Saturday, December 31, 2016

5 Ways To Stay Positive During Holiday Madness 

With Christmas around the corner and the holiday season looming large, it’s not uncommon for some of us to feel like the Grinch who hates Christmas for it’s a maddening time indeed. From skyrocketing expenses to that dreaded annual lunch with the family, one-too-many parties and those pounds that keep piling on – for some of us, the holiday season is not the time to be jolly and what you need to realize that it’s okay. Here are five way to keep positive during the holiday madness with the firm remembrance in mind – this too shall pass!

Gifts Are Not About One-Upmanship

With the whole world seemingly in malls trying to buy the best of the best when it comes to Christmas gifts; it’s natural to feel the pressure to give the best gifts ever this holiday season. Try and remember what it’s all about – material worth isn’t supposed to color the holiday season green!

The best gifts are not about how expensive they are, rather how thoughtful they are. Put a little care behind the gifts you choose and gift something someone really needs. Or make some DIY gifts if you like – friends and family would really appreciate the love and care you have put behind making something from scratch. It could be that famed brownie recipe of yours, or some lovely knitting that only can do. A gift from the heart would mean far more than just another gift hurriedly picked off laden market shelves.

Happy Photos Do Not Equal Happy Families

There’s always going to be that one family who sends you picture-perfect family portraits for holiday greetings year after year – and if this is a year that you or your family are in turmoil – those happy, smiling faces have the power to wound. Don’t let it hurt, and remind yourself not to be jealous. No family is perfect or problem free. What they might have is a gem of a photographer. Or an excellent stylist…

A photo does not capture the essence of a family or the troubles brewing in it – it’s just the best foot forward by someone keeping up appearances.
Don’t Let Your Weight Weigh You Down

Christmas and the holiday season mean indulgence. The patisseries overflow with goodies, as does your grandma’s kitchen. And sometimes, those muffins you indulged in do leave you with a muffin top!

Dress to please yourself, its cold outside and so layer up in lovely sweaters, ponchos, shawls and coats. Think the 70s, sparkly oversized sweaters with solid yoga pants paired up with stunning heels can make you look gorgeous in a laidback way. And no one will notice those unsightly pounds you have been worried about. There’s always time to jog and slog post the holidays!
Alone Should Not Equal to Lonely

Feeling depressed because everyone has somebody for the holiday season, except you? Well, think of it this way – it’s better to be alone in an empty room, than being lonely amidst a group of people.

Don’t stay alone at home with dark thoughts; go to that office get-together or that building party. Go out and meet people and you might just find a special someone to make the holidays all the more magical. Or stay alone at home, if that’s what you would like to do.

Overwhelmed? It’s Okay to Say No

We are all not made to be social butterflies. Some of us love the general hubbub of the holiday madness, but some of the more introverted lot start to feel overwhelmed at the invitations and the counter-invitations.

The holidays are a time to be thankful for what we are, have and can freely give. If all the partying and the eating are making you tired in mind, body or soul – it’s time to take a step back. Go for a walk, or volunteer at the shelter, or simply give away what you can spare to charity – helping others will make you feel good about yourself.

This holiday season; remember to do what you most want to do to celebrate the end of a year. It’s your yearend too; breathe in 2017 in peace and joy.

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Friday, December 30, 2016

How to Handle Fear and Failure Like a Boss

By Cara Alwill Leyba

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more.” —Erica Jong 

We can’t talk about being in business for ourselves without talking about fear, right? Because when we learn to move forward despite our fears, we become unstoppable.
One of the first things I ask my clients is, “Why do you feel stuck?” And 99 percent of the time the answer is because they are afraid—afraid of failing, afraid of being judged, afraid of not being good enough, afraid of not having enough money, afraid of not making enough money, afraid of not getting enough clients, afraid of being happy, afraid of finally having their dreams come true. Fear wears many different outfits and none of them are cute. Many times we don’t even realize fear is the culprit behind why we have not been able to move forward.
In my book Fearless & Fabulous, I write about how fear would not exist if failure didn’t. So many of us are so terrified of failing in some way that we never even begin. We never take that first step and prove to ourselves how courageous and fabulous we can be.
But what if we reframed failure? What if we learned to see every situation as a chance to grow? I bet if you looked at every single woman in business whom you admire, you’d be blown away by how many times she has “failed.”
J.K. Rowling is one of the most famous failures out there, and it’s a badge she wears proudly. Although she is now a self-made billionaire, she has experienced failure many, many times and strongly believes those failures shaped her into the woman she is today. She admits that at one point, she was the biggest failure she knew. She was in a broken marriage, poor and unemployed. And although she eventually found massive success with the Harry Potter series, the manuscript was rejected 12 times before eventually getting published.
Rowling publicly talks about fear and failure often. In fact, she gave the commencement speech at Harvard University to the class of 2008. The entire speech was profoundly inspiring, but here is the part that truly resonated with me:“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case, you fail by default.“Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.”
And Rowling isn’t the only famous failure out there. Did you know that Anna Wintour was fired from her position as a junior fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar after just nine months because they felt her photos were too edgy? Oprah was let go from her position as an evening news reporter at Baltimore’s WJZ-TV because they felt she wasn’t good on TV. When Lady Gaga was finally signed to her first record label, she was dropped three months later. These women are icons to me. And you should view yourself as no different than them. Can you imagine if they had allowed those failures to stop them from living out their dreams?
When you have passion, you cannot fail. The world simply cannot reject anyone or anything that comes from a place of passion. Just because something doesn’t work out one way doesn’t mean it can’t work out another way. Take a deep breath, regroup and keep moving forward. And when in doubt, channel Oprah or Rowling. I’m happy to call myself a failure if I’m in their company.
 “The difference between successful people and others is how long they spend time feeling sorry for themselves.” —Barbara Corcoran
Failure is a part of the path to success. In fact, if you’re not failing, you’re really not doing much of anything. The biggest mistake I see female entrepreneurs make is giving up after a failure. I get it; it sucks. It’s not fun to have an idea that we thought was so brilliant not pan out. It hurts to get knocked off of our pretty pink cloud. But you have got to pick yourself up by the stilettos, dust yourself off and keep going.
The next time you feel like you’re about to throw a pity party for yourself and invite all of those nasty little voices in your head (and their plus ones), take a moment to feel the sadness and frustration. Set a time limit for feeling bad. Tell yourself, I can feel this emotion, but in 15 minutes, I’m getting up and stepping into action again. The best way to pull yourself out of self-pity is to go do something positive for yourself or your business. Idea rejected? Go treat yourself to a glass of champagne, bring a pretty notebook with you and start coming up with new ones. Lost your dream client? Put on your favorite outfit, go book a manicure or a blowout, and chat up the women in the salon. And don’t forget your business cards, because you never know where your next dream client will be.
They don’t serve champagne at pity parties. So take your moment, then smack on some lip gloss and get moving.
 “It’s very important to take risks. I think that research is very important, but in the end you have to work from your instinct and feeling and take those risks and be fearless.” —Anna Wintour 
Charting your path as a female entrepreneur requires many things, and leaving your comfort zone sits high on the list. Sometimes a comfort zone feels really damn good. It’s easy, it’s harmless and it’s, well, comforting. But do you know what feels even better? Proving to yourself just how amazing you can be when you step outside of that comfort zone and push your limits. When you start making things happen that you never imagined you once could. When you start living beyond your fears and learn to get excited rather than afraid. When you reframe scary situations into fabulous opportunities for growth and learning. When you finally let your passion trump your fear.
One of the scariest, most out-of-my-comfort-zone things I’ve done in my career is pursuing my dream of doing live TV. Are you sweating just thinking about it? I was too.
So much went into the process of becoming camera ready. From admitting out loud that I was ready to chase this dream, which is sometimes the hardest first step, to hiring my broadcast coach, to booking all my own travel, to actually walking on to a live TV set and praying for the best. Did I mention I used to be terrified of flying? I am exhausted just thinking about it.
But I wouldn’t change a thing. The sleepless nights, the exhaustion of flying in and out of a city in under 24 hours, the feeling of facing my fears head on. It’s all worth it. When you know how hard you have worked for something, it just makes success that much sweeter. And when you are grateful that you have those opportunities in the first place, somehow fear falls to the wayside.
How can you enjoy the process (even when the process is kind of terrifying)? How can you embrace all the highs, lows and in-betweens? How can you channel your inner badass boss woman and kick your fears in the face? How can you truly live your dream life personally and professionally?
You’ve got to interrupt your fear with gratitude.
Research shows that we can literally shift our energy, increase our happiness and become physically healthier when we change our attitude to gratitude. We give ourselves the biggest gift possible when we focus on all the things we’re thankful for. And we immediately take ourselves out of the stressful, anxious state that happens when fear takes the wheel.
Around the time I was getting ready to quit my full-time job at MTV, I kept hearing the song “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve come on the radio. You might remember the song—it came out in 1997, but for some reason, in 2014, it was in my face more than ever. Music is my second language. I live for song lyrics and the first chords of certain songs can bring tears to my eyes. So when “Bittersweet Symphony” started popping up, I started really listening to it. And I started relating it to my life and my current situation.
It was a punch in the gut. The lyrics describe living a life where you feel powerless, trapped and chained to an existence that does not feel like your own. They talk about the struggle between desperately wanting to blaze your own trail, but feeling stuck and following the path you feel you “should” be on. It’s about feeling trapped and powerless to change your behavior or your life due to circumstances beyond your control. It is about the sense of desperation you feel as your life passes before your eyes and you struggle unsuccessfully to control and shape it. It is about the perpetual conflict between the path you want to follow and the path you are compelled to follow.”
That was my life. Every single day.
As depressing as one interpretation of the song can be, the sound of it is uplifting and powerful, much like a symphony, which I think is what drew me to it in the first place. And I’m no songwriter, but my guess is that it was done on purpose to evoke that dichotomy of emotions, to make you notice something.
After realizing how much the song resonated with me, I downloaded it. I would play it each morning on my way to work and sing along in my mind. It became my own little fearless anthem and I would imagine myself hearing it on full blast the day I walked out of my day job forever, as if I were in the final scene of a movie.
Fast-forward to Oct. 10, 2014, and that exact scene played out (except unfortunately I had to use my iPod instead of loudspeakers, but it certainly did the trick). As I walked into the 48th floor elevators at 1515 Broadway, I hit play on the song. I cranked it up in my ears, walked downstairs, hailed a cab and drove off with my own little empowering soundtrack on full blast.
Isn’t it time you faced your fears and started living your most empowered life?

How to Re-Program Your Subconscious Mind to Get What You Want w/ Dr. Cat...

How do you take your steps regarding your subconscious mind?

8 Ways Successful People Overcome Setbacks

By Patti Johnson


Carrie followed a lifelong dream. She used almost all of her savings to realize her dream of owning a gift shop. At first, the satisfaction of seeing this store just as she had envisioned was one of her proudest and happiest moments.

But by month five, her sales were far below what she had anticipated. Summer was coming to an end, which meant her walk-in traffic would start decreasing and a major supplier had just increased costs. Carrie’s excitement was replaced with anxiety and concern.

She was left wondering how this happened and what to do about it.
We’ve all been in Carrie’s shoes at some point in our lives. When business ventures, careers, relationships or dreams didn’t go as we planned and a change in course was unavoidable.
But when we look at these situations as failures, it distorts our reality. This distorted view can prevent us from seeing a situation for what it is. And without a clear picture of a situation, it can be impossible to pivot, solve or make progress.
A setback doesn’t have to be the end of the story. In fact, a setback might be exactly what you need to get where you want to be.

Here is how successful people handle setbacks. Take note.

1. They expect setbacks.

Any successful person experiences setbacks. It goes hand in hand with trying something bigger and better. Setbacks happen, so expect and accept them when they come.
The creator of a thriving children’s nonprofit once told me, “Setbacks are a badge of honor. It meant that I was doing something hard.” Embrace your badge of honor and own it.

2. They set time limits for disappointment.

Allow yourself time to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment. But put a time limit on how long you will focus on that feeling. You might still feel disappointment, but redirect that emotional energy toward progress.
Your promotion didn’t happen or you weren’t hired for your dream job—accept your feelings as they are. Once recognized, quickly move on to “now what?”

3. They manage their blind spots.

If failure causes us to lose perspective, anticipate what will cause you to lose yours. What’s your blind spot?
I am naturally impatient, so when I can’t see the progress I had hoped for, I know my blind spot is growing. Others might assume that a setback is exclusively their fault and miss other contributing factors. It keeps you from accurately assessing what really happened and what you need to do.

4. Less emotion and more information.

Objectively size up what happened. Was there an event or decision that created a change in course?
Be a researcher and actually write down what worked and what didn’t. Write down what factors created the setback. Was there funding? Was there enough interest? Seeing the facts on paper void of emotion can crystallize the facts. Be objective.

5. They rely on “now what?”

Successful people find a path to progress. Carrie might consider a different assortment for her store, more marketing, an event to encourage new customers or more social media focus.
Make a list of options and then evaluate each of them based on what the situation requires, not what feeds your greatest emotional need.

6. They think tomorrow more than next year.

A change in course can be overwhelming when you have too many decisions to make. Feeling overwhelmed leads to stagnation because doing nothing seems easier in the moment than making big decisions.
Instead, ask yourself, What can I do tomorrow or next week to make progress? Start there. You need a long-term direction, but it might evolve rather than being an aha moment.

7. They learn what must be learned.

My research on Wave Makers, and the research on other successful people, reveals a confident willingness to learn what must be learned. Rather than saying I could never start a business, successful people determine what they must learn to become an entrepreneur.

A lack of experience or knowledge doesn’t close a door, but defines what must be learned. In my research, I met successful entrepreneurs who knew nothing about running a business or even their product when they started. Or those who started an impactful nonprofit with no knowledge of managing any organization. But they learned and surrounded themselves with those who knew what they didn’t know. The lack of knowledge was a path that must be followed rather than a dead end.

8. They manage their self-talk.

Setbacks and disappointment can create self-doubt. Manage your internal thoughts so you stay focused on the future and what you can do next. Give yourself credit for doing important work and trying something new.
After all, a setback is a setup for a comeback.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

How Bad Do You Want the Life You Want?

by Margie Warrell

Have you ever held back from making a change or taking a chance, afraid of what might happen if you did? Have you ever stayed silent when there was something you really wanted to say, scared of ruffling feathers or being rejected? Have you ever thought to yourself, I wish I just had the guts?
If you have, you’re not alone. As human beings, we’re wired for caution. We steer away from situations that expose us to the possibility of failing, losing face or feeling foolish. Our desire for safety and certainty pulls hard against our desire for growth and adventure.
If only I had the courage, we often say to ourselves, as though courage is something only a lucky few are endowed with. But that’s not true. Within you lies all of the courage you will ever need—to make that change or take that chance—in your work, relationships and life. You just haven’t learned how to access it. Yet.
I know this because I’ve spent much of my life learning how to find my courage and rise above the fear that can so easily rob us of our freedom and hold our happiness hostage. From dealing with the challenges I never would have chosen (an armed robbery and numerous family tragedies) to those I’ve willingly taken on (having four children in five years while moving around the world) I’ve discovered that courage is a skill, and like all skills, it can be learned and mastered. I’ve spent years working with everyone from CEOs to trailblazing entrepreneurs to prove this.
Think of courage as a muscle. If you’ve never lifted weights, even the smallest weights will be challenging in the beginning. But if you keep working out, over time you’ll increase your capacity to lift heavier ones. Each time you act in the presence of fear, you dilute its power and grow your own.
But how do you move beyond the bumper stickers and T-shirt slogans that say Just Do It, Live Strong or Be Brave? How do you actually take that audacious leap of faith over a seemingly giant chasm of fear? This six-step guide will inspire you to go from fearful to brave in the face of risk.

1. Know your why.

Start by asking yourself, For the sake of what? Nothing worthwhile is accomplished with a guarantee of success. Risk is a toll life exacts en route to any meaningful endeavor. Finding the courage to take risks demands you be clear about why you are doing it in the first place.
We are wired to focus more on what we have to lose than what we might gain. Therefore, before you can find the courage to risk losing something, you have to be crystal clear about what it is you want to gain in the process. What are you willing to lay your reputation, pride, status or vulnerability on the line for? Only when your desire for something transcends your desire for safety can you rise above the fears hardwired into you to protect you from such dangers.
A big, inspiring why propelled Justine Flynn and her co-founders to launch their company, Thankyou, in 2008. They were straight out of college and had no idea what they were doing. Flynn told me she and her co-founders felt passionate about helping people in the developing world get access to clean drinking water, something most of us take for granted. It wasn’t that Flynn and her co-founders didn’t fear failing. It was that their desire to make a difference was stronger than the fear that they would fall short. Eight years later, there are nearly 200,000 people who drink clean water every day thanks to them.

2. Confront your fears.

Fear often gets a bad rap. Its sole purpose is to alert you to potential threats to your safety. But in today’s culture of fear, we can find ourselves living in its shadow, unable to distinguish those fears that are serving us from those that are stifling us. Psychologists have identified these four key mechanisms that undermine our ability to assess smart risks from safe ones.
1. We overestimate the size of the risk, making potential losses loom larger than gains.
2. We catastrophize and exaggerate the potential consequences.
3. We underestimate our ability to handle the risk.
4. We discount, downplay or deny the cost of inaction.
The result is people end up being overly cautious, unwilling to take the very risks needed to create more meaningful lives. When we shine a light on our fears and realize the actual cost of inaction, we loosen the grip fear has on our psyche. This improves our ability to accurately assess risk and discern the smartest path forward, even if it’s not the easiest or most comfortable.
Six weeks before her wedding day, my younger sister Anne, a doctor, called me to say she was having strong second thoughts about whether to marry her fiancé. Although she admired the man she was going to marry, she’d become increasingly uninspired by the idea of spending her life with him. When I asked her how she felt about ending the relationship and calling off the wedding, she said, “I can’t break it off. It would kill him. It would kill me, too.” Anne’s fear of the fallout from breaking off her engagement was understandable. But as I pointed out to her, just because it was an incredibly hard thing to do didn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do.
After much soul searching, Anne made the brave decision to break off her engagement. Although she said it was the hardest thing she ever had to do, it taught her that she was more courageous than she thought. That knowledge emboldened her to pursue her dream to join Doctors Without Borders. Nine months after calling off her wedding, she was managing a remote hospital in Darfur, Sudan, that served internally displaced Sudanese refugees. Since then, Anne has not only married the man of her dreams (and is set to have her third child with him), but she has done extraordinary work in public health around the globe.
Of course we aren’t all called to head off to war zones or launch social enterprises. But we are all called to make our mark on the world in some way. Before you read any further, ask yourself, What would I do if I were being truly courageous? Take a minute to close your eyes, breathe deeply and sit with the question. As you do, give your imagination permission to soar and open your heart to wherever it takes you. However dauntingly large or seemingly insignificant your vision is, just know that within you lies all of the resources you will ever need to make it a reality. One day, one hour, one daring act of courage at a time.

3. Trust your capabilities.

In October 2001, with three children under 4 (including an 8-week-old), I moved from Australia to Dallas with my husband, Andrew, who’d been offered a job. It was a difficult time, not only because of the heightened anxiety after 9/11, but because I was living 10,000 miles away from my family with little support.
Six months in, I fended off my mother’s guilt to take a few child-free days with my husband. Away from the disruption of young children, I did a visualization exercise, imagining the life I wanted in 10 years. I knew it would draw on my background in psychology and interest in Fortune 500 business, and align with my passion for helping people live more bravely. I envisioned myself forging a new career supporting people to live bigger lives and make their own mark on the world.
To my disbelief, what also appeared clear as day were the faces of four, not three, children. I recall slapping my face to reset the image. With my husband working long hours and regularly away for travel, I was already stretched just mothering three children. How could I pursue a new career and have a fourth child? But that image was clear, and the vision was compelling. In my heart I knew my dream life included nurturing a big family while also pursuing my calling outside of the home. As scared as I was of not having what it would take to create both, I also knew deep in my heart that if I didn’t at least try to have a fourth child, I would run the bigger risk of looking back with regret.
Just over a year later, our little Texan, Matthew Raymond, arrived. Now 14 years later, I am living my calling in ways I was unable to imagine in 2002. Although I’m juggling (and dropping) more balls than I could also have imagined back then, it’s only reinforced my belief that when we dare to pursue our boldest dreams, we can discover just how capable, creative and courageous we truly are. As my family (now with four teenagers) learned last year when we all climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, it is by stretching our limits that we can expand them. Only when we dare to trust ourselves and dream more bravely can we harness the potential that resides within us and unleash our brilliance upon the world.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by your dream, focus on what you can do in the next day or week. Then next week and the week after that, do the same thing.

4. Embrace uncertainty.

My dad, a humble dairy farmer with a generous heart, always cautioned me with the following words: “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.” Having left school at 16 and spent 47 years milking cows, I knew he meant well, yet his advice strikes at the tension between living a wholehearted life and living a comfortable one.
All change, even positive change, is innately uncomfortable, as it requires trading the familiarity of the known for the uncertainty of the new. It’s why so many people choose to sleepwalk through their adult lives, staying in jobs that leave them miserable or in relationships that leave them lonely. Preferring the devil they know than the devil they don’t, they opt for what is most certain now because they’re afraid of the possibility they might end up worse than they were before.
But at what cost? By discounting the price of our inaction and indecision, we sell ourselves out and settle for a life far smaller than the one we are capable of living. All the while dreams retreat, passion wanes, doors close, talent sleeps, and life passes by.

5. Think big and start small.
It usually takes less than a minute after having an insp iring vision to feel overwhelmed by the size of the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Which is why however audaciously big your dream is, you need to start by breaking it into smaller, shorter-term goals with doable, bite-size actions achievable in the short term.
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Identifying the first few steps is a strategy that worked for one of my clients, Tracey Webber, who founded EAT! With Tracey, in Charlottesville, Virginia. A successful sales executive, Tracey found herself increasingly dissatisfied with her work in the tech industry despite its secure salary and lucrative annual bonus. She wanted to make a change and pursue her passion for nutrition coaching but had no idea where or how to start.
“What’s the first thing you could do?” I asked her.
“I could look into the training programs and research people who are already successful in the field,” she said. “And I could make a financial plan to help me figure out how to bridge the income gap at least until my business was established.”
Webber went on to build up her business to include a host of consultants helping people live healthier through better nutrition, and it was all because she dared to think big, start small and trade the security of the known for the possibilities that inspired her most. Although Webber’s business is no longer active, she says it was the jumping off point for her to make changes in her life. Her business evolved to become a coaching business, then she and her husband started an IT services advisory firm, where one of her clients from Hewlett Packard Enterprise hired her. While she’s working in IT again, she says her mindset is different and she no longer feels stuck in her life.
Closer to home, I’m also managing feeling overwhelmed in launching my own online TV show, The gap between where I am and the vision I have for the show five years from now (Oprah, watch out!) is vast. So I’ve begun with small steps. I chose the name, bought the website URL, found a website designer, scripted the first dozen episodes, sourced videographers and reached out to my dream list of people I’d love to interview.
It’s a huge undertaking. But I believe that we must not wait until we know everything before we dive in. I have no doubt that one year from now, I will be better off than if I’d waited for opportunity to come knocking at my door.

Action is the most powerful antidote to fear. The only way to rise above it is to go right through the heart of it.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by your dream, focus on what you can do in the next day or week. Then next week and the week after that, do the same thing. Make a 90-day plan and schedule specific steps, however small they might be. It’s far better to be moving forward slowly than to remain stagnant. Action is the most powerful antidote to fear. The only way to rise above it is to go right through the heart of it.

6. Embody your inner bravery.

Let’s be clear: Living courageously is not the absence of knots in your stomach, a lump in your throat, chattering teeth or sweaty palms. It’s not about being fearless. It’s about fearing less.
We all have the capacity for greatness within us. Sometimes we’ve simply spent so long buying into a story that we’ve become a stranger to the bravest part of ourselves. It doesn’t need to stay that way. Try this little experiment.
Stand as if there were a string pulling up through your head so you are tall and strong. Bring your shoulders back. Wear a quiet smile on your face. Lift your chin and look gently upward. Hold your stomach strong. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Take three deep breaths and imagine a time you felt like you could take on the world. Breathe into that feeling. Clench your fist and store it there.
Now that you are connected to the source of that strength, visualize yourself doing the very thing you know will set your life on the trajectory that inspires you most deeply. Imagine yourself taking bold, self-assured actions. Imagine the people around you reacting to you as someone to admire and to be reckoned with.
Feel the power of that moment. Take hold of it. Remember it. Own it.
Every single day, you can bring your bravest self to your biggest challenges. Hold yourself in your power. Only then can you realize you never needed to feel afraid to begin with because the courage was in you all along.

Tony Robbins On Money: Master The Game

The Definition of Success According to Zig Ziglar

Excerpted from Zig Ziglar's 'Born to Win!'

by Zig Ziglar
In Born to Win! Find Your Success Code, his last book before his passing, iconic motivational speaker and author Zig Ziglar shares his winning philosophy—that you have to plan and prepare to win, to succeed—and the strategies to go with it.
In this excerpt, he shares a short list of the characteristics that he believes comprise success:
What Success Is:
1. Success is knowing that you did a great job when you close the door to your office at the end of each workday and head for home.
2. Success is having a home and people to love who love you in return.
3. Success is having the financial security to meet your obligations each month and the knowledge that you have provided that security for your family in the event of your demise.
4. Success is having the kind of faith that lets you know where to turn when there seems to be no place to turn.
5. Success is having an interest or hobby that gives you joy and peace.
6. Success is knowing who you are, and Whose you are.
7. Success is taking good care of you and waking up healthy each day.
8. Success is slipping under the covers at the end of the day and realizing with gratitude that, “It just doesn’t get much better than this!”
You see from this list that success is defined by more than one sentence. Success involves the whole person, and if you skimp on one area, you will limit your success. Now, let’s take a look at what success isn’t:
What Success Isn’t:
1. Success isn’t missing dinner with the family several times a week because of working excessively.
2. Success isn’t rushing home from work and hiding out with the TV thinking, “After the day I’ve had, I need my space!”
3. Success isn’t about how to make more money when you already have more money than you can spend.
4. Success isn’t about going to church and ignoring everything you hear.
5. Success isn’t all work and no play.
6. Success isn’t about being so busy that you live on unhealthy fast food, served to you through little windows.
7. Success isn’t spending mental energy worrying about late projects, being home on time, your health, missing your child’s school play, being able to pay your bills, or finding joy in your life.
8. Success isn’t texting while you drive to catch up on your overloaded schedule.
Zig Ziglar taught timeless lessons of success, like the best ways to approach—and improve—your personal and professional life. To perform best in life, remember 6 Ziglar truths.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How to Get to Work When You’re Just Not Feeling It

There’ll be no stopping you.

Productivity begins with… beginning. Getting started is often the hardest part of work, and these days we have increasingly more enticing distractions to steer us off course before we’ve even begun; whether it’s the task itself that stops you from starting—perhaps the project you’re working on is not particularly exciting—or maybe it’s just that you’re a confirmed procrastinator and you’re losing track of time by clicking refresh on your social media sites or staring at a blank document.
Fortunately, science has cottoned on to the fact that many of us struggle to get started when we reach our desks in the morning. Researchers and motivation experts alike are striving to find ways to turn those nonstarter days around and get us working at full pelt as soon as possible. For example, one study has shown that we can effectively reboot our mood by bringing forward that reward that we’ve promised ourselves before we start work. A piece of pie or a funny YouTube video (just the one; don’t get sucked in!) will boost dopamine levels, recharging your positivity and lift up your self-motivation.
If you’re more of a physical type, consider doing some light aerobic exercise to get those positive hormones flowing. A brisk five-minute walk can get the blood pumping and the air circulating. Research shows that 20 minutes on an exercise bike can reduce fatigue by two-thirds, and increase energy by one-fifth.
If those don’t sound like the solutions for you, or you’d like some more options so you can shake it up each day, take a look at the infographic below. From digital devices to psychological mind hacks, there are methods to get every kind of procrastinator back to work when it just feels impossible to get started. Have a read today, and there’ll be no stopping you.

Tony Robbins: How to Invest Your Way to a $70 Million Retirement Fund | ...

Are you willing to invest in that way?

How to Achieve Your Goals (Plus a Proven Plan That Works) with Lewis Howes

Are your dreams set? Here is how you can make them happen.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

To Be Successful, You’ve Got to Create Successful Habits

I want to talk to you today about success habits. Your habits determine what direction you’re going. Your success in life, your results in life, are in direct proportion to your habits. Not what you say you’re going to do, but what are you going to do? You’ve got to develop successful habits, and I believe that starts with being a daily goal-setter and a daily goal-hitter.
Too many people spend their whole life dreaming, but they’re really just pipe dreams. They’re thinking about what they want to be doing in 20 years and what their plans are way out in the future. The future you need to be worried about is not the next 20 years, but the next 20 minutes.
What are you going to be doing? What are you going to be doing to be effective? When you get up every day, know your priorities. Life will overwhelm; stuff will overwhelm. It is so easy to get consumed by a bunch of stuff that is not going to get you where you want to get to. Say every day, “I will do today what others don’t so I will have tomorrow what others won’t.” You’ve got to choose to be effective—know what your priorities are. Know what you must-do’s are. Don’t let your phone, don’t let your tablet, don’t let the TV, don’t let your friends knock you off. What are the most important things to get done today?
Sir Winston Churchill didn’t have an inbox, he had an “action this day box.” Things didn’t get into that box that he wasn’t going to deal with that day. As John Wooden said, “Make [each day] your masterpiece.” Get up today and get it done. Finish the day. Attack the day and go change your life.
See you at the top, because the bottom sure is crowded!

3 Realities of Powerful Goals

by John Addison

I’ve got a reality check for you: There is a fundamental difference between a goal and a list of resolutions. I am not a believer in a year-end list of goals. I mean, let’s be honest. All you’re doing is writing down a list of things that you won’t do. I don’t think anything is accomplished by making marks on a piece of paper. That list of resolutions might make you feel all warm and fuzzy about your future, but it’s no guarantee that next year will look any different than this year. In my experience, there are three realities of powerful, achievable goals.

1. A goal is not the same thing as a resolution.

A real goal is when you decide you’re going to get something done no matter what. The word “decide” ends in -cide, like homicide and suicide. You really decide to make a change when you’ve reached the death of all other alternatives. I believe a true goal, not a list goal, is incredibly powerful. But that means that you’ve got to make a fundamental decision that not getting it done is not an option. You’ve got to make it happen.

2. There is only one real way to accomplish a goal.

You must do three things: apply relentless effort, call upon your deepest reserves of energy, and acquire the ability to change course and direction to get to where you want to be. No matter what happens, you have to adapt and keep going. When a door closes, you’ve got to find a window. In life, getting from point A to point B is never a straight line. It’s never going to go the way you hope it does or plan for it to go. The cleanliness of theory is no match for the mess of reality. Things happen in life and business that throw you off course, that make your goal seem unreachable, but you have to make it happen. You’ve got to figure out a way.

3. You’re either tough enough to reach your goals or you’re not.

My experience in life is that it will give you what you will accept. The other side of that truth is that life will also give you what you’re willing to fight for. Are you one of the people willing to fight hard enough for what you want?
When I was co-CEO of a financial services company and we were in a long fight for the IPO, people didn’t always like what I had to say. I had to be tough. But they knew I was going to be a battering ram, that I was going to be relentless to get us to the right place. When it comes to goals, that’s how you have to be: tough enough to see it through to the end.
Here in the United States, we recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. The generation of people who fought in World War II is going away every day. I truly believe they were the greatest generation, and here’s why: They were children of the Depression. The Great Recession we had is baby food compared to what they went though as young people. Unemployment was almost 30 percent. The world collapsed around them, and most of them were raised in complete, abject poverty. Right when they were becoming young adults, the world went into a world war that they had to fight both at home and abroad. Then they came home and built the American economy and the prosperity that we still experience today. They were tough. They were relentless. They were unwilling to fail no matter what.
Life is hard. Reaching your goal isn’t easy. Everybody would do something great in 2017 if it were easy. Well, guess what? It isn’t. Some people win, some people lose. Some people get it done. Some people don’t. Those are the facts. If you look at what you want to accomplish next year, I hate to break it to you, but a list isn’t going to get it done. A goal is something that you’re going to relentlessly pursue until it’s reached. You’ve got to decide. What’s your decision going to be?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Meet Kendra Scott, Homemade Millionaire

How the jewelry designer melded family, fashion and philanthropy into an empire of bling
by Amy Anderson

Kendra Scott turned out the lights.
For the last time, she flipped over the sign in the window of her failed retail hat store that read, “Sorry, We’re Closed.” Then she shut the door and locked it.
It was 1998. She had lost her life’s savings—and those of her stepfather, whose battle with cancer had inspired her to start the Austin, Texas, business.As if on cue, it started raining. “I just sat there and cried like a baby on the steps,” Scott says, “feeling like I was the biggest failure on the planet. I had let everybody down.”Then something amazing happened. “I heard steps behind me,” and when she looked up, the sign was flipped over and read, “Yes, We’re Open.”“It was a literal sign.” She laughs. “It was a sign! I looked and I just started laughing because I’m like, Is this some kind of joke? But all of a sudden, it was almost like God talking to me: ‘You have to be open.’ ”Looking back, Scott—42 in late March—believes that amazing moment happened for a reason.
“If you look at the struggles in your life, they have all happened because there’s something amazing waiting for you. There is an open window. This moment is going to make you stronger in the future.”Soon, Scott picked herself up and moved forward.“OK, I had to wallow for a minute,” she admits. But then Scott regained her determination. Over the next few years, she held onto the idea that her failure was a moment of impact that would alter her life for the better.“And it did. That store was the greatest gift that ever happened to me. I’ve been able to run a business so much differently and so much smarter because I had that tough experience. It was an MBA in the school of hard knocks. It’s an incredible university.”

Fail First

In 2002 Scott founded Kendra Scott Designs in her spare bedroom. Today it’s a multimillion-dollar company with 39 retail locations, nearly 1,000 employees and $150 million in annual revenue—that’s up from $1.7 million in 2010. Scott has plans for international expansion, new accessory lines and additional retail locations set to open soon. Her leadership has been recognized by some of the biggest names in business, earning her the 2014 regional Entrepreneur of the Year for Central Texas by Ernst & Young and membership on the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America.
She’s quick to credit her team for the company’s rapid rise. In 2011 she gave up her salary to hire Starbucks alum Lon Weingart as chief operating officer. She understands the value of surrounding herself with talented people.
After spending a day with Scott and a few of her key staffers, I can tell you this isn’t false modesty. You’d expect Scott to be hard to approach—she’s pretty, self-styled to the point of inciting jealousy and firmly installed in what is usually a boys’ club of uber-successful entrepreneurs. But as I stand in the creamy pastel kitchen of her Austin home, she reaches out her hand, beams a wide grin and says, “Hi, I’m Kendra!” She jokes about the highchair folded nearby and the toys in the corner of the living room, evidence of the nonstop action as mother to three sons.
Later that afternoon, we move to a chic Austin hotel overlooking South Congress Avenue and sit down for lunch and a chat.
Scott tells me she believes the failure of her first business was instrumental in the success of her second one: “Experience is something that you can’t teach. That feeling of how are you going to make payroll? How are you going to pay your rent? How are you spacing out paying your vendors? Those are things you can never learn in a book. That knot in your stomach that wakes you up in the middle of the night is something that, unless you’ve lived it, you don’t understand how to navigate through. And when you get yourself in a business—a business that is growing as fast as we’re growing right now—I think having that basis and remembering that knot, remembering what it feels like, has made me be so thoughtful and so careful about how we’ve grown and what we’ve done.”
Scott says failure also gives you a determination that you can get through anything. “No matter what comes at you, you can get through it. You will overcome. There is a reason this is happening, and the sun will shine again.” She says it’s crucial to focus on how you can move forward in a positive way.

“I'm putting all my chips on the table, and it's go big or go home.”

For Scott that meant focusing on how she could make life better for her soon-to-be-born first child in 2002. She was working full time at a magazine when she found out she was pregnant, and her jewelry-making hobby became a source of much-needed entertainment during the weeks when her doctor told her to stay off her feet.
Scott’s passion for design and fashion ran deep, but on her salary, she couldn’t afford to express her taste the way she truly wanted. “I wanted beautiful semiprecious stones. I love colored gemstones, and I couldn’t find any that I could afford. It was just out of my reach. I thought, Gosh, if there were a way that I could design a collection and use these beautiful natural stones, but do them at an attainable price point and also in unique shapes….” Her eyes widen with excitement as she remembers her original idea.At the time, Scott says every jewelry designer was merely changing up the settings around the same stone shapes. She set to work on a collection of handcrafted, unique forms that would be immediately recognizable as her own.After the birth of her son, she put him in a Baby Björn sling and went store to store to sell her designs in Austin. She wrote orders the first day.“I always joke that I don’t know if the stores felt sorry for me [with the baby] or if they just loved the jewelry,” Scott says with a laugh.At the last store, she sold all of her samples to pay for the supplies she would need to fulfill all of the orders. In one back-aching, multi-diaper-changing day, she had started a business—and although she didn’t know it yet, a fashion design phenomenon.With help from family and friends, Scott handmade every piece in the spare bedroom of her house, packed every shipment in her dining room, and UPS made daily pickups. Her jewelry was selling out within a few days of delivery, and in her first season, she sold to Nordstrom, a partnership that continues today.
As her small business grew, she began to order custom-cut stones, and her first copyright design, the Danielle earring, was born. Celebrities soon wore the distinctive bauble on the red carpet and in magazine photo shoots.“That was really a tipping point for us,” Scott says. Having a product that was just different enough to be easily attributable to her brand was the root of her collection’s popularity, she realized. “Now every single stone in our collection is cut exclusively for my line. We actually design the wax molds in Austin.“I’m so thankful that I started here. This is such a supportive community of local businesses.”

Work Harder

Scott was raised in a place that’s too cold for most Texans: Kenosha, Wisconsin. “My mom’s family was farmers and coal miners. They were very hardworking folks. My dad was an attorney and ran his own firm. He was an entrepreneur.”She shared a fun-filled, creative childhood with three sisters and two brothers. The family’s work ethic rubbed off on Scott. “She has always been very driven and determined to accomplish whatever she was attempting to do,” says her mother, Janet, who describes the secret of success as “hard work, honesty and determination.”
Scott’s aunt was a fashion director at what was then Gimbels department store in Milwaukee. “She was this dynamic, beautiful, incredible woman who was a single mom and traveled the world as fashion director, going to Milan and Paris,” Scott says. “She would bring back—it was in the ’80s—slides from all the shows and she would go through them with me. I remember being, you know, 7, 8 years old, and she was showing me how to trend-forecast. She would explain to me that her job as fashion director was taking these couture styles and making them relatable for every woman. And it was magical to me. Fashion was magical. It transformed the ordinary into something extraordinary.”
Despite her passion and constant sketching and creating, the practicality of making a living persuaded Scott to focus on business and marketing when she attended Texas A&M University for a year.
Then, when she was 19 years old, Scott learned her stepfather, Ron, was diagnosed with brain cancer. “I spent a lot of time with my family in MD Anderson [Cancer Center in Houston] while he was undergoing treatment. I’d met a lot of women during that time who were going through chemotherapy and had gone through hair loss.”Scott loved hats, and she loved the idea of doing something good with her passion even more. So she created a line of comfortable, fashionable headwear for women experiencing hair loss and founded her first company, The Hat Box.She sold all sorts of hats, not just her own, through her Austin shop and online. She dropped out of school to run her business and help her mother with Ron’s care.
“My family was the most important thing to me. I couldn’t save his life, but I could do something good with what I loved.” Through her business, Scott raised money for cancer research and partnered with other charities. She spent five years running a business that would ultimately close its doors on that sad rainy day. But in the process, Scott laid a foundation for a business model that valued more than profits. She would soon open a storefront for making a difference.

Go Big or Go Home

The first Kendra Scott Designs store opened in 2010, just down the street from where we sit on South Congress Avenue. Until then, Scott had sold exclusively to retailers.
“After The Hat Box, I was terrified to go back and do retail.” The recession forced her to change how she had done business for the past seven years. “I had all my eggs in one basket. The power of my future was in the hands of wholesale vendors and buyers. So if they lost their jobs or stores were shuttering, that business was gone and I had no control. I didn’t have a direct connection to my customer. When the recession hit, I had to make a dramatic change if I wanted to keep my business alive.”
Scott gathered her seven-member staff and said, “I’m putting all my chips on the table, and it’s go big or go home. We’re gonna throw it all on there, and we’re gonna see what happens. If you’re in, let me know. If you’re not, I understand. And they were like, ‘We’re in.’ ”So as the rest of the marketplace pulled back, Scott pushed forward. She wanted to be the one to talk to the buyers and create relationships with them. Taking advantage of all the available space during the recession, she opened a New York City showroom. And she decided to open her first Kendra Scott Designs retail store.
A lot of shops on South Congress Avenue had gone out of business, so Scott snatched up a location with upstairs office space that became the corporate headquarters.If she re-entered brick-and-mortar retailing, she had to do it differently than everybody else.“It was always very intimidating for me to walk into a jewelry store. The cases were locked. You had to ask somebody to see something. So my goal with opening our stores was to take all the scary out of it. I wanted the cases unlocked. I wanted jewelry displayed clearly. I wanted it to be a fun, festive environment where people can just have fun and try things on.”
The signature display called Color Bar arose from this concept. Customers pick the design style they want, select the color stones they like, and then hand them over to Kendra Scott employees who set the stones there, right in front of them. True to Scott’s wish for fun and festivity, the Color Bar is the center of bridal-shower parties, cupcake and champagne evenings, and other partnership events that not only draw foot traffic but also inspire engagement with the brand as a whole.“We had lines around the block to get in,” says Scott, recalling the shock she felt when she saw people queued up to get into her first store. “That was an aha moment that we had built something very, very special, and it was a place of community as well.… The girls that shop at Kendra Scott, some come in several times a week. Or they come in for girls’ night out and hang out. It’s a place to be together with your friends.”
After that, additional retail locations quickly followed, and so did skyrocketing revenue.Scott invested money in her online presence, too, allowing customers to shop Color Bar virtually and to give feedback via a highly engaged social media presence and blog. The team started connecting with the Kendra Scott customer on a personal level, asking that customer what she liked and what she wanted.“Once we started talking to her ourselves,” Scott says, “that’s when everything changed. It was lightning in a bottle.”

Give to Get

Despite the fact that her first venture failed, The Hat Box had led to some meaningful successes that now impact how Kendra Scott Designs interacts with the community.
“We give back,” Scott says. “We give back at every level.”
This is not just a percentage of profits donated to a national charity or a holiday toy drive at the office. This is a companywide, never-say-no policy of giving back that requires buy-in from every employee.When I ask Scott what inspired this giving mentality, she says it’s just part of who she is and how she was raised. Her mother says that as a child, Scott watched her family demonstrate unconditional love and affection for her severely handicapped uncle.“I think that helped make her so considerate of the less fortunate,” Janet says. “Several of her teachers told me that Kendra would befriend a child in her class who was shunned by other students. Kendra would sit with that person at lunch and make that child feel accepted. She has always had such a kind and generous heart. It is no surprise to me that she puts such focus on giving back to the community today.”That focus has led to the company’s giving over $1 million and nearly 50,000 pieces of jewelry to more than 1,500 organizations in 2015. These donations go to large, national charities such as Susan G. Komen, the National Art Education Association and MD Anderson Cancer Center, as well as hometown organizations and disaster relief funds.
Giving is built into the brand identity and started when Scott was still shipping orders from her home. “I decided then that if someone would call me [for a charitable donation], I’d always have a pair of earrings. I could make a necklace. I wouldn’t say no to you. I would always have something to give. And here we are 13 years later, and we still have that same philosophy. We don’t turn anyone away. We never have, and we never will.”
Today retail stores host Kendra Gives Back events for any cause, donating 20 percent of all sales on that day to a charity. “If you have a friend whose baby is in the hospital, and they need extra support, they can literally contact one of our stores in their local area and ask for a Kendra Gives Back event to benefit that person or any charity. And we do it. We care about you and what matters to you. Let us know what you need, and we’re here for you.”Of course, all this giving means that customers become extremely loyal brand ambassadors. “All I can say is when you give, you receive a hundred times more in return,” Scott says. “When I was doing this for seven years out of the extra bedroom in my house, I was giving because I just wanted to do it. It was important to me. Then when I opened my first store, and I saw the line around the block, those people, one after another, said, ‘Kendra, for seven years you’ve never said no to me, and I will not wear anyone else’s jewelry.’ ”
With every new store opening, the team reaches out to discover what causes are important in that particular community, creating a small-business feeling at each retail location and a family atmosphere among the team.“Starting out with an open and giving heart helps build an amazing culture,” Scott says.

The Sister Rule

A few months before our interview, Scott opened a 63,000-square-foot distribution center in Austin. At an all-hands meeting, she stood behind a microphone to welcome the employees to their new facility and to explain why she went to so much trouble to make it a pleasant—even luxurious—place to work.

“I’m a girl from Kenosha, Wisconsin, you know? I mean, who would’ve thought I’d be a fashion designer?”

With a well-equipped fitness facility, airy café, massage room, wellness room where nursing mothers can pump, and locker room with showers and chandeliers, the vast distribution center feels more like an extension of Scott’s home than a warehouse. Original works by Scott’s favorite artists and the same seafoam-green paint from her kitchen decorate the walls.“Every single employee, whether you’re an intern, part-time, holiday help, or C-level, should have the same level of love and respect and care,” Scott says. “How you treat people is what you get back.” The design of the distribution center was intended to make each person feel like they’re getting “a warm hug” as they come into work.
During her welcome speech at the new facility, a few employees got teary-eyed, and one woman approached Scott as she walked away from the mic. She asked, “What’s going to happen to our culture as we continue to grow bigger?”“It will not change,” Scott promised. “There will be a lot of things that change, but that will never change.”So what’s the big deal about the culture, aside from the luxe office digs? Kendra Scott team members call it “the sister rule.”
“As a company we have cultural pillars: family, fashion and philanthropy,” says COO Weingart. “Family really is a state of mind.” In a company whose workforce is 95 percent women, the sister rule dictates everything from the hiring process to customer service policy.
“If your sister did this, what would you do?” Weingart asks. “Yes, we have the policies and procedures in place, but let’s use some common sense and treat folks like family. If your sister came in [to the store unhappy about a purchase], what would you do for her? Well, you’d exchange it, or you’d return it, or you’d get her something different. You know what I mean? That’s how you should treat the customer.”
Weingart says the sister rule is instrumental in keeping the team together during such rapid—and sometimes extremely stressful—growth. “We have a large team that works a lot of hours together, so interpersonal relationships, communication, teamwork—all of those things become absolutely critical. You cannot run this fast without having folks who are committed to working through good times, but also working through issues together. Everybody has to have a common purpose and a common goal, similar to a family.”This approach leads to a lot of promotion from within, which in turn inspires company loyalty among the team. Every person has the chance to become what Scott calls “a shining star.”“I’m a girl from Kenosha, Wisconsin, you know? I mean, who would’ve thought I’d be a fashion designer?” Scott shakes her head. “I hope that we create a company that gives every single person the feeling that we’re finding their best in them.”
Christine Browning, vice president of human resources, says one major goal in the retail locations is to avoid the cattiness that sometimes accompanies commission sales. “All of our staffers are on joint commission structure so there’s no fighting over customers. It’s a very shared environment. The salespeople are all aligned to doing what’s best for the customer.”Scott says that friendly culture is everything. “It doesn’t matter how great your product is, your company will not grow and you’re not going to thrive if you can’t keep and make people happy.”

Family in Front

Near the end of our time together, I raise the issue that comes up in nearly every interview with a female business owner who is also a mother: How does Scott’s family fit into her life as an entrepreneur?She takes a deep breath. There aren’t any easy answers. “I work at it every day. Some days are better than others.” Scott says she blocks out time every evening for dinner and homework unless it’s an emergency. “It’s not perfect. When I have to travel to the stores, I have this crazy schedule because I want to get home to my kids. I’d rather work all day and get the last flight out so I can wake up and have breakfast with them.”
Her family-first belief has driven her to ensure that all of her employees have the same opportunity to arrange their lives around their families.The company will move to a state-of-the-art, 43,500-square-foot headquarters in 2016, complete with study rooms for kids who join their parents at work in the afternoons, a room for nursing moms, and even a dog-friendly office policy. Add in free yoga classes and other perks, and Kendra Scott employees will have the makings of mommy heaven.
“When I became a mom and they handed me that little baby. I knew at that moment that nothing was more important than being able to be present for him. And if I could figure out a way to create a business that allowed not just me, but other men and women, to be present in their families and do what they love and be able to give back, that would be success. And that’s what we’ve done.”Her broad smile returns. “I feel like the luckiest person alive. I really do. I wake up every day, and I can’t believe I’m living this life. It is a dream. It’s actually bigger than I could’ve dreamed. And now I’m actually dreaming much bigger. Now I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface.”