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Month: September 2015

10 Ways to Avoid the “Shiny Object” Syndrome

10 Ways to Avoid the “Shiny Object” Syndrome


I have yet another confession to make. If something pretty, new, exciting…”SHINY” comes along, I have a tendency to forget all about what I’m supposed to be doing. What? Do you think I’m only transparent when it makes me look good? The “shiny” can be Pinterest (it’s the devil…), my girls showing me the latest dance, Facebook, TV, co-workers, my willingness to always lend an ear and a shoulder…you get the point.

So if you are living your life so willy nilly, how are you able to accomplish anything? 

I’m glad you asked. Here’s how I overcome the “shiny object” syndrome and get through my beefy task list:

  1. Identify What You Are Putting Off. You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge. Once you identify it, write it down. Stop relying on your memory, because lets be honest…you forget stuff. Whether you carry a notebook or make an entry on your phone, write it down.
  2. Figure Out How You Really Feel. Your emotions play a huge part! Is it fear of doing something new? Are you mad you have to do it? Are you afraid that you will mess it up?
  3. Deal With The Two Headed Monster. Once you realize it’s probably your emotions getting the best of you, vent and complain to let off some steam and then let it go.
  4. Plan, plan and plan some more. Start with being clear on your goal. Franklin Covey said it best, “Begin with the end in mind.” Having a clear goal will keep you motivated and focused.
  5. Face The truth. If you know you are prone to negative and sabotaging self-talk, face your thoughts head on and replace them with the positive affirmations and beliefs.
  6. Itty Bitty Steps. Don’t try to eat the entire elephant all at once. Break the task down into steps. Do you have a room that needs to be decluttered? Start with a drawer. Have a paper to write? Write a few pages at a time.
  7. Life WILL happen. Once you have created a plan, think about the what if’s and come up with a Plan B, C or D even if you don’t think you will need them.
  8. Ready. Set. Go! You have a plan…it’s time to get started. This is where most people say, “I’ll get started tomorrow.” Excuse me sir and ma’am, now is not the time to get cocky because you are clear on your goal. Yes, I’m mocking you.
  9. Bad Joo Joo. Excuses, funky attitudes, other people’s funky attitudes, unforeseen circumstances and unsolicited opinions. They can all keep you from achieving your goal if you allow it. Face them head on and implement Plan B.
  10. Time To Do A Shimmy (or Fist Bump). Pure unadulterated joy will be achieved when you finish a task that you once thought was annoying, too hard or too time consuming to complete. Now you can go back to Pinterest.

If you are a habitual victim of “shiny” objects, try using these steps something small like cleaning your desk. The more you do the steps, the more they become like second nature.

With love,

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Everyone Has A Story To Tell…When Are You Going Tell Yours?

Everyone Has A Story To Tell…When Are You Going Tell Yours?


I self-published my first book in April 2014. Work Your Package – A Guide to Being the Total Package was written in four months in the midst of planning my first annual women’s conference. My wicked editor was member of my board of directors who knows my “voice”. My cover was created by the amazing graphic artists at my job and I used a head shot taken by the staff photographer. The entire thing was low budget and cost me little to nothing to complete, submit and eventually be listed on Amazon. How did I get it done so quick? I put myself out there and told everyone who was coming to my conference or knew about my conference that I was launching my book at the conference. Pressure? Yup, just a little bit. It put me in the hot seat. Made me create a backwards production schedule so that I would have the books in hand at least a week before the conference. I beat my self-imposed deadline by a few days. That’s the book I tell everyone about. That’s the one that I take with me when I have speaking engagements. That’s the book I autograph with pride and personalized messages of encouragement.

Then there’s my second book. The one that I’ve been working on since I was pregnant and on bed rest with my oldest who just turned 10 this past summer. Stop it with the looks of shock and awe. Let me explain (or at least try to) why there has been such a delay. While my first book was created as a guide for women and men to be the best versions of themselves, my second book is purely creative. It’s a romance novel with characters that have lived in my head for ten years. My characters are my friends. They say the things I won’t, do the things that I dream about and have pieces of me woven in each of them. The draft version of my novel is currently 246 pages and I’ve committed myself to 100 more to wrap everything up in a bow and set it up for the next book in the series (which I’ve already outlined). If you’ve never written a book, you might be asking, “Why is it taking you so long to finish the book?” I could come up with some hogwash excuse like “life happens” but the truth is, my creative process has absolutely no linear trajectory. As I was telling a friend the other day, my thoughts don’t come 1, 2, 3…My creative thoughts spout out of my head like 1, 7, 3, 25. Eventually it will all come out, but very rarely in order. My research is just as important as the development of my characters. I have stacks of research that I’ve collected over the years and I pull from it as I write.  I hope when the book is released October 2016 (Yup, I just gave myself a deadline) that people will enjoy it and tell others about it. There will be pieces of my creative heart on each page.

So what’s your story? Are you ready to tell it? Do you have a method to capture your thoughts? (I have journals everywhere…nightstand, car, purse, work) I believe that everyone has a story to tell and with so many different genre’s of books, there is no limit to how many stories you can tell. Are you a technical subject matter expert? Do you have you inspiring story of triumph over insurmountable odds? Do you want encourage our future leaders? Are you the next E.L. James? While you may not think there’s a place for you, someone is waiting to hear your story.

By the way, self-publishing isn’t hard to do but you have to do your research. I used CreateSpace by Amazon and it worked out well for my first book. I’m in the process of looking at other options for my novel. Below are a couple of more options for you to explore. I’m not endorsing any particular company but I want to eliminate your excuse of “I don’t know where to get started.” What type of maven would I be if I kept all the information to myself?

Here’s an article about how to get started:

Self-publishing Companies:

With love,

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Stay in Your Lane

Stay in Your Lane

“If you worry about what everyone else is doing, you can’t focus on what you are destined to do.” Ayanna Castro

My girls are at that age where the sibling rivalry arguments have increased in frequency, intensity and volume. “Worry about yourself” is something that I tell each of them at least three times a day. If they just worried about themselves, then they wouldn’t be concerned with what their sister was doing.

They got me thinking…worrying about everyone else is doing is a surefire way to distract you from doing what will…

  • make you happy
  • make you smile
  • keep you healthy (less stress when you are focused on you)
  • make you wealthy (and I’m not even talking about money)
  • make you successful (again…not talking about money)
  • get you one step closer to what you were created to do
  • create the mental and creative space for you to WORK YOUR PACKAGE!

Staying in your lane allows you to master your craft. When you needlessly concern yourself with the “successes” of others, you set yourself up to be a victim of “success envy”. Stop thinking that everything that people put there for the world to see is the full snapshot of their life. They have some pitfalls and shortcomings too. Stop looking at what someone else is doing and automatically think you can do it too. You don’t know what it took for them to get to where they are…but I’m willing to bet they stayed in their own lane.

Stay in your lane. Take the time to dig the trench, level the dirt, spread the gravel, pour the asphalt, smooth out the road and paint the road strip. Don’t worry about anyone else’s freeway or interstate. Follow your G.P.S. (Genius Personal Strategy™).

Stay in your lane. And when people wonder how you finished your master’s degree in under two years or relocated from one state to another and everything from your employment to your housing was all set up before you packed a box or you started a business or you got a promotion…tell them you stayed in your lane where there is less traffic and NO speed limit.


With love,

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Is the Scale Balanced?

Is the Scale Balanced?


If you find yourself constantly trying to juggle multiple responsibilities and feeling like you are failing miserably, it might be check the scale of work and life and see if it is balanced. Here are some questions to help you take an honest look at your work/life balance. The best part of this exercise is that it applies to everyone…balance is necessary whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee.

Directions: Answer true or false to each statement below:

1. I find myself spending more and more time on work-related projects.

2. I often feel I don’t have any time for myself — or for my family and friends.

3. No matter what I do, it seems that often every minute of every day is always scheduled for something.

4. Sometimes I feel as though I’ve lost sight of who I am and why I chose this job/career.

5. I can’t remember the last time I was able to find the time to take a day off to do something fun — something just for me.

6. I feel stressed out most of the time.

7. I can’t even remember the last time I used all my allotted vacation and personal days.

8. It sometimes feels as though I never even have a chance to catch my breath before I have to move on to the next project/crisis.

9. I can’t remember the last time I read — and finished — a book that I was reading purely for pleasure.

10. I wish I had more time for some outside interests and hobbies, but I simply don’t.

11. I often feel exhausted — even early in the week.

12. I can’t remember the last time I went to the movies or visited a museum or attended some other cultural event.

13. I do what I do because so many people (children, partners, parents, organization) depend on me for support.

14. I’ve missed many of my family’s important events because of work-related time pressures and responsibilities.

15. I almost always bring work home with me.

Scoring: Give yourself 1 point for each “true” response. Note that each “true” response is a sign that you probably need to make changes in your life — and the higher the number, the more critical it is for you to make changes in your lifestyle.

If you scored…

0-2 Your life is in pretty good balance; just be sure to do what you can to protect that balance.

3-5 Your work/life balance is teetering on the edge; now is the time to make changes before the problems overwhelm you.

5+ Your life is out of balance; you need to take immediate action to make changes in your work and your life before things start crashing around you.

Were you surprised by your score? If you scored above a “3”, here are some tips to help you make some changes:

  1. Build downtime into your schedule. When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
  2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy. Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
  3. Rethink your errands. Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Try to trade services with friends. Offer to do tasks that you enjoy or that you were planning to do anyway.
  4. Get moving. It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
  5. Remember that a little relaxation goes a long way. Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Set realistic goals.

I’m interested in hearing how you keep balance as you “work your package”. What advice would you give?

With love,

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No Matter Where You Go, There You Are

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are


Photo Credit: New York Times


I’m a huge Jay-Z fan and one of my favorite songs is “Public Service Announcement”. (Watch his performance at Carnegie Hall here). These lines right here speak volumes of truth:

“No matter where you go, you are what you are player
And you can try to change but that’s just the top layer
Man, you was who you was ‘fore you got here.”

Now let me tell you why this can be applied to absolutely everyone, whether you sell out arenas or work a 9 to 5. No matter where you go, there you are and you take ALL of you with you. What do I mean by that? No matter how much you try to run away from a situation, you take ALL of you with you to the next situation. Your insecurities, bad habits and idiosyncrasies…all of it. When you don’t face that reality, you may think that leaving a situation that isn’t “working” for you is the best thing to do. Until the next situation doesn’t “work” for you either. A situation can be a job, a relationship, business venture, friendship, organization, church, etc. If you keep leaving to find a new situation because you think it will be different from your current situation and the same old issues continue to show up…the common denominator is you.

Every company isn’t horrible. The excitement of a new job will fade quick because “They are just like the last company I worked for!” is likely to come out of your mouth within a month. Every romantic relationship cannot be “not worth the trouble”. Finding a new romantic interest is not going to erase your memories of the last failed relationship because you haven’t fallen in love with yourself first. You don’t lose friends because people are untrustworthy. You aren’t authentic and you are wearing a mask and people who you claim are your friends deserve more. Stop it with the excuses. Own up to who you are.

Am I being a little harsh? Yes. Judgmental? Probably. But I don’t work at a bakery and never have so I don’t sugar coat anything. I call it how I see it. And if you have been reading my blog long enough, you will know that I’m transparent enough to admit when I’m making excuses. I’m not telling you to change. I’m hoping that you will become self-aware so that you can eliminate the barriers that keep you from being extraordinary.

With love,

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