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The Case for Becoming A Minimalist

Since my book Listful Thinking has been published in 12  different languages I have been able to connect with list makers across the globe. In particular I often receive messages from people in China and Japan who want to talk about their love of lists.

It’s become clear to me that while  we may have different approaches and styles, being more productive without overworking ourselves is a common human goal. In fact, in my search for a more minimalist lifestyle, I have often been inspired by ideas from the other side of the world.

As you may know I am a huge fan of Marie Kondo, who brings a simplicity to clearing clutter. She has you ask a simple question as you hold items from you home in your hand, “Does it spark joy?” It makes you really think about the stuff you  choose to keep, not just in your closets, but in your life in general.

I’m not the only one who has been inspired by eastern minimalism. Raymond Tang felt overwhelmed by his fast paced technology driven lifestyle and sought change elsewhere. He was inspired by the classic poems of by Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher. These poems are thousands of years old, but as Raymond explains in his TED talk they offer advice that we can embrace today.

Lao Tzu encouraged people to act more like water, which fills the shape of its container. t doesn’t fight against the obstacle in anyway. In the same way, all of us can be more open to opportunities and rather then force ourselves to be a certain version of success, we can just go with the flow.

It’s easier said than done, of course and I struggle with this on a daily basis. I really like order and structure and when I’m in a chaotic situation it makes me anxious. But I’m trying to be more open to chance and circumstance.

Minimalism is big  in Japan as well, where  young people are trying to own fewer and fewer things. Inspired by traditional Zen Buddhism, they have reduced the amount of physical things in their life to free up time spent cleaning or decluttering to be used elsewhere. When explaining the difference between Eastern and Western styles one person said, “In the west, making a space complete means placing something there. But with tea ceremonies, or Zen, things are left incomplete on purpose to let the person’s imagination make that space complete.”

In that same article one Japanese man explained that he only four pairs of pants, three shirts and four pairs of socks. If that makes you nervous, it shouldn’t! There’s something really freeing about having less stuff.

When you think about you probably use the same clothes over and over again anyway. So why are you holding onto it?

Forget FOMO and Embrace the “Joy of Missing Out”

You’ve probably heard of the term FOMO or “fear of missing out” – possibly in the context of someone making fun of millenials who say things like “I can’t believe I’m not going to Coachella this year I have so much FOMO”.

But it’s not just millennials who have this problem!

I used to get FOMO and it drove me a little crazy.

I couldn’t say no to any networking event or opportunity without feeling that if I didn’t go I would not only miss out, but be negatively affecting my business or the launch of my book.

We have this weirdly held belief among entrepreneurs that just around the corner is our big break or big meeting that can turn everything around. We just have to go to enough events or connect with the right people to find it.

It’s technically true but it can drive you insane. Or in my case make your appendix burst.

It’s time we started to admit the truth. Read more

An Easy Exercise to Help You From Drowning in Lists

In just a few days my bud and business partner Terri Trespicio and I will be headed to the Speak to Sell conference with Lisa Sasevich in Florida. Whoo hoo – can’t wait for some sun! It’s been a long winter.

After the conference my husband and I are heading to Miami for a few days of vacation and a chance for us to check out for a little bit! (Plus to celebrate our wedding anniversary – 9 years!)

As exciting as this all is, it means I’ve got several lists going all at once.

  • Lists for the conference
  • Lists for my vacation (altho I’ll still be working)
  • Lists for everything I have to catch up on before I go

I feel a bit like I’m drowning in lists.

It’s times like these that I have to step away from my usual tactic of just getting things done and zoom out a bit. – Otherwise I get too wrapped up in the small stuff and lose sight of the bigger picture.

A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to do a workshop training with Ali Brown. She’s an amazing coach for entrepreneurs and she interviewed me for her podcast “Glambition Radio” about my book “Listful Thinking” a while back.

One of the things she taught in this creativity workshop was how to shift your focus. And it involved buying magazines! (My guilty pleasure!)

The idea is to go to a store and get yourself a magazine you would never normally read, which for me could be on something like golf or surfing or the National Geographic. But for you it could be anything that you wouldn’t consider yourself to be interested in.

Now when you read that magazine you have to be a completely objective outsider. The actual content is not that important to you so you can focus on the way they get their message across.  How do they engage with their readers.

So how does this help your list making efforts?

It can give you loads of idea for your own creative output and how you actually get things done. Can you be more creative about the way that you outsource? But also – stepping outside of our usual routine (it’s scary, I know) can actually spark great ideas and allow you to get more done. It will actually make you more productive and help utilize parts of your brain that might have been a bit sleepy til now.

They say you can travel all around world, but you can never escape yourself. Well that’s not strictly true. The magazine exercise allows you to take a break from your own mind and usual way of thinking and take a vacation in someone else’s hobby for a bit – and who knows what you might take away!

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Check out this free shortcut for entrepreneurs

Some of you want to start your own business or are looking for your next big thing. Am I right?

I know this because you’ve told me through the years as you’ve followed my journey from full time producer to side hustler with my book Listful Thinking to full on entrepreneur with my media coaching and training business.

It’s been 6 months since I left my full time job as a senior health producer at Fox News Channel and believe me – I don’t have it all figured out.

But what I do know is that finding experts to give you shortcuts is the way to go.

I was invited to speak as a media expert at this year’s UpLEVEL Together Online Summit because getting media for your business can give you a credibility boost and bring eyeballs your way like nothing else.

It’s the global online summit for early-stage women entrepreneurs, I know many of you fall into this category or know someone who does!

From April 23rd – 27th, experts (including me) from around the world will be pouring their knowledge and practical tips into YOUR business! (or potential business)

Some pretty incredible women entrepreneurs are featured who have accomplished a lot in their careers, too. Here are a couple things you’ll learn:

– How to build a brand you love!

-How to create a scalable business model!

– How to get camera ready so you can maximize opportunities!

– How to get booked by media! (that’s my piece!)

– Why it’s important to develop a powerful company culture early!

– And much more!

This is an event you’re not going to want to miss! Afraid you can’t “be there”? Don’t worry!

The UpLEVEL Together Summit is a FREE, VIRTUAL online conference!

You don’t have to travel – the interviews come to you to you! They’ll be broadcast over the web, so you can watch from the comfort of home.

You can watch every speaker’s interview for 2 hours after it goes live. See the agenda for more details.

The Summit is hosted by my friend, fellow entrepreneur, Ginny Townsend.

She has over a decade strategic marketing experience and has helped organizations of all shapes, sizes and industries draw out their unique gold, as well as, understand where they’ve been holding themselves back in the marketplace.

Join me and 19 other experts at the UpLEVEL Together Summit. Grab your FREE ticket today!

In my talk I’ll be explaining how to get booked by the media – it’s not as complicated as it seems! My talk on Wed April 25th so be sure to tune in!

Join Me For a Popup Productivity Power Hour

We’re just a few days away from spring – it’s the perfect time to reevaluate your productivity style!

What’s working and what could use a little help?

Maybe you hit the ground running when the New Year started and now you’re losing steam on your projects.

Or perhaps you have a list of new things you want to do but haven’t gotten to yet. (Like your book, or your laundry?)

And what about your email? Maybe that’s overwhelming you again?

One of the best ways I’ve found to keep motivated and productive is to get a little accountability nudge!

So I’m thrilled to offer a “Popup Productivity Power Hour” just for you!

On this group video call I’ll laser coach you on whatever productivity woe is getting in your way of being more efficient. Plus you’ll get to meet fellow list lovers and bounce ideas off each other.

Many of you have done this kind of accountability coaching with me in the past and I’ve been told it’s one of your favorite things that I’ve offered.

So I’m doing it again! Read more