Are YOU A Fascinating Female Entrepreneur?

Talk about your business, calling all female entrepreneursOne of the things that became clear to me when I was reviewing last year and setting my intentions for 2014 was that I wanted to talk to more female entrepreneurs.

As well as regular coaching, I have done quite a few Business Strategy Sessions with women entrepreneurs and I always enjoy hearing about their business and their journey.

Sometimes it leads to us deciding to work together, sometimes its just a good conversation. It doesn’t really matter, either way I enjoy the chat and I can still support them and give some suggestions for next steps.

So I have decided to create a slot where I can chat to other female entrepreneurs and find out about their business. And hopefully I can also give a few pointers to take them forward as well.

I am also looking at doing some interviews with female entrepreneurs, particularly those who are following their heart in their business and using things like intuition as business tools.

So watch this space for more information as these ideas develop, and if you feel interested in either a chat to me and some guidance for your business, or taking part in an interview then please let me know directly.

I am looking forward to this, I think it will get quite exciting!

If you would like to schedule a Strategy Session just send an email to ss @ ae8.biz to arrange a complimentary chat.

5 Reasons to be an Optimist

by Ali Brown

Reasons to be an Optimist , guest blog on Authentic EdgeNo doubt you’ve heard sayings about happiness and the power of positive thinking. For instance, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and “some pursue happiness, others create it.” Turns out that optimism truly is a powerful force. And, regardless of your circumstances or personal setbacks, you can choose to approach life with a positive outlook. Transforming negative thoughts into positive ones does increase your chances of success!

Now, if your inner skeptic is saying, “Bah… humbug!” and you’re still not convinced here are five findings that prove the power of positivity.

1. Optimism can lead to longevity. Several studies have confirmed that those with a positive attitude often live longer than their gloomier counterparts. A study performed at Wagening University in the Netherlands examined nearly a thousand men and women. The predicting factor of their longevity was their agreement with the statement – “I still have goals to strive for.” When subjects were tested nine years after the original survey, the death rates of the optimistic men were 63 percent lower than those who had not agreed with the optimistic statement. Women were 35 percent lower. Scientists believe that optimists who have more to live for often make more positive lifestyle choices that may help prolong their life.

2. Optimism can boost sales. A study of the sales personnel at Metropolitan Life Insurance were tested for optimism and success ratios. Those who scored the highest level of optimism sold a whopping 37 percent more life insurance than those who were identified as pessimists. Not too bad for your bottom line, right?

3. Optimism may improve your ability to do business in other ways. One of the most dreaded parts of running a business is collecting from delinquent customers or clients. But a study done on debt collectors in a large, competitive agency found that the most successful collectors in the agency were shown to have much higher scores in the areas of optimism, independence, and self-actualization.
All great traits that can boost your success in business and in life.

4. Optimism nurtures healthy relationships. According to author and Harvard medical professor Dr. George E. Vaillant, our greatest source of resilience comes from our internal capacity for optimism. In his famous book The Wisdom of Ego, Vaillant writes that the healthiest, most resilient people possess “both the capacity to be bent without breaking and the capacity, once bent, to spring back.”

5. Optimism is contagious. A physician and social scientist at Harvard Medical School studied nearly five thousand people and their connections with family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers over the course of twenty years. The outcome? According to the study, which was published in the British Medical Journal last year, our next-door neighbor’s joy increases the likelihood that we will also be happy by up to 34 percent. The study also found that our level of happiness impacts not only those in our immediate circle, but also people two and three degrees removed from us.

Optimism allows us to successfully navigate life’s greatest challenges. Remember, we have the power to be aware of our thoughts and to choose the positive every single day.
QUESTION: Starting today, what area(s) of your life can you infuse with more optimism? Make a list, and share your intention in the comment box below.
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© 2013 Ali International, LLC

“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com“

Being Real and Creating Authentic Connections

Be the real you, written by Julia McdaidWhat does being real mean to you?

To me it’s about authenticity, and that to me is about being true to who you really are, about learning to follow your heart, knowing what you prefer and following what that truly means to you and where that leaves you. It’s about being the real you, not the person that you think the world wants you to be, not what you perceive is how people think you should behave or what you think is the way you should do things. To me being real is leaving behind the should’s and have to’s, the ought to’s and that’s the way you have to do things, and it’s about being open and true and following what feels right for you

I think when people are very open and very vulnerable they can question whether or not that’s acceptable, to me that’s just what really opens people’s hearts and it’s the way to really reach people and connect at a deeper level.

Being open and being vulnerable is not a bad thing and it’s not something to hide, its something that shows who we are to the world and yes we feel very exposed, it can be a scary place to be , yet you get such a deep connection with people because you’re connecting on a different level. You’re connecting from a place of truth, from a place of who you really are, talking to their heart and that means you get a much deeper and more honest connection, a much more true connection and realistically a much more longer lasting connection.

When you connect with people heart to heart you can get a very true friendship in a very, very short space of time. I am fortunate to have experienced this and to be surrounded by a community of people who connect at this level. I can assure you it really is a lovely space to live in and it’s wonderful to have so many friends that you can connect to at a deep level.

Reaching out
To anybody who feels they have a message to share, and is feeling vulnerable and scared of sharing their heart with the world, if there are things you feel you need to say and which are naturally coming from your heart, I would urge you to say them, to share them. Whether you want to share them personally, on video or in writing, the medium doesn’t matter. But that depth of pulling deep down into who you really are and sharing your truth reaches people, and that touches your audience, it touches the people you are speaking to and will give you an immediate connection.

And whilst it can be very scary to open up and recognise your true ideas and even more so to share with anybody else it’s also very freeing and it helps you in your moving forward with wherever you are in your world, and in your life.

Whatever it is that might be blocking you or in the way, if you are honestly facing up to what that is, what’s blocking you and what you were doing, you may even realise now it wasn’t ideal. When you acknowledge that to yourself from the heart and even more so when you can share that with others, not only are you freeing yourself, you are also helping the people you are speaking to so it has many, many benefits

You’re creating a deep connection with those you share with. You’re freeing yourself from whatever was blocking you, and also others like you. By living in a much more open space, by getting connected to that space in your heart you can share freely and be open, so I would say go for it.

Following your truth
You do your best to connect to your heart deep down inside and just follow your truth, for being your authentic self is all any of us can really do in this world. But it’s so easy to get distracted because our ego and our beliefs and everything we grew up with, all of our culture around us is pulling us in another direction, and we do sometimes feel like we’re going against the grain, but I really truly feel that the world wants real now.

The world is moving towards real so if you can be real you’re in the right space, you will connect with people from the right space, connect with the right people and you will be guided from your own intuition in your heart as to the right path to take.

So whenever you’re making decisions all you have to do really is check in, come back to this space of vulnerability and truth and ask yourself whether this is what you would love now.

And you will know somehow, whatever works for you, whether you have a feeling, or a word or a vision or whatever way your body speaks to you. You will find an answer. And it doesn’t matter what the world/society says, it doesn’t matter what you think other people will feel, or how they will see you because you never know how anyone else feels anyway so we might as well just be sure of ourselves

And you will find that other people who are true to themselves will be drawn to you, and you will have like-minded people around you to support you and you will end up having a lovely community of people who think a lot like you do. There is nothing better in this world than to have the right kind of beautiful people around you. And from that space you can go anywhere, I truly believe that and I look forward to seeing you in a beautiful heart space.

Help! I Don’t Even Know What My Purpose Is….

I don't know what my purpose is!This is a place I understand all too well, as I was there! That was me. So what do I recommend for you if you are a woman who doesn’t yet know what her purpose and passion is?

To be honest I will rephrase that and say if you don’t yet know consciously. Because I believe we all know deep down, it’s just that sometimes it’s so deep it can take us a while to find it or recognise it!

And that is my first point, know that it doesn’t automatically happen overnight. Some people have a flash of inspiration and just know, for others, for many of us, it can take a lot longer and needs some focussed attention.

So I would suggest taking some time to get connected to your heart, learn how to listen and interpret what is true for you. It will be easier for some than others, though that is no reason to despair. There are lots of things you can do and exercises you can learn to support you in this.

So spend time connecting to your heart, find out what works for you, listen to what comes through, and you will at some point find out what it is you really want to do. Initially you may just have the essence of it not the detail, it will come.

To help you in the process you may find it helpful to invest in a coach, its often easier and clearer to have two of you focused on the outcome, I found this true for me. Sometimes we don’t trust or believe our own intuition and when it is reinforced by someone else we are more willing to accept the truth of it. You also usually get a deeper and wider understanding. Or if you have an intuitive friend you can work with them.

I find that journaling can be good too, it allows you to expand on what comes to you and to stay connected to your imagination and your intuition for longer, so you can get deeper insights.

And all the time do your best to trust the process, believe in your own guidance and receive the messages and signs that come to you, stay open to possibility. When something is really true you will just know, however that shows up for you, you will feel it. So whatever your head might say, whatever thoughts you have about what you feel, know that it’s your heart that is right.

Top Tips For Running A Successful, Purpose Driven Business

Top Tips from Julia McdaidToday is the day you can hear my interview on the Soulfully Successful Women Telesummit.

One of the things Kelly and I talked about in preparation for the Telesummit were my top tips to build a successful business from your passion and purpose. After thinking about this I came up with these, and I thought you might find them useful.

Firstly is follow your heart. If you are not familiar with the phrase, learn to understand what this means. To me it’s about doing it YOUR way, BEing you, being authentic and in integrity. Following your heart is about doing what is true for you, what you wnt deep down inside when yu stop listening to all those doubts and questions in your head! Its not what is expected or what you know. In fact I can’t emphasise enough, don’t just do what you know – unless it really is your passion and purpose.

The next thing I would say, which really follows on from the first is to connect with your intuition, and use it. It is your intuition which will guide you and tell you what is true for you, this is what allows you to follow your heart.

Another thing that many of us as women need to learn, because we are not very good at it, is to learn to receive. We women are naturally givers and often find this hard to do. Again this may need more explanation and understanding, I know it would have meant little to me when I started out. Here I’m referring to allowing your feminine side out, to allowing things to come to you, to be graceful and gracious and open in the way you interact. When you start thinking about attracting the right clients and people to you it pays to know how to receive (not dismiss things without thinking!).

I think it is great to remember to keep things balanced too, although this is enough to be a blog in itself and I have written about it before. Part of this is knowing you are number one, put you first. Then also think about masculine & feminine energies in the business, and in you; about having time for the non work aspects of your life, the people and things that are important to you.

And a couple of more practical tips for you:

Get the right support network around you. This will allow you to play to your strengths. so look at advisors, mentors, peers, the people you interact with and look to for help. Plus your business structure, you can set this up so that it works for you and your lifestyle, delegating where appropriate and so on – learn to delegate well. This one is still on my “must do better” list I will be honest, I find it hard sometimes.

And when it comes to using people outside of the business to help you, especially if you are paying them, don’t use advisors who only have corporate experience, because they won’t get you and they won’t understand the peculiarities of small business, whatever they might say. This is one I learned the hard way.

And finally, this kind of ties into where I started, do let go of the “shoulds” and “ought to’s“. If you are running a purpose driven business it’s about your passion, your purpose, you and your clients, it’s not about what somebody else who doesn’t know those things says you should do. Yes there are some things you have to comply with legally, every business does, outside that its your business, your way, always.

I hope you find some of these tips useful and if you have any good ones, please do share them 🙂

What Does It Take For You to Engage In Your Life?

Authentic Edge - Let YOU shine throughFour weeks ago today I arrived in my new home. Most of you probably don’t know that I have moved to a different country. Something I know is perceived by many as a huge step to take, scary, difficult, crazy, impossible and many other similar words will be used to describe such an action.

Yet to me it wasn’t. Once I had made the decision it was just obvious. And to be honest everything flowed pretty easily. There was a lot to do in a short space of time. Being the impulsive person that I am, once I decide something I do go for it. It took me 8 weeks almost to the day from committing to the decision to arriving here.

And believe me, I’m an organised person so I did the research, I had my travel and hotels booked, my dogs paperwork arranged, a place to live, and assorted information about living in Malta, which is where I am now. I even had arrangements to meet up with people over here, before I had arrived.

Which is why I have been quiet on my blog and social media the last couple of months, because I was fully focused on the move and everything surrounding it.

So why was it easy and a no brainer for me? I believe because I made a decision and committed to the outcome. Things have a way of aligning in this world once you do that.

What did it take for me to do this? To have that level of engagement.
It took me realising that actually it was what I really wanted. Although I was very happy in myself there was an underlying “someday, maybe” going on in the background. It all started with a throwaway comment, which I then questioned later in the day and started thinking “why wait?”

So then I started making some enquiries and the seed was fully planted. I love the sun and I wanted to be somewhere sunnier, that was it. Except I realised it was more fundamental than I had previously allowed. So the more I looked into the whole idea the more it grew. It was just true for me. It’s a part of who I am, as those who know me well will know.

So all I was doing was making a commitment to honour and support what I love. To go with what is true for me deep down inside.

And the outcome is, not only have I moved to a place I love, I have let go of plenty of clutter which I left behind or gave away, and streamlined the way I do business. I have a fantastic view to gaze at whenever I like, I live in a beautiful penthouse apartment, my dogs are happy and I am meeting lots of new people.

Here is what one of them wrote to me in an email “ I do so admire your courage…. it takes guts to start a new life in another country, and it’s good to see someone comfortable with their life choices and willing to embrace the difference” Amazing, I’m inspiring people too, and it just feels normal to me – but that’s a whole new blog.

So I would like to finish by asking you if there is anything in your life that you are not fully engaging with. In your business or personally. What are you not committed to? Is this because it isn’t “you”? If so I invite you to question it.

If it is true for you, what is stopping you from committing? How might your life change if you did?

And what is “you”? Who are you when you are really being YOU? I’d love to hear about it, and if you’re not too clear I’d love to have a conversation and see if I can help you uncover it.

Julia can support you in transforming your engagement with your business and yourself. If this might be of interest why not book yourself in for a call to chat about it? Just drop an email to SS @ ae8.biz

Why do I work with women and how is that different?

I was prompted to write this blog by a conversation I had at a networking event the other night. because I focus on working with women people often ask me why, and the truth of the matter is it’s not something I’ve ever done before in my life and I followed my heart.

What do I want to do?

So in many ways there isn’t any logical reason why I do what I do and the work I do with my clients is something I can obviously do with men and with women, but what I have done is spend a lot of time checking in with what my intuition says and what my heart would love to do.

I can support people growing a business (male or female) but when I check in and when I looked at what I would really truly love, what makes my eyes fill with tears is having an impact on women.

I remember a talk I went to a couple of months ago by Paul Dunn, and he was suggesting the audience do an exercise where you ask somebody why they do what they do, and then you keep on asking why. As you do this you go deeper and deeper and eventually you get to a point where you more or less can’t speak, you cannot say what’s in your mind because it’s so true for you that you’re filling up with tears.

And for me what gets me in that space of deep love, is when I say I want to see the impact I can have on women, and how many women I can have an impact on, and that’s where I hit that point. So it really is just following my heart and staying true to what my heart and soul would love to do, there is no logic, it’s not a logical decision, it’s not planned, its just the way things have turned out.

The beautiful thing is being around authenticity I am helping these women be true to themselves and bring their own true values and their heart to their business, and I am doing that myself. Clearly if I’m talking about and teaching others authenticity to be practising it myself is always a good thing, it makes me feel very genuine and very true. And it doesn’t mean I’ll never work with men, or never do work with men.

There is such a growth of the feminine in the world at the moment, there is a growth and a movement towards being feminine and using feminine energy and there’s a big movement towards being real in my view, and I just really truly believe that if I can help in that in any way it’s just where I want to be.

Often when I’m in my head thinking about it, it makes no sense to me at all and I do sometimes have a conflict with that, but the bottom line is when I connect to my heart and what my heart would love, my heart would love to have an impact on a lot of women, and the way I’m being led to do that at the moment is supporting them in the business.

So that is why and where I am at, that is why I created Authentic Edge and that is why I’m doing what I’m doing at the moment.
That’s why I’m here and I’d love to help you get to the place of really knowing where you are as well.