Emily Cassel is a Mentor Masterclass Certified Life and Leadership Coach and Soulful Branding Expert for passionate women on a mission. Emily helps guide ambitious women toward their greatest aliveness, by embracing more freedom, flow, and fulfillment through connection to their feminine power
After FB & IG were down for hours yesterday, it had me thinking that I needed to share something REALLY important with you this morning that just might save your business.
I know how tempting it can be to throw all of our resources into growing our social media following, becoming obsessed with engagement stats and the number of followers.
BUT, unfortunately, all of that could vanish in a second, and I want to make sure your business still exists and stays strong, even without it.
Because we don't "own" our social media following, it makes it that much more important that you focus on growing your e-mail list as well.
For a while, I thought e-mail marketing was outdated and people were spending less time reading e-mails in their inboxes...
But actually, I discovered I was wrong about that, so I want to help you get clear on your next steps, whether you already have an e-mail list growing, or whether you need to get started setting one up.
1// GET TECH-Y I recommend using Mailchimp, and paying for the upgraded plan (starts at $15/month and increases depending on the size of your list), so that you have access to the automation feature and can set up an evergreen sales funnel that's pretty hands-off on your end.
2// BE GENEROUS You'll also need to create a LEAD MAGNET, which is basically a fancy way of saying give your people something that adds value, supports them in understanding you/your work/how you can help them, and gives them a taste of what it would be like to work with you.
Note: If you're a service-based business you will likely give away educational material, an "activity," or some kind of resource that's tangible. If you're a product-based business, you might give them a discount code for percentage off their first purchase or a free gift with their first purchase, or a BOGO deal that's exclusive for people who sign up for your mailing list.
3// SHARE YOUR GIFT Once you create your free opt-in gift (or lead magnet) for your amazing prospects, you'll want to share it on social media, your website, and in interviews/conversations/events that you're part of so that people can actually know about it and receive it from you! This might seem like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how often I forget to actually *mention* the goodies that I have to share, and I know I need a constant reminder to be consistent and use the opportunities I have to share!
4// DELIVER This is where your Mailchimp automation system comes in -- you'll want to set up a series of a few e-mails that are time-released once someone signs up to receive your gift/join your newsletter to get to know them, and for them to get to know you within the first 2 week window of them joining your list. Your first e-mail should include the link or file to download for their free gift.
You may have a sequence of videos for a free training, or a "challenge" for them as your free gift that naturally spans a few days. If that's the case, GREAT! Whether your gift is a one-time download or a series of events, you'll also want to include a few e-mails to share your story & how + why you got started in your business, invite them to your FB group, and to educate, inspire, and nurture the relationship you have with them.
5// SET IT + FORGET IT Once you set up your e-mail automation onboarding sequence, you can set it and forget it for the most part, unless something big changes in your biz. That's the beauty of this strategic system! It will likely take you a good few hours to set up initially, but after that, you'll have the system doing all the legwork for you in terms of nurturing your client leads authentically, and it will still feel personal and beautiful.
6// SEND WEEKLY E-MAILS TO YOUR LIST Again, this is something that I thought was unnecessary for awhile, but have come to realize that was also false. When you show up in someone's inbox on a frequent basis, they learn that they can trust you to show up for them if they were to hire you, too. Plus, if they've invited you into their inbox, that's intimate, and you want to be sure to deliver on your promise to educate, inspire, and support them by sharing your journey & helpful tips/info for them to know about!
7// RECYCLE + REPURPOSE Just because you have an e-mail list doesn't mean you can't repurpose a post from your IG or FB page and turn it into a blog post, and an e-mail, or record a podcast episode about it! You can do whatever you want, and there are so many ways to cross-pollinate your platforms and create a consistent brand presence and message that allows you to build rapport & position yourself as the expert with your audience.
There's SO MUCH MORE I could share with you, but wanted to make sure I got this super important info out to you, especially on the tails of yesterday's FB + IG blip that may have stressed you out! :)
Also, in case you haven’t yet received the FREE Soulful Success Bundle I’ve created for you, you can click hereto access it and start digging into my 7 favorite tools for shifting out of hustle and into flow in your biz + beyond today! :)
What would be possible if you felt totally comfortable with the idea of letting go of control & not knowing what was next?
This is the question I've been asking myself a LOT lately, as I've been taking steps toward creating a 4-month plan for adventures that will take me across the globe.
I'm so in love with Charleston, where I've been living for the past 2 years (and some change), and will be returning permanently in the fall.
But when I first started my business, a big part of my vision & "why" was weaving in travel, and I've built my business to be virtual, with the intention to work from anywhere.
When I checked in with myself recently, that still felt true, and I noticed a deep longing for adventure, and new energy, people, & places.
My intuition was a big YES to putting my belongings in storage, packing up my car (and my pup) and hitting the road to serve more women entrepreneurs through workshops, retreats, on-site business accelerators, & virtual private coaching.
It feels like I'm on the verge of a BIG exciting new chapter, filled with limitless possibility.
Typically, we don't grow unless we do the "uncomfortable" thing.
For me, that would be throwing away the tried-and-true plan (because we all know that gets stale after awhile), and giving up the stability of a home base and city that's come to feel safe & familiar to me.
Even though I've done a LOT of work to be comfortable with vulnerability, this is a new edge for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing what wisdom lies in this for me & for my business.
I noticed in myself the tendency to "hide" in the comfort zones of home and my business as it has been thus far, and knew it was time to do something different to create a different sensation, result, & experience for myself.
It can feel so nourishing at times to go inward, and it has -- but now it's time to push myself out of the nest, spread my wings, & feel free to fly.
Innovation doesn't come from comfort zones. There is endless beauty + possibility in the unknown. And if we don't venture out to explore it, we lead unawakened lives & businesses.
And so here I stand, on the edge of the unknown -- the fertile void -- unsure of what the next 4 months may hold, fully trusting that by listening deeply to what my soul wants instead of what "makes the most sense," I'm aligning even more with my mission & my purpose.
Curious. Clueless. Conscious. Courageous.
Open & Ready.
I believe the most courageous acts we can take in our lifetime (and in our businesses) involve listening deeply for what feels aligned in our hearts, then surrendering fully to the unknown, to the darkness, to the space between "here" and "there" that hasn't quite come into full view.
...Then we get to use our brilliant minds to architect the plans to make it all possible.
But first, The Feeling. Always the feeling. It's a highly attuned musculature that we tend to second-guess.
Things are shifting here, and all for the best. I can't wait to see what miracles arise from the unknown that lies ahead :)
Here are some things I DO know for certain right now:
I'll be hosting a One-day Soulful Business + Leadership Retreat for aspiring & established women entrepreneurs here in Charleston on Saturday May 19th before I leave. You should definitely come!
You can find me and spend an epic weekend with me, Lacey Mclaughlin, & Whitney Barnard in Savannah, Georgia from June 14-18th at Workaway Weekend, hosted by Feminine Infusion! There are still a few spots left -- get 'em while they're hot! -- to come play with us, receive support, make new business besties, & work on bringing your business vision to life in just a few days! It's going to be luxurious. Check it out & apply here.
I'll be in Pittsburgh, PA the last 2 weeks of July + In the Philadelphia area from the end of May - June! If you'd like to attend a one-day retreat for women entrepreneurs or book an in-person half-day intensive for your business, e-mail me at email@example.com ASAP!
If you want to bring me to your city for a speaking engagement, one-day retreat, or women-centric workshop, please submit your inquiry here so we can schedule a time to hop on the phone and chat about it! :)
I can't wait to connect with you & maybe have the opportunity to squeeze you in person soon!!
Something I've felt super present to lately is the ability for our work (and our lives) to be a vessel for doing good.
I know that if you've invited me into your inbox, then you're likely a woman on a mission to leave this world better than she found it.
...Have I mentioned that I ADORE you for that, sister? Thank you!
Like most of my clients, you probably need to hear today's reminder, which is this:
The world needs your medicine.
I've noticed that we each carry in our souls a unique medicine, which is sort of a mish-mosh of our strengths, talents, purpose, desires, essence, experiences, & mission.
This medicine we hold creates our impact in the world.
But before we can dish it out to all the people who need it from us, we have to first receive it ourselves, so that it becomes activated through us.
The awesome thing about your unique medicine is that it can only be received by the people who need it & who you're meant to serve (some people might call this a "soul contract").
For those people whose souls need to be activated by your soul, it's critical that you do the thing you're feeling called to do.
Maybe for you, that looks like...
... starting a business that abundantly feeds your soul + your bank account ... growing your business to reach a wider audience and create more impact ... re-awakening your enthusiasm for the work you're already doing ... getting involved with a cause that makes your life + work even more meaningful ... finding a sustainable way to lead your business that doesn't lead to burnout
Personally, I've been in the midst of a big up-leveling in my business, and will now be offering a 4-day on-site business accelerator for women entrepreneurs & their teams to break through their own glass ceilings & up-level the success of their company in a way that's sustainable in ALL ways, for everyone involved.
This new offering will help women-owned businesses from a 360-degree perspective, taking into account a more holistic approach to organizational transformation, streamlining, & creating a conscious culture.
You can learn more here & I'd be honored if you'd share this with any woman entrepreneur with a small to medium-sized team in any industry!
NOTE: I'm currently looking for 3 women-owned companies to beta test this offering at a wildly discounted rate that will never happen again, so don't delay on sending that e-mail and sharing this opportunity with a friend or family member! :)
I've been doing so much of this work already through my private coaching offerings with women entrepreneurs over the past 4 years, and this new offering feels like an incredible new access point to my own medicine and using my work as a vessel for changing the way business is done, with women's incredibly potent power at the heart of it all! I'm SO beyond excited!
Yet another new + exciting thing that's happening over here at Emily HQ is that I've recently become Charleston's first Mindful Mornings Chapter Founder!
Our first speaker forum for do-gooders will happen next Friday, May 4th from 8 - 9:15 am at the gorgeous & serene Still Soul Studio downtown. If you're local to the Charleston area, I hope to see you there and have the opportunity to squeeze you in person!
To share how this message has resonated with you, leave a comment below! And feel free to share this post with others :)
Thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing YOUR unique medicine. Thank you for joining me in celebration. And thank you in advance for your support!
In Love + Sisterhood,
PS -- Don't forget to click here to learn about more ways I can support you in sharing your medicine with the world -- there are LOTS of exciting things happening and plenty of opportunities to work together during the spring + summer seasons! :)
I recently listened to an interview on NPR’s How I Built This podcast with Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre3.
One part of this episode that really stood out to me was when Sadie mentioned that she is no longer interested in growing her business to be bigger, larger, or have more franchised locations. In fact, she said that she had put an indefinite pause on franchising, which is the majority of the business of her company, since she personally owns just 6 of the 130 total locations (124 are franchised).
What I really received from listening to her conversation with podcast host Guy Ros was something that has continued to come up time and time again in my sessions and conversations with clients, friends, and other women in business.
It’s the question of growing a business BIG or DEEP.
Do we desire to grow a business to a place where we can sell it for hundreds of millions, or even BILLIONS, of dollars? Or is the “success” we’re actually after much deeper, sustainable, impactful, and personal than that?
Not that there is anything “wrong” with either option, but if we aren't clear with our intention and big picture vision of where we're going, then we can't create the feeling of "success" in this moment by implementing the necessary soulful strategies to create the reality we desire.
On one hand, we have society, business experts, and our cultural imprint and construct of what “success” means telling us that what we SHOULD want is to hustle, build a business that’s worth upwards of 8 figures, sell it, get out, and then go live our lives abundantly and luxuriously once we have burnt ourselves out, sacrificed, and lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
((Side note: what is it about entrepreneurs and pb&j sandwiches!? Am I the only one not eating them? Are they comfort food? What’s the deal!?))
But what I hear in personal conversations with women on my podcast, in the programs I lead, in private coaching sessions, at events, and in my own mastermind of women entrepreneurs is a completely different desire to create a business that feels like an extension of their soul, allows them to feel that they’re making a real impact in their corner of the world by using their own unique gifts and talents, that they’re abundantly (yet fairly) compensated for so that they can afford to live the life that they desire and do simple things like put their kids through montessori school, buy local and organic food to feed their families, and genuinely ENJOY not just what they do, but the lifestyle of freedom they’ve created.
Meanwhile, the common narrative around women in entrepreneurship has in some ways become an excuse for women to over-work, and drift farther away from the lifestyles that would actually fulfill them because their work is taking over 99.9% of their energy, focus, and time, even though they’d rather scale it back, simplify, and be able to be more present in their lives.
Why don’t we do more of this? Why is it that we feel that it’s SO non-negotiable that work takes up the majority of our focus and energy?
What if our focus was directed in a more balanced way that truly honored ALL parts of ourselves?
I believe that when a woman has the tools to be fully expressed in all aspects of herself and her power, she becomes unstoppable.
I believe that through gathering in sisterhood with other like-missioned women, we instinctively remember what it feels like to be held & supported while taking action to move the needle forward on what matters to us and making a contribution to the world -- we remember the importance of both giving AND receiving.
I believe that the idea that we have to choose whether we want to be an exceptional entrepreneur, achieve financial success, be a present partner and parent, or a fulfilled woman is rooted in a scarcity mentality, and that we NEVER have to choose between our greatest aliveness in one area and our deepest success in another.
I believe that it's 100% possible to "have it all" when it comes to being a woman entrepreneur today, and that it just takes the proper support, mindset, resources, & strategy to bring your grandest vision to life, as a vessel for your deepest calling to take flight.
If you're an ambitious woman - a woman who feels called to do beautiful + powerful things with her life, and make an impactful contribution to the world through her work, I'd love to invite you to apply to join me and a high-level sisterhood of 12 women on a 6-month journey in The Soulful Leadership Mastermind.
This experience is an immersive journey toward your fierce feminine freedom in life, business, + leadership. It includes private + group coaching, accountability circles, world class guest expert trainings, 3 virtual day retreats, and one all-inclusive week-long luxury retreat in beautiful Tulum, Mexico. We begin June 13th on the new moon, and will close our time together the week of November 23rd on the full moon, right before the holiday season kicks in.
The women whose souls have arrived here on this planet at this exact moment are strong.
The women whose calling is to create + lead a business at this moment in time are trailblazers.
Although you may not currently see yourself in this light, let me reflect a glimpse into the magic I see in you today.
For generations & centuries, we have been told that there is a certain way to lead, to do business, and to achieve success.
There is a deeply ingrained belief system and construct that we are all holding (even if we meditate, do yoga, read the books, and know "the stuff") that tells us that if we aren't doing it that one way, there's something wrong with our approach.
Not just that our approach is off, but also that we are doomed to fail before we even get started.
We have all these linkages in our brains -- neural pathways connecting different ideas and concepts -- that create belief systems, which reinforce our learned responses and ways of doing things.
They also dictate our perspectives and how we see ourselves and the world around us.
I believe that it's time for a system update - for us as individuals, as women, and as a planet - that allows us to enter into a new paradigm of business, leadership, + success that's truly sustainable.
This shift begins within us first, then ripples out to others through our actions and inter-actions with the world, our work, and each other.
There is a new way -- a better way -- to do business and to live + lead that mimics natural processes and uses the natural abundance of nature as our muse.
I believe that this "new" paradigm (which of course has existed forever, but has yet to be woven into the fabric of capitalism, leadership, & commerce) begins with us as women tuning into our innate feminine wisdom, which is inherently holistic, compassionate, and intuitive.
When we remember that in order to thrive, we are meant to...
operate in cycles
follow the pace of the seasons
plant new "seeds" with new moon
consult how we are feeling on all levels before leaping into action
consider how the entire "ecosystem" is effected by our choices
slow down so we may listen deeply
give ourselves permission to rest, pause, surrender, and celebrate
... then we begin to create an instant shift toward a more conscious approach to success in business, life, + leadership.
As with anything, when we take responsibility to shift first, we create a ripple effect in the world around us and everything else rises to meet us in our new higher vibrational state of energy.
When we take the initiative to trailblaze a new way of being + doing that feels truly aligned for us, we give permission to others to do the same.
And because, as women, we are so intimately connected with these ways of being and doing -- in our physical bodies, but also in our hearts -- we are the midwives of this new age.
This also means that we aren't meant to do it alone -- we are meant to rise & carve out this new way of doing everything holistically, together.
The old way of being says our achievement is "worth more" if we did it all by ourselves. The new way invites us to shatter the illusion of separation, and to embrace our interconnectedness and interdependence with one another in community.
I know that the future is in our hands, which means it will start in yours, too.
I recently discovered a list in an old journal of mine from January of 2015, when I was new to being full-time in my business, working from home.
At that time, I had been so uncomfortable with vacant space on my calendar during "work days" that I found any and every excuse to "work" constantly.
It's kind of funny to me now, because in retrospect, I only had a handful of clients, and could have totally enjoyed all that spaciousness and time freedom in a beautiful way, instead of resisting it and filling up the space with minutia!
I had made a list in my journal to remind myself of the magic that happens when we actually create intentional space to NOT work as entrepreneurs.
It can be SO easy to use work and our business as an avoidance tactic, coping mechanism, or even an addiction to mask uncomfortable feelings, situations, and patterns we don't want to look at (ignorance is bliss, right?).
It's really easy to hide inside our businesses, because it's socially acceptable to be an ambitious workaholic, it's easy to justify because everything feels important, and being "busy" is both exhausting and impressive to outsiders.
But I remember what it feels like to sit behind your computer screen (or whatever you're working on) and be anxiously creating, researching, & posting on social media...and it's NOT fun.
It definitely does NOT feel sexy, or soulful, or like true success to me (and probably you too?)!
Here is my bullet pointed list, straight from my journal over 3 years ago, about what happened when I decided to step away from the laptop, turn off technology, & actually exercise the freedom I created for myself.
Set up a beautiful brunch with friends - sooo nourishing!
Attended an impromptu music festival
Food prepped healthy meals for the week ahead
Went grocery shopping to Whole Foods (instead of the grocery store closest to me that doesn't have as great quality of food)
Spent some relaxed time by myself to just BE
Cleaned my whole apartment + lit candles - now it feels like a sanctuary!
Cuddled with my puppy, undisturbed
Did all the dishes
Cleaned out the fridge
Watched a few episodes of Parenthood on Netflix
Spent quality time with my partner
Was present with and contributed to my sister circle
Listened to a soul music playlist on Spotify and danced with my puppy
Took the pup for a gorgeous long walk
Bought + gifted my partner his own "magic box" to place his dreams + desires in - I usually am "too busy" to remember that he has needs to, and to go out of my way to do something special for him. By gifting him this box, I'm inviting him on this journey of growth with me so that we feel more connected & he gets to experience the magic I'm experiencing for himself, too!
It was such a beautiful and divinely timed reminder for me to rediscover this list, and I hope it helps you to remember the magic & beauty that awaits you, too, when you step away from your desk to live the life you've created for yourself.
I doubt that any of us started our own businesses so that we could feel chained to a desk all day, working from 9-5, just like whatever position we walked away from to pursue a dream!
But the conditioning is STRONG, and it's not a linear path to change and re-wire your brain from employee work-horse to bad ass boss lady!
Remember to step away + go play today :) You deserve it, sister.
If you're feeling like your path to building your business has felt like a hard hustle to create results & you pride yourself on being "busy" all the time, I'd love to invite you to apply for The Soulful Leadership Mastermind.
The mastermind is a 6-month journey for 12 ambitious women entrepreneurs to create more time + financial freedom, shift from hustle to flow, master their mission + message, & channel their over-achieving tendencies to work for them instead of against them.
The term "mastermind" has been tossed around a lot lately to mean a variety of things, and it can be super confusing if you're not already in the self development industry to know what the heck that means + whether it's for you!
Join me on this week’s FB live, where I will break down what a mastermind REALLY is, and how to know if investing in one would be helpful for you + your business this year.
Plus, I'll share my thoughts on how to be sure you choose a mastermind that aligns with where you're going, what you believe, + how you want to operate. Enjoy this video!
And if you're curious about applying for my mastermind, I'd love to invite you to explore + apply! You can do so here. Enrollment is open now through May 1st!
What Is a Mastermind + Do You Need One To Grow Your Business? - YouTube
Every woman I've spoken to lately has shared with me that she has felt a calling deep within her to bring something to life -- a business, an idea, a new career path -- AND at the same time, that she's not sure if she can trust that calling.
The thing about callings is that as we begin to take one tiny step in the direction of the calling, we discover, learn, and grow everything we need to know to take the next step, and so on.
Callings are sacred and snap us into alignment as we pursue them, step by step.
We forget this.
Instead, it feels TERRIFYING to really trust and put forth the necessary energy, time, & financial investments to bring our calling to life.
Callings always choose us for a very special reason.
We forget this.
But we look around thinking, "who, me!?" and start to believe that everyone else is doing it better than we can already, that the market is saturated, and that we couldn't possibly be fit for this kind of leadership.
Callings initiate & invite us into our true power + leadership.
We forget this.
We think that we're not ready yet, or that we don't "know enough," or that we need another degree to pursue the calling.
Callings require us to stay devoted + to show up in our authenticity.
We forget this.
We think that in order to pursue our calling, we have to become someone else or warp ourselves into a pre-existing model we've seen before.
We forget that our callings are able to be trusted and ... that they are no accident ... that they chose US ... that we are perfectly set up to carry the torch for our cause ... and that as we take the first step and answer the calling, the resources to support us will appear.
We may need reminding, reflection, + support with the strategies and the "unknowns" along the way that reside outside of our own zone of genius so that we can stay in our mastery.
We will definitely need a like-hearted community of a similar "soul-set" who is walking the path with us, and who can relate to our unique struggles & successes -- the days of the lone warrior are over, and it's time to embrace support as strength.
How to trust your calling + lead with authenticity
1. Travel back in time and look for all the little points of synchronicity that have led you to to be perfectly positioned to answer your calling. It may help to look at the defining moments that felt transformational for you, big life events, and special revelations you've experienced in your lifetime. Take note of what you were like as a child, what your innate interests and passions were, and the common threads in your lifetime.
2. Make a list of all the ways you are awesome, exactly as you are (quirks, imperfections, + all!). If you could zoom out the lens and view yourself from the view of the divine or of your higher self, how would you speak to yourself & what would you want your human self to know? Maybe write a little love note to yourself from the universe :)
3. Say YES to the calling & set your intention to be devoted. As we answer our callings, they have the opportunity to reveal themselves more fully to us. We open up space for synchronicity to emerge, resources to show up, & for the unknowns to work themselves out. Everytime I've ever said "YES" to a calling, and made the decision to stay devoted to my choice, I've been amazed at the magic that shows up to bring the calling or vision to life before my eyes, without me having to do much "efforting" at all! Try it, and see what happens for you!
To share how this message has resonated with you, leave a comment below! And feel free to share this post with others.
In Love + Sisterhood,
I am weaving a 6-month journey for 12 ambitious women entrepreneurs on a mission.
This mastermind experience is an immersive journey toward your fierce feminine freedom in life, business, + leadership. It includes private + group coaching, accountability circles, world class guest expert trainings, 3 virtual day retreats, and one all-inclusive week-long luxury retreat in beautiful Tulum, Mexico.
We begin June 13th on the new moon, and will close our time together the week of November 23rd on the full moon, right before the holiday season kicks in.
There are SO many books written on leadership + business, and so many training courses out there to learn how to improve and grow as a leader.
Most people think that there is a specific skill set that must be mastered & learned BEFORE you can even start "leading" anything.
But the truth is, you already are a leader.
You influence the people, the energy, and the circumstances around you through thought, behavior, perception, and energy.
So then, if you already ARE a leader, there's nothing you have to learn in order to become one! HOORAY!
So first, here's your *permission slip* to get out there, and start pursuing your deepest callings & making a contribution.
Second, now that you recognize and acknowledge that you ARE already a leader, then it's important that you put some intention behind HOW you are showing up and leading your life, your work, your business, your relationships, and every other area of your life.
There are MANY different topics, many strategies, many tools, many belief systems, and an endless amount of resources that I could share with you around the topic of leadership, and more specifically, women's leadership in today's shifting landscape of entrepreneurship & business, but there is just ONE thing I want to share with you that will instantly improve how well you lead every area of your life that you can start using today.
Because most leaders tend to be ambitious & passionate, we tend to face the challenge all too often of being "busy," squeezing more into less time for the sake of efficiency, and having trouble choosing which of our many ideas to pursue next.
Typically, our ambition, creative + over-active minds, and big hearts can work against us, sending us into a spiral of "it's never enough!" because we always have our eyes on the next thing, or are totally engulfed in our present project.
We also tend to think we have all the answers, want to control many parts of our creations because we don't want to put our name on anything less than the highest quality, and find it difficult to slow down & pause.
Because of our natural pre-dispositions, and the very strengths that make us great leaders, we need to introduce more receptive states of being into our day-to-day so that we can be intentional and responsive, instead of rote and reactive (in other words, operating from survival mode, which is inherently fear-based and constrictive in our minds, bodies, & energy).
So what's the number one skill I'm suggesting to help you become a better leader instantly?
The old adage that "silence is golden" is one of the most true statements, because silence - the pause, the void, and the fullness of the present moment - forces us to LISTEN, instead of anticipating what we're about to do or say.
Instead, when we listen to ourselves, to our intuition, and to others, we glean the best intel about what the best next step would be.
Only when we listen deeply to our desires, to what actually feels good + enlivening, to what our soul wants, to what others are saying they need or want, can we truly serve ourselves + others from a place of intentional and responsive leadership.
Only then can we discover innovative solutions that change the course of EVERYTHING.
Only then can we create the impact our souls arrived on this planet at this exact moment to create, instead of pushing and forcing our own agendas to create the results we think we want.
So the next time you find yourself in a state of overwhelm, frustration, or hustle... pause for a moment and just listen.
Maybe you listen to the sounds of birds chirping, your own breath, your intuition, or what the person you're sitting across from is saying to you.
No matter what you listen to at first, the important part is simply getting into the practice of slowing down to listen.
In a session with one of my private clients earlier this week, we created a big exciting breakthrough together that allowed her to create more time + financial freedom.
Over the past 3 months of working together, one of the big topics we've been strategizing around is different ways to scale & grow her business.
But since the quality of her work as a craftswoman/maker is so important to her, as well as the environmental impact of the materials she uses for her product, the traditional approach of making more product for cheaper wasn't going to fly.
The care she puts into every one of her creations feels sacred to her, and the process of creating feels like a ritual.
So as we were playing with different ideas about how to scale, she came up with the creative insight to outsource the time spent traveling & attending trade shows, pop-up shops, and markets as a vendor by recruiting a few people to be ambassadors for her business, and to take their product with them to the places they were already going.
Now, she's able to make more money while cutting travel & vendor costs while continuing to share her gorgeous creations with the world.
Not only will she be making more money through doing work she loves & that feels meaningful to her, but this shift also gave way to mega time freedom that will allow her to feel more grounded, be a more present partner + mama for her family, & to have more spaciousness to birth her new endeavors that have been hatching as her creative energy has been overflowing since we began our work together.
Now, she has the time, energy, & finances to invest in midwifing her new website, authentic marketing content, an e-course, & can produce her hats without feeling rushed or like she's forcing her creativity.
Most people think that in order to get more done, we have to be constantly doing more.
We've been taught & conditioned that in order to make more money, experience more success, and make a difference in the world that counts, we have to DO more.
In our current collective paradigm, the notion of "doing more" often translates to having to sacrifice our health, our families, our relationships, & everything that isn't directly related to our business or cause.
But really, when we take the time to receive support & guidance, step out of the "doing" and into our "being" so that we can hear what we're being called toward, and honor our unique rhythm and needs, we become so much more productive.
When we finally make the decision to unsubscribe from the old belief system of a pushing, forcing, efforting, struggling, earning, & hustling way of working, leading, & doing business, we can begin to honor a new way of working smarter.
When we free ourselves from the old paradigm of belief, we can begin to implement strategies of working smarter that up-level our results, impact, & freedom in an unprecedented way.
Working smarter necessitates taking time away from working IN our businesses and doing #allthethings on that never-ending checklist, to carve out space to reconnect to the heart of our work, our big picture vision of what we feel called to create, & to deepen into our mission and leadership.
When we do this, we come back to our work more clear, energized, aligned, focused, rooted, & confident. We feel less overwhelmed, stressed, burnt out, unsteady, flighty, & caught up in the minutia of the daily “grind."
When we prioritize taking sacred space for ourselves as the leaders of our businesses, we instantly shift from HUSTLE to FLOW.
We become more effective, efficient, and impactful when we take time away from the “busy” to deepen into the high-level planning, strategy, & soul of our creations.
How to start working smarter today
1. Book out space in your calendar to show up for the higher-level planning, strategizing, & visioning that tends to be the thing we always think will happen later but never does. Make an appointment with yourself that feels fun & enlivening, and weave in some ritual to your approach to make sure it feels sacred to you. You can also sign up to attend a retreat for additional support, block off dates on your calendar for a vacation, & carve out space at the beginning of each week to schedule in self-care.
2. Join a like-hearted tribe of other women walking a similar path who are also committed to living, leading, + working in a new way that honors our unique rhythms, needs, & desires as women today. Find (or create) a sisterhood that takes a holistic lens to see the WHOLE woman, instead of just limiting the scope to her business or her relationships, so that you create results in every area of your life faster and with more ease.
3. Make it known that you're working on making this shift to important people in your life who can hold you accountable to not falling into old patterns of "grinding it out" & overcommitting yourself to your work at the expense of the rest of your life. This may include your partner, friends, co-working group, book club, women's circle, family, kids, and self-care accountability buddy. Voicing our intention helps make it feel real, adds some weight and "stickiness" to a new habit, and helps us to stay in integrity with our commitments.