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When bad things happen to good entrepreneurs

I left my laptop on a NYC subway. Yep, I was taking my daughter to a dance camp in Brooklyn and I left the computer bag on the D train.

The crazy part was that I didn’t even notice until a full hour later, after I had gotten her settled in to camp. As I was leaving I realized my bag wasn’t on my shoulder.  I was convinced I had left it somewhere at the dance studio, but a thorough search proved otherwise.

I cried the whole way home on the subway.

As I sat there with tears running down my face, I relived the morning’s commute over and over but could not pinpoint the moment when I placed it down. I racked my brain to remember the last time I had backed up my computer.  I despaired at the work and the cost of reconstructing my life on a new laptop.

Being an entrepreneur is challenging on a good day, but when events like this occur it can really throw us off our game. I spent the rest of the day in a complete funk, struggling to get work done for my next event.  Can you relate?

There is a happy ending to this story. My bag travelled on the D train to the last stop at Coney Island, where, miraculously, an MTA employee found it.  That in and of itself is remarkable… but the story of how they were able to figure out who the bag belonged to is the best part. (Keep reading for details.)

After living through this experience, I distilled some nuggets of wisdom:

  1. Stay intentioned and envision what you want.
    I know it’s a little new age-y, but I’m convinced that asking people on FB to envision its safe return to me as well as my own mental image of happily hugging my laptop played a part in getting it back. Keep your vision clear by focusing on what you DO want rather than what you don’t.
  2. Always have a backup (that is, do what you know to do)
    Ok, I’ll admit it. I absolutely know better, and I still hadn’t backed up my computer in awhile. There are things we know we should be doing and aren’t doing even though it puts us and our businesses at risk. Taking purposeful action and prioritizing the next best action keeps you moving forward powerfully.
  3. Ask for help and get out of your own way.
    It never ceases to amaze me just how willing people are to help if I ask them. Everyone from my compassionate friends and husband, to the administrators at the dance studio, to the folks at the MTA came through when I asked them for support. Yet asking for help is sometimes our last resort. We’re convinced that we should be able to do it on our own, or that by asking for help we’re somehow displaying a weakness. These limiting beliefs undermine our efforts and slow us down. Practice asking for help and see how much more you can accomplish.

Here’s the best part to the story.  We found out the MTA had the computer bag when my husband received a call the following morning on our office phone.  A Ms. Harding informed him that an MTA employee had turned in the bag and that we could pick it up at the Coney Island station.  I made the long trek on the D train to the last stop where I met Ms. Harding and showered her with my thanks.

Once I was settled back onto the train and headed home I noticed that she had taped a piece of paper onto the computer.  On the paper was an official looking printout of my husband’s name, my name, our company name, and our address.  Next to it she had written our office number.  This seemed very strange so I pulled it off and inspected it.  Turning it over, I saw that on the other side was a map to the dance studio, which I had printed out before we left home.

In our office, we use scrap paper to print out unimportant documents so that we save paper.  That’s when I realized that by pure chance, the paper that the map was printed on just happened to have our company information on the other side.  Of all the literally hundreds of possible pieces of scrap paper that it could have been printed on, it was one that had our name and company information on it!!

I revel in the joy of living in a city where a bag with a computer in it can travel completely untouched for an hour before being found by a caring person who hands it in.  I experience deep gratitude for Ms. Harding for taking the time to look up our number based on the address that she found on that paper.  I marvel at the beauty of pure coincidence that would have a random scrap of paper that has my name and address written on it to be inside that bag.

And yes, my computer is now fully backed up.

Having a clear vision, coupled with purposeful action, while removing the hidden barriers that hold us back will be the topic of my next one-day event, Path to Prosperity Live! Join me on March 18 for a full day of experiential training that will dramatically shift your perspective on what it takes to create sustainable results, and set you in motion to create them!

You can learn more and see photos from our last event here. It is possible to alter the path of your business – and your life – to one of PROSPERITY in just one day.  Join me on March 18!

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Three quick tips on creating a powerful vision (plus a song!)

Would you ever get into your car and start to drive without a destination in mind?  Imagine taking random turns left and right, going down roads not knowing where they will lead, sometimes pressing on the gas and sometimes on the brake depending on what the road is like or what gets in your way.  You’d end up goodness knows where and probably feel lost and aimless.

That’s exactly what you’re doing with your life when you don’t have a clear vision to guide your actions and goals.  In this video I discuss three tips on creating a powerful vision.  Listen in, sing along, and sign up to participate in my free, live and interactive webinar called Powerful Vision, Powerful Life! on Thursday, February 16, at 7:00 PM.


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The Anti-New Year’s Resolutions: Systems, not Goals

Part 2 of a 2-part series (click here for part 1 to learn about why New Year’s resolutions don’t work.)

I love that freshly-washed feeling of the turn of a new year. It could just be the fact that I get more sleep in the 10 days between Christmas and New Year’s because the kids are off from school, but I seem to have more energy and impetus to clear away things I’ve been tolerating, and similar to many people take the opportunity to look ahead to what’s next.

For the past couple of years I’ve hosted a webinar entitled New Year’s Resolutions: Friend or Foe? (see below for details on this year’s webinar).  It’s designed to support people in taking action in the new year in a way that aligns with their vision.  Over the years, I’ve changed my perspective on how helpful resolutions can be.  I’ve had my own varying degrees of success, and have stopped setting so many “goals” and instead focus on intentions or themes for the year.  Last year’s theme was “relationship” and this year’s theme is emerging as “consistency.”

But what if you just plain want to get some stuff accomplished? Continue reading

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Why New Year’s Resolutions Don’t Work

Part 1 of a 2-part series.  Click here for part 2.

Around the beginning of the year people feel a renewed commitment towards their goals because it feels like a fresh start. We are encouraged to let go of the old and embrace the new by making New Year’s resolutions.  This is why if you’re a regular at a gym you know that there is never any equipment available from January 1 through mid-February – everyone is working on their new commitment to get healthy.  However, by the end of February the gym is back to normal, with the regulars making the rounds.

Studies show that only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions actually accomplish them, despite swearing up and down that this is the year that they will stick with it. What goes wrong? Here are some reasons why resolutions so often fail. Continue reading

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Good Morning America

Hi everyone – this morning I did my first ever live broadcast on FB singing a song with my ukulele. It’s always a little nerve-racking to put myself “out there,” but it’s worth it, and gets a little easier each time too. How can you put yourself “out there” today? Let me know in the comments!!

The current economic and political climate has people feeling worried, stressed, and uncertain. Join me on my next free live webinar “Three Keys to a Richer Life” to learn about these three keys will put you in control of your own destiny.  Create the lifestyle, career, and relationships you dream of.  Webinar is on Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 7:30 – 9:00 PM.  Register at tinyurl.com/threekeyswebinar


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Why this election day is the most important day of my life.

Last night as I was prodding Isabel to go to bed I said, “C’mon, let’s get to sleep. Tomorrow is the most important day of my adult life and I want to be rested.” She gave me a look that only a tweenager could and said, doubtfully, “More important than the day you and dad got married?”

It took me a moment to process what she had said. Then I realized Continue reading

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Are you solving problems you don’t have?

Did you know that a major obstacle keeping people from achieving their goals is that they spend their mental energy on solving problems they don’t even have?  I call this “The Governor of Kentucky syndrome”, as illustrated by a personal story I heard from Marilyn Graman, a Psychotherapist, Workshop Creator and Leader, Author, Interfaith Minister, and Shaman Practitioner in New York City:

Two women ate lunch together in a small Kentucky town after not having seen each other for some time. Continue reading