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A Note to Financial Advisors: 5 Powerful Insights Into How Women Think

Money can be a hard subject to talk about.

Honestly, who wants to sit around talking to a stranger about their annual income, their monthly expenses, where they want to invest, and then in the end write a big cheque with money you hope you see again?

I truly believe the best way for women to create wealth is by working with financial professionals. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, “fewer than one in five women currently has an advisor.”

Why? Because women can’t find anyone who understands them.

Advisors are talking to women just like they do men. Big mistake. True, money knows no gender. Women, however, are very different from men. Yet the financial world is based on the male model of communication.

Here are 5 powerful insights into how women think. By looking at these insights you can learn what to look for in your relationship with your financial advisor.

1) Women are all about relationships.  Women are ‘other’ oriented; men are transaction oriented. Women communicate to create relationships and make connections. Men communicate to obtain information, establish status, and show independence. These are 2 very different conversations. The message women want to hear: “I care about you. I understand you. I’m here to support you.” How can a financial advisor provide this for you? Ask lots of questions about your goals, dreams, time frames, lifestyle, opinions, your life in general. They should listen more than talk. Find out what you need, not what they think you need.

2) Women can be very emotional when it comes to money. But in the financial world, conversations about emotions are considered taboo, too touchy-feely, not part of the financial planning process.  Really big mistake. Your financial planner doesn’t need a degree in psychology, but they do need to invite you to discuss your fears, beliefs, and family’s attitudes toward money. Often by simply listening your issues, and addressing your qualms while explaining your options can be enough to get you past your emotional blocks.

3) Women want to be educated. Men like to learn through trial and error. Women like to be taught. In a study by Deloitte Touche,  90% of the women expected their financial advisor to educate them. They even rated service, advice, and education far ahead of performance. What’s one of the best ways to educate women? Seminars. Why?  According to an Emory University study, “the pleasure and reward centers of their brain light up if they can work towards their financial goals in a cooperative way with other women.”

4) Women define success differently than men. Men define success as being in control; women as how well they can help others. The financial media, and the industry itself, seem to believe that scary statistics, alarming statements, and worse case scenarios will actually motivate women. But clearly fear tactics haven’t worked.

Instead, look for a financial advisor who will talk to you about how investing allows you to experience the joys of philanthropy, the thrill of leaving a legacy, the satisfaction of helping people you loves and causes you’re passionate about.

5) Women clients tend to be more time consuming, especially at the beginning. Women expect more service, ask more questions.

In my 1st appointment with Eileen, my long time advisor, she told me: “My job is to see your needs are met. It’ll take time but I need to find about your goals and level of risk.” And she did. Then she gave me choices. “I see myself in partnership with you. Here are your choices. Let’s discuss each of them and figure out what is best for you.”

These are powerful insights that should help you to orient yourself around what is important to you when it comes to money. Instead of seeing the financial world as a man’s world, you can now reframe it around what you want and make the financial world your own. Keep these insights in mind when looking for your financial advisor and you’ll be sure to find the right fit for you!

**Edited for repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Goddess Connections’ publicationWomen Who Run It.

Are You Ready to Coach Your Way to a Better Life?

You’ve already heard my story about my experience with coaching, but that’s just one story. One story among the countless of lives that have been changed, people who have begun to see things differently, paths that have been redirected.

And here is another.

Julie Anne Christoph is a life coach certified through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), but this wasn’t her original path.

Julie Anne began working in sales and she did so for seven years until she was diagnosed with depression. Like so many other women, she found herself on the wrong path in life, and her health was suffering because of it.

Instead of reaching for the pill bottle, Julie Anne headed to the gym.

“I didn’t want to take medication to get out of it so I started exercising… I was really doing it for how good it feels, spiritually and mentally, how you just feel good afterwards. I wanted to share that with the world.”

And she did, by opening her own Curves gym.

Her Curves immediately thrived. She had over 880 members and was running a successful business she loved with one goal in mind: “My goal was impact and inspire one woman to love life again, just like what exercise had done to me.”

Julie Anne achieved that goal and in a bigger way than she had ever imagined. One day a member of her gym came up to her and told her “When I came here I had heard so many great things about your club and I said I have to go and check it out because at that point in my life I did not want to be on Earth….If that had not worked I was going to kill myself, but that was six months ago.”

Julie Anne was stunned by this. She realized that she had reached her goal, and that this goal was the key to what she wanted to do with her life.

“I spent time to think about what I was really doing different and what I wanted to do with that. So I went into coaching and when I found iPEC…I said ‘Oh my God. This program is absolutely life changing; it deals with consciousness, with awareness, with energy, with what human beings are’… It’s really finding yourself so you can share your gifts with the world,” Julie Anne shared.

So she became a Certified Professional Coach and shared her best insights on what coaching is with me.

WWRI: What would you say are the three main things that you have learned from coaching?

JA: That it’s important to be objective, meaning not jumping into other people’s stories. Being non-judgmental. There are so many perceptions from one situation. There are so many options to choose at every moment for how we want to perceive our world and create our world. Also, coaching has nothing to do with giving advice. Coaching is there to help you see clearly who you truly are, and be aligned in everything you do. Coaching guides you to be the best you possible.

WWRI: What has it taught you about other people?

JA: People get stuck in their own story.

People limit themselves.

People have so much potential and when they choose to open it, they bloom like crazy. They become very different people. When they choose to face what’s stopping them, they accept it and they realize that really what was limiting them was all a story that they made up themselves, they literally change. This is how we get in our own way, whether we’re conscious of it or not. It’s how people work through any potential blocks or challenges or stories they’ve hung onto, that will determine how fulfilling and abundant life will be. We do have more control than we think, in terms of how we “show up” in our relationships, career, and all other aspects of our lives. Coaching is a viable tool to plant these seeds of growth.

WWRI: What would you say to people who don’t think that coaching is a necessary thing?

JA: A coach is no longer seen as someone you go to in order to tout your problems. Coaches are now in such high demand grooming leaders for growth and greater possibilities. In fact, women who hire coaches to help them with their careers are shown to increase their productivity and confidence, helping them to speak up more, make bolder and stronger strategic decisions, and improve upon their work/life balance. In just three years, according to a Sherpa Coaching survey, coaching has fast become widely used as a leadership development tool.

And, right here in Canada, the Sherpa survey revealed that over 50% of individuals find coaching to be a credible and effective return on their investment. So, while coaching may not be for everyone, I say anyone can benefit from self-development heightened communication skills, and finding alignment with oneself – one’s values – my journey through iPEC’s Coach Training Program proved to be priceless… I love my job, family, and my outlook on life because everything is in alignment. I am passionate in what I choose to do and coaching was my springboard in getting there. I loved it so much that I now own iPEC Canada. I really wanted to make this incredible program accessible to Canadians.

WWRI: What about becoming a coach? How about that?

JA: When you become a coach then you go through the certification process to become a masterful coach, following a certification program through an ICF accredited school is recommended. People follow a Coach Training Program for different reasons, some for personal growth, some to start a new career and others to bring the new skills and tools back into their organization.  You could just want it for yourself, you could want to bring it back to your own organization and be a different leader and interact differently with your employees, or you could just choose to coach.

Many people ask me about a career in coaching (either life, executive, or business coaching.) The first thing I say is, it’s great that you’re curious – the best coaches use their curiosity, intuition, and listening skills, day in and day out, to help move their clients forward. And, nine times of out ten, the people asking me this question are drawn to the profession because they truly want to make a difference in the lives of others.

If you want to become a coach, do your homework. Be sure that the coach training school is ICF-accredited, that is, it has passed strict rules and regulations set forth by the industry’s governing body, the International Coach Federation (ICF).  Again, take a look at your values and that of the coach training school. Ask yourself if they are aligned, and be sure to investigate the quality and experience of the trainers. I can tell you one of the things that sold me on choosing iPEC was their business development component. iPEC not only teaches a unique, inside-out approach to coaching, they incorporate business development and marketing tactics to help you become a successful entrepreneur…or womenpreneur, as I like to say!

WWRI: What is one weird thing about coaching that most people don’t know?

JA: Whatever a coach is hired for, whether it’s in corporate, in business, whatever field, it all ends up being about life coaching. You never know when those “ah ha” moments are going to come or where they might stem from. In order to get to the bottom line, whether you aspire to engage your employees or become a more authentic leader, coaching will get you there. It’s the journey, however, that is a weird, fun, zigzagging adventure and the rewards, in truly finding out about yourself – how you operate and what you want to improve upon, are simply endless.

WWRI: What about people who are scared to take the leap?

JA: To get a coach: I would ask what are they scared of finding?

People who want to become coaches: How much do you believe in yourself? We all have the capacity, it’s just about choosing if we want to or not. And some people choose not to.

Through my talk with Julie Anne I learned that becoming a coach, or getting a life coach is not for everyone, but that it could benefit anyone. It just depends on where you want to take your life and if you’re ready. If you’re ready, then take the leap today!

Positive Thinking Is a Useless Waste of Time

You’ve probably been told since you were young that positive thinking is the key to success.

Who wouldn’t want to believe that?

In a word of sunshine and rainbows that would be the way it is. Thinking positively would get you to your goals, you would never have to doubt your self, and it would all come up smelling like roses. That’s what most people are told, but when tested, it’s easy to poke holes in that theory.

Positive Thinking is Actually a Huge Waste of Time “Who believes in positive thinking?”

All hands went up.

“Who uses positive thinking on a daily basis?”

Again, all hands in the room went up.

“I don’t believe in positive thinking. It’s useless and a waste of time.” I stated from the front of the room with great conviction and authority.

I stopped and looked around the room. Some of the men glared at me. Some leaned forward in their seats and actually looked angry. Others sat back in their chairs and crossed their arms. They didn’t like me challenging their way of doing things.

But here’s the thing: I wasn’t there for them to like me. As an Ultimate Performance Expert, my workshop was designed to train the elite to show up and be excellent consistently. My role was to coach them, teach them, and challenge them to do more and be more. Fluff and philosophy is not my style.

Setting the scene, this particular workshop wasn’t my business audience. This group was comprised of all male athletes. Not just any group of athletes either. These were elite college football players who were into serious preparation mode. They were about to show off their talents to NFL scouts and coaches, in hopes of making it into the league. There was no room for error. They couldn’t afford to blow this upcoming opportunity.

They each signed up and showed up to the workshop to learn how to not be average. Excellence was their goal. Blending in and fitting was not acceptable. They would be showcasing their talent against other highly talented players who were chasing their dream.

The missing piece in their armor was mental and emotional strength conditioning. No matter how incredible their skill and their talent was, they knew that if the pressure of the tryout got to them, they would screw up any chance of making it into the league. Any amount of self-doubt, hesitation or stress could kill their lifelong dreams in seconds.

Proving My Theory It was time for me to prove to them that I actually knew what I was talking about. So I asked one of the players to share a positive statement with me. A statement that he would normally use to pump himself up during training.  Without hesitation he stated, “I am feakin’ amazing. I own my position and I dominate my competition.” The statement flowed naturally out of his mouth and I could tell he used it often.

“Great, that’s a clear and positive statement. But do you believe it?” Now I had everyone’s attention. Walking over to the player, he was still seated and I was standing in front of him, I watched his body language change.

As I approached, he went from leaning across the table in front of him to sitting back in his chair. I asked him to repeat his statement out loud. What happened next was extraordinary and powerful.

This player, I’ll call him Jim, who towered above me and could have flattened me with little effort, now sat farther back in his chair, his eyes went down and he visibly began to shrink.

Keep in mind, I had asked his permission to coach him live and in front of this group and he had volunteered. I had applauded him for his courage. This entire time I made certain he did not feel embarrassed. In fact, he was intrigued by the whole experience.  Each step of the way I continued to point out to Jim and the group what I was observing.

When I asked Jim to say his statement again, but this time to do it like he actually meant it, he looked up at me and said it again. His voice was a bit louder, he sat up some and he now made his statement with more conviction.

Reframing What It Means to Think Positively Then it was time to push. I could tell he was up to the challenge. It’s part of Jim’s competitive nature. He would either fold or rise to the occasion. So I pushed, with authority and conviction I stated, “I don’t believe you. You’re really not all that great are you? You don’t seem like you’re that amazing to me!” I waited just a moment and then told Jim, “Say it again and make me believe you.”

He straighten up in his chair, looked me squarely in the eye and I could see the light coming on behind his eyes as he said it again. “Better. Now say it like YOU believe it.” I pushed him again.

All of a sudden his entire body came up and forward in his seat, his voice went deeper, his eyes were full of power and he clenched both fists. When he made his statement this time, I literally felt chills run through my body. He had done it! The entire room knew it and felt it. The energy of everyone in the room changed. Most important, Jim felt it.

“Now, run that feeling through your entire body. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes feel it, experience what power and belief really feels like.” I directed.

I took one step back and looked around at the group. All eyes had been on Jim and me. Some of the guys had gotten up out of their seats to watch. Others sat riveted on the results. All of a sudden the applause broke loose.

Jim looked straight at me and a big smile came over his face. “Wow, that was powerful! Thank you!” I nodded and went back to the front of the room and just stood there for a moment. I gave everyone time to take in what had just happened before I we began our discussion.

Why You Shouldn’t Think Positively “THAT was a positive statement that was believed in. Do you get the difference? Positive thinking is just that, it’s thinking. Thinking is way overrated. It’s just a lot of well-chosen words that will fall apart under pressure. The power to believe in yourself and the power to perform at a high level comes from emotion.”

Jim could have stated how great he was all day long, but if he didn’t believe it at an emotional level his skills and talents would fall apart at the most critical moment when he needed them the most.

When you add emotion to a positive statement, you charge it up.  You light yourself up at the same time! Belief is the key. Belief isn’t a bunch of words. Belief is a deep down emotional experience.

So don’t listen to the idea that you need to think positively. That will get you nowhere. Find it in yourself to believe in that positivity and you take your success from being a thought to a reality.

Hugging Complete Strangers: A Weekend of Life Coaching

I’d heard about life coaches before.

I’d previously pictured a strong, scary, yelling man on the sidelines of your life, telling you what plays to execute. Or a man in a windbreaker giving you some inspirational speech in a locker room.

So what is a life coach?

A life coach is kind of like a personal goal therapist. They help you achieve things in your life using weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one sessions. Less frequent sessions are possible, but are not ideal. If you have a goal you’re trying to reach, wouldn’t you want to focus on it at least once a week? Life coaches take an objective standpoint and are trained to ask the right questions to help lead you to your right path. They are not there to give advice or share opinions, they are there to coach you into making your own decisions, the decisions that are right for you and will help you reach your goals.

The idea of someone coaching you in your life was kind of a foreign idea to me, until I was tossed right into the thick of it when I attended Module One of The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching’s (iPEC) Coach Training Program.

Now, this isn’t the kind of thing I’d normally do. Initially the idea of spending three days (three weekend days) sitting in a chair and learning some inspirational and life changing ideas sounded a bit far fetched to me, not to mention uncomfortable.

On top of that, I’ve found myself to be a bit shy when put in a situation where I don’t know anyone. This sent my anxiety into overdrive.

That is, until I heard that Module One would only consist of 15-20 people. My walls began to come down when the opportunity to connect with others became more probable. Instead of picturing myself in a hotel’s grand ballroom, sitting among rows of other aspiring coaches, I pictured us in a small room, spending hour upon hour with each other, bonding over our shared experience.

So I went. Even though I knew almost nothing about life coaching, and I had no intention to become a life coach, I did know that I wanted to be a leader. I did know that this weekend would teach me things that would transfer over into other parts of my life. What I didn’t know was that it would help to make me a better person.

Day One: Learning About Life Coaching

I walked into Module One of iPEC’s Coach Training Course a bit scared and a bit wired after already drinking two coffees before we’d even reached 9am. I scanned the room for a place to sit and found a spot in the U-shape of chairs.

Outside of my comfort zone and immediately being asked to find a partner and share an interesting fact about myself sent my brain into overdrive. I forgot every thing I’d ever done. What a start to the day.

It was on the first day that I learned what life coaching truly was. Have you ever needed someone to help you solve a problem, but they were too busy getting stuck inside their own feelings to help you? Life coaches are there to help you find the solutions to your problems from a subjective point of view. They have amazing ways to help lead you to the answers that you need through asking the right questions and focusing on you, instead of themselves and how they feel about the situation. I was continually amazed how through being coached I was led to answers to my problems that I didn’t even know I had inside myself.

Some other things changed as the day went on. With each break in the day, with each new chance to congregate around the coffee cart, my walls began to come down, and so did everyone elses’.

Beyond that, I started to truly learn things, but I wouldn’t realize how much I’d learned until the next day.

Day Two: Losing My Victim Status

On the first day we learned about energy levels. There are seven and they all have their different pros and cons. Level One is the lowest, Level Seven is the highest. We may be operating at multiple energy levels at once, but they all have to do with our point of view and affect the way we lead our lives.

Level one is a level of victimization. Things are happening to you and there’s nothing you can do about it so you create an attitude of victimization in your life.

It wasn’t until I learned this that I realized how much I had victimized myself in my head. Even something as simple as being forced to walk a few blocks because the subway was under repair had been something that would have left me thinking “poor me.” Until I attended Module One.

The morning of Day Two I walked those extra blocks with a smile on my face. I grabbed a coffee and enjoyed the opportunity to take the city in and feel the sunshine on my face. I know this all sounds a little silly, but the point is that through the conference I was able to completely change my perspective. It was empowering.

Day Two was one of awareness. I was now aware of how I perceived the world, and how I could change it.

I was breaking down my barriers, and possibly also my joints. Sitting all day is not good for these runners’ knees!

Day Three: Hugging Strangers

What has struck me most was how much things can evolve over the course of three days.

In the beginning I felt shy, scared, and insecure. Others admitted their fears as well.

By the end we seemed more optimistic, more open, and more empowered. Instead of feeling a bit of panic each time we were told to find a partner, a new partner, I found myself excited to learn from someone new.

I know, it sounds like I drank some kind of Kool-Aid while I was there. The truth is that it was because I was open, and because I kept myself at a distance as well, that I got so much out of this. Not only did I allow myself to participate and get everything I could from the weekend, but I also tried to watch from a distance, which helped me see the full picture of what was happening.

The pinnacle of the weekend came down to the last minutes. Module One was over. No more sitting in chairs. No more group work. No more learning. We were free to go. But we didn’t. We congregated in the middle and each person began hugging each other.

This is so not me. I was hugging strangers here, but they weren’t really strangers. We had opened ourselves up to each other, experienced something challenging and uplifting together. In some ways they knew me in ways that my friends had never seen me.

The weekend truly changed the way I see things. I even began saying that everyone should take Module One of iPEC’s Coach Training Program, just so they can become better people.

Of course attending iPEC’s Coach Training Program isn’t for everyone, you may even be scared at the idea of it, but when you open yourself up to the possibilities, you never know where they may take you. I know that they took me from sitting scared in a chair, to standing up and hugging strangers.

Beat the Bloat! The Worst Foods for the Abdomen

Picture this: you’re at the beach this summer, preparing to soak up the sun.

You find the perfect spot, set yourself up, take your sundress off and immediately notice that something is wrong. You look down at your stomach and realize that you look about four months pregnant.

There goes your perfect tan. You throw your sundress back on and wallow under an umbrella for the rest of the day.

No one likes to be bloated.

Not only does it feel uncomfortable, but it also makes us look heavier than we actually are. In fact, some women can bloat so severely that they could pass for being pregnant!

Your health is important, and a part of staying healthy is maintaining a good weight, and trying hard to minimize fat around the abdomen. Fat in this area is a relatively good indicator of high risk for heart disease and coronary conditions, so keeping your abdomen looking trim is one of the best ways to help keep you fit and well.

What Causes Bloating?

Abdominal bloating can be caused by a number of reasons – mostly as a result of our own dietary habits. A common cause of bloating is dehydration. It may seem strange that a lack of water can cause bloating, but, when the body is being starved of fluid, it holds onto whatever water it can. This leads to water retention, which can cause us to look bigger than we actually are, particularly in the stomach area.

Water retention is relatively common – it can happen during menstruation, illness, or even after a workout, and can cause the scales to register a weight 3 or 4 lbs heavier – perhaps even more – than usual. It’s not that you have gained 3 or 4 lbs of fat, it’s just ‘bloat’. Fortunately, by keeping an eye on our diets, we can reduce the likelihood of bloating, and help keep our abdomen tight and toned.

Food & Drinks to Avoid

While we wholeheartedly recommend ‘everything in moderation’, if you’re looking to maintain a flat stomach it is important to limit the amount of bloat-inducing food and drink you consume on a regular basis. Here are some of the worst culprits for encouraging water retention:


Think caffeine is the worst offender for causing bloating? Think again! While caffeine can reduce water by 1.7 ml per mg of caffeine consumed, alcohol well surpasses this, creating a 10 ml fluid reduction per gram of alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic which encourages urination, which is why you need to use the bathroom more when you’ve had a few beers. Once the body realizes it’s running low on water, it clings onto what’s left, causing bloating.

The main problem with alcohol is that many adults underestimate how much they consume, so they think that their bloating couldn’t possibly be caused by drinking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that women limit themselves to no more than one alcoholic drink per day, and men no more than two. If you’re drinking too much, it could be a reason for your water retention.

Salty Products

Salt is another diuretic which works in a similar way to alcohol. It encourages urination, which is why you feel very thirsty after eating a Chinese meal, for example – your body is crying out for water. Eating large amounts of salty foods is practically guaranteed to cause bloating. Try to limit salty foods such as bacon, popcorn, pre-packaged sauces and condiments, and cured meats. Not only will you find yourself less prone to bloating, but cutting salt out of your diet is good for your heart, too.

High Fat

We all know that large amounts of fat are bad for us, but could that also be the cause of abdominal bloating? Very possibly. It is much harder for the body to digest fatty foods than foods high in protein or carbohydrates, so it takes longer for the body to break down a fatty meal. While this is good in the sense that you’ll feel fuller for longer, it also means that the food will stick around in your stomach for a while, filling you out and making you feel heavy and sluggish. To maintain a flat stomach, it’s better to stick to foods that can easily be digested and moved along to the intestines, rather than being left to hangout in your belly.

High Fiber

Fiber is so good for us – it help keeps things moving and reasonable amounts of fiber can actually help reduce bloating by keeping the digestive system working well. It is recommended that adults eat around 25 grams of fiber each day. Of course, a little more or a little less isn’t going to make too much of a difference, but in consuming much more than this amount, you could be causing your abdomen to bloat.

Foods that are high in fiber are those such as beans, legumes, and whole wheat – all products that cause gas! As you’ll probably know, when you’re suffering with gas you tend to get a very large, rock hard belly that’s crampy and painful. Eating fiber is important, but don’t go overboard!

Foods for a Flat Belly

If you’re striving for a flat belly, it’s best to limit the amount of the above foods you consume as part of your everyday diet.

So the question is – what *can* you eat?

Be sure to include lots of lean protein (which is digested quickly and easily), healthy oils such as olive oil and those found in nuts and avocados (which provide healthy amounts of ‘good’ fats), and probiotic yogurts which contain good bacteria that cleanse the digestive system, helping to speed up the process.

Maintaining a toned abdomen is simple once you know how!

This year, instead of hiding your midsection under a sundress, sarong, or one-piece, you can flash your abs with pride! And you don’t need to spend hours doing crunches to make it happen. By changing your diet in these small ways you can finally get rid of that pesky stomach bloat and finally be able to wear that itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini that you’ve hear so much about.

From Stressed Out to Super Mom Entrepreneur: An Interview with Carolyn Dickson

Carolyn Dickinson is no run of the mill working mom.

She has two children, a thriving business, and she runs a yearly conference to help other women follow in her footsteps.

But she wasn’t always living a supermom life.

At one point Carolyn was dealing with a colicky baby, postpartum depression, and a career that she had to be put on hold as she dealt with a harder life post-birth than she could have ever imagined.

So how did she get where she is today?

1. She never gave up

Sure, Carolyn could have said “I’m exhausted, I’m dealing with so much. I’m just going to sleep and forget about work for a while.” But she wouldn’t let that happen. She knew that she wanted to work so she made it happen.

Carolyn researched for herself, used the contacts she had, and built up her business on her own. And she did all this with a baby strapped to her.

“Sometimes I actually put her in a pouch, I got running shoes for my house and I would walk for two hours and make phone calls and literally just walk her around the room and that’s how I would sometimes do my business,” she shared.

2. She used her resources to her advantage

When she first began working again after the birth of her daughter, Carolyn wanted to know “Who do I go to to say ‘what do I do?’ and ‘I need help.’” When she couldn’t find anyone to help her, she took it upon herself to find the answers.

“I’ve always done self-training. I’ve always gone to courses. I’ve always tried to better myself, learn more. I went back to some of the courses I had taken…and thought ‘let me pull some of the strategies and kind of change them up a little to work for me as a mom,’” said Carolyn

Not only that, but she leaned on those around her to help her to achieve her dreams as well.

“I had a great business partner at the time who would literally, no word of a lie, would come over and walk my baby in the pouch so I could make some calls and feel like I was getting stuff done. He would come over and support me so that we could do meetings at my house. Even if I had to leave and breastfeed, he would continue the meeting for me,” Carolyn said.

What a great man!

3. Her children are the CEOs of their own companies

“If I go to my daughters school event, I don’t bring my phone. If someone calls and says I couldn’t reach you, ‘Oh I was in the meeting with the CEO,’”she shared.

Carolyn continued to explain that “I look at my children and my husband now, and it took a while to get here, but they’re CEO of their own company and I would not, if I had a meeting with an IBM CEO and the CEO of Royal Bank calls me and says that he wants to meet with me, I’m not going to call the IBM CEO and say ‘Sorry I can’t meet with you, Royal Bank wants to meet with me.’ I’m gonna say ‘I’m really sorry, I’m booked at that time, but here is a bunch of other available times, can any of these work for you?’”

Instead of feeling the need to justify the important time that she needs to spend with her children, she makes them a priority and brings them up to the same level of importance as she would her work.

“I have to choose that when I am with my kids, everything else shuts off. They feel I’m 100% present with them when I’m with them. That’s more powerful than being around all the time and never being present… It’s not about spending a ton of time, it’s the quality of time,” Carolyn shared.

4. She always planned ahead “The night before I would try and take 20 minutes to a half hour and write down my list of things to do for the week and pick 5 things I could do each day.”

Planning. Kind of sounds like a joke when you have kids, but Carolyn planned to have distractions by getting things out of the way as soon as possible.

Carolyn said that “It was really about organizing my time, being efficient in the time that I did have, because you never know exactly when that was going to be, especially when you have a colic child.”

5. And of course she prioritized, because you can’t do it ALL

Carolyn always tried to make her to-do lists as realistic as possible and prioritized them in order of importance, “My top 3 being the money-makers, [I would] really get at them as soon as I had the opportunity, regardless of how tired I was. If I could get through that I could take a nap.”

Instead of thinking that she had to do everything, Carolyn understood that she needed to work,  be a mother, and keep her sanity, so she allowed herself time for all of those things, instead of burning herself out.

Besides becoming successful in her own rite, Carolyn chose to share her success with others. She has become the kind of person that she wished she had to look to during her time of struggle.

“I felt really alone when I needed that help and it was a horrible, horrible, horrible feeling and I didn’t want other women to have that. It doesn’t need to be that way. It doesn’t need to be this difficult. It doesn’t need to be that we don’t help each other,” she shared.

One way she’s done this is through her Super Mom Entrepreneur website, a site dedicated to helping women balance their business and home life. Thanks to Carolyn, no longer will women need to choose one or the other, or struggle on while trying to juggle both, now they can thrive in all areas of their life and they don’t have to do it alone.

Carolyn has also created a one day conference called I AM THE BOSS. It has three parts to the day. In the morning she has a talk show segment where she interviews other inspiring women in business. Part two has a keynote speaker, and part three provides training for the women. Her conference is now in it’s third year and has truly inspired and changed women’s lives, all in one day.

Carolyn is truly a super mom entrepreneur and thanks to her, you can be too!

Priceless Relationship Advice

Love is one of the most beautiful things that we get to experience in this world. It evolves, it ebbs, it flows, and it becomes a great part of our lives.

And what’s better than the beginning of a relationship?

Everything is fun, new, and exciting.

Of course, once we start to get serious, things change, or evolve, I should say.

Not everything is as sexy as it once was and what’s less sexy than money talk?

There comes an uncomfortable day when you’ll have to look your partner in the eye and really get naked. You’ll have to get down to the naked truth of your finances.

Will you be ashamed of what you have to bare? Or will you be disgusted at what your partner presents to you?

Sounds like it may be better to just avoid this topic of conversation as long as possible, right?


Money talk is not sexy. This is true. But it’s important.

Julie D. Andrews knows all about balance, she has devoted her life to writing about it, whether it be in health, finance, or just in life in general.

She shared some hard and fast rules for dealing with the somewhat sticky topic of money in love:

1. “You have to take responsibility here and awareness about your money situation.” The first person you need to worry about is yourself. Get your finances in order so that when the day comes that you need to share your financial situation with someone, not only will you be knowledgeable, but you’ll have nothing to hide.

People get in debt, yes, but you need to take control of that. It’s not on anyone else to take on that debt for you. Chip away at your debt and be very aware of it. If you do have debt when this talk comes around then you can at least share how far you’ve come and what your future action plan is.

2. “Money should never be off the table as a topic in your relationship” Why not start talking about it sooner rather than later? This way you don’t have to shock or be shocked later on.

Relationships are about openness and honesty. If you have bad finances, then share that with them from the start. Let them know that you have your own financial issues and that you plan on taking care of them yourself. On the flipside, if you are very financially responsible, then let them know that you carefully watch your finances.

3. Always be aware. Never put yourself in the dark. We all have different financial situations and you should do what you’re comfortable with, but what makes the most sense is always keeping yourself knowledgeable about what is going on with the money in your life.

Once you’ve merged bank accounts, if that is what you should choose to do, you should still always work to be aware of where your money is going. Women can end up feeling trapped because of a financial situation in their relationship. “I don’t wish that on any woman,” shares Julie.

On the flipside, it’s not your partner’s responsibility to take care of all of the financial issues in your relationship. “If you’re in a relationship don’t put the onus on the shoulders of your partner. Always be aware.”

Money talk can be uncomfortable and a downright turnoff but you should never hesitate to ask about money for a second. “It is absolutely your place to ask. You need to know so you can have a secure footing.” You’re a woman who runs it and if you can run a business then you can run your life too! Get to it Wonder Woman! Your Prince Charming awaits and he’s got your happily-ever-financially-secure-life waiting for you!


Why Your Life is Like an App Game- And It’s a Good Thing

Directions are pretty important, right?

How would we get anywhere anymore without our precious GPS systems?

How would we cook anything without a recipe?

Then again, directions can hold you back. They can hinder you, confuse you, and leave you downright stressed out.

Think of the directions you get in a piece of IKEA furniture. Now that’s a good way to spend a Saturday frustrated and bordering on divorce with your partner.

Recently I played an app game with my 3 year old son, Ari.

Or at least we tried to play.

There were no instructions. We did not know the mission of the game. Nor did we know how to get the most points to achieve whatever this mysterious mission might be. Where were we supposed to aim our avatar? At that flashing green thing? Or should we avoid it? Did the blue blobs earn more points than the red blobs – or vice versa? What was the point of earning points? What could we even get with them?

Not knowing any of these answers made my son and I feel stressed and unhappy.We did not enjoy playing this app game. At. All.

I’m a philosophical gal. I even named my son Ari as a “wink” to Aristotle the philosopher – who I have a platonic crush on. So I wound up thinking about my app unhappiness in a philosophical way. In particular, in an Aristotelian way.

I remembered how Aristotle was a big believer that you must begin all projects with the “final ends” in mind. You must know exactly what it is you want to achieve – your mission – before you start any project. This applies to everything from writing a book, to making dinner  – or even when it comes to approaching that gigantic project called Your Life.

Aristotle said: “Shall we not, like archers who have a mark to aim at, be more likely to hit upon what is right?”

When it comes to knowing your mission for life, Aristotle believed your final ends for life are the same as my final ends. In fact, everyone on this planet shares the same final ends for life:

Become your best possible self!

Plus, Aristotle believed becoming your best self was not only your mission for life – but also what leads to true happiness.

Now, a lot of you right now might be wondering what the heck all of this has to do with that app game.

It’s simple.

Aristotle was right. You must know exactly what you want to achieve – your final ends – your mission – before you begin any project – from playing app games, to playing at that gigantic Game of Life.

I thought about how unhappy my son and I were when we did not know the final ends for that app game – then I thought about what it takes to create happiness in life – then a realization emerged….

Once you fully and clearly understand your mission for Your Life, then life becomes less stressful – and it becomes far easier to score those glorious life happiness points – and become a winner at life!

Aristotle had some particular suggestions for scoring life happiness points. He recommended aiming yourself at “Best Self” habits – including things like: high integrity, kindness, mindfulness, patience, discipline, courage, altruism, generosity of spirit, love of learning, love of doing your innate passions, etc.

Plus Aristotle suggested you avoid doing “Lowest Self” habits – because they’ll simply get you whacked, kicked and fire-bombed. “Lowest Self” habits are pretty much all the opposites of the items shared on the “Best Self” habits list. Plus, “Lowest Self” habits also tend to be anything impulse-directed, ego-directed, and/or body-directed – like cheating, lying, stealing, pigging out, sleeping around.

Basically Aristotle suggested you aim yourself at doing soul-directed habits – behaviors your soul can be proud about.

Unfortunately, nobody ever sits us down to so succinctly explain  that this is our life’s mission. As a result many of us wind up with highly incorrect “life missions” playing in an ongoing loop in our heads.


To become the richest person on the planet!

To become the thinnest/prettiest girl on this planet!

To have the best wardrobe on this planet!

To be the most famous person on this planet!

To party and have fun, fun, fun!

To have the most orgasms as possible!

To have the most power as possible!

To get lots and lots of people to fall in love with you!

These are all ego-directed missions and body-directed missions – instead of missions which the soul can be proud about.

According to Aristotle, all of these missions, which are purely ego-directed and/or body-directed, lead to “pleasure” – a form of “fake happiness.” Pleasure is a temporary hit and run joy. It’s fleeting. According to Aristotle, if you want to be a winner at life you have to do stuff which helps you become your best you – and this happens when you aim yourself at habits your soul can be proud about.

I believe it’s wildly helpful to have a mindful awareness that becoming your “best self” is what leads to winning at the game of life. I believe this so much, I’m now raising my 3 year old son with this “life mission” awareness.

Now whenever I catch my son making a less than wise choice, I relate it back to his “life mission.”  I don’t say, “No, don’t do that.” Or, “No don’t eat that.” Or, “No, don’t talk to someone that way.”  Instead I remind him of his mission for life – and how doing these things won’t help him snag being a winner at becoming his best self. Because my son loves app games, I’m talking to him in language he understands. I’ve witnessed a true improvement in his behavior. He now, on his own, loves to brush his teeth, eat healthy, read books, be kind and generous. He even told me that his favorite red Power Ranger’s power is “studying.” He explained, “When you study you become your best most powerful you – and you can do anything.”

We must teach kids to understand the “why not” behind a “no” or a “stop.”  We must raise kids to become good choice makers on their own – even when parents and teachers are not around. I believe an effective way to do this is to take the time to talk with kids about their mission for life – and the importance of doing habits which help you become your best you!

And speaking of YOU….

I also believe that whoever YOU are – however old YOU might be – it’s helpful to think of life in this way – as being like a gigantic app game – and if you want to rise up to higher and higher levels – you’ve got to aim yourself at actions your soul can be proud of!

So take all the directions you want in life, but without an idea of what the end should look like, you’ll find it a lot harder to succeed at becoming your best self.

Think of your life as a puzzle. You may know how to put it together, but without an idea of the big picture, you’ll sure have a hard time achieving your goals!

**Edited for repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Goddess Connections publicationWomen Who Run It.

Who’s The Boss?

Have you ever had a bad boss?

If you have, that person probably popped into your head immediately after reading that question, followed by a long list of why you hated them, what they did to you, what they did to everyone around you, and why they were bad leaders.

Or maybe you couldn’t even put into words why they were so bad. Where to even start?

The point is that you probably had an immediate emotional reaction to that question.

Few things incite a frothing, wild-eyed rage like asking people to talk about bad bosses. People aren’t just annoyed by poor leadership—they sputter and snarl as they describe their superiors, lusting for the chance to hit that bad boss with a perfect, withering insult. Or perhaps a truck.

It’s a little scary, then, to realize that we’re all likely to occupy a leadership role, from motherhood to mogulhood, at some point in our lives.

When we blow it, our imperfections will be magnified by our authority. Leadership is simply too complex to do perfectly. I believe that the key to being a better boss lies in accepting that fact.

Ineffective leaders expect their role to be easy and think—no matter what—that they’re doing the job just right. Although good leaders often begin with similar expectations, convinced they’re natural-born chieftains, they soon run smack-dab into a little thing called Monday morning. The best leaders let go of the fantasy and become fully present and responsive to the complexities of each new situation. They’re the ones—the few, the proud, the downright worshipped—who earn their followers’ respect. To become one of them, you need to turn bad-boss behaviors on their head to find your way toward good-boss techniques.

The View from Below

Bad-boss self-concept: As a leader, I’ll be a higher-up.

Good-boss self-concept: As a leader, I’ll have to go lower down.

The bad-boss tales I’ve heard include many stories of managers demanding the undoable, responding to objections by simply reiterating that it had to be done. This creates nothing but hostility. “If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them,” said the philosopher Lao-tzu (who is my favorite management consultant, despite having been dead for centuries). That doesn’t mean you become a slave to your followers’ whims. Great bosses acknowledge their own ignorance and ask questions of everyone to gain a better grasp of two important things: What’s going on? What needs to be done?

Eliminating Moving Targets

Bad-boss target setting: Now that I’m the boss, I give orders to others.

Good-boss target setting: Now that I’m the boss, I bring order to what others do.

Many people find a thrill in giving orders or critiques, but have unclear, uninformed, or ambivalent ideas about what they’re actually trying to accomplish—that is, they know what they want this second, but the big picture is as fuzzy as a winter mink.

Leading well means forming a crystal clear image of what must happen and communicating that precisely. After giving an assignment, ask that person to describe the task in their own words. If they can’t, or if the account they give doesn’t match what you were trying to convey, you need to try a new tack. The first step could be as easy as clarifying your directives—or you might have to rethink your organizational chart and who reports to whom.

Where We Go Wrong

Bad-boss position on feedback: Now everyone must tell me when I’m right.

Good-boss position on feedback: Now everyone must tell me when I’m wrong.

Most humans go through the world trying to elicit validation. Al Preble, a leadership consultant for Cambridge Leadership Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, says this isn’t the way to go. The most powerful way for leaders to communicate, he believes, is to use just three simple steps. When a problem arises:

  1. Clearly tell your subordinate what you really think.

  2. Describe the facts that led you to this opinion.

  3. Ask to be disconfirmed; in other words, honestly request that people tell you where you’re wrong.

Taking the Hit

Bad-boss protection strategy: As a boss, I’ll be protected from taking blame.

Good-boss protection strategy: As a boss, I’ll protect others by taking blame.

The successful bosses I interviewed emphasized that a good leader helps her followers feel safe from the dangers that come from both inside and outside the organization.

An incompetent supervisor, on the other hand, feels that the best way to secure her position is to appear faultless, and works mightily to make clear who fouled up or even to lay blame on a scapegoat. But that behavior turns people into twitchy, record-keeping, blame-tallying masses of ectoplasm.

Once More into the Breach

Bad-boss problem solving: Being the boss means I can avoid problems.

Good-boss problem solving: Being the boss means I must seek out problems.

You can tell if you’re making mistakes as a leader, because things go wrong—not just one catastrophic computer snafu, but repeated errors. Bad bosses turn away from these realities. They don’t discuss problems; they just hunker down and hope the issue will go away. It won’t. Untreated, a minor concern becomes a major issue becomes a catastrophe.

This is the core of good leadership, whether you’re managing a corporation, your immediate family, or just your own life. Lao-tzu puts it this way: “When [the Master] runs into a difficulty, she stops and gives herself to it. She doesn’t cling to her own comfort; thus problems are no problem for her.” Embracing the fact that you’ll encounter many obstacles—and that this is all right—allows you to understand, listen, give clear instructions, invite negative feedback and protect those you lead. You’ll be comfortable with leadership, even when it’s uncomfortable. And that will make you an easy act to follow.

So don’t spend another second huffing and puffing about a boss who did you wrong. You can use them to make yourself a better leader. Think from the employees perspective, not the employers and you will always be the kind of boss that you wished that you’d had.

**Edited for repurpose by Taylor Brown, Associate Editor of Goddess Connections publication Women Who Run It.

But Why Is All the Money Gone?

It happens to me every payday: I get my paycheck, pay my bills, maybe get some groceries, and continue on with my life. Days, maybe a week later, I look into my chequing account and it just doesn’t seem to be the way I left it.

The money’s all gone!

Now I’m left calculating how much I’m going to need to survive for the new week before I can start this cycle all over again.

Do you ever find this happening to you?

You know you don’t have a debit card hacker, but you just can’t seem to figure out how you spent all that money.

It’s usually after I check my statement that I see that I have spent a lot of money. A lunch or dinner out here, a new outfit there, a cab ride when I was too lazy to take the subway, and all of those little things that tend to eat up your paycheck. This isn’t such a big deal if you can make it like this week to week while still enjoying yourself, but what about your savings?

We tend to forget about planning for the future when we’re enjoying ourselves so much right now. Unfortunately, we probably have goals, like paying off a mortgage, or even retiring one day, but those seem so far off that we push them away and instead buy a new outfit because we “needed” it.

The worst part of it is that all these little things, that tend to add up, usually are so meaningless to us after a short while.

Follow these tips to stop your spending cycle:

  1. Take a good hard look at your paycheck and where it’s all going.

  1. Set up budgets and stick to them.

  2. Treat your paycheck like a big pie and divvy it up each month.  Leave money for those things you love but also leave money for savings.

  1. Make sure you divvy it up immediately.  Don’t hope that you’ll have enough left over for savings at the end.

  2. Keep yourself accountable. You want that new top? Save for it or don’t buy it. There are no in-betweens. What’s more important in the future is how you plan for it, not how you look when you get there.

With these tips you can finally have an organized and responsible life without having to spend another week stretching your cash with a dumbfounded look on your face. Take back control of your money and your life!