I let this hold me back too long...In my adventure as an entrepreneur there is this one thing that has held me back the most in my businesses. I imagine that if it is something that I struggle with, it is something that you might struggle with as well whether you're a business owner or not, it applies in all areas of our lives. And that is taking things personally!! Especially rejection, or no's, or ignores, or criticism, or any of that negative feeling stuff that comes with putting yourself out there.
But what I have learned from many sources over the past few years, one being Don Miguel Ruiz in his book The Four Agreements, is not to take things personally. Seriously, this is the hardest thing for me to do, since my business is selling my services as an expert, I see the no's as a reflection of my competence, credibility, likability, and overall value. Logically I know I have expertise in my chosen field. I went to school for many years for communication, conflict, leadership, and organizational development. Logically I know I add value based on how many people I have helped and continue to help based on their positive feedback, evaluations, referrals and continued business. Despite this knowledge, there is that small part of me that still wants to be liked and takes the no's personally.
But I am working on it! And because I have made the decision to work on this area that has been holding me back, my belief system gets stronger, I take more action, I recover faster from the no's, I talk to myself more positively. Now, when it does creep in I am faster to remind myself of what is true and not true when this mindset issue threatens to hold me back again.
Now my particular issue may not be your issue. But the solution to both of us is the same. First, we have to get clear on what it is that is holding us back from pursuing our highest self, our purpose, our dreams, the desires in our heart. These desires can be personal or business related, but for whatever reason, we haven't pursued them because something in our our belief system or mindset is holding us back. Once we know what is holding us back we can take steps to remove the block and move forward toward our goals!
Now this is easier said than done, which is why we need support. The very best thing I have done or myself personally and professionally is find mentors and coaches who can help me along on this journey. I find this support through books, videos, podcasts, live events and one on one coaching. Since there are so many options for support, there is no excuse to allowing our particular fears or issues to continue to block our dreams and personal growth.
For me personally, working with a coach one on one is the most effective thing that has helped me move faster through my blocks and on to achieving the results that I want in my life and business. And I can tell a HUGE difference in the times that I have had a coach and have not. Because my results are less than stellar personally and professionally on my own, I won't ever go without a coach again!! I believe that strongly in the power of personal coaching. I'm a better me when I have a thinking and accountability partner to get super vulnerable with, without judgement and bias and help me process, overcome and then accomplish. It's really a powerful tool!
I see these breakthroughs in myself and in my clients and it is really cool to get to be a part of helping someone transform their story and go for what they really want. If there is something that you're putting off until 'someday' or you know there is something holding you back from achieving, I would love to work with you. Maybe you're just in need of a thinking partner to help you navigate the daily challenges of leading yourself and others well in your life and business. I can help with that too! Maybe coaching isn't for you right now, and that is ok. But maybe it is!
Now, I know coaching can get pricey, I have hired coaches upwards of $10,000 and I personally know coaches who charge $100,000 for one year of coaching with them. And you know what, they are worth every penny! But I know that is not in everyone's budget. That is why I am offering a spring sale of 25% off on my 3 and 6 month coaching packages through the end of this week. This is the lowest my coaching prices have ever been and will ever be! This is a pretty BIG savings of $500 off my 3 months package and $875 off my 6 months package. Here is a link to read more about my one on one coaching packages: http://annamarieolson.com/workwithme/one-one-coaching/
If you think you are ready to get moving past whatever is holding you back and start achieving what it is you truly want, I'm ready to help you. I offer a complimentary consultation so that we make sure we are a good fit for each other before we get started. If this offer by any means piques your interest, reply to this email to set up your consultation this week! Hurry because the offer ends Sunday, April 3rd.
I will share this one last personal story before I go...when I worked with my first one on one coach, six months to the date that we started I had done everything I said I wanted to do, including moving to the exact beach that I had put picture of up on my vision board. I know without a doubt that I would not have done that, at least not in that amount of time if I hadn't worked with my coach! So what changes do you want to make in the next few months of this year? How likely do you think you are to move past whatever is holding you back and accomplish this change on your own? There is a reason the most successful people in all areas have coaches!
If you're ready, I am here to help! If you're not, that is ok too. I won't take it personally ;)
To your success!
P.S. Maybe this isn't for you right now, but you know someone who is...I would love it if you'd send them my way! Make sure they tell me you sent them and I'll be very happy to send you a special little thank you gift.
I'm finally ready to share about Paraguay...Some of you know I went to Paraguay the first week of February with John Maxwell and 250 other coaches to conduct a country wide initiative called Transformacion Paraguay. We ended up training over 19,000 people in all areas of business, government and community how to facilitate roundtables on leadership values, who will now train 700,000 of their friends, family and colleagues over the next year. How amazing is that!?! It was the highlight of my career so far.
I've been back a few weeks now and I am ready to share my experiences, the good, the bad, and the scary! I needed some time to process and reflect. When they said we would be changed just as much as the people we went to serve, they were not kidding! This is going to be a post than usual, so settle in...
It is hard to put into words the experience of being a part of something so life changing for so many people. It was an honor just to be there and serve alongside so many amazing people from all over the world. John’s vision and heart are so big and real that is seems almost impossible to think of changing the world through developing leaders...until you see it unfolding before your eyes. And to be able to actually help move this vision forward was just humbling and a beautiful experience.
I know it sounds cliche, but the Transformation literally was in me this week! I saw it happening in the stories and gratitude of the people we were serving, but I also experienced it personally. My attitude has had a major adjustment in how I see the world, express gratitude and focus on positivity.
Seeing the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra broke my heart and made me extremely happy at the same time. It was the biggest lesson in gratitude for me. These kids literally live in a trash heap and have taken the garbage the world gives them and turn it into beautiful music! I cried for almost the entire hour that we had the pleasure of listening to them play. And when their teacher told us their stories and showed us how the instruments are made, out of paint cans, drain pipes and old spoons, it is something I will never forget. When they started playing "Imagine"...well, I just totally lost it. I took a video of it and I hope you're moved as much as I am by these amazing kids! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTi-rZ7GIR4
After listening to the kids play, John told us of the music school they are working on finishing and need an additional $50,000 to build it. He asked us in the room if we thought we could do that, which we said absolutely. Then he auctioned off a violin made out of trash to kick off the donations. It started at $1,000 and when it got up to $7K I thought I want to get this on video and see how much he gets for it. Well, I think he missed his calling as an auctioneer...it went for $15,000!!! You can watch a bit of that fun here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4y83GmZR6gU
For the work we were there to accomplish of facilitating and training on roundtables, I got to go to some pretty cool places. The first day was to the National University where John inspired the entire next generation to change their country. I was with him as he modeled being a roundtable participant and spoke to the new deans and encouraged them to be leaders and help change their University. Then he went on to speak to the students and honor them for standing up for what is right. See, last fall they went on strike against corruption at their school. They literally refused to attend classes until something changed and at one point even would not let the deans leave the building until they made some changes. It resulted in the president of the University going to prison and many deans getting fired!! Woohoo!! You can see a video I shot from the back of the room with the students raising their hands when John invited them to step up and lead their country! It was amazing to be in the room that day. I cried...again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvI_HPKXeH4
The second day I went to the Japanese/Paraguayan cultural center where we facilitated roundtables with city employees. And next I went to a tech company of software engineers who were very excited and the CEO and CFO are having the whole company go through the roundtables and the engineers want to share the values with friends and family too! They talked about how they want to help their employees grow as individuals personally and professionally. I was in love with that answer. All super exciting!! Each time I was able to use my Spanish more and more and also had some amazing translators to help us facilitate these trainings. Here are a few pics from those sessions.
BUT then I spent a day in prison. The women of the Buen Pastor prison rocked my world. See, each day we didn't know where we would be going. We knew we were going somewhere, with someone, to do something! Paul, our JMT president would say I need one coach, or ten coaches, we'd come forward, be matched with translators and get into a stranger's car and go to their place of business. This day my business BFF and I wanted to go somewhere together so we waited until one of the times he said I need two coaches and we stepped up. At this point it is around 7am and he says you'll be gone all day to this place instead of going to a few locations, we say fine with us! So it wasn't until we got into the car that we asked where we were going. And it wasn't until we got to the prison that we learned we would not be teaching the staff, but the inmates. I knew then it would be an adventure and so grateful we were together. At the end of the day she grabbed me in the biggest hug and said, there is no one I could have gone to prison with except you!
To say I reached a new level of awareness is an understatement. I heard heartbreaking stories of women who couldn’t name an example of a positive person in their life ever, women who couldn’t read or write, women who had never had anyone believe in them, pour into them or show them a different way of life. Women who had lost all hope for their future, but had a glimmer restored that day. It was clear that transformation was beginning in them. I felt it in their hugs and tears and excitement to share these values, even if they didn’t fully comprehend the process. Some didn’t even know what an attitude was! Melissa and I had to get creative in explaining even the simplest of concepts. Talk about taking a step back and breaking down the material even more...it was not easy to say the least from a facilitators standpoint, but it was my favorite experience of the trip. Even more than the glamorous parties and great fun we had. I have cried a few times since that day just thinking about the prison because of the weight of the situation. It is a day that is forever etched on my heart and mind.
These women have reminded me of my bigger why, my desire to help women all over the world to have more education, resources, rights and opportunities. I want to build up women leaders all over the world! The prison experience really showed me the value of what we do and how much it is needed. I couldn't help but wonder if some of these women had learned these values earlier in life, maybe they would be living a different story. And maybe they can share them with their daughters now and put them on a different path.
Here are some pics of us at the prison..top left was at the beginning of the day when my co-facilitator and I were made up and smiley, the top right was at the end of the day when we were exhausted on every level and sweated off all our makeup! We had been in 100 degrees and no AC, pouring rain, roaches and stray cats, no guard with us, locked in with murderers (luckily didn't know til after, and didn't treat them any different) and still managed to end the day with smiles on our faces. We were so thankful for our two translators, Luis and Ignacio, and Maria Lorenza, the inmate who was clearly in charge and could have made our lives miserable or encouraged women not to participate, but instead was the most helpful and kind and best participant and leader that day.
Now, it wasn't all work and dirty prisons...in the evenings we had some pretty fun experiences too, like being hosted at the US Embassy and having the red carpet, literally, rolled out for us there and at our going away dinner the last night at a golf club!
This is a fun video of our going away party and the traditional Paraguayan dancers giving us a performance. Check out the lady dancing with 10 bottles on top of her head!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz7fbE2k-Cc&feature=youtu.be
We also were welcomed at the kick off lunch by the best guitar player in Paraguay and if you're into Spanish guitar, check out Rolando Chaparro on iTunes and Facebook. Here is a short clip of him playing for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gEVCtDFkNo
In the weeks following this trip, I have a newfound passion for the work that I do and the impact that it can have on people's lives. The gratitude that is pouring in from the people there who are now carrying this work forward is beautiful to witness. I even heard that the mayor fired 400 people for corruption before we even left the country! I wasn't in the room, but I heard that when John spoke at the Congress there was some squirming in the seats as he challenged them to be better leaders, to lead with integrity, stand up against corruption, and to be significant, not just hold a successful title.
The Instagram note from my sweet translator, Luis, is one of the kindest things anyone has every said to me and it was an honor to go to prison with him (pic below). Since then we have kept in touch and I feel I have another little brother for life! He is interested in joining the John Maxwell Team and is going back to the prison to follow up with the director and ask how the women are doing with continuing the roundtables. I just love him and his heart for people!! He definitely has the JMT DNA :)
I know this post is long and rambling, but I really wanted to share because this experience was one of the greatest things I have had the privilege to be a part of and it will not soon be forgotten. I plan on going to all of the other countries that invite us to help transform them, 22 Presidents so far have asked John to do the same for them. It will be my honor to volunteer again, spending my own money and time to travel across the world to add value to people. This is what it means to me to live a life of significance, not just success!!
With that I will close and wish you all a life of significance!
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