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Why You Need To Toss Your Resolutions To Create Space

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I remember watching Oprah a few years back. The show that particular day was about making the best use of a small apartment. As a New Yorker, I was intrigued. One couple lived here in New York in a small one bedroom in the West Villlage. When I say small, I mean the space could not have been more than like 400 square feet max. But they loved the neighborhood. They loved the community. And they loved their apartment, tiny closet and all. They’d learned how to make an uber confined space work for them (and their new baby if I recall correctly!)

Towards the end of the segment, the woman shared her wardrobe secret. She said, “I always leave space for new and fabulous items to come my way. Her rule was that 10% of her closet must always remain empty in order to call these new things in. If a piece of clothing came in, another item she no longer enjoyed went out to be sold, donated or simply tossed in the trash if it was in terrible shape and couldn’t benefit someone else. Pretty smart right?

What if we adopted her wardrobe secret for ourselves? What if we applied this technique to our businesses and lives? I personally believe this kind of thought process is mandatory to enable real change, to create space for new and fabulous things to enter our lives.

Most of us know that New Year’s resolutions don’t work yet we make them year after year anyway. They don’t work because they don’t dig deep enough. They don’t address the overarching why. Learning how to coach yourself to see what lies beneath the surface is difficult, and often painful, so we skip it. We say things like, this year I’ll loose 20 pounds or earn another 10K or just be nicer to people.

It’s not any of those resolutions are bad or wrong. It’s just that they are very surface. They don’t actually mean or address all that much.

If you’ve made these kinds of resolutions for 2015, I suggest you toss them. They are going to remain in your way and may even make you feel bad or guilty if you’re not in action around them. Get rid of them, and let’s start over. Let’s clear some stuff out of our lives so we can really start to see what needs to change.

A few days ago I cleaned out my closet, so to speak. I unsubscribed a significant number of people from this newsletter.

Why?

They weren’t reading it. Getting emails in their probably already cluttered inbox was not serving them, and it certainly was not serving me. It’s not much fun to write to someone who doesn’t read your stuff or speak to people who don’t listen. Yet, we all do it sometimes—in our jobs, our personal lives … We think it’s just business as usual. This is the job. This is the relationship. This is the way it is.

NO IT’S NOT!

I’m writing because I want to, because I hope to impart some value and because I want to create the possibility of connecting now or in the future about your business and life. I don’t have to do it. I choose to do it.

So I want you to let go of (or make a plan to let go of) everything that doesn’t serve you. Job. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Friend. Apartment. Clients. That bag of potato chips. Whatever! Just do it.

Trust me you will feel super empowered after you let these things go and open up the space for better things and people to enter your life.

Right now let go of one thing. Even if you’re at the office and it’s the pen that just kinda sorta works, throw it in the trash! I will give you a minute to complete this task …

Ok. Great job!

I wish so much for you this year. May you go after and get everything your heart desires. Happy 2015. It’s gonna be a great one!

 

Turkey, Tea, McKenna and Me

Here it is again. I love this holiday, not because I love turkey, although I do love me some fried turkey (and the ginger tea that comes after eating too much fried turkey!) I love Thanksgiving because I love the power of gratitude. If you’ve read any of my writing, you know that. This day is the perfect day to give thanks, to share your gratitude and to reflect on what you’ve given to others as well.

In that very same spirit, I want to share with you. This year, I’ve been given a lot of great and not so great opportunities. In the great, I’ve rejoiced both silently and out loud with friends and family. In the not so great, I’ve done my best to move forward trusting I would learn yet another important life lesson and then be granted the clarity and wisdom to share my learnings powerfully with others.

Not listening to my intuition, taking a job I wasn’t sure about and then seeing that spiral into suffering and regret—to put it bluntly—sucked. Mainly because I had been in that precarious position before so I was pissed at myself for being there again. BUT, if that hadn’t happened, if I hadn’t made the choice I made to take that job, I don’t know that I’d be in the position I’m in today.

Today, I’m an honest to goodness entrepreneur. I’m building something that is mine. I’m the boss. If I succeed, it’s on me. If I fail, it’s on me. I like that. I respect it. I thank it for toughening me up and pushing me. I’m grateful to it for knocking me down sometimes so that I can practice getting back up.

I’ve had success publishing a handful of articles in kickass publications. I’ve worked with and continue to work with amazing and creative entrepreneurs who inspire me with their work and devotion to uncovering their purpose and building a brand based on meaning and passion. I’ve been granted research and strategy projects that paid thousands of dollars but more importantly allowed me to speak with people from all over the country. I’m so grateful for all of this. But to tell you the truth, the one thing I’m most grateful for didn’t earn me either of the two crucial things every entrepreneur seeks—exposure and money.

Back in October, I found myself declaring my desire for a dog. So I signed up with a few organizations that look for short term foster parents and replied to an email from one of them a few days later. Fostering seemed like a good solution for a never before dog owner. I could test it out, see how it went and then make a decision from there. You know, the same kind of approach we often take with starting a new business or relationship. This approach is totally safe and comfortable and lacks any commitment, so it gives you a great excuse to get out. “I was just trying it!”

You can definitely try out a business or a relationship. You can keep your options open and wait for something better to come along or just go ahead and nix the whole thing.

Two days after picking up McKenna, I learned you cannot do that with a dog. I fell in love quickly and without much debate. All of a sudden, there was this living, breathing thing that was scared and shaky and counting on me to make everything OK. I had to come up with solutions to problems, super uncomfortable and borderline gross problems I might add, like fleas, worms and digestive issues. Yet, I still loved her, likely from the very first time I saw her. I wasn’t going to give her back and essentially throw her away. So I adopted her. I committed to her for the rest of her life. It only took two days.

I’m not telling you this to gross you out with her poop issues. I’m sharing this experience so that you (and I) can learn the lesson here and apply it to our businesses.

Your business is also manifested from a desire and it too comes with numerous challenges and issues. They are probably far less gross than those associated with a rescue dog yet just as uncomfortable and maddening.

So often in business and life we give up too soon. We avoid going “all in” and doing what we must to make it work because commitment is scary. I’ll go as far as to say commitment can be absolutely terrifying.

I have no idea what I’m doing with my new little girl. But I’m learning as I go, and I’m making choices for her based on love, not fear.

I wish you so much love on this holiday. Be good to yourself today. Do one thing to nurture your life and business and then give thanks to yourself for all that you do for others.

Oh, one last thing. This is McKenna just in case you were wondering …

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My Best Friend’s Wedding Taught Me About Storytelling

A few weeks ago, I attended my Best Friend’s Wedding in Savannah, where I was tasked with delivering a toast. Despite my years of experience on stages and my passion for the written word, I was terrified. How would I sum up a 15-year friendship in five minutes? Would people think what I had to say was funny? Touching? Inappropriate? Would my best friend and her husband regret their choice to have me speak at their big day?

As someone who is constantly working on not taking things personally, this talk was big time personal. But, when all was said and done, there were laughs and tears and kudos. Over a handful of people approached to let me know my speech was the best speech they had heard—EVER. I was stunned.

That night, after the wedding and post wedding events, I went back to my hotel room and sobbed. Partly, because of the mix of feelings that arose from seeing my best friend in the world find happiness, but also because I knew that all of the hard work I had put into my speech was not in vain. People loved it. Most importantly, my best friend loved it. My work had been acknowledged. That night, I was once again reminded that my presence in this world makes a difference.

The next few days, I reflected on why that toast was so successful. I realized it had truly been an exercise in storytelling. For those of you who are already adept at telling stories as part of your business or in your life, or for those who are looking to start incorporating stories personally or professionally, here are my most recent lessons and suggestions.

Actually Tell a Story (or Three)
This may seem obvious, but do you ever notice how people actually don’t do this? A story has a beginning, middle and end. It has a conflict, drama and characters. It has a climax and a resolution. These are basic elements of storytelling that must not be forgotten.

But also, over the course of this five-minute toast, I managed to tell snippets of at least three stories. Each of these “mini” stories flowed out of the previous and each was an essential part of one big tale—in this case the tale of how an unrequited crush led to an unbreakable friendship. With each build, the audience was left in suspense of what would come next. The end of the story tied everything together.

Make Sure You Are Passionate About The Chosen Topic
The best stories are riddled with passion, be it in the writing or the way they are told in person. Not a problem in this circumstance. Of course, I’m passionate about my best friend and our friendship. Though, in the past, I’ve also written about topics that that really didn’t interest me at all.

Writing for the sake of writing, speaking for the sake of speaking … this just doesn’t work. You need to have a point of view about things you want to communicate if you plan to communicate them clearly and create an emotional connection with people. Apathy never leads to a strong POV. Not in life and not for brands.

Make It Personal Through Emotional Details
Essentially, throughout the course of my tale, I reminded my BFF of how our friendship came to be. I added specific dialogue that felt like both of us at that time in our lives. In our early 20’s, we were both a mixture of ambition, insecurity, jealousy and boldness. The conversations I included in the speech highlighted that complexity and gave the story more depth and realism.

Interrupt The Status Quo
Google how to write a great wedding speech and you will most surely see the words “Do not mention an ex” written in multiple articles. However, that is exactly what I did, numerous times. This particular ex was an essential part of the story. Bringing him up was part puzzling, part shocking and part amusing for the audience—exactly the reaction I’d hoped for when his name originally popped into my head a few weeks ago.

Get Over Looking Bad Or Stupid
Years ago I took a few improvisation classes in Los Angeles at The Second City. My key takeaway from this training was simple. Sometimes you just need to go for it.

You can tell when people are holding back in life, right? You can also tell when people hold back in their writing, talks or performances. The times when I’ve had the courage to go “all in” have been the times I’ve been the most proud of my work and generally when my words were best received.

Stories are meant to be told because people want to hear them. Stories remind us we are not alone. So tell one. Tell more than one. Even for all you introverts, or extroverted introverts like me, I promise if you practice sharing yourself, it will soon become a habit like everything else.

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On Discipline and Consistency {Why I love Long, Boring Plane Rides}

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I started writing this on a US Airways flight to Texas. Unlike my favorites, JetBlue and Virgin, Us Air has no inflight entertainment. That means I had exactly 3 hours of staring at the tray table in front of me. Or I could choose to be productive via my trusty MacBook Air. I chose the latter and worked on a few program I’m refining (more on that soon) and then this post.

I’ve never been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, or anything of the sort but if I’m being honest, I have difficulty focusing from time to time. I’ve talked about my solutions for this before, but it seems distraction has been rearing its ugly head more than usual lately. I want some inspiration. I need some discipline.

For me, the inspiration part, as you probably know by now, comes from travel. It comes from seeing new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. Newness inspires me. Hello Dallas and Austin!

And then there’s discipline. That’s tough. I used to be super disciplined. I was the girl on the dance team in middle school and high school who would practice for hours each night so that I would excel. That discipline paid off for a while until laziness started to creep in. I thought I could get away with not giving 100%. And I did for a bit. Until, one day, after enough laziness and apathy, the whole thing fell apart.

I kind of hate it when things fall apart. Don’t you? That whole excelling at something seems much better to me.

So these days I have to mentally and physically combat my laziness. I have to set a timer for uninterrupted work, or park myself in a coffee shop with my headphones, or call my coach, or get on a plane with no inflight entertainment … But my point really isn’t about how you do it. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how you do it. What matters is actually doing it. Even if it’s just one important thing that gets accomplished that day. Laziness takes a nosedive and you get to feel proud of yourself.

Doing the work is hard. But that’s OK. It’s in the doing that we shine, grow and prove to ourselves what we are made of. And I am a BIG fan of proving things to yourself.

So strive to do the work consistently and with faith that your time will be worth it in the end. This is what I’m working—discipline and consistency. Join me?

 

 

Why We Must Let Go of Expectations

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You may have remembered from my post earlier this year that I was planning a month-long trip to Australia, Bali and Hong Kong. I’d mentioned that this trip was a long, long time coming—something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade.

For a few weeks after I booked my flights, the excitement was intense. I couldn’t wait to plan what I would do, where I would stay and have friends connect me to their friends in the cities I would be visiting. I envisioned a fabulous, relaxing trip full of fun, adventure and maybe even a little romance. However, my expectations were high, and I didn’t account for the fact that real life doesn’t take a vacation.

The thing about expectations is that they rarely lead to happiness. In fact, more often than not, our expectations deliver nothing but disappointment. {Tweet it!}

So when my back went out, I lost my credit card and I encountered let’s just say some not so nice people, I got REALLY upset. All of a sudden the “bad” overtook the good, and it became very difficult to turn it around. My attachment to the way I had expected my trip to go sent me into survival mode, and I spent a good majority of the trip simply surviving until I could make it back to the states.

Sometimes you don’t even know you’re setting absurd expectations. You may mistake them for clarity on what your want, or high standards or whatever, but honestly expectations are just a set of arbitrary guidelines you made up in your head.

I don’t think expectations are entirely bad or useless, but we have to be willing to let go of them at a moment’s notice and deal with the present moment powerfully. Most of us, myself included, aren’t always so good at that.

Despite everything that went “wrong” I don’t want you to think that the trip was a waste. I admit I slipped into that thought from time to time along the way, but each time I did something would happen—I’d meet a kind and beautiful person, I’d experience something I never had before (like surfing in Byron Bay or the hospitality of the Indonesian people or the infamous and quite hilariously random mouse on the plane incident on my first flight over to Hong Kong).

When these things would happen, they would remind me that sometimes reality can exceed your expectations. I didn’t plan for any of those awesome experiences and yet they ended up being the highlights of my trip.

Practice letting go, especially of expectations. Because when you start to master letting go, you will see there is so much to be gained.

Is eBook Theft The New Identity Theft?

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A few weeks ago I found out someone had stolen my eBook and placed it on Amazon for sale. How did they do that, you ask? They pretended to be me. Brooke Rothman was selling Brooke Rothman’s book—only it clearly was not me.

The next 12 hours were rough. I barely slept. I cried. I felt massively violated. If you’ve read my book, you know it’s quite personal. It contains my stories, excerpts from interviews I conducted and my creative exercises. Better yet, the eBook didn’t just show up on Amazon US. It showed up on Amazon Canada, UK, India, Denmark, and Japan. Yep. Japan.

You can only imagine what I dealt with in those first few hours of this eBook theft awareness. It was a bit of shock mixed with thoughts like the following, “I want to find this person and smash a frying pan in his face.”  (Sorry if that’s violent, but it’s honestly what I thought at the time.)

Then I got over my disappointment in humanity or whatever that was and got to work. When something “bad” happens, you have to turn it around. You have to find the humor. (My book was global!) And you have to help and inform other people. I truly believe this happened to me for a reason. {Tweet it!}

This next part is important so if you read nothing else in this blog post I want you to read this. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you.

How to Protect Your Work

  1. The first thing I did was to start the process of officially registering my book with the US Copyright office. Some people will say that your work is copyrighted the moment it’s created. Maybe that’s true but after speaking to a copyright lawyer, I don’t think it can ever hurt to have official documentation. In my opinion, the $35 is worth the peace of mind. Register your property here. http://www.copyright.gov/eco  (Quick disclaimer: I am still in the process of getting my copyright approved. In my opinion, the system is a bit archaic and the communication is poor to non-existent. However, I have faith the road blocks I’m encountering will be dealt with and this will be resolved soon.)
  1. Register your book with Amazon and get an ASIN. ASIN stands for Amazon Standard Identification Number. It is unique to every book so if you have this, it will most likely be harder for people to steal your work. The person who stole my book had an ASIN number so I’m still waiting to see what will happen once I repost the book myself on Amazon. Don’t make the same mistake I did and allow someone else to get there first.
  1. After your property is launched, scan the web for illegal distribution frequently. I happened to have googled my name and the name of my book. Otherwise, I might never have known this was happening.
  1. If you find something amiss, write a DMCA takedown notice to the publication where your work has been illegally posted. Companies should comply with this request as part of United States copyright law.

To be clear, this should not stop you from creating and putting your stuff out there, but I wanted to give you the heads up to be vigilant with your work. Do a little more research than I did when I put my book out there and follow the points outlined above. I can’t promise this will keep your work completely safe, but I do believe it will help make the process smoother.

 

How to Reawaken Your Inner Child

How to Reawaken Your Inner Child | Levo | Inner Child

Photo via Serendipitous Wanderings

I live in New York City and although I love my city, sometimes the hustle can get to me. You can see it in my face when it happens. I’m annoyed, insecure, distracted or all of the above trying to “make it” or just get to my next destination. 

But when I see a child smiling at me, my mood transforms. All of a sudden, I’m playing hide and seek on the street or the subway with kids I don’t even know. I’ll say, “I see you!” They’ll giggle and I’ll instantly feel a sense of love. Because when I see them, I also see myself, or at least the part of myself that possesses the qualities I love about children.

The older we get the harder it can become to remember and recognize our inner child. But it’s important for all of us who want to live a remarkable life and create amazing businesses to connect to who we were in our youth.

Here are a few reasons why.

Play is essential to making something out of nothing.

For the most part, children will play with and enjoy whatever is in front of them. Hand them a pile of blocks and they will build you a skyscraper. They’ll try it one way and if that doesn’t work they’ll try it another—without judgment or guilt. Children are masters of creation.

Fear doesn’t have to stop you.

Children attempt things regardless of fear. This is because they are focused on their goals. Children don’t spend time concentrating on what will happen if they fall off the monkey bars. They just climb. It’s only as we grow that our mentality shifts. We become more cautious. We take fewer chances. In doing so, we actually limit our potential for success.

You already know what your purpose is.

My clients often ask, how do I find my purpose and how will I know when I find it? I encounter surprise, sometimes bordering on shock, when I tell them they don’t have to look for it because it‘s already there. Last year I found a picture I drew when I was six. The drawing shows people holding hands and smiling while the sun shines above them. I had titled it, “The Whole World.” It’s clear to me now that at the tender age of six, I knew my purpose. I wanted to support people and show them that one day the whole world could be happy and connected. We all have a purpose, and I believe that purpose appeared when we were young. Our job now is simply to rediscover it.

It really is OK to cry.

Kids get upset. They cry. Then they get over it. As a woman in business, I’ve often had concerns about being too emotional, but the act of crying can help release tension and stress, stabilize feelings and connect to the underlying upsets. It doesn’t mean you should break into a temper tantrum, but it is alright to find a quiet space, connect to your heart, free yourself of restrictions and have a good cry.

Magic exists and anything actually is possible. You just have to believe.

Granted the above sounds like a commercial for Disney World—and for good reason. Remember when the world you lived in was big, miraculous and full of wonder? As children we think we can do and have anything we want. But most of us lose that confidence as we grow up. Maybe someone told us once that we couldn’t do something. We didn’t realize at the time that what that person said was not the truth. We started to make choices, live our lives and change our beliefs based on other people’s opinions. Today we can make the choice to look at our lives through a fresh lens and see that world of wonder and magic we loved as children still exists.

I wish we could all be kids forever, that we could trade coloring books, play in sandboxes and wait for the tooth fairy. In many ways, I think we can. All of those magical qualities we had in our youth are still there. Perhaps we’re just a bit out of practice.

Click here to read the original article on Levo League.

 

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

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Photo via Elephant Archives

“It is easy to see the beginning of things, and harder to see the ends.” ~Joan Didion

15 was a good age, one of the best for me. It was the age of adventure, dreams, and above all, friendship.

When I was a teenager, I had a few close girlfriends who made up—basically—my whole world. They were slightly older than I was and in my mind they were bad asses—I tried to emulate them.

They taught me to stick up for myself and to question authority. They taught me that life wasn’t all about getting good grades and creating a resume for college applications. They brought me to my first parties and skip days.

I saw them as family, as the big sisters I’d wished for as a little girl. They were there to listen to the excitement of my first kiss, my first crush, and the stories of every hope and heartbreak a girl has at 15.

They were there for everything.

Then, in what seemed like an instant, they were gone. Each graduated high school and went off to college, leaving me alone in my small town to fend for myself and figure out my own way. This was my first real experience coping with loss.

For a long time—more than 10 years—I thought they would return. I thought that even though we’d lost touch quite quickly after they left, memories of the times we’d shared together would bring them back to me. I knew one day I would find them or they would find me.

Then over a decade after I lost them, one day the magic of the Internet brought them back to me.

Now that we were in our 20s and free to do whatever we wanted, I imagined we would relive all the crazy things we did as girls—as women—and do the things we’d always dreamed of together. I expected to feel that same connection we shared as teens.

But expectations rarely lead to happiness, and the reunion I’d hoped for did not come to pass.

My friends were not the same as I’d remembered. They each had a family, cars, and houses in the suburbs while I was single and living in New York City, still chasing my dreams and buying metro cards. My world didn’t mesh with theirs anymore. I remember thinking we didn’t have that much to say to each other.

“It was good to see you,” I told them after a few hours together.

It was good—and now it was over. Actually it had ended all those years before but I couldn’t see that. I didn’t want to see because if I saw it, I’d have to accept that those friendships had run their course. I had not been ready to let go of the past quite yet.

Saying goodbye to those friendships meant saying goodbye to 15.

Intrinsically I know goodbyes are a part of life, but I still hate to say them. More than anything else, I hate it when people go away. Even though I know it’s not the truth, it always feels like those people are leaving me. Oddly enough, I rarely think about the times I’ve left people—physically or mentally. I wonder if those people felt the same sadness at the end.

Now, I understand that this is the way it goes. The universe places people in our lives for a period of time and eventually it takes them out. I truly believe we are meant to learn from each relationship, and when we stop learning from it the relationship ends.

Sometimes we actually need it to end in order to grow up and move on.

I’m grateful for the friendships I had as a teenager. They were real, powerful and in many ways unlike any I’ve had since. They helped shape the woman I would become and taught me how I wanted to show up for the friendships I’d create in my future. But I know that I don’t need them to be happy anymore. I don’t need them to be me.

Turns out the thing I was most afraid of saying goodbye to wasn’t worth worrying about after all. That 15 year-old girl never really went away. She’s still there pushing me forward, helping me find the strength to be vulnerable, and reminding me to go out in the world and have fun.

Click here to read the original article on Elephant Journal.

 

Stealing Your Copy [Tricks of the Trade]

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I imagine most of us have those Oh Crap moments when we sit down at our computers or with our notebooks and pens (if you’re old school like me) and attempted to write content. It really doesn’t matter what it is—content for websites, product packages, sales materials or blogs or newsletters.

Creating something from nothing is daunting and can paralyze you before you write even one word. 

I remember as a young strategist the first time I sat down to write a creative brief I nearly had a heart attack. It was my job to craft this ever-important document that would inform and influence an advertising campaign, and I had no clue how to begin. No bueno.
 
Know what I did? I looked at old briefs written by strategists for other brands and copied as much as I could. Then I filled in the gaps and tweaked what I needed to for it to make sense. The first brief I wrote wasn’t a masterpiece, but it also wasn’t a total flop. Over time I got better at writing briefs, and now I can create one out of thin air. But that wasn’t always the case. I had to start somewhere, so I started by cheating off my peers. Thankfully there’s no detention in the advertising world.
 
Just the other day, I led a big brainstorm for one of my clients. We needed to come up with several potential claims and messages for his brand. First we looked at what our competitors were saying. That was good to know but not particularly mind-blowing or catalystic. So we decided to look outside our category and into everything from liquid plumbing to organic cosmetics to automobiles to energy drinks. We looked at their websites, their packages, their social media and their product reviews on Amazon. When it was time to come up with ideas for our brand, we literally stole, or stole and then tweaked, what all those other brands had to say. Granted we didn’t steal everything. We created brand new copy as well, but the exercise of stealing and tweaking undoubtedly acted as our catalyst for creation.
 
So yes, I recommended strategically stealing your copy—especially at first and especially if your resources are limited. Over time you’ll get better at crafting content. But in the meantime, don’t feel guilty.

If you really think about it, most everything, including what we think of as innovation, is a rip of something else. {Tweet it}

Steal. Then tweak. Then create something new. 

 

The Next Time You Think You Don’t Make a Difference, Think Again

We all want to make a difference in the world but sometimes it feels like we just don’t. This past Thursday I completed a course that I coach each year. During this four-month program participants create projects that impact communities all over the world. They also confront many of the things that stop them from getting what they want in various parts of their lives. I love this program because of the many, many miracles that are created in it by people just like you and me. Seeing the results they produce each year is a powerful reminder that in our work there is indeed great reward.

At the end of the program, we estimate how many people may have been touched and inspired through the projects, the conversations, and the numerous and unique contributions each participant offered the world. (We calculate this mostly through direct interaction, media coverage and social media shares and mentions.) Normally it comes in around 1 million or so. Slightly amazing given there are always 100 total participants or less. This year was different. The people in this program were more driven, more self-aware, and more powerful than I’ve seen in the 3 plus years I’ve been a part of this course. Estimated impact this time: Over 1 billion. 

People’s projects were written up in several local, national, and global publications. There was TV station coverage. There were tons of emails sent and even more social media campaigns created. I had my first article published in MindBodyGreen, which was a huge win for me. In short, the victories were numerous and profound. With each one shared, another was created.

I’m telling you this because I want you to really understand that everything you want for yourself, your business, your community … can be created in action. A vision is great. It’s imperative to determine what steps need to be taken towards a goal, but a vision is nothing without work. You must do the work to have your vision become reality. 

I truly believe that many times we don’t take those actions because somewhere inside we think we don’t matter. Maybe someone told us that we couldn’t make a difference once, and we believed it. But it’s not true.

Our actions matter.

They have the potential to impact millions, if not billions, of people all over the world. {Tweet it!}

The picture below was a gift from Andrea Scher of Mondo Beyondo. I received when I attended her seminar at The World Domination Summit in 2012. Since she gave it to me that July, it’s been a fixture on my vision board and my inspiration when I didn’t really feel like doing anything. Now I’m giving it to you.

Print it out. Look at it when you just don’t feel like it. And always remember, there are people who believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself.

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