LIVE FREE Sonoma is open for registration!

There was a time in our lives when we’d run around like 6 year olds cracked out on sugar and caffeine. Disorganized, overwhelmed and overworked, we spent our lives pounding the pavement hoping that someday our hard work would lead to relaxation, lots of money, hot bodies and healthy relationships.

But all we got were empty bank accounts, raging emotional eating disorders and terrible sex lives.

And, we’d do so much for other people that there was nothing left for us besides that pint of ice cream in the fridge to soothe us.  We said “yes” to everything, leaving us no time for our partners.  We worked and worked and worked, hoping it would lead to financial security, but all we got we chronic colds and digestive issues.

We were operating under the assumption, that pain will lead to pleasure.

Do you ever find yourself believing that?

…That if you just put in a ton of hours at work now… then you’ll get a raise and be able to pull back…

…Just power through that To-Do list, and then you’ll feel so much better…

…Focus on the kids this year, and next year we’ll go on vacation just the two of us…

…Try really hard to only eat vegetables this week, then you’ll lose ten pounds, feel great and then go shopping…

But the raise, the break, the confidence, the exhale… never actually happens, does it?

It wasn’t until we made a choice, a choice to believe that pleasure and happiness NOW leads to pleasure and happiness later.

So we created completely new lifestyles.  In the beginning, we thought it was going to be impossible.  I mean, can you really work less and make more, eat what you want and lose weight and create a beautiful relationship out of thin air?

What we discovered was, yes, you can.  But it takes a certain environment in order to create lasting change, fast.

There’s something magical that happens when you are pulled into a vortex of revolution.  A vortex of supportive women, fearless leaders, life changing workshops and experiential adventures.

You see, when you have the opportunity to really experience the “good life” with your whole being, and are given the structure to make sure it sticks when you go home, you can’t help but be a changed woman.

And living the “good life” isn’t just about being happy and relaxed all the time, though you will feel like that. This is important to us because it’s the only way we’ve found to actually create what we really want: a body we love, an amazing relationship and all the financial success we desire.  To really Live Free.

We’ve explained more about how this works on our retreat page here.

We’ve created an incredible weekend in wine country designed to set you up for the life you’ve always wanted.  It’s going to be impactful, challenging, gorgeous and a total blast.

It would be an honor if you could join us.

Since you’ve already expressed interest in Live Free, we wanted to give you first dibs on one of the limited spots available. We’re going to be opening it up to the public in 48 hours and we imagine the spaces are going to go really fast.

You can learn all about Live Free and RSVP by clicking here: Live Free Retreat Information.

See you there:)

Love,

Nisha and Sarah

P.S. We can’t wait to dive into all of the amazing questions we’ve received during the live Q&A happening tonight at 7pm ET / 4pm PT. Click here to join us when the event begins.

Are you tired of feeling anxious? My top 7 ways to embody ease.

A few days ago, I met my friend Sarah and her 1 month old baby boy for lunch.

That morning, Sarah was dealing with dirty diapers, dishes and general domestic disarray. I’d had an “interesting” morning, too, planning for my upcoming website launch and managing my own version of business-crazy. When we arrived to lunch, we admitted to each other that we’d both nearly cancelled, but knew that our time together would be good medicine for us both.

As I sit here today, I’m reflecting on the tone of the moment — Sarah doing an epic juggling act to just get out of the house (she looked hot!) and me playing the chess game of sustaining my business while planning a launch (any entrepreneur knows how challenging this can be). Yet both of us were taking time for ourselves and our friendship (which ultimately serve the baby and the business), and neither of us were weighed down with anxiety. In fact, we were both happy, smiling…even relaxed.

There was a time when we didn’t look this way. I remember sipping tea with Sarah years ago, high on caffeine and nerves that our next launches had to be perfect, that our websites weren’t going to be done on time, and what if we ended up missing the boat to motherhood? To be honest, we were kind of Anxious Annie’s.

But what we learned is that being stressed and worried doesn’t help you produce better results…if anything, you actually make more mistakes because you’re not paying attention.

Anxiety is a gas guzzler, not fuel for motivation. {tweet it}

Listen, we’re not perfect. We have our moments of feeling like we’re flailing and failing, too — we’re human! But what we’ve learned to do is find the calm in the storm and get back to grounded. Through learning how to be both focused and calm – truly embodying ease- we’ve learned to be so grounded in ourselves that we feel like powerful women. We want that for you, too… because when you’re always running, you miss the beauty all around you.

Below, we’ve put together our Top 7 Ways to Embody Ease.

On Wednesday, we started our LIVE FREE Online Event with talking about the intersection of Ambition & Ease. You can get the recording here if you missed the live class. Next week, on Wednesday, April 16th you’ll have the opportunity to be personally coached by us. We’ll be digging into your biggest work/life conundrums and coaching you to find clear solutions for having the success you want. You can sign up here.

Nisha & Sarah’s Top 7 Ways to Embody Ease

1. Dress your body beautifully.

1a
I was inspired to share this photo of Sarah, which she took in an airport bathroom. She had put on frumpy travel clothes and in a moment of clarity realized that she felt crappy because she wasn’t dressed beautifully. When you take a few moments to select an outfit and jewelry you feel frickin’ fantastic in…even on a Tuesday…you’re going to have a better day. Your body is the home of your soul. She is your temple. Do you throw any old junk on your temple, or do you adorn her in things that represent your reverence for Her? Even if you’re feeling far-from-loving towards your body, this is critical, because this is how you cultivate the appreciation that has you and your body feel like true life partners. Is there something small you can do right now to tend to your temple?

2. Enjoy gorgeous food.

2a
Before you sit down to eat, are you aware of how beautiful your plate looks? In life, beauty causes us to pause in appreciation. When no attention is put on cultivating beauty, there are fewer opportunities to slow down and enjoy. By simply adding a sprig of herbs or some edible flowers to your plate, or carefully arranging each dish to appeal to your aesthetic sensibility, you will naturally find yourself in appreciation. When you’re appreciating your food, you eat slower. When you eat slower, you taste more. When you eat slower and taste more, you derive maximum enjoyment from your food and end up eating just the right amount for your beautiful body. Taking care of your body often has less to do with eating the perfectly-perfect thing at the perfect time, and more to do with crafting a beautiful experience and enjoying.

3. Break the weekend rules.

3a
For some reason, much of the world has agreed to adopt the “work your ass off, then you can play” mentality, which means weekends are our only hope for fun and our only opportunity for release. This is when we break loose and eat whatever we want to eat, drink whatever we want to drink, and finally enjoy life…for 48 hours. Then, we spend the next 120 hours miserable, dreaming of that precious 48 to come ‘round again. This sucks! Who says we have to buy into that crazy crap?! When you bring some of your favorite weekend activities into your weekdays (lunch with friends, dinner on the patio, cocktail hour, etc), your LIFE feels awesome — not just your weekends. What can you do this week to infuse more weekend energy into your Monday-Friday?

4. Stop to smell the roses…then bring them to work.

4a
Do you ever walk by shops that have flowers outside, or have flowers springing up along the sidewalks in your neighborhood? How often do you stop to smell those flowers? This simple act of slowing down for just a minute (yes, even you can spare 1 minute) is enough to hit the reset button on your mental state. Most women get into a super masculine mode at work — we “buckle down” and “suck it up” in order to “make it happen”. Phew. Yes, business requires planning and plenty of action, but do you have to be a stress case while you’re doing it? Bring some pleasure into your work space and work day, and integrate your feminine flow with your masculine focus.

5. Invest in your aliveness.

5a
Most of us find it much easier to justify spending money (and time) on replacing a broken dishwasher, developing a business strategy and buying new shoes for the kids, than we do on investing in ourselves. It’s not to say that your clean dishes, business success and kids’ footwear aren’t important — they are! But how about you — the woman holding it all together? How are you holding up… are you hanging on by a thread or fully-alive and thriving? This year, Sarah invested her time and money in a gorgeous book writing retreat & a boudoir photoshoot, so she could be more deeply connected with her sexy. I fulfilled my long-time dream of traveling to Peru & also had a boudoir photoshoot — a gift to myself for my 34th bday. These things don’t give us instant money, but they do give us instant — and lasting — satisfaction. Invest in your aliveness.

6. Live in the most beautiful place on earth.

6a
How do you feel when you walk into your home? Do you look around and see piles of crap and a bunch of unfinished business…or do you see gorgeous flowers and a clean, inviting space that totally feels like you? If your home is less than a sanctuary, take an hour to love it up this evening. Arrange a stack of your favorite books on your coffee table, put away stray jackets or shoes, dust the surfaces and light a candle. Bonus points if you can add a fresh flower arrangement. Your home is the nest for your precious body and your valuable ideas — shouldn’t it be the best nest it can be?

7. Appreciate other women.

7a
You’ve probably noticed (or felt victim of) the social hierarchy amongst women. We tend to compare ourselves to one another based on our income, weight, relationship status, education, and so on. Every single time you appreciate the unique beauty (inside and out) of your sisters, you’re doing your part to break down that social hierarchy, to be real friends, confidants and soul sisters. Sarah and I should know — we used to be super jealous of each other, until we focused on the very real admiration we have for each other.

We can’t wait to talk about all of this and more with you on Wednesday. If you haven’t signed up yet, visit LiveFreeRetreat.com.

How to hustle and flow.

hustle & flow nishaA year ago, Sarah gathered some girlfriends together for a gorgeous brunch, to celebrate my big move to San Francisco...thank you, Sarah! I love you!

As we sat around the table, laughing and talking, I took a moment of quiet reflection…  It had been just 7 weeks since I made the decision to move to my favorite city, and there I was — a full-fledged resident!  Looking across the table at Sarah, pregnant and radiant, I remembered a conversation we had on a road trip last year where she said “I think we’re going to wait a few years”, and there she was — sporting a tiny baby bump and a giant smile!

Sarah and I often have women say to us, “It’s wonderful that you have these leisurely lives, but don’t you sometimes have to hustle?  What about getting s#it done?”  The answer is: Yes!  Of course we hustle at times (and we get a LOT done)…life would be super boring if all we did was lie around reading magazines, with no ambitions.

What we both believe in, though, is honoring the rhythm that feels most natural and expansive to us.  We give ourselves plenty of space to play and dream, then — when a moment of clarity (or pregnancy, in Sarah’s case!) hits us and we make a decision — we waste no time making s#it happen.

Hustling isn’t a way of life any more than lounging is — they are both valuable aspects of our lives, and each needs its own sacred space to unfold. {tweet it}

When Sarah found out she was pregnant, she sprung into action, getting her announcement photos done, zig-zagging across the country to visit both her and Jonathan’s parents to tell them in person, getting Live More Weigh Less Mastery ready for an early launch and planning their Parisian babymoon.

When I realized it was time to move to San Francisco, I hustled quickly, booking my movers within 48 hours, giving my notice on my NY apartment, looking at 23 apartments in San Francisco until I found the perfect one, and spending time with my friends NYC.

Because we respect both hustle time and leisure time, we can fully appreciate and inhabit the space we’re in.  When we hustle, we don’t freak out and get overwhelmed, because we know it’s temporary.  When we lounge, we don’t freak out that nothing is getting done, because we know it’s temporary.  So vacillating between these spaces can be fun and pleasurable.

At our LIVE FREE Online Event, starting next week, we are going to teach you how to do both: how to be a hustler and a lady of leisure, like you really mean business.  Too much of one or the other is unsustainable, and frankly, a boring way to live.

To sign up, click here: LiveFreeRetreat.com.

Fiercely devoted to your freedom,

Nisha

What fun really looks like.

Guest post by Sarah Jenks

I’m so excited to be babysitting Nisha’s blog today!  You remember when you had a babysitter that showed up to your house with a special bag of toys, tricks and games, Mary Poppins style?  And you were so frickin’ pumped? That’s what I’ve got for you.

I spent most of my adult life, thinking that my life would be more fun when I lost weight.  I’d be able to shop wherever I wanted, have the confidence to flirt, go out more, play intramural sports, go to museums, sit at cafes without worrying that people were judging me, have sex without panicking about my stomach hanging out, be able to enjoy dinners with my girlfriends without the menu giving me anxiety, and I would finally be able to eat anything I wanted.

All I wanted was to have fun, but I had to wait till I was thin.

So my life was pretty boring.  I’d hit snooze 3 times, rush to work, slug through the day, come home, put on sweatpants, eat dinner, watch TV, pick a fight with my boyfriend, go to sleep. Repeat.

BUT I was trying really hard to lose weight, so I thought that eventually all my misery and boredom would lead to a fun, fabulous life.

Not so much.  I was so unfulfilled, that food was my only source of happiness, excitement, relaxation, love and comfort.  Everyday I would wake up vowing to only consume 1200 calories of vegetables and lean protein, and every night I would go to sleep bloated with 3000 calories of crap in my belly.

Then I hit my breaking point, which came in the form of eating an entire bag of Dove Chocolate Promises on the third day of my seven day juice cleanse while hiding in the supply closet at work, and I realized, if this dieting thing was gonna work, it would’ve worked by now.

So I decided to skip the weight loss part, if I was going to be stuck in this body forever, I might as well get used to it and have some fun.  And fun I had.

After just a few weeks, I felt like I thought I was going to when I was a size 2, even though I was a twelve.  And over the next year, without counting calories or going to the gym, I lost 30 pounds.

So I want to know, what do you really want?  And what do you think you need to do first in order to have that thing?

If you are craving a fun, fulfilling and adventurous life, I hope you’ll join us for the LIVE FREE Online Event on April 9th – a two week live stream video gathering where you can join us right from your living room.  When you sign up you’ll also be the first to hear about our 2nd Annual LIVE FREE Retreat in Sonoma’s Wine Country this October.  More info on this below.

Here’s what I do to for fun to help loosen up your imagination:

To see this pic, click "Display Images" in your email!

I go hiking, I sign at the top of my lungs, I plan beautiful dates, I get dressed everyday, I go on road trips, I go wine tasting, I talk with my girlfriends for hours, I braid my hair, I plan picnics, I go to the beach, I draw a picture, I have movie night, I get massages, I play with puppies, I write, I dance in the kitchen, I dance in a class, I dance at a club, I go out to the best restaurants, I play dress up, I hang with my family, I pray, I ask embarrassing/meaningful questions, I throw dinner parties….

I know all these things seems frivolous, selfish or a waste of time, but without fun, I’m a mess.

Fun is fuel and it is medicine, without it life just doesn’t work.  Tweet it.

It keeps me healthy, happy, abundant, creative, focused and clear.  Without it my body, my relationships and my business just wouldn’t work.  If you want to know how to all the success you crave and a super fun life, I hope you’ll sign up for the LIVE FREE Online Event.  Here’s what Nisha and I will be covering:

WEEK ONE – Ambition & Ease: We’ll be teaching you some of our signature strategies for finding your sweet spot between ambition and ease – the place where you feel productive, creative and happy in your life and work.  We’re also going to share our most personal thoughts on how to create true success when it comes to your career, body, lifestyle and relationship. Up until now, we’ve only shared this information with our clients.

WEEK TWO – Live Coaching with Sarah & Nisha:  You’ll have the opportunity to be personally coached by us.  We’ll be digging into your biggest work/life conundrums and coaching you to find clear solutions for having the success you want.

We would love it if you could join us.  You can read about all the details and RSVP here: LiveFreeRetreat.com.

I can’t wait to meet you at the event.

Love,

Sarah

Making a living vs. Having a life

Do you ever wonder why “workaholic” has become a badge of honor?  We call others and ourselves workaholics, often with a sense of pride and reverence.  But what’s actually good about being addicted to work?

A few years ago, I was a total workaholic.

I was exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed.  My marriage was a wreck and I began my days by rolling over and checking my email on my phone.  I said “no thanks” to invitations to fun events with friends, yet piled my schedule high with networking events and business meetings.  I ate, slept and breathed my business.

I was making money.  “Making a living” as they say.

One day, I called my friend Sarah Jenks and spilled the beans.  I told her what was really going on in my personal life — how I’d been working to the bone, was unhappy in my marriage, wasn’t taking great care of myself, was feeling uncertain about whether I could keep running this business, and was using work like a drug to avoid my life.

Sarah listened patiently and lovingly, then shot me straight:
“Nish, the magic day isn’t going to arrive where you’ve somehow magically checked off everything on the To Do list and can chill out.  You’ve got to start having fun now, babe, or you’re just not going to have the life you want.”

It had been so long since I’d actually done things that I wanted to do, that I actually had forgotten how to live my life.

And it was in that moment that I realized: making a living means nothing if you don’t have a life. {Tweet it}

I vowed then that my business would never be at the expense of my life.  However, I was worried that by prioritizing my life, I’d make less money and would have to sacrifice many of the things I loved as a result.  I’d also been so used to working all the time that I wondered what I would even do with “free time”.

So Sarah and I put our creative brains together and  decided to figure out how I could have it all – a career I loved, the success I craved, time for fun and self care, and plenty of romance.

I took the necessary steps to “have a life” while maintaining a business – steps Sarah and I want to teach you (more on that below).

Here’s what happened that year in moving from making a living to having a life:

I had my first ever $50K month, launching a program I love.
I hired an assistant and delegated a ton of my work to her.
I traveled to see my family 4 times and went on several vacations.
I gave myself the space to finally make a decision about my marriage.
I quadrupled my income.
I am exponentially happier and feel healthier and more grounded than ever.
…And I have to say, it gets better and better all the time.

There are a lot of incredible coaches out there who are awesome at teaching you how to make a living, but Sarah and I are more concerned with you having a life, because that’s the only thing that’s going to make you truly fulfilled. Plus, we’ve both experienced that having a life leads to even greater financial success.

On Wednesday, April 9th we’ll be hosting the first segment of our LIVE FREE Online Event, a two week live stream video gathering where you can join us right from your living room focused on the art of making a living and having a life.  When you sign up you’ll also be the first to hear about our 2nd Annual LIVE FREE Retreat in Sonoma’s Wine Country this October.

WEEK ONE – Ambition & Ease: We’ll be teaching you some of our signature strategies for finding your sweet spot between ambition and ease – the place where you feel productive, creative and happy in your life and work.  We’re also going to share our most personal thoughts on how to create true success when it comes to your career, body, lifestyle and relationship. Up until now, we’ve only shared this information with our clients.

WEEK TWO – Live Coaching with Sarah & Nisha:  You’ll have the opportunity to be personally coached by us.  We’ll be digging into your biggest work/life conundrums and coaching you to find clear solutions for having the success you want.

We would love it if you could join us.  You can read about all the details and RSVP here.  We even made you a sweet video!

Visit LiveFreeRetreat.com.

We can’t to spend some time with you in the coming weeks… maybe even in Sonoma.

Action vs. Ease

action vs. ease

In 2010, I almost quit my business.

I had a full client roster, an adorable wardrobe, a beautiful website, and a growing audience. I was primed for ever-expanding “success”.

I also had a failing marriage, worked until 2am most nights, was emotionally and energetically depleted, felt numb below the waist, and couldn’t understand why making more money was not equalling more fun or enjoyment in my life.

I was fried, and nearly always on the verge of tears from the overwhelm and confusion.

Then, one day, the ceiling caved in. Literally. Check it out:

ceiling

My husband and I were sleeping, and there was an enormously loud crash in the next room — my office. I was horrified. If someone had been there in that moment, they could have died! What was I going to do with all my clients, all this dust, all the damage? It was so painfully symbolic of how I felt. Done. Fried. Crashed.

I cried for days. All the tears I’d been withholding came crashing down all at once, just like the ceiling.

I started to look – really look – at my life. This wasn’t what I wanted. Yes, I wanted to help people, but not at the expense of my own health, happiness and relationships. I wanted to do good work, but not be a workaholic. Was that too much to ask?

Before we go on, let me say this:
If your vision of a perfect life is doing nothing but sipping coconut cocktails on a faraway beach forever and ever and ever…you should probably stop reading here.

And if your vision of a perfect life is work-work-working all the time, talking about work when you’re not working, and staring at a laptop or smart phone even when you’re on that faraway beach…then this is the end of the road for you, too.

If you’re still reading, then I’m guessing that the truth – your truth – is this:
You want to be in action. You want to end your days feeling productive, like you really accomplished something, like you gave it your best and your best was amazing.

And, you want to feel at ease. You want to feel “in-flow”, spacious in your calendar and mind, and like your actions are yielding you great results.

Great. You’re my kind of woman. Let’s talk about how to do it.

EASE & ACTION. 5 STEPS:

1. Want what you want.
Perhaps you have an inkling of how you want your life to look. But how do you feel about having it? If there’s any part of you that believes that you can’t or shouldn’t want it (we all have these parts), we need to lovingly call in another part — the part of you who’s a Yes to you having it. There’s so much more that goes into feeling truly free to want what we want, but start by locating a part of you who’s a Yes to it. Doing this may create the feeling of the presence of a loving mommy within, who believes in you and is rooting for you, no matter what. Call on her whenever you feel like you can’t do it, to lovingly and firmly get you back on track (remember: sometimes “on-track” means closing the computer and going to bed.)

2. Be devoted to living it now.
Take it from someone who did a lot of waiting until there was more time and money – your life is not going to change on its own. Rework your calendar, and stick to it. Are you supposed to work until 5pm? Then focus. Are you supposed to have dinner with friends at 6pm? Then go. Devote yourself to yourself enough to follow-through.

3. Don’t check email.
Instead of “checking” your email, “process” your email. This handy frame comes from the folks at Inbox Zero, who teach that instead of spending your time looking at your emails, reading and leaving them, get in your inbox with a commitment to get them all handled to completion. Oh, and don’t open your inbox more than twice a day, unless you have a job where it’s a must. I’ve recommitted to this lately, and again, it’s changing my life.

4. Make fun plans first.
When I made my list of the top 10 things I want to accomplish this year (an annual ritual), the top of my list is a trip I’ve wanted to take for years. I see too many ambitious women holding off making plans with girlfriends, rescheduling their massages and “forgetting” to eat all day, because they’re so work-obsessed. Take a look right now at the things you’ve been putting off and get them on your calendar today.

5. Handle that thing.
Most of us have a thing – that thing – that we know we need to do but have been avoiding. Maybe it’s organizing your finances, canceling that project, finally writing that email, or getting that strange ache in your hip looked at. And the more you avoid that thing, the more it takes up precious mental and emotional bandwidth, preventing you from being truly productive and feeling truly powerful. Handle it today, love. It’s been waiting for you, and it’ll feel oh-so-good to check it off the list. You can do it.

I believe in you, sister. Your generous heart, your kind spirit, your wild and simple desires, and your vision. {tweet it}

Please borrow my faith if you need it.

In the comments below, I would absolutely love to hear where you are in your journey, and if you have it, any guidance you have for the rest of us on how to integrate action and ease even deeper into our lives.

###

FINAL WORDS: Often, the thing that holds us back from feeling grounded in action and ease is knowing what to do. When walking a path we’ve never walked before, it feels so good to have the guidance of someone who’s been there, done that.

If you’ve been watching Marie Forleo’s B-School videos (if not, watch) and have felt yourself floundering in your life and business, it’s time to get on board. B-School enrollment closes on March 5th. If you register through this link only > Nisha’s B-School Registration Link < you’ll receive a one hour 1-on-1 FREEDOM INTENSIVE with me, for additional guidance and support.

// photo credit: In Her Image Photography (top); Nisha Moodley (bottom)

My B-School Bonus
(the support you *actually* need)

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 11.56.35 PM

Today will be a big day for thousands of people who are truly dedicated to creating a business and life they love, as registration just opened for Marie Forleo’s B-School. I tell you this because if you are an entrepreneur (or “wantrepreneur”) this program is aces. I highly recommend it.

But first, I want to tell it to you straight…
I’ve bought roughly a dozen online courses and have only actually completed a few of them. Even with the best intentions, I’ve often found it hard to stay focused, engaged and on-track. Mostly, they end up being a source of anxiety and overwhelm (and a dent in my bank account). Marie’s B-School is one of the very few that I’ve taken seriously, and while I’d like to take credit for that, the truth is that it’s because of 2 things:

1. Marie makes it easy. She helps you make the space to do the work, and lays everything out in very beautiful, clear and actionable steps. Simple and doable.

2. I had 1-on-1 support. I needed that extra kick-in-the-pants {and a warm hug} of support and accountability. I’m ambitious, yes, but I can also get stuck in confusion and indecision. Having a coach helps me tremendously.

With Marie’s mentorship and my own brand/message/market clarity, I’ve built a 1/2-million dollar business doing what I love, and have an awesome lifestyle full of travel and adventure. My work is meaningful and deeply, deeply fulfilling. I truly love my life and work. So here’s the deal: I’m inviting you to let us help you do the same.

I thought long and hard about what to offer you as a B-School bonus — an online course of my own? a downloadable action guide? — but I realized that I want to give you something that I know you will use, and I know will help…

MY B-SCHOOL BONUS:

If you sign up using this link ONLY >> Nisha’s B-School Registration Link << you will receive a ONE HOUR 1-on-1 FREEDOM INTENSIVE session with me. These sessions are normally $500, and you’ll receive one at no charge, to ensure you have rock solid clarity as you implement Marie’s teachings. B-School is incredible, and with the added 1-on-1 support, you’ll be in great shape. We can use this session to talk about your niche, core messaging, branding, offerings, or work-life balance — all the things I do best.

Once you’re in, we’ll see that you signed up and contact you within a few days, and your session will be booked after the B-School refund period is over. Wee!

>> If you’re still on the fence, here are some posts that may help: Is Your Business Aligned?  and The Clarity & Courage to Be Yourself in Your Work

>> Here are a few words from women who’ve worked with me in the last year:

“Last February, I registered for Marie Forleo’s B-School through Nisha’s link. Wow, what a life-changing commitment! And, when I say that, I’m not just referring to B-School, but also to Nisha’s bonus…a one-hour, one-on-one Freedom Intensive. I questioned whether a one-hour chat with Nisha would actually deepen the experience of freedom in my life. Just a few minutes into our conversation, though, I knew I was going to look back on our conversation as a pivotal point in my journey. Nisha asked me… “Annalicia, if you could solve one problem in the world, what would it be and why?” Answering that simple question, from the essence of my being, from my heart of hearts, has prompted AMAZING changes in my life and business that continue to ripple through my experience today and will continue throughout the rest of my life, I’m sure! To those of you who are interested in B-School and Nisha’s bonus, but are wavering a bit, my humble advice to you would be, take the leap…make it work and it will work for you! To Nisha, a heartfelt thank you.” – Annalicia Niemela

“Nisha was able to laser in immediately to the core of my message and my market and give me the structure I had been craving to ensure my business wasn’t going to take over my life. The feeling of clarity was such a relief and it took away a huge amount of overwhelm. Thank you so much Nisha, you are such a light!” – Jennie Harland-Khan

>> Here’s the link again (you can only get my bonus if you use this link!): Nisha’s B-School Registration Link

p.s. In the past few weeks I shared about Holistic MBA’s CORE training program — another brilliant course made by brilliant women.  If you resonated with them more, there are still a few days left to sign up for their training, and I am offering the same bonus if you join them in this round as well.  Here’s the link to register: Holistic MBA CORE Training.  It’s good to have options!

Have a fantastic week. Thank you for reading, and thank you for your dedication to making a difference in the world.

xo, Nisha

Finding the clarity and courage to be yourself in your work

permission to be yourself

Photo credit: www.inherimagephoto.com

Allow me to come out and say it…

Growing a business can be an absolute emotional rollercoaster.  There can be seemingly-infinite highs and lows.  The highs are amazing and the lows will test your patience, your determination, and quite possibly your sense of self.

“Everything’s been done already!”  
“They thought of my idea first.”  
“What is my message?”  
“What is my voice?”
“Who am I, anyways???”

Growing a business can also be one of the greatest opportunities for self-growth, self-expression and world-changing I know of.  At its best, it is soul-nourishing, creatively inspiring, wildly motivating and deeply fulfilling.

If you’re crazy/courageous enough to take the journey, you owe it to yourself and the world to do it with your whole heart.

In the words of my friend, Marie Forleo: “There has never been, and there never will be another you.  You have a purpose — a very special gift that only you can bring to the world. So when you do what you love, you’ve gotta know this: You’re bringing the world something it doesn’t already have.  Your ideas, your passion… Yes, the world really does need what you have to offer and we’re just waiting for you to bring it to us.” 

If you have a message that you believe in, it is your sacred duty to share it with the world. {tweet it}

If you’re ready to step up your game, bringing your whole heart into your work, take a deep breath. Let’s talk… There are a few common problems I see when women attempt to bring more of themselves into their work.  Below, I’ll outline the ones I see most often, along with the best solutions I know of.

// PROBLEM 1 //
Being unclear on your message and market

Many of us will spend a lot of time obsessing over crafting the perfectly perfect business plan or finding our ever-elusive life purpose, when in fact, what we need to clarify is our core message (what we stand for) and our target market (who we serve).  That’s it.  When you know these things, it’s far easier to make clear and powerful decisions. The truth is, what you do isn’t nearly as important as why you’re doing it and for whom.  For example, my core message is that the world will be set free by women who are free; My market is ambitious women who want to make a difference in the world.  Knowing this gives me the freedom to do many different things, while helping me focus on the things that most serve my market and further my message.

The solution:
Clear your mind, grab a fresh cup of tea and a fresh piece of paper, and ask yourself some big questions.  Do not overthink your answers – just trust what flows…
—> If I could give just one gift to the world, what would it be and why?
—> Who do I most want to serve, with what?
The answers to these questions will provide the foundation to move forward with greater confidence and clarity.

// PROBLEM 2 //
Trying to manufacture a persona to show the world

I believe that the time is ending when we want our leaders to appear perfect.  A friend once told me, “People want to have a President who they feel like they could have a beer with.”  I tend to agree.  For people to hire you, they’ll probably want to feel like they know, like and trust you.  For them to feel that way, you have to actually let them get to know the real you – the woman you are when you’re with your closest people.   Authenticity can’t be faked.

The solution:
When writing blog posts, walking into meetings with prospective clients, and sending out tweets, pause and reflect…  Are you being yourself?  Are you coming from a place of validation-seeking or service and self-expression?  If you don’t appreciate yourself and your gifts enough to put your real self out into the world, I highly suggest you work with a coach or therapist (an important part of the journey!) to get grounded within yourself, so you’re coming from an aligned place in everything you do.

// PROBLEM 3 //
Under-or-over working

If running your business looks more like sleeping in, poking around on Facebook, folding laundry and watching cat videos online, you probably don’t feel very accomplished at the end of your days.  If running your business looks more like checking emails 20 hours a day, pulling all-nighters on a regular basis, canceling plans with friends because you’re “so busy” and sorting through your 275 item To Do list, you probably feel overwhelmed no matter how much you do.  When you over-or-under work, you prevent yourself from being a walking-talking embodiment of your message, while setting yourself up for depression or burnout. To have your whole heart is in the game, you have to be inclusive, taking excellent care of yourself and your business.

The solution:
In our annual LIVE FREE Retreat, Sarah Jenks and I teach the value of integrating both focused hustle and fun & play into your life and work.  If you’re struggling with under-or-over working, it’s time to tighten things up.   Get ninja with your schedule now (no waiting) and be sure that you have focused time for work and playtime with your loved ones.  Without this, you’re not showing up fully, period.

// PROBLEM 4 //
Valuing self-expression over connection

Many women have become weary with the traditional internet marketing lingo (For the low, low price!  Act now! ) and have ditched the script in favor of authenticity.  Bravo.  But…there can be a fine line between self-expression and alienation.  When I see women step into a greater space of self-expression in their businesses, I often see a big pendulum swing – they become disconnected from their audience, leaving them feeling confused and alienated, and their businesses start losing traction.  Whoops!

The solution:
If you were having a conversation with a 3-year old, you’d probably express yourself differently than you would if you were speaking to a 45-year old.  Why?  Because you have to express yourself differently in order to connect with them.  This comes back to our first point: know who you’re speaking to.  Know their fears, frustrations, desires and dreams.  Express yourself AND connect with them.  Have a conversation.

// Problem 5 //
Breaking (or making) the rules without first knowing what they are

Most of the greatest innovators in the world started out by studying the rules of the game.  An odd example, but perhaps it will work: If you had no idea how to make a basic smoothie, what might you put in it?  Well, pizza’s good, so how about mushrooms-tomato-garlic-arugula-cheese?  Riiiight.  Start with learning a basic recipe, and once you’ve got it down, you can improvise as much as your stomach can handle it.  Recipe first.

The solution:
The way to break (or make) the ‘rules’ is by knowing the rules AND doing what feels right.  If you’re stumped when it comes to product launches or copywriting, take a course to guide you along the way.  If you already know the rules of the game, stretch yourself to express yourself.

—> In the comments below, I’d love to hear about the challenges you’ve had in putting yourself out there and/or any tips you have for doing it in a bigger way.

###

p.s. I *highly* recommend you check out the amazing free videos for Marie Forleo’s B-School + Holistic MBA’s CORE program.  It’s great to have options and see who you vibe with — I know both Stacey and Marie personally, and these women are aces in my books; they really do teach you to grow a business mindfully and beautifully. You can sign up for CORE now, and B-School opens in just a few days!

My bonus: If you sign up for this round of either of these programs through the links in my emails, I’ll offer you a ONE HOUR 1-on-1 FREEDOM INTENSIVE with me (sessions scheduled after the refund periods end).  These sessions normally require a $500 investment.  

We’ll drill into your message & market (your niche!) or your offerings, so you can make the most of these amazing courses.  I can’t wait to support you personally, and get to know you!

What to do when you don’t know what to do

photo

Each month, I receive hundreds of emails from women asking me questions, ranging from advice on starting their business, to how to rescue their failing marriage.  And every conundrum boils down to the same essential question:

What do I do when I don’t know what to do?

Being in the space of having more questions than answers can be deeply unsettling.  The worst part is, the more you think about it, the more seems to become an impossible-to-solve Rubik’s cube.  Pro-con lists just offer a space to talk yourself both in and out of something, and gathering opinions from all of those closest to you probably leaves your head spinning.  If you can relate to any of this, so can I.

We want to know what to do, but first we need to know how to  gain that clarity.

Here’s how:

STEP 1.

Know, deeply, that you’re okay. When we’re upset, there is very often a younger “part” of ourselves – one who was angry/hurt/afraid in our childhood – that is being triggered by our present day experience.  It usually happens without our knowing it consciously. For example, if you have a lot of things on your plate, it may trigger a fear that first crystalized in 1st grade when that girl at school said you were stupid.  And voila!  Decades later, there’s a sneaky belief that you can’t handle taking on a lot, and you freak out about your schedule all the time.

It doesn’t matter how much you may believe that you’re not being affected by your childhood today, I can assure you, you are.  We all are.  When you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed, take a moment to visit your inner girl and soothe her.  Being a loving, generous, compassionate and supportive mommy to yourself will leave you with the security of feeling deeply okay at your core, and will help create the confidence you need to move forward with clarity.  Sometimes confusion actually comes from a deeper fear that needs addressing.

STEP 2.

So, how do you want to feel?  Once you’ve settled into “I’m okay”, it’s time to step ahead.  The problem I most often see, though, is we jump straight into trying to “figure it out” – desperately seeking strategy (see Step 5 for that) – but miss that first, we need to know how we want to feel.  The brilliant Danielle LaPorte teaches in her book, The Desire Map, that by getting in touch with our Core Desired Feelings – the core feelings we most want to feel – we have a compass to help guide our actions.  Without being in touch with your CDF’s, you may be able to put your blinders on and take plenty of action… but without your inner compass in alignment, you may feel unsteady, lost or unsure.  Worst of all, you can get to the finish line, only to discover that you’ve created something you don’t want.

Take a moment and notice what feelings you most want to feel (mine: Feminine, Joyful, Plentiful, United, Creative).  In every choice and consideration, you can check in, “Does this align with my Core Desired Feelings?”

STEP 3.

Craft a vision of your future. I often ask my clients, “How will it feel & what’s your ideal?”  In other words, when they see themselves out there in the future they desire, how do they want to feel and what’s the ideal picture of what life looks like?  If your Core Desired Feelings are your internal compass, your Future Vision is your north star.

Sit with a journal and craft a beautiful vision for yourself to live into.  If that’s as challenging for you as it is for me, see if you can capture a “snapshot” of the future – a moment in time that you can hold the vision of.  This will offer something to focus on that embodies both the look and feel of your future, from which you can choose aligned action.

STEP 4.

Get out and play.  Have you ever been frantically searching your house for your keys, looking in the same places over and over, only to give up on finding them and find them moments later?  When you’re stuck in a decision ditch, unable to get out, it’s time to play.  Part of the problem when you’re trapped in confusion is the tangled mental loops you can get twisted in.  The only solution is play.

Get out of the house and get your creative juices flowing.  Focus on something entirely different, like learning a new song, painting, taking a dance or cooking class, or hitting the spa with your friends.  Once you’ve cleared the mental cobwebs away, you’re far more likely to find clarity.

STEP 5.

Get direction. One of my biggest heartbreaks happens when I see a woman gather information for years and years and years, but never get the support she truly needs to take clear and focused action.  It is so important to do the deep inner work, be connected to a vision and the feelings that call you forth, and give yourself the space to be in creative flow.  That is all beautiful and so important.  But so is action, and without it, change happens slowly if at all.  For years, I was stuck in the as-soon-as-I-journal-on-this-thing-and-get-my-chakras-aligned-and-watch-this-webinar-I’ll-know-what-to-do-next rut.  And whoa, was it a painful rut to be in.  But the truth is, I needed direction from people who’d not only been there, but could honor my Core Desired Feelings and Future Vision.  I needed to find out How-To with heart.

There are 2 programs that I have seen thousands of entrepreneurial women go through (including many of my clients) and experience powerful results: Holistic MBA  + Marie Forleo’s B-SCHOOL . I know the women running these programs personally, and as human beings and business mavens, I trust them completely.  They’ve mentored me personally and both have no-cost video trainings right now.  Please do yourself (and the people who are waiting for what you have to offer) a favor and sign up: HMBA VIDEO TRAINING + B-SCHOOL VIDEO TRAINING.  If you’ve been looking for your own step-by-step support from people who’ve been there, get to know them through these free trainings, and consider signing up for one of their courses.  I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t believe that they could help.


—> In the comments below, I’d love you to share which one of these steps is the most challenging for you, and what you’ll do to take that step today.  I can’t wait to support you.

My weekly ritual that changes everything

Nearly every Sunday evening for the past 7 years, I decide what 3 habits I’ll focus on in the coming week.  Then, I make sure I do those 3 things every day.  It usually takes several weeks to really make a habit stick for the long run, but this initial commitment serves 3 purposes:

1. It gives me something to devote my enthusiastic attention to, and has me feeling proud of my progress, even through life’s ups & downs.
2. Committing to just 1 week is a way to get started without feeling overwhelmed by the weight of “I should do this forever.
3. By focusing on just 3 things for just 1 week, I can make adjustments to my habits from week-to-week, until I really find my groove.

Before this practice, I would write mammoth lists of all the habits I wanted to embrace, and tackle them all at once.  By Monday evening I’d be zoning out on the couch with a bag of potato chips, feeling like a miserable failure of a human being.  No worky.

The simple ritual of choosing 3 weekly habits has changed my life.

This week's 3 daily habits:  an early morning walk; playing my ukulele; solo meals at the dining table, always.

This week’s 3 daily habits:
Early morning walks; practicing my ukulele; all solo meals at the dining table.

This week, what 3 habits will you embrace?

Here are some guidelines that may help:
* Make them daily habits.  This will help them stick.
* Each morning, set up a reminder system for each habit (an alarm on your phone, for example.)
* Tell your friends for accountability!  Have them play with you.
* Don’t set the bar so high that you feel discouraged.  Small steps add up.

—> I know this exercise is simple, but sometimes simple things make big impact. Will you join me?  In the comments below, share what 3 habits you’ll embrace this week!  I’d love to be your cheerleader.