How do you know if it’s a successful day?

This is not your father’s success.  In today’s business world, and especially in the business of fitness, success is not defined as climbing a corporate ladder and getting a gold watch at the end of your career.

In fact, I’ve heard that today’s business world is more comparable to navigating a jungle gym than a ladder–lots of lateral moves or sudden changes and the ability to hop off and then get back on again.  What do you think?  Seems to be pretty spot on to me.

Today, it’s more about fulfillment of a mission, achieving at work and at home, and continuous learning or personal growth.

So, how do you know if it’s a successful day?  Can you even track progress with these more conceptual daily goals?

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It’s important to define what success means to you, individually.

We’ll talk about how we define success running two fitness studios and how we keep at it even if things don’t seem to be going the way we want.

Throughout the episode, we referred to The Day Designer, which is the planner we all use.  Check out more about why we’re committed to staying organized and how The Day Designer allows us to make it happen and keep each day on the success track.

The new 2019 planners are available for order and we just got ours!  Since we each have to have a different one, it’s always fun to negotiate who gets which cover (Listen for some funny banter about how we had to make our decisions in the episode.)  But … I think everyone got which one they wanted!

She's On Her Toes 2019 Day Designer

Too funny!  We match!

Emily got Brushstrokes (top left).  Carolyn got Ink Me In (middle).   Christina got Patio Tile (lower right).  We like to order right away, because some patterns sell out!

The Day Designer:

It’s the layout of the planner that is what I like best about it.  Each day gets its own page starting at 5:00 AM and finishing up at 9:00 PM—perfect for me because sometimes I have to teach an early class. The appointments are on the left and the to-do’s are on the right, so your whole day is right there on one page. There is also a spot to prioritize your top three to-do’s which is always helpful when you have lots to accomplish in limited time.

You can check out free downloads of a day’s page hereto test out how the planner might work for you. Another great free download is the Monthly Goal Progress page—I use this to make sure I’m on track with my larger goals and tasks that can’t be completed in just one day.  And, the Food & Exercise Log or Weekly Meal Plan pages are helpful to hold yourself accountable to your workouts and healthy meals. Check out the Day Designer here.

Follow me on Instagram and see what I’m working on in my business each day @shesonhertoes

I’m super-passionate about leading and managing my hardworking team.  Check out my courses How To Hire A Rockstar Team and 5 Days to Time Freedom to keep developing your leadership skills.

Podcast Episode 13: The Power of Saying “No”

So, how’s it going? How are you?

I’m so busy!  I’ve been so busy, it’s just insane.

And so starts the beginning of just about every conversation in today’s modern age.  And … it’s so f-ing boring, sometimes I can’t even stand it.

Why are we sooo busy? Are we actually doing more … or are we overscheduled and overworked with the wrong things, ensuring we don’t have any time to get anything important done?

I’m going to go out on a limb and say most of this being busy is more about doing the wrong things than prioritizing what’s most important.  And frankly, that’s sad.

When was the last time you said “No” to someone?  Why is saying “No” so hard?

The big problem with refusing to say “No” to things you don’t have time for, or don’t want to do, is that they take a huge toll on the remaining time you have for the things you need … and like to do.  The lesson here is the more you say “No,” the more you can say “Yes.”

Listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast here.

She's On Her Toes

Podcast Episode 10: THE Thing Successful People Do

It turns out that what you do every day really does matter.  The most successful individuals on this planet have daily rituals to keep them at the top of their game.  And, overwhelmingly, the most successful and wealthy, read books.  Like, actual books.  Every single day.

She's On Her Toes

Ok, ok.  Some of them listen to books AND podcasts.  But reading the written word directly correlates to higher education and thus higher income.  Studies have shown that reading 7 or more books per year makes you 122% more likely to be a millionaire.  Why is that?

Maybe it’s because reading expands the mind and encourages creativity.  Maybe it’s because so many of us don’t read, that this type of continuous learning gives regular readers a huge advantage in business and in life.

Today, we’ll talk about all that AND share our favorite books and podcasts to help you develop a strong habit of reading.

Listen as we discuss why we all read, why reading is critical to developing a life of learning and curiosity, and our favorite books that had a profound impact on our lives.  We also share what we’re reading and listening to now … and of course some fun, beach reads.

Check out the She’s On Her Toes Podcast on Apple Podcasts and iTunes.  Click here.

As promised, here’s the list of what we’re reading and listening to …

Harry Potter Complete Book Series ($61.14) If you listened to the podcast, you know that these are the books that turned Emily into an avid reader.  And, even though I kind of made fun of her for being obsessed with this series, it makes complete sense that she loves this whimsical, fantastical series because she’s super creative.

Baby-Sitter’s Club Box Set ($29.16) – So … I’m a little older than both Emily and Christina.  I was in college when the first Harry Potter book was published, so I never got into that series.  But … I absolutely loved the Baby-Sitter’s Club when I was in grade school.  I could rip through like five of these books in a day.  This is a series about a group of girls that start their own business baby-sitting … hummm … seems fitting.

The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body ($5.80) – Christina shared that this book, written by Cameron Diaz, was really important to her after college because it helped her embrace healthy habits like working out and eating healthy, and really respecting her body and a balanced life.  It sounded like a great read, so I just ordered it myself.

Other books that have been important to us in life and work …

Never Lose A Customer Again: Turn Any Sale into Lifelong Loyalty in 100 Days ($17.32) 

How to Make Friends and Influence People ($9.60)

The Compound Effect ($10.71)

All of Malcolm Gladwell’s books … The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference ($12.67)Outliers: The Story of Success ($12.29) David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants ($10.71) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking ($8.98)

The Checklist Manifesto ($11.37)

Think And Grow Rich ($7.99)

Think And Grow Rich for Women ($13.60)

The Road Less Stupid ($18.56)

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself ($7.67)

Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight ($15.24)

Fun books we recommend …

Jillian Flynn’s books … Gone Girl ($10.69) Sharp Objects ($8.99)Dark Places ($9.16)

Girls in the Garden ($9.54)

The Girl Before ($10.04)

Big Little Lies ($13.71)

What Alice Forgot ($9.80)

Podcasts we love to listen to …

Goal Digger Podcast

Side Hustle School

MFCEO Project

TED Radio Hour

How I Built This

Mind Body Green

Rich Roll Podcast

Serial

Up and Vanished

Whew!  That should keep you busy reading and listening for a while.  We’d love to hear if any of these books or podcasts helped you find clarity in your business or in life … or just helped you chill out on the beach!  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Ordering books from Amazon is super easy, but click here to get everything for your Kindle or Kindle App for your iPad.  You can also get audio books and magazines.

Or try Audible to listen to your books in the car, in the gym, or wherever you are.  They currently have a promotion to get 2 books free when you try it out.  Click here.

What You Don’t Do Is Most Important

I am a huge fan of Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.

The Compound Effect, Darren Hardy:  This book literally changed my life.  My business coach, Mary Ann, gave me a copy to read before one of our first meetings.  Since reading the book, I cancelled my cable, started reading every day, enacted a strict budget both for my personal spending and business spending, and stopped going to Starbucks every day for coffee (I still drink coffee.  And sometimes go to Starbucks.  But I learned how to make a latte at home—that tastes just like Starbucks. Click here to learn how.  It’s really easy and I only had to spend $40 to get the right tools.)  Anyways, back to The Compound Effect…this book is all about making small changes that “compound” to effect bigger more amazing changes.  And it really works.  If you are in the fitness industry you can attest, like I can, that just making one change to work out on a regular basis leads to making other smarter choices about food and drinking.  Then all of a sudden, you’re more toned and people are commenting about how good you look.  Anyways, get this book immediately, if not sooner.  Read it.  Implement just one suggestion—after all it’s called The Compound Effect.  See what happens.

And … I got to hear Darren Hardy speak at the conference I just attended in San Diego.

She's On Her Toes

Here we are!  Learning and freezing–ActionCoach keeps the room like an icebox.

One of the things he said really stuck with me: “The hardest part of your job is what you don’t do.”

Does that make sense?  We literally come face to face with thousands if not tens of thousands of distractions every day.  These distractions compete for our already precious time and prevent us from doing the things that matter most to our success in business and in our homes.

But distractions aren’t just simply the obvious ones like television, the news, and the biggest rabbit hole around, social media.  Distractions could also be opportunities that don’t fit into the scope of your business, or things you do in your business that someone else could be doing.  Click here to read my previous post on what I need to stop doing in my business. 

The message was, that in order to be successful, you have to edit your life.  You have to get rid of all the bad stuff—all those bad habits need to be pushed out to get to the good stuff.  So, here’s my Give Up-On List …

Television – This one is holding strong for about a year!  I cancelled my cable in an effort to save money and time (Read about it here).  Because frankly, I was literally wasting so much of it watching stupid sh*t on TV.  And then over the summer, my TV broke, and I haven’t replaced it.  If I want to watch something, I watch Netflix or AmazonPrime on my computer and … it’s a conscious choice!  No more mindless time spent in front of the TV searching for something to watch.  This has given me hours of extra time each day.

News – This one was a little harder, but still holding strong.  I stopped reading the newspaper and watching news on TV, again because it was a huge time suck, but also because constantly reading about and watching negative news was really bringing me down.  And let’s get real, a very small amount of news is actually important for me to know in terms of running my business and living my life.  If there is something that is really important, I find that people will tell me.  And if I have questions about a topic, I’ll go and do my own research—again, a conscious choice to learn more, no mindless time spent sucked into news shows that are completely irrelevant to what I’m trying to accomplish every day.

Starbucks Everyday – Biggest change, biggest impact!  Not only have I saved over $1,500 from not getting Starbucks every day for the last year, I’ve saved about 200 hours of driving and waiting in line to order my coffee.  Y’all, this is huge.  Is there something in your life that you could cut-out or edit that would save you this much time and money?

Yardwork – This is my new challenge.  When I moved into my new house, the yard was much smaller and I thought I could take care of it myself because it wouldn’t take much time.  Wrong. Spending hours or days cutting the grass, trimming plants, weeding, and blowing leaves is not going to contribute to my success as a small business owner.  Yardwork is a never-ending chore that is best left to the professionals.

Being A Non-Leader – Another new challenge.  And by this, I mean, doing things in my business that could be delegated to my employees.  I talked about how I needed to transition away from teaching in a previous post, but there some other things that I could pass on to my team freeing up my time to focus on leading them.

So, choosing not to do something is perhaps more important than choosing to actually do something.  Oftentimes what we edit out of our lives is what allows us to focus on the things that really matter.  What could you edit out of your life or business to free up your time to do more of what matters?  I bet you already know what it is.

 

How Business Survivors Behave

I’m on the beach doing a little light reading—Laurence Gonzales’ Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  No beach trash in next to my SPF 70.  And while all of the stories Gonzales tells involve surviving accidents at sea, in the wilderness, or in the air, I can’t help but think about the proverbial “mountains” that we must conquer in business and how these survival tips could come in handy when faced with our biggest business challenges.

In Deep Survival, Gonzales seeks to explain what survivors have that the unlucky don’t.  How can you increase your odds of making it out of an accident alive?  It turns out survivors have some very special characteristics and these traits seem remarkably similar to the traits of successful business owners.  What makes the difference between surviving and perishing?  What do survivors know that the masses haven’t figured out?  And how can we apply these things to running our businesses better?

 They Stay Calm

This is pretty important and discussed throughout the book, Gonzales reiterates that staying calm is the key to surviving any accident.  Why?  Because the human body only has a limited amount of energy and if you are dehydrated and hypothermic, wasting your energy can literally mean the difference between life and death.  Another bonus to remaining calm during a crisis is that calmness usually produces better decisions.  Emotional outbursts usually lead to irrational choices or decisions you’d wish you hadn’t made.  #textsfromlastnight  If you find yourself in a bad spot, keep your cool.  Stay calm.

Similar to surviving a life-or-death accident, staying calm to make business decisions is imperative as well.  In business, you also only have a limited amount of energy—don’t waste it worrying about forces out of your immediate control.  Use your energy to its fullest by only focusing on what you can control—how you manage your employees, how you provide a great experience for your clients, and how could you be doing both these things better.

They’re Really Good at Ignoring “No”

I’m not sure I can say it any better, so I’m just going to quote Gonzales: “There is always one more thing that you can do.  Survivors are not easily frustrated.  They are not discouraged by setbacks.  They accept that the environment (or the business climate or their health) is constantly changing.  They pick themselves up and start the entire process over again, breaking it down into manageable bits.  Survivors always have a clear reason for going on.”

It’s that “never quit” attitude that keeps them going.  Nothing can keep them from living through their ordeal and getting out alive.  Similarly, in business, don’t let anyone break your spirit or take you off track from your goals.  It’s extremely upsetting, but some of our biggest business detractors are disguised as our closest family and friends.  Stay strong.  Stay above “no.”

They Complete Small Tasks

I’ve talked about this in multiple posts, but the power of small is real.  Establishing your daily routine to tackle just a few small tasks and get a little closer to your ultimate goal is the key to business success.  Think about it, if you did 3 things each day that were directly related to your ultimate business goal, at the end of the year, you’d have completed 1,095 tasks.  I wonder how many your competition completed?  Need help prioritizing your tasks?  Check out this previous post.

They Know They’re Smart

This isn’t an IQ thing or an ego thing.  Survivors just know that they’ll make it out.  Call it positive mental attitude.  Call it extreme self-reliance.  But they never have any doubt that they have the ability to make the best decisions they can to get through their current situation.  This also seems to be a factor in business success.  The best businesses are led by owners who never seem short of the confidence that they know they’re on the right track.  In addition, once a business owner survives one setback, they know they can do it again.

So, next time you find yourself in the midst of a business problem, simply recall the Navy Seal motto, “It could always be worse.”  Just kidding.  Actually, this is another key trait of survivors according to Gonzales—they find humor and appreciation for anything that comes their way.  As long as you know you can get through any of life’s or business’s difficulties, you will.  Staying calm, ignoring “no”, completing small tasks, and knowing you have what it takes will get you to the other side of your problem.

I made some notes about my posts for later this week and I’m not sure exactly what I was thinking when I wrote “How to get unstuck” for Thursday.  Hopefully I’ll figure that one out in time!  But, on Friday, I’ll share with you my favorite under-eye treatments.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, Laurence Gonzales

Is Your Backbone Made of Courage?

Ugh.  I had big plans to write an amazing post based on the following excerpt from The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement written by Howard E. Ferguson.  But…taking year-end inventory at both studios and receiving several shipments of new clothing which then needed to be entered into inventory, took entirely more time than I thought.  So, I’ll leave you to read Ferguson’s own brilliant words…

If desire is your wishbone, then courage is your backbone.  Your backbone gives you the gumption, the get-up-and-go, the guts to excel, the incentive to make any dream you dare to dream come true.

It’s easy to be ordinary or mediocre, but it takes courage to excel, to be different from the crowd.  That’s why not many people can do it.  The rewards are great, but so are the risks.  It takes courage to sacrifice; to work long, hard hours when you could be relaxing; to work out when you’re tired or sick; to focus on being the best you can be when there are so many distractions; to seek out tough competition when you know you’ll probably get beaten.  It’s easy to be average, but it’s hard to be the best.

It takes courage to stand by your convictions when all those around you have no convictions.

It takes courage to keep fighting when you’re losing.

It takes courage to stick to your game plan and the unrelenting pursuit of your goal when you encounter obstacles.

It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before physically and mentally, to test your limits, to break through barriers.

It takes courage to run a marathon, but then how would you ever know how far you could run if you never tried?

It takes courage to try to be the very best you can be when others around you settle for mediocrity.

I firmly believe we are put on earth to be tested—to be challenged with adversity and to see what we can accomplish.  The successful person is the one who continually faces the problems and challenges that life brings—and overcomes them all, no matter what the obstacle is.

I also believe that most people have far more courage than they give themselves credit for.  When tested, people find they have the courage to look deep into their souls; and do things they never thought possible.  This amazes most people, who initially don’t believe they have much courage.  We all have it—we just don’t realize it.

Most people are completely unaware that they possess this type of courage.  Why?  Because if they were aware of it, they’d have to test it—and that’s risky.  So most people play it safe and don’t risk “Going for it.”  They’re afraid of going into the unknown.  There are no guarantees.

Unfortunately, people frequently tell you things can’t be done before they tell you things can be done.  They’re what we call “SNIOPs”—people who are “Susceptible to the Negative Influences of Other People.”  It’s easy to be negative because it’s safe and deals with the known.  It’s hard to be positive because it means taking risks and deals with the unknown.  It takes courage to succeed.

Sebastian Coe (distance runner, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist) used the word “courage” to describe what it will take to run the super mile.  He didn’t say mental toughness—which is what you need at the end when your legs are dead and your lungs are bursting.  Most good athletes can handle this; they can fight through the pain barrier.  What Coe is saying is that you must be courageous—you must be brave enough to push yourself at the beginning when you’re not hurting, knowing full well that by doing this, the more you’ll hurt at the end.  That is courage!

2-29, The Edge: The Guide to Fulfilling Dreams, Maximizing Success and Enjoying a Lifetime of Achievement, Howard E. Ferguson (This is one of my favorite books. So many great quotes and bits of inspiration.)

How could you not be totally pumped up to take over the world after reading this?!  After typing it, I’m starting to understand why an ex once told me that I did so much all the time that it made him feel bad about himself.  All I can say is, when courage is your backbone, you can’t help but just go for it!

Next week I’ll get back to actually writing and let you know all the books (and even a magazine) I’ve been reading as well as some great podcasts I’ve been listening to.

Until then, stay on your toes!