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How one really bold move caused a huge breakthrough (and probably saved my life).

 

Near the boat pier

My husband had come to a place where he was completely over Chicago.  The corruption, crime and crummy weather was emotionally and physically draining for him.

Whenever we would end a vacation and start preparing to go back home, I could see the look of dread on his face.

So in 2012 we had a conversation about leaving our hometown for good.  It was a tough conversation to have because he assumed that I would NOT be down with the idea.

Admittedly, I wasn’t at first.

For me, leaving Chicago would mean leaving a promising career as a TV/Radio host.  It meant leaving the place where my name opened doors and gave me access.  It meant leaving everything I had established and having to start all over again.  Most importantly, it meant leaving my family and friends.  Not my idea of fun at all.

Yet when we talked through what such a big move would look like for our family and how we would feel once the transition was made and once my parents assured me that they would “be okay,” the answer was easy.

So I said yes.  We gave ourselves 18 months to make the transition.  It seems like a long time but damn those months flew!  The closer we got to our move date, the more anxious I became.

Change.  A snapshot.

Fast forward: we are 3 months away from the move.  I am cleaning out the basement, putting stuff on eBay, selling stuff and giving stuff away.  I am scared as hell.  I’m like “What the f… have I done?  Why did I say yes? This ish is getting real!”

Fast forward again:  3 weeks til move day.  I’m feeling excited yet slightly resentful because now my house is empty and I’ve given away a lotta stuff that I really liked.  I’ve got that weird “wiggly” feeling in my stomach. I am stressed.  This wasn’t my idea.  I can’t focus.  This is hard. 

Last fast forward:  We’ve been here for 6 months.  While my adjustment period was slow and rocky, Hubby and son are thriving and happy (yay!).  Family and friends are visiting.  We’ve been discovering new and beautiful  things about the island and ourselves and I’m finally giving myself permission to be content.  Breathe…

So what’s it like in Puerto Rico?

The culture here is relaxed and easy going and the Caribbean sea is intoxicating.  I like it here.  I’ve released the “divaHustle” mentality and low and behold, my business has grown.  I actually take lunch breaks and walks on the beach.  I don’t look like a visitor any more and I have great new friends. 

Opportunities for expanding my influence throughout the Caribbean are limitless and I’m bringing on new clients and team members with ease.  The energy and beauty of this environment breeds creativity and passion like never before!

This was a bold move…a scary move, but hands down, this was the best decision we’ve ever made.

Hubby and son have their own stories of making the transition but for me this act of courage was a game changer in my business and my life…

What did we gain?

Because I was willing to step out of my comfort zone I have a very happy hubby and a whole new market of women that I am able to encourage, equip, inspire and support.  I am also overcoming all the chronic ailments I had suffered for years (soon I’ll share that story).

Saying no to the comfort zone also lead to an up-leveled lifestyle.  No, we don’t live in a mansion, in fact we’ve down-sized our indoor living space.  But if you could see the gorgeous views of ocean and mountains as you drive through our ‘hood you would be in awe. 

What else did we gain?

  • Sun and beautiful weather 300 days a year
  • A less stressful life
  • More happiness
  • More adventure
  • A lotta yummy food
What did I lose?

Fear of change.  I realize now that change = breakthrough.  I am thankful that my fear of staying the same was greater than my fear of leaving the comfort zone.

What comforts do you need to leave behind to make your life more delicious?

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

 

What to do when it seems like life sucks

What’s going on in your life right now?

If things are going well, good for you!  Remember to pay it forward so you can keep your momentum going.  If things are not so great, I have good news: your current situation is temporary.

there are only 2 seasons

While it’s easy to get distracted or even frustrated by a “bad” situation you might currently be facing, what would happen if you focused instead on the season?

When you take your focus off the situation and focus on the season you instantly empower yourself to leverage the situation (no matter how crappy it is) for your good.

Let me unpack this for you.

While life can find a million ways to knock you down (or lift you up), it all boils down to knowing what season you are in.  You are either in the season of cultivation or the season of harvest.

What season are you in?

If you are a spirit-led, good-hearted person yet you are experiencing pain, death, failure, illness, lack of clarity, lack of money, loneliness, fear or any kind of drama, you are in the season of cultivation.  This is where you are being shaped, molded, tested and prepared for your destiny.  This is the mess that a ministry grows out of.  This is the test that eventually becomes a testimony.  This is the intense heat and pressure that stones must endure before they become diamonds.  This is where the core of who you are is revealed.  This is where you get to see what YOU are really made of.  This, my sister, is the fire.

So what do you do in the midst of the situation?  Three things:

  1. Say to yourself, “this is my season of cultivation.”  This helps you to realize that you are being prepared for something great and that a breakthrough is coming your way.
  2. Recognize that the situation is only temporary.  Simply put, tough times cannot last forever unless you choose to allow them to.
  3. Sow a seed that contrasts your current situation.  In other words, resist the urge to hold back when you’re being cultivated and sow a seed that looks like the harvest you want to create. 

For instance, if you lack money, take what you have and give it to someone worse off than you.  If you are lonely, provide companionship to someone who has no one (nursing homes are filled with people like this) if you have experienced death in your family, go to someone and speak life over them and give them hope! 

Universal laws of reaping and sowing confirm that when we can sow into others, even when we are being tested and tried  (or cultivated) and even when our situation is as bad as it can possibly be, there is one guarantee: your harvest season is coming.

When it comes what will you experience? Joy, abundance, favor, grace, access, ease, increase and overflow.

Forget about the situation.  Focus on the season.  Get excited about the season!  What season are you in right now?

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

 

 

Master this secret ingredient to business success and you will become unstoppable

Whenever our Cousin Chris comes in town, we talk and laugh for hours.  Right now he and his wife Pam are visiting from Atlanta and last night, he said something to me that made me beam.  With his cool southern accent, he said:

“I’m always checking you out online.  You tryna show them women how to ‘get that paper’…”  (<–slang for “make money.”) 

Training starts soon.

Yep.  Cousin Chris summed it up pretty well.  LOL!  I wouldn’t have put it quite that way exactly but in a nutshell, that’s what I do.

I love that Chris was able to see my mission so clearly and unwrapped the goal of my brand so succinctly.  He was able to do this just by checking me out online.  He also said he has a female co-worker who is a budding entrepreneur that he wants to introduce to me.

Nice.

That tells me that my brand is clear and my reach is expanding even when I’m not around.  That tells me that I’ve finally begun to master certain elements of my branding, which I believe is the secret to success in business.  

DON’T BE ONE OF THE GENERICS IN YOUR INDUSTRY

Whether you know it or not, right now, you are a walking, breathing, living brand.  Even if you’re not trying to be, you are.

If you’re an entrepreneur your personal brand intersects with your business brand and vice versa.  So what does your brand say about you as a person? 

How well-shaped is your business brand?  

Do you truly understand what branding is and how it drives your success or lack thereof?  

Are you intentionally growing the kind of brand that magnetically and magically attracts your most ideal clients to you? 

These are questions that many entrepreneurs don’t explore enough.  I know this because I still hear people introducing themselves with such generic terms as esthetician, massage therapist, life coach and marketing consultant.  In today’s world, what the hell do those terms mean anyway?

As an entrepreneur, you’ve gotta spend some time developing a brand so that you don’t get lumped in with the generics in your industry.  You’ve gotta establish a unique presence in the market so that you can attract and retain loyal customers.  Branding with clarity is one way to do this.

It took me years to figure this out for myself.  About 5 years ago it all finally clicked for me and I created a system that has literally helped me and some of my clients completely transform our profit potential. Once clients get a hold of this system it’s like the gates of heaven swing open.  Suddenly they feel totally unstoppable!

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

People had all kinds of titles for me when I was just starting out in coaching.  Now they know that I am not just a coach.  I’ve built a brand that boasts the results that I get for my ideal clients. 

For example.  When someone asks me “so, what do you do?”  I don’t say, “I’m a certified business coach.”  I say something like this:

I am a money and marketing mentor for women entrepreneurs. I have signature systems that help them earn more money, gain more influence and have more freedom  in their business within 1 year or less. 

Whenever I say this, people always want to know more.  True to my brand, I generously give them more and I have a system for turning them into paying clients as well.

Being able to give an answer to the age old question, “so, what do you do?” is just ONE key to branding yourself with clarity and for profits.  

You are not just an esthetician, you’re an anti-aging expert who helps women over 40 look closer to 30.

You’re not just a massage therapist, you’re an optimal health professional who uses massage to help athletes, executives or entertainers (whoever your ideal client is) achieve peaceful, balanced, stress-free lifestyles and total body wellness.

Get the gist of it?  Good.  Now it’s your turn.  Using the examples I gave, craft your answer to the question, “So, what do you do?”  Leave your answer below.  If you feel totally stumped, I invite you to sign up for my upcoming training called Brand Clarity = Prosperity.  Go get details for that right here.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

6 new money habits women entrepreneurs should implement this year.

The 6 new money habits.

Did you resolve to do better with your money this year? 

For many of the women entrepreneurs I’ve talked to recently, this was their number one resolution. 

Some  had survived really tough times last year while others just wanted to take their money up a notch.  Either way, change is good.  So here are 6 simple yet powerful money habits that can make a big difference in your bottom line in 2014:

-       Automate your savings.  Don’t just take your spare change to the bank on any given Saturday.  That’s what teenagers do.  Instead, have your bank auto-debit your savings at least once a month.  This takes one more thing off your to-do list and before you know it you’ll have a nice chunk of cash put away.  If saving automatically is already a habit, I challenge you to increase what you save each month by twenty-five percent.  I’m a huge fan of CapitalOne360’s online savings program.  It makes saving easy and fun.  Try it here.

-       Track your income regularly.  Most people advise you to track your expenses – and that’s cool too, but I find it a lot more fun to keep tabs on my income.  What this does is gets me in the mindset of expecting and creating money regularly—even daily—simply because I don’t like seeing too many zeroes on my tracking sheet!  One month, I brought in money 19 out of 30 days.  How?  Through multiple income streams.  Every woman should have at least 3.  The more you have, the more frequently money will come in.  By tracking your money regularly, you can see where it’s coming from and how to create your increase!  By the way, one of my fab clients recently told me about this cool tool you can use for tracking income, expenses and budget.  

-       Use coupons.  I used to think that coupons made me look like a cheap-o.  Now I know better.  Trust me, you are never to fly to take advantage of a discount!  Truth be told, I don’t spend hours on Sundays going through sales papers but I do use the coupons the cashiers hand you at the register.  Recently I saved $10 on a purchase at my local pharmacy just by using the coupon the cashier put right in my hand.  Save a few extra bucks a week with discounts, coupons and rewards points and by the end of the year you could splurge on a great piece of art or add to your savings.  

-       Stop money leaks.  A money leak is any kind of fee, subscription or service charge you’re paying even if you are not using the service.  Stop this from happening now.  I know it may seem like a hassle to have to call or write to cancel the service but it is worth it.  The money that’s slipping through your fingers adds up and I’d rather see it going into your savings account rather than to the gym you haven’t been to in 6 months.  So every 90 days or so, scan your credit card statement to make sure there are no leaks.

-      Clean out your wallet and your purse.  Do I really have to say more?  A junky purse and wallet is a sign of insecurity and indecisiveness.  I’ll explain that more in a future article but the bottom line is this: the place where you keep your personal and most valued belongings should be clean, not cluttered with old tissue, gum wrappers, receipts, mail and your children’s toys!  Money will not thrive if its surrounded by chaos.  Take 10 minutes once a week and get your purse and wallet in order, ok?

-       Give. If you know me, you know that I believe women entrepreneurs deserve to be rich and happy.  Generosity plays a major role in helping you get there.  When you have the courage to share your resources with others even when it feels like you don’t have enough to meet your needs, you send a powerful message to the universe that you trust your Source (aka God).   When you give, you show that in Source there is no lack.  You send a message that in God, there is an unlimited supply of everything we need.  Find a church, charity or cause you believe in and give.  When you do, magical things will happen.  I guarantee and decree it.  (Last year I was thrilled to contribute to a scholarship program for urban girls with a focus on media literacy and empowerment.  Check them out here.)

What money habits have worked for you?  Which one of these do you plan to put in place?

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality and a certified Income and Influence Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her OverFlow Women’s Business Retreat is being held in San Juan Puerto Rico June 9-12, 2015.

Media insider secret: Use the cold weather to get some publicity. Here’s how.

Brrrrr! Cold weather shouldn't stop your business or visibility!

The brutally cold weather in the midwest and east is showing no signs of letting up.  So why not leverage the windchill factor to get publicity for your business or brand?

Use a strategy I teach my clients all the time.  It’s called the “tie-in factor.”

If you notice that a trend, event, news story, theme, holiday or observance is being talked about in the media a lot, ask yourself, “how can I tie that into my brand or expertise?”

Right now, everybody’s talking about the frigid temps so here are some topics/segment ideas you can pitch to the media by tying-in to the cold weather. Can you make any of these work for you?  Does this list spark any ideas for your particular brand or business?

For fitness professionals: weather’s no excuse not to stick to your weight-loss resolution: 5 indoor exercises that will help you burn fat and stay warm.

Lifestyle gurus (I have several):

  • 5 things you MUST have in your car/house/basement during the winter season.
  • 5 things you should NEVER do when the weather goes below freezing.
  • How to winter-proof your home/car.

Parenting experts: how to keep your kids from getting bored during the deep-freeze.

Small biz experts: 5 ways to stay productive when working from home.

Food/Healthy eating experts: Simple, yummy cold weather recipes using what’s already in the frig.

Medical/Wellness experts: How to avoid cold, flu, hypothermia and other cold weather-related illnesses.

Send your idea to a program on your local TV or radio station and you could get featured this week.

What’s the advantage:  Publicity positions you as an expert, increases your credibility and could instantly lead to new customers for you.

In what ways can your brand, message or expertise tie-in to the bitterly cold temps?  Are you bold enough to pitch the media? Let me know if any of these work for you.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

6-figure formula Part 3 – Are you committing brand infidelity?

Just to bring you up to speed, my signature 6-figure formula is the blueprint that has set me on the path to creating multiple 6-figures this year.

So far I’ve given you 2 steps in the formula along with some valuable insights that will help you overcome the obstacles many women entrepreneurs face.  If you haven’t seen the previous posts, get caught up by reading them here:

6-figure formula – Part 1

6-figure formula – Part 2

Today, I have one more juicy nugget to help you create $100,000 or more in your business this year:

Are you cheating on your brand?

Commit to your brand and be loyal to your message.

I know, it sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many women in business commit what I call “brand infidelity.”

Brand infidelity is similar to cheating in a relationship. 

It’s what happens when your brand offers the promise of a particular solution or experience to a specific market, then a “bright shiny object” comes along and takes you in a completely different direction.  Suddenly, you’re off trying to create a whole other solution and experience for a completely different market.

Here’s an example.

I once worked with a brilliant woman who was a youth counselor.  She wanted to position herself as the “go-to” person for troubled teens.  We worked together to get her visibility in the media and speaking opportunities.  Her star was rising fast.

Then all of a sudden, she went off  strategy and started promoting and hosting workshops focused on her raw food lifestyle and how to “go green.” 

WTH?!

Was it possible to marry her passions and make them work together under one brand?  Possibly.  Did she try to create a strategy for doing that?  No.

I suspect she had some fear around fully committing to her youth advocacy brand.  Perhaps there was some fear (or doubt) of massive success if she would have stayed true to her original message.  Either way, the glare of the bright shiny object was too hard for her to resist and the damage caused by brand infidelity (i.e. mediocre clients, high and low profit swings, inconsistent visibility, lack of focus, etc.) now has a stronghold in her business. 

The woman entrepreneur who succumbs to this temptation thinks she’s offering greater value and serving more people.  What she’s really doing is cheating on her core market and creating confusion among the people she initially committed to serving.

Really bad move.

Yes, it takes time for your brand to build traction.

Of course it takes time to create the loyalty and visibility you want as an expert in your industry.

Can it take time to cultivate a loyal niche? Absolutely.

But until you find your groove and own your space in the marketplace, you cannot be tempted to commit brand infidelity.  Unlike real life relationships, the market that you cheat on may not be so quick to give you another chance.  You’ll have to work extra hard to win their hearts over again.

Patience is paramount when building a brand.  Fortunately, with a solid strategy and by leveraging social-media, it can happen fairly quickly.   In the meantime, you MUST be willing to be loyal to your brand, your message and your market.

When you have the courage to embrace this step in the 6-figure formula, you will feel a powerful shift in your business and your ideal clients will love you and be loyal to you and your profits, visibility and influence will come with ease.

Have you ever committed brand infidelity?  Are you committing it now?  What tips or insights can you share on having the courage to commit to YOUR brand?

HEADS UP: Later this month, I’ll be offering a virtual event called Brand Clarity = Prosperity.  Just join my list if you want me to send you details.  Scroll back to the top of this page and you’ll see the spot to add your info.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

Top 10 POWER moves for women entrepreneurs

Commit to at least 6 of the 10 POWER moves in this video.  If you do, by next year I guarantee your business and brand will go to a new level.

Which moves will you commit to?  Check it out.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

 

 
 
 
 
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