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Archive for the ‘communication tips’ Category

Whenever I try something new, it’s a bit uncomfortable. When I do something really different, it’s really uncomfortable. Who wants that?

Like, speaking in front of large groups. Now, “large” is subjective. You might view large as 10, or 100. (For me, it’s over 1000… see below for my April event!)

However, being uncomfortable is how we grow. When we are too comfortable for too long, we’re not growing. We’re stagnant.

For speakers, learning new skills, like expanding the dynamics of your voice (e.g., pitch, tone, tempo, the resonance of your voice, and even pausing) may feel uncomfortable at first. So many people don’t even realize they can have a more dynamic voice and presence – it’s unfathomable to realize that your voice can be that amazing! And yet, for most people, finding those new dimensions is scary and uncomfortable.

You see, our comfort zone is where you’re safe. When you’re uncomfortable and choosing new actions, it means your growing. So, it’s essential to establish a new relationship with discomfort.

Sure, I talk about this with my clients all the time… and I also love what my own coach says: that in order to grow our businesses, we must expand our capacity to be uncomfortable.

And oh boy, I know what it’s like. When I first held my Authentic Entrepreneur Speaker Series a year ago, I was really uncomfortable. 3000 people tuning in, and partnering with incredible experts in the field with email lists up to 100,000? Yowza! Creating new offerings and implementing new marketing techniques? Scary. At times, I certainly didn’t have confidence, and I procrastinated as much as my time frame allowed. Yet, I still did it. Could it have been better? Certainly. And it is, each time – as I get more comfortable.

And today? Well, I’m a professional speaker, and enjoy new opportunities. And yet, there’s a great opportunity to expand my comfort zone. On April 27th, I’ll be a featured speaker at the National Entrepreneurs and Small Business Expo in Los Angeles. And I’ll be speaking live to at least 2500 people. It’ll be my biggest speaking engagement to date. Wahooooo!

So I encourage you to ask: what are avoiding because it’s uncomfortable? The more you can give yourself permission to make mistakes, and to grow, the better. Whether that’s to become more confident at speaking, to get more clients, or simply to have a difficult conversation with someone, here are some specific tips on how to be okay with being uncomfortable:

1)   Let yourself be in the unknown. Be okay not knowing all the answers.

2)   Take a lot of deep breaths. Stretch. Get in your body, so that you don’t get stuck in your fears.

3)   Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Face it: “perfect” is a utopian fantasy. It’s not reality.

4)   Have fun! Don’t take things so seriously. Incorporate play into your day. Even make the new growth into a game. (Yes, this might be easier when expanding your vocal dynamics, but it can work with other areas too!)

5)   Stop beating yourself up! This is so important: as long as you are self-critical you’re blocking yourself.

Below in the comments section, you have a chance to be lovingly witnessed. Please share your own experiences, or write in what action you’re willing to take to expand your comfort zone – and to step into even more of who you truly are.

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Happy Self-Love Day!

Valentine’s Day brings up so much baggage. It was created by Hallmark to sell greeting cards. And it leaves single people feeling alone and insufficient, and often causes couples to try to measure up to a mythical standard.

So how about we recontextualize this day… as a time when we learn to have more compassion and acceptance of ourselves? Even… self-love?

It breaks my heart when I hear people say that they can have some more compassion toward themselves, but that loving themselves is almost out of the question.

This is also really important professionally: in my opinion, half of what makes a confident, effective speaker is self-love. And it’s most of what makes a genuinely happy person, too.

A few tips:

Know that there’s no such thing as being perfect.

People will love you more when you give yourself permission to be ALL of you.

When you embrace yourself as an ever-evolving, imperfect human, you give others permission to be themselves, too.

So give yourself a break. Today, my wish is that we each spend time to appreciate ourselves, our foibles, our humanity, and our gifts. May we all be gentle and sweet with ourselves.

 

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you likely know I’m pretty obsessed with authenticity. Because I just can’t deal with people who feel really fake, or entrepreneurs and businesses that use scheming sales tactics, yet still attempt to label their efforts as “real” or “being authentic.” Ugh!

The thing is, those tactics used to work. But they don’t much anymore, because we’ve seen them in too many places. See, anything that’s a you-can-do-it formula will eventually become… formulaic. People see through it, even though the most well-intended, heart-based entrepreneurs fall prey to it. Whether it’s the tactic where the seller crosses out a bunch of prices and offers a really low “sale” price, or where they give a presentation that feels manipulative, the false premise is that they must do this in order to be a success.

And this simply isn’t true.

You can be YOU – the real you – and succeed.

I used to think, for example, that I couldn’t bring my whole self to my work. Like, when emailing my community I strived to be “professional”… and in doing so, I hid part of myself. What if they found out that I’m not normal?? Finally, I decided to have a “coming out” party… and announced to my list that I’m a deeply spiritual person. (Gasp!) And that it’s an essential part of my work (I’m an empath and an intuitive – so I deeply feel what’s happening with a client, and also can tune into what’s most aligned for them with their voice or with creating a thriving practice). This was scary. And you know what the big response was? Very little. Except that, the more I brought my real self out, the more I began to attract ideal clients. Cool, huh? The same goes for you. 

Authenticity is not…

A formula. Not that formulas are evil (not reinventing the wheel can actually save you a lot of time!), but you must adapt them to fit you.

A particular way of speaking. Any style dictated by someone else will not be your true voice.

Your habits. This is a tricky one: something may not feel authentic or “natural,” but that may be because it’s asking you to grow. This is true, for example, when I’m teaching clients empowering ways to breathe to support their voices more fully, or when expanding vocal dynamics.

Real authenticity is…

Being humble…and also in your power. It’s giving an offering from your heart, and doing your best, without trying to prove yourself.

Simply being present. You don’t need to talk in any particular style to be authentic. The less you try to be authentic, the better.

Staying open. If you receive your audience, or the other person, and honor them, you’ll more truly know how to respond in a real way.

Letting go. We’ve learned so many habits and patterns that go far beyond how we speak. It’s about our emotional makeup and our thoughts. And when we learn to release these, and find our true voice, we find our authenticity.

More than anything, authenticity is a path. In my experience, it takes time, and practice, and simple techniques, to release what isn’t truly us – so that we can let the golden sunshine of our true selves shine forth. And when you do, you’ll feel more at peace, more alive, and will become the true agent of change you were born to be.

And this is when your clients will come – and when your business will flourish. Because you’re just being you. Yes, business skills are necessary, but they’ll sign up because they experience the real you.

For me, authenticity is about frequent self-examination. Not in a scrutinizing, negative way, but in asking myself questions, about my behavior and how I feel internally: How am I showing up? Am I following my true path? Do I feel in integrity with how I’m speaking and interacting? Am I following formulas that aren’t me, and what might feel better? …While this sometimes may be a bit much, I am dedicated to embodying what I believe.

How about you? Other thoughts on authenticity? Please share your experiences, and leave comments or questions below.

Yours,

Jonathan

Every single thing we say matters. It doesn’t matter whether we express our thoughts to our loved ones or the grocery store cashier: at any moment, we have the potential to help others or to harm them. And, of course, this includes how we talk to ourselves: it’s essential to really love and support ourselves as if we were our best friend.

And… bringing our message to the world is also incredibly important. Public speaking is not only how we can change more lives at once – it’s also the highest paid profession. And an incredible means to keep creating greater livelihood, dependably and consistently.

When you are in touch with your message, that is part of your life purpose, you are fulfilled. And, so is your bank account – a pretty nice benefit. Why? Because when people see you, and see your message, you receive in return. This is just how it works. You can receive as much as you give.

While I don’t normally use this forum to share other resources, I’d like to let you know about a free training you can attend, to learn how to write a powerful presentation that’s life-changing… and even income-generating. Just click here to register, to hear the live call or the recording.

You’ll learn powerful tips for making any speech, for any occasion, be more transformational

Everywhere I look, I seem to discover a new marketing term for self-employed professionals. Conscious Entrepreneurs. Evolutionary Entrepreneurs. Heart-Based Entrepreneurs. Visionary Change-Agents.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Except that I’ve never met anyone who said, “Hi, I’m a heart-based entrepreneur.” Meanwhile, I’d been trying to avoid stepping on those inert, unconscious entrepreneurs. And if someone did introduce her or himself as an evolutionary entrepreneur, I’d be curious to have them show me their X-Men-like ability to transform chimpanzees into clients.

What these marketing strategies are addressing, I believe, is that many coaches, entrepreneurs, holistic practitioners, and more are just done with the old paradigm to simply make money: they feel compelled to transform the world around them by adhering to their life purpose. And why? Because they believe in something bigger than themselves, and likely have had direct experience with… well, here’s where we run into trouble, because the terms are so loaded. Spirit guides. Angels. And, yes, God. Although if you’d prefer to avoid the Judeo-Christian burdens laid upon it, you can call it the Divine, Spirit, Source, the higher self, Presence, the inner light, or a plethora or other terms.

For many of us spiritually-based (at least in our personal lives) entrepreneurs, Divine Presence is the real reason behind our passions and work in the world. We weren’t given a choice – we must do what we are doing, and must continue to follow our inner guidance. There’s no shortage of us – and our numbers are radically growing. Yes, 2012 is here.

Yet in many circles, we still act as if it were the 1950’s, and a radical act to talk about intuition when in a business context. We don’t want to be labeled “woo-woo.” And, if your spiritual practice is embedded within a particular religious tradition, somehow the old separation of church and business limits us from being overt about it. We don’t want to turn others off, afraid of being blacklisted and having our businesses fail.

Unfortunately, in the course of doing so, we hide what matters most to us, and pretend that Something Larger really doesn’t matter at all or play such a prominent role in our lives. We forget that so many others feel the same way.

So I’m taking this opportunity to “out” myself. I previously had been calling myself a Performance Coach. Yes, I work with self-aware entrepreneurs and professionals who want their businesses to perform well, and to perform as compelling and effective public speakers. The fulltruth is that I tap in intuitively to what is most aligned with your life purpose, as well as with those you are here to serve, and to help you show up as the real you. The truth is that I’m an Intuitive Business Strategist and an Authenticity Coach. “Intuitive” and strategic? You bet: there’s nothing more strategic or authentic than tapping into your Divine Light to guide you forward on your path in a practical, tangible way.

Depending on one’s clientele, this must be negotiated individually, and often slowly. It may take time for this to emerge. But when we have deeper conversations, reveal more about ourselves, and take risks, we create room for others to really be themselves too – and even forge stronger client relationships. By being totally authentic to our core values, and speaking in our highest truth, we light the way for others to come to us.

Note: this does not imply that it is appropriate to begin talking about God in every business conversation. I’ve certainly felt uncomfortable at times when others with very different beliefs have brought up their beliefs out of the blue. The point is: if you are already using somewhat muted terms to talk about spirituality – and especially if your ideal clients actually hold similar worldviews – that’s a really good time to consider being more open.

So whether you’re a conscious entrepreneur, a visionary, or simply work for yourself while definitively knowing you’re here for a reason, I have one question for you:

Are you ready to come out of the spiritual closet?

*So what’s Real power?*

…Real power emanates from within.

…Speaking with power means standing in your truth – and declaring it to the world.

…True power means that you are as present to your own personal experience, as you are to the person or audience to whom you are speaking. You don’t give yourself away.

…And, most importantly…

True power is deeply connected to living and expressing your life purpose.

Which, right now, others desperately need to hear.

I don’t know if you’ve felt it, but things are accelerating. So many people, including myself, are being asked to make sure our work in the world is truly in alignment with our real selves.

This is why my work has taken new shape. My coaching and workshops have always derived from combining public speaking and theater methods with self-development tools and business savvy… but I used to be afraid to declare it, wondering if the performers I coach would get put off by the business emphasis, or feeling unsure about how entrepreneurs and professionals would react to this deeper approach. But by doing so, I’m speaking the true power of what I do… and the reaction has been amazing, validating my highest purpose.

… And the same can go for you.

Are you ready to speak the real truth?

I’ve been really interested for the past several months with the idea of “power.” It’s rife with misunderstandings and negative connotations… and so much potential. For some, power equates to “power over” – where one person must win out over others. As the media, both alternative and mainstream, regularly depicts both abuses and atrocities by those who possess power, this is of course a common misunderstanding, But it’s not true power.

True power does not arise from oppressing others or through fights. Speaking with power does not mean anyone else is being diminished or controlled. And it doesn’t mean that you have to Push to make your Point. It also does not mean you are trying to influence or control others – or please them.

Next: the real deal.


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