Are You WILLING to Leap?

Are You WILLING to Leap?

leap-i-can-and-i-willAre you willing to leap? Notice I did not ask you if you are READY to Leap, but rather, are you WILLING? One of my mentors, Caterina Rando, always says “don’t wait until you’re ready, act when you’re willing.” This has always struck a chord with me because we are rarely ready to take the leap, or put ourselves out there in a big way, stepping out of our comfort zones, in order to get to where we want to be, but we have to be willing. It’s like parenthood, no one is ever ready and 100% prepared before their little ones arrive, but they are willing (and super excited!) to take the leap into parenthood.

In life and business, if we wait until we are totally prepared before we launch a program, make those phone calls, start an exercise program or write that novel, our lives will pass us by and before we know it, it will be too late.

Staying in our comfort zone can be comfortable, and it can also get really uncomfortable for those of us who are being called to something bigger. When you’re getting ready to face a fear, ask yourself, “What choice am I going to make right now? And I going to move forward and take a leap, getting closer to my dreams, or am I going to hold back and stay where I am? If I chose to stay where I am, what could I be missing out on?”

I want to challenge you this week to take the leap and build your wings on the way down. Yes, it’s scary! Yes, you will have to step out of your comfort zone. Yes, you will grow your business and change your life!

What’s more important to you-staying safe in your comfort zone, or having a thriving, incredible life? So, if you’re with me, I want you to decide which mountain you want to tackle first, step up to the edge, take a giant leap and flap like crazy on the way down. I’ve chosen my mountain, stepped up to the edge, jumped and am flap, flap, flapping.
Which leap will you take?

Want more courage and confidence? Join Erin Summ for her FREE, 60-day Stand Up and Shine Confidence Challenge on Facebook! Get registered here … www.erinsumm.com/confidencechallenge

Courage or Fear, Which Will You Choose?

Courage or Fear, Which Will You Choose?

Retro style image of a rustic wooden sign in an autumn park with the words Courage - Fear offering a choice of reaction and attitude with arrows pointing in opposite directions in a conceptual image.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It takes hard work, dedication, persistence, personal growth, and most of all, courage.

Courage is taking action IN SPITE of fear, something we all have. Fears of success, of failure, of the unknown, of being seen, of not being good enough…the list goes on. We have a choice when faced with fear. We can run, hide and take cover, or we step up, feel the fear, and do it anyway. We can take the opportunity to get out of our comfort zone, moving us towards our dreams or we stay in our comfort zone and live an ok life, keeping our dreams just that. Dreams.

One of the most powerful questions to ask yourself when making a choice is, “Is this decision moving me towards my goals?” If your answer is no, ask yourself “why am I holding back? What is my fear? What is the WORST that can happen if I take this risk? If I decide not to take myself forward towards my goal, what could I miss out on?”

You see, most people let their fears control them and never create the life of their dreams. A big difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is courage. Facing the fear and doing it anyway. Stepping out of their comfort zone. Giving it all they’ve got. Doing anything it takes to get there.

So I ask you, where are you holding back? Are your decisions taking you towards your goals? What’s the worst that can happen if you felt the fear and did it anyway?

I challenge you to do ONE thing out of your comfort zone, today, to move you towards a goal. When you do it, CELEBRATE! I would love to hear all about it too, so leave me a comment.

Want more courage and confidence? Join Erin Summ for her FREE, 60-day Stand Up and Shine Confidence Challenge on Facebook! Get registered here … www.erinsumm.com/confidencechallenge

TWIB Radio with Erin Summ: How to Be Confident and Shine as an Introverted Woman Entrepreneur

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Erin SummTWIB Radio with expert Erin Summ. Learn how your limiting beliefs hold you back, how to have more confidence and shine to make a bigger difference in the world.

Kimberly Vaughan is our Thriving Woman of the Week

Kimberly Vaughan is our Thriving Woman of the Week

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How long have you been in business? I have been in business for more than 10 years. I started my business as a wedding and event planner and later a trade event producer, an associate publisher of a bridal magazine and finally the publisher of LGBTWeddings.com

Why did you begin your business? I started my business for the same reason so many women start a business… as an entrepreneur I would find the freedom I needed to fulfill my personal goals and ambitions, while being a mother to my children and create balance in my life. I refused to acknowledge at the time that a 9-5 job offered more “balance” in terms of regimen and looking back my passion for what I felt was right for me far outweighed the sensibilities of a day job. I knew owning my own business would have its challenges and I was ready to face them head on.

What is your mission for your business? I am a natural born connector, a cheerleader for social justice, and have always pushed where I could for everyone to succeed. LGBTWeddings.com connects same-sex couples with screened, qualified professionals to plan weddings on a platform that has been designed to provide gay and lesbian couples with online planning tools, lots of wedding inspiration, and a joyful environment. I love education, so part of my mission is to educate couples on how to plan a wedding, while also educating wedding professionals on how to provide the best possible services for couples.

My events have always been a wonderful vehicle to celebrate and give in our local community and are a cornerstone of joy for me personally. It makes sense that the International Wedding Festival has reached the third largest wedding planning expo in Northern California, which is a very proud title for a Central Valley event.

If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be? Not to fear success or failure. I have always feared that I would screw up, make a mistake, say something wrong, do something wrong, make the wrong decision, or worse let someone down. Unfortunately, (and fortunately) it is part of the process of business evolution. You can ask any successful person (whatever success is defined as for you) whether they have made mistakes in business and every single one of them will answer yes. Allowing myself to make mistakes means I am allowing myself to grow and take risks, and I am not one to stand still, so a bump in the road is inevitable and an opportunity to change something for the better.

I also wish that I had understood branding better at the beginning of my business. Consistency with marketing is key and I can recall countless changes and quite a few boxes of unwanted materials as my “brand changed” Ugh. I think investing in a brand manager early on would have saved me a lot of transitional advertising dollars.

What is a guiding principle that you use in your business? Don’t be afraid to try something new and value feedback, whether it be from clients, employees, or consumers. While we are busy “running our businesses” there are people using our products/services and applying them to their real life application, or sales people selling those products/services gaining feedback from customers. That feedback can prove to be the idea that will add value to your business model beyond what any coach or mentor can give.

What makes you a thriving woman in business? My vivacious spirit! I absolutely love being a woman business owner.  It is competitive yes, but the support I gain from other women in business is incredible. I love the dynamic and creative thinkers in our Thriving community. There is no shortage of encouragement, vitality and sometimes empathy for the demands of being a woman entrepreneur.  For that support, I enjoy reciprocating to other women business owners encouragement and kindness through the California non-profit, Successful Women of Central Valley, which educates, supports and nurtures women in our local community.

What do you love about being a thriving woman in business? The freedom to create and be authentic is my favorite attribute of being a thriving woman in business. I was recently told I was altruistic. At first I took it as an insult, because the context it was stated referred to me as a woman in business who was trading higher profit margins for ideals, but the more I thought about the comment the more I realized I built a business and a reality that supports my nature. I do care about others, I do work hard for others and that is something I would not change. Being a thriving woman in business for me means having the freedom to be me in my personal life and in business.

What is the next big thing or dream for you in your business? We have received a lot of feedback about the technology offered by LGBTWeddings.com for small business owners. It meets the needs in many ways for the 85% of our industry that is comprised of micro businesses to reach millennials and be business relevant in an industry that is just now closing the gap in technology and target market advertising. Many business owners would like for us to expand our platform to meet all couples as a connective, responsive technology. I would like to deliver upon that request.

How can our readers connect with you?

Readers can connect with me at Kimberly@KimberlyVaughan.com

Website:
www.LGBTWeddings.com
www.InternationalWeddingFestival.com
www.ModestoWomensExpo.com

Twitter:
twitter.com/lgbtweddingsusa

Facebook:
LGBTWeddings.com: www.facebook.com/lgbtweddingsusa 
International Wedding Festival: www.facebook.com/modestobridalshows
Kimberly Vaughan: facebook.com/reachkimberlyvaughan

Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setback

Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setback

Stamina.

“Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.” Betty Talmadge, American meat broker and cookbook author, is the first one who is credited with this adage. Setbacks happen in business and in life.

By building up your resilience, your bounce-back ability, you will know how to get back up after you have been knocked down. Follow these principles to soar through setbacks and keep your resilience revved up.  Continue reading “Build Up Your Ability to Bounce Back From Setback”

Maintain Your Summer Stamina for Success

Maintain Your Summer Stamina for Success

Money.

Summer is full of graduations, other kinds of celebrations and vacations. You may feel called to sit by the pool or sip an umbrella beverage during business hours. It is important to find the right balance for you between enjoying your summer and running your business. Here are a few quick ideas to keep you happy on both fronts:
Continue reading “Maintain Your Summer Stamina for Success”

Embrace Collaboration to Do What You Do Better

Embrace Collaboration to Do What You Do Better

we-566327_1920As you work with others to grow your business, complete your projects and realize your dreams, here are a few super tips:

Invite Contribution

Sometimes when we know what we are doing we just do it and we do not make space for the input of others. A good collaborator recognizes that great ideas and solutions do not always come from the most experienced or best trained person in the room. Foster collaboration by asking everyone to share their ideas and solutions and be sure to celebrate and acknowledge everyone for their ideas, regardless of what you act on.

 Share the Context

When we are working with partners, vendors or team members we make a lot of requests and ask a lot of questions. Be sure to tell people why you need some information or why you are asking a question. When others know the context of why you are making a request they can share their insight into how to possibly do it better, faster or more affordably. Continue reading “Embrace Collaboration to Do What You Do Better”

Self-Care Quick Tips

Self-Care Quick Tips

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about Self-Care. As women entrepreneurs, we tend to go, go, go and push ourselves really hard to create the success we want and sometimes we work way to hard and we burn ourselves out.

A couple things you can do to avoid burn out, is take breaks when you start to feel yourself and your body getting really tired, don’t keep pushing through. Stop, take a break, do something rejuvenating and nice for yourself and your body. Take a bath, go for a walk, sit in your garden, enjoy the sunshine, read for a few minutes, meditate-something that will relax and rejuvenate you. Continue reading “Self-Care Quick Tips”

Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out

Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out

Meditating Woman IdeasOften we are looking for solutions outside ourselves – technology or new marketing solutions – to upgrade and innovate our businesses. The truth is many of the best ideas are within you, and all you need to do is pay attention to your thoughts and feelings a bit more. Follow these super tips to innovate your business from the inside-out.

Use Your Intuition
You have a lot of brilliant ideas, your clients talk to you and tell you what else they would like from you. Pay attention to how you feel in your gut and in your heart when you focus on these new or different ways of doing your business. You have a sixth sense: it is your intuition. Give it more consideration as you plan what is next.

Be Willing to Take A Test
Innovators are people that do not think about how things might go, over and over, and never act. Instead they plan what they think will work and then they test it. After the test, they make upgrades and then test it again. They are not attached to perfection. Perfection gets in the way of innovation. What is it time for you to test? Continue reading “Innovate Your Business from the Inside-Out”

Is Innovation a Guiding Principle?

Is Innovation a Guiding Principle?

tribble_image_39533548_lDo you have a guiding principle of innovation in your business? If not I encourage you to embrace it. You know the old adage: if you keep doing things the way you have been doing them you will keep getting the same results. My hunch is you want different results. Innovation is the answer. Here are a few innovation tips for gaining insta-clients.

Host an introduction event live and in person
While we all love doing business virtually and online, you can gain insta-clients very easily when people meet you live and in-person at a free or low fee workshop you host. Two hours is the best, tested duration for an intro. At the end, after you have shared great content make an easy-yes offer for people to get started with you. You will gain clients every time.

Host a Free 7 or 14 Day Challenge
A challenge is a program that includes education and requires immediate and often daily action on the part of the participants. I have hosted sales challenges, get booked for speaking challenges and best month ever challenges. Often challenges are 21 or 30 days. I suggest a shorter challenge, 7 or 14 days. That allows the energy to stay high and for everyone to easily stay engaged. Make an offer in the challenge after you have given massive value to gain new insta-clients.
Continue reading “Is Innovation a Guiding Principle?”