End of an era: Goodbye ezine, hello cool stuff!

snug_as_a_bug_creativity_4-2014As best I can tell, this is the last regular issue of Authentic Promotion. Can you say, “Yowza!”?

It all started at the end of March during a retreat with my beloved Brain Trust*. As we talked about who I am and how I want to be in this, my 18th year as a coach, I realized that it was time to invoke the spirit of creativity and experimentation by letting go of this ezine and devoting myself to creating cool new stuff that will arouse, inform, entertain, and, one hopes, delight you.

You see, I love to make stuff. The photo in today’s issue is of the “vest” I made for my ’67 VW Beetle. I love to play with ideas, fiddle with designs, and experiment with new formats and media. In 1996, I put that love to work building my first website and convening conversations in early online communities such as womenconnect.com and AOL special interest groups. In 1998, I started this ezine, and in less than two years it was reaching over 12,000.

Back in the day, email newsletters were few and far between. Junk mail was sparse, and inboxes spacious. Since then, ezines have become as common as dust, and even when we value them–as I hope you have valued this one–they often languish unopened and unread. As open rates have declined, my sense of connection to you, my readers, has lessened. I don’t like the idea of adding every week to the clutter in your inboxes. I want to add value, not noise.

In the future, instead of a weekly ezine, you’ll receive an announcement whenever I’ve got a new cool thing to give you. An insightful interview. A provocative slidedoc. My latest cartoons. Heck, for all I know I’ll sing and dance for you, so long as I think it will serve you. In between cool things, I’ll let you know as usual when I offer a new product or program or when I come across something, whether it’s free or fee-based, that I think is worth your consideration.

I’m thrilled at the prospect of putting my creative energy to work in new ways to entertain, inform, provoke, and inspire you. Fans of my Facebook page are already seeing tidbits of creative goodness a few times a week. Check it out, and while you are there, feel free to post your questions and insights to the timeline. I would love to know what’s on your mind and in your heart. Oh, and if you haven’t already, be sure to give me a LIKE so that updates appear in your newsfeed, www.facebook.com/shaboominc.

I haven’t made any decisions about the blog. I rather think I’ll be posting the odd (!) insight, observation, or link from time to time. To subscribe, add this link to your blog reader: feed://shaboominc.com/wordpress/feed.

Whether you have been a reader since the early days or are a recent subscriber, I hope you’ll enjoy and benefit from what emerges in the days ahead. Meanwhile, thanks for coming along on the adventure.

*The members of the Brain Trust are
Michael Bungay Stanier, boxofcrayons.com
Eric Klein, wisdomheart.com
Michele Lisenbury Christensen, hotloverevolution.com
Jennifer Louden, jenniferlouden.com
Mark Silver, heartofbusiness.com

Posted in Authenticity, Community, Creativity, Life purpose, Meaning, Personal, Self-employment, Service, Small business, Success, Uncategorized, Vision, Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Do you hear a next level calling?

[This is a guest post by my friend Jeffrey Van Dyk to introduce his new work helping people respond to what he calls their next level callings. Molly]

Right now, all around the world, there are people waking up…

With the realization that they have been CALLED to do something great.

It’s as if something gets unlocked inside of them—sometimes over time, sometimes seemingly overnight—and they realize that there is a much larger, more significant impact they are meant to make in this world.

Your Next Level Calling is when the Universe knocks on your door and says “Now Is The Time!” … And you know that everything you’ve done until now was simply training for the great work you are here to bring to this planet on a massive scale.

wake-up-call

You feel the yearning to expand, to deepen, to have a richer more meaningful life, and to have your business reflect that.

I’m Jeffrey Van Dyk, CEO of Big Vision Business, and over the last few years I’ve gone through some very big shifts in the process of answering my larger calling, and let me tell you, it’s been a wild roller coaster of experiences and emotions.

Molly and I were speaking recently about the shifts in her life and business as well, and she invited me to share my experience and what I’ve learned with you … both on the personal side (gory details included) and in terms of business growth and success—and that’s what this post is all about.

I also just released a new video training designed to help you clarify what you’re really meant to be up to in the world that’s true to your soul—and is bigger, more lucrative and contributes to the world in a far greater way.

 The wild thing about getting a bigger calling …

… is that on some level, there is no explaining it! There’s no justification for why it’s you—at least no reason that will really satisfy your ego.

But for better or worse, there’s also no denying it—because you know that you won’t be able to rest until you step up to answer it.

There’s just this deep, underlying soul knowing that you are “The One”…in your field, in your industry, in your part of the world, called to do something truly great, that your tribe and this world is hungry waiting for.

And let me tell you, it can be crazy making! You at first feel like you’re crazy, wondering if you’re making it all up. You feel like you can’t possibly be “The One”—I mean why you? You wonder if you can really do the thing you feel called to do—which is challenging to think about, because usually the details of a bigger calling are fuzzy at first!

And so you stagnate and ignore it, the call only grows bigger and stronger, pulling at your heart … even if your mind continues to resist or push it away.

For me, it happened like this …

Jeffrey

I’ve been in the business and personal development field for many years doing

very purposeful work … but all along I always knew there was a bigger reach I was meant to have. I would have visions of myself on much bigger stages (real and metaphorically), reaching people all around the world. Bottom line is that I’ve always known I have a big message to share, but on some level I was still hiding out – even while living a purposeful life and doing purposeful work.

In the past 18 months I started working with my friend and colleague Max Simon and about 6 months ago took over as CEO for this 60,000 person global community.

I know deep within my bones that what we’re doing at Big Vision Business is BIG. Bigger than anything I’ve created …or BVB has created before.

I also know that this is the beginning of my great contribution—the bigger work I am in this world to do. I know that it’s the beginning of a global movement, and I know that everything I’ve done before this has been preparation for what we’re doing now.

And you know what’s funny?

All my life I knew that this day would come. All my life I knew that there was something significant and world changing for me to do. And now that it’s here …

It’s like my greatest dream and my worst nightmare have collided.

I mean, there’s a part of me that has always known this was my path, and it’s saying, “YES, finally … it’s time!”

This part of me is thrilled that I’m that I’m getting on with the bigger work I’m designed to do – which sounds odd, given that I’ve worked with thousands and thousands of people and generated millions of dollars doing my purposeful work already.

But this time is different, and I know it.

Then there is the part of me that has been subtly (and not so subtly) avoiding answering my next level calling … even though I’ve been staidly moving towards it, bit by bit, for years.

This is the part of me that likes to be private and doesn’t really want to share my feelings or truly be seen (publicly), thank you very much.

And within that part of me are all my own doubts and fears. My fear that people won’t like what I have to share, my concern that I won’t know how to bring this next thing out in a way that works in business, my doubt that I’ll have what it takes, my feeling that it’s too big for me, and the vulnerable, tender parts of me that just don’t want to be abandoned.

Yes, after all the years of being in this business, these things still come up!

I’m sharing this with you so that you know you aren’t alone in this journey, and to give you some tools to deal with it as you answer your own Next Level Calling.

Your old “stuff” will always come to the surface when you’re truly expanding, evolving in your work, and expanding your ability to answer you call on larger and larger scales. And it’s meant to – because inside of that “stuff” is the power, the gold and genius required to step up and lead your great work.

There are some very powerful lessons I’ve uncovered over the last year during my journey,

Here are the 7 Requirements to Answer Your Next Level Calling

1. Change your relationship to your resistance

battle

Stop fighting your resistance, and instead look at what your resistance is trying to tell you! I mean, honestly, aren’t you sick of going to battle with yourself?

Yes, on one hand you could say that your resistance is holding you back … but have you considered that it might be there for a good reason?

Your resistance has intelligence to it, so stop fighting it and start listening to it. It might be telling you what you need to learn, what you need to let go of, or what you need to have in place in order to step out and answer your next level calling safely.

Use your resistance as a feedback mechanism—not something to fight against.

2. Develop a deeper connection to your spiritual guidance

You might already have a connection to your spiritual guidance that you use in your life. But when you answer a bigger calling, getting off track in even small ways can have big consequences.

So rather than just using your spiritual guidance to understand what your calling is, use it to navigate your business and life as you answer your call.

This one practice will cut literally years off from your path and make answering your call one of the richest, most rewarding experiences of your life.

3. Open your heart even wider

You cannot “hide out” AND answer your bigger call.

On some level, when it’s time to really step out, it’s also a call to open your heart in a much more substantial way. It’s a call to really embrace the beauty and gift that you are, and to let that be seen and broadcast in the world.

You are not just bringing a “body of work” to the world—you are stepping out as the living example and embodiment of the work you are here to bring forward. It’s your example that will give people the permission to step forward themselves, and it’s your radiant heart that will draw people to you and compel them to join you.

4. Shift from WHAT you do to WHY you do it

big-why

Practitioners are focused on WHAT they do, and try to sell that (usually without great success). They sell coaching, energy work, book keeping or some other service, and their focus is on telling people about the service they offer.

Global Visionaries, on the other hand, are focused on WHY they do what they do. They are clear about the big impact they are called to have on this world and on their tribe as they answer their calling, and they focus on spreading that message! They inspire people with new possibilities, and what they are doing to help create this new reality in people’s lives and in the world at large.

And here’s the real key: because they are clear about the big WHY, their HOW is inspired and their strategy becomes focus and supercharged.

5. Expand your Vision

Your next level calling isn’t just another business—it’s your life’s work.

And yes, it’s probably much, much bigger than you allow yourself to dream about, let alone put down on paper as a vision.

So starting today, I invite you to allow the whole expanse of your vision into your field of awareness, and to start sharing it! Because when you do, full the energy of your vision is unleashed to guide and fuel what you do. And THAT’S when your creativity starts to flow and you create something truly unique that the world is craving, and ready to buy.

6. Create a masterful, guided strategy

Masterful strategy takes great smarts and creativity …  but it also takes listening.

To develop a masterful strategy, you must know what’s missing in the market, figure out what would inspire you to meet that need, and do so in a way that supports your larger calling.

Many people go sideways and get off course in this step because they tune into their guidance for what it is they are called to do, but don’t stay tuned in for how they are meant to do it! So as you develop your strategy and develop the next phase of your business, continue to step back from it, reconnect to your guidance system and listen to ensure that what you create and how you manifest it is on target, true to your calling and will be deeply impactful to the people you serve.

7. Surround yourself with your tribe

tribe

You aren’t meant to answer your big calling along. And more to the point, you can’t … none of us can.

To answer your calling on a global scale, you need people around you with open hearts and expanded minds, who are engaged in something much larger than themselves. These are the people that will challenge you with love, support you when you’ve lost your way, and stand by your side cheering as you step out to your next level calling.

But most of all, you need to be surrounded by people who know the journey, who know what it’s like to feel different and feel compelled to bring something out that has never been brought out before. People need people who can help you find your own unique road map.

What’s next?

If you know you have a bigger calling, but aren’t sure how to get started or move ahead in the boldest way possible, there is a wealth of resources available for you in the free Next Level Calling educational video series. Check it out today!

Posted in Ambition, Goal Setting, Life purpose, Meaning, Resources, Service, Serving others, Spirit, Success, Vision, Wealth | Leave a comment

The Real Definition of Being a Teacher

By Jennifer Louden

JenLouden_2013-5-cropped280

The biggest block I see tripping up the students that enroll in TeachNow (1006 to date!) is the notion that they need to be original.

They think they must:

  • Teach completely new ideas.
  • Constantly invent new offers.
  • Revamp what they teach every time they teach it.
  • Cover a vast amount of material in every class and course.
  • Invent electricity, find the solution to climate change, and discover the source of human consciousness.

The last item was a joke and hopefully one that made you consider: maybe an effective teacher doesn’t have to be original, certainly not in the way I just described?

In fact, these thoughts will make it difficult for you to teach at all or earn a decent living. They are almost guaranteed to keep you stuck in a loop of despair and perfectionism.

What if your job as a teacher was to:

  • Organize a few key ideas around one theme and 3-4 learning objectives
  • Create safety so your students can open up to learning
  • Tell a few stories that illustrate the key ideas
  • Design simple experiences for your students to test drive the ideas for themselves
  • Use repetition and reflection so students retain what you’ve offered
  • Cite your sources (we call it claiming your lineage in TeachNow)

 

Notice being original isn’t present in that list.

Taking care of your students and being a good steward of the ideas you care about, that’s what this list will enable you to do.

For your teaching to flourish–and your bank account–drop the pursuit of originality and instead reflect:

  • What do I most want to teach (no matter if it has been taught for eons)?
  • What ideas do I return to again and again?
  • What stories and experiences do I have around these concepts? How have they shaped my understanding and life?
  • Who needs these ideas most? What would learning this change for them?
  • Where might I find those people?

Rest in the wisdom that has shaped you. Your originality will come from how you shape what you teach. And that will be more than enough!
Because you need to Teach...Now

Jen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book, The Woman’s Comfort Book. She co-created the popular TeachNow course with Michele Christensen for people who want to teach what they love successfully. On April 3rd, test drive TeachNow for free with the sample class, Dissolving Obstacles to Teaching Joyfully & Effectively. You’ll learn plenty of actionable ideas to help you teach now!

Posted in Success | Leave a comment

Want financial security? Don’t tilt at windmills

Puerto_Lapice_Ciudad_Real._Spain_500In Cervantes’ classic tale, Alonso Quixana, a humble farmer, summons his considerable courage, and under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha he sets out to defeat the forces of evil. In one classic scene, the magnificently deluded hero takes on an army of ferocious giants, in reality a field of windmills.

And don’t you know? Most of our efforts to defeat financial security amount to the same thing. With the best intentions in the world, we tilt at windmills, while overlooking the true source of our problems and their solution.

With the best intentions in the world we work to shift limiting beliefs. We boldly challenge the windmills of laziness and lack of focus. We do brave battle with our family histories.

There’s no question of our courage or sincerity.

But we might want to take a second look at our premises.

Financial security arises from the inside out

What I’m about to say may not come as a surprise, but if you’re tilting at any of the aforementioned windmills, you haven’t fully seen the implications.

Financial security is an inside out proposition.

It has nothing to do with your bank balance or credit card debt. It’s not the result of discipline or the product of your childhood training.

It’s 100% the product of your moment to moment thinking.

Financial security doesn’t require a battle with limiting beliefs

By definition we recognize that a limiting belief has no inherent validity. We understand that it’s a thought. But because it’s got some momentum behind it, because it has become familiar, we think it has more significance than other thoughts.

But it doesn’t. It’s still just a thought.

When you see–really see–that limiting beliefs are simply thoughts like any other thoughts, you also see that you don’t have to work on yourself or your circumstances to get free from them.

After all, when you see that the giants are windmills, you don’t have to work on yourself to stop doing battle.

Financial security doesn’t come from trying harder

When we’re in the grip of financial insecurity, trying harder only makes it worse.

Most of the mistakes we make about money are rooted in wishful thinking or fear, and often both. We try so hard to get it right–or worry so much about getting it wrong–that we can’t think clearly.

When instead we see that financial insecurity is an infallible sign of insecure thinking, we can step back, do the sensible thing, and stop trying to think our way out.

And as soon as our thinking settles down, wisdom and common sense will suggest the simple next step.

Financial security doesn’t involve working through family history

Memories are simply thinking in the present about what we thought we experienced in the past. When you see this, sorting through your family history as a way to resolve financial insecurity doesn’t make any sense. There’s nothing to sort through when you see it as thought. Or thought about thought.

As the saying goes, there’s no there there.

(And what a relief it is to drop that drama, eh?)

Financial security is rooted in your innate wellbeing

The only real security is the security that comes from recognizing your innate wellbeing. The wellbeing that is always there underneath the sturm and drang of the human experience.

The sun that never goes away no matter what the weather may be.

When you remember that you are always okay, that the only thing that can obscure your wellbeing is thought, you know where to look for your security.

You can use your sense of wellbeing as a touchstone or a compass with which to navigate your financial life.

This isn’t about living in la-la land

You might be concerned that navigating your financial life by means of a peaceful feeling means abdicating responsibility. That you’d be living in a la-la land.

Not so.

Don Quixote lived in a fantasy world in which he believed windmills were giants. We live a fantasy world when we believe that our security rises and falls with external circumstances.

When we believe that our security depends on our circumstances, we cling to what we think will make us happy and we cringe from what we think will make us sad. Both clinging and cringing take us out of the present moment. They throw us into the past or the future and cause us to disengage from life.

That’s living in la-la land.

But when we see that security is an inside job, we stop tilting at windmills. We will still experience ups and downs related to money and wealth. That goes with being human. But we won’t need to be terrorized by our thinking.

We’ll still see giants from time to time, but more and more often they will look suspiciously like windmills.

Authentic Wealth: relief from scary windmills

If you’ve got a scary looking windmill or two on the horizon–and we all do from time to time–I invite you to join me for the Authentic Wealth Virtual Retreat. This year the retreat has been completely revamped. We’ll be looking behind the scenes at what really creates our experiences of wealth and wellbeing. I’m offering the new format as a beta program at a fraction of the price of previous retreats. Authentic Wealth begins April 9th, and I’d love for you to join me.

Click here for details. http://www.shaboominc.com/authenticwealth

Photo by Mirari Erdoiza via Fotopedia.com

Posted in Emotional intelligence, Mindfulness, Money, Success, Thought, Three Principles, Wisdom | 2 Comments

Support for Teachers from TeachNow creator Jennifer Louden

Jen Louden 2013Join me and bestselling author Jennifer Louden for highlights of Jen’s groundbreaking program, Teach Now. Teach Now is a home study program delivering multi-faceted support for teachers and those who want to teach. In it Jen addresses what it is to be called to teach, how to teach better, and how to take better care of yourself as a teacher.

Click here to register today for a FREE preview class (actually the first class from the course itself): Dissolving Obstacles to Teaching Joyfully & Effectively April 3rd at 4:00pm PT. A live Q&A will follow.

Sign up for the free first lesson

Click here to register today for a FREE preview class (actually the first class from the course itself): Dissolving Obstacles to Teaching Joyfully & Effectively April 3rd at 4:00pm PT. A live Q&A will follow.

Posted in Authenticity, Confidence, Emotional intelligence, Resources, Self care, Serving others, Success | Leave a comment