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3 questions to ask when starting a business

When you’re starting a business, it can feel like there are a million things to do and you’re constantly playing catch-up.

You’ve got this awesome idea, but you don’t know how to get it off the ground, or if it will even be successful.

To help erase some of your confusion and frustration, I’ve narrowed down the top 3 things to ask yourself to create more purpose, more direction, and more clarity when starting your business.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Starting a Business

1. What kind of life am I trying to create for myself? 

Everyone talks about how important it is to know your purpose/end goal/mission. And it’s true. If you don’t know where you’re headed, how are you gonna get there?

When you’re starting a business, you need to know what your end game is.

Do you want to be the CEO of a multi-million dollar corporation with 500 employees? Or maybe you wanna run an Etsy shop making $20,000 a year as extra income. There’s no right or wrong answer, but you’ve got to be clear on where you want to end up.

To get you started, spend 10 minutes journaling about your perfect day. From the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep, how are you spending your time?

  • Who are you spending time with?
  • What are you creating?
  • How do you feel?
  • Who are you working with?
  • What passions and values are you fulfilling?

2. What steps can I take to get there?

Once you know what kind of life you want to create through your business, you can begin thinking about the action steps that will take you there.

Do you need to write a business plan or contact investors? Do you need to create a website and start writing blog posts? Do you need to do market research to see what your dream clients actually want?

It helps to break it up into smaller chunks, so you don’t feel so overwhelmed. Here are 3 questions to help you:

  • What do you want to be/do/have this month? What can you do to get there?
  • What do you want to be/do/have this year? What can you do to get there?
  • What do you want to be/do/have in 5 years? What can you do to get there?

3. If I were 100% committed to this, what would I do?

When you’re truly committed to a goal (like starting a business), everything changes.

You say “yes” to things that are truly important, and in alignment with your goals. You arrange your schedule in a way that reflects your priorities. And most importantly, you react to roadblocks and challenges with resilience and perseverance.

If you’re not committed, you’re much more likely to give up, and suddenly, an obstacle becomes an excuse to quit. But if you are committed, that same obstacle is just a hurdle along your path, and you’ll find a way around it.

So, if you were 100% committed to your business, what would you do? Leave a comment below and let us know!

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say!

P.S. I you wanna avoid all the mistakes I made when starting Your Super Awesome Life, grab a copy of my newest book, “The 7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Online Business over at CubicleTo10k.com


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3 things to start a business

Do you ever think to yourself, “I can’t believe I’m still stuck in this dreadful cubicle and haven’t even budged on my dream business. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I just take the leap and break free from this corporate dungeon?”

I totally get it.

A few years ago, I was just like you: Stuck in a job where I felt unfulfilled, unchallenged and under-appreciated. I was burnt out and wanted more out of life.

Then one day I realized I was ready to begin living on my own terms. I wanted to decide how I was spending my days, choose who worked with, and be able to work from anywhere in the world.

So, I started my own business, quit my job, and never looked back. (In fact, February 13th will be exactly two years since I quit my job and began coaching full-time! Holy cow!)

I know it can seem totally scary and overwhelming to think about turning your passion project into an actual business, but it’s doesn’t have to be that hard. That’s why I made this video and broke it down into three simple steps.

Click below to watch this video and find out the 3 things you need to do if you wanna start a successful business you love:

And if you wanna avoid all the mistakes I made when starting Your Super Awesome Life, get your free copy of “The 7 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Starting My Online Business over at CubicleTo10k.com. I think you’re gonna love it!


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We Need You. All of You.

by Ashley on February 3, 2015 · 1 comment

We need you.

Dear You,

I know you’re scared. I know you’re wondering if this is the path you’re meant to take. I know your knees are shaking and your voice quivers whenever you start to speak your truth.

You’re wondering if your story is needed, if your ideas are valuable, and if your presence is worthy. (They all are.)

 

You’ve got this big dream, this magical idea of what life could be like, if you were only brave enough to stand up and follow your heart.

That dimly lit cubicle isn’t cutting it anymore. You’ve learned the ropes and know the ins-and-outs of this job like the back of your hand. You’re ready for something bigger. Something that makes your tummy flip, in the good way.

You imagine the day when you can finally live on your own terms. Fueling that spark inside you. Not worrying about what other people might think. Not worrying about embarrassment or failure because you’ll be embracing your passion and diving into your purpose.

You dream of becoming a coach so you can help other women discover their true selves. You dream of starting a business, being your own boss, and living a life of complete freedom. That’s what you truly want.

You’re scared, but you (so badly) want to listen to that tiny, yet fierce, voice inside of you, whispering that it’s time.

Now.

Now.

Now.

Well, lovely, this is your sign.

This is the moment you’ve been waiting for.

You can trust yourself.

You’ve got brilliance to share with the world.

You’ve got strength and wisdom and creativity.

You are here for a reason. We’re waiting. And we need you. All of you.

I believe in you. I believe that you’ve got what it takes.

I also believe in juxtaposition.

You can be scared and courageous. You can be selfish and selfless. You can be timid and bold. You can be unraveling and in full bloom. You can be perfectly imperfect. You can be all of it and more.

That’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us whole and broken and beautiful. That’s what makes you you and me me.

And yes, still, we need you. Follow that voice. Listen to the truth behind it.

Let your truth be heard.

xo,
Ashley


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If there’s anything that brings my insecurities and self-doubt up to the surface in full-force, it’s standing in front of a camera, hoping I don’t look ridiculous and completely silly.

Which is exactly how I felt last week when I got new head shots taken.

And while I think they turned out pretty awesome, I have to be honest and let you know that the entire process was incredibly nerve-racking.

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I knew the vibe I wanted the pictures to have.

I wanted them to feel fresh, friendly, bright, and approachable.

But still, I was worried my smile looked forced or my hair was doing something weird. I was worried that the photos wouldn’t turn out the way I wanted them to look. And, man, it was super stressful!

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So, if you’re about to get some new head shots taken for your business, I get how scary it can be.

Here are my tips on how to feel authentic, brave, and beautiful:

Wear what makes you feel good.

If you’re into long flowy dresses, wear that. If you’re more of a leather jacket and army boots gal, rock it. When you’re wearing what feels good to you, you’ll feel more like yourself and we can totally feel that through your photos.

Breathe.

Deep breaths. Let that oxygen in and the anxiety out. Feel your shoulders drop into a comfortable position. You’ve got this.

Think about how you want to feel.

Do you wanna feel luxurious or friendly or fierce? Channel these feelings instead of focusing on the awkwardness and fear that may be creeping in.

Be you.

Whoever you are, be that person. Don’t try to put on a facade or pretend to be someone you’re not. We want to see the real you.

Laugh.

You’re more beautiful when you’re laughing. It’s a fact. :) Plus, it loosens you up, helps you relax, and makes you feel more connected to yourself. If you’ve got a great photographer, they can totally help you with this.

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I mean, I honestly can’t say enough great things about my photographer, Evan Baker.

He made me feel confident, relaxed, and like I could be myself in front of the camera, which is exactly what I needed. Those pictures of me with a huge smile? That’s all him making me laugh.

And when I saw the first few glimpses of my photos, I knew he captured the vibe I wanted perfectly.

But he’s not only a super awesome photographer – he’s also a musician with his work featured in ads for Michael Kors, CBSnews.com, and H&M. His songs are gorgeous and you can listen to them here. So cool!

Since I’m such a huge fan of Evan and his work, I’d love for us to support him and all his creative ventures.

Last month Evan launched his very own Patreon campaign. Here’s a video of him explaining what Patreon is and how it works (click play)…beard and all. 

Here’s the short version:

He creates content regularly (original music, photos, graphic design, and more…).  He’ll be posting all of it on his Patreon page, all in one convenient spot.  If you like his work, you can subscribe to his page, and thus, become his “Patron”.  

Here’s a handy list of all of the places you can find Evan and his work online:

Patreon: www.patreon.com/evan_b_media

Facebook: www.facebook.com/evan.b.media

Twitter: @Evan_B_Media

Photography: www.evanbakerphotography.com

Let’s show Evan some love and kudos for creating and sharing such amazing art with us!

(And if you’re ever in San Jose, CA, definitely hire Evan to take some gorgeous photos of you!)


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Feel overwhelmed? Try this.

by Ashley on January 23, 2015 · 0 comments

Hello, hello! We’re wrapping up this week of super awesome guest posts with one from my friend, Raphaelle. She is a Pilates and mindfulness teacher who believes every woman should live peacefully and passionately. Today Raphaelle is sharing her best strategies on how to deal with feelings of overwhelm and integrate them into a mindful, peaceful frame of mind. I know you’re gonna love this!

overwhelmed

We all know what it feels like: that tight, constricting veil of self-doubt and fear that colors everything we do with the panic of ‘not enough’.

There’s not enough time to finish this project.

I’m not skilled enough. I’m not efficient enough. I’m not peaceful enough. I don’t meditate enough.

There’s not enough love; I’m not lovable enough to receive it. It will all go to others.

We may feel overwhelmed at work, pushing through our to-do list and managing our colleagues and bosses’ demands, real or imagined. As an entrepreneur, we feel overwhelmed by clients, or the lack thereof. We rush through our daily tasks in case we’ll look up one day and all of our clients will have gone to other coaches because, as the scared, overwhelmed part of us keeps repeating, there’s not enough.

Does that seem like a fun way to live? I thought not. And yet, almost all of us experience overwhelm to a varying degree. I’ve found that rigidity is the best clue to identify feelings of overwhelm.

This rigidity can manifest itself in different ways. Perhaps we are physically rigid: we hunch forward at our desks, with our necks twisted in front of our spines and our heads peeking out like we’re a turtle, hiding behind our shells. Or perhaps we are mentally rigid: we continually run over every single item we’ll have to get done in our heads, even as we’re accomplishing an important task. We pay attention to the future and rehash past moments, judging ourselves for mistakes real or imagined.

Sometimes, we are even rigid with our schedules and our sense of time; we don’t allow interruptions, we panic if traffic is heavy, we cut short on bathroom breaks or even stretching out a sore back until we’ve reached a certain point on the to-do list. None of this makes us more efficient. But it certainly makes us more stressed, inviting yet more rigidity into our lives as we attempt to control and manage the overwhelm.

Rigidity is not the answer to our impressions of overwhelm. They compound the problem of not enough, by adding not enough flow, ease, and space to our pre-existing feelings of lack. The solution is not to force ourselves into a mold, to micromanage our time, to deliberately forget our own needs and desires in order to ‘get more done’. The key is to acknowledge the overwhelm, and to integrate it into our minds, spirits, and souls.

How is that done? By accepting. Forgiving. Aligning. Instead of pushing the feeling away and seeking to control it through rigid behaviors, allow yourself to feel stressed and lacking. Yes, really. Allow the feeling to come. And then…

Allow it to leave.

Don’t try to cling onto the overwhelm physically, mentally, spiritually. Notice the tension in all parts of your bodies, be they physical, emotional, or mental. And once you’ve discovered tension, rigidity, overwhelm…

Let it be. Feelings leave on their own when they’re let to evolve in peace. It seems counterintuitive, I know, but when you think about it, fighting feelings of inadequacy with behaviors that invite even more feelings of inadequacy is pretty counterintuitive too.

And yet, that’s what we do every time we feel like there’s not enough and immediately start rushing, whether there’s something worth rushing for or not.

Notice the next time you are tense. Notice the not enoughs running around in your head.

Notice the way you tighten onto life when you ignore those feelings, or attempt to fight them. Notice all of that. And try letting it be.

Do you have a technique or specific words you use to integrate feelings of overwhelm?

Share them in the comments below.

unnamedA psychology student, Pilates and mindfulness teacher, and life enthusiast, Raphaelle Robidoux believes every woman should live peacefully and passionately. She works on bringing body love, time flow, and mental space to those who feel constrained by the demands of their day-to-day. For more information about Raphaelle, feel free to e-mail her at raphaelle.robidoux@hotmail.com .

 

[photo credit: infiniteache]


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