I’ve only been in debt for about 28 years.

Considering I’m almost 46 that’s kind of a long time.

Ever since I could make money, I spent beyond my means. As a hard worker, I could never really understand why I was constantly behind on bills; I should have been rolling in it.

I’ve had many close calls when it comes to being broke but then something crazy happens; a refund check from the dentist would show up, an early birthday check from my dad, a long-lost insurance reimbursement. I have the Universe to thank for my life just always ‘working out’. Don’t get me wrong, I love it that way, but it’s risky.

AND, I’ve had enough almost-rock-bottoms to know that when it manifests physically in my body or infiltrates in to my relationships, I know it’s time to pay attention. This is exactly how I got sober; it wasn’t rock bottom but I skipped along it for a while.

And so, now I’m here on Day 1 of a Debt Diary. Let’s get mighty real here because being totally honest is really the only way I know how to bring the monster out from under the bed. That monster for me, and probably most of us with self-medicating and/or money issues, is shame. There’s no doubt I have made money mistakes to get me to where I am today however, that IS what they are. Mistakes.

Mis-takes. We get re-takes.

I am going to share all the numbers and my plan but first I’ll give you a little history.

I am the daughter of a financial planner. In my dad’s defense, he tried to teach me all the right ways to spend and save with all of his yellow legal pads, four of the same sentences he said over and over (that I mostly rolled my eyes at), a demonstration of compound interest, the percentages of each paycheck that should be going to savings, bills, housing and investments, etc. He also led by example and can do all the things he wants because he is truly financially free.

I thought I knew better than him.

I didn’t.

As soon as I could (at 17) I moved in to my first apartment with a friend working two jobs and still ended up not being able to cover rent. I got behind, had to crawl to daddy to bail me out of a $740 back rent issue and basically lost a friendship over spending more than I made. Fast forward a few years and I left for Army National Guard Basic training where I left my mom with all my bills and a plea to help me pay off $5000 worth of credit card debt and a real-bad vacuum purchase. I came home and married the man of my dreams who had $20k in the bank and promised me a wrap-around porch. I thought all my money woes were gone…somebody to save and take care of me. Yay.


Our newly-wedded bliss was sprinkled with the excitement of entrepreneurship and big commission checks only to be tainted by a $30k IRS tax bill we didn’t save for and $20k worth of credit card debt that bought what-I-don’t-know. (This was another one of those yellow legal pad lessons I ignored: save 30% for taxes when you’re self-employed. Whoops.) We had to crawl to my in-laws this time and graciously they bailed us out. And then, we bought a house high and took a bath on it in 2008. This time my in-laws bailed us out again by letting us live in their basement for two and a half years with our 6-week old son until that house sold for $30k less than we bought it for. But Dale had a good job and we had few bills so I thought we could get ahead a little.

Not so much.

(Geez. This is difficult to write out. I’m starting to sweat.)

We finally sold our house, moved in to a modest ranch, put some sweat equity in to it and then did a big remodel borrowing the money for that from my mom. When we sold that house we were able to pay her back and put a down payment on a new house (with a porch). We were pretty stretched but not enough to start paying attention.

It was fine.

Within five years we started a wine bar business which included purchasing a commercial building. The fact that I had the balls to even go to the bank made me pretty proud. The business actually made quite a profit during the pandemic and spending was fun so we bought a coffeeshop business. Both of those things fueled my confidence in business ownership enough to open an ice cream shop/candy store, purchase another commercial building and quit my real job. My husband left his real job and we both became 100% self-employed overnight.

The thing that no one tells you about a service based business like a bar, coffeeshop or ice cream store is that over everything else: staffing, rent, cash flow, product, inventory, customers, all of it, the number one energy and money suck are appliances. Freezers, coolers, blenders, panini makers, beer tappers, dipping coolers, microwaves, soup kettles. And the dishwashers. The fucking dishwashers. In less than 4 years I paid over $20k for new dishwashers.

Guess where all of those purchases went?

Right on to shiny, pretty, platinum-plastic credit cards. And because revenue was high and the construction market was great, I thought we deserved a retreat and I convinced us a little cabin 30 minutes from our house would be another successful business venture (AirBnB). So we tied up a significant amount of cash for the down payment and committed to another monthly payment.

Then we sold a business, got a nice chunk of change and instead of saving it or paying down our debt, we sunk it in to another expansion and remodel. I actually think this was one of our better business/financial decisions and we’ve already seen the fruits of that labor, however, it left us very, very house rich and cash poor. And with inflation at 18% over 3 years, our cash flow stopped flowing.

Cue: construction market slow-down because of the interest rates.

Ironically, my 2024 resolution was to pay attention to our finances. I don’t know if this coming-to-Jesus is because I opened my eyes and it’s been this bad before when I had my head in the sand or it just happened to get this bad while I was watching. Either way, I am actually grateful it worked out the way it did.

About a month ago, I could see in my husband’s eyes that he was scared. He came in to the bedroom and he looked so sad and defeated I actually said out loud, “Do you want me to be worried?” And he said, “I think it’s time.”

Even as I write this I just sighed really loud.

It was the wake up call I needed. I knew I would need a plan of action so I followed the steps below:

  1. Called my sister and showed her all of my finances. Everything. I had avoided her help for fear of judgement for too long. She’s been through this, on a smaller scale, but understands the behavior changes that are needed. And she loves me so she just wants me to be happy. I know that now.
  2. I wrote down every single thing we owe and since January I have been tracking our spending habits so May will begin a new spending plan (aka budget)
  3. We had a serious conversation and decided selling the cabin was the wisest decision for us. We hope to get around $35k back after all taxes and closing costs.
  4. I closed out my 401k and a $20k is on the way.
  5. We toyed with the idea of asking a parent for another loan to get out from under the extremely high interest rates of the credit cards but in the end, I NEED to do this on my own. Getting bailed out, even if it will save us money or is deemed the “smart” thing to do by society standards, will not solve this issue. I have 14 paragraphs of proof above here. I had to beg my husband to trust me to do this. That was hard. Staying in debt is harder.
  6. I started taking intentional action; from the littlest things to the more aggressive. I saw a penny on the floor of our cabin that was just about to be picked up by the Roomba. I stopped it, picked it up and put it on my phone so I could take it home. I took the change cup from my desk and traded it in for bills: $42 that has just been sitting there on my desk. I folded it neatly and in order and put it in my wallet. I started this journal in hopes that putting it out to the world wide web will bring the accountability I need to keep going. We cleaned the cabin, made some repairs and brought personal items home in preparation for listing it this week.
  7. I reframed my mindset around self-care. Financial security is one of the values I have been waiting for from someone else almost my entire life. I don’t need to be saved. I’ll be doing the rescuing myself from now on.

Here are the big picture steps you can use to customize your own plan:

  1. Continue Open Communication: Maintain open and honest conversations with your support system about your finances. Their support and understanding can be invaluable.
  2. Consolidate Your Debts: Consider consolidating your high-interest debts into a lower-interest loan if possible. This can make repayment more manageable and save money on interest over time. Beware that this is not a “bail-out”.
  3. Create a Detailed Spending Plan: Utilize the information you’ve gathered from tracking your spending (start tracking now) to create a comprehensive plan until your debt is paid off. Allocate funds for essential expenses and prioritize debt repayment.
  4. Utilize Windfall Funds Wisely: If you come in to a big chuck of change, use it wisely.
  5. Avoid Further Borrowing: Resist the temptation to seek additional loans, even from family members, to address your debt. Focus on managing your existing debt responsibly and developing healthy financial habits.
  6. Embrace Small Wins: Celebrate small victories along the way, such as finding spare change or converting it into bills. Every effort counts towards your goal of financial freedom.
  7. Stay Accountable: Journal your progress and share your journey with others for added accountability and support. Consider joining online communities or support groups focused on debt repayment for additional encouragement.
  8. Prioritize Self-Care: Remember to prioritize self-care throughout this process. Recognize that financial security is a personal responsibility, and empower yourself to take control of your financial future.
  9. Seek Professional Guidance: Consider consulting with a financial advisor or debt counselor for personalized guidance and strategies tailored to your specific situation. They can offer expert advice and help you develop a realistic plan for achieving your financial goals.

By following these steps and remaining committed to your goal, you can gradually work towards becoming debt-free and achieving greater financial stability. Keep believing in yourself and the progress you’ve already made. You’ve got this!

If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably interested in the down and dirty numbers huh? Stay tuned for Day 2.

Setting boundaries is hard, but necessary for any kind of success.

This week I had to say no to a friend.

One of my dreams is to start taking clients on self-care retreats to amazing destinations coupled with some lifestyle design, delicious food, adventurous excursions and good company. I share this dream with one of the most empowering, soul-led business-owning women I have the honor to know and this week we had a plan to meet (in-person) to start the process.

Starting last week, I had a nagging feeling in my gut (ah, that’s intuition for those of you that don’t know it originates in your stomach) that I shouldn’t go. The boys were just getting home from Patagonia after a week on Spring Break, my son started the spring golf season (for the first time), I had meetings I would have had to rush to get back to and following my surgery two months ago, I finally turned a healing corner where I felt I could get back in to a routine. It was overwhelming.

For three full days I struggled with listening to and caring for myself versus disappointing Cindy. I’ll be honest here, and this is embarrassing, I thought of many lies I could have told her that would have ‘forgiven’ me; illness that would have let me off the hook. But what kind of self-care coach would I be if I did that? A hypocrytical one for sure, but it also just didn’t feel right. I have enough respect for myself and Cindy to be honest and let her know I was feeling overwhelmed. It wasn’t that the retreat dream isn’t a priority, it’s just lower on the list than my family and my own wellbeing right now.

I texted her the following:

I am feeling really overwhelmed right now. The boys are not getting home until later today from Patagonia, Miles starts golf tomorrow after school, I am short staffed at Crossroads (my manager’s dad is old and ill) and Dale is working late every day this week to catch up from last week. ‍♀️ However, this retreat planning trip is extremely important to me. Help me.

Her response came a few hours later. Had I lied I to her, I would have been checking my phone incessantly to see her response, but instead, I put my phone down, took a deep breath and felt freedom. Of course, because we respect one another, all is right in the world and we are making the meeting work through this beautiful thing called technology.

This is the hard shit.

The stuff that you have to wrestle with for a while, sit with the feelings of someone else (maybe) being disappointed, letting someone else down but in turn making yourself a priority. We have to start respecting ourselves MORE than we respect others.

What if, instead of automatically agreeing to every request that comes our way, we start prioritizing ourselves and our needs? What if saying “no” becomes an act of self-care rather than people-pleasing?

Here’s the thing: saying “no” doesn’t make you selfish or uncaring. It’s about setting boundaries and recognizing your limitations. It’s about honoring your time, energy, and mental health. And guess what? It’s perfectly okay to do so.

So, how do we master the art of saying “no” without feeling guilty or rude?

Here are a few tips:

  1. Know Your Priorities: Before committing to anything, take a moment to consider your priorities. What truly matters to you? What do you need to accomplish? By understanding your priorities, it becomes easier to decline things that don’t align with them.

  2. Practice Self-Awareness: Tune in to your own feelings and needs. If saying “yes” to something feels draining or overwhelming, listen to that inner voice telling you it’s okay to decline. Trust yourself and your instincts.

  3. Set Boundaries: Boundaries are your best friend when it comes to self-care. Learn to say no firmly but kindly when something doesn’t work for you. Remember, you’re not obligated to explain or justify your decision.

  4. Be Honest: Honesty is key in any relationship, including the one you have with yourself. If you’re declining an invitation or a request, be honest about your reasons. Most people will respect your honesty and understanding.

  5. Practice Self-Compassion: Saying “no” may feel uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re used to always saying “yes.” Be gentle with yourself and remember that prioritizing your well-being is not only acceptable but necessary.

  6. Offer Alternatives: If you’re declining an invitation, offer alternatives if possible. This shows that you value the relationship and are willing to find alternative ways to connect or contribute.

Remember, saying “no” is not about shutting people out or being dismissive. It’s about valuing yourself enough to prioritize your own needs. By learning to say “no” for self-care reasons, you’re not only taking care of yourself but also setting a powerful example for others. So go ahead, embrace the art of saying “no” and watch how it transforms your life for the better. You deserve it!

Want the best ROI (return on investment)? Start investing in yourself.

In a world where external investments often take precedence, it’s easy to forget the most crucial investment of all: yourself. While traditional financial investments and passive income are all the rage, dedicating time, energy, and resources to your personal growth can give them a nice boost. In this blog post, we’ll explore the five key areas where investing in yourself can make a significant difference: Personal Growth, Knowledge, Health, Skill Mastery, and Creating Opportunities.

Personal Growth

Every book you read, every skill you acquire, and every challenge you overcome is an investment in your personal growth. It may sound fluffy, but talking about your feelings, digging deep in to limiting beliefs and recognizing your self-sabotage is key to growth.

This encompasses activities like self-reflection, setting goals, overcoming fears, and developing resilience. Whether it’s through therapy, coaching, journaling, meditation, or a combination of all, committing to your personal growth journey can lead to greater self-awareness, confidence, and fulfillment.


They say knowledge is power, and indeed, investing in education and continuous learning is one of the best investments you can make. Whether you’re pursuing formal education, reading books, attending workshops, or taking online courses, expanding your knowledge base opens doors to new opportunities and perspectives. It equips you with the skills and insights needed to navigate challenges, adapt to change, and thrive in an ever-evolving world.


Health is wealth. Without good health, all other investments pale in comparison. Prioritizing your physical and mental health is essential for long-term success both personally and professionally. This includes adopting a balanced diet, staying physically active, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and asking for help. By investing in your health, you not only enhance your quality of life but also increase your productivity, energy levels, and resilience to setbacks. Prioritize your health.

Skill Mastery

In today’s competitive landscape, mastering relevant skills is key to staying ahead of the curve. Whether it’s honing technical skills related to your profession or developing soft skills such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving, investing in skill mastery is a surefire way to enhance your value in the marketplace. Embrace lifelong learning and seek opportunities to acquire new skills or improve existing ones—it’s an investment that pays dividends throughout your working life. These skills easily spill over to your personal life and enhance your relationships.

Creating Opportunities

Lastly, investing in yourself involves actively creating opportunities for growth and advancement. This may involve networking, building relationships, seeking mentorship, or pursuing entrepreneurial ventures. By putting yourself out there and seizing opportunities, you expand your horizons, open doors to new possibilities, and chart your own path to success.

In conclusion, investing in yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for personal and professional growth. By prioritizing personal growth, expanding your knowledge, nurturing your health, mastering valuable skills, and creating opportunities, you empower yourself to lead a more fulfilling and prosperous life. Remember, the greatest investment you can make is in yourself—it’s the gift that keeps on giving. So, take the plunge, commit to your growth journey, and watch as your investment pays off in ways you never imagined.

And the circle we don’t talk about.

The closest people in your life are not {necessarily} going to be your best customers.

I thought when I opened my first business I was going to be guaranteed at LEAST 100 customers because we have a huge family and a large circle of really great friends.  You can imagine how broken-hearted I was when I could count on one hand how many of them walked through the door after the initial grand opening with free champagne stopped flowing.  I thought I had failed.  I thought they didn’t support me.  I thought and thought and thought and thought.

And that got me no where.

Initially, wrapping my head around this social circle concept as it pertains to business ownership was tough. But I’ve developed a philosophy over the past few years that’s been a lifesaver for my tender heart—it’s what I call my “FIRST CIRCLE, SECOND CIRCLE” theory.


The first social circle comprises those closest to you: your partner, parents, lifelong friends, maybe your closest pals, or even siblings—those who’d go to the ends of the earth for you (maybe not that dramatic, but you catch my drift). These are the folks who love you unconditionally and would do anything to shield you from harm. It’s a tight-knit, inner circle. However, they’re not going to be your best customers. They may never visit your business, buy a product, suggest your services to friends or even mention or ask about your dream. This is confusing and hurtful because isn’t this the circle you should be able to count on the most?


Then, there’s the second circle. It’s broader, encompassing acquaintances, friends of friends, beloved relatives, your parents’ or siblings’ buddies, social media connections, customers, clients, community members, former colleagues, neighbors, business allies, fellow female entrepreneurs, and anyone genuinely rooting for your success. These are the ones that suggest, share and buy from you BECAUSE it’s you.

social circle

Here’s the crux: your first social circle keeps you grounded, reminding you of life beyond the business world. They offer a respite from profit margins and strategic plans. Sometimes, it may seem like they’re not fully behind your dreams, but it’s out of concern, not lack of love. They’re the ones asking the tough questions, expressing doubts, maybe making snide remarks (which could be jealousy-induced, but that’s a story for another day).

Now, your second circle—hold onto these folks tightly. They’re your lifelines, your cheerleaders, your virtual and real-world support squad. You might not know them well beyond their Instagram handles, but they’re there for you. They understand the entrepreneurial journey, the fears of both failure and success, the loneliness of self-employment, and the importance of community support.


Then there’s the third ring, often overlooked. It’s beyond the second circle and fades as you gain confidence and embrace authenticity. Initially, it’s glaring and irritating—the jealous, envious bunch. They wish they had your courage and determination but lack the guts. They can be noisy, but remember, their negativity stems from their own insecurities. It’s tough, especially in the beginning, but redirect your energy away from them. The less you engage, the quicker they fade into the background.

“At first they’ll ask you why you’re doing it. Later they’ll ask how you did it.”

Individuals may transition between these circles, perhaps moving from the third ring to the second once they witness your success. Some may even straddle both the first and second rings when they are assured of your safety, evolving into cherished customers and supporters. Embrace this fluidity as it’s a natural part of human nature. Holding ring-jumping against someone is a waste of your precious energy.

Understanding the dynamics of the “FIRST CIRCLE, SECOND CIRCLE” theory can be pivotal for navigating the journey of entrepreneurship. While the first circle provides grounding and protection, often questioning your decisions out of love, the second circle offers vital support and understanding, essential for fueling your ambitions. As for the third ring, acknowledging the presence of jealousy and negativity with compassion is crucial, but it’s equally important to minimize their influence on your path to success. By embracing the strengths of each circle and leveraging their respective roles, entrepreneurs can find balance, resilience, and ultimately, fulfillment in their endeavors.

What do you think? Does this make sense in your entrepreneurial journey?

A few years ago I was on the precipice of a major burnout. Not only was I drinking myself in to a precarious physical state, but mentally I was in trouble. I was up to my eyeballs in anxiety and the overwhelming feeling that I was doing it wrong, on every front, was eating me alive. It wasn’t until I took a good, long, hard look at my behaviors that I realized that I needed to “flip my magnet” from grinding to surrendering.

In a world that glorifies hustle culture and the grind mentality, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that success only comes to those who relentlessly push themselves to the limit. However, what if I told you that you can still achieve your goals without burning yourself out? What if there’s a way to invite more ease and flow into your life while still pursuing your dreams with passion and dedication?

The concept of “less grind, more shine” embodies this idea perfectly. It’s about finding a balance between putting in the necessary effort and allowing things to unfold naturally. It’s about recognizing that while hard work is important, so is surrendering to the universe and trusting that it has your best interests at heart.

Loosen Your Grip.

You can still want it – whatever “it” may be for you – and be willing to put in the hours and the energy to make it happen. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and aspirations, but it’s equally important to loosen your grip and allow room for magic to happen. The universe responds to openness and faith, rewarding those who trust in its infinite wisdom.

So, how do we embrace this mindset of less grind and more receiving?

Shift Perspective.

First and foremost, it requires a shift in perspective. Instead of constantly striving and pushing against resistance, try approaching your goals with a sense of ease and flow. Trust that the universe is conspiring in your favor and that everything is unfolding exactly as it should.

This doesn’t mean sitting back and waiting for success to magically appear. It means taking inspired action – following your intuition and doing what feels right in the moment, rather than forcing things to happen according to your timeline.

Let Go.

It also involves letting go of the need to control every outcome. Understand that there may be detours and setbacks along the way, but each of these is an opportunity for growth and learning. By releasing attachment to specific outcomes, you open yourself up to a world of infinite possibilities.

Practice Gratitude + Mindfulness.

Moreover, practicing gratitude and mindfulness can help cultivate a sense of abundance and receptivity. Take time each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life and to tune into the present moment. When you approach life with a grateful heart, you attract more things to be grateful for.

Ultimately, embracing the concept of less grind and more receiving is about finding harmony between action and surrender. It’s about working smart rather than just working hard, and trusting that the universe has your back every step of the way.

So, the next time you find yourself caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, take a moment to pause and remind yourself that it’s okay to ease up and let things unfold naturally. Remember that the universe responds to openness and faith, and that by loosening your grip, you invite abundance and blessings into your life.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is the significance of establishing boundaries to stay productive and keep my sanity. Here are the most important boundaries I’ve set that have made the biggest difference in my business life:

  • Schedule Email Responding & Social Scrolling
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Establishing a Work Space
  • Determining Productive Work Times
  • Taking All Meetings on One Day

Scheduling Email Responses + Social Scrolling

In the whirlwind of modern work culture, it’s easy to get swept up in the urgency of every ping, ding, and notification that floods our devices and inboxes. But perhaps it’s time for a gentle reminder: not every task requires an immediate response. As I often tell my team, “we’re not saving babies here,” emphasizing that unless we’re in the business of literal baby-saving, most work can wait. Adopting a mindset that allows for focused, uninterrupted periods of productivity can significantly enhance our effectiveness. Checking and responding to emails once in the morning and again in the afternoon provides a structured approach that balances responsiveness with productivity. And let’s be real, Joanna and Chip aren’t disappearing from our Instagram feeds anytime soon, so there’s no need to fret over every social media update either. By recognizing the distinction between urgency and importance, we can reclaim control of our time and energy, leading to a more balanced and fulfilling work life.

Practical tip: An automatic email responder that feels good to you and also puts your clients and customers in a place of respecting our time is crucial. Here’s an example of a responder from my friend and mentor, Taryn Watts at Mind Rebel Academy:

Re: Your email has been gratefully received.

Hello there,
Thank you for reaching out, your message has been gratefully received.  I want to let you know that I respond to all of my emails with presence and intentionality, and this is not always bound by a timeframe but rather an energetic capacity. 

Unless this email is time sensitive, you can expect a thoughtful response when I have the capacity to respond.

I look forward to connecting with you as soon as I’m able to do so. 

With kindness,

Do Not Disturb

In the age of endless distractions, finding focus can feel like an uphill battle. Personally, I’ve discovered that keeping notifications silenced and temptations at arm’s length is the key to unlocking productivity. On the days when I succumb to distractions, I find myself in a seemingly endless loop of trying to regain momentum. It’s as if the hours slip away unnoticed, leaving me wondering where the time went. But when I commit to shutting out the noise and staying laser-focused on the task at hand, I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish in a fraction of the time. It’s a simple strategy, yet incredibly effective: by minimizing external disruptions, I create the space I need to thrive and excel in my work.

Distractions can come in all forms, not just the pings and dings. My office happens to be in the same building as two of my businesses which makes me very accessible to both my own staff and customers. As much as I love both, interruptions for quick chats and casual questions can sideline me for an hour or more. I had to come up with a system to protect my time.

Practical Tip: Do Not Disturb sign.

Establishing a Work Space

In the pursuit of productivity, we often find ourselves grappling with the allure of comfort versus the necessity of focus. Personally, I’ll admit, there’s a part of me that yearns to work snugly tucked under the covers, surrounded by the warmth of my cozy bed, and sometimes I do. However, I’m acutely aware that it’s not conducive to getting things done.

Recognizing the importance of establishing a dedicated workspace has been a crucial realization in my journey towards maximizing productivity. While it might seem trivial, the physical environment in which we work can profoundly impact our ability to concentrate and perform at our best. For me, this means stepping out of the familiar confines of my home and into a designated workspace. Whether it’s a quiet corner in a coffee shop or a shared office space, the simple act of physically removing myself from the comforts of home helps me transition into the right headspace for productivity. At home, amidst the familiar distractions and comforts, I find my attentiveness wanes, and my focus suffers. But by intentionally carving out a separate space for work, I create a mental boundary that signals to my brain: it’s time to buckle down and get things done. So, while the allure of working from bed may be tempting, I’ve come to understand that establishing a dedicated workspace is not just a matter of preference, but a strategic imperative in the pursuit of peak productivity. (P.S. I’m writing this blog post on a Saturday morning from my cozy bed. Sometimes it works )

Practical tip: Finding a space doesn’t necessarily mean a physical one. We can create rituals around getting in to work-mode. Maybe it’s a playlist of meditation music or a podcast you can listen to and by putting on your headphones or firing up your speakers, it signals it’s time to get to work. Spending 10-minutes tidying up your desk, taking empty coffee cups to the sink or wiping down your computer screen screams work time. If leaving home isn’t the answer, do you have an empty-ish closet, guest room or corner of your living room you can lay claim to? Get creative.

Productive Work Times

In the ever-evolving quest for productivity, one of the most profound realizations I’ve had is the importance of honoring my natural rhythms. For the longest time, I struggled to maintain creativity and focus in the afternoons, grappling with a sense of frustration as I tried to force productivity during this time.

However, since taking control of my schedule and embracing the freedom to work according to my own internal clock, I’ve experienced a significant shift in my approach. Rather than fighting against my innate tendencies, I’ve learned to lean into them. I’ve come to understand that productivity isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor—it’s about finding what works best for me as an individual. And for me, that means recognizing that the afternoons are better suited for activities that nourish my soul rather than tasks that demand intense focus.

Whether it’s indulging an activity outdoors, letting my creative juices play, or simply allowing myself the luxury of a midday nap, I’ve found that embracing this time as my own has a ripple effect on the rest of my day. By giving myself permission to unwind and recharge during the afternoons, I set the stage for greater productivity and effectiveness during the times when I’m naturally more inclined to excel. It’s a subtle yet powerful shift—one that underscores the importance of finding the productive times that align with who we are as individuals. So, as you navigate your own journey toward productivity, I encourage you to embrace your natural rhythms, honoring the ebb and flow of your energy and creativity. After all, productivity isn’t about forcing yourself to fit into a mold—it’s about embracing the unique qualities that make you who you are.

Practical Tip: Buck tradition. When I could finally let go of the societal structure (and the guilt) of the American workday, my work/life balance completely changed. It took some work:
1. I had to let go of what I thought other people were thinking about how I ran my days.
2. I had to find a routine that worked for ME. That comes from a lot of internal authenticity work. I had to be honest that I need a nap in the afternoon. I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting older or I get up before the sun rises or a combination, but my body needs a kindergarten rest time in the afternoon.
3. I started coupling things I needed to get done together, for instance as my coffee brews after my morning meditation, I do the dishes. (Why there are that many dishes every.single.day, I don’t know.)
4. While I know I work best in the mornings, and not at all in the afternoons, I discovered I get a boost of creativity in the evening so I started pulling out my computer to work from my bed at night.
5. You’ll notice I replaced MEDITATE with MEDICATE. Because I was packing everything in to the evening, I needed to escape with a glass (or bottle) of wine, which interruped my sleep and subsequently the whole next day. Since I quit that habit my sleep has been nothing short of orgasmic.

This took me some time and lots of trial and error to get it right. And with every season it changes a little. What I don’t do anymore is conform to what someone else feels like my days should look like.

Taking All Meetings on One Day

In the realm of scheduling and time management, there’s a strategy that’s gained increasing traction: taking all your meetings on a single day. It might sound like a radical departure from the norm, but hear me out. By consolidating meetings into one designated day of the week, you’re not only streamlining your schedule but also reclaiming valuable chunks of uninterrupted time on the remaining days. This approach allows for deeper focus on tasks that require undivided attention, fostering a more productive and efficient workflow overall. Plus, it minimizes the context switching that often accompanies scattered meetings throughout the week, enabling you to maintain a more consistent level of concentration. Embracing this strategy isn’t just about optimizing your calendar—it’s about reclaiming control over your time and maximizing your potential for success. So, the next time you find yourself drowning in back-to-back meetings, consider the possibility of consolidating them into a single power-packed day. Your productivity—and your sanity—will thank you.

Practical Tip: If one day sounds daunting or just does NOT work, try blocking off a few hours each day and those are the only times you take meetings. Try it, see what happens. You can be flexible but taking the majority of meetings during a designated time may just make all the difference.

We’ve talked about some cool ways to boost productivity in a chill, laid-back style. From shutting down distractions to finding your sweet spot for getting stuff done, it’s all about finding what works best for you. Whether it’s carving out a dedicated workspace, embracing your natural rhythms, or even scheduling all your meetings on one epic day, the goal is to make work fit into your life, not the other way around. So, take a breather, kick back, and let’s dive into some rad productivity hacks that’ll help you crush it without breaking a sweat.

How many times have asked yourself: “Why can’t I just get my shit together?” Well, you’re in good company if you have. I am in my mid-forties and there are days where I just cannot seem to adult. Where I feel like EVERYONE else has their shit together and I’m just over here thrilled I washed my hair.

This happens less now that I’m not hungover everyday, but the question still rears its ugly head now and then. When it happens I try to think of this acronym. It helps…sometimes.

Sometimes I just go back to bed.

S. is for Self-Care

We know self-care is often tossed around like it’s all about spa days and sipping wine but it’s way deeper than that. It’s not about just indulging in little luxuries although those can definitely help. Real self-care for women in their thirties, forties and beyond is about being mindful of your choices.

I hate to burst the bubble bath fantasy, but genuine self-care means learning to say “no” more often than saying “yes.” It’s about setting those boundaries, prioritizing what truly matters, (I’ve got a solution for that) and not overloading yourself with unnecessary commitments. You’ve got to protect your time like a squirrel guarding its nuts.

And you know what else? It’s about sitting with your feelings, not numbing them out. Life gets real, and it’s okay to feel the ups and downs. Instead of pushing those emotions aside, embrace them. Take a moment to reflect and understand what you’re going through. That’s where the real strength lies.

So, let’s redefine self-care for you – it’s not just about pampering, it’s about making choices that nurture your well-being, saying no when you need to, facing your emotions head-on, and fiercely protecting your time like the queen you are.

H. is for Happiness

I totally understand if you had a bit of an eye-roll to the cliché of “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” It’s an overused phrase, but there’s a reason for that – it’s actually quite profound. Hear me out.

Happiness isn’t this fixed, ultimate goal you reach and then everything is sunshine and rainbows forever. Instead, it’s this dynamic, ever-changing state of being. Sometimes you’re in that happy zone, and other times, well, life throws curveballs.

Life is this intricate tapestry of emotions, and they’re all part of the journey. Happiness is about finding contentment, joy, and gratitude in the little moments, even when there are challenges and irritations along the way. It’s about learning to navigate through the ups and downs with resilience.

So, while the phrase may sound a bit worn out, its truth lies in the idea that happiness isn’t a destination you arrive at, but a continuous journey you embark upon, embracing all the emotions and experiences that come your way. It’s a journey unique to you, full of twists and turns, and that’s what makes it beautiful and real.

I. is for Inner Peace

Knowing yourself is like the foundation of this whole happiness thing. It’s embarking on a bit of self-discovery excavation, and let’s be honest, it’s not always a walk in the park.

First things first, it involves some serious introspection, what we call the “S. work” from above. It’s about diving deep into your values, the core principles that define who you are and what you stand for. What really matters to you? What makes you feel fulfilled, safe, and secure? Understanding these aspects of yourself is like holding a compass in the maze of life.

But here’s the kicker – it’s not just about knowing yourself; it’s about deciding who gets access to you and your life. Setting boundaries, deciding who you allow in, and who you keep at arm’s length, that’s where the real challenge comes in. It’s like protecting your own sanctuary, your own well-being.

Is it simple? In concept, yes. But is it easy? Fuck no. It’s a process that can be messy, uncomfortable, and sometimes downright shitty. It means making tough choices, letting go of toxic influences, and standing up for your own needs and values, even when it’s not the popular or easy thing to do.

Getting to a place where you can truly be happy and content involves a lot of self-work, understanding your values, and fiercely protecting what matters to you. It’s a journey that can be challenging, but it’s also incredibly rewarding because it’s about creating a life that authentically reflects who you are.

T. is for Time

Time is one of the most precious and finite resources we have. For the people in the back: TIME IS FINITE. It’s a stark truth that our lives do have an endpoint, and yet, many of us tend to treat time as if it’s an infinite commodity. This realization requires some deep soul-searching.

Reflecting on how we’re truly spending our time is like holding up a mirror to our lives. It’s about being brutally honest with ourselves. Every action we take, every moment we spend, serves some purpose for us. It’s not about labeling things as a “waste” of time, but rather understanding the intention behind our choices.

Sometimes, we engage in activities that may seem like they’re wasting time, but they’re actually serving as a form of escapism or a numbing agent. It’s like using these actions to distract ourselves from something deeper or to avoid facing certain emotions or responsibilities. This is where the soul-searching comes into play – asking ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing.

On the other hand, intentional rest and downtime are crucial for our well-being. These moments serve as necessary pit stops in our journey through life. It’s about recognizing when we genuinely need a break to recharge and when we’re just using activities as a way to avoid addressing what’s truly important.

Time is a limited and precious resource, and it’s vital to be mindful of how we’re spending it. It’s not about judgment but rather about understanding our intentions and making choices that align with our values and genuine needs. It’s about living our lives with purpose and authenticity.

Self-care, far from just spa days and wine, involves mastering the art of “no,” diving into your feelings’ abyss, and guarding your time like a bear mama. As for happiness being a journey, it’s cliché, but life’s a rollercoaster, and eye rolls are part of the ride. Knowing yourself? Well, it’s a bit like figuring out your least favorite relative at a family reunion – messy, uncomfortable, but essential for setting boundaries. And time, oh, that precious thing, it’s slipping away, but Netflix binges aren’t necessarily a waste – just be honest with your Instagram habits. Life’s a bit like folding a fitted sheet, not always neat, but uniquely yours. So, embrace it all with humor, sarcasm, and authenticity; it’s your one-of-a-kind journey, after all.

I had my midlife crisis pretty early according to the standard age. Such an over-achiever . My father-in-law died unexpectedly at the age of 59 (I was 38) and so began the unraveling of my pretty life. I’m happy to say I put myself back together again, but it took some time, energy and self-discovery.

As we navigate through the various stages of life, we often encounter moments of introspection and self-reflection. One common phenomenon that we experience is often referred to as a “midlife crisis.” This is not uncommon after the death of someone as close as a parent but there are many other situations that have us questioning our purpose here; empty nests, career and work changes, relationship shifts, infidelity, traumatic accidents or revelations, etc. But it also doesn’t have to be anything dramatic. Age can simply be the reason we start questioning our existence. It’s essential to delve deeper into this concept to understand whether it’s genuinely a crisis or simply a natural part of the human journey…which by the way doesn’t make it any easier.

Defining a Midlife Crisis

The concept of a midlife crisis has been ingrained in popular culture, often portrayed as a time when individuals suddenly feel discontented, question their life choices, contemplate significant changes, buy a red sports car or cut their bangs.

Factors Contributing to Midlife Reflection (<<<such a nice way to put it)

Several factors contribute to the sense of reflection and contemplation that individuals may experience during middle adulthood. These factors can include:

1. Life Milestones: Middle adulthood often coincides with reaching significant life milestones, such as career peaks, children leaving home, marriage/relationship milestones, and aging parents. Not surprisingly, these events may prompt individuals to question and reevaluate their goals and aspirations. This can be a very confusing time where we feel like we’ve ‘checked all the boxes’ of adult life but still feel unfulfilled.

2. Mortality Awareness: As people age, they become more aware of their mortality. This increased awareness can lead to a reassessment of life priorities and a desire to make the most of the time remaining. The aging or death of parents and in-laws, friends whose lives were cut short by accident or illness, the unexplainable loss of young people can all contribute to the questions of:

  • Who am I really?

  • Why {not} me?

  • Why am I here?

3. Identity and Purpose: Questions about one’s identity and life purpose can become more pronounced during middle adulthood. Individuals may find themselves questioning whether they have fulfilled their potential and whether their current path aligns with their true selves. This is the perfect time for redefining values, reassessing relationships and rediscovering wants and needs.

Crisis or Transformation?

While the term “midlife crisis” suggests a negative connotation, it’s essential to recognize that this period is a time of positive transformation and growth. Instead of viewing it solely as a crisis, reframe it as an opportunity for self-discovery, renewal, and the pursuit of new passions.

Tips for Navigating Midlife Reflection

Self-Reflection: Take time to reflect on your values, goals, and aspirations. Consider whether your current path aligns with your authentic self. {I have a ton of tools if you like homework. Happy to send…shoot me an email.}

Seek Support: Talk to friends, family, or a hire a midlife coach if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can provide valuable insights and support. {Coaching is somewhere between a supportive friend and a therapist, but neither of those things. Here’s the difference.}

Embrace Change: Instead of fearing change, view it as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Be open to exploring new interests and pursuing meaningful experiences.

The notion of a midlife crisis is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that varies from person to person. Whether it’s a crisis or a natural phase of reflection, middle adulthood can be a transformative period and dare I say, fun. Embracing the opportunity for self-discovery and growth can lead to a more fulfilling and purposeful life in the years ahead.

Need someone to listen? No obligation to continue with coaching…just an opportunity to get it out.

Is it a midlife crisis or just a rediscovering?

Life is a tapestry woven with various chapters, and the midlife crisis is a significant one that many women in their forties encounter. Often misconstrued and surrounded by stereotypes, (please don’t cut bangs right now) this period is not just about making impulsive decisions; it’s a profound and transformative journey marked by six distinct stages, offering opportunities for self-reflection and growth.

Here we go:

Identity Rediscovery:

For women in their forties, plus or minus 10 years, the journey can begin with a rediscovery of identity. This is a time of introspection, where we question not only societal expectations but also our own aspirations and desires. It’s common to reassess roles as mothers, professionals, and partners, leading to a deeper understanding of their authentic selves.

Navigating Doubts and Desires:

As the identity rediscovery deepens, doubts and desires often surface. We may find ourselves questioning past decisions, feeling a sense of unfulfillment, and yearning for more meaningful experiences. This stage becomes a pivotal moment that can propel us towards change, encouraging the exploration of new passions and avenues for personal satisfaction.

Seeking Empowerment Through Change:

In the pursuit of a more empowered life, the third stage involves actively seeking change. This may manifest in various ways, from pursuing new career opportunities to embracing personal hobbies and interests. The desire for self-empowerment and self-discovery becomes a driving force during this phase.

Embracing Emotional Transformation:

Change often brings emotional transformation. This stage is marked by a spectrum of emotions, including excitement, fear, and moments of reflection. As we navigate the uncertainties of our choices, it’s crucial to approach this emotional turmoil with self-compassion and resilience.

Rediscovering Strength and Joy:

Amidst the emotional upheaval, the fifth stage focuses on rediscovering strength and joy. This involves establishing a new sense of self, embracing personal strengths, and finding joy in the journey. It’s a period of self-acceptance and learning to appreciate the unique qualities that make each woman who she is.

Integration and Celebration:

The final stage marks the integration and celebration of the changes experienced during this midlife discovery. Women emerge stronger, wiser, and with a deeper understanding of themselves. This newfound self-awareness paves the way for a more authentic and purposeful life.

The six stages of midlife discovery is not a linear path but a dynamic process that varies for each us. It’s a transformative journey that, when navigated with mindfulness and self-reflection, can lead to profound personal growth. Embracing change, seeking self-discovery, and fostering resilience are key elements in making the most of this pivotal phase in life. Instead of fearing the midlife crisis, let it be an opportunity for renewal and a catalyst for a more authentic and fulfilling future.

Good question. It would be weird if I said no. Of course my answer is yes but let me tell you why. And since I love me a good metaphor, we’ll use the “navigating stormy waters” one.

Ladies, imagine your entrepreneurial journey as a captivating voyage across the vast business seas. Now, envision having a business coach as your seasoned navigator, steering you through the waves of challenges and triumphs. Let’s set sail into the adventurous world of investing in a business coach and discover why it’s the nautical journey every female entrepreneur deserves!

Cheesy enough? Keep going, it gets worse…I mean, better Don’t worry, I’ll translate.

Charting Your Course: Your Captain in the Business Ocean!

Ever felt lost in the unpredictable tides of business? A business coach becomes your trusted captain, skillfully charting your course through the vast ocean of opportunities. Bid farewell to generic advice and welcome a personalized compass, guiding you through the business seas tailored to your unique voyage.

Translated: One of the key advantages of having a business coach is the tailored guidance we offer. Unlike generic advice found online or in self-help books, a business coach provides personalized insights that directly address your business’s specific needs and challenges. This personalized approach can be invaluable, offering strategies and recommendations that resonate directly with your unique situation.

Navigational Support: Your Lighthouse in the Storm of Entrepreneurship!

Entrepreneurship can be like sailing through stormy seas alone. But fear not – your business coach is the steadfast lighthouse, providing navigational support, accountability, and a beacon of motivation. Picture your business journey illuminated by the guiding light of your mentor, steering you safely through the waves.

Translated: Running a business can be isolating, and entrepreneurs may find it challenging to stay accountable to their goals. A business coach acts as a source of accountability, keeping individuals on track and motivated. Regular check-ins and goal-setting sessions ensure consistent progress and help entrepreneurs stay focused on their objectives.

Weathered Wisdom: Sailing with the Maritime Matriarchs!

Imagine gaining wisdom from those who have weathered the business storms before you. Business coaches bring not only expertise but the maritime experience of navigating the business waters. Prepare to tap into the knowledge of the maritime matriarchs, sailing with the confidence of those who have conquered the seas.

Translated: Experienced business coaches bring a wealth of knowledge and practical experience to the table. They have often encountered similar challenges in their careers and can offer valuable insights on how to navigate obstacles. Learning from someone who has faced similar situations can expedite the learning process and help individuals avoid common pitfalls.

Skillful Seamanship: Navigating Business Waters Like a Sea Queen!

Yearning to refine your leadership skills, communication finesse, or strategic seamanship? A business coach transforms your journey into a training ground for sea queens. Develop skills that navigate the business waters with elegance and strength – because every female entrepreneur deserves to be a skilled sea queen!

Translated: Whether it’s refining leadership skills, improving communication, or mastering strategic planning, a business coach can provide targeted guidance for skill development. This focus on personal and professional growth can have a lasting impact on both the individual and the business they lead.

Harboring Connections: Your Port of Call in the Business Archipelago!

Dreaming of discovering hidden islands in the vast business archipelago? Your business coach is your trusted port of call, opening doors to networking opportunities and connections. Dock in the harbors of success, forge alliances, and sail the business waters with the wind of opportunity in your sails.

Translated: Business coaches often have extensive networks built over years of industry experience. Being part of this network can open doors to valuable connections, partnerships, and opportunities. The relationships forged through a business coach’s network can be instrumental in the long-term success of a business.

Return on Nautical Investment (RONI): Sailing Toward Triumph!

Yes, there’s a cost to hiring a business coach, but consider it an investment in sailing toward triumph. The return on nautical investment (RONI) isn’t just financial; it’s the growth of your navigational skills, the conquest of turbulent waves, and the satisfaction of reaching new horizons. It’s a journey where the payoff is not just monetary – it’s the thrill of sailing.

Translated: While hiring a business coach comes with a cost, many entrepreneurs view it as an investment rather than an expense. The potential return on investment, both in terms of financial gains and personal development, can outweigh the initial expenditure. Successful business leaders often attribute part of their success to the guidance they received from a coach.

Set sail, fellow captains of entrepreneurship, for the decision to invest in a business coach is not just a choice – it’s a nautical adventure! Embrace the waves, the challenges, and the victories. With a business coach by your side, your entrepreneurial journey becomes a captivating voyage – where every wave navigated brings you closer to the horizon of success!

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, the decision to invest in a business coach is a personal one. It requires careful consideration of individual needs, goals, and resources. While the cost may be a factor, many entrepreneurs find the benefits of personalized guidance, accountability, expertise, skill development, networking, and overall return on investment well worth the expense. Ultimately, the value of a business coach lies in their ability to unlock untapped potential and guide individuals on a path to success.

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Learning how to develop your own hero's journey can be a profound experience for a high-achieving woman like yourself. It offers a unique opportunity to embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth tailored to your life's narrative. By delving into the hero's journey framework, you can uncover valuable insights about your own journey—recognizing the challenges you've faced, celebrating your triumphs, and pinpointing moments of transformation. This mini-course serves as a powerful tool for taking stock of your experiences, goals, and dreams, empowering you to navigate your path with clarity and purpose. Through introspection inspired by the hero's journey, you can tap into your strengths, confront obstacles head-on, and embark on a transformative quest toward greater fulfillment and success.

i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

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In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.

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