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#empowerment #financialindependence #flourish #womeninleadership Sep 05, 2022

My son is the KING of putting off hard work. Like, he can take ALL day to just clean the Lego off the floor to vacuum. In an odd way, I feel his "pain." You see, I’m NOTORIOUS for hitting the “eject” button on anything that’s difficult.  I know that sounds terrible coming from an Executive Leadership coach, but I’m just keepin’ it real, folks.  

BUT - when I find something I LOVE - that feeds my own energy - my motivation changes. Suddenly I’m willing to learn new technology, invite other women to have a RECORDED conversation with me, and even pitch myself to other podcasters - like I have something to SAY. 

Because, well, I do.  

The more I share Intentional Optimism, the more I realize it’s not just a ‘life philosophy.’ It’s a personal growth plan - an active pursuit.

More than simply “principles to live by,” these tenets are a real vehicle for personal growth.  I like to use a simple sailboat analogy for the six tenets, and as I decide to get in that boat and engage in my own growth, it takes me further and further from the “shores of mediocrity and security,”on the  adventure of a lifetime.   

Which brings me to today’s topic. Way, way back in podcast Episode 1, I made the following statement:

I’m convinced, I truly believe we need Unconventional Leaders to navigate through this unprecedented time in history, and help us all come out on the other side better, more prepared, more open and ready to take on whatever we need to do! In any capacity or area you could imagine. 

That means, my friend, we have to DO something.  

So today, we’re talking about Industry. The first piece of the tenet Energetic.  

When I first began sharing Intentional Optimism, this word stumped a few people. It can be difficult to step away from the idea of Industry as a segment of the market… but hear me out.  Industry (as a noun) is economic activity, producing or manufacturing, AND hard work… movement… many times together, with others.

So, what can we do, individually and together, to grow?  

This concept of being Industrious, hard-working, diligent, conscientious, persevering through new experiences and ideas… applies to us as leaders in our families and our communities.  Having an industrious bent allows us to provide for ourselves, our families and others, in ways that empower.   

What does that look like?  

The world continues to shrink as we’re all developing our digital capabilities. It means we are creative - in what we produce and in ways to overcome financial and physical obstacles - and we accomplish that by growing our own knowledge and skills. 

What are YOU Creating?

I’m amazed - on the daily - how many women have gotten into the “digital workforce.” Gone are the days of the necessity of a brick and mortar shop to sell something you create.  If you’ve got a product to sell, you can easily set up an Etsy shop, sell on Amazon or your own website, and BOOM - you’re global. Whatever you might need to learn, digital self-education is available on virtually any topic. Digital course creation, itself, is a booming market. 

Think you’re not a “creative” person? 

Chase Jarvis, in his book Creative Calling, outlines his definition of creativity, which is the brilliant concept of “establishing a daily practice, infusing your world with meaning and succeeding in work and life.”

This is what many around the globe do each year, including me, in the 100 Days Project. Every day for 100 Days, we create something small (like an essay) and share it, usually on social media. Search the #100DaysProject, and you’ll be amazed at all the lovely things others are creating… and it’s never too late to start. Give it a shot. The pure repetition of doing something for 100 consecutive days will develop a good little habit.

Creating is a natural extension of growth.  When you grow, you create new ways of thinking, new ideas, new solutions. You may not be an entrepreneur, but when it comes to leading in our families and communities, everyone needs to be in creative mode.  

Here are a few questions to ask yourself   

  1. What are you creating?  
  2. What needs doing? 
  3. Are you thinking outside the box for creative solutions to your challenges? 

 If you don’t have an answer to any of those questions, that’s your challenge today. What’s your daily contribution to the world?  You’re either sitting in your dark house all day by yourself, or you just can’t see the ways you create everyday.  

Once you begin to create, you need to sustain… so we need to...

Become Financially Savvy! 

Money is the “energy” behind dreams and actions. Like gasoline for a car. And, NO, it doesn’t need to be a “necessary evil.”  Money gives us the ability to provide for those for whom we are responsible, and create opportunities for others to do the same.  I’m speaking from a place of growth here - this one’s hard for me.  I grew up in a community of conflicting money beliefs: money is corrupting, yet necessary. Hard work is honorable, but doesn’t pay well. Giving and generosity are paramount to remaining humble and grounded, but if you don’t have much, you can’t give much.

Don’t get me wrong… those of us in the Western world, no matter what our financial state, are rich in comparison to most other cultures. Everything is relative.  However, our Intentional Optimist (inspired by Prov. Ch. 31), is most certainly a woman of means.  She produces and sells products. She purchases and sells real estate. With her profits, she buys a field and turns it into a vineyard, providing food and work for others. These are examples of things we can do.  No matter your level of income, you need to be a savvy, good steward of what you’ve been given. Sometimes that means stepping out with a new idea, and generating income in a way you wouldn’t have expected.  

If this is new to you, it’s time to learn some basic financial principles. I've interviewed several women on my podcast who are dedicated to helping women succeed in financial areas - Vicky Lowell (Ep. 70) and Sonia Frontera (Ep. 72). Start with them.  If you’re an entrepreneur and want to ensure your business is profitable, then Profit First, by Mike Michalowicz will get you on the right track. My friend, Megan Hale, is a certified Profit First coach, so look her up. 

Either way, figure out how you can use your finances to provide for your needs, then the needs of others.  

Maybe you’re not producing or creating because you think you don’t know how - or where - to start. Well then, it’s time to...

Grow your skills! 

Confidence comes from getting the knowledge, information and skills to DO the thing you want to do.  

Nearly six years ago, I decided I wanted to help other women. How? I wasn’t sure. In the past, I’d toyed with more traditional ways like selling cosmetics and skincare, and even becoming an Interior Designer. But nothing quite fit. Then I realized I was helping people on a daily basis, by listening, answering and teaching - that’s when it clicked. 

I didn’t, however, have all the skills I needed to jump right into a coaching or consulting business, so I went out and found the education and certification I needed.  While certifications are good, training, or growing my knowledge, isn't always enough. I have to constantly practice and improve my skills.  All the work I do to coach, teach, speak, train and even podcast are activities that  develop my skill set. 

Every week. 

I still take classes, read books, listen to podcasts and learn from my own coaches. I’m always working on my knowledge base - but increasing my knowledge encourages me to up my skills. 

Are you working to develop your skill set? At work, at home, in the community? If not, where do you most need to grow?  Figure out what you need to learn, and take some action.

Sometimes “being productive” can feel overwhelming, but - hey - we're in this together, ladies, ask for help!  

Alright then… take a look at where Industry is showing up in your life, or not, and Decide to do something about it.

As I always say… Begin small. Right where you are. 

  • CREATE! Are you creating? I’m certain you are. Are you thinking outside the box for creative solutions to your challenges? Then I say, “see! Yes, you are!” Celebrate that, and lean in. But don’t stop there. Look for new ways to create.
  • Next - Get your financial chops in order! If you could see me, you'd catch me wagging my finger at my own image in the mirror.  We can’t share if we don’t have. Don’t let this topic scare you.  You truly know more than you think, and you CAN learn the basics. There are so many resources out there. If I can work on this, YOU can work on this.
  • Finally - Grow your SKILLS. I’m absolutely positive there’s some skill set you need that would catapult you into the next level of growth, productivity, or leadership.  Look at where you are, where are you frustrated?  That’s the perfect place to start.

So what will you choose today? 

Will you let your little boat of personal growth float along with the current, drifting wherever it takes you?  A non-participant in your own destiny? Or worse, will you sit in the sand on the shore, filled with regret or jealousy as you watch others sail by, on their way to the future they’ve chosen? 

Your boat will sit beautifully on the beach, looking spiffy and cute all day long.  But it’ll go nowhere on its own. It’s the same with Intentional Optimism. Recognizing and affirming the 6 tenets (Optimistic, Present, Energetic, Courageous, Wise and Intentional), is a good place to start… but it’s like admiring a cute little sailboat on the beach.  It accomplishes nothing. It’s usefulness is only realized when you place it in the water and get in.

Once you do, things begin to change.

Only IN the water, can you experience the exhilaration that comes from realizing and recognizing the power of a personal growth plan.

Get that boat in the water! 

This is my specialty. I help you begin the journey, giving you the equipment you need. I help you get off the beach. I’ve done this myself… many times all BY myself… but have had amazing sisters help me through the breakers, out into the open waters where I can sail.

Now it's your turn. 

Intentional Optimism is one of the tools I use to help you think critically, create imaginatively, and lead effectively. If you find yourself ready to take your leadership to the next level, let's talk. I'm dedicated to helping the next generation of female leaders step up with confidence and a clear vision of where you can take us as the future unfolds.

Until next time!


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Episode 25: The Importance of Action



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