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What are your first thoughts when you wake up in the morning?
Does your brain immediately flip into ‘get ‘er done’ mode and start running a thousand miles a minute, thinking of all the tasks you have to complete that day, how many meetings you have booked, and what to cook for dinner? Or, do you take a few minutes to check in internally, centre yourself and trust that everything that needs to happen, will happen and that you’ll deal with the rest?
When you work in an industry that’s ever-changing and your role is ever-evolving, sometimes it can feel like a struggle to keep up with business development, client management, finding leads, marketing and all the other aspects of being an entrepreneur. No matter where we are or the type of clients we work with, we all probably have similar challenges. The hours are incredibly long (I work as many as 15 hours a day to create the life of my dreams) and when we love our work, it’s easy to lose ourselves in it. If we’re not careful, self-care can slip down the priority list, and the work can start to seem never-ending (in the world of a VA, there’s always another sales page to write or launch to organize!). Months can go by in a blur. Add a bustling household with three active school-aged kids and a husband, and you’ve got a remarkable but incredibly busy life.
That’s why doing that second thing, along with maintaining a positive mindset through all the ups and downs that come with being a VA, is so important. For me, consciously maintaining a positive mindset has resulted in a significant internal shift and keeps me motivated to reach new highs, even when things are at their bleakest. And you need a positive outlook if you’re going to take smart risks, and grow your business, potential and income!
As we come to the end of 2016, I’ve been reflecting lately on how awesome this year has been and how my business has exploded. Today, I want to share some tips on what positivity means to me, and how I use it to create the life of my dreams.
Align yourself by practising mindfulness
Take a minute when you wake up to start each day with thoughts of gratitude, love and light. Look around you – what do you have to be grateful for? Looking back over my Facebook posts in the past few months, I’ve realized this has become an important daily ritual to me. Here’s what I wrote on October 29:
My coffee tastes smoother
The air feels lighter
My heart feels more full
I feel stronger, clearer, connected
And while we are always our own project to keep improving upon, growing, learning… today I feel in total alignment.
That day, I also took inventory of all the goals I’d accomplished in the last few months, including hiring a full-time, in-office assistant and four sub-contractors who help run the business and work remotely; creating system and workflows for the company so it can operate efficiently, and I can focus on my clients one-on-one; expanding my network of supportive “business bestie” to every corner of the world, and snagging Todd Herman as my business mentor. Every day, he pushes me to keep taking action and updating my plans, so I stay on track with my 90-day plan.
See how affirming and validating that can be? And the best part is, you can do this for yourself, anywhere you feel comfortable, whether that’s in bed, in your favourite chair as you sip your morning coffee, or maybe during an early morning walk.
Find mentors who challenge you to be your best
Todd Herman is a high-performance coach and advisor to many successful businesses. He created the 90-Day Year, a paid mentorship program that helps business owners thrive. In 2016, I joined and with a lot of hard work and showing up every day, have had some fantastic success in my business. But it wouldn’t have happened without Todd’s help and guidance. Right from the first day, I knew what to expect, since right on his website, he says he’s tough on his clients because he knows they have a destination they want to get to, that they’ve never been. That was true for me, and I thought I knew what to expect walking in. But there were still a few surprises about just how much he helped me kick my ass into gear! I wouldn’t have it any other way, because my business has exploded and I’ve become an active part of the 90-Day Year Facebook community, where I’ve met many current clients. I can’t thank Todd enough for being part of my transformation. That’s what great mentors do – force you to see your potential and where the gap is between what you’re doing now and what you should be doing to reach your goals…then giving you specific tools and advice to achieve them.
Give back to your industry by being a mentor
This summer’s round of 90-Day Year was about real, honoured, in-person connection with not only my client family but also with other entrepreneurs, mentors and people I can help inspire, lift and support. It’s a harsh world out there, and we all need people who lift us up. Since I’ve received so much help and support from the people around me (and I remember what it’s like to be just starting out!), I’m committed to paying it forward to other VAs embarking on their own journeys. This is one of the most fulfilling things I do professionally, and it inspires me to stay positive. And the bonus is that I’ve grown and learned a lot from others along the way!
Look around you – who in your industry can use your help? Giving just a couple of hours a week can make a massive impact on someone’s career.
Work with people who inspire you
One of my favourite things to do as a VA is jumping on a discovery call with a client and find out what we have in common and how I can help them. When I get to work with people who share my vision on life, raise my vibration and encourage me to create the life of my dreams, it can’t get much better than that. Look for those people! If you can fill your client roster with people who are ecstatic to work with you and appreciate your individual skills and talents, you won’t be able to wait until you sit down at your desk every day. It doesn’t get much better than loving the people you work for.
Do work that sustains you
You know you have unique skills and talents, and that you can do a wide variety of tasks. But what makes you tick? What gets you excited to jump on your laptop and work a problem until you’ve solved it and the client is fantastically happy with your solution?
One day, my assistant and I were talking, and I said, “Imagine if I worked, I wouldn’t be able…” We were talking about how different our lives would be if we worked traditional 9 to 5 gigs in an office environment. Though I put in a heck of a lot of hours, I love every minute of them. Work is not supposed to be something you dread. You are not supposed to feel like shit, like you are missing out or that your job is a drag. Work is supposed to light you up, bring you joy and make you happy. The details will be different for everyone, but find that sweet spot, and you’ve found your source of endless energy and enthusiasm, even on your worst days.
What are your tips for maintaining energy, enthusiasm and a positive mindset day to day? Tell us in the comments!