For those of us who are trying to create a business and use online marketing as a tool, one of the top 5 rules is to be consistent in your presence. Ie, to post regularly. Maintain your momentum.
And, when the alarm goes off on the first Monday of the New Year, our emails fill up with newsletters and daily digests from the people we follow wishing us a happy and healthy year. (And usually there is a special offer inside too.)
Well, the alarm has now gone off on 7 work days since we rang in 2016 and this is my first post.
Before I get too wrapped up with my excuses and explanations, first:
Wow! Can you believe it’s already 2016?! I mean, doesn’t it feel like we were just freaking out about our computers imploding on Y2K? And now we’re freaking out about taking the perfect New Years selfie to post on our Fcebook profile!
Ok, now, let me explain why I haven’t posted yet.
You see, some people are super organized and plan ahead. They batch their blogs ahead of time, schedule emails, fill their planners with to do lists that facilitate productivity, etc. Obviously, I am not one of those people.
Don’t get me wrong, those people are awesome and I have nothing but admiration for them (with maybe a touch of envy). I’d like to be a bit more organized. In fact, one of my challenges for myself in 2016 is to find a better daily routine to foster productivity, creativity, confidence, and leaves time for self-care too.
But, even more important for me is to find and foster what Martha Beck and many self-help gurus and coaches call my “authentic self”. The person I was meant to be. A person that I am proud to call myself.
And, for me, that means being more present with my family. More present with my clients. And more present in the world. And I don’t mean the online world. I mean the actual world. The world outside my office. The world outside the boundaries of our city.
When I graduated from college, I bought myself a refrigerator magnet that said:
It turns out Gandhi never actually said this but the message has spread its thick, strong roots inside my psyche.
As 2015 came to a close, like most people, I started to look back and review how it went. In France, 2015 ended much as it began, with deep scars left from terror attacks in Paris: at the offices of Charlie Hebdo on January 7th and at multiple sites on November 13th. In the US, more mass shootings. Around the globe, Syrian refugees struggle to find a warm welcome, Brazilian babies are being born with brain abnormalities because of a mosquito-borne virus, and so many other tragedies. (I’m purposefully not providing links to these heartbreaking news stories and trust that, if you want to learn more, you will Google them.)
So, I as turned the page to 2016, I decided to take steps to be part of the global change. With two small kids and already feeling overwhelmed with what I have on my plate, jetting off to join the Peace Corps didn’t seem feasible. So, I decided to start small. I have committed to volunteering once a month at a local cancer hospital and renewing my involvement with support organization for families who have a member with Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). And, each week, our family will be donating $3.50 (about €3) to Share the Meal, a United Nations-funded program that believes no child should go to bed hungry.
I am taking steps towards being more authentic in my business too. It may not seem like much, but I have decided to start by putting my money where my mouth is. I spent the first week of 2016 researching 12 charities – 6 in the US, 6 in France – that I intend to support through my business. Each month, proceeds from sales of my Forever Living business will go towards one of these charities. The charities support those causes that are important to me: reducing child hunger, cancer research, supporting families who have suffered a miscarriage or lost a child, and education. I’ll announce them each month in my business newsletter. You can read January’s here.
I wanted my first New Years blog to be meaningful, authentic. And, for me, this is the way that felt right. So thank you for being patient. And thank you for your support. I am really hopeful and excited about what 2016 holds, not just for me, but for the world at large. Taking this step, while it is small, I can already feel a shift in myself. A powerful force starting to break the chains of fear, self-doubt, and sadness. Like a baby taking its first steps, I feel like I have a new approach, a new view. And it feels thrilling.
I hope you have a wonderful, happy, and healthy 2016. May it be filled with hope, laughter, and love.
I hope my words here resonate with you, encourage and empower you. I am currently working on getting my certification as a Life Coach and will be launching a formal business later this year. In the interim, I am looking for a few “practice partners” so that I can work out the kinks. If you are interested (free support!!), drop me an email.