Guest Blog Post #1 by Andrieka “AJ” Austin: Attempting To Do It All

The BEAUTY of entrepreneurship is that you don’t have to be “it” all, nor do you have to do it all by yourself! There are some tasks that you are sure to welcome the opportunity to pass off to someone else. The key to the idea of ‘taking on the task of attempting to “do it all” lies in knowing when to officiate and when to delegate and pouncing on opportunities for the right help at the right time (and place).

I often advise my coaching clients to take on the task of attempting to do it all through a step by step process. It starts with knowing how to put off procrastination. When you’re finally FINISHED fearing failure you are then ready to move on to the next step of conquering the ‘Super Woman Syndrome’ of attempting to do it all (at least on your own).

You kick this bad habit to the curb by listing your business goals. This process is important as it allows you to “empty your brain” by writing out what you want and why you want it, plus how each item on your list individually aligns with your business and/or professional goals and your current life focus.

Be smart. Determine when and where you (realistically) want to (successfully) invest your time. Be sure it leads new ways of increasing your impact, influence, and income! You achieve this by successfully mapping out tasks that you DO NOT want to do yourself, and building a TEAM of VIPs {Volunteers, Interns, and Personnel}. These are professional (and pre-professional) individuals that you can invest a few hours of training in to help you accomplish your business mission and vision.

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Here are 8 quick tips, tools, and tidbits for how to successfully start, sustain, and scale a support team to help you reach that NEXT level with your business goals:

  1. Provide detailed instructions to your VIP team on what a successful project looks like for your business
  2. Have a goal deadline and a project end-of-date in mind before sharing the details with your team
  3. Sync the start and end time of each project with your new VIPs on-boarding and off-boarding dates
  4. Divide lengthy assignments between more than one volunteer, intern, or personnel
  5. Pep things up with a weekly “pep talk” or meeting with your staff to be sure things stay on task
  6. Determine your priority projects beforehand
  7. Get feedback and suggestions from current VIPs on how to recruit even better help and improve your team-building
  8. Create a referral system for your current volunteers, interns, and personnel’s colleagues, classmates, friends and associates to come work with you too! {Remember the saying ‘Birds of a feather flock together’, and if they did great work, there is hope that their friends may too!}

As a final tidbit of (FREE) helpful business advice, let me give you this personal confessional (for you to repeat as often as you like…print it out…post it up in your office!). Repeat after me:

I am a SUPER human, but I am not Super Human.
I know when (and what) to delegate.
I have a current list of my business goals.
I am clear on what I want for my life and my business.
My business and life goals are set.
I have invested wisely in building my support team.
I invest my time wisely to best benefit my business.
I give detailed project information to my support team.
I show my support team how much I appreciate their support.
I assign all projects beginning with a successful end in mind.
I have pep-talks with my team to boost morale and success.
My to-do tasks are prioritized, clear and can be delegated.

Now, Woooooosah! If you have read my last two posts on 12 Ways To Put Off Procrastination AND how to FINALLY Finish Fearing Failing, you can now add to your list of conquerings that you have SUCCESSFULLY defeated one of the TOP 8 mistakes that women entrepreneurs make that keep them BROKE, STUCK, AND STRUGGLING in their businesses: taking on the task of attempting to do it all.

If you need help affirming and inspiring yourself to greatness consistently, click to download your step-by-step guide of the NEW forthcoming book Secrets of A Socialprenista: The PINK Print [sent straight to your inbox on 12.13.14]. It features the TOP 8 Mistakes Women Entrepreneurs Make That Keep Them Broke, Stuck, and Struggling in Their Business and inspiration for the journey!

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the-socialprenista-standing-logo-picture21Andrieka “AJ” Austin is THE Business and Life Coach for women entrepreneurs who are in the sustainability/growth phase of their businesses, need help getting “unstuck”, and looking to increase their social impact, influence, and income! She is passionate about sharing helpful business advice and resources on how to uncover the personal side of professional struggles with other professionistas!

She is the author of ‘Secrets of a Socialprenista; The Top 8 Dangerous Mistakes That Women Entrepreneurs Make That Keep Them Broke, Stuck, and Struggling In Their Business (Winter 2014).

Ask the Coach Thursdays (on Friday!) Christmas Edition

Every Thursday we have an Ask the Coach session, so feel free to send in your questions and issues that you’d like some help and insight on.

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What was the worst Christmas present you ever received? How do you deal with the hurt associated with gift giving?

I would have to say, for me, getting nothing at all and second place would be pajamas that were a size 2x when I was a size 6. I was not able to use that gift at all! I truly believe if you are going to buy a gift for someone, put your thought, energy,  and love into it. Don’t give someone something you wouldn’t even want yourself.

Dealing with the hurt is another story. You have to talk to the other person and let them know how you feel. If you don’t say anything, they will never know. At that point, it’s up to them to make a change. I pray that helps!

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Proof of the Power of Confidence

Yahoo Beauty has featured a parade of awe-inspiring women this year. From entrepreneurs to actresses, to the first woman to cross Antarctica with nothing but her own strength, each has spoken at length about confidence, both what they’ve learned about the invaluable tool and how life-changing even an ounce can be. They’ve rounded up their best quotes—if you take anything into the new year, make it this.

beautyHere are a few of my favorites:

Olivia Munn, Actress

“Having self-awareness is very important, and I think that when you are comfortable with your imperfections no one can make you feel bad about them. I’m at a point where I know that there will always be people who are taller, thinner, more attractive, sexier, more beloved, and adored than I, and there will be people on the other side of that, and once you realize that everybody has that in life you just realize that you can’t go through life wishing I had this or that, and you just have to embrace it.”

Misty Copeland, Prima Ballerina

“I accepted a lot of mentors into my life that guided me and gave me confidence. You have to be open to help, you can’t be stubborn and think you can make it on your own. Everyone needs guidance.”

Banks, Singer

“Life is a constant push and pull of being sure of yourself and not being so sure of yourself. I am most confident when I am fully me. When I allow myself to love what I think, when I free myself to do what I want despite what others are saying—that’s power.”

Jodie Patterson, co-founder of DooBop

“I have insecurities and doubts, as we all do. But I committed myself to being relentless. If you find something scary, lean into that area and keep doing it. Fight the fear and the lack of confidence. The instinct is to go in the opposite direction, but if you just start doing it a couple of times, it becomes a practice.”

Read what other women like Olivia Wilde, Kerry Washington, Janelle Monae, and Kate Upton also had to say: Proof of the Power of Confidence via Yahoo Beauty

The Science Behind Nailing Your New Year’s Resolutions

As 2014 nears its end, we start to look ahead to 2015. A new year brings a fresh start and a clean slate for setting goals and implementing them into our lives. What do you want to do differently? What do you want to change? How can you be a better business person? Partner? Person? We all make these resolutions but keeping them is a bit harder. Read this article about the science behind keeping your New Year’s Resolutions!

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The Science Behind Nailing Your New Year’s Resolutions by Sydney Lupkin via ABC World News

New Year’s resolutions seem so exciting and full of promise on Jan. 1, but by the middle of the week, many people have already skipped gym, eaten the stacked burger and been a jerk to their in-laws.

No one said goal-setting would be easy.

Fewer than one in 5 adults who made health-related New Year’s resolutions were able to make any significant strides in weight loss, healthier eating, exercise or stress reduction by March, according to a 2010 poll by the American Psychological Association.

Still, psychologists say there’s no time like the present to give your goals a try. And if you want to be a better version of yourself in 2015, there’s a science to conquering your resolutions.

Read on to find out how to stack the deck in your favor and do your New Year’s resolutions right this year.

Choose Your Goal Wisely

The key to accomplishing your goal is to make it concrete and easy to break down into pieces, said Jeff Janata, chief of psychology at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Weight loss is actually an example of a resolution that sets you up to fail.

“Weight loss really isn’t in our control,” Janata said, explaining that no matter how rigid the diet and exercise, weight loss naturally plateaus. “That’s one of the reasons people fail at weight loss. They focus on ‘I need to lose a certain number pounds per week.'”

Instead, cutting out fried foods or deciding to work out a few days a week are better goals, he said.

“Don’t start off with these grand resolutions,” said psychologist Joe Taravella, the supervisor of pediatric psychology at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation who also specializes in marital and family psychology.

Don’t Beat Yourself Up If You Mess Up

No matter how perfect the goal is, Janata said people are going to slip. But that doesn’t mean they should give up completely.

“Re-adjust the goal according to how difficult it is for you,” Janata said.

He advised taking 2015 goals week by week or day by day.

“I remind people that we’re human and we’re not perfect,” Taravella said. “We’re going to mess up throughout our entire lives.”

He said one bad day “doesn’t mean we’re total failures and all progress we made isn’t meaningful.”

Reward Yourself

Building in days off is an important part of goal-setting, Taravella said.

“Being totally rigid 24/7 is not sustainable over the long haul,” Taravella said.

Go Public

Want to make sure you nail your 2015 resolutions? Make them public, psychologists advised.

“Talk to people about what you’re doing, so you can be accountable,” Taravella said, explaining that you’ll be motivated to succeed because you won’t want to fail in front of your friends.

Make Sure You’re Doing It for the Right Reasons

Tackling a goal because someone told you to or because you simply think you “should” might backfire, Janata said. Sometimes, taking on a goal because of outside pressure just makes people want to rebel, he said.

“There’s an important distinction to be drawn between goals that we feel that we should accomplish and those we believe we truly want to accomplish,” he said. “Rarely do we attain goals unless we truly embrace the goal.”

So make sure you’re only picking goals because you’re ready and eager to fulfill them.

25 Ways To Fight Holiday Stress

holiday-stress-buster-400x400The holidays can be a stressful time, but they don’t have to be!

The shopping and crowds. The back-to-back diet-busting parties. The interminable chats with the in-laws. We understand how easy it is to feel not so wonderful at this most wonderful time of the year.

Check out this article from Health magazine of 25 expert-endorsed ways to help you dodge the seasonal blues and stay happy, healthy, and energized.

Here are a few of my favorites suggestions:

Do less, enjoy more.

“We go overboard to please others during the holidays: shopping, cooking, sending cards, and attending every event,” says George Pratt, PhD, a psychologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla in California. “Instead, take care of yourself by saying no at least once—and maybe more.”

Forget perfection.

Stop obsessing over doing it all. The world is not going to end if the house is a little cluttered or dinner is on the table a few minutes late. “Focus your energy on enjoying the people in your life,” says Donna Schempp, the program director for the Family Caregiver Alliance. Don’t sweat the small stuff and your holiday will be much more enjoyable!

Think positive.

The holidays may drive you to your breaking point, but don’t focus on the bad. Negative thinking can trigger the your body’s stress response, just as a real threat does. Remember, it’s time to celebrate with your family and friends (even if they do stress you out!). An optimistic outlook will help you cope with challenges that come your way.

Career Myths To STOP Believing Now

There’s a lot of career advice out there. Some of it is good, some it is true, and then there are things you hear that are just wrong.

Read Refinery29’s article Career Myths to STOP Believing

  • Myth #1: Most women aren’t supportive of other women at work. — FALSE!
  • Myth #2: Negotiating will make you seem ungrateful or greedy. — FALSE!
  • Myth #3: You can only have one great career in your lifetime. — FALSE!
  • Myth#4: The older I get, the further I get from HUGE success. — FALSE!
  • Myth #5: Successful women are all married to their jobs. –FALSE!

My favorite myth is #3. Look at Vera Wang:

“She started as a professional ice skater, and then spent 15 years as a fashion editor at Vogue. And then became the design director at Ralph Lauren before finally opened her own bridal boutique in 1990 — and becoming the most prominent bridal wear designer in America.”

This just shows us that we don’t have to be stuck doing one thing our entire lives. We can change and grow and evolve and still be interesting, independent, and successful women.

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