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Archive for the ‘law of attraction’ Category

This is for all who are single. While I received this guidance for one friend, I felt called to share a version of it publicly.

For most of us, it feels very difficult to be single, when being partnered feels “normal.” You may feel out of place and different, maybe sometimes even like there’s something wrong with you.

Here is the truth: you have been given a gift – even if it sometimes feels like a curse.

But it was a choice made on the highest level – which you may know. Like me, you have needed time alone to more deeply find yourself… even if we haven’t always wanted that. And this time you’ve had will allow you to blossom more than you ever knew.

Dive deep into your own river. Drink your own waters deeply. The deeper you dive, the more the Divine You that you will become. The deeper you go, the easier it will be for your future partner to find you.

Dive deep into your own beautiful heart. Love and treasure it. Let it open and open. Release all of the walls you’ve put up to protect yourself. Open and open and open and laugh and be free and cry and shake it out. Release and feel and contract and breathe and open. Even if others don’t get it and sometimes think you’re crazy. Let yourself be guided.

In the meantime, you may meet other potential partners. Enjoy them. Enjoy their support, their affections, sometimes their love, and their play. Let yourself be comforted. Notice your own desires and projections and attachments, and own them. And, in those moments, when you feel deeply alone because it’s obvious that the person you are with is not the one you’re waiting for, honor yourself. Move on, and dive deeper into the endless ocean of your soul.

Trust every moment. There is nothing lacking in your life. You are on the path. You’re doing it right. And you’ll never be alone.

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Many Inspiration Blog readers are service-based providers who work with clients. If this is you, in order for someone to decide to work with you, you probably need to talk to them. That is, they might get exposure to you through a free talk or webinar that you give – or, perhaps you offer a free consultation of some sort.

There are a lot of great approaches to doing free consultations and talks. As a public speaking and communications coach for 18 years (err, almost 19), I’ve noticed one element frequently missing from these systems… but which I teach my clients for when they do their own consults and talks. I haven’t yet shared this publicly, though. Here it is:

Your niche wants to be talked to in a particular way.

This is essential. While you do need to know how to put together a great talk and/or conduct a powerful consult, if you don’t talk to your clients in the way they desire, there will be a disconnect. And this impasse will get in the way of inspiring clients to work with you.

Different niches want to be talked to differently – and your ability to establish the “know, like and trust” factor largely depends on how you talk to them. Here are a few different examples:

  1. Your speaking style and tone of voice. Executives, for example, generally desire a faster pace, and to have you get to the point more quickly, than holistic practitioners do. (Niche is far more nuanced than that, but it’s a clear example.)
  2. Vocabulary usage. What terms do your ideal clients use? First, make sure you speak in relationship to their struggles and desires, and not with the lingo or your techniques or methods. Second, use vocabulary that correlates with their professional level:
    • Corporate types use a particular lingo and terminology, and holistic practitioners utilize  very different terms.
    • If you work with intellectuals, they’ll enjoy your using bigger words; if your clients are more blue-collar, those same words will alienate them.
  3. Becoming increasingly fluent in their pains and desires. Intimately know both what they want as well as where they’re stuck. For example, I know very well that many of my clients suffer from nervousness or fear around speaking… or having a monotone voice… or don’t know how to craft a powerful talk that inspires and enrolls.

You also need to know about who they are personally. Most people I serve are on a path of personal development and spiritual growth, as am I – so I also express that clearly when I talk with them. Oh, speaking that way will repel those who aren’t my niche. And that’s a good thing: I get to work with clients I love, and can refer out those who would better be served by someone else.

If you don’t have a niche…

Have you had a practice for more than a year or two? (At first, it’s good to try working with different people, hone your skills, and get a sense for you who like.), If so, then honestly… it’s time to hone your niche. It’s essential. If you don’t know who your clients are, you don’t know where to find them, among other things.

In terms of communication and speaking, if you don’t have a niche, you will likely be speaking very generically – both in terms of how you speak and your message. Which means that you won’t be particularly compelling to anyone. Well, you’ll still be yourself… but often when we are trying to speak to everyone, we can wash out the colors of our true personality, and not shine in our full glory… and that’s of course what inspires clients to work with us.

Let me say it again: a successful practice for service-based providers – like coaches and holistic practitioners – needs a niche.  A good niche, one that’s right for you, is defined so you get to work with all of the clients you LOVE, and doesn’t exclude anyone with whom you want to work.

By the way, as an Intuitive Business Strategist (one of my hats), one of my favorite things to do is to help coaches and holistic practitioners clarify their niche and message very quickly, so that it connects deeply with their life purpose and highest service. If your practice lacks focus (and maybe profits) because of not being clear of your audience, you’re invited to be in touch – email me or schedule a time to chat.

In sum, by deeply knowing your niche – and how to speak to them and how to serve them – you can love them more fully. And they’ll feel loved. That’s my idea of good business.

How do you talk to your niche? How do you bring out your personality, and connect more deeply? Or, what problems are you facing? Leave a question or comment below.

I’m in Boulder, Colorado for a week, where I’m starting development of a new one-man show. I did one of my graduate degrees here at Naropa University, and returned  to work with an old friend and collaborator. It’s my first new solo theatre piece in a good while… and so exciting to be diving back in!

At the same time, it’s also scary and intimidating. I always take on topics where I don’t have all of the answers. My last show was about Jewish identity, and my new show is about being a man. Pretty big topics, which can become quite overwhelming.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed whenever we’re doing something new – because we don’t know the twists and turns of the path. When we’re still trying to figure it all out, we can feel swept away or off-course. And it’s hard to see the destination when we’re mid-river. When we don’t know how we’ll get there, it’s easy to hesitate, question what we’re doing, and procrastinate… or even give up out of self-doubt.

The fact is, if we’re doing something new, we seldom have a map of how to get to our destination. At best, we can follow others’ advice or strategies; yet, we have to take the journey ourselves, and make it our own. This is true with our businesses, and our lives – whenever we set a new goal, it’s always an adventure – which sometimes feels like stumbling around in the dark. Yet, there’s always a flow to it.

This is also true with public speaking. Even if you’re giving the same signature talk for the umpteenth time, every time you do it is different. Your audience is different… the room or surroundings likely change… and current events have shifted. In sum, the energy will be unique every time. 

Which is why it’s essential to be present. (Tangential reminder, if you haven’t heard me say it before: presence is the art of being fully present.) If we’re present, and open, and listening, we can feel what’s needed next. You might slightly change how you word what you say… or you could change the delivery. If you’re tuned in, and going with the flow, it gets easy. If you resist and try to force things, you may drown; but if you let go, the river will take you where you want to go.

Going with the flow means trusting you can handle anything that happens. In other words, you don’t need to have any fear or nervousness, because you know you can deal with whatever arises. 

Whether in regards to a speaking engagement, with our businesses, or in other areas of life, things seldom go just as we plan or as we expect. But in that moment when the river changes course, we can listen inwardly, look outside to what is going on, and tap in… and we can do what that moment needs.

For speaking, of course, a fair amount of preparation is needed. It’s essential to have a wide toolset to draw upon, so that you can adeptly handle anything that happens. And it takes skills and practice… which is what WholeSpeak coaching and workshops are for. Stay tuned for announcements of some powerful workshops happening this year.

When times are challenging, what do you do to get back in the flow? Please leave a comment and share.

Happy New Year! Today’s typically the day for discussing resolutions. We all know there’s a trap in saying we want something… and yet it not happening. So let’s discuss another term that often traps us: potential.

Right now, “potential” is one of my least favorite words. I have so many big dreams for what I want to do with my life’s purpose and work in the world… that it can start to feel like a burden after a while. Feel familiar? I’ve also experienced this with dating. We can feel a lot of love, connection, commonalities, and potential for a life together… and yet find ourselves struggling due to whatever dynamics are present. The potential is real, but is not what’s at hand.

Focusing on potential keeps us stuck in possibility – and can even prolong suffering. While it’s good to dream, it’s very different than actually choosing to take action and bring something into reality.

Similarly, we may judge ourselves as not having potential, talent, or the ability to do something… even though we actually can! It’s often our beliefs about ourselves that get in our way. In this case, our perception of potential is a negative and limiting trap.

Whether it’s in reference to yourself, a relationship, a job, or anything in your life, here’s my suggestion: forget about its potential. Instead, decide what you actually want to happen. To create.

Here are a series of steps that I’ve found to be helpful:

1)   Examine your current circumstances. What do you want to change, or bring into being?

2)   With that in mind, look at what you’re willing to take action on in the immediate future. Don’t think too far off. And your goal can be a stretch, but make sure it feels exciting, and not too big that it weighs you down. (You can always do this exercise again in the future with bigger goals – so just what truly feels like the next steps right now.) You may want to go into meditation, and ask Source to provide you with insight – but also really listen inwardly as well. What choices make your body and energy feel lighter and freer?

3)   Acknowledge outside circumstances that are beyond your control. Know what you absolutely can’t change. Often, this is another person, unless they want to and are ready. Note areas that feel intractable… and look at steps 4 and 6 to make sure that’s true.

4)   Figure out where you need help – and then research and utilize outside resources. Find out where you need assistance. There may be more possibility for bringing things to fruition than you currently realize, and we need help with areas where we’re not experts (unless we want to take a really, really long time). This could mean reading a book, looking into a loan or grant for personal or professional uses, or getting support from a coach or professional, among other things.

5)   Make an action plan – and do it! Get as specific as possible, with small steps that are doable – not big goals that are intangible. There’s a difference between “get a job” or “get a client” and “go to 2 networking events this week, and follow up with new connections.” And if that’s too hard, simply researching networking events is a good step – or even turning on the computer. Break it down into whatever feels doable.

6)   Get help with your blocks. Nothing to be ashamed about here – we all have them. Whether with a therapist, healer, coach, or perhaps a skilled friend who knows you well, let go of the illusion that you can do it alone. We all need support.

7)   Celebrate! Even taking little steps is a big thing if you haven’t been doing them. Give yourself little rewards, and be kind to yourself.

You may think of other steps you need as well; this just a template that I hope you find useful.

Now, the truth is that I’m really writing this for myself. And hopefully it’ll help you too. I’m committing to doing this with my life. Want to join me? (I’m pretty busy with other projects, but if there were sufficient interest, I’d consider starting up what I call an Inspiration Team – so that we can do it together. This isn’t a pitch; I just like to be of service.)

What would you like to create in 2014? I’d love to hear about it, and to hear your thoughts on my pretty unconventional take on potential.

Please leave your thoughts below in a comment. Blessings for a joyous, prosperous and wholly fulfilling 2014!!!

I’ve talked a lot recently about the fear of speaking, because it holds so many people back from speaking their truth – as well as from using speaking to easily get clients. However, for many, there’s a bigger problem:

Confidence.

Why in the world should confidence be a problem?

To be honest (which I always am – it’s my M.O. – but I’ve never addressed this before), I’ve never loved the term. Yes, this is true even though “confidence” is in the subtitle of my upcoming training and I talk about it a lot. Why? Because for many, it is about the ego. For example, I’ve heard many coaches declare, “You just gotta be confident!”… as if implying that confidence is easy, or that it can be somehow pasted on. Often, confidence is forced or misguided. When confidence isn’t 100% real, your nonverbal communication looks forced and pushes people away. 

This is different than true confidence – which is completely relaxed – even humble, because you don’t need to prove anything to anyone… including yourself. It’s largely a reflection of being present,  centered, and being able to deal with anything.

And while you can fake confidence, what cannot be forced is presence… and self-acceptance… and deep connection with an audience.

Here’s the biggest problem with confidence, though:

When we’re confident, it’s easy to think we know everything.

And no one knows everything. In my 17 years of coaching public speaking, I’ve never seen a single speaker, be it live or on YouTube, who couldn’t improve. 

Every day, I see confident speakers making basic mistakes – ones that can be easily rectified.

Here are the biggest problems that confident speakers and networkers have:

  • Not authentically connecting with the audience. And if they don’t connect with you, they won’t be moved to work with you.
  • Mistaking loud volume for being a dynamic speaker. I focus with clients on 6 primary vocal dynamics, 4 advanced speaking styles, and powerful ways to use gestures, facial expressions and body language. Most speakers don’t even get close to exploring their full range.
  • Not being grounded, centered and totally relaxed. This is part of what creates presence – and it’s hard to be centered when speaking, which is a heightened experience! This takes practice, technique, and a fantastic warm-up routine to help you get “in the zone.”
  • Not realizing that speaking in front of larger groups, and other high stakes situations like selling from the stage, can cause you to lose your confidence. We all need methods to become more relaxed and centered, when on a growing edge.
  • Skipping public speaking essentials. Can I tell you how often I see confident speakers betraying themselves by using ineffective body language, a plethora of “ums” and more? Far more than I’d like. Oy vey.

The strength of people without confidence is that they realize they need to learn. And who doesn’t need to grow?  For yourself – and to grow your business?

If you haven’t seen it, I’d like to invite you to check out my free video training on speaking with confidence and presence, at http://www.yourtruevoice.org.

And I  also invite you to my 10-week online program: Claim Your Voice: Speak with Power and Presence. Details and Registration: http://ClaimYourVoiceNow.com

If you consider yourself a confident speaker, in Claim Your Voice you’ll also learn how to get more comfortable when selling from the stage and other high-stakes situations. And learn a ton of other skills – read my article on The Public Speaking Must-Haves.

In any case, here’s the deal with confidence… it’s pretty much 3 things: getting the skills you need,  relaxing/centering, and trusting your capacity to handle anything that happens.

Which of these is your next step?

–Jonathan Bender, MS, MFA, WholeSpeak  – http://www.WholeSpeak.com

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.

 

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?


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