Oi. Stop checking Facebook, picking your nose, answering emails, wondering what to cook for dinner while you read this.
Stop thinking of a hundred million other things. Just do this one thing.
Just read. Just be here now.
Let’s talk focus. Let’s talk about how to cure yourself of distractions, and get focussed on your real shit.
Your big dream. The things you wish to create. Your business. Your book. Your art. Your dream life. Whatever it is you want to birth.
This week’s Q-diddly-doodle is all about FOCUS:
How can I stay more focused on my business vision?
How do I NOT get distracted by everything else that’s out there?
OK, lovebirds, let me tell you, this can be challenging for the best of us. There’s so much SHINY STUFF out there in Internet Land to distract us, even when we THINK we’re working, like…
Going to retweet some Twitterings
Googling something that ends up with you reading the Wikipedia life story of Dolly Parton (true story, it’s happened to me!)
Adding books to our ever growing list of books we MUST read
Rewriting our to do list
And OH YEAH, CHECKING FACEBOOK SOME MORE!
And it’s insidious because we feel like we’re working! We’re networking! We’re doing that social media thang. Whatever it is.
But that kind of busy work isn’t moving you or your business or your dream forward.
So how do you get back to being uber focussed and on the right path?
First of all: kudos.
Good for you for being the conscious creator in your business. Good for you for wanting to stay even more focussed on your dream.
You have a dream inside you, and you want to help people.
So let’s start there.
Get your vision down on paper. Make it firm. Give it a planting in the real world.
The first thing ya gotta do is write that dream down into a vision statement. I created a mission and a vision statement of what I wanted the business to be that I refer to regularly using my workbook. There’s a good book by Cameron Herold called “Double Double” that encourages you to create a painted picture of your business, of what you want your business to be. I found that useful as another resource.
You can also use the questions in the Create Your Amazing Year in Business workbook, and really create a paragraph or two of that overarching thing that you are offering to the world and how you do business as well.
For me, I want my business to affect millions of people, and I want to help them have the most beautiful lives and business as possible, and I also want to do it in a way that creates joy and abundance for me and for all of my staff and for everybody who comes into my business.
That’s a picture of my essential biz tools: my vision as a dreamboard, my laptop (Pocahontas sticker from society6), my mission statement + biz plan in a PDF (I fill out the yearly workbook first, and then pop it into a PDF to share with my team) and my to do list book.
So I encourage you to connect in with the vision statement and make it real. Get it printed up, make it into a book, or create a poster and have it hanging in your office. Have it as something you can refer back to again and again.
Make sure that you are connecting in with your workbook answers on a fortnightly/monthly basis because that really helps to supercharge your dreams coming true.
When we stay more in connection with our dreams and our goals, the faster they manifest.
More Wonderful Ways to Focus on Your Biz Goals:
Make a vision board.This is especially nice when you’re feeling the call to get out your paste pots and glitter! The Workbook has step-by-step instructions, but really this is a follow-your-soul type endeavor and whatever you come up with is ding dang perfect.
Write a vision statement.Don’t worry about what it’s SUPPOSED to be, or say, or do. You might ask yourself as a prompt, “What do I want my life and my biz and the WORLD to look like in the future?” just as a jumping off point. There’s no wrong way to do this.
Print and hang up your favorite testimonials. Hang up those lovely emails, letters, notes that help you remember WHY you started this journey in the first place.
Find an accountability partner.The Academy forums are perfect for this! Find a like-minded business goddess (she doesn’t have to be in your field! In fact you might get lots of sympa-ti-co juju from someone in an entirely different biz than yours) and set up weekly accountability emails or calls to help both of you stay on track.
Announce a date.If part of your goals this year was to launch something or release something or build something or make something or do something — set the date and sing it from the mountaintops! Announce it to your tribe. That’ll get your hiney in gear! Sometimes public accountability is a great focuser!
And just as a cautionary tale here, panda bears: don’t censor your dreams.
Sometimes our big goals are to be financially independent, or to have the freedom to quit your bridge job, or to have a job that lets you travel the world — and you might feel a twinge of guilt for that.
Isn’t that greedy?? Shouldn’t I have some big noble change the world type goal?
Darlinghearts, your dreams are YOUR dreams, no one else’s. If your goal is to live an extraordinary life, travel the world, have the resources to buy a bigger house or have different expensive pillows for every month of the year, DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF FOR THAT.
You get to want what you want.
Did you notice that part of my mission is creating abundance? Part of that is cold hard cash, lovelies, and I’m not going to deny it. I’ve talked before about how money is NOT the root of all evil. It’s all about how you use it. And if you want to make money with your biz, that’s a GOOD THING, panda!
There’s nothing wrong with having a solid financial life as part of your vision, so don’t censor yourself there. Don’t talk yourself out of what you really want.
And at exactly the same time, I also believe in the bigger why.
You were put on this planet to achieve great things, there’s no doubt about it.
And creating abundance in your life might be part of it.
But I always believe there is a bigger why.
There’s something about what you do that lights you up. And if there’s not… Well, that’s a problem.
Because if your work doesn’t light you up, you’re not going to light up your peeps. You’re not going to attract your audience. You’re not going to find your tribe.
Your WHY is magnetic. People can feel it. They get pulled into it.
I truly believe that’s part of why this business has been so successful for me – because I’ve followed my heart, I’ve listened to my soul, and I’ve kept my big powerful WHY always at the heart of what I do.
I saw someone in a Facebook group (NOT our gorgeous Academy group!) a few weeks ago, and she was asking for advice on her fitness biz. She was saying, “I don’t love this method of weight loss, but it seems like that’s what everybody wants, so should I just go for it?”
The answer is a big ole NOPE.
If you don’t love it, how are you going to sell it? People are going to FEEL that you’re not into it, and they’re going to go somewhere else and work with someone who IS into it.
So, wouldn’t it be easier to do what you DO love?
Bring your passion to your work, and your work will be amazing. Bring your why to what you do, and your tribe will follow you to the ends of the earth.
And THAT my lovelies is how you stay focused on your business vision.
Infuse every single thing you do — from emails to sales pages, from Facebook updates to coaching calls — with your big why and you will be on the path to success.
Become a monk to your dreams
Stay focussed on that thing you want to bring into the world.
Become a monk to your dreams. Don’t let your ego get in the way here hon.
It’s not about you. It’s about your service to the world. And you have to help as many people as you can.
So don’t worry about whether you are good enough. Don’t spend time thinking about how you should be a different person. Stop comparing yourself to every Tom, Dick and Henrietta out there.
You were born to be YOU.
You were born to do this big beautiful dream of yours.
That’s ALL you need to worry about.
Keep your focus there. Keep your focus on the people who are calling out for you, who need what you have.
They are out there. It is your job to turn up and find them.
Stay focussed, earth angel. The world needs you.
Your challenge for today…
Take a few minutes today to meditate on your vision, goddesses. You’ll feel so much clearer and ready to take on every mountain and mole hill that appears on your path.
I’m just love love loving all these glorious questions I’ve been able to answer lately, and this week’s question really fits in nicely with what I’m doing in the rest of my life — spending muchos time with my beautiful girls, finding our groove as a family of four while my wonderful team keeps Leonie Dawson HQ powering along.
So let’s jump in with both feet, darlings!
Here’s this week’s muchos important staffing question:
Hiring someone to be a part of my business is DEFINITELY a challenge for me! I still like thinking of it all like it’s my fairy land and it’s happening by my magic wand and it’s all on my own. (Pride alert!) But I know I need to share my baby with others. It takes a village to have a successful biz just as much as it takes a village to have a child. So, you trigger me big time with your six-figure team waving flag, yet I know it’s necessary. So, could you talk about how the heck you would take the step to be willing to share your precious creation with others and to trust them enough to do so and trust yourself not to F-it-up in your relationship with them and through the business as well?
Hooo-eeey! Being in baby land right now, I have this deep understanding of this question on so many levels! When you become a mum for the first time, your first thought is like — Ohmygawd I have this precious, precious thing, and I have to DO IT ALL. I can’t let anyone else help me because I’m the MOTHER!
I heard somebody talk about her first weeks of being a mum as becoming a ZOMBIE LOVE SLAVE. Because you are so tired, and so in love, and still SO CONVINCED that nobody else can help you!
And then, hopefully you get over some of those whackadoodle hormones pretty quickly and learn to accept some help from your partner or your friends or your family soon because yes, you are the mother, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all!
I’m SO much more cognizant of that this time around in mamahood. If I do it all myself in taking care of Beth, I’m going to burn to a crisp pretty damn fast. There ain’t no pride or joy or glory in that. It’ll hurt me, and it’ll hurt Beth.
And it’s the same with your biz.
You are the owner. You are the creator. You are the vision and the light and the purpose and the values and the driving force and the passion behind this project. Wave that pride flag a little bit, goddess! You’ve built something amazing!
But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.
And here’s the juicy secret: I know that everybody goes through this. (And we don’t even have any whackadoodle hormones to blame!! We’re all just a little wacky.)
But, can I just tell you now that nobody hires their first employee as though it’ll be easy. Everybody faces this cliff, this leap of faith, this, oh, shit, I’ve got to get my shit together and I’ve got to hire someone.
You never feel ready. You never, ever feel ready. But there comes a point when you have to make the leap.
I remember when I hired my first assistant. It took me so long to work up the courage to send her an email to say, “Would you possibly be interested in maybe working for me?” Because I was just terrified.
I really kind of held that pride flag of — I’ve got it all under control. I do it all myself and I know everything that happens in my business. I knew every single client’s name and email. I felt like, because I have the membership program, it was completely necessary for me to have it memorized – hundreds of people’s names and emails memorised.
If that’s not a bit crazy, I don’t know what is!
I had to find the courage to let go.
I needed to because it was doing my head in and it wasn’t helping anyone. It was burning me out big time, and I needed to make it much more sustainable.
Yes I had to let go of control, but I knew that in doing so, I was going to be able to help more people and to help in a much better way. My business improved SO much more when I did have that professional support behind me.
And that’s kind of the big AHA moment that I want you to hold onto – that by giving up control and accepting some help, you will be better serving your peeps.
Not all of us is really gifted at every single thing.
I was really good at being able to make sure that I answered all the emails within a certain period of time and all that sort of stuff.
I also needed to try and keep a lot of brain space available in order to grow my business and think strategically and work out the next phase ahead.
And when you’re in your inbox and when you’re at the coalface of your business 24/7, you just don’t have that brain space in order to be able to do that. You feel like you’re responding and reacting every single day.
By hiring people, what you’re doing is building yourself a sacred dreaming space so that you can think more strategically about your business and make sure that it’s being dealt with in the best, most efficient and wonderful, lovely way possible.
And that means bringing in other people.
There’s a wonderful book by Gay Hendricks called The Big Leap, and he talks about being in your “zone of genius.” Because there are things you can do, like maybe doing your books; and there are things you’re good at, say, answering emails to customers; and then there’s your ZONE OF GENIUS which is where you shine like the brilliant star you are!
And that is what people need you to be all the time, my love — your genius, shining star self.
So, to get there, you might have to find someone who is genius at numbers, or genius at answering emails in a loving way so that YOU can do your genius thang.
And here’s the biggest, ding dang deliciousest secret:
When you hire the right people, you don’t have to worry at all, because they will expand your business and your heart.
It’s been such a joy to have my team. They each bring something so precious. And you don’t have to worry about the trusting when you hire well. If you use the Six Figure Team system that is part of the Academy, you are going to find somebody who resonates with you and who gets you and who believes in you.
I’ve been so thoroughly, extraordinarily blessed that I have a team who loves my business as much as I do.
It’s still my baby and yet it just gets lovingly tended to by even extra care so that it can flourish and thrive and grow in an even bigger way.
So don’t worry; everybody has the freak out. And you will get over it. It is a leap of faith; but in one year’s time, you will feel completely different about this experience and you’ll be so grateful that you took the leap to hire.
Your business needs even bigger wings to take on the world.
It’s a revelation to not be a tsunami of spew and nausea after nine months.
Yesterday me + my kinfolk went to the beach. Sat by the sea, made sandcastles, fed a sleepy sunset-haired baby, talked, but mostly just grinned.
Grinned because our “normal” life is returning to us. One where we can go out! And do things! And I can be vertical!
Guys, normal life is just so dang underrated… but so damn wonderful.
I am just rolling in my life lately. I’m like a puppy dog rolling around in the dirt just for the joy of rolling around in the dirt! I am so, so blessed to have my little family growing, my little stardust baby growing, my bigger mermaid girl growing, my life growing before my eyes. It’s incredibly empowering and humbling at the same time!
And it’s been making me think a bit about this amazing biz that I’ve been able to grow here, and this stupendous community that has grown up around me and supported me and allowed me to build this life that I just adore and couldn’t be more grateful for!
It’s all very woo-woo and spiritual and Land of Hippy around here! And yet.
There’s a big old elephant in this space that those of us who reside in the Land of Hippy don’t love to talk about, and that’s Money. With a capital M.
And that’s where our question for this week’s Q + A comes in:
I started a nonprofit organization which exposes at risk youth to better choices for their life.
It was not created to make money, but to help the community while I earn a basic income.
Helping youth is my calling I know.
However, I am at a point of growth in my money mindset. I have three wonderful boys to raise and I know more abundance empowers my family to provide academic and social enrichment for their lives.
My question is about aligning money with my intentions for work and personal good so I can be a great custodian of money.
Ooooh I just LOOOOVE this question! So, in other words:
How do I align my intentions for work and personal good with my money mindset so I can be a great custodian of money?
Let’s play a little what if-sies here:
WHAT IF… you made a million dollars this year, free and clear?
WHAT IF… someone handed you a gift/grant/paycheck that would cover every foreseeable expense for the next 10 years, and everything you earned yourself was gravy?
WHAT IF… you created a business that supported your every physical and spiritual need and desire?
Basically, what would you do if all your money cares and worries were GONE tomorrow?
How does that feel? Does it feel warm and fuzzy—or big and scary?
Would you run out and invest in a huge, soulless corporation that exploited the workers, used child labor, and ruined the environment? Would you buy a gigantic house that was totally out of line with your needs, just because you could, and a huge gas-guzzling vehicle to roam around aimlessly in? Would you suddenly decide that you could only eat endangered bird eggs and field greens from clear-cut rainforests in the Amazon????
Handy hint: I don’t think you would. I don’t think you would because that doesn’t actually align with who you are.
Money isn’t going to make you evil, or stupid.
Instead, if you had more money:
Would you continue to make choices in line with your beliefs? Would you support more local artisans and producers because you could afford to? Would you give more of your income to charity because you weren’t worried about paying the bills? Would you invest back into your business so you could reach and help more gorgeous souls with your brilliance?
I know exactly what you would do. You would use your moolah for good. You would use having more to become more.
What we do with money is what colors it, what makes it good or bad.
I think our lovely questioner is worried that if she has money, it will change her.
And it will.
But only for the better. It will allow her to align all of her actions with her intentions.
Money is a tool; no more, no less.
“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand
Darling hearts, money is like a spade. It can be used to cultivate a wonderful environment where good things grow, or it can be used to bonk somebody else over the head and take his wonderful things.
Either way, it’s not the spade’s fault.
I think a lot of my beautiful hippy dippy tribe worry that money will change them.
But what you don’t realize is:
You can change money into something that reflects your values and beliefs.
Now, you know I adore and support micro lending in developing nations through Kiva. It’s just the most amazing thing to be able to see how an amount that you and I would consider relatively small can RADICALLY, magically, and fundamentally change the life of someone who has nothing!
I believe in entrepreneurship changing ourselves, our families, our communities, our world.
I believe in Earth Angels helping each other out and teaching each other what they know.
I can change money into something that supports my values. And I can do it over and over and over again.
The more money I have, the more change I can make.
(And I don’t mean coins!!)
Maybe it sounds crass, but it’s the absolute truth. With money, I can affect my world.
It might mean choosing to buy organic
or sending your children to a better school
or giving money to the neighborhood school to make it better
or choosing to power your home with wind and solar instead of oil and nuclear power
or empowering others to affect change in their world.
I get uber excited about money now.
Being financially free means:
I can live anywhere I want
I can choose any kind of housing I want
I can give my kids the best education without being limited by money
I can donate as much as I want
And I can do it all without fear or lack… just abundance. I know that I can make more money anytime! Money always comes to me. I know this now.
Money is just going to make you more of what you already are.
I believe you will make the right choices with your money.
Our questioner asked specifically how to be a good custodian of money. And that can get a little—oooh, icky, SCARY!—investments and stocks and what should I do with it do I need an accountant sort of uncomfortable questions.
And yes, you may need to get yo’self some education (you KNOW how I feel about education!!) or hire an expert person whose soul lights up around numbers to help you figure out the details.
But the big picture is clear:
If you know your heart, everything else will follow.
Don’t be afraid of earning money.
Don’t be afraid of charging what you’re worth.
Don’t be afraid that the people who need you won’t be able to afford you.
Don’t be afraid that money will change you.
If you are blessed to be the custodian of money, then you will also be given the opportunities you need to handle it with grace.