10 Ways to Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Your Summer

If you’re anything like me, you start looking forward to summer as soon as the calendar flips to a new year. 😉

Why not take advantage of summer’s slower pace and people’s more casual attitudes and plan to not only take time off but to make some money while you do?

Here are 10 ways to do just that:

1. Commit to your vacation time.
If you haven’t already scheduled a break for this summer, stop reading this right now and do so! Even if you don’t have plans to go away or if your budget is tight, I strongly encourage you to put at least a long weekend break into your calendar now – and then make sure you do anything you want for those few days – EXCEPT work. You’ll come back to your business refreshed and recharged. You know you will and you know you need it.

2. Have a summer sale.
Are there some products or programs in your funnel that you could offer a summer discount on? I’d be willing to bet there’s at least one. Kick off the summer season by offering your prospects a special deal on one or more of your offerings.

3. Make a special offer to your current clients and customers.
Summer’s a great time to give your current clients and customers a special deal. For example, if they’ve already purchased something from you at the first level of your funnel, offer them a special deal for investing in an additional offering of yours, maybe at the next higher-priced level of your funnel.

So, if they’ve already spent $50 on one of your products, offer them a $50 discount towards another of your offerings.

4. Trim your expenses.
Are there some business-related expenses that could be put on hold for the next few months, without a negative impact to your bottom line? There are probably at least two or three things that you could eliminate for the summer, and you may find out that you can eliminate them completely come the fall.

5. Create summer hours.
Start later in the day, take a mid-day break for a few hours, or end your day earlier. Take one day a week off. Work half days. Take four-day weekends. It’s your choice, but by creating summer hours, you’re not only giving yourself some time to enjoy the fleeting days of warmer weather, but you’ll also find that you’ll be much more likely to focus only on your priorities, which means you’ll actually move ahead much faster!

6. Repeat a previously profitable product.
Do you have a product that when you first launched it, it sold really well? Maybe it just needs some new life and a new promotion. Don’t re-invent the wheel – just simply repeat what’s already worked for you in the past.

7. Republish your best articles in your newsletter.
For the summer, consider giving some of your best articles or blog posts (the ones people commented on, or were reprinted most often) an encore presentation in your regular email communications. If you’ve been publishing for awhile, your readers most likely will appreciate the reminder the articles or blog post will bring, while it will be new content to your newer subscribers.

8. Declutter your office.
I simply can’t think when my office falls into chaos, and I’m always amazed by how much better I feel and how much more productive I immediately become once I get rid of the clutter.

Summer is a great time to declutter and reorganize. Enlist a friend to help, or hire a professional organizer to really get you geared up for the summer (and the fall!).

9. Declutter your mind.
When you started your business, did you write down your vision for it? If you haven’t, or if you haven’t visited your vision in awhile if you have, the next few months are perfect for reflection, dreaming, and planning what you want the rest of your year to look like.

I’ll be dreaming up mine at the lake. Where will you be dreaming up yours?

10. Plan some fun stuff.
Even if you don’t have plans to travel this summer, you can still plan some really fun things to do near your home. Having something to look forward to will help you enjoy some time away from your desk while the sun is shining.

Imagine if you did just a few of these and saw your income go up while the time you worked went down – that would be amazing, wouldn’t it?

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How to Unhook from the Future

Chloe has a children’s book (which is now a movie) titled Milton’s Secret: An Adventure of Discovery through Then, When, and the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and Robert S. Friedman, which really simplifies the concept of living in the present moment, and how the practice of that will, for the boy in the story, eliminate fear and worry.

I wanted to explore that as it pertains to your business, with a slightly different slant. I wonder if you, like so many of my clients, and myself as well from time to time, are so hooked into the future that we’re missing the NOW and not fully enjoying the journey?

So how do we unhook from it to allow what we truly want to come to pass without always feeling like we’re striving for it?

Here are 5 ideas:

1. Let go of the goals that take you away from the present.

Let me say first that you can have everything you want – and there’s no judgement here on what those things are.

That being said, do you want a mansion, to be the #1 speaker in your market, to be the one with the biggest email list in your market, to be a New York Times bestselling author, to make a million dollars? There’s nothing wrong with any of those lofty (yet completely attainable) goals.

And, what happens is when we’re so focused on the sexy dream we tend to get ourselves so riled up about getting there that we miss all the amazing stuff happening NOW.

What I’ve noticed is that people get impatient, sad, frustrated, and even angry when they’re so focused on the future goal that the present seems uninteresting at best, despairing at worst. The antidote? See #2.

2. Polish the present

I want to encourage you to stop striving so hard and thrive in your present. What I mean is that if you make what you already have better, and polish what’s already good and working, you uplevel your life without expending that energy on something that doesn’t exist yet.

Yes, it’s about appreciating what’s already good and right in your world and in your business AND it’s about how you can make what’s already there fulfill you even more. It’s true that if you make the most of what you already have, you’ll get more and better of it with a lot less effort on your part.

3. Don’t plan so much

I’m all about having the big picture plan down to the day-to-day details, and yet I know that most of the time, the plan changes.

One of the reasons we – as business owners – plan so much is because it gives us a sense of control and it helps to alleviate the fears and doubts we have about knowing what we’re doing.

So have the plan and be willing to be flexible with it. Let it be a guide but not the only way. If you get wrapped up in THE PLAN you’ll actually hold yourself and your business back from being able to adapt quickly when things change – and they always do.

Assess if you spend more time planning than doing – and if you do, stop right now. And if you tend to fly by the seat of your pants more often than not, you might want a lightly-built framework around you to give you some sense of stability.

4. Get out of the striver’s club

Stop trying to acquire a better future with others who are striving. It’s just too exhausting. I’m not saying to surround yourself with lazy folks, but get out of the overdrive club if you want to relax into a currently compelling present instead of an exhausting still ‘out there somewhere’ future.

5. Get off the ‘if/when’ rollercoaster

I admit this is a pet peeve of mine. Not from people who are decisive, but from people who use it as an excuse to not be happy now. When you make ‘if/when’ statements, you’re living in the future. Dreaming and visioning is one thing; otherwise it’s a holding pattern for you but even worse, you’re not enjoying where you’re at right now!

Now take and implement these five ideas to unhook from the future so you can enjoy the present – I promise you’ll thank me for it. 🙂

I’d love to hear you thoughts on this – please comment below…

A few of my new favs…

People ask me all the time what I’m reading, listening to, watching, and following as I continue to grow my lifestyle business, so I thought I’d share some timely goodies with you today. 🙂

So, I stumbled across Rachel Hollis when I found a bunch of unused credits in my Audible account. Her book, Girl, Wash Your Face sounded interesting and had a lot of good reviews, so I downloaded it and started listening to it on my walks last spring.

It just celebrated its 1-year anniversary and has been the catalyst for Rachel’s rise to the top of the inspirational/motivational speaker/writer circuit.

In the book, Rachel gets really real and is an engaging storyteller – but it’s her voice that drew me in (and I’m not a auditory learner) and the fact that I felt like she was sitting on the couch with me, talking with me, not reading her book to me.

Check it out here. 

And just out on Amazon Prime is her documentary/behind-the-scenes look at her live Rise event, Made for More

I took Chloe to see it in theaters last month and I don’t know who enjoyed it more – me or her. But it’s definitely something to watch yourself, with your daughter, with your girlfriends. It’s a keeper…

See it here 

And her next book, Girl, Stop Apologizing is available for pre-order (Chloe actually pre-ordered it for me for my birthday since it comes out next month, which is my birthday month ;-)) right now too.

Pre-order here  (there’s a cool bonus when you pre-order too).

If you’re looking for some inspiration and motivation, with a solid dose of realness, and genuine fun, check out Rachel – she’s pretty cool. 🙂

Note: Those are my Amazon Influencer links, so I may receive a tiny (and I mean tiny ;-)) commission if you purchase through my links. That said, I never recommend anything I haven’t purchased and loved myself.

2 Woo-Woo Moves & 2 Practical Steps to Reaching Your Dream this Year

 

What’s your dream?
 

If you haven’t spent a few minutes thinking about, visualizing, writing, or creating a vision board about what you want to bring into being in 2019, take at least a few minutes today to do so.

Mine is to complete my manuscript of Book #2. 🙂

Truth be told, that’s been on my dream list for more than a few years (and at least since my first book was published in 2014), but as much as I wanted to write my next book, I wasn’t really doing anything about it.

Do you have a dream like that too? Here’s what I’m doing that’s helping me stay on track that may help you too.

1. Write it down

Write down your dream every single day. I’m serious. Add this 10-second ritual to your morning to support you in achieving your dream. And handwrite it – that makes all the difference.

I write, “I’m a NY Times Bestselling Author” every single morning. Will Book #2 get me there? Who knows? But I’m setting my intention and sending it out to the Universe every single day. I won’t be surprised when it happens – giddy, but not surprised.

2. Create a container for your dream

In my case, that’s Scrivener. Scrivener is a word processor and project management tool created specifically for writers, but that really doesn’t even come close to covering what it actually can do. In my case, it gives me a separate place to write my book. Not jumbled up with Word or Pages, which creates just one long document.

Scrivener works the way my brain works. When I wrote my first book, I created a table of contents, chapter headings, and some of the front and back matter in Word. I printed those out, 3-hole punched them and put them into a physical binder. Then I would add pieces of content I’d already written by printing them, punching them and adding them to the binder wherever made the most sense. I’m a visual person and if I can see how something fits together, it’s much easier for me.

But Scrivener does that for me! I created a binder and I add chapters as I go, that I can easily re-organize however I want. And the best part is the cork board, where I can stick post-it notes of content I want to be sure to include in my books somewhere – stores or tips or concepts I want to expand on.

What container do you need for your dream? Is it specific software, or a course, or an artist’s date (like in The Artist’s Way) with yourself once a week to work on it? Is it a coach or mentor or a friend who holds you accountable? What will support you in moving steadily towards your dream?

3. Ask for help

Ok, now I’m going to get pretty woo-woo on you. I’m going to share something I learned from Christy Marie Sheldon many years ago called What Would It Take. Now, I don’t know why this works, and honestly, I don’t care. But it works for me and when my clients embrace this, it works for them too.

Here’s what you do. Think of your dream. Then ask this question to the Universe.

“What would it take for <fill in your dream>”?

An example of one of mine is: “What would it take for me to become a NY Times bestselling author?”

Now, here’s the trick. You’re NOT asking for the HOW. You’re putting it out to the Universe to send you the HOW. That may look like an idea that pops into your head, an email that shows up, the course or program or book or a conversation with someone that will help you move closer to your dream.

Sidenote: If you have a hard letting go of the HOW (like, ahem, me), this is an excellent practice for you.

I ask my WWIT when I’m getting ready in the mornings (I actually have WWIT written on my bathroom mirror to remind me) and it’s not the same every day. I ask about what’s the priority for me in that moment, so it might be “WWIT for me to manifest an extra $20k before my birthday?” or “What would it take for us to be awarded enough financial aid for the kids to stay at their school?” or “What would it take for us to find the right next cottage to book for the whole summer?”

By the way, those were ALL ones I’ve put out there and here’s what happened: I made/manifested (pick your preferred word) $22k in 6 weeks (10 weeks before my birthday). We received an award package for the kids’ tuition that was way beyond what we could have ever expected. And we’re heading into our third summer at the perfect ‘next’ cottage.

I don’t question it, I just do it. And perhaps the lack of attachment to the outcome helps too. 😉

4. 15 minutes a day

Now to get back to the practical… I work on my current dream for 15 minutes a day. I write for 15 minutes in Scrivener, usually early morning, though sometimes it happens later in the day. But I can always find 15 minutes to write even if the muse is missing and the writing is crap. Writing from a blank page is always hardest. Rewriting is easy. But you can’t rewrite it you don’t get something down first.

Sometimes I write longer than 15 minutes but never shorter. We’re 21 days into 2019 and I’m at 9069 words. At this pace, I will end up with at least 100k words by the end of this year, which roughly equals about a 210-page manuscript, which is more than enough to publish it.

How can you chunk down your dream in 15 minutes a day?

If you’re not sure, ask yourself what’s ONE thing you can do today to move forward towards your dream? If you’re still not sure, do a mind-purge of all the things it’s going to take for you to achieve your dream and keep it handy. Look at it every morning and pick one thing. Even if that one thing can’t be completed in 15 minutes, you can at least get started and keep working on it in your 15-minute dream-achieving time, right?

There you have it. This is how I make stuff happen. A little woo and a little practical equals a lot of dream-achieving. Try it, and let me know what happens!

 

How To Wipe Out Overwhelm

How often do you find yourself in this scenario?

It’s Monday morning and you’re all geared up for a productive week ahead. You’ve got your to-do list (massive as it is) at the ready and you sit down at your desk to start checking things off.

As you begin to read down your list, you start to feel something in your gut. It’s not a physical pain necessarily, just a feeling of something heavy starting to grow. You ignore it and continue reading your list, making stars next to the things that seem to be the most important to get done that day.

But the more you do this, the heavier that feeling gets, until it starts creeping up to your shoulders and finally settles in your head. All that enthusiasm you had when you first sat down is gone and the only thing you feel now is utter and complete overwhelm.

Sound familiar? I’ve been there, too, so I understand.

And it’s not that all the tasks on your list aren’t wonderful and/or doable. There are simply too many of them – and they all seem important right now – to expect that you can accomplish them all in the hours you have to work in any single day.

So what happens? You do a little of this, a little of that, and you really never complete a single project!

But you don’t have to let another week pass without really accomplishing anything. Simply create a Priority Card.

A Priority Card will help you organize all your tasks in a way that will SHOW you every day what you should focus on.

There are a lot of details that will threaten to take your mind off your priorities (this is where a virtual assistant can be of immense value), but those details are not necessarily what will move you forward in your business. To do that, you need to consistently focus on completing the projects that will move your business ahead big-time.

You can create a system for helping you focus on your priorities in a number of ways, but I’m going to give you mine. I only work about 15 hours a week on my business, so adjust your own plan accordingly.

At the beginning of each week, I choose 3 projects with looming deadlines (self-imposed as they may be) from my master task list (which really is so massive that it has its own notebook).

For example, at the moment, I am working on a sales page, content for a program, and a new offer.

On a colored index card, I write down those projects and prop the card in a standing clip holder, right in front of my computer screen. When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, or when I find myself getting distracted by new ideas or other tasks (all of which seem important), I remind myself to look at my Priority Card and focus only on what’s written there.

Once I started using my Priority Card, my own business growth leapt forward ten times faster than when I was doing a little of this and a little of that, working on a dozen things, but taking much too long to actually complete just one project.

Know you won’t be able to stick to this process 100% of the time, but even 80% will help you make dramatic strides in your business growth. You’ll actually finish the projects you set out to do, and you’ll not only feel great about doing so, you’ll be inspired to do it again, and again, and again. Once you make this shift, you’ve learned the secret to wiping out overwhelm for yourself and your business!

Want to know more of my best tips for beating overwhelm and simplifying everything in your business so it’s less stressful and much more fun?

Be sure to check out my Lively Biz Business Club – get on the wait list here.

Are you being pushed or pulled to grow?

(click play to listen)

Mo chara (my friend),

Have you ever taken the time to notice the plot twists of your life?

Those defining moments that change everything – either a lot or a little.

We all have them – some of those moments for me were when my mom surmounted a childhood belief that she wasn’t wanted and chose instead to value her own existence, even in the face of danger; when a treasured mentor disappeared unexpectedly from my life only to return 7 years later at a place neither expected the other to be; the letting in of someone who was destined to break my heart, but being able to recognize the soul connection anyway; a breakdown on a street corner in Helsinki when I finally realized I was the only one responsible for my life; finding out my father had cancer the first time – and all the other times since; being fired from my last job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship; the saddest moment of ending my first marriage even though it was right for both of us; saying yes to another man with the absolute knowing it was for a lifetime; deciding to have a child and the heartbreak and stress of it taking so damn long to conceive, then having another and it NOT taking any time at all, all while learning how to be a parent…

Every single moment happened because I needed to grow – and the Universe was going to either push me out of the situation or pull me forward into something else to make sure it happened one way or another.

And every single time, it was scary as hell.

If your current situation feels something like this, it’s probably time for a new level of growth for you too.

Maybe this is not a new feeling for you. It’s likely this has been nudging you – or eating at you – for awhile.

And maybe you’re scared. That’s normal. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’… as cliche as that sounds – it’s also true.

And whenever these pivotal moments happen – whether they are put upon us or we make a conscious choice that changes things, it’s also normal to worry that things are going to get worse instead of better, that it won’t be positive growth, but a downward spiral to something else you don’t want in your life.

And sometimes that does happen – it does get worse before it gets better.

That afternoon in Helsinki when I realized I was truly on my own, I had to go dark for about a year. I barely connected with my family or my friends. I had to go inward, to see if I had it in me to stand on my own two feet, to face ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ so that I knew, in the depths of my being, that I would be ok, no matter what.

And all of that was necessary in order for me to grow into the woman who could, in fact, stand on her own (and then had to learn how to let someone else help her again – thank goodness for a patient and secure husband), who could make choices that were her own, not someone else’s, to be a successful entrepreneur, to be a significantly better wife the second time, a reconnected and loving daughter again, and a pretty good mom most of the time.

But how do you know when it’s time for this kind of a shift?

You know. You know right now reading this if it’s time for you. Don’t you? 😉

But if you’re unsure, check in with how you feel. Think of the current situation where you feel it might be time to move things in some way. How does its current state make you feel?

For example, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant in your business, is it because you need to just take some time away to regroup and refresh so you can come back with renewed energy?

Or is it more than that? Has the feeling of being stuck and stagnant, fairly unmotivated, less creative, all-around less jazzed about your business been poking at you for some time now?

Does your brain say ‘keep the status quo’ but your heart says ‘dear one, it’s time to move on’?

If this is resonating at all, you already have one foot on the train to the next stop on your soul journey.

And if other people are noticing that something seems different, whether they can put their finger on it or not, that can be an indicator that it’s time to get your train ticket to your next destination. And, it needs to be said that even if they don’t like it, remember that it’s not theirs to be bothered about – it’s yours. Your life, your heart, your spirit, your business, your body, your everything.

If this is landing, it’s probably time to take a gentle jump forward. By gentle, I mean, be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. By jump, I mean into some thing or some way of ‘new’.

The first thing that came to mind to you just now is what what you need to do.
Yeah, you say, sounds great, Alicia, but what about the FEAR?
Well, you know what I’m going to say, right?Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Because that’s the only way.

The fear is always going to be there, it’s always going to try to keep us safe and in status quo, in our comfortable minimum.

But the only way we’ll ever live the extraordinary lives we’re meant to is to recognize it for what it is – fear – and move forward regardless.I remember when I left my last job, making $43k a year with benefits, and going out on my own, with no safety net. I was also deeply in debt, cut off from my family by choice, and living with the constant stress of not enough of anything.

But I also knew if I held onto that little spark of hope, I could do anything. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would be fine. If I just kept at it, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving through the fear, all would be well – eventually.

And through it all, I rose. And I’m on the cusp of the next rising. And so are you.

You’ll need to take a deep breath, give your fear a nod, and step forward towards the next place in your journey.

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