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TIME OWNERSHIP – Part 1

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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Entrepreneur Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I believe time management is a misnomer… it just isn’t strong enough. “Management” implies that you’re in a reactive mode, responding to things that are controlled by others then passed on to you. “Ownership” puts you squarely in charge. You decide what the priorities are and you schedule them. You decide what is not a priority and comes off your plate. As Stephen Covey says, “You do not prioritize your schedule, you schedule your priorities.” Do you see the difference?

Let’s take a look at something that most of you do at least a couple times each year, attend business conferences. You attend conferences to hone your skills, meet new people and keep sharp for your businesses. But how many of you go with a plan or at least an intention for what you will learn or what information you will come home with? This is an integral part of time ownership. If you can put it into practice at a conference, you can make it part of your normal routine when you are back home.

Before You Go
Why are you attending the conference in the first place? Are you going to network? Are you looking for clients or customers? Receiving skills training? Finding speaking gigs? Looking for new suppliers? Just taking a break from your regular routine? Whatever the reason, knowing your outcomes before you go the conference can help you spend your time wisely and set you up for success.

While You’re There
When you receive the conference materials, check the schedule, the breakout sessions, the vendors, the after-session activities and decide what you want your priorities are. Then make your plan for each day. Of course, flexibility is essential in case things change. For example, you may experience a major perspective shift that may end up up-leveling your thinking which will shift your priorities. You’ve got to be able to roll with the changes while you are there.

While you are there you’ll likely socialize with others. Remember to plan in down time so you can recharge. You may tend to overextend yourself at conferences because there are lots of activities and you do not want to feel like you’ve missed out. Carefully managing your time is essential so you can accomplish what you intended and so you don’t end up exhausted when you return to work.

Finally, remember to hydrate and to SLEEP! Making your physical well-being a priority is part of time ownership.

After The Conference
One of the most effective things you can do after a conference is to hook up with an accountability partner from the conference. It’s particularly fun if you’ve met someone new and you’ll now have a new friend somewhere else in the country (or the world). If it’s someone local, that’s fine too. You can meet with each other face to face and push each other to accomplish what you set out to accomplish at the end of the conference. This is particularly valuable if you’ve experienced a shift in perspective as this requires changes to what was your normal course of business before the conference.

While it’s fresh, take a moment to review your notes and handouts and highlight the useful parts. Pull out key actions and get them on your calendar. Add the juicy bits of information to your appropriate projects and put the inspiring quotes where you can see them or in your journal. Then, put your conference notes somewhere where you can refer to them later.

Follow up with the people you met once you get home, or even before you leave the conference. Send them an email or text, mention something meaningful about your conversation so they remember you and do whatever you said you would do. If you were going to send them something send it. If you were going to schedule a follow up call, schedule it. The simple act of following up will set you light years ahead of most of the other people at the conference with whom they exchanged business cards.

Finally, apply your new knowledge immediately. Work on the things only you can do and let your staff and contractors take care of the other priorities.

Own your time.

Cass Mullane’s calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, a contemporary abstract artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ Retreats.You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

When I found out that a law firm bought the building my studio was in and I had 30 days to move out, I was devastated. My studio had been my safe haven for the past two and a half years – especially during this recent period of transition and loss.

I’m sure you’ve experienced curve balls like that in your life and business. While they can be disappointing and disorienting at first, if you let them, they can also be opportunities to see things in a new light. As Project Runway’s Tim Gunn says, “Make it work!”

Maybe you had to take a temporary job to pay the bills. Or maybe your biggest supplier stopped selling the materials you need for your best-selling product. Or perhaps you’re being forced to use a new system because your current one use is no longer compatible with your other essential tools.

Rather than fixate on the frustrating aspects, find ways to move on and make it work for you. Here are the steps I’ve been taking to move through this latest transition:

Bring closure. I knew it was important for me to acknowledge the loss of my studio before I could move on. Before I turned in my keys, I spent my last afternoon there journaling, meditating, and leading myself through a gratitude ritual as I touched each wall, thanking them for holding sacred space and recounting the marvelous transformation that happened for me and my clients in every nook and cranny. During my reflection I realized that the biggest gift this studio gave me was a strengthened creative practice (which I can take with me anywhere).

Make it work. Get innovative as you work within your new limitations. What are alternative solutions? Think out of the box as you brainstorm. Perhaps the new options aren’t ideal, but if you make sure your basic needs met you’ll be just fine. My absolute must-have was a large empty wall somewhere where I could paint big – and thankfully there is one in my garage.

Find the silver linings. At first I was so bummed by the lack of good lighting in my make-shift studio not to mention that I’m surrounded by unattractive boxes and random, extraneous stuff. However, the more I started to look for the positive, I realized how convenient it is not having a commute (even if it was only 5 min before!), and how awesome it is to pop into the garage even for just a few minutes of painting. Also, because the surroundings aren’t as beautiful, I have full permission to get super messy. It’s okay if I get paint on the walls or the floor (whereas I worried about that at my rented space). Now I feel even more liberated! What positive surprises can you identify in your new situation? Identify at least 3 things that you can be grateful for.

Open up to new possibilities. For the near future, I’m going to keep things simple and just stay put for now. But I’m also letting myself dream about what it would be like to have an art shed or maybe even add a studio on to our house at some point. When you have to make a change, suddenly so many other options are possible! What can you open yourself up to?

Is there something in your life or business that you’re being forced to change? How can you make it work? I’d love to hear!

The Sassy Decade

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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Entrepreneur Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I just celebrated the beginning-of-the-next-decade birthday. I’ve decided to dub this the Sassy Decade.

Those of you who know me might be scratching your head saying, “But Cass, you’re already pretty sassy!” My answer, “Yep, and I want to inspire others to help themselves to a serving of my kind of sass.”

My kind of sass is the wonderful humorous, playful kind of sass that helps us really enjoy life. It’s the “I love what I get to do every day” kind of sass. It’s the “Let’s have some fun and still get things done” kind of sass. Are you with me?

One of the most important things I’ve learned as I’ve aged is that you should not sit around and wait for things to happen. You’ve gotta boost your internal Sass Factor, take hold of that courage and go out and make things happen. If it’s something that truly feeds your soul, go get it. If it’s something that truly makes you happy, go do it. Boost your “I’m not waiting for someone to hand it to me, I’m going out and getting it” kind of sass.

You need to be crystal clear on what it is that truly feeds your soul. The emphasis here is on YOU. What is it that YOU really, really want in life? Strip away all the objections, obstacles and obligations… what makes YOUR soul sing?

I can already hear the excuses starting to pop up… you don’t have the time, the money, the equipment, the support, the energy… to go after whatever it is that feeds your soul. My answer is you probably don’t have your priorities very clear. This is not a criticism, it’s an observation. But let me tell you, that once you get really clear on your priorities, everything starts falling into place. Once you’re clear, you can then set priorities and make decisions that will take you down the path to making your soul sing.

As an example, I’ll tell you about a few things that I’ve been working on. I wanted to write a book, start a podcast and travel. For a while, I just dreamed about these things and didn’t take much serious action on achieving them. But then the U.S. presidential election happened and the divisiveness and fear in this country made me really clear on the positive impact I could have if I got my sassy self into gear. The keys to my success in converting these dreams into reality have been:

  • True clarity in what I want to accomplish
  • Chunking each of these big things into small manageable bites that I could squeeze into my already full calendar
  • Sitting down and doing the work

I wanted to write a book about mindset… the manuscript for Cool Stuff Jar is with my editor and we’ll publish in September. I wanted to start a podcast on mindset… Prosper Creatively will launch in a couple of months on the eWomen Podcast Network on Blog Talk Radio. I wanted to travel… I set up Cool Stuff Jar Retreats for busy businesswomen and the first retreat is in Barcelona in October.

The point is, you can do what you dream about. You need to get very clear on what makes your soul sing. You need to chunk it out into small manageable bites. Finally, you need to tap into your sassy self and make it all happen.

 

Cass Mullane’s calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, a contemporary abstract artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ Retreats.You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

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Guest post by by Lisa Dolce, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator,

As right-brain entrepreneurs we see our business as a sacred vehicle for getting our gifts and talents out into the world. We are always looking for ways to fully express ourselves and in turn make an even bigger contribution in this world.

But what happens when you don’t know what’s next?

Maybe you hear a little voice inside you that calls you to do or be something more… But you don’t know exactly what that ‘something’ is!

Not knowing your next step can be very uncomfortable and frustrating…if you let it.

Instead of searching for some magical business formula to move you forward, remember that for you, a right-brain entrepreneur, planning starts on the inside.

You have a few superpowers you can rely on in times of transition. They are called Intuition & Imagination—and when accessed, they can reveal what I call “divine breadcrumbs” that lead you to the next step on your business journey.

So how do you access this powerful tag team?

1) Give yourself permission to start from within.

Did you know that only about 20% of our brain is used for conscious thoughts and 80% is dedicated to our unconscious thoughts? That means you have a treasure trove of untapped guidance.

Just because we are conditioned to rely on data and concrete tools for business planning, doesn’t mean you should start there. All you need to take the next step is right there within you.

2) Invite Intuition & Imagination to come out and play.

Intuition wants what is best for us, but we need to shut out all the distractions before we can hear her.

I’ve always loved to write as way of letting my imagination come out to play. So imagine my surprise when, a few years ago, my current business idea and vision came to me as a poem! I had never written a poem before—which just goes to show you never know what your Intuition & Imagination will manifest for you.

You can tune into your personal tag team in many ways: writing, painting, drawing, being in nature, meditating, dancing, cooking, anything you like to do that helps quiet your mind.

Another way to access your internal wise self is through guided imagery. It’s like dreaming while you are awake! I recommend using Jennifer Lee’s Big Vision Visualization.

3) Use a Capture System to record your breadcrumbs.

Flashes of intuitive brilliance pop up when you least expect it. So don’t miss them! Develop a simple Capture System like journaling, mind mapping, collaging or voice recording.

That poem I wrote, was captured onto this beautiful Right Brain Business Plan. This helped me to manifest the next step into a business that expresses who I am more authentically and attracts the most perfect clients for me.

My Intuition & Imagination have been my very best business guidance tool. When I stop and listen, the next evolution of my business begins to clearly emerge and so do the next action steps to lead me there.

So the next time you find yourself longing for an action plan, stop and remember to access your right-brained superpowers before diving into those left-brained details.

Your inner wise self knows exactly what you need. Listen in for those divine breadcrumbs and follow them to your most authentic and fulfilling business.

 Lisa Dolce is a Business Coach and Mentor and Licensed Facilitator of the Right Brain Business Plan ®. She is the founder of The Launch Studio and loves to help sensitive entrepreneurs start and grow soul centered-businesses that make a deep and lasting impact in this world.

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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Entrepreneur Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I’m launching some new things soon… a book, a podcast, plus awesome art and business retreats for busy entrepreneurs… totally delicious additions to my current coaching practice.

In the process of doing this I have only about a jillion things to get accomplished. Naturally I feel pulled in many directions all at the same time as I must keep a plethora of plates all spinning at once. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but more often I’m fairly comfortable because I know I am well equipped to figure out how to get all this juiciness completed and ready to serve.

So how do you learn how to stay relatively calm in the face of all the things that need to be done?

  1. Know where you want to go
  2. Plan how to get there
  3. Get help with the things you’re not good at or don’t want to do
  4. Do only what you’re really good at
  5. Check in regularly with everyone (including yourself)
  6. Adjust the plan

Everything else is just noise.

Know where you want to go
This almost goes without saying… you need to be crystal clear on where you want to go and what you want to accomplish. This will serve you immensely when things get tough. It will also help you very quickly identify what’s important and what’s fluff. Plus, it will help you get back on track when you get derailed or distracted.

Plan how to get there
Since I’m a visual planner, I whip out my whiteboard, the big calendar, my foam core and my sticky notes and go to work. I start at the 30,000 foot view to identify the big projects (like book, podcast, retreats), then give each project a big piece of foam core. Then I used my sticky notes to list the major tasks and milestones. I figure out where I’ll need help and identify who I should get in touch with. I figure out when the tasks need to start and to be finished and continue to dive down and down and down until I’m ready to go to work on it.

Get help with the things you’re not good at or don’t want to do
During the planning process I show the relevant parts of the plan to various members of my team and get their input on priorities, scheduling and content. For example, I know I need to plan a social media campaign for the book, so I let my book coach and her team handle designing that piece for me. I also know I need a redo on my website, so I need to find someone to help me design it and make it a reality.

Do only what you’re really good at
Now I can already hear some of you saying, ͞”I don’t have a team.͟” I’ll bet that if you really think about it, you probably do. Does anyone help you with your website? Does anyone help you with your bookkeeping? Does anyone help you with your social media? Your graphic design? Your writing? Your mindset? Your brainstorming? Your business? Does anyone guide or mentor you? Then you have a team. They may be paid or unpaid, they’re still part of your team. Pay attention to others who have good results and get recommendations from them about who to consider engaging.

Check in regularly with everyone (including yourself)
Staying on top of things and holding your team, including yourself, accountable is essential when you have a lot you want to accomplish. I’m definitely NOT talking about you micromanaging everything or doing everything yourself. I AM talking about being a good boss and managing your team by letting them do what they do best while making sure they’re on track with what you want them to accomplish. Remember to turn the accountability mirror on yourself as well. You need to keep your focus on doing what you do best and only overseeing what other people are doing.

Adjust the plan
You will need to review your plan regularly to figure out where you need to make adjustments. Practically every plan will experience a few major glitches and will require adjustments. (Note: One of the beautiful things about sticky notes is they can be pulled off and moved easily.) Your goal is to minimize the disruptions by keeping an eye on what’s going on and by making adjustments before you hit a crisis.

Stay laser focused on what’s important and do the work. Everything else is just noise.

Cass Mullane’s calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s an artist with an MBA, a best selling author and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ Retreats.You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

Pipe Your Strawberries

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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Accountability Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

I have a friend who is an amazing chef. She learned from a very young age how to bake and to cook from her grandmother and has honed her skills over the years. She describes cooking and baking as being “in her bones” meaning it is something so ingrained that she simply takes it for granted.

I asked her to cater an event at my studio and we made it a bit interactive so attendees could literally build their meals in various food vessels. (I am an artist, after all!) My friend explained each ingredient and how various items would pair beginning with appetizers, through main course options and desserts. At the end of the spread the desserts included a tray of fresh strawberries hollowed out and ready to be filled. My friend reached the strawberries and said, “This bag is filled with a wonderful chocolate mousse. Just pipe it into your strawberries and enjoy.”

As the event progressed and people started heading for desserts, she realized that the chocolate mousse bag was getting smushed in the middle instead of being twisted and kept in shape. She realized that what was “in her bones” was not necessarily in everyone else’s bones. It made her think about how she could better communicate what she considered second nature.

So, what gifts and skills are in YOUR bones? What do you do that feels completely natural? What do you do effortlessly? What is second nature to you yet you’re surprised when others cannot do it easily?

When you’re working in your zone of excellence you’re in flow. And everyone has their own zone of excellence. Your job is to identify what it is that puts you in the zone and to spend as much time there as possible.

Your job is also to OWN your zone of excellence. Please do not discount your gifts and skills, do not minimize them. Instead, recognize that this is what makes you strong and this is what makes you unique. You can always draw on these skills and they are solidly in your toolbox.

If you’re inclined to share your skills and gifts, learn how to do that effectively. Learn what is foundational and how to communicate it. Learn how to make sure the people you’re teaching feel empowered and gain confidence in their new learning. Make sure you know how to make your wonderful world open and welcoming to them.

And, from a business perspective, while you’re concentrating on working in your zone of excellence, let others take care of the things that are not in your zone. Ideally, you’ll seek out and hire people who are working in their zone of excellence to take care of the things that are not in your zone.

Chefs can make a meal look and taste spectacular and think nothing of it. Artists can create a work of art seemingly effortlessly. A business person can look at numbers and instantly understand what they mean. A software developer can write an app without even thinking about how to code.

What is your zone of excellence? What are you doing to pipe your strawberries?

Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass’ calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, textile and mixed media artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ coaching program. You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

My friend Emilie Wapnick’s new book comes out TODAY May 2nd. It’s just the thing for you if you have multiple passions and aren’t sure how to make it work. In Part 2 of my interview with Emilie she talks to us about productivity hacks for multipotentialites, how to get over Imposter Syndrome, and how to lead with your gifts. You can check out Part 1 here to learn about her four multipotentialite work models.

Emilie’s Interview

Jenn: I hear from many creatives how frustrated they get when they feel like they can’t get anything done because they always have so many ideas and interests. What are a few productivity tips that you can share with us?

Emilie: Here’s my favorite “productivity hack” for multipotentialites:

  • Write down all of your passions and projects.
  • Pick 1-4 projects that you really want to focus on right now. These are your priority projects. Write them out on a separate page. Hang them on your wall as a reminder, if that helps.
  • Make a long list out of all of your other passions and projects. This is your list of projects that are waiting in the wings. Add to this list whenever a new, shiny idea pops into your head.
  • When it’s time to get down to work, take a look at your priority projects and pick one to work on. Once you lose steam, take a break and/or switch to another priority project.
  • If you’re ever itching to play with some of your projects that are waiting in the wings, take some Tinkering Time. Set a timer for 40 minutes (or whatever length feels appropriate), and have at it. Go down the rabbit hole, explore to your heart’s content, be “unproductive,” have fun! You set a timer, so there’s no risk of losing the whole day.

It’s important that multipotentialites give themselves the freedom to explore, otherwise we can become resentful of our priority projects. At the same time, we want to make progress on our core projects. This technique allows you to balance those two competing needs.

Jenn: It’s quite common in my community of creative entrepreneurs for folks to dabble in a lot of different areas and sometimes this triggers people’s “Imposter Syndrome” fear to kick in. What would you tell someone who is suffering from this limiting belief?

Emilie: Imposter syndrome is a belief that deep down, you are a fraud, that you shouldn’t be here, and that one day everyone will wake up and realize it. Everyone experiences imposter syndrome from time to time, but I think multipotentialites feel it more because we often have unconventional backgrounds or are “outsiders” when we begin exploring something new.

First, know that if you were truly an imposter, you wouldn’t be feeling this way. Imposters are liars, bent on tricking others and profiting from that deceit. Come on, does that really sound like you? True imposters don’t feel imposter syndrome. If you’re feeling a little unsure of yourself, that means that you’re genuine, that you are doing something that matters to you, and that you are maybe stepping out of your comfort zone a little: all good things! Plus really really successful people have talked about experiencing imposter syndrome. I’m talking about folks like John Steinbeck and Jodie Foster. In fact, imposter syndrome might be a sign that you’re doing something very very right.

Beyond realizing that everybody feels this way sometimes, the best way to get past imposter syndrome is to refocus on the work itself. Instead of thinking about how other people perceive you or how well you measure up, just get back to it. Show yourself, through your actions, that you know what you’re doing.

Jenn: It’s so important for us to live from our strengths and as you discuss in the book multipotentialites actually have so many gifts to tap into. What advice do you have for us to lead with our multipotentiality?

Emilie: If you think you might be a multipotentialite, know that there’s nothing wrong with you. In fact, being oriented this way is kind of a super power! Your diverse background and unique skillset can help you stand out in a professional setting and allow you to contribute to the world in refreshingly unique ways.

To lead with your multipotentiality is to embrace and own it. Don’t apologize for having many projects; share those projects with enthusiasm. Design a life that allows you to be the biggest and best multipotentialite you can be. It is absolutely possible to embrace your many passions and having a thriving career at the same time.

Thanks so much for sharing your unique gifts so that we can embrace our puttylike nature. How can we find out more about your work?

Thanks Jenn! You can learn more about my new book at HowtoBeEverything.com. And if you’d like to check out the community and blog, head over to Puttylike.com and say hi!

Emilie Wapnick is a writer, artist, career coach and community leader. She is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites (people with many passions, skills, and creative pursuits) integrate all of their interests to create dynamic, fulfilling and fruitful careers and lives.

Emilie has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, The Financial Times, The Huffington Post and Lifehacker. Her TED talk, Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling has been viewed over 3 million times and translated into 36 languages.​

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