approaches to politics go, especially now that we’re faced with executive orders that fill us with a whole range of mostly intense emotions.

But the favour I ask of you is to consider what this avoidance attitude can mean for us all. If we avoid social media and try to ‘keep positive,’ what are we missing? I’m not talking about FOMO (fear of missing out), but the larger conversation of our times.

We’re being asked to really examine our thoughts on race and religion in particular. Can we afford to ignore what we might really be thinking, feeling or the ugly side of what we’ve been conditioned to believe?

Is there a reason Trump’s comments and actions create a stir in us?
Is something being reflected back?

I have no political background. I’d even go as far as saying it’s scary how little I really know about politics and I’m Canadian. But I still have an opinion.

And it’s this.

In the last election, Americans were faced with deciding between 2 less than desirable options. And instead of making a choice, many chose to avoid and not vote at all – in fact, around 95 million voters did not cast a vote.

Even with my limited knowledge in American politics, I know there’s more to it than that. However, we can’t ignore that the votes of 95 million people would have made a difference. Maybe the same outcome, maybe not. But it would have been a different conversation in America.

But I get it.

I mean, how many times have we all been in the same place where there are hard decisions that need to be made, but we do nothing instead?

I get it. I’ve done it. It’s just easier.

But know this: taking no action, is an action. Make no mistake – you ARE making a choice; indecision is a decision.

We may not all need to take action and march and protest. Some of us do and that’s good and important; it’s such an amazing freedom we have the right to express. But there are other ways to be heard.

We can be aware of what’s happening, have an opinion, but not let it ruin our day; not let it steal our hope; not let it leak into our mood at home or work.

And if it does, let’s agree to reflect on what these feelings mean for us and not shy away from the lessons we could learn.

How do we really feel? Angry, sad, hopeless, sexist, racist?

Right?

Wrong?

Or, it may be making us question the role of leadership completely. Who we choose to follow says a lot about us. We’re saying that we like where this leader is taking us and we share that vision.

But when we question certain decisions made by our leader, our own identity comes into question. And that can be uncomfortable. And that makes us want to hide.

If it’s all getting to be too much, take a time out. Sometimes we really nee a break from it all. But use some of that time for reflection. Get your opinions sorted, without the help of the media.

You may also find you become more reflective in other areas, or more decisive from now on. You can let the lessons from all of this leak into, or even saturate all areas of your life.

The worst thing isn’t the situation that we’re in. The very worst

would be letting it all be for nothing.

Click the link below or shoot me your thoughts at support@ashewoodward.com or start the conversation here or on the Facebook page.

…Start the conversation indeed…

Get started with the power of personal coaching. Check out my site and packages available to get down and dirty with your ugly thoughts and all their delicious lessons. ashewoodward.com

Life Goes On – After Elections and All Disappointments

This week, it goes without saying by now that the results of the American election were a shock for many. We’ve all seen the protests, the riots and heard countless commentary on the whole thing. I know we’re all a little sick of it, and hopefully, just ready to move the heck on.

While we’re still unsure of how this all will unfold, let’s remember how a few weeks ago many may have thought that Trump winning the presidency would be the absolute worst thing in the world to happen.

Beyond that we couldn’t imagine a future.

We posted //giphy.com/embed/140ANR8wKzkRm8<p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/trump-140ANR8wKzkRm8">via GIPHY</a></p>”>Armageddon GIFS and memes.memes

We creatively tweeted and posted our fears.

But take a look: so far, life goes on as planned. Nothing bad has happened (..yet).

We all still went to work the next day as usual and got s#^t done.

We still came home to our families and had some quality time.

We still celebrated our freedom here in North America with Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day here in Canada, honouring the fact that it is our freedom and democracy that was and is fought for and what allows us to vote for our leader in our respective countries.

I know that there is a lot of pessimism out there right now but I just hope that we can all see how  that even though some people’s worst fear came true, we all survived and life goes on.

If this sounds familiar, like from other areas of life where you think that there is just no hope at all, I urge you to take a closer look and find a silver lining. Find something in your situation to be grateful for and trust that everything will (eventually) be okay.

Not to mention, but Veteran’s Day/Remembrance Day should also remind us that we’ve survived worse.

If you feel like you’re looking ahead and the future is looking grim with no silver lining, we should chat. Get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com. I’d love to help you find hope again and start taking your life and success into your own hands. 

And don’t wait to grab your FREE copy of

The Thirtysomething’s Guide to Successful Goal-making HERE

goalmaking

How Hesitation Can Lead to Your Next Big Break

We’ve all done it: we see something we want to do and we get really excited. We start to dream of all the ways this is a great opportunity and we paint the picture of how it will be amazing and change our life for the better.

Then, it happens – we hesitate. We think, ‘I have to sleep on it,’ or ‘I’ll just put a reminder in my phone and come back to it when I have the time and/or money.’

But have you ever noticed that whenever you come back to the idea (if you even do), it’s never as good as it was when you first heard it, when you first felt that spark of energy?

Somehow, the initial inspiration and motivation isn’t there anymore and you may even wonder why you were so excited in the first place.

They say, ‘He who hesitates is lost’. But to be clear, I’d rather say, ‘he who hesitates has lost.’ When we hesitate, we lose out and we’re left to only kick ourselves later, wondering if we’ll ever get the opportunity again.

Depending on what it is, we may not get another shot at all. And, if we leave it too long, we may miss the momentum the original opportunity came with.

Think of a surfer and how she has chooses her moment. She has to seize the moment as soon as she sees that awesome wave lifting up and being fit to surf. If she hesitates, she’ll never get in there to feel the pure, impeccable energy and momentum that allows her to superbly ride the wave full out.

When she goes for it and grabs the wave without a moment to wonder or second guess herself, she can have the ride of her life. She flows with the wave, not against it and she feels the ocean pushing her, carrying her, making it all so easy.

We all need to do the same when opportunity knocks. Grab whoever is knocking, knowing they were sent there just for you. Trust your gut when you feel that excitement about something and you start to dream big things, and jump in. 

Hesitation is a great tool to guide your actions towards your next big break. When you feel that good energy and excitement, it means it’s something big and something that could be great for you. In these moments, The Universe and Her energy are pushing you, carrying you and there to hep you make your success all so easy.

I’m not saying that you should go for everything that’s put in front of you, but if you’re the least bit curious about something, you owe it to yourself and the opportunity to find out if it’s right. If it isn’t, fine. You can always bail out if it isn’t working. But by practicing saying ‘yes,’ you start the momentum for more doors to open for you.

So, if there’s anything on your to do list right now, stop putting it off.

If it’s really something you don’t want to do, take it off the list and move on. We also need to constantly make space for the better opportunities to flow in.

Secondly, mind your hesitations. If you are presented with an opportunity – seize it! Try on the hat of a spontaneity this week and see what else opens up for you.

The Universe likes action and will send you more and more energy when you take quick action.

Plus, money is energy too – dollars in exchange for energy in a beautiful flow. Get yourself into that flow of quick action and quick return. That’s the sweet spot that starts with no hesitation.

Try it for one week – no hesitation. And let me know how it goes in the comments or on Facebook.

If you’re ready to take truly inspired and quick action to bring in more energy and success, go to ashewoodward.com or get in touch for more information on Success Coaching at support@ashewoodward.com.

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.

How to Survive the Holiday Scene As an Entrepreneur

If you’re an entrepreneur as many thirtysomeones are these days [it’s a GenX/Millennial thing…]), you’re always ready to talk about your new project and share it with the whole world. Maybe the holidays seem like a perfect time to practice your pitch on family and friends, tell people about what you’re doing and get the word out.

But there is a delicate balance we as entrepreneurs and business owners have to consider. Sure, we’re excited to talk about everything we’re doing and how our great ideas can help so many people, but we also have to remember that family gatherings may not be the best place for doing business. Here are a few traps to look out for this season and some tips I’ve developed over the years to keep the balance and not end up with egg…nog on your face.

Mingling Question #1: What do you do?

There’s really nothing worse than listening to someone ramble on and on about his or her latest venture to end up on the other side not knowing what the person is talking about and wondering where the last 10 minutes of your life went. Sure, for most people, their job title says it all. ‘Lawyer,’ ‘Manager’, ‘Baker,’ all crystal clear. But ‘Entrepreneur’ needs some explanation and expansion.

What kind of entrepreneur? What do you do all day? How do you actually make money?

So where do you start to answer so you don’t end up on a roller-coaster of explanations and examples that go nowhere fast?

I’ll pass on some great advice I got from another coach, Christian Mickelsen. He says to do away with the titles altogether. For example, if you design software I’m sure you know by now that the average Joe has no idea how you do what you do. Instead of ‘Software Designer’ you could say, ‘I develop computer programs and programming to help people do their taxes themselves from their home computer.’ Instead of ‘Coach’ I’ve been practising saying that, ‘I listen to the common concerns of thirtysomethings and lead them to solutions that will help them achieve their goals and live a more abundant life.’

This is even good advice for non-entrepreneurs because it makes your job more understandable and relatable. Even as a Baker you can mention your specialties or holiday favourites: ‘I’m a baker who specializes in vegan and gluten-free yule logs this time of year’. As a lawyer you can talk about your ideal clients and who you really like working with. For more examples, see Christian’s full post HERE.

We’ve all been faced with the guy who’s a ‘Data-reconfigure analysis statistician something or other for a multi-national logistics something something corporation’. We try to keep an interested face but sometimes the egg nog starts to kick in and there’s no hope. On a more personal note, I was recently baffled when I was introduced to a ‘Solutions Integrator’. Instantly, a load of self-doubt for not knowing what this was arose and an awkwardness settled on the conversation because I was too embarrassed to ask for clarification. All of which could have been avoided by him simply saying first-off that he ‘sources technology and programs to make his company run more smoothly.’ Ahhhhh… the simplicity…

Basically, the holidays are no time for extra thinking. Be a doll and take the guess work out of it for your relatives and they’ll not only be thankful but probably more interested in what you ‘do’ rather than being confused by your title.

Mingling Question #2: What have you been up to?

For entrepreneurs and free spirits that may be nearer to the beginning of their journey, this question can be as nerve-wracking as taking your driver’s license test in the middle of a snowstorm. You can’t see, your palms are sweaty and you’re not thinking if but when you’ll swerve off the road.

Sometimes at the beginning of a venture, the idea is there but articulating it might be a danger zone. Just because you understand it and have the vision, doesn’t mean everyone is going to get it. So consider these options:

  1. Don’t mention the project. This could seem like a cop out or a middle finger to the Law of Attraction, but it could also be a way to protect your idea from scrutiny in its incubation period. However, this isn’t the advice for someone who has an idea that is ready for sharing. I’ve also seen entrepreneurs shy away from sharing their ideas in fear that they’ll be stolen. Trust me when I say, nobody can steal your idea. Even if they had your basic elevator speech memorized, they couldn’t put your unique spin on it. Plus, contrary to your sceptical mind’s beliefs, not everyone goes to holiday parties for a great place to find the next best thing.
  2. Mention the project. But practice first. If you think you’re ready to reveal your plans then go for it. Do some research on effective elevator pitches so you get to the point. Practice your pitch so it sounds natural, but convincing.  And, own the complements that come your way for being so brave and going out on your own. Check out one of my favourite videos on nailing your introduction HERE.

Pitching to ‘The Fam’

It’s great to let your family in on what you’re doing, but it could be best to allow it to happen naturally. If you decide to not mention much but there are still a lot of questions, answer them as honestly as possible (Santa’s watching you know…). Also, keep in mind you could also say that there’s going to be an opportunity for them to hear more about it when you officially launch.

The launch is where you can do this with full transparency. I recently had a Christmas dinner at my house and told a few guests to arrive early to be my guinea pigs for a practice launch of a new business I’m starting. I didn’t surprise them with it and hold them hostage, I said come early to support me on my new venture if they could. Luckily, they were very supportive. I talked for about an hour, letting them in on all I’ve been doing and how they can support me if they like. Then, after all questions seemed to have been asked, we let it die and dinner got started. It’s important to not only drop the subject but allow people to feel comfortable after a presentation by making it clear that there’s no pressure to invest or buy, just to be open-minded, listen and then move on.

Finally, if you are worried about what ‘The Fam’ will think this holiday season as you reveal your new ventures and projects, go in with a little preparation and awareness for what you are ready to put out there. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean your project knows that – it may not be the right time. There will always be another chance to reveal your project on your terms. But do plan ahead. They will ask, and that’s a wonderful thing too because it means they care. Awwww….

Have a wonderful holiday season to all you thirtysomeones out there with budding new projects. I’d love to be YOUR guinea pig if you like – Practice your pitch in the comments below! Or get in touch at support@ashewoodward.com for more success tips and advice!