The Art of DOING MORE (Branding Retreat photo in Beverly Hills)


[Photo by Ashlee Wilson Dephillippo]

Let's make a living and have a life.

That's what this fun, let loose on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills photo after The Branding Retreat brand tour reminds me of.

I couldn't wait to share it and the following thoughts after hearing my business answering machine yesterday afternoon, as I was on the other side of the house, sing: "…in the meantime, enjoy your business and enjoy your LIFE."

Why don't we!

Let's enjoy this life.

Most of us got into entrepreneurship for time and creative freedom and to blow the doors off the cap on our income…we can make as much or as little as we want. Terrifying for some, which I understand and invigorating for others, which I also relate to.

And, during all the GO of making things and making shift and growth happen, there must be moments of ah, REST. Collaboration, teamwork, boundaries, scheduling and honoring the harvest invites this rest and stillness and keeps them around for as long as you need to.

It's exactly what the entrepreneurial, creative spirit inspires…the choosing of our own mountains, of bigger projects and of staying outside our comfort zone.

And, what many of us don't do nearly as often is nurture that spirit…

Nurture your spirit.

Just as growth, strength and the right 'move that next mountain' muscles come during rest after tough workouts, so, too, do they come in business.

As the world outside of us experiences seasons (ok, minus LA), you need that season of harvest and these magical me moments to assist the support soil (soul) to grow even richer nutrients (what great success begs for ~ richer nutrient-rich soil/soul).

Celebrate the harvest you've worked for, honor the fruits of your labor and sit for a while admiring the growth and goals met.

You want sustainable business, income and happiness?

Honor what you've done or accomplished longer than a few minutes, and celebrate.

Simmer in the thank yous.

Swim in the ecstatic echo that your creativity, planning, focus, and support helped create with or within your product or service.

Give yourself true and ample time away from it all to enjoy and be in joy. Again, not just for a morning, but in ways and for days that bring you back to self.

This is how you fill up and create not just a company or a business, but a movement and a legacy: consistently build in as much time for you as you do for your clients.

A legacy is only created when you keep it going. You can't keep it going when you're bone tired.

As much as Zsuzsa and I created and planned for The Branding Retreat to be a time of getting sh*t done (at TBR you don't leave needing to do the work, you leave with it d-o-n-e), we also wove in ritual and time for rest daily and multiple times per day (hello, yoga mornings and time by the pool to integrate or allow new ideas or clarity truly stick).

We planned it for our clients, as well as for ourselves.

We had massages the second night while at the estate and the Monday immediately after our 3.5 days of support, we spent five hours together at the spa. The last week has been an allowance of team support, of quiet, and of nurturing self.

Here are some ways to make sure you're not moving onto the next mountain, passion project, business collaboration or venture too quickly:

  • Prep and coach your team to tell you you can't work immediately following a big push (I love telling Susan this, it's one of my most favorite exchanges, though she does it so well already: "You're not supposed to be working."). In other words, allow team to support you and to do the work you've trained and/or hired them to do for you.
     
  • The week after a big and beautiful birthing have your supporters clear your schedule so you have larger pockets of time to hear the space between the words and feel the wind, sun or child's kiss across your face.
     
  • Eat well, drink lots of h2o, get great sleep and make body bliss and nurturing as important as celebration or travel time with friends or family.
     
  • Reflect on what you've accomplished. Write it down, share it with a friend or friends at dinner. Extra credit if you throw yourself a dinner party. When you're back home from that celebrating, smile as you connect the dots to the ultimate vision you have for your life.
     
  • Decide, commit and be ALL about this season of harvest. In short, decide that you're currently **in** a season of harvest (this should have been added above as #1). It's a season. You're not pausing forever, and you're also not only worthy or successful if you're being productive.

Taking this time to enjoy is, in fact, producing a power pause for self that will only pour back into your creativity, connection with others and prosperity in a way that will be felt and understood if you make it a must…something you are always doing as you do all the other things that need to be done in the business.

All of this care contributes to the alignment, clarity and personality of your brand of woman (beyond business) in a way that is uniquely power-packed and palpable.

It doesn't matter if this soul season lasts a day, a few days or a week, as long as it starts, as long as it's part of your business plan and model, and you promise to be the best enjoyer of your life there ever was, as you also enjoy your business.

In the end, your business receives five-star treatment and experiences five-star growth if, and only if, you give yourself the same five-star treatment:

www.TheBrandingRetreat.com/waitlist

Enjoy your business, enjoy your LIFE.

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

How to share your story (and today is a big day)

Hiding never helped anyone succeed in anything. We make life and business more difficult when we hide.

You may need practice to land in your own unique brand of elegance around your story, and around who you are, but you won’t know until you start.

The answer continues…

You are multi-dimensional.

You are multi-passionate.

You have joys, sadnesses and many other experiences in between that are of value and that make up a life cred that only influences and instructs your professional cred.

Your community or clients don’t need a perfect leader. No leader is ever perfect, but they lead, not follow their dreams (and dreams always include being exactly who they are, while they serve). If a leader is human and they can take what they’ve been through to grow and instruct their work and service, that’s mighty perfect.

Your business persona and the woman your husband, brother and child know should/can be the same person. She is the same person.

The invitation on this 12th of May 2016 is to take that woman on the road. While you’re on the journey, ask yourself, time and time again, how this part of me, or what I’ve experienced, how can MY story (or, what parts of my story) serve the people who have found me?

Share those stories.

Share those sentiments.

Keep the rest locked away…for now.

When you are in regular practice of being you, sharing you and honoring both your life cred and professional cred, equally, know that you will have found the answer to your uniqueness and to why people will care.

It’s called depth.

It’s called caring.

It’s called people can’t and don’t ignore that, ever.

Your potential clients care about you, long before they care about your services.

Not everyone will take this challenge, but if you do, I promise that you will no longer feel challenged by finding your people.

Resist the urge to let the fear flames rise high, to get lost in ego, or over-rev about not being liked or having others think your life is a mess when, in reality, it is all a stepping stone to your greatest suc-cess.

As in life, as in business. As in business, as in life. The professional is personal and the personal is professional.

Here’s a visual for you. When head, mouth, heart and feet are all doing the same thing, you are living authentically.

And, when your heart and head, for example, are in harmony, you are happy. Gandhi said that, or something close to it.

Lastly, your brand, specifically, your greatest, most powerful brand will always come when what you do, say and show are consistently in alignment.

Be you. All parts. All passions. All stories. All of you.

Hide not.

Express, even just a little more today.

And make the work being about finding the common thread between all of you, and your stories, because there always is one.

Being in alignment, authentic or a rich, take notice brand is not about keeping a part of you hidden.

Do the work you need to on yourself so that you grow to feel confident and comfortable being you. Allow the joys to seep deep into your soul and work through the pains and problems, so you can use all of it to support others, not just in your specialty of [fill in what you do here], but in recognizing that they are not alone.

Connection ~ what you say you want most want in business or life ~ lies here.

Right here.

Being you means sharing your story.

To my brother Dino, I love you more than human words could ever adequately express. Thank you I dedicate this day, the serving of these women to live more expressed and happy, to you.

To honoring the past and the love experienced there, as well as the love that is yet to come with so many new beginnings.

This is and you are the human story.

Enjoy your business and enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

Being Sweet vs. Being Rich (one or the other?)


 

As I prep for The Branding Retreat that's happening here in LA next week (www.thebrandingretreat.com/getyourtickets/), I was thinking back on a talk I heard by actress Mindy Kaling at Watermark, a conference in the Silicon Valley.

Essentially, she proposed that being sweet equated to not being well respected or being rich. 

I say it all depends on your definition of sweet.

In my opinion, it's always been about authentically caring about people (tapping into our humanness which only helps us get rich, if that's the goal), while also actively and firmly practicing amazing boundaries, not being afraid to start or end difficult conversations, end a relationship, fire and hire team (all the while risking not being liked), as you continue to build big business.

I say it IS possible to be fun and firm, kind and a killer strategist, open-hearted and, yet, not open in the slightest to giving up on your values to gain whatever someone else deems important, and expressing it all, without apology.

There are many examples of women in big business today who have range — who have it all.

This oversimplifies it, but you can be a lady boss, while also being a lady.

Love you, lady :-)

Enjoy your business and enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

 

p.s.  I'll be back to share amazing photos with you from our five-star retreat event SOON.

How To Take Notes and Be Noteworthy

At a morning session at Watermark in San Jose for corporate/professional women today, Mallika Chopra spoke about taking action in an intentional way.

For all aspiring, fresh or experienced entrepreneurs in business or life (we're all entrepreneurs/empowered problem solvers in some way), here's one specific way to do that:

Though there's value in coming to events for inspiration and may feel fun/energizing in the moment to take notes about everything from everyone, to get home and have 17 new things/approaches/tips over seven pages of notes you're going to "try" to implement can be overwhelming (read: anti-action).

As a result, you end up going back to doing what you've always done.

Before going to an event, decide on the one (1) thing you're going for. Be as specific as possible.

Go with an ear for information that will support you in one project.

One.

Pick it, then filter everything (everything!) you hear for that one project only.

Beyond that, it's useful to give yourself a max of one page of written notes you get to take back with you. Only jot down the best, or, if you're not practiced at doing that, jot it all down, then condense the information to one page when you're on the plane.

Many times, I even give myself one small post-it as the space for my actionable items/"things I get-to-do once home" (I did a few periscopes on the subject, some of you were there).

The key is to remember that you don't get what you think about. You get what you know is possible (work on that mindset), what you think about and what you do, do, do something about.

In short, this helps focus your learning at events and beyond, feel and be on purpose, know what to talk to others about while at the event, grow your confidence and, most definitely, attract (and get) exactly what you want.

Having been in corporate for almost 10 years myself and consulting and coaching women entrepreneurs for many years, I'm ready to add serving women in the corporate arena in a bigger way to my model (currently planning a mastermind for amazing women who are looking to, not only, consciously create and grow their personal "sub-brand" within the larger brand they work for, but actually move on other life or passion projects).

No more saving inspiration for nights and weekends for these ladies like I did for many years.

So, while still in their corporate jobs, supporting them to move on writing that book, start the non-profit or release the fear of going after writing and doing their first comedy show (something one of my corporate clients recently did successfully).

This is what my one post-it note will listen for today.

To be an elite performer in any part of life, practice being relentless with your focus, and, believe it or not, with your note-taking. If not, you'll be taking notes for yet another year vs. actually birthing what's most near and dear.

As always, enjoy your business and enjoy your life!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light