One year ago today, I wrote these words in my Anxiety Journal:
What an amazing high vibe day! Everything just came together beautifully.
I worked, I did burpees, I fed people, and I talked to L-- for the first time since...
It felt like I was queen of the world. Everything under control.
I remember at the time thinking of how lucky I was that I had such a great day because none of it was precisely planned.
I did burpees.
Now I can see that luck had nothing to do with it.
My actions made this a great day.
I noticed what was bothering me, so I took steps to make sure they wouldn't bother me anymore.
And it worked.
How beautifully simple.
I'd tell L--, but we're not speaking again.
So it goes.
I'm sitting in my sitting in my cave with a cup of coffee, a notebook, and my to do list.
Not a literal cave, of course. I'm in my home office. The cave I'm in is a mono focus remote work group called CaveDay. There are currently 67 of us all working silently together, cameras on, completely focused on our task at hand for the next 25 minutes or so.
With my first paperback coming out this month, my re-write of the Pre-Diet Workbook in the planning stages, and my Medium readership hitting double digit readers, I decided to add on to my writing work load by re-starting my blog again.
Since most of my Medium writing is focused on work/life balance, personal development, and productivity, this blog is going to be reserved for the fun stuff. Stuff I find personally interesting that I have thoughts about. Like the Great British Baking Show, or how Starbuck's Christmas Blend is absolutely fire this year with the rare aged Sumatra beans, or how amazing TikTok can be for learning new skills... like TikTok.
I mostly want to encourage myself and everyone else to go out and explore. To take chances, make mistakes, and tell amazing stories.
I'm thinking I'll do one of these every Sunday. Like a weekly wind down, wrap up kind of thing. That sounds cozy.
My favorite thing I wrote this past week was actually my Sunday instagram post.
"Dancing clears the dust of the week from my mind and reestablishes a seat of power in my soul."
Thank you for reading!
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You look at the calendar, and it's June 13th. Maybe it was the Target BOGO bathing suit sale, perhaps it was the Home Depot patio furniture popping up all around you; whatever the reason, the fact that it's nearly summer finally hits you, and you decide you want to get in bikini/beach body shape.
What's the first thing you do?
If you are like a lot of people, you look to social media and social websites to see what the latest fad diet/exercise craze is. Maybe you pick up the most recent book by Dr. Oz, Jillian Michaels, or some other celebrity health guru.
Maybe you buy a new piece of home exercise equipment with a four-figure price tag.
The rationale is sound: "They are popular, so it must work!" "Go big, or go home!"
This year, summer of 2019, I'm going to challenge you to do something different.
I'm going to challenge you to go small.
For a person seeking out help or guidance in getting their body where they want it to go, this is an excellent time of year! Social media is festooned with people JUST LIKE YOU who have done what YOU WANT TO DO.
Imagine you are scrolling through social media's #transformationtuesday or #throwbackthursday hashtags, looking for inspiration. You see a person who is built a lot like you, living it up, loving life. Then you swipe, and you see their transformation. You think, "Wow! How did they do that?"
Then you see that they are affiliated with Beachbody, or Isagenix, or some other known MLM and your immediate thought is "Ugh." or "MLMs are predatory." or "I don't want to be sold to."
Now imagine pushing past these initial feelings and going through this person's feed. Imagine you see testimonials and shout outs. Real people who this person has legitimately helped, who have given their consent to be an advocate for this small-time health coach.
This person, who is like you, has clearly helped other people like you before.
Why not ask a question?
Just to be clear, any person worth their salt knows that asking a question is not committing to buying anything. It's opening the door a crack to see if the person on the other side is someone you are willing to work with. This goes for both clients and coaches.
Let's say you start having a conversation. You will know within the first few sentences if this is a person you want to continue talking to. If they aren't, thank them for their time, delete the chat, and close the door.
But what if they are funny?
What if they are brilliant?
What if they have similar interests and struggles as you? Maybe they know exactly what you are going through, and they are more than willing to help you; they are excited to help you?
How rare is that in this world? Sharing a genuine connection with someone who wants nothing more than to help you?
How much success do you think you will have working with someone like that, instead of buying in on the latest trend?
That's why I'm challenging everyone this summer to get the success you want by going small.
Here are a few health and wellness coaches that I highly recommend:
So pick a coach, and start your summer off on the right foot!
Want to work with me? Please DM @SLCansian on Instagram/Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat!
Aside from the Great British Bake Off/Great British Baking Show and Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I don't watch reality TV. I'm too busy living my life to worry about the lives of others.
However, I have recently discovered Australia's Bringing Sexy Back on Netflix, and I am hooked.
Here's why I think this is the best Make-Over Reality TV Show I have ever seen and why I want to work for them, or whatever USA network that buys the rights:
They tend to keep the weight off.
Seriously, if any US networks out there are thinking about buying the rights to Bringing Sexy Back, HMU. And if you haven't seen this show, it's first and only season is currently streaming on Netflix. It's absolutely binge worthy and will seriously motivate you to get your sexy back too.
Good morning world.
It's 3:20am, but I have been up since 1:30am. This late fall/early winter air is messing with my sinuses big time.
But that's not the important thing. The important thing is that last month I wrote an eBook.
I started off November with the intention of writing three eBooks, each between 10,000-17,000 words, so that I could win NaNoWriMo and have three books to publish on the Kindle Store by the end of 2018, effectively checking off another of my year-long goals. What I ended up with is one first draft wholly done, and another that's about half done. This was my best NaNoWriMo to date.
I wrote about wellness. I wrote about food, about exercise, and about time management. I came up with downloadable content and tiny courses that people can take.
Now I need a place to put all my stuff.
Throughout December, in between editing my books, finishing writing the other two, and fine-tuning my offerings, I'll be majorly overhauling this website.
This blog is going to be for weekly updates, thoughts, and shares. It will be the best way to hear about all the stuff going on over here. If you don't like reading a webpage, I'll be emailing this out as well.
Yes, I will finish that series on personal branding. Because it's super important.
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Ever since my husband and I had the small success of moving to Pennsylvania and raising the most wonderful dog in the world we have been engaging in a lot of personal development.
The problem with this is that as we learn and grow and constantly re-assess and re-evaluate, we realize that some of our behaviors need to change.
It's not a bad thing; it's a necessary thing. As you experience life, you have to re-assess your wants, needs, and dreams because things change. Circumstances change. Things you might have never wanted before suddenly become very important.
I have been unemployed for a little over 90 days, and time was ripe to do some assessing. Especially with Yom Kippur coming up in literal hours.
And man, I did not like the answers I had simmering in the back of my brain.
Which in and of itself is a major problem with me achieving anything I actually desire.
However, as Captain Jack Sparrow says, "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your reaction to the problem."
How do you react when you discover new things about yourself?
I wish everyone who reads this a peaceful Yom Kippur and a joyous Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Personal branding is a skill that needs to be taught in high school. It is on the same level as being able to read, write, and talk in front of people. If young adults were taught personal branding, there would be no need for Queer Eye (which I love, for the record).
Personal branding is just another avenue of communicating who you are.
Because I am a network marketer, and have been told that I have style, I thought I would do a few posts about different parts of personal branding. And, I figured why not jump in the deep end and start with the most personal part of personal branding: make up.
Make up is very polarizing. People love it or hate it, but very rarely just like it. In the media, it's sexualized. It's sexist. People will comment if you wear too much, too little, or none at all. Eye brows will raise at the sight of a 12 year old girl wearing make up, and at a 16 year old girl who doesn't. (I actually did a blog post about that years ago. If I find it, I'll link to it).
There are arguments that make-up teaches people not to appreciate their natural beauty, and there are arguments that it encourages people to be creative with their appearance. If you Google "arguments on makeup" you will get 11 million results in under half a second.
I struggled with a relationship with makeup for years. During my teen years and into my 20s, I thought that if I wore makeup I would be lying about what I really looked like and set an unrealistic expectation for other people (people whom I could potentially date). This is what happens when your insecurity about your looks masks itself as a noble trait. Because that's exactly what this was, my insecurity about my own looks. My own take on they "if they don't like me at my worst..." This was my "make-up as camouflage" phase.
In my 20s, I started playing around with make up after looking at artwork by David LaChappelle. I realized make-up wasn't just Cover Girl and Revlon. It could be funky. It could be arty. It could be something that makes me stand out from a crowd. I started playing around with bright colors, glitters, shapes, and all kinds of craziness. This is what happens when you need a creative outlook and you are still insecure about your looks. I still did not like what I saw in the mirror, but if my make up was funky enough I thought my flaws would be overlooked. This was my make-up as distraction phase.
When I entered my 30s and finally became more confident in my body, my looks, and myself I started wearing makeup for real.
I say "for real" because this is a big distinction: makeup (or lack thereof) is an integral part of your personal brand or signature look as long as you are coming from a "true self" mindset.
"A signature look is the holy grail of personal style. It is the icing on a refined, well-curated wardrobe, but at the same time the best starting point for any style journey." [link]
This relatively new mindset for me I am calling my "make-up as distinction phase". I still love playing around with colors and shapes but there are a few key elements which remain the same:
With these three rules, my daily makeup routine can take as little as five minutes or as long as twenty. The time commitment is worth it for a look that makes me feel more me, of who I am and what I do and what I can accomplish.
TLDR; Makeup is the salt and pepper at the end of the recipe. It enhances what is already there.
Personal branding starts with being honest with yourself about your own looks. Your perks and your flaws. They are all part of the package and should be embraced.
If you've passed that point, start by being honest how you want to look, and about your feelings towards makeup.
(You should not have feelings toward makeup unless you are from a culture where status and means are marked by makeup and markings. That would be like feeling guilty or angry towards salt and pepper if you don't need to watch your sodium.)
After all that, then you can start to develop your signature style from a place of freedom. And if that means no makeup because you believe that you are perfect as you are, then rock it! And if that means a two-hour application every day because you need contours to live, then go for it. But always come from a place of honesty.
If you are ready to start figuring out your signature look but have no idea where to start, one of the best services I can recommend is Ipsy. They have a makeup profile quiz where they can guess which colors would look best on you, and then send five samples for you to try out. They also have video tutorials and expert advice so even complete novices can have fun playing with their look.
Click on the below to take the quiz, and drop a note in the comments on what defines or will define your signature look.
Click here to take the Ipsy Beauty Quiz!
Today I outted myself as an under-employed MBA. If you missed that one, please check out my IG; it's a bit of a story.
Why did I do this? It is certainly not because I have a misplaced sense of shame. I had to close my eyes before I hit the post button.
No, I did this because I am making it known that I am no longer interested in working for a company that sees me as a commodity. I am only interested in work that allows me to make my own hours, charge my own rates, and work where I want to.
Craziness, right? Not in the world of network marketing.
Oh goodness, now I've gone and done it. I used dirty buzz words... "network marketing", "MLM", "relationship marketing". Just give you the good ol' days where ads screamed at you from the TV every 12 minutes. Am I going to try to be your friend now?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, no.
In marketing, we have the "Four P's"... Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. It is an old school of thought that if you can correctly balance those four metrics, you would achieve maximum exposure and profit. You had to have the right product (example: chewing gum) at the right price ($0.25 for six sticks), in the right place (at the checkout counter where you also buy cigarettes and water), and the right promotion (Kills bad breath fast!)
When I was an MBA candidate at Rutgers Business School, a few of my professors were arguing the validity of adding an additional "P"... for people.
The argument was that you could have the right product, at the right place, for the right price, and promote the right message... but if you did not have an actual person who could speak to its benefits and create a relationship with potential customers, a vital piece of the marketing mix was missing.
The two biggest companies I can say have this fifth "P" down to a science are Apple and Starbucks. They seek out and hire promoters of the products... people able to make recommendations, speak to strengths and weaknesses, and navigate a potential client through the purchase process. Apple, for a time, had an entire retail position dedicated to that journey called the Personal Shopper.
This whole idea of relationship marketing is not new. However, with the advent of the internet, all of a sudden it became a lot easier to reach a lot of people... which is why MLMs suddenly seemed to appear everywhere for everything.
This is not a bad thing. The only difference between your bestie selling Shakeology and the kid at GNC pushing Vega One is a brick and mortar storefront. With a brick and mortar storefront, a person chooses to get inundated with sales pitches for different products. On social media, a person probably just wanted to see some cat memes and got hit with leggings, shakes, lip gloss, or all of the above. It feels more intrusive when that sort of marketing occurs. It puts the potential customer on edge and leads to the exact opposite of a meaningful connection.
So, how do we, as network marketers, get around this? By being completely honest. If we are truly the Fifth P in the marketing mix, we are living our products. We are products of our products. Our lives have changed for the better because of our products and all we want to do is share them with the world.
When I worked for Apple, I talked about how my Apple iPhone changed my life by giving me freedom from my computer.
When I work at Starbucks, I talk about how Starbucks has made my life better by providing me with free coffee, health insurance benefits, and an outlet for my creativity and extraversion.
When I post about my own coaching opportunity, I talk about how taking control of my daily actions and focusing on what I find most satisfying has kept me from spiraling into a pit of despair since losing my job.
Network marketing is sticking around, but network marketers need to realize where exactly they fit into the marketing matrix. If there was anything I learned from my training this weekend it was to be honest. Honesty is the only proven way to succeed in business.
If being honest means realizing that you are not a product of the product, then get out of the water. This isn't for you.
If being honest means being vulnerable, then close your eyes and push post anyway.
If being honest means being a friend, then call out your bestie if she seems too "salesy" and offer ways to improve. Give her examples of what you would rather see.
Open and honest communication is the only way this gets better for all parties involved. We are not commodities. We are people with desires looking for other people like us. That makes us the luckiest people to be in business with.
As a barista, one of the biggest responsibilities I believe I have is to get a person's name right.
Not just making sure their drink looks good, tastes good, and is exactly what they ordered, but to make sure that it's going to the right person.
Inevitably, I get a few people with interesting names. And every single time I spell their name correctly, or just take the extra five seconds to confirm the spelling of their name, they always appreciate it. Some even tip a little more for the courtesy.
Because names have power.
Have you ever been called by the wrong name, but you know the person is talking to you? It's off-putting... how little does this person care about me that they don't know my name?
Sometimes it is an honest mistake, but I have had superiors get my name wrong... and that's how I know where I stand with them and in the company.
If you are a boss, or in a position of power in any way... learn people's names. Look them in they eye when you speak to them. It's the Western "namaste".
If you are a person who is being asked their name, take those five seconds to make sure it's correct. Pride in your name equates to pride in yourself. The person on the other side of that counter really does care about you in that moment.
Make the connection.
Maybe start a conversation.
You never know what could happen .
A question for all the fans out there: If Captain America has super serum coursing through him, why does he still go on morning runs? Lift weights? He is basically fit for life, so why bother eating right and exercising? He literally has a free pass.
On the flip side, can you imagine if Superman didn't fly every chance he got? Or if Daredevil didn't bother to canvas his surroundings before fighting an enemy? Or if Batman didn't test all the capabilities of all his gadgets before going out at night?
Steve Rogers doesn't run every morning because he needs to get in or stay in shape. He runs every morning to keep his mind sharp, his discipline strong, his habit unshakable. The bond between his mind and body are so strong that he becomes a force to be reckoned with.
And at 80 years old, when all his friends and loved ones are dead or dying, the discipline that he has cultivated is the only thing he knows he can count on.
What do you have in your life that you know with unshakable certainty that you can count on in a crisis?
Stephanie Cansian is a rebelliously positive Central Jersey citizen with her husband and their dog.