creativity

If you're not taking a risk, you're taking a risk

Don't you love that headline?

"If you're not taking a risk, you're taking a risk."

Sallie Krawcheck, founder and CEO of Ellevest, and former CEO of Merrill Lynch coined this phrase in her book Own It: The Power of Women at Work (worth a read - it's the book I wished I'd written. She got there first!)

If you're sitting in your office or cubicle thinking that your next career move will be somewhere else in the organisation, or perhaps the next step up, you're taking a career risk.

You see, the world is evolving so rapidly now that many positions that have existed for the last 40 years, even 20 years, will be automated in the future - and it is a not-too-distant future. Some will automated entirely such as assembly line workers, while others are likely to 'morph', evolve or be redefined e.g. social media managers. The future of work is uncertain, but what IS certain is that it won't look the same as it does today.

It is on US as individuals to evolve, up-skill, keep learning, develop broader interests and look outside our current domain to future-proof our careers.

Staying within a 'safe space' means you're taking a career risk. You're taking even more of a career risk if you stick only to what you know and do nothing to evolve or develop.

A great analogy is that of investing. Keeping your thousands in a savings account feels safe and that you're preserving its value. At best, it might earn 1% interest, depending on your national treasury's current interest rate.

Eating away at its value, though, are account fees, tax, and inflation - that unseen but felt factor that means your money today is not worth the same as it will be tomorrow.

The same can be said of your career. Savvy employees are 'inflation-proof-ing' their careers by taking courses in new areas of interest, extending and challenging themselves, opening their minds to new ideas and fields, and ways of working - to stay relevant.

This is not meant to be a portent of doom - it's just a jolt into reality. I invite you to look at work and your career very differently by opening up your mind to new ideas. Get creative, get clear, and get cracking!

In considering your next career move, ask yourself these questions:

  • What have you always wanted to do?
  • What did you love to do as a child?
  • What would be an ideal day for you at work?
  • What area of study interests you?
  • What would you do if you were brave?
  • What can you do all day without being aware of the time passing?

These questions prompt you to look outside the apparent safety of where you are now.

Need some help opening up your mind to the possibilities of the future? Send me a message and let's get on a call to discuss what your future career might look like.

 

 

Who is your inspiration?

Who is your inspiration?

Who possesses the values you most admire?

I came face-to-face with mine this weekend.

Peta Mathias has been an inspiration to me since I read an article about her in a NZ magazine perhaps 30 years ago. She is a celebrity chef, a prolific author, a broadcaster and travel addict. She combines all her passions into a unique lifestyle that serves as my inspiration, leading cooking tours to exotic countries, spending half of the year residing in NZ, the other half in her architecturally-designed home in the south of France. It is here I came face-to-face with my idol when I did a half-day cooking class led by her in her stunning house in Uzès.

When you come face-to-face with your source of inspiration. A highlight, for sure.

When you come face-to-face with your source of inspiration. A highlight, for sure.

Forty years ago, she looked up from her work as a registered nurse in the public system in NZ, and thought, "There must be more than this." She packed her bags and cooked her way around France and the world, beginning her love affair with food and La République. So many of her decisions in life resonate with me. 

She demonstrates a joie de vivre I like to live by, too.

She drinks in life.

She lives life with gusto.

It is not unheard of for her to break out into a rendition of "La Vie en Rose" by Edith Piaf after a few verres de vin rouges.

It's what I want you to ponder today. Is there more you could be making of your current circumstances? How are you playing small? Where is fear keeping you safe? How could you be drinking in more of life?

#drinkinlife #livelifewithgusto #joiedevivre

Hit reply and let me know how you want to drink in more of life.

PS Don't forget, if you sign with me this month on a 90 day program of coaching, you get a 90 mins strategy session with image and first impressions expert, Alba Gomez worth normally €300. If you want to drink in life, look the part, too! How we present ourselves to the world is so important to how we FEEL in our skin. Contact me.

What Netflix is teaching me about success...

The evenings are starting to draw in and the weather is cooler. Cue fleecy blanket, cat on lap, and on demand Netflix!

I'm watching the documentary series 'Chef's Table' - a series of interviews with the world's top chefs. Just watching their artistry and creativity in the kitchen feeds my soul (and adds to my world list of top class restaurants to try before I die - or next year, whichever comes first!)

I've noticed they all have learned the same lessons about success and we can learn a lot from them:

  1. They don't do it for the money - it's a happy by-product. I've seen this in clients too. The ones focused solely on how much money they can make do not achieve what they desire - at least not with any sense of ease and abundance. These chefs do it to share their passion with others, to make others' lives richer, and to give them a memory, a moment of happiness. The money comes in abundance but it does not drive them. (What's your purpose?)
  2. They all have passion and drive. They have a vision of what they want to create, and they are single-minded about creating it. (What's your vision?)
  3. They learn to find balance by setting strong boundaries. Many of them complain about the impact on their personal life, and it is not until they have experienced this, they learn to set strong boundaries to protect it. (How are your boundaries? What do you need to protect?)
  4. They take risks. Every day. With every meal. With every menu. And they took risks in their pursuit of excellence as world class chefs. (How are you taking risks to create what you desire?)
  5. They fail. Multiple times. And that's OK. It makes them stronger, smarter, more creative, more successful. Not starting for fear of failure was never an option. (How is fear of failure holding you back?)
  6. They have self-doubt but they get back to unshakeable self-belief quickly. They don't wallow in it. All of them have asked themselves, "What the...am I doing?!" as they open the doors on a new restaurant, to a queue of...nobody. But they persist. They go back to faith. (How is "I'm not good enough" serving you? How are you 'keeping the faith'?)
  7. They can't create something significant in life if they're not happy doing it. It is the joy of what they do that drives them to create such significance in their lives and others. (Are you LOVING what you're doing?)

Take a leaf out of the recipe books of the great chefs of the world.

Next course. Bon appétit!

PS What's your recipe for success? Haven't quite mastered the technique yet? Let's chat. Hit me with a reply about what's holding you back from the life and career you desire, and let's get on the phone.

Want different results? Do something radical!

I get it.

You're tired of things being the same - your life, your career. No matter what you do, nothing seems to change for the better. You're still stuck where you are - career flatlined; life requiring surgery.

Take a leaf out of the sporting book...

A lot of you may be blissfully unaware of a sporting victory that happened yesterday. The America's Cup is a yachting regatta of some 165 years old held every 4 years, amongst a few select countries, funded by the super-rich of the world. My native country people generally have a keen interest in the regatta because a) we're a country of no more than 5 million inhabitants who compete on a world stage at an elite level in an elite sport, b) we often win!

Overnight, Team New Zealand won the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda against the US team, Oracle. A proud Kiwi moment - as a Kiwi, and a keen yachtie, it's a happy day!

Why is this relevant to you and your life and career?

How Team New Zealand won is brilliant! While they used impeccable sailing skills to win, they won first by innovation. A yacht traditionally uses 'grinders', the guys who grind away with their massive shoulders on the winches to move the sails, help manoeuvre the boat, and make it go very fast. The team replaced these hulks with...

Cyclists. Yes, Olympic cyclists.

If you want different results, you must do things differently.

The team decided that they'd be able to manoeuvre the boat quicker by leveraging the massively powerful leg muscles of Olympic cyclists, instead of the shoulder muscles of Olympic rowers, as they have used in the past. It was innovative, risky, and it worked!

They chose innovation to achieve their result.

All this brings me to this:

If you want different results in your life and career, you must do things differently and take a risk.

To use one of my favourite quotes, often attributed to Einstein

The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.

So - what could you do differently to get different results in your life and career?

One step in the right direction to get different results: coaching.

If you want to try something different to get different results, let's discuss where you are now, where you'd like to be and what we can do differently to get you there. Apply for a call now.

Click to watch these amazing yachts - fast and furious on water!

How you can transform your decision-making

Hello you!

I've spent the last week in nothing short of transformation.

A week in gorgeous and surprising Mallorca with my high-level mentor and about 100 other women entrepreneurs. If you've seen previous posts, you'll have seen that in Maui earlier this year, I had a transformation on-stage that literally changed my business focus. This time - yes, I got on stage again!

Here's what I got out of my week.

In the coaching world, we're always talking about mindset - and I agree, a great mindset changes everything in our life and career. Being able to flip the switch from negative to positive takes some skill and constant energy.

What I realised this week is that mindset - the concept of wrestling with the mind to quieten the inner critic voices - is still very much a masculine construct. It's an idea based around control.

I want you to listen to your heart.

Whether you call it your intuition, instinct or gut, it's this feminine and often under-developed part of us that truly knows what the soul needs, but our mind chatters away over the top. So, getting practiced at tuning into the heart allows us to elevate the importance of this feeling, which in turn naturally drowns out the chatter. There is no need for control or suppression. It is about being open and tuning into your heart in a bodily way - how does it feel as you take a decision?

That is a much more pleasurable daily practice.

So I encourage you to stop thinking, stop controlling, stop doing, and start listening to your heart. It is wise beyond words and knows what your soul needs. It requires stillness to listen closely.

How do you do that?

Start by sitting still and quietly, simply breathing in deeply three times when you're faced with a choice or a decision, feel the sensations in your body - where and what do you feel? Go with whatever comes up. Don't question it; don't second-guess it; just go with it. When we act in true alignment with what our soul needs, the frenetic buzzing in the head will simply melt away.

I'd love to hear how you go with this practice. It's transformational!

Go over to my Facebook page and ask to join my private group Design Your Days - Life & Work on Your Terms and share what you find in this practice.

Bisous x

Here's What You Need to Be a LEADER

Want to know the secret sauce of success? Click to learn what personal leadership is and how stepping into it can create the success in life & work that you desire.

More nuggets coming up about personal leadership! I've got a lot to share with you on the topic, and how embracing it can change your life and career!

Bisous x

6 Reasons Why Coaching With Me May Not Be For You

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I’ve had a number of instances recently where the decision at the end of the call from the client is “I’ll think about it”.

Danger zone.

There are numerous apparently sound reasons potential clients say they’ll think about something, for example:

  1. They haven’t heard enough yet of how they will benefit from working with me;

  2. They have 'people pleasing' tendencies and they fear asserting themselves by saying “No”;

  3. They procrastinate:

    • In fear of what might come after they’ve taken a decision - failure, success, change of some description;

    • Because it is uncomfortable for them to consider taking the unusual step of investing in themselves;

    • Because saying they haven’t got the money is a ready excuse that most people accept in this world where a scarcity mindset prevails;

Except for reason number 1, which is entirely up to me to convey clearly, all of the others are the very reasons you SHOULD get coaching. The way you perceive yourself and your habitual behavioural and thought patterns that prevail on a daily basis discreetly prevent you from living and working exactly as you desire, stepping powerfully and confidently into what COULD be for you.

In case you don’t feel you have enough excuses at hand as to why you should NOT work with me, let me give you some more to add to the mix:

1. I challenge you to think and act differently

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

One of my all-time favourite quotes attributed to Einstein. If you want different results in your life and work, you need to approach the challenges and problems differently. That’s what we do together, and that can be scary for some; expansive and enlightening for others;

2. I’ll call you out on your BS

Without even realising it, we put our shields up or create stories to justify our behaviours and inaction. Worse, sometimes we do realise what we’re doing, but we have got away with it for so many years, we’ve been able to manipulate those around us to protect ourselves. It’s all done with good intention and it also keeps us away from what we really desire. Na-ah - not on my watch. I’ll call you out if and when I see you’re trying to fool yourself and others.

3. I won’t sugar-coat things

There are a lot of other coaches that will be 'softly-softly' with you. When I see my client needs compassion, and a safe haven to express their thoughts, emotions and needs, I’m there with the snuggly rug and the hot chocolate. At the same time, you came to me for transformation - to effect changes in your life so you could finally live and work as you desire with unshakeable power and confidence. That doesn’t happen exclusively on hot chocolate.

4. I’ll hold you accountable

You’re a results-driven kinda gal - me too. Listen, I love you, but I don’t intend for this to be a life-long, co-dependent coaching relationship. I’m guiding you to think for yourself - smarter, more creatively, and to take conscious decisions about your life and work. That requires accountability and if you miss appointments or don’t do the work required, I’ll pull you up on it. I’m doing it to serve YOU because my only goal is your transformation.

5. It’ll be uncomfortable at times

How do I know? Many clients who are beginning to see results in coaching hit the 'breakdown' before the 'breakthrough'. It’s ironic - you have to feel worse, before you can feel better. How else do I know? Because I hold the mirror up to myself - the way I think, feel and act every single day to grow, to improve my relationships with myself and others, and my life and work, so I can serve my clients better, too. It is painful at times, and ugly, and vulnerable and sometimes even a little scary. I commit myself to your growth, as I commit to my own, and as I need you to commit to yours.

6. We’ll have FUN as we work together to create your kind of wonderful life and work.

You still with me?

That all being said, where there is darkness there is light; and I love a laugh! There is serious business to be done in working on your transformation, and there is a lot of lightness to be enjoyed, too.

So - if you’re still thinking about it, by all means do; and challenge yourself to dig deeper and question what is driving that statement.

If you’re still sitting on the fence, let's get on a call and we can talk it all through.

PS. This is not a high-pressure sales call - it’s me and you creating the best decision for YOU! If that means we work together, I’d be over the moon! If that means you decide to work with another coach, I’m happy for you. If you decide to do nothing, let’s keep in touch. When you’re ready, you’ll know. Let’s get on a call.

THIS. IS. IT.

I'm installed here in beautiful South Beach, Miami. I'm spending almost a month in Miami and environs, escaping the colder climate of Paris during winter - a commitment I had made to myself a few years ago as I designed how I wanted to live and work.

And. This. Is. It!

I'm so grateful to be able to do this at last - work where I want, when I want. No commute. No senseless goal-less meetings. Nobody making decisions that affect my business. A lifestyle and career on MY terms. It's the vision I've been working towards for at least the last couple of years. I knew what it was I wanted and I methodically worked towards creating it.

I have always enjoyed challenging the status quo - I did it in my corporate career, always challenging the "we've always done it this way" mindset, I have done it in my personal life, and now I have done it in my business.

This is not a boast. This is simply a reminder that what you desire is possible. Create the vision or the picture of how you want to live and work, explore the possibility and create a plan, then work methodically towards realising your blueprint.

It's all within reach. It's that simple.

Would you like to spend time exploring the possibilities to create a new vision of how you live and work? I would love to help you realise your dream.

Book a call with me to discuss what's possible.

Are You Stuck in Your Story?

You know what I mean...

When someone asks how things are going, you dive into what's bugging you, how the environment you're working in is killing you, how you really want to get out but you just don't have the time/money right now.

I understand. Mostly, you just want to be heard.

There is a time and a place for that, for sure. It's true - we DO need to be heard, to vent, to get it off our chest, so we can move on, but at some point...

We have to let it go.

By staying stuck in the story, it is impossible to move forward or get creative about how to make changes in our life - business, career, relationships, everything). It stops us from seeing any solutions, and the perfect one that might just be right in front of us.

By staying stuck in our story, we shut down options with our limiting thoughts and beliefs ("I don't have time", "I can't become my own boss - I need the money", "I can't go and do what I really love because I have a good job", "I can't because...[insert own limiting belief here]).

I see it a lot with people in the corporate environment. The ones that come to me aren't happy where they are, and they're searching for a way out, or something to do about it - trying to decide what the next step for them is, and how to implement a plan.

I find that people in this situation are so stuck in their story that they believe there is no way out - or if there is a way out, they can't see it clearly or it is not for "people like them." Instead, they choose not to do anything about it, preferring instead to tolerate their stress and unhappiness, convincing themselves that "work was never meant to be fun" (I beg to differ!) In doing so, they give the control of their future to someone else e.g. the organisation for whom they work (or some other external factor) - and for the most part these days, that future is whether or not their name features on the list for the next round of redundancies.

It takes courage.

It takes courage and a heart-felt belief that we deserve better and we can create a lifestyle of our design. It takes courage to turn fears that stop us from playing small and accepting less than we had imagined for ourselves, into the excitement of a challenge, of playing to our strengths, of stepping out of the ordinary, and into our Zone of Genius.

Coaching works to understand the fears and limiting beliefs keeping us playing small and in the same place, accepting less than we deserve. It works to expand our thinking about options and possibilities so we can create a clear outcome and an actionable plan to fulfill it. It works to have an unbiased, impartial person work with us to create the exit strategy or the next move so we experience courage, excitement and vigour, not fear and anxiety.

Coaching isn't for everyone - a client must be READY to be coached; READY to make changes; READY for action to create a new future for themselves, and take back control.

The first step is to let go of the story.

If you are ready to let go of your story, and create a future of your own design (not 'Theirs'), book a FREE one-hour Discovery call so you can step out into the light and OWN your future.

Losing Face(book)

Catastrophe.

This week, my Facebook account - personal profile and business page, have been suspended pending authentication of my identity. Don't know why - but I can only suspect it has something to do with my weird last name. Facebook didn't much like it when I first joined about 10 years ago, and I had to verify that I could possibly have this most ridiculous last name of 'Fitness.' Either that, or someone has complained about me.

Rude.

The horror - to be disconnected so abruptly.

As an online coach entrepreneur, I can only say, it sucks. Much of my marketing to and engagement with potential clients, engagement and support with other coach entrepreneurs, and my on-going professional and personal development are conducted to some level via Facebook. I spend a good couple of hours a day on it, catching up with the coaching world. Then there is the purely personal aspect. As an expat NZer, it is a convenient communication line to my family and friends spread across the world.

So you can perhaps understand why I have begun going through the range of emotions comprising the Change curve of Shock / Denial, Anger / Fear, Acceptance and Commitment. Facebook has been a very big part of my life for the last perhaps 10 years and it is suddenly no longer there.

I experienced Shock / Denial ("Nooo - this can't be happening!") and Anger / Fear ("****ing Facebook! What happens to my stuff?") I am now in Acceptance phase ("OK - so life without Facebook..."), moving into Commitment ("What can I do to overcome this?"). After doing some Googling, I have found there are some individuals who have never had their identity finally authenticated with Facebook, even after providing them the requisite government-issued ID. Their entire history of virtual memories and identity no longer exist. It got me thinking - what if that happens to me?

What has all this got to do with entrepreneurship and career management?

  • The Change curve: Being very familiar with the stages of the Change curve give me insight into how I am feeling during times of change, transition, or challenges. When I recognised the range of emotions I was feeling about this seemingly minor episode, I realised them immediately as being indicative of a loss or grief, exactly what the Change curve was originally designed to demonstrate. And think about it, loss of ID authenticity? FB are questioning my very existence - that's a type of loss with a degree of grief that goes with it.
  • Resilience: It comes up over and over again as a critical skill to have in dealing with obstacles, challenges and 'course-correctors'. I have had to tap into my resilience. Resilience encourages expansive questions like "What do I do about this now? How can I look at this differently? What alternatives do I have? What if I did...?"
  • Creativity: As I move through the Change curve to Acceptance and Commitment, I have begun to think creatively about my options in an online entrepreneurial world without Facebook.
    • It might have an impressive 1.65 billion users (about 23% of the world's population) but that leaves 5.75 billion not using FB. They use other channels to communicate and are doing OK. Admittedly, they are not all my ideal client, but then neither are all the 1.65 billion Facebook users.
    • If they are using other channels, there must be a way to access them - in-person networks, websites, chat forums, online networking groups, sales pages, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, guest blogging for other publications. Facebook is not the only cab on the rank though it likes to think it is.
    • I have to face it - Facebook has made me lazy about keeping in touch with loved ones, and also with my marketing efforts. It has actually dulled my creativity to some extent. Perhaps some time without it will inject more energy and vigour into my life and business.
    • And of course - I can always start afresh with a new profile and business page (and a less controversial name).

So - that's why you won't see me on Facebook anytime soon, until the little boffins decide I am an acceptable version of Helen Fitness.

It's an abrupt reminder that resilience steps in at any time...

...and there are always options.