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The (hidden) reason why we end up working too much…

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset | 3 Comments

It’s not about time management skills.

It’s not about having the right people on your team (or no one at all!)

It’s not about learning how to work faster and getting good systems in place.

All of these things are important, but none of them matter until you address the REAL (and often hidden) reason why we work too much…

Join me for the #OneWeekOff Challenge

By | General Biz, Success Mindset, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

>> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER <<

Every entrepreneur deserves to take at least one week off from their business, right?

I’m on a mission to make sure that YOU can take at least #oneweekoff – 100% unplugged – from your business this year (be it spring break or summer vacation.)

Join me for the FREE #OneWeekOff Challenge starting on Monday, where I will lead you step-by-step through the process of planning your week off.

Here’s how it works:

  • Starts January 29th and runs for 5 consecutive days (Monday to Friday)
  • Each day you will get a short video with a 5-minute challenge (keeping it short & sweet!)
  • Complete your 5-minute challenge and report into our private Facebook group

And at the end of the week you will be clear on what exactly needs to happen so you can take #oneweekoff.

The only thing left to do is decide…

What will you do with a 100% unplugged week off from your business? No phone, computer or email. No team or clients to deal with. Ahhhh…. dreamy.

>> CLICK HERE TO REGISTER <<

I’m not a fan of positive thinking

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | 2 Comments

Telling myself positive things has rarely motivated me to take action.

What I prefer is worst case scenario thinking.

Here’s what I mean (and how it works).

When I identify a goal – a desire – I have a brief moment of excitement and then within a day or so the next thing that pops up is FEAR.

My mind starts going to all the reasons that I shouldn’t do it and why it won’t work (now isn’t the right time, it’s too expensive, I’m not ready, people will think I’m crazy, etc…)

Positive thinking tells us to ignore the fear and move forward anyways. But this doesn’t actually get rid of the fear – and if anything the fear can get bigger the longer we try to ignore it!

The truth is, if my fear is too big I won’t take action. I get stuck.

So I started doing an experiment a few years ago – instead of trying to ignore or ‘positive think’ my way out of the fear I decided to do the opposite.

To dive right into it and look my fear in the eye.

First I ask myself – what is the worst thing that could happen here? The worse case scenario.

The key is to get specific. It’s not enough to say “I’m afraid it won’t work for me”… it has to be something that truly shakes you to the core.

“I’m afraid that I won’t make enough money and will lose my house.”

“I’m afraid that my spouse will leave me because I spent all of our savings.”

“I’m afraid that my family will disapprove of what I’m doing and ridicule me at thanksgiving dinner.”

You may have more than one thing on your list – the more the merrier (or should I say scarier?) 😉

Once I can see – and FEEL – my fear then I ask myself:

What would I do if this worse case scenario came true?

How would I handle it? And can I handle it if that was to happen?

There are usually a few of things that happen at this point.

First, when we work through how we would handle the fear then the fear loses its power over us. It’s no longer this ambiguous monster lurking in the closet. It’s now a problem that has a solution ‘ready at hand’ if needed.

I can literally feel the fear melt away at this moment because I know I can handle whatever it might bring.

Second, we often see the absurdity of our fears and how unlikely they are!

Your spouse might be upset with you but it’s unlikely he would leave. You may lose some money but it’s doubtful you would have to sell your house. Your family may make some sly remarks at dinner but you can deal with that.

Third, seeing the worse case scenario can often light a fire to not let it come true! I contribute much of my success to making a decision that my worse case scenario was not an option. That I would do whatever it took to make sure it wouldn’t happen.

Look the fear in the eye. Feel it. Dive into it. And consider how you would handle it.

This simple process shows you how powerful you really are. It frees you up to take action without the burden of worry and fear always one step behind.

Tim Ferris has a similar process to this called Fear Setting that he outlines in a recent TED talk video (you can find it here on YouTube).

I’m curious what you do to deal with fear when it comes up? What works for you?

Why I’m not doing a plan for 2018 (gasp!)

By | General Biz, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos | 13 Comments

I’m a planning junkie and have been teaching it for years… but I’m not going to do a plan for 2018. Here’s why.

#TeamTalk Live – Join me?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Team is the lifeblood of any growing business. When everything is working with our team it’s dreamy.

And when it’s not working it sucks! For you and for them.

Facebook Live - Full ColorI’m feeling rather passionate about team leadership these days and am doing a series of Facebook Lives to answer the most common questions I get around team and leadership.

Would LOVE to have you join me if this tickles your fancy – CLICK HERE to like my Facebook page and get notified when we go live each day. You can also click the links below to set a reminder for that specific topic or to take you direct to the video when we go live (or to watch the video later).

Have a question re: team leadership? Pop a comment on this post or email me privately at tina@tinaforsyth.com and I’ll answer it for you.

Monday, November 6th (Day 1 of 5)

11am pacific / 2pm eastern

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> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Tuesday, November 7th (Day 2 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Wednesday, November 8th (Day 3 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Thursday, November 9th (Day 4 of 5)

12:30pm pacific / 3:30pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<



Friday, November 10th (Day 5 of 5)

10am pacific / 1pm eastern

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>> Click this link to join us LIVE (or to set a reminder) <<

My (slightly unusual) perspective on being a good team leader…

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Success Mindset, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

My goal as a leader of my team is simple – I want to be their favorite client.

I work with a team of contractors (not employees) so I am not their boss – I’m their client.

And if I am their favorite client I know I’m on the right track.

I know that I’m treating them well.

I know that they are getting to do work they enjoy and have opportunities they may not find elsewhere.

I know that I’m respecting their time and not asking for unrealistic deadlines and last minute tasks.

I know that I’m paying them well for what they bring to the table.

I know THEY know how much I value the time, energy and effort they invest in support of my business.

If I am NOT their favorite client then I need to take a look at my leadership and see where I need to shift/grow.

That’s how I choose to measure my success as a leader.

And you?

** An Invitation **

If you are interested in leadership I invite you to join me for a brand new webinar I’m doing lovingly entitled:

“3 Ways Your Leadership Style May Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Team”

I’m going to get real on this webinar – and perhaps a little edgy – because there are simply too many people struggling on both sides of the coin. As leaders and as team members… and that needs to change.

>> Click here to register 

We all fail more than we succeed

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | No Comments

We all fail way more than we succeed – we just don’t talk about it.

And we are paying the price for it.

We look around and see everyone else succeed and wonder where we went wrong. And after repeated failures, we wonder what is wrong with us.

We suffer in silence – afraid that if we share our failures people would think less of us. Clients would be turned off and not want to work with us.

We stall – wanting to succeed but equally as afraid of making another mistake. So we do nothing and stay stuck where we are.

And yet – it is our failures that lead us to our greatest success. It’s a necessary part of the journey.

I can’t help but wonder…

What if we shone a light on our failures? Looked them in the eye and asked what lesson they have to give?

What if we shared our failures? Even celebrated them?

What if we explored our failures? Knowing that each failure leaves clues as to what will work – if only we are willing to do the work to find it.

This is the heart of the new ROI Lab that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month.

It’s a safe place to try new things, and to dig deeper when they don’t work, knowing that the answer to “what went wrong and what to do about it” can be found within the failure.

A place to tweak existing things, finding ways to make them simpler and easier – so that you can enjoy a greater return on all that you put into your business (ROI baby!!)

A place to receive the insight of others – including direct feedback from both Andrea and I – to see what you can’t see. To help ‘diagnose’ what went wrong and what to try next.

A place to show up and be real – in a judgement free zone where failure is the norm, and we have your back when you do.

Our failures can be our greatest teachers, but it is up to us to be open to the lessons they contain.

We have space for only 30 people to join us in the ROI Lab that starts next month – if you are interested in learning more comment below or send me an email.

Business advice from Stephen King?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | No Comments

Love this! I (perma) borrowed* a copy of the book On Writing by Stephen King from my friend Mike this weekend… such a great read! Even if you aren’t a writer or a fan of his books, what he shares can be applied to so many areas of business.

One of my favs is the fact that he doesn’t actually know what his books will be about before he writes them. Say what?! 

He comes up with an idea or a scenario and then starts writing to see what will happen. He is just as surprised and intrigued writing the story as we are reading it. <— wow!

I’ve heard George RR Martin (Game of Thrones author) say the same thing – if he knew the full story before he started writing it then he wouldn’t bother writing it because he would be bored.

Can’t help but wonder how this applies to the way we run a business?

Where is the sweet spot between laying out the plan in advance – vs laying it out as we go?

The extreme on either side can be problematic.

If we plan out too much or too far in advance we leave no room for being able to respond to what comes up on the journey. There is no room for creativity.

If don’t plan at all and just make it up as we go – we can end up wasting a lot of time and energy, and may never land where we want to go.

There is a middle ground that I’ve been playing in this past year. One part planning – one part flow – and it has served me well. Plus it’s been SO much more fun than just ‘laying out a plan and following it’… which I will admit feels boring at times.

This is something we will be teaching – and experimenting with – in a new program that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month. If you are interested in learning more about what we have cooking up let me know – comment below or send me an email.

*(Perma) borrowed – when one borrows a book with no intent of giving it back.  But don’t worry – Mike already knows I’m sending him a new copy.

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Self Sufficiency Syndrome

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

If there is one thing I know to be true about high-achieving women it’s this.

We CAN do it on our own.

We have already. We’ve proven we can make stuff happen. We are problem solvers. Fighters. Bring it on baby!

But at a certain point the very thing that we are best at – making it happen – can become our biggest burden.

I had an amazing conversation a couple of years back at a mastermind with two of my fav people – Samantha Bennett and Penelope Jane Smith. One of those ‘on a break in the hallway’ conversations, just off the cuff.

We got to talking about what Samantha called Self-Sufficiency Syndrome – where we are SO good at taking care of things on our own, that we don’t think we need help and nor do the people around us!

At the time I was about 2 years post divorce, and had been sharing how the hardest thing about that journey was when people would say to me:

“Tina, I’m so sorry to hear about everything… how are the girls? How is Dan? (my ex)… I know you will be fine.”

And every time they said that a tiny part of me inside would cry out “What about me? Why don’t they ask how I’m doing?”

They didn’t ask because they assumed I would be fine – they were simply responding to the way I had always shown up! That I had it all together and didn’t need help from anyone.

There I was, a newly single mom of 2 young girls with a business to run that is the sole provider of our income. And I was SOOO used to being the one to take care of things on my own that it didn’t even occur to me to ASK for more help. I didn’t know how to RECEIVE help when it was offered. My default response at that time was:

“I’m fine”

Fine – the other 4 letter word.

My divorce showed me that yes – I COULD handle it all on my own. I was. I did. And I’m beyond proud of that.

I did have amazing support in my business during that time. My team helped to keep the engine running and I’m not sure it would have otherwise.

And yet, I still felt like I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. That I had to figure it all out on my own. That it was up to me to keep pushing, or it might just fall apart. I felt the weight of responsibility to both my business and my team, and it became a pretty lonely place.

I remember asking myself one day – what if it didn’t have to be this way? What if I didn’t have to carry the ‘weight of the world’ on my own?

How different would my life be then? And is it even possible? Hmmm

I’ve spent the past couple of years fumbling around in this space.

Learning how to ask for help when I need it – especially in those moments when I’m feeling confused and stuck. Sometimes it’s help I pay for (great coaching has been my lifeline this past year) and sometimes it’s just me reaching out to a friend for a conversation.

Learning how to say yes when help is offered. And feeling bloody uncomfortable every step of the way! Also realizing that yes, I’m great at receiving paid help (ie: via my team) but horrible at receiving help without payment (there’s a whole other conversation for another time…)

I have by no means mastered this – my default is always self-sufficiency mode and I need a loving smack upside the head at times to shift this… but I have to tell you, something started to shift this past year.

I started having REAL conversations. I started facing the things I had been avoiding. I started to get real with myself – and others – about stuff I had been tolerating. I made changes in my business and life as a result of this.

It was also through these conversations that I started to see more clearly the work that I’m meant to do. And that there is no way in hell I can do it alone. Nor do I want to.

The truth is – great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve already proven that I can do this on my own – now it’s time to prove what we can do together.

THIS is my growth edge – I’m curious if this is something that you can relate to?

It is really possible to build a freedom based business?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

There are varying degrees of freedom in business.

On one end of the extreme is the soloprenuer – the person who does all the work themselves. If they don’t show up work doesn’t get done.

On the other end of the extreme is the owner who has structured a business that runs and grows without them. They don’t have to show up at all for work to get done.

Everyone talks about the second option as being a ‘real’ business – that it should be the ultimate goal of every business owner. And that if you fall into the first category you don’t have a business you have a “glorified job”.

That’s such BS.

Being in business is all about the freedom of CHOICE. The choice to do what we want. When we want to do it. And with the people we want to work with.

I was a soloprener for the first 10 years of my business and I loved it! Yes, I had to show up to do the work or I didn’t get paid. But it was on my terms. I set my own schedule. I (mostly) did things I wanted to be doing. I got to work with some amazing clients.

Beats a job any day imo!

I shifted to a leveraged business model in 2009 and had to learn (the hard way) how to shift my role in the company. How to get the right support and structure in place so I could do LESS of certain things and MORE of others. How to become a CEO.

But I am still working. I am still doing. Yes, I take weekends off and don’t work myself to the bone. I have an amazing team who takes care of the day to day running of my business. We have worked hard to setup solid systems to create ease for all of us. I can take an unplugged vacation and my business runs fine while I’m away.

But I’m still here. I’m showing up in my business.

I want to work. I like to work! And I dare say most of us feel the same… eating bon bons on the beach all day would bore the life out of me in short order. (what the hell is a bon bon anyhow?)

It’s more about doing the right things – and knowing that what we do makes the impact we want to make – vs doing nothing at all.

It’s also about recognizing that great missions require a great deal of support.

When you are looking a bigger mission in the eye, you are also being called to create a deeper level of support.

This can be especially challenging for powerful women who are rock-stars at making it happen and getting stuff done. Our default mode is carry it all and push through… which works up to a point, and then it doesn’t anymore.

Put simply, we can only take things so far on our own. We aren’t meant to carry the weight alone (believe me, I’ve tried!)

Great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve got a few things brewing in this space and would love to connect if this speaks to you. Send us an email and we will get you the inside scoop.

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