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Don’t Live Scared, Live Smart

Fred and I recently attended the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, along with 11,980 women and about 20 men. Those brave souls. It was such an inspiring experience, from the sheer numbers of women there looking for insight into how to improve themselves both professionally and personally, to the amazing speakers we saw whom I still can’t stop thinking about.

One keynote speaker was Carla Harris. Many of you have probably heard of her and may have even seen her speak. She is a global vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, a gospel singer, and an all-around badass. She gave an incredible speech filled with too many good nuggets of advice for me to share here. But the one thing she talked about that really resonated with me was this:

“Don’t live scared, live smart.”

There is a lot to unpack in that one quote that applies to women entrepreneurs. Fear is something I hear in members’ voices all the time:

“I’m afraid to raise my prices.”

Or: “I’m afraid to give honest feedback to an employee who isn’t performing.”

Or: “I’m afraid to set too big a goal for my business, because what happens if we don’t get there?”

Or: “I’m afraid to fire my client even though they are costing me money and driving me crazy.”

Why are we all so afraid all the time?

I think it’s because we don’t have a plan in place and the unknown is SCARY. When Carla Harris says “Live Smart,” she means “Make a Plan.” Figure it out. Once you take the time to analyze a challenge or set a goal and make a plan for how to deal with it, suddenly that problem or challenge doesn’t seem so scary after all. Living smart means laying out the steps you are going to take in order to achieve success and then literally taking it one step at a time.

As we head into the last quarter of 2017, it’s time to start thinking about 2018 and making a plan for living smart.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • Have you set some goals for your business for next year?
  • Have you thought about the incremental steps it will take to accomplish those goals?
  • Have you mapped out the time, money, and effort you are going to spend on specific objectives?
  • Have you created a quarterly implementation plan?

Now is the time to start planning. Because I guarantee you that the second you start living smart, the less scared you’ll be.

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