Vision.

entrepreneur vision

I’m asked with a fair amount of frequency of my mildly successfully life thus far, “How did you get to where you are? What did you do to be successful?”

To which I normally reply something along the lines of, “A lot of hard work and a good deal of luck.”

Both of those are true; I work hard and I’ve had some good luck with being in the right place at the right time. But today, I think I may have a different answer.

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Relentless Mentality Podcast: Lynne King Smith on Women in Business

I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with my friend and colleague Justin Bayless for his Relentless Mentality podcast. In this episode, I discuss the benefits and challenges for women in business, how it’s never to late to build your dream business, as well as how self-motivation and learning from my mistakes has led to my success today.

Stressed much? Here’s 15 ways to take the stress out of your day

how to relax your mind

A few nights ago, I had a call with a friend who told me her day was “really jacked up” and went on to list an unreasonable list of misfortunes, which left her feeling overwhelmed and unable to even think.

Sound familiar? Some of us may say, “every damn day…”

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#SpotlightOnHer Webinar Recap, Margaret Lake

 

female entrepreneur

Last week, I restarted a podcast-style webinar series of conversations with women, about women, many or most who work in male-dominated fields and have found a sense of something that works for them. Call it: success, adaptation, fervor, badass-ness.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to launch the series with my very good friend, Margaret Lake, who has had more than her share of experiences to share.

And she didn’t disappoint.

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On Leadership with Gender Bias, Racism, Equality and All That…

gender equality

Sunday night I watched the 60 Minutes piece (yes, by the way, this is still a Sunday night habit since I was about 8 years old) featuring Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce being incredibly transparent and honest about what he discovered at his very cool company regarding gender disparity.

Please go watch the piece here.

Secondly, this weekend we watched a grave Starbucks error in judgement with the arrest of two black patrons who were doing nothing white patrons don’t do every day, and the company’s slightly slow and tepid response. I was frankly, looking for a little more anger here from CEO Kevin Johnson.

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A Case for Getting Control of Your Mornings – Mindfulness: Part 2

mindful mornings

I’ve had multiple phases of my life and they all went better when I had a routine for good mornings; I think I learned this from my mom’s example. In fact, I was with her last weekend and asked her about her mornings, and she (who spends a good deal of time with my dad who is mostly bed-ridden) significantly said, “Well, I have a morning routine. I just have to do that.”

She’s 83, so I pay attention.

Whether you’re getting kids up and ready, responsible for meal prep, focused on exercise, or caring for pets, all of it can be disruptive, chaotic, and utterly challenging; and then by the time you start your workday, you’re just glad to be sitting down.  Productivity may be mid-morning or worse.

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A Case for Getting Control of Your Mornings: Part 1

productive mornings

When you’re growing up, a school morning goes something like this:

  • Mom (or alarm) wakes you up at a reasonable time to get ready without rushing
  • You roll back over, complain about how early it is and bargain for more time
  • Repeat
  • At the last possible minute, you crawl out of bed
  • Find something to wear, often it’s in the dirty laundry, so you settle for what is on the floor
  • Can’t find socks; lose 7 minutes looking; ultimately you wear different shoes to compensate
  • Eat half a bowl of cereal, rushing with mom’s warnings of the impending bus arrival
  • Brush teeth (on a good day) for about 10 seconds; hear bus at neighbors
  • Look for homework; realize it’s down in the basement; you start yelling at your mom to get it for you or you’ll miss the bus
  • Fly out the door as the bus is honking, realizing you never combed your hair; thank god for a hair tie in your backpack.

I’m amazed to find out how many working adults mornings have not changed much from the above. Add in their own kids, finding the car keys, feeding the dog, and the scene is still rushed chaos, though the teeth get brushed for a little longer.

A rushed, disorganized morning robs you and your company of at least an hour of productivity when arriving and perhaps even much of your day. Why? It’s pretty simple: mind frame.

Let’s take a look at two people – one who has the morning above and one who gets up a little earlier (often meaning to bed a little earlier), or – for those who aren’t early risers, does some simple things to prep for their day the night before.

By start-time, the morning rusher needs to do the following things to get to productivity:

  • Grab coffee
  • Eat something, often at their desk
  • Do something to clear their head: read some news, talk to coworkers, put on some music
  • Think about what they are doing about dinner that night; this may involve texting the spouse or roommate to plan
  • Realize they don’t have a lunch and stress about eating out again
  • And so on

All of that can take up to an hour of mental time, leaving the morning rusher behind, unfocused, and unprepared for the day. All it takes to put this person on the skids for a bad day is something unexpected that hits them sometime in that first hour; a client call, an employee or coworker needing input now, an issue that must be addressed right away, or a forgotten early morning meeting.

Leaders know this doesn’t work. And what’s more, they’ve learned that no matter if they are night owls or naturally early risers (we have one of each at my house), there is nothing more important to the success of their day than how it begins.

It’s obvious to most around you how you start your day. And those who will lead will stand out just by having a few things in order by the time they hit the door. Fed, rested, and mentally prepared.

Mind frame.

There are many blogs and articles written about fist-pumping mornings; Elon Musk gets up at 4am. And the morning rushers read these, realize they are never going to invent people moving tunnels or build rockets and roll back over.

I’m glad for inventors like Elon who get up at 4am because they are genetically wired to do so. But for the rest of us, I’m offering up a pretty simple idea for greater success at work, which we all need.

Get control of the morning.

If you are even remotely still getting up at the last moment like a school kid, rushing through the morning, and sliding in the door hungry and frustrated, consider a better way. Wondering why you aren’t being tapped for the projects you want? Asked for help from those you work with? Treated like one of the adults in the room? Or just feeling like you’re in a rut at work?

Get control of the morning.

So for all of us not sending rockets to the moon, stay tuned for part 2 of “A Case for Getting Control of Your Mornings” as I’ll be sharing my favorite morning tips to lead you into each new day with zest.

 

Seek a Balanced Life, Not A Perfect One

balanced life

The day started like many others; awoke with my disciplined husband, pulling on sweats and promptly out the door for the 4-mile fast walk. Today, out of cold brew at home meant a stop at the coffee shop where we sat for a little longer than usual sipping iced lattes.

On the walk we talked about the future, balance in our lives and what we think we want our lives to look like.

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Looking for a Change? It’s All About Taking Action

take action toward dreams

It’s easy to talk about what we think and feel and how we believe we should do something differently.

We have all said things like, “I want to be a writer,” or “I want to learn a new language” or even, “Our country is headed in a direction that I don’t like, why don’t they do something?” but it all means little until there is action.

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