The Messy Middle

You owe it to yourself to move through the messy middle as fast as you can!

What do I mean?

Have a mediocre business, income, body, lifestyle?

Why waste another blessed moment living the exact same way?

You owe it to yourself to move through the messy middle as quickly as possible.

There’s not many things more satisfying, to me at least, than pushing my business, pushing my income, and pushing my body gently into excellence. Getting through that messy middle only increases your influence, your ability to scale, your ability to touch lives, your status.

Think of how many times you’ve said to yourself, “I’ve just got to talk to my friend about how she’s built a $47,000 a year business by working 40 hours per week over the last five years!”

Chances are, not often. Chances are better that you’re seeking after the women who have pushed into six-figures or seven-figures and beyond, all the while working less, exercising more, and maybe even spending more times with their kids. You want your own version of what they have.

Well, ladies, they did it by pushing through the messy middle and that’s exactly what I hope you’ll inspire yourself to do as well.

Once more. You owe it to yourself to move through, push through, and easily go through the messy middle as fast as you can.

xoxo,

Tara

Coming up soon: 6-Figures in A Year.  

Don’t Remove the Hustle

You know the exercise. If you had all the money in the world and could do anything you want, what would it be?

I take issue with this because it removes the hustle. Honestly, I might be tempted to board a 40-year cruise and call it good. So, let’s tweak this question ever so slightly and add the cash back in.

Riff on this: if you got paid your top rate (let’s just throw $10K an hour out there to make sure we cover most of you top performers) and it could BE. FOR. ANYTHING, what would that be? Don’t worry about it being silly, small, or vain. Just let it be. Have creative fun with it.

If you’re so inclined, plant the seed. Let’s see if we can nurture it to grow.

Take Five

Sister friends.

Sometimes you’re not going to wanna do it.

You won’t be in the mood to work, create, live up to your potential, draw on your core desired feelings.

I write this post in one of those moments.

That’s okay.

If it’s the minority feeling, honor it. Can you squeeze in five minutes of the task at hand (like I’m doing now…as I’m counting down the seconds until bedtime)? Or should you let it rest and try again later?

If it’s the majority feeling, it’s time to change something up. Probably in a major way. Don’t take too long.

Half the battle of owning our own businesses is getting beyond ourselves. Sometimes we just won’t wanna do it. But sometimes we take five minutes and do what we can anyway.

Three Lessons Learned from My First 2HD Workshop

Granted. It was a collaborative workshop with many other lady entrepreneurs also speed-teaching on their areas of expertise. Still, it was cool!

Here were my three takeaways:

1. Speaking is good for business. If you’re down to do it, do it.

2. Need to start? Begin with a goal of a couple engagements this year. That was my starting goal. Now I’m hooked and ready for more.

3. Do you know your ideal crowd size? Make sure to play to that. Small groups work just fine for me, but the bigger the crowd the better.

More tips? Share ‘em below!

What Do You Want to Know?

Send me your questions! I’ll do a rapid fire Q & A and answer every single one.

The Discomfort of Starting Out

I have a feeling that many of my readers are just starting out. In addition to opening the doors to their first business, that may also mean starting out with: a partnership, venture, service offering, product line, book, speaking circuit, etc. You may feel

fear,

panic,

stressed out,

worried,

doubtful,

loser-ish,

uncertain,

nervous,

and like your whole life is hanging by a thread.

All. Of. The. Time.

At first.

But, hold tight because you’ll push through it, work through it, and keep on keeping on. Those feelings will eventually turn to

confidence,

success,

assurance,

certainty,

and like it would almost be harder to get back to your starting point than it would be to keep moving towards the next level.

Plus, remember, if your first attempt really doesn’t work out, it’s okay. It just gets you one step closer to your next move.

Two Lines for This Week

1. The world needs more kind, good, and powerful women.

2. Rise up. Please, you’re needed.

How I Got on Forbes.com

Every now and then I get an e-mail in my inbox asking how I was published on Forbes.com.

Here are the exact steps that I took:

1. I cold pitched an editor who covered topics that I like to write about. 

2. I followed up with that same editor two months later, and she wrote back within minutes with a, “No, thanks.”  But minutes later she wrote again and said to try another editor who covered entrepreneurship. 

3. I e-mailed the new editor on the spot with an improved version of my original pitch. 

4. Almost exactly two months later, I followed up. “I’d  love to write this piece for you and just wanted to follow up and see if you’re interested. I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon.”

5. My new editor wrote the same day and said to write it. But, “as a guest post (which wouldn’t pay you anything – how’s that for cheery?).”

6. We went back and forth and fleshed out the idea, and I asked if it would make a good story for the print magazine. He said, “Maybe,” and we settled on a guest post to start. Due dates assigned.

7. Eight weeks later I submitted the finished piece. 

8. Four days later it was published here.

Start to finish: four months.

Moral of the story: be bold, be persistent, and keep following upand celebrate lucky breaks!

As for Forbes.com? There’s more to come there!

7 Ways to Choose Yourself NOW

A big hello to new subscribers, and I hope everyone is enjoying the remaining dog days of summer! I received a couple of comments about one of my posts on choosing yourself. The big question is always, “How do you do it, exactly?”

Well, I’ve got seven ideas up my sleeve to help you get started.

1. Give Yourself Permission
I’ll say that again: give yourself permission. Laura Roeder said it best in one of her trainings, but the same thought has been iterated over and over again. Nobody’s going to choose you…before you do. So just give yourself permission to choose yourself.

2. Clear the Clutter
Whether it’s mental clutter (“I can’t dooooooooooo it. I just can’t, I can’t, I can’t.”), a messy work space that distracts more than helps, or clients or projects that are standing in the way of your growth, it’s time to declare boldly what is, and is not, working for you. Gracefully dismiss yourself or otherwise solve the challenge. Try to get it done before the end of this monthtrust me here.

3. Banish the Word “Can’t”
Closely aligned with  mental clutter, you’ve got to clear a path for your success in your mind. The word “can’t” is like a grenade for dreams and ambition. Throw it with caution.

4. Show Deep Gratitude
This may be one of the most important thoughts in this post. We were not created, no matter what our current state or form, imperfectly. So rather than bashing your looks, abilities, or talents, ask—instead—to get closer to the truest version of yourself. Always offer gratitude as you move in that direction. 

5. Allow Others Space to Grow and Improve
Likewise, we need to allow others to journey on their own paths toward growth. When we criticize others for their growth, we limit the same opportunity in our own lives.

6. Choose Your Experience
THIS is where life gets fun. You know the exercises. How do you want to feel? and What does your ideal day look like? and At the end of your life, what do you want to look back on fondly? How about one bold step in that direction today? You caaaaaannn do it!

7. Approach Life with Clarity
I’m not saying you’ll have your be-all and end-all game plan figured out. But if, right now, you feel like you’re made to be a fashion blogger with 100K followers, focus in and start living that way, sister. Your plan and goals may evolve, but you’ll never get to where you ultimately need to be until you start taking the first steps to get on with your journey.

Rethinking Opportunity

Think you can’t pursue your Big Idea because opportunity has passed you by?

We hear a lot of people tell us that they think they can’t go after their business goals because they are too old, or that they prioritized other goals and don’t think they can catch up, or even just because they are feeling defeated by setbacks. This feeling is understandable…but here’s the secret: it’s not true!

I think we need to reshape how we think about opportunity. Too often we talk about it or think of it as a random chance that dropped out of the sky, but the truth is that most success comes after a lot of planning, a lot of hard work, and often a lot of failure. Opportunity isn’t a cause, it’s a result!

Don’t believe me? Here are few people to consider…

Julia Child

The now-famous chef and television personality first worked for years as a copywriter and then in the war efforts during World War II. She had her first professional cooking class at age 36 and people tried to talk her out of it at every turn. She didn’t publish the cookbook that would make her a star until she was 50.

Alan Rickman

This beloved actor (also known as the Austen hero Colonel Brandon and one of the great dark horse literary characters Professor Snape) was initially talked out of performance work. He had a career in graphic design but had always wanted to pursue acting. So in his late 20s, he did! He spent over a decade in the theatre world working hard at a number of jobs in the industry but without attracting much attention until he got his very first film roll…at age 46.

Vera Wang

She’s a household name as a fashion designer in couture and bridal wear, but that career wasn’t launched until she was 40. Prior to that she was an editor for Vogue and trained as a figure skater, proving that you don’t have to just do one thing with your life. Today she’s in her 60s and her creations have been worn by First Ladies, film stars, performers, and most of the Who’s Who of the art world.

Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Little House books were a fixture of many of our childhoods, but those books, which chronicle the experiences of a girl and young woman were written when Wilder was in her 60s after she and her family had faced countless setbacks, business failures, and a number of horrible health challenges. She didn’t begin writing until she was in her 40s and would never have completed her famous childhood series without the urging and support of her family members.

Colonel Harland Sanders

Harland Sanders spent his life moving from one difficult job and disappointing business venture to the next for over 40 years. While running a small gas station, he got the idea of boosting some of profits by serving food in his own living area. He was eventually able to open a small restaurant, but almost immediately the highway route was changed and despite its popularity, this venture failed too. Finally in his 60s and able to retire, Sanders took his social security check…and opened another restaurant. Less than 10 years later, over 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises had opened in the US and Canada.

Every single one of these individuals faced major setbacks and didn’t find their success until much later than they initially hoped for. Each of them had multiple other jobs and projects before finding the one that brought them recognition. But none of them ever gave into the idea that it was “too late” to go after their dreams.

As George Elliot summed it up, “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”