Self-Care for Entrepreneurs

 

I am still in awe that it is now mid October 2017. Where has the time gone? I am excited for Fall season because it’s the best season of the year. Do you agree? With the fall season, we tend to slow things down and get ready for the year end and I am totally fine with that.

It’s such a nice feeling to wind down to ramp up for 2018, but we need to remember to take time for ourselves in the process. It’s hard when there’s so much more to accomplish before the year is over with, but it’s necessary. I’ve grown fonder of self-care because I realize that no one will take care of me like my mom would (ah, duh!), but she’s in FL. So, my next best option is me..ha!  What does self-care mean to you? To me, self-care means a few things:

·         Health

·         Clean Food

·         Exercise

·         Sleep

·         Rest

·         Dream

·         Quality Time

Obviously, there’s many more meanings to self-care, but these are very dear to me.  My health is more important to me at age 33 than it ever has been. I truly value my health because you only get one life to live. I intend on living intentionally for the rest of my days.  I certainly enjoy eating clean food because there was a time when I didn’t eat it at all and yep, being overweight was a result of that.  Exercise is a given…need I say more? At least do what you can. I know we like to sit in front of the computer CREATING that magic, but take a break every hour and walk around for 2 min. Better yet, jog in place!  Now, sleep can be debatable amongst entrepreneurs. I’ve had my share of “burning the midnight oil” and barely getting 3-4 hours of sleep a night, but that was not the best idea. Eventually, those lost hours catch up to you and either your mind or body breaks down. Therefore, rest is so important for the mind and sometimes you do mindless activities like people watching … who doesn’t love that? Dreaming is so important because it sets the tone for everything I do. I feel like dreaming and thinking about what could be allows answers to come my way. Again, being intentional helps! Lastly, quality time. Who do you spend your quality time with? For me, it’s my hubby, close friends and family. They mean the world to me.

So, how do you know when it’s time for self-care? I can always tell when I feel like I’m doing ALL the things in my business and nothing is happening. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. Sometimes you ignore the signs and just keep going on and on, but those around you will notice. They may even tell you to go have a seat! Chill out! LOL!  You want to continue to be the best you and provide great service to your clients, so please take care of yourself.  You are only one person and while you do have super powers, never be afraid to ask for help. Support is all around you. I’m here!

So, get a out a sheet of paper and write down what self-care means to you. DO IT NOW!

 

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If you would like help creating a plan for self-care in your busy schedule, please reach out to me. I am more than happy to take a few min to help you identify a few areas of self-care.  Just send me a note at jennifer@themjwgrp.com

 

Always Essential,

Jennifer

P.S. 2017 is almost over! Have you met all your objectives for the year? If you have projects to still complete or even start, please reach out to me at jennifer@themjwgrp.com. Implementation and execution is my forte. I will work with you to make sure you achieve operational excellence in your business.

 

How To Completely Change Your Pace

 

I can’t believe how far along we are in 2017. We are in the last stretch of Q3 already! Time has certainly flown by and there’s still so much to accomplish before the year is out. What are your plans and how will you tackle the remainder for the year?

For me, 2017 has been a “wild ride” of a year. We (hubby and I) launched The MJW Group, a blog, a Mastermind group, paid off more debt and began a new take on life. We now totally understand how life should function and have definitely taken on WAAAAAY more ownership than ever before. However, we still have Q4 to create and design the life that we want. I will say the only way we’ve been able to do this is changing our pace.

No, I’m not talking about walking faster … although, that would be better for me since I tend to walk slow, but I’m talking about changing the direction you’re headed towards. Let’s discuss what that involves. Think about where you want to go. What’s stopping you? What’s holding you back? Who is holding you back? Could it be a mental block? Fear? More than likely, it’s one of these choices and I label it choice for a reason.

Now, you may think you aren’t choosing to stop and not proceed full steam ahead, but you are. You are deciding every move. Therefore, changing your pace is so important. Every day you have a choice to do or not to do. Don’t believe me? Let me explain this in simplest terms…If you don’t take out a full trash can in your kitchen, what will happen? You get my point now, huh? Exactly! We all have a choice to make. So, how do you make that choice?

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During my pivot to an intentional life in 2017, I DECIDED what mattered to me the most. I have been a huge proponent of legacy and lifestyle. Once I started making a few daily changes, my pace totally changed. Some of those daily changes included creating non-negotiables with my time, leaving a full-time job to pursue my business, assigning the money I earn, and journaling. Journaling has helped the most because I truly believe when you write things down, they WILL manifest. Now, I have 3 journals that I’m writing in at once and 3 more on deck. Absolutely love my journals!

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You get the point … I hope! To start changing your pace, you must decide what it is that you want to change towards. It relates to goal setting and being intentional, but it’s so much more than that. There’s an emotional component to take into consideration as well. Emotion will allow you to become more invested in your change of pace.

I would love to hear your plans on changing your pace. Hit reply and let me know your thoughts. We love providing strategy and coaching here at The MJW Group…reach out to us if you would like to setup a strategy session to discuss in more detail.

P.S. Speaking of change of pace…we our hosting a webinar Wed, Sept 13th at 8:30p EST on “5 Reasons to Join a Mastermind.” This is your opportunity to learn more details about a Mastermind and how it can catapult you and/or your business to the next level. This is our secret weapon for success :)  Click here to reserve your spot!

 
 

4 Ways To Master Time

 

Oh, how I love this subject! Don’t you? Time management seems to be a subject that is often talked about, but the solutions don’t necessarily work. I can honestly say that it certainly has been an issue for me in my adult life. Have you heard of adulting? Yep! It’s a real thing. It seems when you’re a kid, time is infinite and it goes by sooooo verrryyyyy slooowwww. LOL! We all know now that’s because when we we’re younger, we had more freedom and less responsibility. So, what has changed since you became an adult?

Of course, you may have your spouse, kids, pets, parents, career, home, etc., etc., etc. to deal with on a daily basis. It is certainly a lot to manage at once. This is why time management is not the best answer when one is confronted about their responsibilities. At least this has been the case for me ever since I decided to cross over into the Entrepreneur world. If you think it’s bad working for someone else and dealing with time management, it is worse when you work for yourself and/or employ others. I like to encourage people to adapt the term “priority management.”

So, why priority management? Because it's about getting the right things done at the right time.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Stephen Covey

Well, if you can learn to master your priorities—this leads to mastering time. You may say, now Jennifer I’m confused….you just mentioned time management is not the best solution. Listen now! Priority management is different than time management because when you prioritize your day/week/month, a lot of noise around other tasks seems to fade away and you start realizing how much more time you have. Let me give you an example. Say your week consisted of getting the kids off to school, cooking dinner, appointments for your business, and going to the gym. This sounds like a lot huh? Well, in a WWJD (What would Jennifer do) moment, this would be my strategy:

1.    Starting on a Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, plan out the week ahead starting with Sunday. You will need an electronic or paper planner/calendar to perform this strategy. Write down every task you need to accomplish (getting the kids off to school, cooking dinner, appointments for your business, and going to the gym), but do not assign a specific date to them unless it is a standing task.

2.    Utilizing your planner/calendar, write down the standing tasks and assign a date to them. This can be sleep, eating, reading, gym, work, or driving. Typically, these tasks are your non-negotiables and you perform these daily.  Look at how you can batch some of these non-negotiables. For example, weekly meal prepping and listening to an audible book can be done at the same time. You can also listen to an audible book while at the gym or driving.

3.    Now, with whatever time or capacity you have left, schedule your priorities and the remainder of your tasks. Do you see extra time? Eureka! This is where you can add in buffer times in your schedule because you know things will happen. So, give yourself an extra 15 min in the morning to get the kids off to school.

4.    If a new task arises during the week, do not just add it to your schedule. Figure out what you can de-prioritize to place it in your schedule. Our schedule is in harmony now and we’d like to keep it that way. Only disrupt your schedule if it’s absolutely necessary.

Take a look at my calendar from a few weeks back....does this makes sense?

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This strategy takes a few tries to get used to, but it works. I’ve been following this method for over a year and it has helped me tremendously with my busy schedule. This example is sort of simple, but just try it with your family and see what happens. Once you start looking at your time from a different perspective, you’ll see why you should prioritize.

If you would like help executing this strategy and creating a plan that works for you, please reach out to me. I am more than happy to take a few min to help you manage your time more efficiently or share with you my schedule. Just send me a note at jennifer@themjwgrp.com

Always Essential,

Jennifer

 

What I learned after practicing more than 10,000 hours

First of all, let me start by saying that I didn’t even realize I’ve been practicing in my profession long enough to have over 10,000 hours. Actually, it’s more like 17,860 hours if I calculate the last 10 years of my life post undergrad. If you have no idea what 10,000 hours mean … let me enlighten you. I first heard the phrase 10,000 hours from Beyoncé. Yep, you read it right, Beyoncé. She was doing an interview with Terrace J. and he mentioned that some say it takes 10,000 hours to master something and she totally agreed.  I agree also because she is one of the biggest entertainers of our time and there is absolutely no comparison to anyone else like her. 

The 10,000 hours theory actually comes from Malcom Gladwell’s book Outliers. Achieving this type of master class is quite perplexing to most because most will not do what it takes to get to 10,000 hours. Let me further explain what I’m talking about. In my case, I started my Engineering career at Kimberly-Clark in Roswell, GA in their supply chain organization. Since then, I have worked for several companies over the last 10 years—still in the supply chain organization.  This is what Malcom Gladwell calls meaningful work.

But what does meaningful work mean for you. It used to mean to me that I stay down one path and nurture it fully. However, this has changed for me the last two years. Once I had the idea to formulate my own consulting firm, I knew I had to learn more than what I already knew. So, in my quest to expand my tool kit past 10,000 hours—I sought after the things I didn’t know. Have you ever taken responsibility to do that? It may seem hard to understand what you don’t know and some may call themselves an unconscious competent. However, I think it’s highly important to recognize where you are and act.

If you’ve achieved 10,000 hours, do you feel it was meaningful work?  Would love to hear from you.

 

Always Essential,

Jennifer

3 Simple Steps to Productivity

I know, I know, I know … if you read one more thing about productivity, you’re going to shut down and say, “The hell with this!” Before you disappear into no where’s land, let me express to you how important productivity is. Productivity has been an important component of my career for over 12 years now. I started out as a production scheduler (for 3 manufacturing plants) juggling so many balls in the air at once trying not to drop any one of them. After a while, that got very old and extremely tiring. I had to figure out how to go from 0 to 100 real quick (hello. Drake)!

Early on in my career, I realized that I had a duty to myself to make the best of the many situations I had to multi-task on a daily basis. We all know that most people aren’t hired to do the job they were hired to do …say what now? Yep, that’s right…you have to go above and beyond now a days.  So, what did I do? I learned and observed from several co-workers how they did their work and I figured out a way to do my work in a shorter amount of time. Basically, I learned how to create systems. Now, don’t be afraid of systems … it’s just another word for processes and I absolutely love that word!

If you can figure out a system, process, or routine for the things you do repeatedly, you should over time become more and more efficient at it. Productivity should definitely improve if you are focusing on the right aspects of the process. So, Jennifer, how does this productivity improvement really work? I mean, how can this be applied in my everyday life? Well, it’s totally up to you to make this work. Think about where you are spending so much of your time every day.  Is it at work? At home? On social media? Watching TV? Now, I’ll warn you, if this is the first time you’ve ever tracked this, it will be a SHOCKER! The first time I did this exercise, social media and TV was a huge time sucker, as well as, driving my car. Once I knew where my time was going, I made actions gradually to change these habits. Why? Because I needed an improvement in my life. No matter what environment or situation I’m in, I always follow these 3 steps to increase productivity:

1.    Reverse engineer everything and create systems

I mentioned created systems above and this has shown me a huge improvement over the years. Creating systems are very similar to having experience with something because once you do this a couple of times, it becomes routine and automatic. Now, reverse engineering is a little different because if you don’t know how to do something, this is a great method to figure out how to do it and not waste valuable time. The key here is to work backwards to save time and be more productive rather than struggle forward.

2.    Turn off the friggin notifications

That darn social media! I couldn’t believe how much time I was devoting to my social media platforms. Because I solely ran my previous business on social media, I was literally glued to my phone and laptop quite a bit. It was all hours of the day. I had to learn to schedule dedicated times to post, interact, and respond to inquiries on the platforms. It can honestly be quite overwhelming, but once I decided to turn off notifications---hallelujah!

3.    Take time for self-care

This is the most important step because without self-care you will not be the best version of you. Take time to sleep, nap (my fav), eat, exercise, and journal (my 2nd fav). There are countless other means to self-care, but these are the ones that I do the most frequently. I like to think of it as ebbs and flows. When I’m feeling defeated and burned out, I may take a nap to recharge. Once I wake up, I’m like a 5 year old at Chuck-E-Cheese … well, maybe a 7 year old—you get the point! You will be surprised how much more productive you will be and how much more you can give to others when you take the time to take care of you.

Make a commitment to doing daily, small actions to see a change in your productivity. If you decide to try one of these three steps, let me know how it goes.

 

Always Essential,

Jennifer

My Experience With Goal Setting

Now is not the time to be afraid, but we must embrace goal setting. Most people shy away from it simply because it is huge! Goal setting is extremely meaningful and if used correctly, can provide lots of value.  Even though the word is only 4 letters, it’s like a huge punch to your face because either you meet them or you don’t. So, how can you make this better?

One of my favorite words to describe goal setting is intention. You must be intentional with setting goals because if you don’t, you’ll fall subject to what some call “shiny object syndrome.”  This happened to me in 2015 as I was just beginning to “own my life” as I call it. I identified goals that I wanted to accomplish at the time, but there was so much clutter surrounding my goals as I felt they didn’t align with me authentically. My goals included things like a new house, car, mattress, etc. In other words, it was all “shiny objects.” Those goals were not accomplished. I was not being intentional with my persona.  It really was a hot mess! Not until Feb 2017 did I attempt to perform goal setting again. I mean, the first time was horrible and quite frankly disappointing. However, like most entrepreneurs do, you dust yourself off and try again. So, let me tell you why it was different this time.

This time the stakes were higher. This time I had more to lose. This time was literally live or die … at least that’s how it felt. You see, 2015-2017 was a growing period for me.  And I grew a lot! I submersed myself in personal development in every way possible. I got a library card and checked out books in which I hadn’t done in over 10 years. I also checked out audiobooks and turned my car into “automobile university.”  What I realized was that I had so much more to learn about life, what I wanted, and who I wanted to become. So, here I was 30 yrs. old and back in school again. It was ALL on me this time! I gravitated to the teachings of Les Brown, John Maxwell, and Zig Ziglar, but there was one gentleman who really resonated with me. He spoke to me in ways that I listened ever so closely. Every ounce of time I could put headphones in were dedicated to his voice. His recordings. His videos. I just couldn’t get enough. When I first heard him say, “Write in your journal,” or “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with,” I was changed! You must know who I’m talking about at this point, right? None other than Jim Rohn.

Jim Rohn became a mentor in my head. He spoke about goal setting quite often in his recordings years ago. It was because of him that I valued myself. I valued life, what I wanted, and who I wanted to become. It became very clear what my goals needed to be and a plan started to formulate in my mind. I set a personal, business, and health goal for myself and began to tack them one by one. I started with my health goal first as I wanted to get in the best shape of my life and maintain it. My personal goal consisted of becoming a better Jennifer to those around me. I became more vulnerable and opened myself up to receive as well as give. I consider myself a giver and sometimes it’s hard for me to receive from others. My business goal has been in progress of all of 2017. I told myself it was time. The MJW Group was born!

I share all of this with you in hope it will inspire you to set goals. As for me, I was not where I needed to be to set goals back in 2015, but grew into it. It was necessary to take a step back to progress forward. Now, I feel so much better about the value I bring to my life and others’ lives.  Give it a try! Intentionally put yourself in a vulnerable state to dig down deep on what you really want out of life and for yourself.

Keep me posted on your progress!

Always Essential,

Jennifer

 
 

How to know what you want in 5 easy steps

Seriously, why is this such a hard question to answer? This is something I struggle with all the time and maybe you do too. I truly believe it is the foundation for making decisions big or small though. Currently, I am transitioning to a business owner and while it is an exciting time in my life—it has not been an easy pivot.

Let me explain.

I can honestly say that I now have 12 years…. (like whoa!) of experience in corporate America and it wasn’t all peaches and cream, but I am truly thankful to have lived it. My experiences are now a part of me and going forward it’s my mission to continuously educate and inspire. I love when someone can show me how to dodge a bullet…don’t know about you? An inconsistency I noticed in corporate America through those years was the ability for people to make decisions no matter what level they are at. Not sure why that really is, but I boiled it down to “they don’t know what they want.” That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it!

I understand we all grow in different seasons and it may take someone longer to know what they want. For me…it took 2 years! 2015 was the season for me. It’s when the unicorns came by and dropped those golden nuggets. It’s when the mermaids came with the hidden treasure.  It’s when I realized, I wasn’t living up to my potential and things needed to change in my career and personal life. Here is where I was reborn again and started identifying goals to accomplish in my life.

That’s nice Jennifer, but how do I start?

Directions: read this very carefully and refer back to it again and again until it clicks because it may take some time.

Here are the steps that I recommend:

1.    Get out a blank sheet of paper and pen/pencil.

2.    Turn the sheet of paper vertically and on that sheet of paper draw a straight line down the middle.

3.    On the first column, label it “What I don’t want” and on the second column, label it “What I do want."

4.    Fill in both columns (this can be a combination of personal, career, family, financial goals or just one goal).

5.    Review these two columns every day until you come to a point of CLARITY on what you want.

Clear as mud? Yes, it's that simple. We tend to over think at times, but this shouldn't be one. I’m warning you that it may take some time for clarity to sink in, but you will KNOW what you want.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know if this exercise worked for you.

Always essential,

Jennifer