Chick Flicks

I have a friend who doesn’t like chick flicks. Granted, my friend is a guy and I feel like chick flicks are better understood by women anyway, but still, I get where he’s coming from. His rational is that they give false hope and aren’t based in reality.

But wait, isn’t that the point?!

The sole reason I love chick flicks is because of that exact point. I know that they are fantasy. I know they give us the sad story so that there is a happy ending. And because it’s a chick flick, there is always a happy ending.

While I know that the chances of Mr. Right bumping into me on the street isn’t high. And that going from rags to riches is a long road full of hard work and a lot of luck. But I do believe in miracles and a good chick flick makes me feel renewed. Like I can accomplish anything.

It inspires me to put pen to paper.  To smile a little wider. To take a moment to appreciate life’s simple pleasures like sunshine and dinner with friends. And it makes me plan. Because I believe that life happens with a plan. And a little faith.

So – for me, it doesn’t matter if the film is not based on reality and has no hope in hell to happen like that for me. At least, for a little while, I’m on cloud nine and I feel like reaching for the stars. And in all likelihood, I’ll get farther because of the inspiration I felt and the determination that followed. And for me – that’s more than enough.

My Friday night inspiration …

 

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Day 14: Creating Success

A sales coach recently recommended the book Creating Money and I’ve now given it to two other people and recommended it to many others.

I don’t know if anyone is listening to my recommendation, or reading it for those that I gifted it to, but I highly recommend it for one simple reason — it makes you realize what you’re needing the most.

Years ago — gosh, well over a decade now — I think it was Citibank that had advertisements on buses around San Francisco that read …

There is a point to life, and no, it’s not the decimal.

I always LOVED that advertisement.

Money is likely going to always be a part of whatever it is we strive for – be it a vacation, a nice home, things that make us feel pretty — or sexy or — simply bring us a smile, or taking care of family and loved ones.

But the book asks you to get clear about what is lacking in your life, and then challenges you to see if you can achieve your goal with what you already have.

And what was surprising to me was that after I did the exercise, I actually felt I could. And that what I was trying to accomplish, felt easily attainable by simply adjusting what I was focusing on.

It made me realize that I could experience what I was looking for with the many things that exist around me today — or with small adjustments to how I look at things or what I have.

The book is worth a read because now is a good time to not only be grateful for what we have, but reset how we look at success for the year ahead.

And if you have any book recommendations, I would love to hear them!

Day 13: The Art of the Vacation

Today we wrapped up my Canadian Women’s Network 2nd cohort program. I’m grateful for everyone that participated and gave of their time and expertise, and I’m humbled by the women that joined me for four days in the Valley — thank you.

One big take away from the week came yesterday when one of the roundtable mentors asked the group “Do you take structured time off”?

And the dialogue that followed was hilarious …

Founders: Like, how do you mean?

Mentor: As in a vacation.

Founders: Gasp! Laughter. Confusion.

Mentor: It helps you be more creative and productive.

Founders: Hum. … can you define, vacation?

Mentor:  Two to three weeks away.  From work.  Totally unplugged. No email. Let someone else on your team step up and show you they can lead when you’re not there. As in not working or checking in with the team.

… and we went ’round and ’round trying to understand what this concept meant and for a few of us (me included), we also tried to find justification for not taking a ‘vacation’ or somehow getting approval that a ‘weekend away’ or ‘checking emails in the mornings’ counted.

And it turns out, it doesn’t.

Now, not everyone struggles with this question, but for those of us that do, I invite you to dream about a vacation.  An actual 2-3 week time period where you unplug. Where would you go? What would bring you joy? Who on your team would lead while you’re away? Are they ready for the responsibility so that you can leave and feel like your business is in good hands? If not, how quickly can you prepare them?

When you allow yourself to dream, your body starts to physically feel different. It starts to relax. So not only should we all have an actual vacation in 2019, we should think about it often and reap the benefits of simply thinking about it and how it’s going to feel once we’re on it!

 

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Day 12: What’s Your Superpower

This morning’s roundtable, which was a part of my Canadian Women’s Network program, was about How Women Lead. And it was filled with a great number of thought provoking questions that I thought this one would be perfect for a writing topic.

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I write and talk about this often but it cannot be understated.

If it’s not something that you already know, then I invite you to ask yourself, what is your unique strength?

What do you do better than anyone else?  Where do you soar?

Perhaps it’s something that is effortless. Perhaps it’s something that you do and gain huge benefit from.

no one is you and that is your superpower

Here is a hint … It’s one thing that makes you stand out. It gives you an unfair advantage, except it’s completely fair because its your unique skill.

Today the group shared things like …. Sleep; Pulling together a meal for 10 people when you only have enough for two. Networking. Bringing people together.

The other day I listened to a successful founder talk about the 50+ books he reads each year, consistently. So your Superpower could be … Being insatiably curious.

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If nothing comes to mind then this is the perfect place to start thinking and doing some writing.

And have some fun with it too!

What’s Your Superpower?

 

i make wine disappear superpower

 

Day 11: If You Couldn’t Fail

Last night I kicked off the 2nd Cohort in a program I launched earlier this year. It helps  Canadian women leaders build a relevant network in Silicon Valley and grow their business.

Now what is super cool about this is the fact that 40 companies applied and nine ended up joining me for 3.5 days in Silicon Valley.  Most didn’t even know me … Had no idea what the program was about!  But thankfully, through the network I’ve built, heard something that resonated and decided to take a leap of faith – and a significant amount of time out of their personal and startup life to join me.

Day two was a fabulous reminder of the seeds we plant and where things can grow to.

Having grown up on a farm, my father would go out in the spring and plant various kinds of seeds on many plots of land — all with the “hope” that the rain would come to water it, and the sun would bring it to life, and that enough time would pass before the snow would fall so he could harvest and not only enjoy the fruits of his labor, but quite literally be able to afford the next year for his family (which included me!).

A year ago I planted the seed of my initiative I call the Canadian Women’s Network. I designed it to support women in tech in Canada gain access to Silicon Valley to grow their business and drive economic value back to Canada.

I didn’t know if it would be successful. Heck, even though day 2 of program #2 kicked off great, I can’t be 100% sure of its future success.

But what I did witness is something coming to life and impacting people who otherwise might not have access to this kind of opportunity at this early stage in their company’s growth.

I hope to only grow this program and drive deeper impact into a world I care about very deeply.  What ultimately results from it all will, of course, be determined over time.

But it speaks volumes to listening to one’s inner intuition and sometimes simply starting.

You might not know where it is going to lead … Heck, I promise you that you won’t.  But if you can embrace the journey (as hard as the unknown is) … then I do believe you’ll go to bed with a smile on your face and a warmth in your heart that is unlike any job you had or gift you’ve been given.

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Fall 2018 Cohort, Canadian Women’s Network You ladies rock! #FutureWorldLeaders

Day 10: Doing it all

I have a passion problem. And a giving problem.  And truth be told, if I am being really honest — with myself — I have a focus problem.

When a friend asked me what part of my business I would focus on, if I could only choose one area …. I was literally without words.  Instead I’m like the little boy in the movie “Up” … SQUIRREL!!!.

I LOVE the art of new.

New ideas … new possibilities … new beginnings … new creations … new partnerships. You name it, and I love getting involved in new things!

And so, over the last few years … I have created a few new things.

When I talked with a mentor of mine about the dilemma of being unfocused, she graciously said “it’s not that you’re unfocused – it’s that you’ve created 7 different businesses”.

And as gracious as that is … it’s kinda the same thing as “squirrel!!”.

So it’s fitting that at this time of year, as I do my 2019 strategic planning for “me, myself and I” … that I think about the art of focus – and doing less.

So far this book asks a couple of great questions that I encourage you to consider … I am definitely using them for my daily writing.

  1. What do you feel deeply inspired by?
  2. What are you particularly talented at?
  3. What meets a significant need in the world?

I’m going to try to not overthink and probably look at #1 and #2 … because #3 does feel a little “world problem solving”.  I don’t think it’s meant to, but just the same, I know it will come with time.  For now, focusing on #1 and 2 is a great start.

 

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Day 9: Living in Gratitude

It seems like no matter where I turn to these days, the answer always includes gratitude.

There are hundreds, or I’m sure thousands (maybe more), of books that have been written on the art and importance of gratitude.  And after decades of being an adult and reading (now listening) to many of them … I agree.

But writing or feeling grateful in a moment (especially when something has brought you down or you’re finding it hard to be positive at all) can be … well, incredibly hard.

But life is hard — so we must forge on.

And therefore in that moment, and for today’s writing topic … I want you to write three things you’re grateful for.  They don’t have to be long or complicated, deep or philosophical … they just have to be real for you in this moment.

You could be grateful for waking up today and feeling healthy.  For today being a Sunday. For the sunshine — or the rain. Or maybe you’re grateful because you made it to the end of the day.

Regardless — I believe acknowledging gratitude in the Universe is one of the best uses of our time. So I invite you to do this daily, if only to list three things.

Day 8: Taking the Stairs

I love quotes. I have always had them throughout my home and office.   I found the following in a convenience store on a recent trip to Lisbon …

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So today’s writing is all about what stairs are in front of you and where will they lead you.   Be it personally or professionally, big or small … what can you do today that will positively impact your tomorrow.

Happy writing!

 

Day 7: It’s the Little Things

I don’t know about you, but it feels like the world is zipping by at an ever increasing rate. And at the same time, I keep adding things to my plate and my priorities without any regard for the time that is needed to fulfill on such commitments. At some point, that sense of accomplishment feels more like an illusion than it does a reality.  And before you say it, yes I realize I should go back to my “No for a Day” post and keep re-reading it until I learn the lesson.

Which is why I need to embrace the little things.

Having returned yesterday from another prolonged period of travel, which was on the heels of over a week of travel before that, and before that … I noticed that I started to feel “normal” at around the mid day mark.

I wasn’t doing anything spectacular. Mostly I was just catching up on some errands, which often gives me anxiety because I’m not “accomplishing” anything of value.  But that is when it hit me.

Sometimes I focus so much effort on the larger accomplishments that I don’t give enough credit to just being present, without accomplishing anything really at all.

So today I’m going to write about the little things, and in particular the little things that need to be done like household chores, mindless errands or even balancing my checkbook or submitting that expense report.

Because I bet if I write up this list … it will be long … and it will be all things that either need to be done, or will make me feel really good if they are done.

Which means that I’ll be ready tomorrow to really conquer the world having accomplished the little things perhaps standing in my way.

Day 6: No for a Day

I don’t know about you, but I say yes a lot.  I rarely say yes because I feel obligated — it’s mostly because I like to give and be helpful, so ‘Yes’ comes naturally.  And it comes often.

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But we’ve all read about the value of saying No.

If we say Yes to everyone, then inevitably we’re saying No to ourselves and those things we value or need to do with our time.

Let’s face it – sometimes we simply don’t want to do the requested action. Maybe it’s because of the time required.  Maybe it’s the cost of our time being placed elsewhere (this is my biggest challenge).  Maybe it wouldn’t be that interesting or rewarding.  Regardless, sometimes No is just No. It could be Not right now, but it’s still a No.

I believe there is power in setting our boundaries.  All of my friends reading this will laugh because I’m pretty bad at actually living within the boundaries I set.  But, that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in them. I just need practice. And to be more consistent with setting and abiding by them.

So I challenge you — or invite you — to try saying No for a day.  Pick a day – any day – and practice saying No.  Baby steps might be “Not Now” versus a flat out No. But still – try some form of “No” for a day.

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