Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another reason to turn off the TV

I belong to various list serves and online groups, one of which just started a discussion regarding how to manage the stress of the economy. I suggested the importance of turning off the television to manage stress.

Of course I have blogged about that before, and I continuously remind people of the power that media has over how we feel, what we believe, and ultimately how we act. We must be very mindful of what we allow into our awareness.

Need some proof, or more reason? About six or seven years ago, a research study was published analyzing the role of television viewing on mood and emotions. Without getting into boring details, it asked participants to record on an remote device their mood at various times during the day. This data was then transmitted to the researchers.

Guess what? Watching television was associated with a mood equivalent to mild depression, independent of the subject matter being watched.

Now, did the television viewing produce the mood, or vice versa? Likely it was indeed the viewing that "caused" the depressed mood because of the statistics that were used in the study.

The moral of this blog entry? Turn off the TV! Even when the economy starts to rebound!

To Your Continued Prosperity,

Friday, January 30, 2009

WAHM Talk Radio Spot

Here's a link to a spot I did on WAHM Talk Radio in November. It's about easy steps to put fitness into your life.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Tips to Manage Stress

Still need ways to keep your stress level down?

1. Find ONE stress management tip that you will commit to doing for at least one day. And then follow through.

2. Have trouble following through? Get someone to help you. You are not an island, you don't have to slay the dragons all by yourself. Reach out and tell someone what you are trying to do. Publically stating goals increases your committment to them. Plus you'll have someone to hold you accountable to them.

3. Be honest about managing stress. Sometimes people resist making changes in their lives that will decrease stress because they secretly hope that something external to them will happen, magically making all the problems go away.

Do you fantasize that you wake up tomorrow and the economy will be fixed? That more business will just roll right in, and that your spouse will effortlessly find a better job?

Functionally, this wishful thinking becomes a distraction. You "hope" for things to get better, and then put aside the relative inconvenience of developing a new habit, even if it's one that will help you feel better.

4. Have faith in yourself. Know that you have whatever it takes to pull you and your family through tough times. You may not always know what to do or how to do it. But if you can read these words, then you have what it takes. Just have faith and keep moving forward. You might shock yourself with how far you can go!

5. Change your scenery. Sometimes just a change in your surroundings can lower your perception of stress. Sure, it'd be nice if you could wisk away to some Caribbean island for a weekend. But it doesn't have to be that dramatic. Eat lunch in a different place (especially if you tend to eat at your desk). Take a 5 minute walk right after lunch. Pull yourself out of the space that you associate right now with feeling overwhelmed.

And let me know how it works for you! Post your successes or your struggles, and I'll respond!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

More Anti-Stress Tips

1. Turn OFF the TV! Nothing more has happened today with the economy that will directly impact you. Act as if nothing has changed.

2. Take regular, deep breaths. When stressed, your body is deprived of the oxygen it really needs. Your muscles tense up as a result and your shallow breathing compounds the situation. Let loose and BREATHE!

3. FAKE it until you make it. It's easy to be dragged down by the news of the day and the events swirling around you. But really ask yourself, if all of those issues were magically resovled TOMORROW when you woke up in the morning....what would you do differently? Probably not much. And if there ARE things you'd do differently, DO THEM anyway.

4. Exercise. Haven't blogged about this in a while, but exercise must become a regular and consistent part of your lifestyle if you expect to have a quality, meaningful life. Find ways to be active, to move your body. They don't have to be dramatic or involve a gym or equipment. You just have to move your body.

5. Work your business. Don't just "do" what people hire you to do - think bigger and go just a little bit farther. Advertise your name/business in one more place today than you normally do. Small steps evolve into big results.

6. Write out THREE main goals for this next month. Make them attainable, measurable, and realistic. Then let me know what they are!

Following these tips will help you increase your sense of control over your life, which will help decrease stress and anxiety (no matter the economic situation!).

To Your Continuing Prosperity,

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Consistent Message

While there was more news of layoffs this morning, I managed to get two new clients in just one day. I have never confirmed two new clients in the same day before, so it marks an interesting milestone for me.

Then I started thinking - wonder why the economy is sending us mixed messages? I have certainly heard the adage that "fortunes are made during recessions," but this just seems different. People who have nothing to do with traditionally recession-proof businesses continue to do very well.

Without denying the royal mess that major segments of the economy are in, I do have to wonder about how we assess and determine the health and sickness of the economic situation.

Maybe the way in which we view the traditional exchange of goods and services is outdated, or at least incomplete. Could it be that, with our educational system pumping out worker for the industrial age, the breadth and scope of the new economy is being obscured?

So many women now have home based businesses. They may not make tons of money, but it represents dollars that aren't being spent elsewhere.

And, in broad terms, home based businesses require less working capital than brick and mortar stores, reducing their need for bank loans.

Perhaps the message is what this great land of ours has traditionally represented - carve out a niche for yourself, and do it in the most creative, cost effective way that you can.

Drilling that message consistently and continuously may help keep some parts of the economy afloat.

Keep moving forward, the potential within you is great!

To Your Continuing Prosperity,

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Best of Women Owned Businesses

Got back from my presentation today. I always feel so energized after speaking to groups of people, and when the groups are full of amazing women doing awesome things, it just makes the whole experience more than I hoped for.

Thanks, ladies, for an inspiring afternoon of motivation, excellent questions, and networking!

No one in the group spoke to me about constraints from the economy. I realized that as I was driving out of the parking lot. What could have become a time of, "Oh no, how are we going to keep our businesses afloat," instead focused on refining our internal beliefs about what is possible and probable.

Obviously outside factors influence business. But when it comes down to it, having the confidence in your capability to grow your business keeps us all more than afloat - it helps us thrive when others are fretting.

The ability to be creative, think about alternative ways of marketing and promotion not only solidifies your foundation, it is good for your brain!

Mental flexibility leads to the best ideas, and keeps people from feeling trapped and victimized by circumstances out of their control.

You can surf through this storm!

To Your Continuing Prosperity,

Women business owners are the future.....

Just getting ready to give a presentation to a wonderful organization, the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at our local community college.

This particular group emphasizes women-owned businesses, and since many of them tend to be home based, it has a special place in my heart.

In doing some research for this presentation, I came across a wonderful resource link that I'm passing along to you.

The links this woman has on her blog are incredible, and show the strength and power of women owned businesses.

Looking forward, the ability of women to recognize their talents and skills will truly transform the economy.

Now is the time.

To Your Continuing Prosperity,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just a little bit more....

Today I had a wonderful reminder of the power of "thinking big," courtesy of my 9 year old son, Alex.

Alex approached me about four months ago, asking if he could start jogging with me. I was thrilled that my exercise habits were trickling down to him, so of course I encouraged it.

We have a treadmill in the house, and while they can be very dangerous for children, I felt confident enough with my level of close supervision that he would be OK (plus there's that "key" thing that attaches to his chest that will cut the power if he falls).

He really enjoyed it, starting with "running" at a whopping 2.5 MPH for 12 minutes. Very soon, he worked up to 16 minutes, jogging/walking about a mile. He constantly likes to see if he can run "just a little bit faster" each day - makes my heart leap!

About two weeks ago, he developed a cold that has left behind a nasty cough. He avoided jogging because he felt too sluggish on the machine. I know this feeling, and it certainly is a dis-incentive to run.

We do have a doctor's appointment scheduled, but I wanted to see him at least walking for the 16 minutes. It's really more about keeping up the habit, not trying to "exercise."

Today, he got on again, and I encouraged him to try to slowly jog for just a minute. He did, and then backed it down to a walk. One more time, I told him, "Just see if you can run for another minute." And he did!

I'm thinking, "Now he's on a roll, let's see how far I can push this." So I kept telling him, "Alex, when you think you're going as fast as you can, in reality you can go just a little bit faster."

I could see the change taking place in his brain as if it were written on his forehead. He cranked up the speed to faster than he had ever gone, just for 30 seconds.

When he backed it down for his cool down walk, he said to me, "Mom, you were right. I could go faster than I thought I could."

What's the lesson?

Whereever we are, we can go just a little farther. If we're progressing as fast as we can, the fact is that we can go just a little bit faster.

Even in this economy.

Where are you right now? How can you go just a little bit more? Where can you put just a little bit more?

Those "little bit more's" will add up to some "bigger chunks" in short order.

To your continuing prosperity,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Feeling Stressed? Take a Breather....

And I do mean "breathing" in the literal sense!

Listening to bad news all day long, or even for just a few minutes in the morning or evening, can really take a toll on you. It is hard to resist getting pulled into the doom and gloom of what is going on in the world.

But the consequence is that you bring that doom and gloom into your own mindset! It influences how you feel, how you think, and maybe how you act.

Do not give up your personal power to outside influences! First of all, turn off the TV. I promise you that if something really important happens (like that plane that landed on the Hudson), you will hear about it.

I have taken this important step myself. I tend to be a news junkie, but I realized that constantly having that drone in the background plummeted my mood.

It then became a distraction. I was so pulled into whatever issue was being discussed that I failed to work on projects that would BENEFIT me. How crazy is that?

And indeed, I did hear about the plane last week, even though I didn't have the news on. I didn't miss anything! When I chose to turn the news on, the reports were so miraculous - I felt uplifted by watching. Trying to figure out the last time that happened........still thinking......

After you turn off the TV, you'll notice you have much more time, attention, and energy to devote to your own personal life and business. Conduct your life as if nothing unusual is happening, and you will see progress.

Take that breather from the TV. You will not be sorry!

To Your Continued Prosperity,

Anita ( )

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

There IS NO recession....

Well, all right, maybe that's not entirely true.....

But I titled this blog entry "There IS NO recession" because I wanted to jolt readers into evaluating how the words they say to themselves impact how they feel. In a direct way, concentrating on the "R-word" creates a layer of stress that just doesn't need to be there.

Imagine for the next several minutes that there were no recession. How would your life be different? What would you be doing differently today? How would you be feeling?

Even if you, or your spouse, has lost a job or had to reduce work hours, does blaming it on the recession really help? Does it help you find another job, or figure out how to generate more income?

No disrespect to anyone who has suffered a job loss, by the way! It is a serious and devastating experience, particularly if your savings has also taken a hit.

However, wringing your hands and lamenting about the economy making it harder to find another job simply adds insult to injury.

Release thoughts about the recession and economy. They become distractions, they pull you away from your goal of getting back to work or earning more money. Even if your situation hasn't been affected by the economy, having a "recession-orientation" can have no other result than to make you stressed and worried.

Those thoughts make you feel lousy, bottom line. If your situation is truly bad, then don't make it worse by absorbing the weight of the entire economic picture on your shoulders.

Be in problem-solving mode. Rather that repeating, "The economy is so bad, I can't find a job or make more money," shift to a position of "Where can I look next, where are opportunities I've passed by, what options exist that I've not ever thought of before?"

In no way does this minimize or undermine the hard work and transitions you will have to go through. But you can maintain a lower level of stress and overwhelm by narrowing your focus to the things you have true control over.

To your balanced prosperity,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Staying Calm in the Troubled Economy

It's been a while since I posted to the blog! Please don't think I have abandoned you, my precious readers.

Rather, I just got really busy, with lots of new clients and opportunities presenting themselves. I had speaking engagements and requests for articles. My clients were pushing to get their goals accomplished before the end of 2008, meaning hard core focusing was going on.

All along, I've been networking and connecting with all kinds of people, including more and more work at home mothers.

Through all of this connecting, I experienced something unexpected: many of the WAHMs I spoke to reported an INCREASE in their businesses during the last two quarters of the year.

What? This didn't make any sense to me, although it mirrored my own business trends. Every day on the news, we were bombarded with proof of the economic slow down.

To be sure, major segments of the economy have slowed considerably, there is no denying this. Among my friends and network connections, their husbands have been laid off or their hours have been reduced.

In trying to process this apparent discrepancy between what people on "Main Street" were saying, versus what the talking heads on TV were saying, it dawned on me.

Traditional measures of economic health rely on traditional retail numbers. That means that all the money I make, and all the money that MLM contractors make, are not captured in the overall economic picture.

No one asked me to report the gift certificates I sold for coaching services over the holidays. But those are dollars that were not spent at Macy's or Walmart.

I see individuals struggling in this economy. But I also see people thriving (including myself, at least up to this point).

The take home message - build your businesses! What is happening in traditional settings does not reflect what is going on in the "new economy."

Let's report our own economic news....

To Your Prosperity,

P.S. And while you're at it, head on over to and sign up for my newsletter!