Up For A 7 Day Challenge With Me?


Happy Friday you fantastic humans!

Don’t you wish everyone in the world could be a good person?! I mean wouldn’t that put an end to most of our problems? Sure, there’s a lot of talk on how we are all innately good. That might be so, but what about those that don’t behave like a good person?! They have one day of doing nice things and putting on a smile and that seems to make it okay when they suddenly behave like a cruel person the next day.

There’s so much content out there on forgiving yourself for mistakes made and not being so hard on yourself, but are some people stretching that theory to the point that they validate behaving recklessly because forgiveness is just around the corner?

Falling and failing are great – when you learn from it. We are supposed to make mistakes. That’s how life goes and it’s how we learn. But, it’s the wavering commitment to being a better person that is causing people to lose respect for others and for themselves.

I do think that there is an inherent desire within each person to be a better person, whether they act on it or not. Doesn’t it just feel better, lighter, energizing?

So for the person who just wants to be better for themselves and others, I invite you to take on a challenge for 7 days of practicing one new HARD but honest truth to becoming a better person. I’ll start on Monday, April 25th  and there will be a new post each day for 7 days asking you to try something different, be open to a new perspective or in some cases, just be reminded.

Disclaimer: These won’t be fluffy and they won’t be sweet. When I say hard truth, I mean hard truth.

Throughout my reading history, I’ve come across superb insights from highly respectable experts that have resonated with me and brought clarity into my thinking. So I’m sharing them with you. You don’t have to like it. In fact, you might totally disagree or just be annoyed with this whole thing. You might even have a super strong opinion, which I welcome. So please share your thoughts and comments on the blog, Twitter or the Facebook page. After all, a great way to learn is to start a conversation. It’s okay. It’s all good. This is me offering up a challenge for the good of it.

If you’re in then just check back on Monday for Day 1 and I super hope to see you there. :)

Here we go!

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Check That Ego At The Door!


It’s Ego Check Time!

Have you ever found yourself in a moment where you think to yourself “Oh man, I wish I could go back in time and behave differently?”

There’s only one thing to blame for your behavior and no, it’s not because someone made you act that way. It’s that part of you that we all have – the ego.

The thing about ego is that ego just wants us to feel important. To feel important it needs acknowledgment and above all it wants acceptance. Ego makes a big bold appearance when we feel deficient in some way.

Some of us claim that we do not let our ego take lead, but are we sure? Just ask yourself if you feel better than someone or less than someone? Anyone? Anyone at all? Yes? Oh hello, ego.

That’s just one example.

Ego isn’t just about being an arrogant asshole. It’s also responsible for feeling badly about yourself or not good enough. It’s responsible for needing to feel right or acting out of desperation.

I know what it feels like to have ego take over and I’m aware of it. Being aware of it in myself also makes me aware of it in others. It’s such an uncomfortable feeling to watch someone totally consumed. It’s like ego is this bucket of anguish that they can’t seem to get out of until the bigger self takes over and puts ego to rest.

I overheard the battle of two egos at war this week and I cringed. I wanted to scream to one person “Don’t say it! Don’t do it! You’ll regret it.” But, she did it. And then I wanted to reply to other person, “Don’t reply! Keep your mouth shut!” But, it was none of my business and it had to play out the way it needed to play out.

It was, however, a reminder of what I don’t want to have happen. So I thought I’d write out an ego check.

How do you know if ego is preventing you from feeling happy? Here are a handful of signs to look out for to make sure ego isn’t getting the best of you. Awareness is the first step to fixing anything, right?

  • Feeling better about yourself when you blather about others’ flaws
  • Not backing down out of an argument until you win
  • Comparing yourself to others… always
  • Feeling jealous over other people’s accomplishments
  • Blaming others when things don’t go your way
  • Beating yourself over not being or doing good enough

Any of these in action right now? Take notice and gently put this beast to rest. It’ll show up again, but the sooner you take notice, the sooner you can shut it down.

Photo credit: celine nadeau via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA
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Finding Down Time

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Yes, I have been MIA. Bad writer, Summer! Well, I do believe in writing daily as I think it is the most eye opening and healing process for mental well-being. For me, at least. So, while I didn’t post any blogs last week, I did write in the short windows I had available. I already brain dump enough on this blog and I’m sure you didn’t need my extra rants. Yes, my mind has been swimming!

I was in Utah at The Draw Shop HQ with our most fabulous team and the productivity was at an all time high. Erik and I have been praised frequently on our efficiencies, our roles and our ability to keep a team highly motivated and invested while also being able to start new ventures.

The reason: Mistakes from the past. Lots of them. Each of us had our fair experience of doing things the not so right way and if you’re smart, you learn from those. We’re not ones to make the same mistake twice.

And so with selling a house, getting ready to move, planning a wedding, launching a new venture and also starting another high-impact endeavor, the momentum of life continues. There are super energetic moments of life that require a lot of you and your power – whether good or bad and then there are the more quiet, relaxed flow moments when the answer to what’s new is not too much. For a while now, life has been fast paced. A day doesn’t go by that there isn’t something majorly propelling a project forward and it’s crazy good.

But, during those times, while the stress and pressure may be motivating and inspiring, there is still need for down time. Overwhelm can be bad but it can also be good and while I wouldn’t shoot any of it down, a recharge is needed. And I got plenty of that this weekend. Reconnection with me.

I took long hikes, I cooked, I organized, watched movies, caught up on reading, made dents in big projects and overall, I got lots of sh*t together so I could have a clear mind and stay ahead of all the big things coming up in the next months and even year and it felt really really good.

Will it last through Monday? Who knows…

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Going Backwards

3470432032_88886a2a7a_zHave you ever had that moment where you realize how far you’ve come? You look back and realize you’ve pushed through quite a bit and you’ve landed yourself in a pretty good spot.

But then have you also ever felt yourself having moved so far in life, really experiencing moments of what abundance and freedom feels like and then something happens that takes you back to the scarcity mentality where you feel fear and the opposite of freedom? Even if they were just moments?

Maybe it was the person you decided to give yet another chance to even though you swore you wouldn’t again and life had actually been really great without that person around so much, but because you felt so free, you felt open and responded to their olive branch, only to get smacked again. And suddenly you feel like you took a giant step backwards.

I had this feeling recently, but different circumstance…

I started The Draw Shop over five years ago and when I first started it I was running another business. I was providing ghostwriting, copywriting, and all kinds of writing and marketing services. I had a team of writers for some services and then myself for specific ghostwriting projects. What I loved about it was connecting with authors and learning different perspectives. I credit a lot of my knowledge and growth to the genius of these authors and I’m supremely grateful for my experiences. What I disliked was juggling the limited amount of projects I could manage and having to keep people on schedules and really… chase the money. I was project manager, provider, and collector – all at the same time. Freedom was not something I experienced even if I was my own boss and could work from anywhere.

It was a little scary when the time came to say goodbye to it all when I realized that my attention needed to go to my new business and that if I kept doing half and half, something was going to suffer. I was ready to go all in. Sure, I had to do a lot of the nitty gritty with The Draw Shop at the beginning. That looked like more selling, more copywriting, more marketing, more project management and endless phone calls from clients. But, it was growing fast and I knew it was temporary. The main thing was that I wasn’t the main talent as I was with writing. I didn’t need to be in this business and therefore, we could scale.

I knew that soon enough we’d have a team of excellent project managers, writers, artists, editors and more. It wasn’t long before I was out of the writing, the social media, the day-to-day operations and my co-founder and I were strictly on the business growth, marketing and development side, which is where I realized I thrived. This is what made me smile in a totally new way. Once we had a team that we trusted wholeheartedly, we were able to step back and now introduce some other ventures.

But still, I love to write. I love to write fiction, true stories and pieces that impact and motivate. Publishers, agents, speakers and entrepreneurs will still approach me and ask if I can write their book or their client’s book. And for the past few years, I have said no. I just didn’t have the bandwidth, the interest and honestly, I didn’t need to like I did once before.

And then I found myself in a peculiar gap. I was in between a new venture, where I had to sit and wait for development and in a place of having more time because our team at The Draw Shop was stellar in keeping progression.

I knew this wouldn’t last long. And it didn’t. Soon enough a new project along with the new venture began to gain momentum and once again I found myself plugging in all my time management hacks to make work, family and me work.

But during that “tween” time, I said yes to something. Something that I used to do. And it was fun. It was actually really fun and it was quite an experiment to take it on something that I didn’t have to. My own personal case study, if you will. It was doing something for sheer experience and learning. I didn’t do it for the money – although that’s always a plus and there is value for time. It was almost like I wanted to see how good I could be, without the same fear and pressures I once had.

But then something else happened. The process took me back to the feelings I once had of scarcity. The fear of not being good enough. The search for approval. Having to prove myself. Having to deal with some things that I promised myself I wouldn’t deal with anymore. Yet, I took the risk and I did it. I think it’s always a plus to want to improve ourselves and we should get uncomfortable and sometimes it should be challenging and hard, but there are times where you will go backward and for me, I discovered that while this was a good experiment for myself, I knew it was one that I would not take on again. As the saying goes, that ship has sailed. And I do bid it a good farewell.

It’s a beautiful thing when a lesson is learned.

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The ‘It’ Factor


Conversations for me result in “This is a blog post!”

A couple of days ago, I had one of these thought-provoking conversations with someone very close to me. He was talking about an ex. He told me of his situation that many fall into. Being with the wrong person out of a sense of obligation, guilt and even loneliness.

Now, every relationship ebbs and flows. There are the highs and the lows. And like many experts will say, the veil is revealed after six months. You really start to see someone for who they are and often what attracted you about them in the beginning can become the things that annoy you or turn you off about them later on. OR they remain the things you love and even better you find even more things you adore.

After the newness dims a bit, you start to realize whether you really love this person and want to keep reaching new levels of connection with them or whether the highest point was met and now you want out. Still, people stay even when their gut wants out. They stay despite the warning signs and what they don’t like. They settle or hope for change.

What was interesting to me in this guy’s particular case was that he said his ex never had a spark. “Not even when you first met her?” I asked. I would assume everyone sees a spark in someone else during the honeymoon phase, right? But, I guess not. He said that it just seemed fun at the time and then somehow he found himself feeling obligated to stay in so as to save this damsel in distress. Anyone who’s been in that situation knows that saving does not a fulfilling relationship make.

But, that part wasn’t what caused the stir in my brain because I know all too well that this happens a lot. I wasn’t surprised. What caught me and got me questioning was this spark part.

As I thought about his spark comment, I realized he was right. Not everyone has a spark that’s obvious and it’s not necessarily something needed in order to be attracted to someone. But, I wondered if it was just him that didn’t see the spark and that perhaps someone else would in her. Also, I questioned whether “spark” was something you just had or didn’t have.

He is now with someone who he said has what he describes as a magnetic spark. He said every time he is with her, he sees that everyone is drawn to her. He said she had it since the day he met her and she still has it and he still sees it even after the many years since they met. A spark to him was not about the connection he had with her, it was about a light in someone that people are drawn to. It was something that he described as igniting.

Do we all have a spark somewhere in us? I think so. And if it’s not shining now, is it something we can get? And what is this spark exactly? I know what it is to feel it and see it in someone else. But, what is it exactly that causes this in some and not in others? What is this “it” factor and what can it be attributed to?

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA
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Be Willing To…



Happy Monday Ladies and Gents!

Last week I spent two days in a room participating in high-level discussions with top leaders of every kind of industry. Everyone in the room was smarter than me. I was definitely in the right place and it’s why I keep going back. I limit the amount of networks and groups I want to spend time with because let’s be honest, there is so much information out there that you can quite easily overload yourself to the point of non-productivity. This group, the Genius Network, led by our good friend Joe Polish, is one that is of top priority.

Each time I go, I create a new healthy list of action steps to take to further expand my business, myself and my relationships.

There was one idea that I noted that I’ve heard a few times now and this time was presented again from another member of the group. It’s something that I’ve done before that made an enormous difference in my life. The kind where you feel a weight is lifted, there’s room for more in your life and there’s clarity. All of which equal more freedom. It made me realize that it’s time to do this exercise again. And it’s as simple this…

Be willing to get rid of what is not excellent in your life. 

You have the right to approve or disapprove of something. What’s going on in your life that is just not awesome? Can you make it awesome? Or is time to make room for more excellence?

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Turn It Off!


A few weeks ago, Mike and I went to see a musical with our friends. It was a hilarious satire that has caused a wild stir and it’s AWESOME! In it, was a song called, “Turn It Off.” (Know which one I mean?)

The song is all about shutting down what you are feeling emotionally when what you are feeling doesn’t conform to what you have been taught.

The song struck me because I see people do this and not just because of a particular religion but because it seems like the ‘right’ thing to do. Some people are raised to ignore tendencies and emotions because they are uncomfortable. Parents don’t want to have to deal with the discomfort and accept that their child might be different or have different thoughts and feelings than what they are ‘supposed to’ and so they teach them how to turn it off as if it were just this simple switch that makes everything go away.

I immediately laughed when the song started because of its truth and then at the same time, I felt this sting of sadness for those that grow up with this. I never had that as a kid. I never feared talking about things to my parents that I thought of or felt because I truly felt unconditional love. There were no terms with my parents on whether I would be accepted or not based on what I felt. But, some children do. And so some children build a wall between their parents because of the cognitive dissonance going on in their brain.

Ex. A child feeling gay tendencies. A boy deep into puberty that can’t stop thinking about boobs. Or a young girl realizing she should have been born a boy.

Their religion or parents tell them their feelings are wrong and so the answer is to turn it off. If you turn it off, you don’t have to deal with the acceptance or discomfort and you take away its importance. Or does it?

All of us have difficult feelings. Is the best way to handle them to just turn it off? One of the most difficult things we learn as humans is how to handle our emotions in an effective way. Emotions like anger, sadness, guilt, grief, depression, shame and fear are so hard to manage. But, is the right answer to just avoid them? Is it better to deny that they exist or bury them somewhere deep inside? Maybe it works for temporary ease. But, let’s be real, they don’t really disappear and they aren’t just turned off. They live inside and like a ricochet, they will come right back. They will haunt you until they are dealt with.

Friends and family have told me that I am sensitive. I can’t hide what I am feeling because I’m pretty good at making it known. I used to wonder if I was too selfish and didn’t have enough strength to bury it down deep when I saw other people able to just compartmentalize their emotions. But, for me, it felt so much better to express it, get it out, deal with and then from that point I could move on. Anger, shame, guilt and all those uncomfortable feelings living deep inside with no acknowledgment turn into sickness. They don’t go away. They come back and they come back with a vengeance. It’s only a matter of time. So, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned that perhaps I’ve been doing it right. Feelings come up, I acknowledge them, get to know them, have a conversation with them, understand them and then suddenly they are much easier to manage. It’s temporary discomfort rather than underlying discomfort that maintains a hold on you.

The more you can experience them, the more you can manage them and the more power you have. Once you have that relationship with those feelings, you get to control how much they influence your life. It’s okay for someone else to disagree with what you are feeling and you can disagree with someone else’s view and still respect it. But, it’s sad when I see someone go against what they know is their truth because of the fear of not being accepted. We weren’t put here to be what someone else wants us to be, we were put here to be our unique selves. So I say turn it on and make it bright.


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Consistency – Annoying or Effective?


Life. It can be tricky, complicated, overwhelming and downright difficult. We tend to notice it more when we want something but we aren’t getting the results we intended. Things get in the way, upsets happen and suddenly you are ironing out a kink or putting out a fire and then struggling to get back on track. It’s all part of the game.

It’s the reason I appreciate and implement consistency. To be consistent is to be steadfast and stand firm. It means that even when things do get out of whack or don’t go according to plan, you know right where to pick up instead of feeling lost. Even when the tides are rough, you keep at it, whatever ‘it’ is for you.

I do believe that a main difference between failing and succeeding is consistency. Without this steadiness, it is easy to fall back into the old habits. And when those don’t work (again) you simply want to give up.

But, have you ever noticed that for the person who isn’t consistent, your consistency can annoy them? If you thrive on consistency, you will notice it more when someone is not consistent. You desperately want to tell them that the reason things aren’t going their way is because they’ve tried ten different things and weren’t consistent with even one of them. But, you can’t. They probably won’t receive it the way you hope because they are bouncing so many possible solutions at once, consistent with being ‘busy’, that your suggestion is just going to land somewhere else like the rest of them.

You can’t be consistent for someone else. They will probably get annoyed when you suggest consistency, simply because those who are inconsistent with things generally have a lot more chaos going on in their lives and for you to add ‘something’ more to their plate, is simply too stressful and ANNOYING!

Likewise you can’t have someone else be consistent for you. Being consistent means being a leader. You have to be the push behind the goal if it is you that wants to accomplish that goal. If you can’t control your own behavior, how can you expect others to control theirs? With families and in business, you can clearly see when something isn’t consistent. It happens with discipline amongst children in families, sports, health, fitness, culture amongst co-working teams and our overall well-being. Implementing structure to attain a goal and then neglecting it causes disorder. Disorder causes chaos and greatness comes from chaos when the chaos becomes so great that you decide to stop it. People that practice consistency are likely to thrive and achieve despite the struggle and challenge that comes with it.

I know this because I used to be the person who bounced around ten different ideas at once. Whether they were practices, fitness plans, boundaries – none of it worked unless I was consistent with it. The more I had floating around the harder it was to be consistent. If I’m consistent with my boundaries, I’m less likely to get rattled by someone I know. If I’m consistent with house rules and have control over my behavior, the kids are in control of theirs and there is more peace at home. If I’m consistent with my team, there is more enthusiasm for what we do. So for me, I choose consistency for the things I really want.

What do you say? Consistency effective or consistency annoying?

Photo Credit:© Airdone | Dreamstime.com – Consistency
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Yep, I’m Super Judging


Today is one of those days where my hands are shaking with craze to write this blog. Forgive me if I step on toes or offend anyone, but I’m simply starting a conversation and being transparent in my thinking as I do.

As much as kids are very needy and dependent and can sometimes make you go bonkers with the continuous wants that they have (x4 in our case), I find myself , more than ever, appreciating the experience of witnessing these humans grow and learn. It’s fascinating actually. I remember being certain ages and having the complex thoughts I see them having and wondering if I was the only one questioning the planet and our existence the way that I did. And now I listen to my children trying to solve small problems and even bigger world problems with their magnificent evolving brains.

My admiration for our kids and for people in general and the life experience we each uniquely have continues to grow and with that my want and need to protect children grows stronger. So, I’ve become remain, dare I say… Judgmental. Sorry. I could be polite and say I don’t judge, but there are situations and behaviors that I most definitely critique. There are some cases in which, no more information is needed to have an opinion. Action was made, and thus my verdict.

We’ve got a teen in middle school and we’ve got two more kids entering next year. Having friends with kids already there, teachers who work there and students who spill the beans, I’m hearing a lot of things going on that make me really worried. But, guess what? It went on in my school as well and at the same age. I was too scared to ever participate. Part personality and part my parents. A great combination.

I’m not surprised about what I hear. Instead, I find myself surprised that some parents are turning their heads and avoiding the conversations with their kids. Their response to the issues of Internet safety, sexting, smoking/doing drugs in the bathrooms, sex in the stalls, seeing and sharing inappropriate content, social networking and revealing too much etc. is…. “They’re going to see it anyway.”

And so I judge. I judge because to me it’s a sign of laziness. And laziness on important matters really gets on my nerves. Perhaps when these children become adults and they are paying for their own Internet service and cell phones, they can be responsible for how they handle what they are exposed to. But, what about children? Are you really okay with your 7,8,10,12,13 year olds seeing whatever Google pulls up for them? Are you okay with your daughters revealing themselves on social media sites to potential predators? Even when they are legally not of age to have an account on those sites? Are you feeling so uncomfortable and awkward about having the conversation with your kids about sex that you’ll just simply avoid it?

I’m even more surprised when this response comes from the parents who themselves, have gone through their own struggle, be it bullying, sexual assault, teen pregnancy, abortion, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual harassment etc.. And in typical Summer blogging style, I wouldn’t write about it unless I saw it first hand. So I wonder… if it wasn’t okay for you to have exposure too young and it wasn’t okay for you to be put in precarious situations that resulted in an assault then why is it okay now? Why wouldn’t you take the extra step to educate yourself on Internet safety, teach your children about over exposure on the Internet and even just in everyday life?

This isn’t me shaming technology. You couldn’t find a bigger fan of technology than me. And if anyone wants to expose their children to the potential we have to solve problems and make the world a better place due to the exponential technologies and intense growth of innovation, it’s me. But, with this expansion comes the ability to make everything discoverable to anyone who asks. And it makes being a parent today that much more challenging. While we have technology to help make tasks easier, we are moving so rapidly that we forget our children are still children. Just because they can repeat something they’ve heard from a friend, movie or YouTube video, doesn’t mean they know what it means. Sure, they can do more things than we could at their age, but that doesn’t mean their emotional and sexual maturity level is nearly matched. There is still relationship. There is responsibility. There is value. There is still the lesson of making choices and having consequences. Letting them watch whatever they want, or play on devices without any sort of supervision or moderating and just “trusting” that they are a good kid and they can handle it, is completely ignorant to me and oh so dangerous. The sad part is that the child will be the victim before the parent has to even deal with the consequence that comes from it.

There’s enough going on, at least where we live, that ignorance or the way you were brought up really isn’t much of an excuse. There is knowledge out there to make each of us aware. You would have to be living under a rock to not know.

When the appropriate age comes, I want my children to embrace who they are and that will include, but not be limited to, their sexuality. As much as I want my children to own their unique style, have confidence in who they are and flaunt what is fabulous about them, there is a limit. I cringe when I see elementary age girls, at school, loaded with make up, wearing shorts that barely cover their underwear making duck kiss faces into the camera to post on their Instagram account with the hope of getting likes and shares for how pretty they look.

But, there are many of you that will say they should be able to do that. It’s just fun. They should be able to do that without some a**hole trying to take advantage of her. And I couldn’t agree more. Wouldn’t that be nice? But, the truth of the matter is – that a**hole exists and what message are we sending to our girls when they think that that is the way to be cool? Come on, we know the difference between silly fun pictures and those showing off. Do we not? Why poke the predator? Why can’t we teach them early on that unfortunately, bad people exist and here are some things you need to be aware of to protect you from it?

Our life experience is so valuable. We will fall and fail many times and we will rejoice and celebrate as well. I’m not trying to shelter and keep my children hidden from the real world and the natural journey of life, I just want to do my job as a parent. Guide and protect. And most importantly… love.

What are your thoughts? I can’t promise I won’t judge.


Photo Credit: © Wallky | Dreamstime.com
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Such Good Luck!


“It’s good luck if you go back and pick up that rock and keep it with you in your back pack all day. Oh and your crush is wearing the blue shirt today. EXTRA good luck!”

Yeah me and my bestie in school were really serious about signs and luck. We had a meeting about it every morning as we crossed the bridge from where our parents dropped us off and the campus officially began. This was serious stuff. We knew how each day would turn out based on colors, signs, numbers and apparently rocks.

Me and my dad, we have this thing about numbers too and you know what they say about what you focus your attention on. Those numbers would show up.

Nonsensical? Totally. But, I know I’m not the only one. If you think about it, since the beginning of time, there is meaning around numbers. Some hold good luck and some are bad luck. Some people won’t live in a house that has an odd number. Some will only travel on dates that involve the multiple of fives and some know that the number they are assigned on their team determines whether or not it’s going to be a good season.

So you can only imagine how challenging it was for Mike and I to come with a wedding date.

Photo Credit: © Artistashmita | Dreamstime.com – Good luck
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