Category Archives: updates

Four No-Brainer Questions (and the Unveiling)

Update (1/22/2011): If you like what you read here and want to see more ways to apply this technique for making decisions and getting unstuck, check out the ebook!

Last week I held my first free teleclass, about the No-Brainer Scenario technique. I’m sure some of you were there or have since listened to the recording.

I had a blast in spite of my nervousness.

One of the things I shared was how to use the technique when you’re not considering a specific opportunity or decision.

I’ve been using this process for myself a lot lately, especially in terms of what I want this year to look like.

It’s a big question, because it’s up to me, and is limited only by where I decide to invest my energy. For me, that’s a recipe for instant stuckness and overwhelm.

So I used the technique to help me narrow down all the different directions I could go, to let the ones I really care about bubble up to the top.

Here are the questions I asked myself to help get a vision for 2010:

The questions – with my own answers

What qualities would help you get that No-Brainer, “Hell yeah!” feeling about 2010?

Connection
Creativity
Fun
Stability
Safety
Sovereignty

Of those qualities, which ones can your business help you with? For each of them, describe how your business might help bring more of those qualities into your life.

Connection – reach more people through my blog and classes

Creativity – develop new ways to help my Right People see that it really is possible to have work that they love; incorporate other types of creative activities such as movement and art into my teaching

Fun – this one’s tough…I guess my business could help me have more fun by helping me reshape my beliefs about work – that it doesn’t have to be unpleasant and overly challenging.

Stability – find ways to make the income from my business more steady

Safety – balance periods of growth with periods of rest (which is really more about how I conduct and interact with my business)

Sovereignty – Okay, I’m going to be totally honest and say that I’m still pondering this. I’m not sure how my business will support this. My business, if nothing else, will certainly offer me lots of opportunities to practice exercising my sovereignty.

For the things you described above, what are some ideas for projects, activities or practices that you could explore to accomplish those things?

Reaching more people – continue hanging out on Twitter; increase blog post frequency; offer more group classes

Developing steady income – create courses and products that can be offered regularly and more frequently

Balancing growth with rest – practice planning ahead and building rest into the project plan so that it’s more sustainable (I’ve been seeing lately that if I don’t replenish after a period of growth, I’m pretty useless)

Practicing sovereignty – practice tuning in to my own “inner knowing” and getting clear on that before asking others for their opinions (this might mean scheduling time in my project plans for getting quiet)

There will be some overlap as far as what qualities will increase with which projects. Are there any projects that give you more of the qualities than others?

I see more overlap than I expected. When I look at my list, I can see that developing group classes and increasing how often I post on my blog will help me with almost all of the qualities I’m looking for this year.

See what just happened?

I can see that group classes and blogging are important pieces of my business to focus on this year, because they’ll bring me the qualities I want.

Granted, there’s more work to be done with these questions, but this did not take me very long once I sat down to think about it. If you’re not used to listening to your own heart to find out what you want, it might take a little longer. It gets easier with practice.

By using the qualities I want to help me find projects to focus on, I completely avoided the “blank page” syndrome of not knowing how to begin planning my year.

Plus, by getting clear on my desired qualities, I have information I can apply to my life in general, not just my business. It allows me to align my business with my life, and not the other way around.

Some other thoughts

As you can imagine, you can apply this process to lots of things…not just a year. It could be a different time frame, or you could gear it toward relationships or a career change. The process is still the same – you’re looking for the set of qualities that give you a light, expansive, “hell yeah!” feeling about whatever you’re considering.

The answers aren’t set in concrete. They can change as your needs and desires change.

And, of course, this is just the beginning of the process. But by approaching what you want from the perspective of the qualities you want and need, you can choose projects that have those qualities.

What I just showed you – this process of going from qualities to specific ideas – is exactly the kind of work we’ll be doing in my new course. We’ll spend ten months together helping you to get clear and create the structures your business needs in order to be able to support you, from vision to plan to implementation.

The course starts February 18, and there are only ten spots so that I can provide plenty of individual attention. (Yep, I’m offering an early bird price, and it’s available until I go to bed on February 11.)

You can get all the details here.

How about you?

What qualities are you wanting more of this year? How can your business (or whatever your focus is) help support you in increasing those qualities?

I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Update (1/22/2011): If you like what you read here and want to see more ways to apply this technique for making decisions and getting unstuck, check out the ebook!

Clarity, Sovereignty and the No-Brainer Scenario

Waaay back at the beginning of September, I wrote about the No-Brainer Scenario.

It was one of those posts that I thought might be helpful for people. I wasn’t sure but I posted it anyway.

It has since turned out to be the most popular post on my blog, ever. By a lot. Which just shows that sometimes we know something so well that it doesn’t seem like it’s even a thing. A thing that – whoa! – can help lots of people.

After doing a call about it for Havi‘s Kitchen Table group in November, I began to see that finding the No-Brainer Scenario for something is a great way to find clarity.

And that finding clarity within yourself is a step toward sovereignty – that quality of being able to be fully You despite what’s happening around you and what others expect of you. (You can get a recording of the ever-so-wise Hiro discussing the concept here. And Havi has talked about it here.)

Once you are clear within yourself about what you want and what you don’t want, you can go about enforcing it.

But clarity isn’t just about sovereignty. It’s also a foundational step toward creation. I began to see the No-Brainer Scenario as a creation tool, because how can you create what you want to create before you know what you want?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

A few weeks ago, I started thinking about what I wanted this year to look like for my baby biz and for me. And I also started pondering what I want to share with my people, what I’m excited to teach right now.

My background in software development means I have a lot of experience in creating plans for projects. I’ve also done lots of geeky stuff with spreadsheets and budgets and forecasts.

I can teach people how to do those things. But in a lighter, simpler way that won’t cause eyes to glaze over.

I have a knack for helping people get clear on whatever is muddy. And for helping people put some structure around and beneath the ideas they have percolating in their heads. For helping them take those big, overwhelming projects and create plans that they can follow successfully.

So I’ve been pouring my love, energy and time into developing a small-group program to help you get clear on your vision for 2010 (specifically, what you want to happen in your business), and to teach you how to develop structured, grounded-in-reality plans to bring your vision to life.

What does this have to do with the No-Brainer Scenario?

The course I’m putting together starts by helping you get clear on what you want to accomplish this year, and we’ll be using the No-Brainer Scenario technique as a way to do that.

No-Brainer Scenario Logo

I’m still finalizing the course details (it’s currently scheduled to start on 2/11), but in the meantime, I’m holding a free call about using the No-Brainer Scenario to find clarity. We’ll talk about how you can use it when you don’t know whether to say yes or no to particular decisions, and how to use it when you’re just not sure what you want.

There will be plenty of time for questions, so we can even work on finding No-Brainer Scenarios for your real-life situations.

When: Tuesday, January 26, 12pm – 1pm Pacific time
Where: By phone (you can wear your jammies if you want!)
Cost: Nothing but long-distance charges to dial in

Can’t make the call? I’ll send you the link to the recording once it’s available.

You can sign up for the call here.

(That new brainy logo up there? It was designed by the amazing Eileen Corrigan Valazza. I am ridiculously excited about it. Thanks, Eileen!!)

Happy Birthday, Blog! (Or Taking the Step in Front of You)

Today my blog is one year old. Hard to believe – I was sure I would peter out on this effort after a few months.

I started this blog back when I still didn’t know (or couldn’t admit) I wanted to be a coach, and really had no idea where this blog would lead me.

One place it led me was to the Room of Staring Your Stuff in the Face.

Stuff like unreasonably high expectations and comparing myself to others.

There was writer’s block. And the one where I finally admitted (publicly!) that I want to be a coach.

I explored why I can’t stand calling myself a coach.

I attempted to loosen up, creativity-wise, by wrecking a journal. Which led me to explore what it means to quit a project before it’s “finished.”

I dealt with the shitstorm that is the Phoenix real estate market. Well, I’m still dealing with it, but we don’t need to talk about that now.

I was finally able to launch my redesigned website so that people could figure out that I was a coach. After much inner turmoil.

I realized my dream of quitting my job. I also discovered that it didn’t feel at all the way I fantasized it would.

Whew! That’s quite a bit…

If, at the end of 2008, someone had asked me if I’d be a full-time entrepreneur by the end of 2009, I would have said no way.

If someone had asked if I’d launch a business by the end of 2009, I would have said it was unlikely.

I’m blown away at how this year turned out.

You never know where a step might lead you.

When I started the blog, I wasn’t sure what I would write about. Or how I would (eventually) generate income from it.

All I knew for sure was that I wanted to be able to make a living without reporting to a job every day.

And I had a pretty strong suspicion that working “online” would be important for me in creating something that would support me with my introversion and HSP tendencies.

But other than that? I had no clue.

With a lot of help, I managed to take the step of starting the blog even though I feared I would only post a few times and then bail on it.

Although starting the blog wasn’t the only step that led me to launching a business and quitting my job, it was an important part of helping me meet really cool people who became part of my support network.

It helped me feel like I was part of this whole online thing that all the kids today are doing.

This isn’t about telling you to start a blog.

Sure, there’s a part of me that wonders why you wouldn’t want a blog, but I’m not going to try to convince you if it’s not your thing.

But is there one little step you could take toward your thing, whatever it may be?

Even if it doesn’t look like it’s directly related?

Even if you don’t know what you’re thing is?

Kind of like the what-the-hell-am-I-even-going-to-blog-about-but-I’ll-try-it-anyway blog-equivalent?

Something you could take a risk on. Something you could try, and then let go of if it really isn’t your thing.

You might find that moving in that one tiny, seemingly unrelated area will help unstick you in other areas.

Or it might even send you in a direction that you’ll look back on in a year (or five) and shake your head with gratitude and wonder. Because you simultaneously won’t know how you got there, and will know it was exactly where you were supposed to be.

Happy birthday, sweetie-blog. I just know this coming year is going to be awesome for both of us.

And huge thanks to all of you for reading and commenting and generally showing your support!

Joining the Ranks

My darling readers, I have news.

Big news.

By the end of this week, I will be joining the ranks of the self-employed.

I am about to become a full-time entrepreneur.

It took me a while to figure out how to share this news with you, because it’s a transition and transitions are complicated. (Maybe I’ll share more about the complexities in another post.)

As complicated as it is, and as scary as it is, I just know that it’s time for me to move forward in this new direction.

A tweet from Jen Louden sums it up quite nicely for me:

When you “should” on yourself to do what weakens (even if you’re good at it) you exhaust your precious life force.

I have been in IT for over 10 years. And I’m damn good at it. But part of why I was continuing in my job was out of a sense of should.

I shouldn’t walk away from this stable career. I should wait until my business is bringing in more income. I should wait until we have a larger emergency fund.

I should wait until fill-in-the-blank.

What I’ve known for a long time – but convinced myself I must be wrong or making it up – is that staying in the job was weakening me.

My life force, or let’s call it creative energy, was being used up. There wasn’t enough left over to give my business and Right People what they need.

That’s what this move is all about.

Giving myself what I need and want.
Having more to give to my Right People.
Creating a life and work that is satisfying and fits me.

But isn’t this risky?

Yes. There is risk in leaving a lucrative career for something new.

Risk of failure.
Risk of losing our financial stability.
Risk of not being able to live the “American Dream” (which is pretty much bullshit anyway).

But, as Hiro so wisely shared with me, there is also risk in staying in my job.

Risk of losing my joy, passion and creativity.
Risk of becoming so depressed I’d give up on my business completely.
Risk of damaging my health by giving in to self-medication as a coping mechanism.

The more I listened to my heart, the harder it became to ignore its desires.

And the harder it became to ignore my heart, the riskier it felt to stay in a job that was taking the best of me and leaving only crumbs. The risks of staying feel far more costly to me than the risks of forging my own path.

Now begins the next adventure. I’m looking forward to seeing where it leads.

Retreeeeeeat! Mind Blown, Site Launched

This past weekend, I was in North Carolina at Havi’s Dance of Shiva retreat.

I’m almost (but not quite) speechless.

It was that good.

All about patterns and how to unravel them and work on them and change them. If you feel like it.

I actually have this little pattern where I sign up for a class or conference or retreat, and my expectations wind up ridiculously high about what kind of impact it will have on my life. Of course, that usually leads to disappointment when I go back home and things have changed a little but not much.

I told myself that, if nothing else, I’ll have the opportunity to work on that pattern, if things wound up being not all I had hoped.

As it turns out, though, working on that pattern will have to wait for some other opportunity. Because the retreat was far from disappointing.

I wrote here about how I was struggling with some fears about launching my business, and it was manifesting itself as an inability to reach “good enough” with my website design.

And how I was going to focus on giving Hedgehog Girl what she needed to feel safe.

A lot of shifting happened around that little issue.

Three really big things I got out of the retreat:

1. Again isn’t really again.

I got really frustrated with myself during the first part of the retreat, as I became more aware that I was feeling scared again. Scared to launch my website, scared to own (publicly) that I’m a coach.

Why can’t I just get past that already?

I mean, didn’t Hedgehog Girl and I come to an understanding?

And I asked Havi whether the fact that the fear came up again meant that I was missing something. Or doing something wrong or failing to address the true need beneath the fear.

And her answer was that even though it feels the same, it’s not really the same. There’s always something about it that’s different.

When I thought about it, it’s true. For example, when I start feeling scared, I’m able to remember to be compassionate with myself much more quickly now than I was even a few months ago.

2. Give yourself (and receive from yourself) credit for all of it.

It is so easy to forget how much progress has been made, but when I look back over the last three months, six months, year, a lot has changed.

I’m not so good with the self-credit dispensing.

3. A deep awareness of the awesome support network I have.

To me, it felt like I was going on and on about the same crap I’ve struggled with for years around being a coach.

But everyone was so encouraging, and reminded me that they are here to help and support me as I launch this new venture.

What a gift to have a group of friends who don’t ask you, “Are you still whining about all that?”

Joining the Kitchen Table this year has seriously been a huge part of all the progress I’ve made, and I wouldn’t be doing this now without the support of every one of those awesome Tablers.

So here it is.

My new website, complete with pages about what I do and how people can hire me. Oh – and an updated About page!

Am I still scared? Hell yeah.

But I’m more scared of how I’ll feel if I don’t get this party started.

Let’s celebrate together!

As a way to party it up and celebrate this ginormous step I’m taking, I want to offer a special price on coaching packages.

Between now and September 18, for the first six people who sign up, three-session packages will be available for $240 – that’s 20% off the normal package price.

Check out my Is This for You? page to see if you are one of my Right People, or check out my About page to learn more about me. If it feels right, head on over to the Contact page to schedule a short phone chat, and then we’ll schedule the first session!

Just want to ask a question? Feel free to contact me for that, too! Or post in the comments…

Comment Zen:
This is a big, scary move for me, so please no advice giving or critiquing.
Cheers and happy dances gratefully accepted.