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Christy Wright's Business Boutique

The Business Boutique is a growing community of women who are making money doing what they love. In each episode, business coach and Ramsey Personality Christy Wright takes a deep dive into topics like marketing, selling, social media and profits. Episodes include featured interviews with top experts in each of these areas. Christy delivers motivating and thought-provoking messages while sharing stories of women who have found success that will inspire you on your journey. More at www.BusinessBoutique.com.
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Apr 6, 2020
If you’re like me, you might feel helpless right now. Discouraged and probably overwhelmed. I am with you. I can’t change what we are all going through together, but I wanted to do something. So I decided to put together a quick, scrappy and imperfect series to help shine some hope in the chaos we are in. I threw it together, texted a few friends to see if they would want to join me and put it on the calendar. I’m calling it Hope in the Chaos. Today I’m joined by my friend, Annie F. Downs.
 
We are going to walk with you and talk with you and process this with you. We’re going to pray and talk about what anchors us during this storm.
 
Would you join me for this? There’s no ask. No sale. No agenda. I just want to be present for you as we figure out how to get through this together in the coming days. I care about you friend, and I’m here for you. ❤️
 
You can view this entire series and receive the recap emails with journal questions if you visit businessboutique.com/hope.
Apr 3, 2020
If you’re like me, you might feel helpless right now. Discouraged and probably overwhelmed. I am with you. I can’t change what we are all going through together, but I wanted to do something. So I decided to put together a quick, scrappy and imperfect series to help shine some hope in the chaos we are in. I threw it together, texted a few friends to see if they would want to join me and put it on the calendar. I’m calling it Hope in the Chaos. Today I'm joined by my friend, Jamie Ivey.
 
We are going to walk with you and talk with you and process this with you. We’re going to pray and talk about what anchors us during this storm.
 
Would you join me for this? There’s no ask. No sale. No agenda. I just want to be present for you as we figure out how to get through this together in the coming days. I care about you friend, and I’m here for you. ❤️
 
You can view this entire series and receive the recap emails with journal questions if you visit businessboutique.com/hope.
Apr 2, 2020
A Message of Hope Series
Hey y'all, it’s no secret that many of us are used to living our lives rushed and running ragged. So, what do you do when life comes to a screeching halt? In this Message of Hope, I'll share the opportunity we all have in this season of chaos—to reset and rethink how you live your life, so you can create the life you want.
 
Financial Peace University
You have a new opportunity to reset and live the life you want. Now’s the perfect time to get on a plan and take control of your finances. To help you do that, get a FREE trial of our life-changing Financial Peace University today: https://bit.ly/3dFT7ir
 
25 Ways to Protect Your Time
To protect your time, you have to say no to the things that aren’t a priority for you. I know that’s not always easy, which is why I created a download with 25 ways to help you say no. Download 25 Ways to Protect Your Time by texting PROTECTTIME to 33444.
Mar 30, 2020
If you’re like me, you might feel helpless right now. Discouraged and probably overwhelmed. I am with you. I can’t change what we are all going through together, but I wanted to do something. So I decided to put together a quick, scrappy and imperfect series to help shine some hope in the chaos we are in. I threw it together, texted a few friends to see if they would want to join me and put it on the calendar. I’m calling it Hope in the Chaos. Today I'm joined by my friend, Emily Ley.
 
We are going to walk with you and talk with you and process this with you. We’re going to pray and talk about what anchors us during this storm.
 
Would you join me for this? There’s no ask. No sale. No agenda. I just want to be present for you as we figure out how to get through this together in the coming days. I care about you friend, and I’m here for you. ❤️
 
You can view this entire series and receive the recap emails with journal questions if you visit businessboutique.com/hope.
Mar 27, 2020

It’s scary out there, but hope is greater than fear. In times of crisis, facts are your friends. So get the facts and other common sense guidance on life and money from thought leaders and my friends, Dave Ramsey, Rachel Cruze, and Ken Coleman.

daveramsey.com/hope

Mar 17, 2020

Stop People Pleasing and Live Life On Your Own Terms

 


1:16 Find Ways To Do More of What You Love and Less of What You Don't

9:19 Four Areas of Life Where You Can Live True to Yourself

19:14 Taking Control of Your Life with Chris Hogan

39:41 Challenge: Make Time for What’s Important


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Find ways to do more of what you love and less of what you don't.

Have you ever thought about what it looks like to actually live life on your own terms? That might sound simple, but if we’re honest, most of us have a hard time actually doing it.

I love to do things on my own terms. And because of that, I’ve done a few things that you might say are a little . . . weird. For instance, when I came home from college, Dancing With the Stars was in its first season. One week, an advertisement popped up for Latin and ballroom dance lessons in Nashville, and I thought, I think I’ll do it. So, I did. For almost two years, I took Latin and ballroom dance lessons, and I even competed in a dance competition. Now that's weird.

But that's not the only weird thing I've done. When all my friends were living in the city, I moved to a 40-acre farm with fainting goats, horses, and a mini donkey. While my friends were working their corporate jobs, I was mucking stalls. That's not normal.

And then I decided I wanted to play soccer. So I went to the YMCA in my area and signed up for the adult league. I didn’t have a team to play with, so they put me on a team with all Guatemalan men who spoke no English. And it was one of the most fun experiences of my life (not to mention, my Spanish got really stinking good).

It was amazing how all of these experiences, though weird, were a lot of fun. But what was even more important was that they were things I wanted to do. They were things that were true to me.

Here's what's interesting: Not everyone is quite as comfortable being a little weird, going against the “normal” logical path and plan for their lives, and doing some things that might be different.

Do you struggle with this? Maybe you feel like it’s not logical or practical to do something different. Maybe you’re worried about what people might think.

Friend, I don't want you to wait until it’s too late to decide that you want to live your life. I don't want to look back with that regret and feel like I always made the safe choice or did what other people thought I should do and I’m guessing you don’t either.

Do you know that your life is just that—yours? You don't just have the right to create the life you want. You have the responsibility to. No one can change your life. You have everything you need and all the power in the world to make different decisions today about who you are and what you want for your life, your family and your future.

You have permission to create a life that looks like who you are. You can be true to yourself without worrying about what everyone else thinks that you should be.

4 Areas of Life Where You Can Live True to Yourself

I want to give you four practical areas to explore in your own life that will help you be true to yourself. Maybe you're already doing it. Maybe you feel confident in all these areas, but maybe not. Maybe as we walk through these, you’ll start to look at these different areas of your life and realize you’re making decisions based on what other people think. And if you are, would you do anything differently?

1. Career

You have the right and responsibility to pursue a career that's right for you. You don't have to choose between being happy and making money. You actually can do both, believe it or not. So, what's the right career path, business path or money-making income path for you? How could you use your skills and gifts and talents in a way that could provide income for your life and your family?

2. Family

So, what does your family look like right now? What are some of the values you hold in your family? What are some of the decisions you make in your family? What does your day-to-day schedule look like? You have a right and responsibility to make your family look like anything you want it to. So, what does that look like for you?

3. Finances

When it comes to money, we often spend money in a way that other people expect us to, whether that’s shoes, home decor, or even where you send your kids to school. We often spend money to create a lifestyle that reflects what other people expect of us. But what if you didn't? What if you were weird?

What changes do you need to incorporate in order to manage your finances in a way that's true to you? Where your money is going is a reflection of your values, not someone else's. So where are you spending your hard-earned money?

4. Fun

What's fun to you? What's exciting to you? What interests you? What gives you joy and brings you energy? What makes life worth living? If we're not careful, we’ll get so busy keeping up with the to-do list of life that we forget to live it. So it's up to you to create the fun.

So, what's fun for you? What are some hobbies you love? What are some things you can do with your family?

Here's the deal: If you want a different life, you have to create it. No one can do that for you. Look at your career, your family, your finances, and what’s fun for you and begin to create a life that you love and are proud of.

Taking Control of Your Life with Chris Hogan

I’m so excited for you to meet my good friend and fellow Ramsey Personality Chris Hogan. He’s the host of The Chris Hogan Show and #1 national bestselling author of the books Retire Inspired and Everyday Millionaires. Chris is an expert on taking control of your life and money, and that’s exactly what we’re going to be talking about today.

On this episode, Chris and I talk about:

  • Money decisions that can affect every other area of your life
  • Getting out of the day-to-day grind and not letting life happen to you
  • Creating the courage and confidence you need to live life on your own terms
  • Replacing fear with gratitude

Challenge: Make Time for What’s Important

I’ve been noticing a pattern recently. I speak to women at all different ages and all different stages of life. And here's one phrase that they just keep saying over and over and over again: “Well, when things slow down, I'm going to (fill in the blank).” When things slow down . . . again and again and again.

The belief that is buried beneath this statement is that things will slow down on their own, right? Y'all, they never do. Things are never going to slow down unless you slow them down. Nothing in your life will change unless you change it. Do you understand that? It's not going to change on its own. It's up to you. Don't buy into the lie of “when things slow down,” because you and I both know that things will never slow down.

If you're waiting to have time left over to put toward what's important to you, you’ll never do it. Instead, I want you to make time for what’s important to you.

Mar 3, 2020

How to Create an Amazing Customer Service Experience

 


1:14 Create an Amazing Customer Service Experience

4:30 Five Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

15:14 Customer Service That Disrupts the Competition with Shep Hyken

33:45 Encouragement: Use Your Experiences to Shape Your Customer Service


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


When I wrote my book Business Boutique—a book entirely about how to start your own business—I left out something that I believe is crucial to winning in business: great customer service.

Do you know why I didn’t write about it? Because I believe, as women, we naturally excel in customer service. We’re relational. We’re great at connecting with people, serving others, nurturing, and thinking about how someone else feels. However, there’s always opportunity to grow, right?

Well, several years ago, I had a pretty frustrating experience with a customer service representative. It was so frustrating that I now use it as an example when I teach on what not to do when working with customers. Here’s what happened:

I got a notification in the mail that my dental insurance had been canceled. As you can imagine, I was really confused because there had been no other conversations about any problems with my dental insurance. And then one day, poof—it was canceled.

So naturally, I called and spoke with a customer service representative, and she told me, “Well, you didn't pay your bill. You pay it every six months, and you didn't pay it the last time it was due.” I responded, “I'm so sorry. I pay my bills. I wasn’t aware that it was due. I don’t remember getting a bill in the mail or hearing anything about this.” And her response was, “Well, we decided to become a paperless company a few months ago, so we just send emails now.”

It turns out, they had an old email that I hadn’t used in years. So, I kindly asked the “nice customer service person” if I could pay my bill right there over the phone and reinstate my insurance. Her response? She threw out three words that still makes me cringe to this day: “Our policy is . . .” Is there anything that makes a customer more upset than hearing, “I’m so sorry, but our policy is . . .”? Nobody cares about stinking policies!

We don’t have to run our businesses that way! In fact, your business will be more successful and more fun when you provide incredible customer service and put your customers before your policies.

5 Ways to Improve Your Customer Service

I want to give you five ways you can improve your customer service and help your business succeed:

1. Don't be late.

Always, always, always be on time. Whether it’s a shipment going out, returning a phone call or an email, showing up to a meeting—whatever it is, do it on time. When in doubt, I always want you to underpromise and overdeliver.

This one is convicting for me because I’m not great at it—I’m working on it. But this is the most basic way to keep your customers happy. Just be on time and do what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it.

2. Don’t be emotional.

Listen, I’ve got a lot of feelings. I have so many feelings that even my feelings have feelings. But whether you’re having a good day or a bad day, your customer doesn't care. Every day, your brand and your business should be having a good day.

Nothing will break trust with your customers like being Dr. Jekyll on one day and Mr. Hyde on another. You've got to be consistent in how you take care of people. Don't be emotional, and don't take your bad mood out on your customers.

3. Don’t forget to listen.

I know this sounds really basic, but when we're having a conversation with someone, whether it's a normal conversation, a positive conversation, or even a really heated conversation, we’re always thinking of what we're going to say next.

But instead of doing that, stop, listen, and ask follow-up questions. Most people just want to be heard. When they feel heard, they feel validated and understood.

Never underestimate the power of simply listening to someone's story, complaint, problem, frustration or fear. Listening is a really powerful way to serve your customers and make them feel valued.

4. Don’t make excuses.

As customers, we hate hearing excuses. So don't make excuses to them under any circumstances. If someone is unhappy with your product or something went wrong, there are only three things you need to do:

  • Own it.
  • Apologize for it.
  • Fix it.

Did you notice that “explain it” is nowhere on that list? That’s because no one cares about your explanations or your excuses! All they want is for you to own it, apologize for it, and then fix it. That's what your customers care about—I can promise you that.

5. Don’t use the word policy.

Please—I'm begging you. You hate it when companies use the word policy as an excuse for why they can't help you because that's exactly what it is: a cop-out. So, if you hate it, don’t do it to your customer! Be a fixer. Do the right thing and take care of people.

Now, of course you need policies to run a business and protect yourself, but at the end of the day, you should always do the right thing—what’s best for your customer. Live your life and build your business by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If you want to make your customer’s blood boil, then explain that you can't do something because of “your policy.” And watch how it instantly sucks all humanity, connection and trust out of any conversation with them. It makes your conversation about a transaction, not a relationship. That's what the word policy does.

So, have policies, but don't rely on them when it comes to customer service conversations. Instead, use common sense.

At the end of the day, each of these five mistakes boils down to the Golden Rule. If you're not sure how to handle the situation, all you have to do is ask yourself: How would I want to be treated?

Now that is great customer service.

Customer Service That Disrupts the Competition with Shep Hyken

I'm so excited about my guest today. Shep Hyken is a speaker and customer service expert, and he's the author of the book The Convenience Revolution: How to Deliver A Customer Service Experience That Disrupts the Competition and Creates Fierce Loyalty.

On this episode, Shep and I talk about:

  • Common mistakes people make when providing great customer service experiences
  • How to win your customers over from the competition
  • Being consistent and teaching your customers how to work with you
  • Using your customer’s negative experience as an opportunity to serve them well
  • Five steps that will help you handle any negative customer experience

Encouragement: Use Your Experiences to Shape Your Customer Service

I've got an idea that's going to help you really step up your customer service game. Are you ready? It's so easy.

I want you to think about—and pay attention to—the types of customer service experiences that you have as a customer. I want you to think about the really, really good and really, really bad experiences. We’ve all experienced both. So why not use them to your advantage in your business? Lean into those situations and learn from them.

Ask yourself: What's so great about the great ones, and how can I be great too? What's so bad about the bad ones, and how could I make sure that I'm nothing like that?

You can use these past personal experiences not only to learn and grow from, but also to help you build your business on solid practices that will serve your customers even better.

Feb 18, 2020

Become A Woman Who Supports Other Women

 


1:22 Become A Woman Who Supports Other Women

8:42 Five Ways to Become A Woman Who Supports Other Women

18:49 Women Supporting Women with Liz Cox

33:45 Encouragement: Shake Off the Shame


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


I’m the product of countless women who have invested and poured into me—and I bet you are too.

In fact, I don't know where I would be in my life today without the support of other women.

I'm so passionate about being a woman who champions other women, but you know what I've realized? It’s incredibly hard for us women to do. There are just so many things in our world that divide us.

Sometimes the division looks like mommy wars and parent shaming. Other times it looks like being jealous of the woman at work who got the promotion instead of being excited for her. Or maybe it’s rolling your eyes at how your neighbor parents her child differently than you do.

Regardless of how the situation plays out, there often seems to be an ugly division between us and other women. It’s like no matter where we stand, we’re always looking down on someone else.

But here's something I deeply believe: The reason we’re so quick to judge women with decisions different from ours is simply because we're not completely comfortable with our own choices. It's not because we think she's so wrong. It's because we're worried that maybe we're wrong.

When we’re constantly insecure about our own choices, we project that onto other women by judging their decisions.

But if you want to be a woman who supports other women, you have to do what that kind of woman does! You have to connect your desire to be one with your behavior and your attitude—you know, actually walk the talk.

It all starts with the woman in the mirror. That’s why I want to talk about five intentional behaviors you can choose to do to become the type of woman who champions other women.

5 Ways to Become A Woman Who Supports Other Women

1. Love yourself.

You have to love yourself before you can love anybody else. The reason we’re so hard on others is because we’re so hard on ourselves. And if there’s no love in you for yourself, I promise you, you’ll have no love to offer other people.

The truth is: You can’t offer something you don't have. So if you want to offer love and champion other women, you need to love yourself first.

2. Be confident in your own choices.

You can't champion someone else’s choices if you aren't sure about your own.

3. Give grace.

Choosing to give grace when the women in your life disappoint you will allow you to champion them despite their imperfections. Because what we all really need more of is grace.

I’m going to mess up, you’re going to mess up, and she's going to mess up. We're all going to mess up. That’s why we should not only offer more grace to others, but we should offer ourselves more of it too.

4. Have Empathy.

Empathy is simply putting yourself in someone else's shoes. It's giving them the benefit of the doubt. It's imagining what it would be like to be them.

All day, every day, all we ever think about is how we feel. We look at the world through our lens, unique situation, or personality style, which makes it hard to understand why someone else would respond or act differently than we would.

That’s why it’s so important to have empathy. And what’s amazing is, when you do that, it’s so easy to champion people who are different from you.

5. Give what you want to get.

If you want people to champion you, champion them. If you want people to love you, love them. If you want people to be kind to you, be kind to them. Give the things you want to get, and I promise you, you’ll get what you want and more.

Y’all, being a woman who champions other women is a beautiful thing. And the best part is, anyone can be that kind of person. When you practice loving yourself, being confident in your own choices, giving grace, having empathy, and giving what you want to get, it's amazing how quickly you’ll move from being a woman who just wants to support other women to someone who actually does it.

Women Supporting Women with Liz Cox

All right y’all, I'm so excited for you to meet Liz Cox, an incredible businesswoman and Business Boutique success story. She's the marketing director at Twirl Boutique, co-owner of Mint to Be Boutique, and host of the Twirl Talk podcast. But best of all, Liz beautifully lives out this whole idea of supporting and championing other women.

On this episode, Liz and I talk about:

  • What it looks like to champion women who are in different life seasons
  • How to identify and fight against barriers that keep you from intentional friendship
  • How to navigate emotions in your life and business

Encouragement: Shake Off the Shame

I've noticed something going around social media and the internet in the last few years that I bet you’ve noticed too.

Shaming has become a trend.

I’ve seen articles like “So-and-so mom-shamed so-and-so.” It’s almost become this force outside of our control—like, at any time, we can become victims of this shame monster.

But it’s just not true. Sure, there are certain things that you might feel ashamed of. If you make a mistake and someone points it out, sure, you're probably going to feel a little embarrassed.

Or let's say there's something you're feeling insecure about, and someone rubs salt in the wound. Yeah—you might take on that shame.

But you know what?  There's one key trait I've noticed that makes you shame-repellent, both online and in person: simply being confident.

Be proud of whatever the thing is someone is trying to shame you about. Because people can't shame you about something you're proud of.

For example, if someone tried to make me feel bad online about the fact that I work outside the home . . . well, that would never work because I love my job. I love how I use my gifts. And I'm so stinking proud of what I get to do.

So, if anyone ever tries to shame you and make you feel bad or guilty about something, remember this:

You're in charge of you. No one can make you feel anything. Your feelings are your own. And if you're constantly feeling like a victim to shame or guilt or anything else, you need to take a look in the mirror and rethink who's in control. Because those people who shame you aren’t in control of you. They're not in control of your thoughts or your feelings. You are.

If you want to be a little bit less defenseless to shame and everyone else's opinion of you, find confidence. Find confidence in the choices that are right for you. Be proud of those decisions, because when you're proud of something, people can't make you feel bad about it.

Feb 4, 2020

Embrace Your Past and Tell Your Story

 


1:20 Sharing Your Story

6:38 Three Reasons You Should Tell Your Story

14:44 How to Tell Your Story with Jamie Ivey

39:10 Encouragement: Wisdom Is Not Weakness


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


For years, I’ve been sharing my story of growing up with a single mom who built a business (a cake shop) when I was six months old to raise and support me.

This story is a huge part of my passion and heart behind Business Boutique.

I love sharing the memories I have of our late nights and early mornings in her cake shop. I learned so much from those years helping my mom build her business from the bottom up. But you know what I don’t share as often? How hard it was.

There were so many hard times we had to walk through together. Like the time her cake shop was broken into at two in the morning, or the time we ran out of gas on the side of the road while it was raining. Many of those early years were spent in the trenches watching my mom raise a child and build a business completely on her own.

But it was both those good times and those hard times that made me who I am today.

See, there is power in telling your story. When I share my story, it really ignites the passion in me to champion women from all walks of life who are chasing their dreams like my mom was. And this is the same reason I’m constantly telling you to tell your story too. I tell you to not worry about selling, but to just tell your story—to start with your why.

But the truth is: A lot of people are scared to share their story. When we start to explore our past, we tend to focus on the negative parts of it. And when we see only the negative parts of our story, we immediately feel inadequate and disqualified to do the things we want to do.

But I want to encourage you today: It might just be those parts of you—those “inadequate” beginnings—that position you to do something that no one else can do but you.

So, let's talk about some of the unbelievable benefits that come when you tell your story—both the good and the bad:

Three Reasons You Should Tell Your Story

1. It creates connection.

Sharing your story causes a ripple effect. It's contagious!

It's amazing how many people think they’re the only ones who feel the way they feel or have experienced what they’ve experienced. But when you open up and share your story and your heart, others realize that there are actually other people out there who can relate to their situation. And you know what? Realizing they’re not alone gives them the freedom to open up and share their story as well!

I love how Craig Groeschel puts it: “We might impress people with our strengths, but we connect with people through our weaknesses.”

2. It brings hope.

Think about it this way: Your story's not just yours. Your story is something that God wants to use to give other people hope for the future—to give them hope through hard times and scary moments.

Are you going through something hard right now? Maybe God wants to use you to shine a light to others.

It's not just an option for you to share your story. It's your responsibility to steward this story that God wants to use to bring hope to other people.

3. It can become your passion.

Dave Ramsey has built an incredible business helping millions of people get out of debt. How did this become his job? He went bankrupt and lost everything in his 20s. Because of that experience, he vowed never to take on debt again—and today, he’s successfully helped millions of others do the same thing.

Your story—no matter how dark or how difficult it is—can become your life’s work when you share it with the world.

There are so many incredible benefits to sharing your story. Don’t be ashamed of it. Let it be your testimony that glorifies God because of what He’s brought you through.

So, share your heart. Tell your story. Don't keep it to yourself. God wrote your story, not just for you, but because He wants to bless others through it as well.

How to Tell Your Story with Jamie Ivey

My good friend Jamie Ivey is our guest on the show today! Jamie is a speaker, host of The Happy Hour podcast, and author of the book, If You Only Knew.

I'm so excited to have her here today because she has an amazing story. She's going to teach us about how she got comfortable sharing her story—and how it’s changed her life—so we can learn how to share our stories too.

On this episode, Jamie and I talk about:

  • How to start small and get comfortable sharing your story
  • How to discern what to share with your audience and what not to share
  • How to push past the fear when you don’t want to share vulnerable areas of your life

Encouragement: Wisdom Is Not Weakness

Last spring, I was training for a half marathon. It wasn’t my first time running a long-distance race while pregnant, so I figured I’d be fine.

And I was fine for most of the training. I’d trained up to a 10-mile run and felt great . . . until the week leading up to the half marathon. All of a sudden, I was having a lot of pain—not just running pain, but actual pregnancy pain. But I just kept telling myself, I've done the training. I can do this.

Still, I continued feeling more and more pain throughout the week. I found myself needing to sit down more—I couldn’t even make dinner at the kitchen counter without needing to sit.

So, I called my nurse to make sure everything was okay and ask her if she thought I could do this half marathon. She said, “Well, you’re a runner. You can physically do it. I'm not going to tell you that you can't. However, if you run this half marathon, by the end, you will not be able to walk.”

As you can imagine—because I’m persistent to a fault—even after those words, I was still considering running the race . . . until that night when I tried to stand at the kitchen counter to cut some fruit for my son and had to sit down again. I finally admitted to myself, Christy, if you cannot stand here to cut some cantaloupe, you probably shouldn’t try to run 13.1 miles tomorrow.

So, that was it—I decided not to run the half marathon. But y’all know me. I wasn't totally giving up. I decided I would do the 5K instead.

Well, that night, I woke up at about 1:30 a.m. with pregnancy insomnia. I was up the rest of the night, so I started talking with God about my plans for the race. And I thought, You know, maybe God is telling me not to run at all—like zero miles. Maybe I should sleep in, rest, and pay attention to what He's trying to tell me.

So, at 4:30 a.m., I decided to sit out of the race completely. No half marathon. No 5K. Nothing.

That was so hard for me. You know what I was hearing in my head? You said you were going to do it. You told people you were going to do it. You put it on your Instagram story. You can do it. You did the mileage. You could do this. You should do it. Are you just giving up? Because you know, you could make yourself do it.

To turn off this narrative in my head and decide to choose wisdom over pride was hard.

The next day, when I gave a recap of this on my Instagram story, someone messaged me and said, “Sometimes saying no is harder than running the race itself.” Isn't that true?

Sometimes sitting out, quitting, tapping the brakes, passing on an opportunity, and slowing down is actually harder than pushing forward and pushing through.

I don't know about you guys, but if I get really honest about what was going on in my head, it wasn’t about performing or caring about what others expected of me. It was about pride.

So, let me share something with you that I'm learning: Pride is not power. It's not strength. It's just pride. And wisdom is not weakness. It doesn't mean you’re less than. It doesn't mean you're settling. It doesn't mean you're lazy. It means you're wise. It means you're smart.

God did not let me go to that race. God did not let me push through, hurt myself, or make the wrong decision.

So, I want to give you a challenge today: Maybe right now you’re facing something hard, and you don’t want to say no or sit back because your pride is rising up. You’re thinking, I can do this. I should do this. What will other people think of me? I told people I was going to do it. Well, I want to encourage you to lean in and listen to God's will for your life—not yours.

Because if He's asking you to push through, I promise you He will give you the strength to do it. But if He's asking you to slow down, sit back, and say no, I promise you, if you lean in and listen, He will not let you make the wrong decision.

Jan 21, 2020

How to Be Authentic and Live Confidently as Yourself

 


1:19 How to Be Authentic

17:03 Being Authentic with Sarah Dubbeldam

41:10 Encouragement: God Did Not Create You to Berate You


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Be confident in your authenticity, even when life and other people try to push you around or tell you to be someone you're not.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to write an article for a very professional publication. Their readers are intellectuals, academics, and probably more conservative and elite. So, you can imagine my surprise that they wanted me—someone who prefers to be more casual and down to earth—to write an article for them about starting a business.

I submitted the article and was a little surprised when they came back with feedback that the tone of my writing was “too chatty.” I was like, Really? You’re surprised by that? Have you not heard me speak, read my blogs, or listened to one of my podcasts? Because that tone is actually my entire brand!

I remember thinking, If you don't want chatty, then you probably don't want me.

Related: Ep 86: Be More Confident by Believing in Yourself

I felt like this publication wanted me to be someone I wasn't. They wanted me to write like an academic with big fancy words, and that's just not how I write, talk or connect with people.

Thankfully, we ended up getting to a good place where they felt like the article met their standards and could be published while staying true to my voice. But it was really eye-opening for me to realize how important it is to not only be authentic, but to be confident in that authenticity, even when life and other people try to push you around or tell you to be someone you're not.

That's why today I want to walk you through how to be authentic in your daily life. This is going to help you not only be authentic, but also remain authentic no matter who tries to push you around. Let’s jump right in . . .

How to Be Authentic

1. Be vulnerable.

Let me go ahead and start by saying this is not my idea. Brené Brown introduced this idea of vulnerability years ago with her book Daring Greatly and her TED Talk “The Power of Vulnerability.” It's a brilliant concept that says, as we step out in vulnerability—as we open ourselves up, not just to pain but also to love—we’re able to have deeper connections and a deeper sense of confidence in who we really are.

As an Enneagram eight, vulnerability is really hard for me. So often I want to put up a tough exterior like I've got it all together. But the truth this: Authenticity is about trueness, and you can’t live your truest self without being vulnerable. If you’re always holding back a piece of yourself or hiding behind a tough exterior, how can you become who God created you to be?

That’s why vulnerability is so important when it comes to being authentic.

2. Tell the truth.

There are two extremes when it comes to telling the truth: There are those who never share the truth, and those who refuse to accept the truth.

Those who never want to share the truth lack the ability to be vulnerable. They want to act like everything is always great, so when someone asks how they’re doing—even if they’re going through a hard time or their kids are driving them crazy—their response is always, “Oh, I’m fine. I'm doing great.”

The other extreme are those who downplay or don’t acknowledge when things are going well in their lives. You know, this person: You give them a compliment about a beautiful meal, a flattering dress, or the way they lead the charge on a big project at work, and they dismiss it or downplay it. They say something like, “Oh, this old thing?” or “It was really a team effort. I didn’t do much.”

Related: Ep 83: Develop Self-Awareness and Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

When you dismiss compliments, you're not only dismissing your own sense of confidence in that moment, but you're also dismissing the truth. So, instead of always rejecting the kind things people say about you, resist the urge to say anything other than thank you. To live a more authentic life, tell the truth—when things aren’t going well and when they are.

3. Know your values.

So often we identify with the roles we play, like wife, mom, sister, friend, leader, etc. And what's interesting is, if we're not careful, we’ll always operate from the surface level of our roles. We’ll fulfill tasks for the people in our lives while missing the deeper layer of what our mind and our heart truly desires and values.

We say things like: “I’d love to work out, but I don't have time to. I value playing with my kids outside, but by the time I get home from work, I don't have any energy left. I’d love to go on a vacation with my husband, but we haven't even been on a date in months.” How can you say you truly value those things when you don’t actually do them?

When you don't spend your life and your time on things that are important to you, you'll live your life stressed, anxious and exhausted because there's an inconsistency between what you value and what your life actually reflects. So, a key to being authentic is to close that gap—to identify what’s important to you, and then actually do those things.

4. Love yourself.

It's amazing how we—women especially—will spend our entire day, from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, beating ourselves up about how we look, how we dress, how we keep our house, how we parent our kids, how we fail at work, etc. It’s an all day, every day narrative in our head that is mean and exhausting.

But you know what? You can't offer something you don't have, and you can't lead others where you are not. So, if you want to love people in your life, sister, you better love yourself first.

I love how Brené Brown says, “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”

Here’s a really practical tip to help you do that: Go to your Bible! God has some amazing things to say about you. He says He delights over you with singing. That He knit you together in your mother's womb. That He would move heaven and earth for you. That he chose you and that he loves you. You are precious in his sight. Replace the lies in your head and heart with those truths.

If you’ll practice these four things, you’ll be on your way to living a much more authentic life—one that is true to you and that you’re proud of.

Being Authentic with Sarah Dubbeldam

I'm so excited about my guest today, Sarah Dubbeldam! Sarah is the founder and creative director of Darling Media and Darling magazine, a publication that celebrates real women. I love this magazine so much. They have a beautiful quote on the back of their magazine that I believe illustrates what it means to live authentically. It says:

“Darling is the art of being a woman. Darling magazine holds the modern mold of women up to the fire to evoke a discussion on femininity and reshape an authentic design. Darling is a catalyst for positive change; leading women to discover beauty apart from vanity, influence apart from manipulation, style apart from materialism, sweetness apart from passivity, and womanhood without degradation. Darling leads women to practice the arts of virtue, wit, modesty and wisdom, all while creating beauty and embodying love. Darling says women are not only interesting but original, not only good enough, but exceptional, not just here but here for a purpose.”

On this episode, Sarah and I talk about:

  • Why it’s so important to live according to your values
  • What modesty actually means and what it looks like
  • How living authentically leads to living confidently

Encouragement: God Did Not Create You to Berate You

A few months ago, I had an experience that absolutely rocked me to my core.

My husband, Matt, and I were hanging out at our friend’s house for a cookout. The weather was amazing so we—the adults and the kids—were hanging out in the backyard.

My husband watched the boys while I ate, and when I finished, I told him I’d take over watching the boys so he could go inside and get some food.

Well, I went to throw my plate of food away, and the next thing I know, I see my husband running out of the back door to the front of the house. And as soon as I saw him dart past me, I knew what had happened: Conley, my son, had run off.

I took off after my husband and saw Conley standing at the end of the driveway with his toes on the street as cars were flying by. Thank God we got him. Nothing happened. But him getting out of the backyard and near the street was my fault. I was supposed to be watching him.

I cried the rest of the day and kept thinking, How could I be so stupid? What must my husband think of me? What must my friends think? Those thoughts went on and on as I beat myself up about the mistake I’d made.

Now, I want to be clear: The mistake I made that day—taking my eyes off Conley—was not okay.

But you know what else was not okay? How I lived in that shame for the rest of the day.

Related: Ep 76: Practice Self-Care and Give Yourself Grace

As I was praying throughout the day—praying and crying and praying and crying—I felt God say to me, “Christy, we’re a team. Conley is my son too, and I'm going to help you when you fall short. I'm going to be there. There's grace for you in your mistakes.”

I was so incredibly thankful for that reminder. And today, I just want to remind you: When you have those kind of voices in your head—when you make a mistake or you slip up and you're just beating yourself up—I want you to stop and ask yourself a question: Is this what God says about me?

Because I guarantee you, those voices are not from God because God did not create you to berate you.

God will coach. He will correct. He will convict. He will help you grow, improve and mature. But He will not tear you down. He is a God who builds up. He is a God who gives grace. He is a God who shows up. And He is a God who loves His children.

God doesn't just love Conley. God loves me—even in my flaws, my failures and my setbacks.

I love how the Bible reminds us that God is love. First and foremost, God is loving. So, if the thoughts you're feeling or the words you're hearing in your mind aren’t loving, then they're not from God. At the end of the day, the most important identity you take on is that of a loved, chosen daughter of the King. Rest in that today.

I hope this not only encourages you to appreciate someone that might be wired differently than you, but also gives you some practical tips to work better with them.

Jan 7, 2020

How to Set New Year's Goals That Will Transform Your Year

 


1:29 The Difference Between New Year’s Resolutions and New Year’s Goals

8:48 The 3 Qualities You Need to Set Smart New Year’s Goals

17:13 New Year Goal Setting with Rachel Hollis

28:31 Challenge: How to Love the Enthusiasts in Your Life


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Forget about New Year’s resolutions this year. They’re a waste of time.

Instead, set smart New Year’s goals you’ll actually accomplish.

Believe it or not, they’re not the same thing!

The Difference Between New Year’s Resolutions and New Year’s Goals

Resolutions might as well be considered a wish. It’s an idea of something you want to try that year. Sure, it’s fun and inspiring. But the truth is: We fall off the wagon by February. It’s the reason why you can’t find an empty treadmill at the gym in January. But by February, you can walk right into the gym and start running.

Goals are different from resolutions because goals are action oriented.

Zig Ziglar made goal setting popular with something he called the Wheel of Life. We talked about this in a recent podcast episode so if you haven't listened to that already, go back and hear me deep dive into the Wheel of Life in episode 88. To give you a quick recap, there are seven areas in your life you should prioritize and set goals in (especially New Year’s goals!):

  1. Career (or business)
  2. Finances
  3. Spiritual growth
  4. Physical health
  5. Intellectual growth
  6. Family
  7. Social

Today, I want to help you start 2020 on the right foot by setting New Year’s goals in each of these areas.

Because your ability to set goals will completely affect not just how you start the year, but also how you end it.

The 3 Qualities You Need to Set Smart New Year’s Goals

Every goal you set should have these three qualities:

1. Specific

A New Year's resolution like, “I want to run more,” doesn’t work because it’s not specific. And when you’re not specific, you can’t track your progress or even know if you’ve accomplished it or not.

For example, if you told me you wanted to run more, I’d ask you, “Well, how? Do you want to do long-distance running? Sprints? Do you want to run on the treadmill or outside? Do you want to do trail runs on your own or join a running group?” There's a lot of different ways for you to run more, so get specific.

2. Measurable

Then, I’d tell you to make the goal measurable by asking, “How much more?” Maybe you can run one mile right now without stopping and you'd like to work your way up to running five miles. Or maybe you want to sign up for a race and run a 5K or a half marathon. What is the measurable distance you want to be able to run in order to know that you've actually achieved this goal?

3. Have a time limit

Finally, I’d tell you to give your goal a time limit by asking, “By when?” If your goal doesn’t have a time limit, you won’t be able to measure whether you actually reached it or not.

Related: How to Write Smart Goals

Incorporating those three qualities into your New Year’s goal of running more would turn it into something like: I want to do more long-distance running and complete a half marathon by March 30th.

Now, that’s a goal! You’ll know exactly what you're working on and working toward. And of course, because you have these different ways to measure your progress, you’ll know if you achieved it or not, which is great accountability.

Set Even Stronger New Year’s Goals

Let’s take this one step further. If you really want to accomplish your goals this year, then I want you to add three more qualities to make them even stronger. Make sure they’re:

1. Yours

Your goals need to be things you want, otherwise you won’t work hard for them.

2. Realistic

There’s a long list of things I could never do no matter how many goals I set. And honestly, the same is true for you. Your goals should push you outside your comfort zone, but they shouldn’t be a pipe dream.

Related: Setting Short-Term Goals Based on the Season You’re In

3. In writing

There is power in writing things down. When you write down your goals on paper, you can see them, touch them, and feel them. They become tangible and take on a life of their own.

Y’all, I hope you’ll consider dropping resolutions this year in favor of strong New Year’s goals. Because goals that are specific, measurable, yours, realistic, in writing, and have a time limit are much more likely to be accomplished than a New Year’s wish.

New Year Goal Setting with Rachel Hollis

I'm so excited about my guest today, Rachel Hollis! Rachel is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, an unbelievable motivational speaker, the host of the Rise and Rise Together podcasts, and the founder and CCO of The Hollis Company. Oh, and she's also a wife, mom of four, and goal-setting master!

On this episode, Rachel and I talk about:

  • Why she wrote her book Girl, Stop Apologizing.
  • The unique way she writes goals to achieve big things.
  • How to stay disciplined and motivated in your humble beginnings.

Challenge: How to Love the Enthusiasts in Your Life

Years ago, a friend shared something brilliant with me.

She told me that most people fall into one of two categories: the wow person and the how person.

You know the wow person—you can't miss them! For them, everything is wow! “Wow, I have a great, new idea. Wow, we should totally do that. Wow, let’s take that vacation and leave tonight!” Can you take a wild guess who the wow person is in my marriage?

But we can't all be wow people—and that’s for the best. We all need our how people.

The how person usually counters the wow person with questions like, “How will this work? How long will this take? How much money will this cost? How would you feel? How will I feel? How will this end? How will we get it done?”

We need these people because they make sure things actually happen. While the wow people are busy dreaming and running off cliffs, the how people are asking very good, important questions about time, budget, resources and a path to success.

Related: Say What They're Thinking

This world is full of both wow people and how people. And as you can imagine, in most marriages, there’s a combination of both—opposites definitely attract.

The advice I received that day when I learned about these two types of people was about how the two can work better together. And I’ll tell you, it’s been transformational in my marriage.

Here’s how it goes:

If you’re the how person and you have a wow person in your life, you’re probably used to the wow person coming home every night with a new idea—because they always do. Am I right? They barge through the door and go on and on about their brilliant, new idea.

Typically, the how person will immediately go into their how questions. But today, I want to challenge you to do something different.

If you’re the how person, instead of going directly into your questions, don’t ask any how questions for 24 hours. I know. That’ll probably be really hard for you, but it doesn't matter. No how questions for 24 hours! Instead, join them in their wow by responding with enthusiasm like, “Wow, that’s amazing. Wow, that’s interesting. Wow, that's creative.”

If, after 24 hours, the wow person in your life is still talking about the same wow idea—which is highly unlikely because by then they’ve usually moved on to 17 different, new, more exciting ideas—only then can you start asking all of your how questions.

I know it sounds crazy, but just try it and see how it goes.

When I come home, my husband is very tempted to ask me all of his how questions when I have a new idea. But the reality is: I have a new idea every day. Very rarely do I come home and have an idea that I stick with days or weeks later.

But if it does stick, then, of course, we can get into the plan and all the practical stuff. But you know what? That’s why both types of people are important. We can’t have exciting, new ideas without the wow people, and we can’t bring those ideas to life without the how people. We need wow people and their big dreams as much as we need how people and their details.

I hope this not only encourages you to appreciate someone that might be wired differently than you, but also gives you some practical tips to work better with them.

Dec 23, 2019

Reflect on God's Faithfulness with This Christmas Tradition

 


0:53 My Favorite Christmas Tradition


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Merry Christmas, y’all!

A million years ago, before I was married and had kids, and before life got so busy, my mother encouraged me to try a new Christmas tradition—one she’d been doing most of her life.

Even before she had me, every year my mom would sit down and write a letter when she was packing up her ornaments after Christmas. In the letter, she would write about all the major things that happened in her life that year. She’d write about the highs, the lows, and everything in between. When she was done, she’d fold up the letter, pack it up in her box of ornaments, and put it away in the attic, not to be seen again until the following year.

Related: What People Want the Most From You This Christmas

A year later, when it was time to bring out all her Christmas decorations from the attic, she would open that letter and read it. She loved this tradition because it amazed her to see how much could happen in just a single year.

Well, I loved this idea so much that I also started doing it in 2006. Now, I'll tell you, it wasn't very sophisticated. I would sit down with a couple pieces of printer paper and just write down all my thoughts—in true Christy fashion, I rambled on and on and was very honest.

For example, in my letter from 2006, there's a line that says, “Dear God, please let me go on at least one date next year.” Well, bless my heart. Apparently, that was a tough year in the love department . . .

But you know what's so amazing? Year after year, as I've written these letters and then faithfully put them away to open the following year, I’ve always been blown away at not only how much can happen in a single year, but also how faithful God continues to be.

Ramsey Personality

I start every letter by talking about what happened that year, and I end every letter by writing out prayers, dreams and hopes for the next year. When I read the letter from the year before, I feel like I’m living in the fulfillment of God's promises that I had prayed for (and forgotten about).

I remember, in December of 2014, sitting on my couch, reading my Christmas letter from 2013. One of my prayers that year was that Matt and I could start a family. And y’all, I was holding that letter over a giant belly—my son Carter was due the very next month!

Of course, every year isn't like this. My letter from 2016 had prayers that Matt's grandfather, grandmother, and our 11-year-old dog Jackson would get better. But all three of those loved ones passed away that year. Tears streamed down my face as I read those heartfelt prayers. That was hard to read.

Related: Ep 70: How to Be Content in Every Situation

But you know what? Even in the despair, even in the grief, and even when it seemed like God didn't fulfill that promise or answer those prayers, I was still able to see God's faithfulness in how those events played out.

Business Ideas

Writing this letter has looked differently since marrying Matt because—I’ll be honest—he writes them reluctantly.

But we’ve gotten into a rhythm. Here's how we do it: Every single Christmas, I'll sit down with our notebook (we upgraded from printer paper!) and write my Christmas letter for the year. And then I’ll give the notebook to Matt so that he can write his letter. And the following year, I read my letter aloud to Matt, and Matt reads his letter aloud to me.

I’d like to point out that my letters are typically around 10 pages while Matt’s are usually around 10 words.

Allow me to read you a little excerpt from Matt’s letter in 2017: “As I sit down to write this, Christy is reciting all of the rules regarding the Christmas letter. They are numerous and overbearing.”

That man is a mess . . .

Another year, he wrote giant block letters on one page that said, “Christy says the letters need to be more than one page. So here is my second page.”

At least you know my husband has a sense of humor.

But you know what else is fun about this tradition? You get to see how much can change in one year—not just in your life, but in your mind. Let me give you an example.

In 2017, I wrote in all caps with three exclamation points: DONE WITH KIDS!!! You can tell that was a hard year for me as we transitioned from one to two children who were 18 months apart (while also launching a book!). I really thought in those first few months of having two kids that I was done. Like, all caps, three exclamation points DONE.

But this year, I'm surrounded by three kids and couldn’t feel more blessed. I can’t imagine our lives without our third baby, Mary Grace!

I love how, through this tradition, God has showed me things I want that I didn't even know I wanted. Having a third child was something I never could’ve seen coming when I was so tired from two kids and so sure I was done. But isn't it wonderful that God knows what we need and even what we want more than we do? Being able to look back on this journey is so special.

[share]Isn't it wonderful that God knows what we need and even what we want more than we do?[/share]

Related: Ep 80: Dream Bigger and Build the Life You Want

Y’all, I'm not great at journaling. I'm not great at sitting down on a regular basis, writing down my thoughts and feelings and all that stuff.

But once a year, I commit to doing this. I grab our notebook, sit down with my family, and spend 20 minutes recapping the past year and praying for the next one.

So this year, before you store up all your Christmas decorations and put them away in the attic, I want to encourage you to sit down with your family, pass out some paper and pens—make it fun and grab some hot chocolate—and pour out your heart to God. Write down your feelings, your experiences, your highs, and your lows from this past year.

And then write down your prayers for next year. What do you hope next year holds for you? What do you hope will be different? How do you hope God will show up in your life? Write it down, pack it up, and put it away with your ornaments.

Next year, when you sit down and open those letters, I think you’ll be amazed to see all that God has done. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Dec 10, 2019

How to Be a Successful Woman and Live a Balanced Life

 


1:26 How You Can be Successful in Many Areas of Your Life

4:39 Seven Areas of Your Life to Find Balance

11:30 Making Time for Both Your Family and Career with Sarah Sloyan

31:04 Leading with Grace and Strength with Jen Sievertsen

43:51 Focusing on Goals to Be Successful with Suzanne Simms

54:53 Challenge: The Best Way to Have What You Want


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


You can be successful in many areas of your life.

Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness, or Friends: Pick 3. I recently stumbled upon an article online with that title. And I have to tell you guys, I disagree with it. The idea that you can’t work, get enough sleep, and have time for family, friends and fitness is crazy.

I’m tired of hearing the message that if you’re winning at work, you're failing at home. Or if you're winning at home, you're failing at work.

What's interesting is, not only is this message common in media, but it’s also reinforced by the narratives in our heads. So many of us have this broken record on repeat in our heads telling us we're always failing. It's not if we're failing. It's which thing are we failing at today.

But you know what? It's simply not true.

Now, I know you can't do everything in the world (of course you can’t). But you can do the most important things. You can't take advantage of every single opportunity, but you can do the right things, and you can do more than three things. The truth is: You can be successful in many areas of your life.

Related: Ep 84: Cultivating Good Habits in Every Season of Life

7 Areas of Your Life to Find Balance

I love Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life. It paints a great picture of the most important areas of a person's life. If you’re not sure where you should be prioritizing your time, these seven areas are a great place to start.

The Wheel of Life isn’t a prescription for every single person, but it does hold true for most of us. Just like a bicycle, when one wheel isn’t working, the entire bicycle will have trouble moving forward. That’s why it’s important to find as much harmony and balance as possible in each area.

Let’s go through each of the different spokes of the Wheel of Life and what they each represent. This list is not in order of priority. You should prioritize these different areas based on your season of life, and then set appropriate goals in each.

1. Career (and Business)

You spend a lot of hours of your life at work or in your business. So this should be an area of your life that brings you joy and fills you up.

2. Finances

Your money affects everything. It impacts almost everything you want to do in life. That’s why you need to be intentional about how you manage your finances and set goals in this area of your life.

3. Spiritual growth

Growing in your faith is not going to happen accidentally. Your relationship with God is like any relationship. It will grow in proportion to the amount of time you invest in it.

4. Physical health

I’m not talking about being skinny here. I'm talking about how you feel. How's your energy? Are you sleeping enough? How are you taking care of yourself? We only get one body, so taking care of it should be a priority.

5. Intellectual growth

Are you investing in your personal development? What books are you reading? What conferences are you attending? What podcasts are you listening to? What are you putting into your mind that will change the actions you take and the decisions you make?

6. Family

It's really easy to take family for granted because they're just always there, right? But you know what? Your relationship with your family will grow in proportion to the amount of time you invest in it. So find time to pour into your family members.

7. Social

This area includes your friendships, hobbies, creative outlets, etc. It's really easy to neglect this one when you get busy. Friendships tend to fall by the wayside. But without friendships and hobbies, your life will feel unbalanced.

Related: Ep 67: How to Build Community With Your Business

I know it can feel overwhelming to think that these seven areas of your life need to be perfectly balanced.

But remember, life balance isn't doing everything for an equal amount of time. It's about doing the right things at the right time. It's about finding confidence in the choices that are right for you, knowing what those are, and then making them a priority.

You know, successful women don't do everything, but they do know that they can be successful at many things. And if you focus on your priorities, then you can too.

Being Successful in Many Areas of Life with Sarah Sloyan, Jen Sievertsen, and Suzanne Simms

Y’all, today is a special day because I’m sitting down with three incredible women! Sarah Sloyan, Jen Sievertsen and Suzanne Simms are all senior leaders at our company, Ramsey Solutions.

You may recognize these women from past Business Boutique conferences, where they sat on panels discussing topics like balancing family life with demanding careers. I had so much fun sitting down with each of them again—this time, individually. These interviews are jam-packed with incredible insight and wisdom into becoming a successful, well-rounded woman.

Sarah Sloyan is the senior vice president of EntreLeadership. But with three young kids at home, I wanted to talk to her about how she makes time for more than just family and career. We talked about:

  • Giving yourself grace when expectations aren’t met
  • Prioritizing the most important things according to your season of life
  • Letting go of unrealistic standards and cultural norms

Related: Ep 59: How to Work Smarter Not Harder in Your Life and Business

Jen Sievertsen is a Ramsey Solutions board member and the chief marketing officer. I so admire the way Jen leads with such grace and strength. That’s why I wanted to talk to her about:

  • Being a strong female leader without being a bulldozer
  • Going after something even when you don’t feel ready
  • Leading people who are older and more experienced than you

Suzanne Simms is a Ramsey Solutions board member and the senior executive vice president of the business to consumer division. Suzanne is gifted in saying no and standing her ground. We talked about:

  • Taking your season into account when setting goals
  • The most important question to ask yourself after you’ve set a goal
  • How to know when it’s time to quit something

Challenge: The Best Way to Have What You Want

A few months ago, my husband and I decided we were going to finally move forward with a bathroom remodel.

Now, our bathroom isn’t terrible, but it's also not great. In our house, it's probably one of my least favorite rooms. There's no counter space, the bathtub is tiny, there’s old tile all over the place—it’s just a sad, pitiful room.

So, you can imagine my excitement when we finally decided to get it updated.

We found a contractor, signed the contract, put a deposit down, and locked in the demo date on the calendar.

What’s so interesting is that from that moment forward, I became more frustrated with my bathroom than ever before. I could now envision the brand-new, luxurious bathroom we dreamed up with the contractor. So, every day, when my makeup brushes would fall into the sink or my legs would be cramped up in the tub, I would get even more annoyed than I’d been before we decided on a remodel.

Related: Ep 70: How to Be Content in Every Situation

Well, there was a small turn of events: The handyman had a scheduling conflict outside of his control and had to cancel our bathroom remodel.

Y'all, I was so disappointed that I didn't even want to go out and get a new quote. All my dreams and excitement for a beautiful, new bathroom went out the window.

Well, last night when I got home, our neighbors were out on the front yard and asked if we wanted to walk down to the duck pond with the kids. So, I grabbed my family and we joined them on the walk. And when we got back, the kids spent some time jumping on the trampoline.

And as I watched them jump, I thought, You know what? We live in the greatest house, in the greatest location, in the greatest city ever. I would not want to live anywhere else.  

And immediately, my perspective shifted from being disappointed about our bathroom to being so grateful for a beautiful house with great neighbors.

And then it dawned on me: The best way to have what you want is to want what you have.

There are so many people who would give anything to have our old, 1983 bathroom. There are so many people who would love to live in our house and be friends with our awesome neighbors. There are so many people who would love to live in this location and enjoy the yard we have.

All of a sudden, I was so grateful.

It's amazing how choosing to want what you already have changes your perspective.

Friend, I know you want bigger and better things. I love helping you go after your dreams and chase your big goals. But I just want to encourage you today: Don't get so focused on the finish line and so focused on the next thing that you miss the now. Don’t miss the opportunity to be grateful for what you have today.

Remember, the things we have today are things we prayed for years ago.

Nov 26, 2019

How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Even More

 


1:02 How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Even More

1:24 Write a Thoughtful Note

2:58 Be Hospitable

3:40 Disconnect Completely

6:12 Plan to Be Generous

7:55 Rest


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

I’m keeping this week’s podcast episode short and sweet because I want to get back to spending quality time with my family—and, of course, I want you to do the same.

I really love this holiday. Not only does it feel like the official kickoff to the holiday season, but it’s also such a sweet time to remember all that God has blessed us with. Whether you have plans to spend this week in a crowded house with tons of extended family members or you plan to keep things low-key, I want to encourage you to be fully present.

This holiday will be what you make it, and you can make it great.

Before I let you go today, I want to share five simple things you can do this week to make your holiday a lot more special:

1. Write a thoughtful note.

I think nice things about people all the time, but I always forget to tell them! Do you do that? I once heard someone say that thinking something nice about someone and not telling the person is like wrapping a gift and not giving it to them. That is so true!

I actually save every handwritten note I’m given. No matter what anyone says, handwritten notes are not outdated—they’re gifts people treasure.

So, this week, spend a little bit of time writing notes to people who come to mind. You can give them a word of encouragement, say thank you for something, or give them a compliment that will make their day. Receiving a handwritten note is rare in our digital age, so brighten someone else’s day with a sweet and unexpected note.

2. Be hospitable.

‘Tis the season to show love to the people God has placed in your life by inviting them into your home. But the truth is, the holidays are a difficult time for many people.

Maybe there’s someone in your life who doesn't have a place to go during the holidays. Maybe there’s a neighbor or a coworker who doesn’t have family in town.

This is the perfect opportunity to build new relationships by sharing your home, a meal, or even a simple cup of coffee with someone new.

3. Disconnect completely.

I’m not just encouraging you to silence your phone or put it in airplane mode. This Thanksgiving, I want you to put it out of reach and out of sight completely—at the very least, for one full day.

I often pick up my phone out of habit if I can see it. So if I'm sitting at the dinner table and I can see my phone close by, I’ll pick it up and check it—even if there’s been no ring or notification. But that doesn't happen when I can't see it.

That’s why I want you to put your phone in a different room, where it will be out of sight and out of mind. When you do this, you’re giving the people around you an incredible gift: your undivided attention.

And if you want to take photos, why not do something crazy, like buy a disposable camera that you can pass around? How fun would it be to see what kind of photos you get out of it?

4. Plan to be generous.

This is the time of year when we're all acutely aware of how much we have to be grateful for, and it puts us in a generous spirit. But you know what? You’ve got to plan for that in your budget and even put it on your calendar.

Believe it or not, a lot of nonprofit organizations have cut-off dates for their Christmas giving—some cutoffs are as early as the first week of December.

But you've got time right now! It's Thanksgiving—you’re ahead of the game.

You can even make a plan for random acts of kindness! Set aside a budget for things like paying for the order behind you in the drive thru, leaving a big tip at a restaurant, paying for someone else's groceries, or putting gas in someone's tank. It really does feel better to give than to receive.

5. Rest.

I’m preaching to myself right now, but if we're not careful, we will cram so much into our holiday schedule that we become more stressed, anxious, and frazzled than we are other times of the year. We've got potlucks, parties and guests from out of town to take care of—it can quickly become overwhelming.

Instead, I want you to intentionally hold yourself accountable to finding rest. Stop, slow down, sit on the couch, and don't feel like you always have to be doing something.

How about picking up food instead of cooking for that potluck? Gasp! Did I just suggest store-bought food for a Thanksgiving potluck? If it means you get to slow down, rest and enjoy the people around you more, then yes! Find ways to work smarter, not harder this holiday.

You know, God has a lot to say about rest. In fact, rest is positioned in the Bible as both a command and a blessing.

God knows what’s good for you. So slow down this Thanksgiving enough to rest in His presence and really appreciate all that He’s done, is doing, and will do for you.

All right y’all, if you want to make your Thanksgiving a little bit sweeter this year, write a thoughtful note to someone, open your doors and practice hospitality, disconnect completely, plan for generosity, and slow down enough to find rest in God's presence.

This is a really special time of the year, and you get to choose how you use it and what you do with it. I pray that the good habits you practice this week will go with you throughout the entire Christmas season as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 12, 2019

Be More Confident By Believing in Yourself

 


1:22 Choosing to Believe in Myself

5:59 How to Believe in Yourself

17:51 Faith and Belief with Mignon Francois

51:57 Challenge: The Right Time to Play Small


Resources

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


At our company, we get to go to church every single Wednesday.

That’s right, every Wednesday morning at Ramsey Solutions, our entire team of more than 850 people gets together to hear from amazing speakers, authors and pastors, like Max Lucado, Christine Caine, Donald Miller, Dr. Henry Cloud and Bob Goff—the best of the best.

For years, our leadership team has asked Ramsey Personalities, like me, Ken Coleman, Rachel Cruze, Chris Hogan and Anthony ONeal, to prepare one of these devotionals for our company. And to be totally honest, we don’t love the idea . . . like, at all. I’ll give you four reasons why:

  1. It's a lot harder to speak to close friends than it is to speak to complete strangers.
  2. When you see the kind of speakers we normally have, it’s easy to feel unqualified.
  3. We're supposed to teach Scripture, which is intimidating.
  4. Committing means writing a talk, practicing and preparing, which is a lot of extra work.

All of this together was enough to make me never want to do it.

Related: Ep 60: How to Face Your Fears and Do It Scared

But you know what they say: Never say never.

Choosing to Believe in Myself

A couple of years ago, I felt like God was taking me through a season of growth where He was teaching me many different things and stripping me of my pride.

One morning over Christmas break, I was sitting on my couch reading my Bible and journaling when, out of nowhere, I did the weirdest thing. I picked up my phone and texted my leader, “Hey, God's been taking me through a season of growth. So, if you ever want me to do a devotional, just let me know.”

I dropped the phone and couldn’t believe that I’d just sent that text. I thought to myself, Why did I do that? I don't want to do a devotional! I don't have any confidence in doing a devotional. My leader texted back almost immediately saying, “Love it. Let’s do January 2.”—which was one week away!

I spent the following week pouring over Scripture, praying, preparing and practicing. It was one of the most exciting and life-giving experiences I've ever been through.

Related: Ep 68: Inviting Faith Into Your Business

And you know what? I wasn’t even nervous. In fact, I felt this deep sense of responsibility to deliver this message that God had so clearly given me.

I share this story with you to show you that I still experience imposter syndrome. There are still situations that put me outside of my comfort zone and make me feel unqualified. But if we let these feelings drive our decisions, we’ll never step into what God has called us to do.

That's why I want to spend some time today talking about believing in yourself and having confidence even when you're scared. Let’s get right to it.

How to Believe in Yourself

There are four things you need to “get” in order to believe in yourself and grow in confidence.

1. Get secure.

If we're honest, 99% of our fears, doubts, insecurities and anxieties come from worrying about what other people think about us.

But what if you didn't care? If you’re secure in who you are and whose you are, then when someone says something hateful on Facebook, or your crazy aunt makes a passive-aggressive comment about a decision you made, it doesn't fluster you. It doesn't rattle you. It doesn't shake you up because you have a confidence that comes from within.

Look to Scripture to learn what God has to say about you—not Instagram.

2. Get positive.

Positivity is not a personality trait—it's a skill you can learn. It's also something that will have incredible, tangible benefits in your life. So, in any situation, when the path isn’t marked, when the rules aren’t posted, or when you find yourself in a gray area, I want you to assume that you can do it, assume it will work out, assume people do like you, and assume you will succeed.

Related: Ep 84: Cultivating Good Habits in Every Season of Life

3. Get Help.

It's really easy to stop believing in yourself when you don't feel like you have any of the answers. But y’all, that's okay! We can't do everything, and we certainly don't know how to do everything. The good news is, there are endless amounts of resources available at your disposal.

There's someone out there who is a little further along who can give you advice, tips and tools. There's the internet, which has an overwhelming amount of information. There are books you can read and courses you can take. So if you want to get confidence, go out and get the help you need.

4. Get experience.

Nothing will create authentic confidence in any area of your life like actually doing the thing. For example, I’m confident in things like public speaking, coaching, and writing books because I've been doing those things for years! I have experience in those areas.

Now, if I were to try something completely new, I wouldn’t feel as confident. I’d need experience. But it’s important for us to embrace that we’re all beginners at something.

Education is theory, but experience is real life application. Nothing will prepare you for the real thing, like doing the real thing. So, go do the thing!

Friends, when you’re not feeling confident, or when you’re having trouble believing in yourself, I want you to get secure, get positive, get help, and get experience. And remember, confidence is not a special gene that only some people have and others don’t. It doesn't matter if you're an introvert or extrovert. It doesn't matter what a personality assessment says about you. Confidence is a skill that you can learn.

Faith and Belief with Mignon Francois

I'm so excited to introduce you to my good friend, and today’s guest, Mignon Francois! Mignon started selling cupcakes to make ends meet even though she had zero confidence in her ability to bake out of a box.

She did it scared, and today she runs The Cupcake Collection, a multimillion-dollar bakery with two locations!

On this episode, Mignon and I talk about:

  • How to believe in yourself even when you’re in a tough situation
  • Why you need to stop waiting for the right moment and just go for it
  • How to believe God for bigger and better things in your life
  • Why it’s so important to be grateful for where you are and what you have

Challenge: The Right Time to Play Small

“Don't shrink back.”

“Don't play small.”

“Don't diminish yourself to make others comfortable."

I’ve been seeing this message all over my Instagram and Facebook lately—so much so that I want to take a moment to talk about it.

I think, when we boil it down, this message is all about confidence, which we talk about all the time around here. However, there's another side to this message that I want to make sure we don't miss.

Just because God made you a certain way doesn’t give you permission to stay that way forever. And here's what I mean by that: We all have strengths that we should leverage and use. We also all have weaknesses, blind spots, and things we need to work on, which is what I think we miss sometimes in this “go get ’em” mentality.

We forget that we also need to grow.

I don't want you to just go big, I want you to grow as you're going.

I want you to identify your blind spots and fix them. I want you to identify your weaknesses and improve them.

Related: Ep 83: Develop Self-Awareness and Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

Let me give you a personal example: I’m hotheaded. I'm a firecracker who is feisty, stubborn, loud, intense and sometimes aggressive. These can be great qualities when leveraged and channeled in the right way. However, they can also be weaknesses. I can bulldoze people, dominate conversations, intimidate people with different personality styles, and even hurt their feelings (but have no idea I did so).

But being that way doesn't mean that I get to barge into a room and say, “Christy Wright is here, take it or leave it. God made me this way, so deal with it.”

Absolutely not. You know what I need to do? I need to work on those weaknesses. In some instances, I do need to play smaller. I do need to be quiet and let others lead the conversation. I do need to learn how I'm perceived by others so that I can make appropriate adjustments.

Just because God made me strong and intense doesn't mean I get to use that as a permission slip to bulldoze other people.

Maybe you're the opposite. Maybe God made you soft-spoken, quiet, and gave you a sweet and gentle spirit. But you know what? God still wants you to grow. He wants you to speak up, stop being a doormat, and learn how to fight for yourself.

Regardless of your personality style, we all need to grow in our identity in Christ.

So, even though I want you to have big dreams, chase big things, speak up for yourself, and not play small, I also want you to work on your weaknesses. I want you to have people around you who are brave enough to tell you when you're out of line, when you’ve hurt someone's feelings, when you're being passive aggressive, when you’ve made a mistake, and to call you out on an area you need to grow in.

And I want you to have the maturity to receive those words and to make the necessary changes.

It's hard, it hurts, and it can be embarrassing. But I promise you, you’ll make more impact, have stronger relationships, and have more confidence in who you are when you know the right time to go big and the right time to play small.

Oct 29, 2019

LIVE From the Business Boutique Conference 2019!

 


3:09 I have so many passions and dreams. How do I combine them enough to feel fulfilled, but narrow them down enough to create a focus that creates more success?

12:10 I know I need to set goals, but I don’t know how or where to start. How do I learn how to create goals for my business?

16:00 What do you do when you feel like you are spinning your wheels and not moving forward?

20:31 If I launch before my journey is complete, do I risk failing from the start? Or is this simply a case of imposter syndrome?

24:13 What is the best way to handle copycats in your business?

28:24 Where is the first place newbies should start to attract ideal customers?

30:52 How do you create an email marketing plan?

35:27 How do I get my husband to realize, with owning my own business, I have to bring work home?

41:16 I have come from a 7 to 4 job. Now I have a blessing of working my own hours and enjoying my family. I don’t want my hours of work to take away from my family. How do I balance my work and family?


Resources

 

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


This episode is just like having lunch with some of Christy’s best friends!

Get to know photographer, business strategist, and host of The Jasmine Star Show, Jasmine Star; coach, consultant, and host of the Marketing Your Business podcast, Stu McLeran; comedian, musician, speaker, and host of The Kelsey Show, Kelsey Humphreys; and founder and CEO of The Cupcake Collection, Mignon Francois. They’ll answer your questions, and more!

This podcast was recorded during our Business Boutique Conference 2019 VIP Lunch in Nashville, TN.

Oct 15, 2019

Develop Self-Awareness and Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

 


1:21 The Difference Between Goals and Habits

6:24 Five Good Habits to Cultivate in Your Life

20:05 Building Good Habits with Anthony ONeal

42:31 Challenge: A New Habit for the Decision-Making Process


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

Business Boutique Academy Waitlist

We are opening enrollment for the Business Boutique Academy on October 25! Text the code ACADEMYWAITLIST to 33444 to sign up for the Business Boutique Academy Waitlist and be notified the moment enrollment opens!

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


There was a season in my life when I’d get up every single morning at 4 a.m. to work out.

There was a season in my life when I’d get up every single morning at 4 a.m. to work out with my friend Rachel Cruze at our local YMCA.

Yes, you read that correctly—4 a.m.!

We got up day after day, week after week, and month after month at that crazy, early hour. Honestly, we didn’t have any lofty goals. We didn’t even necessarily want to lose weight. We simply wanted to be healthier—and, I’m telling you, it paid off. I was in the best shape of my life.

Do you know why I saw such improvement in that season? It wasn’t because I exerted high, intense effort over a short amount of time. It was the result of being consistent with a new habit over a long period of time. The result was looking better and feeling better—and y’all, I even had biceps!

Related: Ep 82: Succeed at Anything By Understanding the Importance of Discipline

You know, when I look back at the last 10 or 15 years of my adult life, it’s easy to pinpoint the reasons why some years were really good and others were not so good. I can almost always trace the good or bad of any particular season to the habits I was cultivating (or not cultivating) that year.

Believe it or not, getting up at 4 a.m. to work out with my friend wasn’t super difficult. Sure, getting started that first week was hard. But after that, it got easier and easier because it became a habit. It became something I did without thinking.

The Difference Between Goals and Habits

We talk about goals all the time—y’all know what a major role they play in my life. But goals are different from habits.

Goals tend to have a starting point and an ending point. They’re an intentional action where you take initiative to do something new, big and impressive.

Related: Ep 38: Hitting Big Goals By Winning Small

Habits aren’t exactly like that. Habits are a recurring action you commit to doing day in and day out. They’re often not new, big or impressive. They’re small changes and tiny tweaks you make to your daily routine.

When you first start to cultivate a good habit, it feels insignificant and like you’re not making much of a difference. But over time, you begin to see the dramatic impact they can have on your life.

For example, cultivating a good habit might look like:

  • Choosing water over Coke every time you eat out at a restaurant
  • Reading Scripture first thing in the morning rather than scrolling through Instagram

Those are tiny, unimpressive habits. But over time, as you continue choosing water over Coke and Scripture over Instagram, you’ll notice a change in your life.

And it won’t happen because you set some big goal of losing 20 pounds or memorizing the entire New Testament. It’ll happen because you created a small, new habit. These tiny wins don’t have a defined finish line—they just become a part of you.

I love how James Clear says that building good habits is about small wins and tiny breakthroughs that compound over time. Y’all, that is so true. Small wins. Tiny breakthroughs. Big results.

5 Good Habits to Cultivate in Your Life

Because I know the power of good habits to transform your life, I want to talk about five areas in your life where you can intentionally cultivate new ones:

1. Taking care of you.

Taking care of yourself isn’t a pedicure once a year on your birthday. It’s not waiting until the holidays to buy yourself a gift. And it’s not holding off on a massage until someone gives you a gift card.

Taking care of yourself needs to be a regular practice.

Related: Ep 76: Practice Self-Care and Give Yourself Grace

This is one of those habits I don’t struggle with. I’ve learned that taking care of myself makes me a better mom, wife and business leader. It’s not out of selfishness—I actually take care of myself out of love for others. When you live your life busy, rushed and running ragged, you’re doing no one any favors.

2. Believing the best.

Choosing positivity and an optimistic attitude will be harder for some than others. But regardless of your personality type, we all can make the choice to believe the best in any situation.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, you can choose to believe that maybe they didn’t realize their turn was coming up. When someone forgets to text you back, you can choose to believe they just got busy. When someone says something that hurts your feelings, you can choose to believe they might be having a hard day.

When you give people the benefit of the doubt, it always works out better for both you and the other person. You always get to choose between assuming the worst or believing the best—I encourage you to choose the latter.

3. Working hard.

Coming from me, this one shouldn’t be a surprise. Whenever you have a task in front of you—whether it’s cleaning your kitchen, building your business, or anything in between—you better expect to work hard for it.

The truth is: There’s no such thing as an overnight success—not in your marriage, parenting, business, finances, etc. Anybody who got anywhere in any of those areas of life got there by working really hard.

That’s why I want to encourage you to work like it all depends on you and pray like it all depends on God—because it takes both.

So, let me ask you: What do you want? Whatever it is, cultivate the habit of working hard and you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

4. Investing in relationships.

It’s amazing how the quality of your relationships will impact the quality of your life. Have you noticed how they tend to go hand in hand? That’s why I want to encourage you to invest in creating real relationships.

Get together with your friends for coffee and meals. Take vacations with other couples. Show up for your friends in person and on purpose.

And there’s one relationship I want you to be insanely intentional about: your marriage.

If you’re married right now, I want you to know your marriage is not secondary to anything else in your life. It’s not secondary to your work, your business or your children. Your marriage will not be amazing by accident. It will only happen through the daily habit of investing in your spouse.

5. Protecting your time.

Your time is the most finite resource you have—if you don’t protect it, no one else will. If you don’t set up guardrails, everyone around you will tell you what should be important to you, what you should focus your energy on, and where your attention should be.

It is your right and your responsibility to protect your time. So, what makes it on your calendar? The only person who should be deciding that is you.

Related: Ep 34: Excuses That Steal Your Time

This list is a great starting point. But you can and should add to it!

What are some habits you want to cultivate in your life? Do you want to create new habits or kill bad ones? Whatever it is, I want you to know that your life is made up of the habits you create and the habits you live out every single day, so choose wisely.

Building Good Habits with Anthony ONeal

My guest today is going to inspire you to rethink how you make everyday decisions. Anthony ONeal is a national bestselling author, speaker, and Ramsey Personality. Anthony is passionate about helping millennials make better choices so they can build a successful future. I love how he says, “The caliber of your future will be determined by the choices you make today.” Amen to that!

On this episode, Anthony and I talk about:

  • Adjusting your mindset to cultivate better habits
  • Anticipating the reward rather than the sacrifice when trying something new
  • Focusing on a vision when starting a new habit
  • Noticing bad habits in your life you might’ve missed

Challenge: A New Habit for the Decision-Making Process  

Y’all know I love to teach from life experience, things I’m learning, and things I’m just not that good at.

Well, here’s something you may not know about me: I’m a yes person. Have you ever thought about why I spend so much time teaching you to say no? Because I struggle with it!

Any day, any time, if you ask me to do anything, my default answer is usually yes.

But, you know what? Saying yes all the time usually doesn’t lead to good results—it leads to resentment. You’ll find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, in places you don’t want to be, with people you don’t want to be with.

This is so hard for me because typically, when I first say yes, it feels like such a good idea. At the time, I always think, I can do this.

Related: How to Say No and Stand Your Ground

Here’s a great example:

Months ago, I signed up my son Carter for spring soccer at the local YMCA. I loved playing soccer growing up, so I thought my son might love it too. On the application, I put myself down as an assistant coach thinking, Sure, I can help in some way.

Well, a week before the season was supposed to start, I got an email from the YMCA saying they weren’t sure what they were going to do because the team didn’t have a head coach.

Can you guess what happened next?

I decided it was Christy’s job to save the day, so I responded, “I’ll do it!”

In a matter of seconds, I was signed up to be the head coach of my four-year-old’s soccer team while being pregnant and in my busiest season of work.

That season turned out to feel so long—and it was so difficult. The worst part is, it turned out Carter didn’t even like soccer!

Now how did I get myself into that situation—a situation where I had to fulfill a commitment that wasn’t fun for me or my child?

I got there by saying yes without thinking.

I don’t know about you guys, but often, when making decisions about how I spend my time or whether I say yes to a commitment, I ask myself two questions:

  1. Do they need me? (The answer is usually yes because they’re asking.)
  2. Can I do it?

That’s it.

But you know what? When you make decisions on those two questions alone, whoever’s the neediest, loudest, and can produce the biggest guilt trip will end up deciding how you spend your time.

So, instead of only considering those two questions, I want to give you some different questions to ask yourself before you say yes:

  1. Is this in line with my goals?
  2. Is this a priority?
  3. How will this affect my family?
  4. Do I want to do it?
  5. Does this compete with a higher priority?
  6. Will I want to do this a few weeks or months from now?

Friend, I want to challenge you to cultivate the habit of asking better questions when making decisions. Maybe your answer will be yes or maybe it’ll be a no—wherever you land, at least you’ll know the answer was right for you.

Oct 1, 2019

Develop Self-Awareness and Turn Your Weaknesses Into Strengths

 


1:22 What Is Self-Awareness?

6:32 Three Ways to Become More Self-Aware

18:53 Becoming Self-Aware Through the Enneagram with Ian Cron

40:56 It’s Not the Thought That Counts


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

Business Boutique Academy Waitlist

We are opening enrollment for the Business Boutique Academy on October 25! Text the code ACADEMYWAITLIST to 33444 to sign up for the Business Boutique Academy Waitlist and be notified the moment enrollment opens!

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


I’ve always been a huge fan of personality assessments.

DISC, Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder—they all fascinate me. I love reading the results of these different assessments because they’re usually pretty positive. You get an entire report that focuses on your strengths—who wouldn’t have fun reading that?

Well, earlier this year, my friend Rachel Cruze convinced me to take a different kind of personality assessment: the Enneagram. I took the test, not expecting to learn anything new about myself. But y’all, I was so wrong.

This assessment was so different from any other I’d ever taken. Rather than telling me what I was good at, this assessment revealed all of my weaknesses (Some I didn’t even know I had!), and the deeper motivations and fears associated with those weaknesses.

Related: Ep 79: Take Control of Your Life With the Power of Personal Responsibility

Not only did I feel like there was finally a personality assessment that truly understood me, but I also felt like it helped me understand myself better. Learning about the Enneagram has been transformational for me. It’s made me so much more self-aware.

And you know what? Knowing your weaknesses and being self-aware is one of the best gifts you can give to both yourself and those around you.

What Is Self-Awareness?

Being self-aware is about knowing your strengths and your weaknesses.

For example, self-awareness is about knowing how you come across to others—not just your intentions, but how you actually come across.

I’ve noticed a pattern in my life where people describe me as being intense and aggressive. But here’s the thing: I don't intend to be aggressive, and I don't think I'm intense.

I describe myself as enthusiastic and passionate. I’d never use the words intense or aggressive. But you know what? After hearing enough people use those words to describe me, I started to pay attention. It turns out, intense and aggressive is how I come across to other people.

Do you know what paying attention to those patterns did for me? It gave me a better understanding of how I actually come across to people so I could learn to adjust my tone, behavior or volume level based on who I'm talking to.

It’s pretty easy to be self-aware when it comes to our strengths, isn’t it? And it’s important to know what your strengths are so you can leverage them in your life and your business. But I want to spend this episode talking about the other side of the coin: what we should do with the not-so-good stuff.

Three Ways to Become More Self-Aware

We all have blind spots. You know what a blind spot is, right? Think about when you're driving in the car and want to change lanes. You slowly start to get over and all of a sudden you’re swerving back into your lane while someone blares their horn at you because you almost hit them. But you had no idea the car was there—it was in your blind spot.

And that's exactly what our weaknesses can be like for us—we’re not even aware they exist. But if we’re going to succeed in life and business, we have to be as familiar with our weaknesses as we are with our strengths.

So, let’s talk about three things you should do with your weaknesses:

1. Recognize your weaknesses.

I spent so many years unaware that I can come across as aggressive or intense—it was definitely one of my blind spots.

If we want to mature, improve our relationships, and become more pleasant people, we have to recognize exactly what our weaknesses are so that we can work on them (more on that later).

So how can you recognize some of your own blind spots?

  • Pay attention to patterns and themes around what people say about you.
  • If you don't notice a pattern, ask people you love and trust.
  • Take a personality assessment like the Enneagram or DISC.

2. Acknowledge your weaknesses.

Once you recognize your weaknesses, I want you to call them out. Own them and be up-front about them.

That's not to say you have to broadcast your weaknesses to the world, but when you sense you’re acting out of a weakness or you’re coming across in a negative way, go ahead and call it out. If you’re with someone, acknowledge it so they don't have to.

Related: Say What They're Thinking

Here's what's so amazing about this: When you acknowledge that you’re aware of your weakness, it completely disarms the other person. They feel immediate relief because they no longer feel the pressure to call you out.

If you simply acknowledge where you're coming from and the weaknesses that are influencing your reaction, it's amazing how beneficial it will be to yourself and the other person.

3. Work on your weaknesses.

Being self-aware of your weaknesses doesn’t mean you’re off the hook to act however you want to act. You don’t get to use your weakness as a pass for your behavior.

If your weakness is time management, and you acknowledge that, you don’t get an automatic excuse to be late everywhere you go. If you struggle with a short temper, you don’t get to say, “This is just who I am,” every time you blow up on someone.

We all need to work on our weaknesses, mature, and become better human beings in the world. But we can't do that if we don't actively work on our weaknesses. For me, I’m learning to be quiet, submit and respect authority, apologize more quickly, and let others lead.

So, what weakness do you need to take personal responsibility for? What do you need to commit to working on this week? Friend, there’s no shame in this. You’ll improve every relationship and interaction in your life when you work on weaknesses.

Related: Ep 82: Succeed at Anything By Understanding the Importance of Discipline

Working on your weaknesses is a long and difficult journey. But if you will commit to recognizing them, acknowledging them, and working on them, I promise you’ll not only become a more self-aware person, but you’ll also become a more mature, well-rounded, and pleasant person to be around.

Becoming Self-Aware Through the Enneagram with Ian Cron

I'm so excited to introduce you to my guest today, Ian Cron! He’s the bestselling author of The Road Back to You (a book I personally love that has transformed my life) and a master teacher of the Enneagram.

On this episode, Ian and I talk about:

  • How the Enneagram is different from other personality assessments
  • The difference between self-knowledge and self-awareness
  • The importance of being aware of your weaknesses and the underlying motivations
  • How to navigate relationships with people who aren’t self-aware

Challenge: It’s Not the Thought That Counts

As a speaker and author, I'm always trying to find ways to say something unique. I want to say something new that hasn't been said before because—let’s be honest—the world is full of overused cliché phrases.

Let's just go through a few examples, shall we?

Finish these sentences in your head:

Where there's a will, there's a . . .

Don't put all your eggs in one . . .

It's the thought that . . .

Here's the thing about these cliché phrases: Most of them are overused because they're true—except that last one.

Who came up with “It's the thought that counts?” And who’s used the phrase so much it’s lived on for centuries? I'll tell you who: People who don't do anything. “Oh, it's the thought that counts,” said every person ever who hasn’t followed through on their intentions.

It's not the thought that counts.

My husband's birthday is coming up, and there’s not a chance in the world he’ll be bragging the day after his birthday about what I thought about doing for him. He’s not going to be like, “Oh, my wife, she was going to get us tickets to my favorite concert, but she never got around to it. She never made reservations for dinner or booked a babysitter. But hey, she thought about it!”

Related: Ep 34: Excuses That Steal Your Time

Speaking of cliché quotes: The road to hell is paved with good intentions!

No one cares what you think about. They care what you do.

Your thoughts don’t change your relationships. Your actions do.

Your thoughts don’t change your business. Your actions do.

Your thoughts don’t reach your goals. Your actions do.

So, here's the deal: It’s not the thought that counts. It's what you do that counts.

It doesn't matter what you know. It matters what you do with what you know.

Do you have an idea? Great. What are you going to do about it?

Do you have a dream? Great. What are you going to do about it?

Do you have a plan? Great. What are you going to do about it?

Y'all, when you actually start to take action on your ideas, implement what you're learning, and do something with what you know, feel and dream in your heart, you really will be chasing your dream. You really will be building a business. You really will be creating a legacy. You really will be making an impact and changing the world.

Stop thinking about it and go do it.

Sep 17, 2019

Succeed at Anything By Understanding the Importance of Discipline

 


1:21 What Is Discipline?

5:05 What Does Daily Discipline Look Like?

14:14 How to Become More Disciplined

20:42 Maximizing Social Media for Your Business With Jasmine Star

40:56 Challenge to Just Be You


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

Business Boutique Academy Waitlist

We are opening enrollment for the Business Boutique Academy on October 25! Text the code ACADEMYWAITLIST to 33444 to sign up for the Business Boutique Academy Waitlist and be notified the moment enrollment opens!

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner

Get going on your goals and make 2020 your best year yet! Order the new Business Boutique 2020 Goal Planner at BusinessBoutique.com/Planner and use the code BBPLANNER to receive Christy’s Setting Goals video that you can watch right now!


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


I have a lot of feelings—even my feelings have feelings.

The worst part is, my feelings can easily drive my actions.

But you know what I’ve learned? If you build your business, your life, your dreams, or your goals based on feelings, you’re going to be on one heck of a roller-coaster ride. One day you’ll be up (excited, motivated and charging forward) and another day you'll be down (tired, disappointed and on the brink of quitting).

That's why I think it’s so important to talk about a skill that will help you create stability (something feelings don’t have) as you reach for your goals and chase your dream.

What’s that skill? Discipline.

I know, discipline is not an exciting topic. In fact, the word itself can have a negative connotation. You might think of the word in terms of disciplining your children or being disciplined in school or at work. But that’s not the kind of discipline we’re talking about.

We’re talking about being a disciplined person. Why is discipline important? Because discipline will help you be successful no matter what dream you’re chasing—it’s that simple.

Related: Ep 58: Perseverance in Your Business: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up

What Is Discipline?

Like so many qualities I teach about, discipline is not a gene only some people are born with.

Discipline is a choice and a skill you can learn. You can actually cultivate discipline in your own life, even if you don’t feel like it comes naturally to you.

The author Stephen King is a great example of this. He’s written countless bestselling books— many of which have become box office hits. He says there is one reason behind his success. You guessed it: discipline.

In fact, he doesn't even believe in writer's block. He says it's just an excuse writers use when they don't have any motivation to write. Talk about some tough love.

Stephen King writes 10 pages a day, even on birthdays and holidays. While you definitely won’t find me working on Thanksgiving or Christmas, I love the emphasis he places on the importance of discipline in making your dream a reality. I believe your success is not dependent upon your situation, your feelings, or how nice the weather is. It's dependent upon your level of discipline.

I love how my friend Christine Caine puts it: Vision will inspire you, but discipline will get you there.

What Does Daily Discipline Look Like?

When you break it down, discipline in your day-to-day life is pretty straightforward. It looks like:

  • Following through on what you said you were going to do, even when you don’t want to
  • Holding yourself accountable, even when no one is watching
  • Honoring your word, even when your heart’s not in it
  • Sticking to the plan, even when you’re not motivated
  • Keeping promises you made to yourself, even when you’re exhausted
  • Getting back up and dusting yourself off, even when you’ve failed
  • Choosing to be the person you want to be over the person you feel like being, even when you’re in a tough situation

That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Related: Ep 79: Take Control of Your Life With the Power of Personal Responsibility

Y’all, it is possible to be this kind of person. That’s why I want to give you three practical ways you can become more disciplined in your daily life. 

How to Become More Disciplined

1. Take the first step.

When someone isn’t motivated to do something they want to do, I always encourage them to find the lowest-hanging fruit or the quickest win. Starting with big goals can be overwhelming—and feeling overwhelmed before you start is enough to make you not even try.

Related: Ep 78: How to Be Successful at Anything by Starting Small

That’s why I want you to set small, realistic goals. For example, instead of saying you’re going to clean the entire house today (which would overwhelm anyone!), just start by putting away the laundry.

What's amazing about taking one, small step is that once you start, you gain momentum. And that momentum propels you to take the second step. Once you put the laundry away, you’ll have enough momentum to tackle the dirty dishes. And after the dishes, you’ll naturally start cleaning the counters. Eventually, you’ll do more than you originally set out to do!

Sometimes the tiniest step in a new direction is all you need to gain incredible momentum.

2. Set yourself up to win.

This is really key for anyone who wants to be successful.

Oftentimes, we set a goal or talk about a dream, but then we put ourselves in situations where we’re bound to fail.

If you have a goal to eat fewer sweets, you probably shouldn’t keep mint Oreos in your pantry. If you need to work on your business more often, you should probably create an organized environment that gets you excited to work. If you want to exercise more often, maybe you oughta sleep in your workout clothes or set them out the night before.

When you set yourself up to win, you make it possible to be a disciplined person.

3. Find accountability.

Having accountability goes hand in hand with setting yourself up to win.

If you want to work out more, join a workout group. If you want to become a better writer, join a writers meet-up. If you want accountability to read more, join a book club.

So, what are your goals? What are your plans? In what area are you trying to become more disciplined? Surround yourself with people who have those same dreams and goals and who will support you, provide accountability, and cheer you on.

The bottom line is this: Discipline is a decision you make. It's not a feeling or a gene. And it's not something negative that will make you miserable. In fact, it’s the exact opposite. Discipline is a tool and a skill that will truly get you to where you want to be.

Cultivating Discipline With Dave Ramsey

My guest today is a living example of the importance of discipline. Dave Ramsey is a New York Times bestselling author, host of The Dave Ramsey Show, CEO of Ramsey Solutions, and an unbelievable mentor and leader to me and so many others.

Discipline is foundational to just about everything Dave teaches. Because, at the end of the day, discipline is what it takes to win at anything in life.

On this episode, Dave and I talk about:

  • How different personality styles relate to discipline
  • How to stay motivated when what you’re doing isn’t impressive or exciting
  • What discipline looks like tactically and practically
  • Why it’s important to believe in yourself when cultivating discipline

Challenge: Giving Credit as a Discipline

Let’s talk about a trend I keep seeing all over social media.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scrolling through Instagram or Twitter and noticed a catchy graphic, great quote or some other form of memorable content.

Later in the day (or even a few days later), I'll be scrolling again and see that same piece of content reposted by someone else without giving credit to the person they copied it from. The post will have the same design, the same graphic, and even the same words.

Now, here's the thing: I know when you see something on social media that really catches your eye, it's tempting to want to share it with your followers. And I think you should! But I want to give you a challenge.

I want to challenge you to have the discipline to do a little digging to find out where that quote or content came from so you can give credit where credit is due. Or at least acknowledge that you don't know where the content originated, but that you didn’t create it.

I'm not really interested in how not giving credit will hurt the person who originally created the content. I'm more interested in what it does to you and other people's perception of you. Because let me tell you, when your followers see a post you’ve shared that you didn’t create, more likely than not, they’ll know. After all, they’ve probably already seen it five other times on their social media feed!

That’s why I want to challenge you to have the integrity and discipline to either create your own content or give credit when you share someone else’s.

Related: Ep 51: How to Build Trust With Your Social Media Followers

You are in control of what you put out into the world, and the impression and perception you create online is massively important.

Remember, it’s the small things like this that will either build trust with your tribe or break it.

Sep 3, 2019

Balancing Social Media in Business and in Life

 


1:20 Five Ways You Can Create a Healthy Balance with Social Media

18:51 Maximizing Social Media for Your Business With Jasmine Star

40:20 Challenge to Just Be You


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

Business Boutique Academy Waitlist

We are opening enrollment for the Business Boutique Academy on October 25! Text the code ACADEMYWAITLIST to 33444 to sign up for the Business Boutique Academy Waitlist and be notified the moment enrollment opens!

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner 

The NEW Business Boutique Goal Planner is almost here! join the waitlist today by texting BBPLANNER to 33444.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Let's be honest: Social media is hard to balance.

Most of us have a love-hate relationship with it, right? We love to check Instagram and know what's going on. But then we hate ourselves for wanting to check it all the time. When we open Facebook multiple times a day, we feel guilty for not paying more attention to our kids or our work.

So, we swing between two extremes: being on social media all the time or feeling like we can't be on it at all.

That's why I think it’s so important to talk about how to balance social media. Because the truth is, social media in and of itself isn’t evil. It's all in how we use it. In fact, social media has a ton of great benefits:

  1. It allows you to stay connected with family and friends who live far away.
  2. It gives you a place to share exciting updates—from new babies to new homes.
  3. It's like having a giant virtual album of multiple years of your life.
  4. It allows you to connect with different groups of people who have similar passions.
  5. When it comes to your business, it’s free marketing!

I want you to take advantage of these awesome benefits, but I still want to encourage you to build healthy boundaries around your screen time so it doesn’t consume your life.

Here are Five Ways You Can Create a Healthy Balance with Social Media:

1. Know when not to use it.

There are times to use social media, and there are times not to use social media. Some examples of times you shouldn’t use it are when you’re:

  • Having dinner with your family
  • On a date with your spouse
  • Having lunch with a friend
  • In the middle of any kind of conversation with another human being

Related: Ep 70: How to Be Content in Every Situation 

When you check social media while someone is trying to spend quality time with you, you communicate that they're not as important as whatever is happening on your phone. To avoid the temptation to even look down at your phone when you’re spending time with someone, put it out of sight completely.

Before you take out your phone to check what everyone else is doing or to post what you’re doing, you can also ask yourself some important questions like:

  • Is it more important that I know what everyone else is doing right now, or is it more important that I experience what I’m doing?
  • Is it more important that the outside world knows what I'm doing right now, or is it more important that I experience it myself?

I’m willing to bet, almost every single time, these questions are no-brainers. So put your phone down. Keep it in your purse or your pocket and be where your feet are. Be present in the moment.

2. Pick your balance.

I can give you all the tips and tricks to balance social media, but at the end of the day, you have to decide the types of boundaries you need. You have to decide what time you're on and what time you're off, and what times you're responsive and what times you're unresponsive.

I don't want to be the person who’s available 24/7, blasting out every single thing I do. But I also don't want to be a person who's not present on social media at all. We’re all different—that’s why we all have to figure out the balance that’s right for us.

3. Check yourself.

This is simply accountability. It's easy to set goals and put up guard rails around what you want to do. You can have great intentions, but it’s so easy to fall back into bad habits.

That’s why I love the screen time feature that’s available on most phones. You can get a report at the end of every week that lets you know how much time you spent on your phone over the past few days. It’s an eye-opener.

Y'all, I dare you to check what your average screen time was this week. Does it fit within the boundaries you want to set? Check yourself and keep yourself accountable to the life you want to live.

4. Don’t mix business with personal.

Normally, I talk about this in terms of your bank accounts: Don't mix your business finances with your personal finances. But you don't want to mix your social media usage either. Of course, you should post some personal stuff on your business page and some business stuff on your personal page.

What I'm talking about here is getting on social media to post for your business and then two hours later, you're scrolling through cat memes and stalking your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. This is where we get sucked into the black hole of social media.

If you go to social media to respond to direct messages or schedule a post for your business, do that and then get out before you waste a bunch of precious time.

Related: Ep 62: How to Stay Focused and Eliminate Distractions in Your Business

5. Take breaks.

It's always good to take periodic breaks from social media. Whether it's one day, one week or even one month—figure out what that frequency looks like for you.

For me, I usually take breaks when I’m on vacation. If I go on vacation with my husband, I intentionally don't use my phone. I don't check social media or post updates. It's an amazing gift you give yourself (and others!) when you’re simply present. And it feels great when you’re free to disconnect and not stay up to date with the rest of the world.

Your experience with social media doesn’t have to be this love-hate relationship anymore. Instead, take the pressure off yourself and find a healthy balance that’s right for you.

Maximizing Social Media for Your Business With Jasmine Star

I'm so excited about my guest today, Jasmine Star! Jasmine is a business strategist and photographer, and she helps entrepreneurs grow their impact through social media. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time, and I'm so excited that she’ll be speaking at our Business Boutique Conference in October!

On this episode, Jasmine and I talk about:

  • Starting small and turning a hobby into a business
  • Understanding the power of one follower
  • Positioning your business as someone else’s solution
  • Creating the right content for your target audience
  • Getting long-term results on social media 

Related: Ep 55: Making a Social Media Strategy That Works

Challenge: Just Be You

One of the things I think is really important in business and in life is to be yourself. I want everyone to intentionally make decisions in their life that make them feel more like themselves.

I know this sounds crazy, but all day, every day, we tend to make decisions based on what other people think, what other people want, what other people say and what other people expect from us.

Related: How to Be More Confident

But here's the thing: What the world actually needs is for you to be you. The decisions you make in your life should make you feel like you’re being true to yourself—not what somebody else expects from you.

Many of you know I have a baby girl on the way. And part of growing our family meant I needed a bigger car. I've been doing some car shopping the last few months and even posted about the journey on my Instagram story. I asked all of you what your favorite SUV was because I was overwhelmed by all the options.

There are a million choices out there!

Well, the key word in my question was SUV. I was 100% certain I wanted an SUV because I'm an SUV kind of girl. However, in addition to all the responses I got from those of you telling me about your favorite SUV, I got equally as many responses from people trying to convince me I needed a minivan.

And that group made a great case. I mean, I was actually pretty impressed with the list of features you knew off the top of their heads. Minivans might be amazing, but here's the thing: They're not me.

I think they're right for some people. But to me, minivans at their core are practical. They're easy to get in and out of. They come with vacuums and DVD players. They've got sliding doors and remotes to make them open.

But I'm not a practical person. So selling me on your list of practical benefits will never work on me. I would never want to drive a vehicle that doesn't feel like me. The car I ended up getting is a mom SUV, because let's be honest, that's also me. That's the stage of life I’m in with three kids.

But it's not just about the car, y'all—it's anything in life. The same is true when it comes to what your business should be, what your dreams should be and what your goals should be—they should be you.

If you hate running, you shouldn't make running a 5K a goal. If you hate yoga, you shouldn't set out to go be a yoga master. If you hate business, risk, responsibility and unpredictability, you shouldn't build a business.

It all comes down to knowing who you are and what's right for you, and then making decisions that are in line with those values.

I don't know what your friends and family are telling you, but I want to give you a challenge and an encouragement: You have the right to be you.

At the end of the day, we all need to make decisions in line with who we are—and we need to encourage each other to do so as well. That’s why your challenge today is to figure out what those things are. What are the things that make you you? Have the confidence to live your life in line with whatever makes you more like yourself.

Aug 20, 2019

Dream Bigger and Build the Life You Want

 


1:24 Why We Stop Dreaming and Three Steps to Dreaming Bigger

21:17 Pursuing Your Wildest Dreams With Bob Goff

48:47 Encouragement to Remember that God is a Personal God


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner 

The NEW Business Boutique Goal Planner is almost here! join the waitlist today by texting BBPLANNER to 33444.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Growing up, I had this aunt named Gloria who I thought was the coolest person around.

She was beautiful, independent, drove an amazing car, and had a Rottweiler who went everywhere with her. But the coolest thing about her was that she lived on a farm by herself. She had horses, chickens, pigs, goats and everything that went along with the ideal farm life I fantasized about.

To me, her life looked like the greatest life ever. I would often look at her and think, That’s who I want to be. That’s the kind of life I want to have.

Well, fast-forward a few years to my early 20s when I was working 80 hours a week at a nonprofit. I was looking to downsize from a three-bedroom apartment with roommates to a one-bedroom apartment where I could live on my own. During my search, I came across an ad in the newspaper for a 40-acre farm for rent just two miles from my job—not exactly downsizing, but gasp!

I immediately picked up the phone and called the number on the ad.

It was perfect for me.

Okay, so I couldn’t afford the rent they were asking for, I had no idea how to run a farm, and I was working insane hours at my day job. So, if we’re being completely honest, it didn’t make any sense at all—everything about it was impractical.

But, y’all! It was my dream to live on a farm, so you better believe I wasn’t going to let “practical” stop me from pursuing it.

Related: Ep 60: How to Face Your Fears and Do It Scared

The next day, I went to visit the farm in person. Once I left, I scrounged up enough money for the deposit and moved in a few days later. At 23, I was living my farm dream. Sure, I had to start a side business boarding horses in the empty stalls so I could afford the rent, but I couldn’t have been happier.

Looking back on that experience, I could’ve easily missed out on living out that dream. Because the dream wasn’t happening on the time line I thought it would happen on (like in my 50s when I’d have more money, a spouse and kids), it would’ve been easy to convince myself that it wasn’t the right time.

But you know what? More often than not, dreams aren’t practical, and they certainly don’t always come to life in practical ways. Thinking practically is just one of the many reasons our dreams get smaller and smaller as we get older.

Why We Stop Dreaming

It’s so easy to dream when you’re little, isn’t it? You believe you can do anything, be anyone, and accomplish all the big dreams in your heart. But at some point, life—and other people—gets to you. You get bogged down by people telling you to do more practical things that have a guaranteed path to success.

So your dreams slowly start to fade into the background.

Related: Ep 74: Find Your True Self and Get Back to You

And if you do dream, you play it safe. You keep your dreams small and doable so you can control and contain them. You also convince yourself that dreaming any bigger is selfish when so many people (your kids, your husband, your church, etc.) are counting on you.

Does that “logic” sound familiar?

So often, we women believe our heart’s desires are selfish. When the reality is, God is the one who placed that dream in you to begin with. He never called you to live a small life, and He certainly never called you to stop dreaming.

I know that dreaming is hard. You feel vulnerable (because what if it doesn’t work?), silly (because what will other people think?) and even a little scared (because what kind of changes will this dream bring?).

But I want you to do it anyway. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve stopped dreaming—it’s never too late to start dreaming again.

I want you to dream so big that if God’s not in it, you’ll fail. Dream so big that you can’t see the path forward—so big that you need God to show up and perform a miracle to make it happen.

Friend, this is possible. Dreaming again will feel weird at first, but I believe it’s a practice—not a onetime thing. If you need to get back to dreaming big for your life, I’ve got three steps to help. When you practice these three steps, little by little you’ll see your dreams—and the real you—come back to life.

Three Steps to Dreaming Bigger

Step 1: Own it.

Dreaming again starts with owning what you want out of life.

Honestly ask yourself, What do I want for my:

  • life
  • future
  • children
  • marriage
  • business
  • finances
  • faith journey

What do you want?

Your answers to these questions are your hopes and dreams. And when you acknowledge your dreams, you give yourself permission to desire those things. Because, friend, you are allowed to want more!

Related: Ep 78: How to Be Successful at Anything by Starting Small

So many of us spend our lives trying to convince ourselves and others that we’re fine with how things currently arethat we don’t want more for our lives. But I’m here to tell you that life is about more than Legos and laundry. It’s okay to desire something more! God wants you to live an abundant life, and He’s prepared to “give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4 NIV).

Your dreams matter. Acknowledge and own what you want, and then trust God to provide it.

Step 2: Say it out loud.

I know. This is scary!

But do you know why saying your dream out loud to someone is scary? Because it makes the dream real.

When you say your dream out loud, you take the dream out of the battlefield of your mind, where the voices of fear and doubt attack. Only then, do you bring your dream into the real world, where it can take on a life of its own.

On top of that, when you tell people you love and trust about a new dream, you have accountability to work toward it, and your loved ones will rally around you to help make it happen.

Related: Say It Out Loud This Year

You’ll hear things from them like:

“I have several friends in a running group. You could meet up with them to train for your first 5K!”

“A guy at my church does graphic design. I’m sure he’d help you with your logo and website!”

“Oh, my cousin works in real estate. He can help you get your house on the market!”

As silly as it sounds and as vulnerable as it feels, a dream takes on so much power when you say it out loud.

Step 3: Write it down.

Writing down your dreams is another level of accountability to yourself. The action turns your dreams into goals and your goals into a plan. You go from being a dreamer to being a doer.

No longer is your dream just a conversation you had with a friend that you might forget about. Instead, you’ve now painted a clear picture for yourself of what you need to do to make that dream a reality.

Your heart’s desires are not bad things or selfish things—they are God things. That’s why I want you to own your dreams, say them out loud, and write them down on paper.

And I also want you to get your hopes up, sister, because our God is the God of hope. He will make a way for you and all those big dreams in your heart.

Pursuing Your Wildest Dreams With Bob Goff

I’m so excited about my guest today!

Bob Goff is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and the host of the Dream Big podcast. If you’ve read his book Love Does, then you know about his crazy determination to not only dream big, but also find ways to bring those dreams to life.

On today’s episode, Bob and I talk about:

  • Tapping into our inner child and dreaming like we used to
  • Living an engaged life
  • Getting over the obsession of caring what others think about you
  • Dreaming big for your life again

Encouragement: A Personal God

One of the things I’ve noticed in my walk as a believer is that so often we want formulas for our faith. We want a road map that we can reference for how God is going to help us through whatever situation we’re going through. But God doesn’t always do things that way.

God does not work in formulas. He’s not going to treat you and your situation the same way He would treat it for your friend, neighbor or coworker. Even if you’re both going through a similar situation, you likely won’t experience the same journey or results.

Why is that? Does God take someone a different route because He sees something they don’t—or because He likes them more than He likes you?

Years ago, I asked my mentor Eve why she thinks there are so many denominations within Christianity. My question was: How could we all love the same God but have different ideas around how to love Him?

Our conversation went a little something like this:

Eve: “Christy, look at Scripture. When Jesus healed the blind, how did He do it?

Me: “Well, a lot of different ways. One time he used water, another time He used mud, and another time He just spoke it.”

Eve: “Exactly. He had a lot of different methods to get to the same result.”

When we have a certain experience with God, we tend to get together with other people who have had that same experience, and collectively we think our way is the right way. So those who were healed by mud got together with others who were healed by mud, and they believed God always heals with mud. And those who were healed by spit got together with others who were healed by spit, and they believed God always heals with spit, and so on.

Don’t we also do that in life? We see our way of doing things and think it’s the only way or the right way. We think, If God did something in my life, then that must be the way He will always work. So our way becomes the rule for everyone else. We think, This must be the way you worship. This is the way you hear from God. This is how you practice obedience.

But you know what? God is not only bigger than the box we try to put Him in—He’s also much more personal than that.

God will take people down different paths that lead to the same destination: restoration. It’s easy for us to pass judgement on someone who is going in a different direction than the way we went. But what we don’t realize is, God is taking them that way on purpose.

Your relationship with Him is personal, so your path with Him will be personal.

So, if you’re seeing a friend, coworker or neighbor going down a different path or handling a situation differently than you would, don’t be discouraged. It doesn’t mean God has forgotten about you. It doesn’t mean He doesn’t have good plans for you. And it certainly doesn’t mean your friend is “doing it wrong.” It might just mean that God is using a personal approach with them, and He’ll do the same for you.

 

Aug 6, 2019

Take Control of Your Life With the Power of Personal Responsibility

 


1:25 Three Reasons You Might Not Be Accepting Personal Responsibility

19:39 The Importance of Personal Responsibility with Rachel Hollis

33:12 Encouragement to Choose Could Over Should


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.

2020 Business Boutique Goal Planner 

The NEW Business Boutique Goal Planner is almost here! join the waitlist today by texting BBPLANNER to 33444.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Taking control of your life sounds like a nice idea, doesn’t it?

But let’s be real: So often we feel like we actually don’t have any control at all.

We feel like we’re tossed left and right by the seasons of life and the people in our life.

You know what, though? We actually have more control than we think we do.

Your situation right now might be really hard—maybe it’s harder than anything you or I have ever been through. But here’s the great news: That’s not your only story, and it’s certainly not the end of your story.

You Can Take Control of Your Life

If you’ve ever seen the hit ABC show Shark Tank, you know the story of how Daymond John built his clothing company, FUBU, from nothing.

Daymond was raised by a single mother. When he was 10, he started working to help his mom make ends meet. The hip-hop movement inspired him to start a clothing line, so he started sewing sweat shirts and hats in his mother’s living room. (By the way, when he first officially launched his clothing company, he was still working as a server at Red Lobster!)

Today, FUBU has brought in more than six billion dollars in global sales.1

Let’s look at one more example: Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. (Who else is grateful for this shapewear brand?)

Nobody handed Sara her fame and fortune on a silver platter. In fact, she failed the LSAT twice, worked as a chipmunk character at Disney World, and even spent seven years selling fax machines door to door before she ever started working on her idea for Spanx. When she pitched the idea for Spanx, she was met with rejection after rejection, until finally she convinced one manufacturing company to produce her product.

Today, Sara is one of America’s richest self-made women.2

Do you know what stories like those reveal to me? We often fall into the trap of believing our situation is impossible to climb out of. Meanwhile, others—like Daymond and Sara—are refusing to be defined by their circumstances. Instead, they’re taking control of their lives and changing the outcome.

Related: Ep 70: How to Be Content in Every Situation

The truth is, you have control in the good and the bad times. The way you view your life—and your belief about the amount of control you have—will have a major impact on how your life turns out, whether you reach your goals, and how your story unfolds.

Your ability to take control of your life is connected to the amount of personal responsibility you’re willing to take. It’s also connected to the amount of determination you choose to have in your life. The important thing to note here is that taking personal responsibility for your life is more dependent on you, your choices, your beliefs and your actions than anything else going on around you.

Whatever your situation, I know it’s real. I’m not discounting what you’re going through—I know your situation is a factor in your ability to be successful. But I also believe your circumstances should not define you. Because there is a person who can change circumstances, who can fix broken things, and who can choose something different—and that person is you.

That’s why today, I want to talk about three major reasons we often feel like we’re not in control of our lives.

Three Reasons You Might Not Be Accepting Personal Responsibility

There are three different obstacles I’ve faced in my life—and seen other women face in theirs—that could have easily led me to believe I didn’t have the ability to control my destiny. Let’s walk through each and talk about how we can overcome them moving forward.

1. A victim mentality

A victim mentality is all about your beliefs. You don’t believe you have any control of your situation, so you sit back, wait and pout. You have a pity party, and you invite everyone else to join.

When you have a victim mentality, it’s always someone else’s fault that you can’t have what you want, do what you want, or be who you want to be. It’s never your fault.

This victim mentality is really common and can come from many outside sources, like teachers, parents or the culture around you. But you’re not born with the idea that you’re not in control of your life—this belief is learned.

That’s why I want to encourage you to change your attitude. Because guess what? Your belief system is just that—it’s yours. You get to choose what you believe.

If you start looking for examples of optimism, perseverance, persistence and determination, I’m willing to bet you’ll find them—because they’re out there.

No one is going to change your attitude for you—you have to do it. You can choose to believe something better than what you were raised to believe. You can choose to believe something different than what you’re surrounded by every day. You can choose to change your attitude and take control of your life.

2. Exhaustion

As women, we’re experts when it comes to running ourselves ragged. We go nonstop, 24 hours a day. We do whatever it takes to be a great mom, wife, business owner, church member, and then some.

And because we’re doing all the things, we’re constantly tired.

That reminds me of a really challenging season I went through in the fall of 2017. I was still adjusting to being a mom of two while launching my new book and traveling a ton for speaking engagements.

I remember coming home one day and telling my husband, “I don’t know why I do this. I don’t have to do this.” And I’ll never forget what my husband said in response: “Yes, you do know why you do this. You know about the lives that are being changed and how God is using you. You’re just tired.”

There was such wisdom in his words—he was spot on. The reality is, I love my work! But in that moment, I didn’t feel in control because I was so tired. I was moving nonstop and feeling like a passive participant in my life. All along, there was one simple solution: rest.

Related: Ep 76: Practice Self-Care and Give Yourself Grace

So, if you’re just feeling discouraged, it doesn’t mean you’re not in control of your life. You might just be tired. You can fix that by going back to your why and getting some well-deserved rest.

3. Inactivity

This is one of the hardest obstacles to face because it’s often disguised by holiness.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a woman tell me she was not taking action on something because she was waiting on God. And you know how I always respond? I tell them, “God can steer a moving vehicle. He cannot steer a stalled car.”

If you’re praying and asking God to direct you, as you’re walking, He will direct you.

Instead of waiting for a lightning bolt from the sky or for an angel to appear in your living room, why don’t you get up and do something? Sometimes we sit around under this banner of holiness while waiting our life away for God to show up. All the while, God is there telling you to get moving! He’s attracted to activity. He will show you the next step after you take the first step.    

Related: Ep 72: Push Forward and Get Unstuck

This doesn’t mean you abandon God and move ahead of His plans. But God does give us free will and calls us all to take personal responsibility for our lives—we are stewards, after all.

If you look at the parable of the talents in the Bible (Matthew 25:14–30), you read that God honors active participants in this life, not passive ones. So get moving, sister!

What brave step—or even baby step—of faith can you take today? What knowledge do you already have that can inform your decisions today? Stop procrastinating! There is certainly wisdom in waiting sometimes, but don’t use waiting as an excuse to do nothing.

We are partners with God in this life on Earth, and you have more control than you think you do. I don’t know which one of these obstacles you struggle with the most—maybe it’s a combination of all three like it has been for me—but I hope this message encourages you.

It’s just like my friend Christine Cain says, “I’m living proof that you can start bad and finish good.”

The Importance of Personal Responsibility with Rachel Hollis

I’m so excited to have my good friend Rachel Hollis on the show today! She’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a motivational speaker, the host of the Rise and Rise Together podcasts, and the founder and CCO of The Hollis Company.

On this episode, Rachel and I talk about:

  • Being a good steward of your gifts and resources
  • Why we struggle with the victim mentality and how we can change that
  • How to talk yourself into things versus out of things
  • One of the biggest lies women believe and how we can get over it

Encouragement: Choose Could Over Should

“I should do that…”

All day long, I tell myself about all the things I should be doing. But you know what I realized recently? Almost all my should’s started as could’s.

My ideas begin as creative, fun, exciting dreams—like I could make handmade invitations for Carter’s birthday party, or I could get these party favors and decorations. But once the could’s make it onto my to-do list, they instantly become should’s.

Before I know it, it’s been weeks or months, and I’m still holding my feet to the fire of this long list of should’s. There I stand with a list of 75 things I now feel like I have to do. They’re no longer optional. They’re no longer creative options that could be fun. They become laws that I now have to follow. When in actuality, I came up with that list. That list started as an idea in my head, and no one is holding me to that list but me.

And yet we do this to ourselves all the time, don’t we? The high expectations start and end with us. When, in reality, other than paying taxes and feeding your family, there are very few things in life you have to do.

Related: 3 Quick Steps to Reduce Stress

You don’t have to go all out for your child’s party! Did you know that? You don’t have to, but you tell yourself all day, every day, that you do. The words we use are exhausting—they’re words of bondage.

I just want to remind you: The person in control of your life, your to-do list, your tasks and your responsibilities is you. You get a choice in what you do and what you don’t do. You get to choose what is a could and what is a should.

Maybe it’s as simple as changing your words. Instead of telling yourself all day long that you should do something, what if you just changed it back to could?

A could gives you options. A should has burden tied to it.

Jul 30, 2019

Tips From an Etsy Expert on How to Make More Money Online

 


1:17 Tips From an Etsy Expert on How to Make More Money Online with Melissa Kaiserman

25:50 Encouragement on What to Consider When Receiving Feedback


 

Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Making money online has never been easier.

You can start a successful business tomorrow with nothing more than an idea and a Facebook page—or, in Melissa Kaiserman’s case, an Etsy store.

Melissa’s story began like so many of yours. She was using Dave Ramsey’s envelope system and wanted a wallet that would help her divide her cash into different categories. When she couldn’t find one she loved, she decided to make one herself.

And then she made the “mistake” of showing it to her friends—because, of course, they all wanted her to make them one!

Her wallets were a hit. This gave her the idea to simplify her design so she could create more wallets in less time and also make a profit by selling them online. She opened a shop on Etsy—A Time for Everything—and hit publish on her first wallet listing.

Y’all, in just under a year, Melissa’s Etsy store was providing full financial support for her family!

Related: How to Make Money on Etsy

I love stories like Melissa’s because women often find it hard to believe that their talents, passions or hobbies can actually be profitable. Melissa’s story is one of many that proves it’s possible. In fact, her success on Etsy led to even more opportunities. Today, not only does she still have her online shop, but she’s also blogging and selling courses to help other people succeed on Etsy.

You can see why, when it comes to the topic of making money online and successfully selling on Etsy, I wanted to talk to Melissa Kaiserman! She and I took a deep dive into all the things. We started by talking through the pros and cons of choosing Etsy as your selling platform.

How to Make Money Online by Selling on Etsy

There are so many good things to say about starting and growing your business on Etsy. Thankfully, Melissa was able to narrow it down to her top three pros:

1. People know about it.

Etsy currently has 41 million active buyers.1 That’s right—a whole lot of people immediately think Etsy when they need a unique, handmade item.

If you’re just getting started selling online, it’s going to be a while before you can get 41 million people to start scrolling through your personal website. I always tell you to hang out where your customers are. And in this case, your customers are hanging out on Etsy!

2. You’ll get organic Google searches.

SEO (search engine optimization) is just a fancy term for the likelihood that your product, page or Etsy store will pop up on Google when someone searches a particular word or phrase. And the good news is, Etsy does a great job of getting products found on Google.

There are also some strategies you can do on your own to increase the chances of your Etsy store showing up on Google search results. I’ll say more on that later.

Related: Ep 41: Digital Marketing Strategies That Work

3. It’s easy to use.

I like to think of Etsy like a “business in a box.” They make it so easy to set up a shop and maintain it. Not only does Etsy walk you through the whole process, but they also provide the tools to create a profile page and online presence. Plus, they handle the hosting, order intake, and even accept payment for you.

These are all things you’d have to figure out on your own if you decided to start selling from a personal website.

I know all of those pros make Etsy sound great, but I want to make sure you’re aware of some of the cons as well.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Etsy:

1. You have limited control.

Because Etsy handles everything for you, there are some limitations to consider. You’ll have to operate within their rules and guidelines, and you’ll be limited with how you can represent your shop online.

2. They charge fees and take a portion of your profits.

Don’t be mistaken—selling on Etsy is not free! Etsy charges you 20 cents to publish each listing in your store. If your product sells, you’ll owe them a 5% transaction fee. And if you use Etsy Payments, they’ll also collect 3% plus a 25-cent payment processing fee on top of everything else.

Related: Pricing Strategies: How to Set Prices

3. There will be a lot of competition.

To say there are a lot of sellers and products for sale on Etsy would be an understatement. I’m talking 2.2 million sellers and more than 60 million items for sale.2

There are a lot more buyers than there are sellers, so keep in mind that Etsy wants to be as helpful as possible to the buyer. This means that even if someone is shopping in your store, Etsy will show the customer related products from someone else’s store (potentially distracting them away from your products). So, you end up competing for your customers even after you’ve gotten them to click on your page.

Related: Ep 57: Standing Out From Your Competition With Your Unique Selling Proposition

The competition may be fierce, but I still wholeheartedly believe that Etsy is a great place to start (and grow!) your business. That’s why Melissa and I came up with five tips you can use to maximize your Etsy shop and attract more customers.

Top Five Tips for Selling on Etsy:

1. Don’t focus on the competition.

I know we just talked about how competitive the marketplace is on Etsy, but if you choose to use this platform, don’t let the competition be your focus.

Melissa made that mistake early on. She spent a lot of time obsessing over other shops on Etsy and looking for people who were copying her products. At the end of the day, even when she did find copycats, knowing wasn’t helpful. All it did was cause her anxiety in her first couple of years in business.

She finally realized she couldn’t control what other people did. All she could control was where her focus was.

2. Do your homework and be prepared.

Things like registering your business with your state and collecting sales tax is not exciting stuff, I know. But when you take care of that stuff on the front end, you’ll have the peace of mind to focus on the important stuff—like making and selling your products.

Don’t wait until tax season to figure this stuff out!

3. Prioritize your photos.

Etsy is a visual marketplace. When there are thousands of options for the same type of product you sell, people are going to click on whatever product looks the best.

You could have the best product in the world, but if the photo is awful, people are just going to scroll right past it. Oh, and by the way, the less people click on your shop, the lower you’ll appear on Etsy’s search results.

Here are a few quick tips to make sure you have top-notch photos:

  • When you’re taking the photos, make sure the background isn’t cluttered. Use a clean, white backdrop with lots of natural light.
  • Make it really clear what the product is. Don’t confuse buyers by cluttering a bunch of other items around your product. Yes, it’s a good idea to style your photos, but make sure your product is the focus of the shot.
  • Give your store a clean and consistent look by photographing all of your products with a similar theme.
  • Make sure you have at least one close-up of your product—that’s the photo you want to be your thumbnail. You can post up to 10 photos for each product, so use the more styled photos to complement the close-up.

4. Write great product descriptions.

Product descriptions are so important for the customer. If you can be really detailed in your descriptions, you’ll receive fewer messages with questions that could have been answered on the product page.

Here are a few quick tips for writing great product descriptions:

  • When choosing a title for each product, use the words potential customers would use. This increases the likelihood that your product will appear during a search. That’s SEO at work! Don’t use the cute, branded name you came up with, because no one is going to search for those words! More simply put, you don’t want to make it hard for the customer to find your stuff.
  • Again, this is exactly why you want to use keywords and keyword phrases that your potential customer would use in a search.
  • Your images can also work as product descriptions. Show your product at scale and describe details in some of your images by including text overtop of them. This is ideal for those customers who tend to skip product descriptions!
  • If you’re unsure about whether you provided enough details in your product description, just ask yourself: If there were no photos at all, would my customer understand what my product is?

Related: 5 Steps to Writing Awesome Etsy Product Descriptions

5. Serve well.

Did you know that 81% of purchases on Etsy are actually repeat purchases? 3 I’m definitely one of those customers!

I remember working with a designer on Etsy to create a custom Christmas card a few years ago. She took such good care of me that the following year, I didn’t bother searching Etsy for another cute design. I just went straight to the same designer I’d worked with before.

The easiest way to get repeat customers is to take really good care of them. Under-promise and over-deliver every time. Not only will they come back to you, but they’ll also tell all their friends about you.

No matter what platform you end up choosing, the important thing is that you just start. I know you’ve got a lot to offer the world, and I’m willing to bet your idea can be profitable. So stop waiting until you’re ready, because “ready” is a myth. Just go for it!

Encouragement: What to Consider When Receiving Feedback

Earlier this year, I trained for the Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. It wasn’t going to be my first time running a race while pregnant. I actually ran that same race when I was five months pregnant with my second son, Conley. I trained, took my time, and was able to finish the race in two and a half hours.

I had a positive experience to base this year’s race on. But while I knew I’d run the race before and assumed I could probably do it again, many people didn’t feel the same way.

On my first day of training for this year’s race, I was gearing up to go out on a seven-mile run. Before I started, I posted a quick update on my Instagram. Y’all, that Instagram Story got so many responses. And I quickly noticed that each response was either an encouragement or a warning.

On the one hand, I got tons of messages that said things like, “Yes! You can do this! So inspiring!”

And on the other hand, I got responses that said the complete opposite. People warned me and told me it wasn’t worth the harm I’d do to my body or my baby. They shared their horror stories of going into preterm labor and encouraged me not to race.

These polar opposite responses made me realize one thing: When you get feedback from people (good, bad or in-between), it’s more about them than it is about you—because the feedback will come through the filter of their experience.

Related: Ep 40: Top Traits of Highly Successful Women

For example, the moms who ran while pregnant and had a healthy experience were telling me if they could do it, so could I, while the moms who had a scary experience warned me to avoid the mistake they’d made. Both types of feedback were a reflection of where these people were coming from.

This is so important to remember in your business as well. When you ask for feedback or when you get feedback from your customers, family, well-meaning friends, or strangers on Facebook, keep in mind that while feedback is valuable and helpful, it’s also being filtered through their unique experience.

You can and should learn from other people’s mistakes and take into account their tips and tricks. But you also have to keep in mind that just because someone else had that experience, it doesn’t mean you will.

So, I encourage you to keep asking for feedback and advice. Just keep in mind that the unique perspectives, experiences and circumstances of the people giving the feedback can impact whether it’s helpful or not.

On today’s #AskChristyWright segment, we talk about how to attract your ideal customer on social media and how to determine if it’s the right time to start paying for advertising.

 

 

Jul 23, 2019

How to Be Successful at Anything by Starting Small

 


1:21 The Importance of Starting Small

6:06 How to Start Small

21:07 #AskChristyWright


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


Give yourself permission to be a beginner.

We have a bad habit of calling successful people an overnight success—as if they just woke up one day on top of the mountain. But, in most cases, that’s just not true. In reality, most successful people started small doing something unimpressive. Here are just a few examples I can think of:

Television pioneer Oprah Winfrey started her career as a news anchor in Nashville, Tennessee—way before it was the cool and popular city it is today.1 Y’all, she was even demoted once from an anchor job she had in Baltimore.2 (I bet that person still regrets that to this day!)

And then there’s self-made millionaire Dave Ramsey. He grew his business from a card table in his living room to a multimillion-dollar company with more than 850 team members—and he’s helped millions get out of debt and change their family tree.

Did you know that world-famous author J.K. Rowling was living on welfare when she wrote the first Harry Potter book?3

And finally, let’s talk about Ellen Latham—a name many may not recognize. But I bet they recognize the name of the business she started: Orangetheory Fitness. The massively successful chain of fitness studios actually started in a spare room of Ellen’s house.4

Do you see what I’m talking about? The early stages of their careers did not look impressive by any means. But, eventually, because they were consistent and refused to let their humble beginnings define them, their careers surpassed even their wildest dreams.

Related: Don't Be Sorry for the Struggle

The Importance of Starting Small

Let’s just go ahead and acknowledge that starting small is not fun. You’re probably not going to update your friends about it any chance you get, or post pictures about your journey on Facebook. But you know what? Starting small is actually one of the most important steps in building your business—or anything for that matter—wisely.

That’s why it’s so important to give yourself permission to be a beginner.

Aside from the fact that it works and is proven, starting small makes your dreams and your goals so much more attainable.

As you begin to think about your big dreams and goals, what usually happens? Fear creeps in, doesn’t it? You start to doubt that any of your dreams are even possible, because they’re just too big and overwhelming. But when you embrace the idea of starting small, your dream doesn’t feel so crazy after all.

How to Start Small

The commitment to start small requires persistence, dedication and a go-getter attitude—qualities I know you’ve got in you!

That’s why I want to give you a few do’s and don’ts that you can use as a guideline as you chase your dreams.

1. Don’t wait until you’re ready.

“Ready” is a myth. Because let’s be real—do we ever feel ready for anything in life?

Related: How to Be More Confident

There’ll always be a new doubt or excuse that will try to convince you it’s just not time yet. But the truth is, the only way you figure anything out for yourself is by doing it—by learning on the job.

Early on in my career, I learned something important: Say yes before you know how. When an opportunity comes your way and you don’t feel ready, qualified or educated enough, it doesn’t matter. Just get out there and get moving—ready or not.

2. Do take baby steps.

When you break down your big idea and big dream into baby steps, you begin to see the impossible become possible.

For example, if you want to train for a marathon, you don’t start by running 15 miles. You start by training for a 5K. If you want to open a boutique, you start with an Etsy store. If you need more sleep, you start by winding down and turning off the screens 10 minutes earlier than you normally would. If you miss seeing your friends, you send one text to one friend and set up one lunch date. Baby steps.

What you’ll find—in business and in life—is that small changes tend to make the biggest impact. It’s the small things you do repeatedly that make up life-change that actually lasts. That’s why I don’t want you to think of your dream in terms of giant leaps you need to take. Instead, think: What’s one baby step I can take this week?

3. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

In our overconnected culture, it’s so tempting to get on social media and compare your journey to someone else’s. But you shouldn’t compare your small steps to someone else’s giant leaps.

I love the quote by Theodore Roosevelt that says, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I wholeheartedly believe you cannot be present for your dream and for your life if you’re looking and comparing it to everyone else around you. And you can’t make changes or improvements if you’re too busy obsessing over someone else’s progress.

Take the focus off everybody else and instead focus on your life, your business, your dreams and your values. Stay in your lane and run your race. And as you take small steps, be confident in knowing that those are faithful steps God will honor.

Related: Ep 70: How to Be Content in Every Situation

4. Do keep it simple.

When I graduated from college with no money and no job, I remember trying to convince myself that I needed to purchase a bunch of new suits for job interviews. It’s ridiculous, isn’t it?

But we do this in business too. We say we need a new laptop, a new studio or new equipment to get started. Let’s be honest—no, you don’t! Often, our desires and efforts to buy new things are not really because the business needs it. We’re just trying to justify and validate our dream.

The truth is: Working on your business is what validates the business, not the stuff you buy. In the words of Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

5. Don’t go into debt.

There is this myth in the business world that somehow business debt is different from personal debt. As if the debt belongs to the business and not to you.

But they’re the same thing. Because guess who has to pay that business debt at the end of the day? You do. Business debt is no different than personal debt. In both scenarios, you’re giving up power, ownership and control—three things you really should maintain. The worst part is, when you take on debt to do anything, every decision you make will become dependent upon the debt you owe.

It’s all debt, and it’s all a bad idea. Save up for the things you want and be scrappy in the meantime.

Related: Ep 24: Money Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Business

6. Do make a plan and set goals.

You don’t just need the dream. You need a plan for how you’ll get from where you are today to where you want to be. And once you have that plan, it’s critical to set goals that will get you there.

For example, if you want to become a teacher, your plan might be to get a teaching certificate within two years. That’s a great plan. Then, you might set goals like: take the PRAXIS exam before August, or enroll in courses that start this fall.

Related: Ep 13: How to Write and Reach Your Goals

When you make a plan for where you want to be, and then set goals for how you’re going to get there, you’re much more likely to make that dream a reality. Because I promise, you will not get to where you want to be by accident.

Get Started Today!

There is no such thing as an overnight success. You’ve got to put in the hours and the work required to accomplish your big dreams. And it’s totally possible when you start small, use what you have, and grow slow. Remember, the impressive things in life often start as unimpressive things.

Someone who has done this really well is my friend Melissa Kaiserman. She’s the owner of A Time for Everything and Makery Space. Melissa is going to be my guest on the show next week, and she’ll share all of her secrets on starting small and working on Etsy. So, make sure you tune in to that bonus episode!

#AskChristyWright

On today’s #AskChristyWright segment, we talk about how to attract your ideal customer on social media and how to determine if it’s the right time to start paying for advertising.

 

Jul 9, 2019

How to Attract More Customers to Your Business

 


1:21 Four Ways to Find More Customers

17:29 Attracting New Customers to Your Business with Reina Pomeroy

33:23 Encouragement That That Will Transform Every Relationship


Resources

Business Boutique Conference

The Business Boutique Conference is coming back to Nashville Oct. 24–26. If you want to learn how to grow your business and chase your dream, you don’t want to miss this event. To save $10 on any Business Boutique Conference ticket, use the code BBWRIGHT.


If you have a success story you would like to share with the Business Boutique community, email me at podcast@businessboutique.com.

New podcast episodes are available every other week.


“Christy, how do I get more customers?”

The most common question I’m ever asked—more than questions about social media, goal setting or time management—is how to get more customers. I get this question almost every single day.

But before we go any further, I need to bust a myth you might be believing that is keeping you from getting more customers.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people say: “If you build it, they will come.”

How many times have you heard that line? How many times have you believed that simply creating a website meant people would visit? Or opening a store meant people would stop in?

Related: Market Research: How to Know What Your Customers Want

I hate to tell you this, but it’s just not true. No matter what you build, customers don’t show up out of the blue.

Why not? Because . . .

  • They’re busy.
  • They’re distracted.
  • They’re tired.
  • They have hundreds of other messages vying for their attention.

We have to stop building these big, awesome, impressive things and wondering why customers aren’t showing up. We have to do something different. Instead of sitting back and waiting for customers to come to you, it’s time for you to go after your customers.

You have to figure out where your ideal customers hang out and build relationships with them. And only then, when you’ve added value to their lives, can you invite them to become a customer.

So, how do you actually do that? I’ve got four different tips to get you started!

Four Ways to Find More Customers  

1. Get scrappy.

Some of you are sitting around waiting for some sophisticated formula or fool-proof plan to attract more customers. I hate to break it to you, but business doesn’t work that way. Business is a science and an art, which means that while there are certainly best practices to keep in mind, there’s no perfect path to success.

Most business owners become successful not because they’re sophisticated, but because they’re really stinkin’ scrappy. They’re willing to get their hands dirty and try a bunch of different things to get the word out.

They’re willing to show up at other businesses with donuts, coffee, samples and a business card. They’re not afraid to pick up the phone and do some cold calling. The bottom line is, you have to be willing to do the hard work of building relationships—and that takes a whole lot of scrappiness.

2. Get referrals.

When you need your hair colored or your house cleaned, who do you want to hire? Someone you trust, right? And how do you find someone you trust? You ask your friends!

Y’all, this is so important! Referrals are just another way of describing word-of-mouth marketing—the most effective form of marketing. The best part is, it’s free!

So, if you’re not actively incentivizing your current clients to refer their friends and asking them for testimonials, you’re missing out on an amazing opportunity to find new customers.

3. Improve your marketing.

I want you to take a good look at your marketing efforts as a whole. Look at the different ways you’re marketing your business—from your website to your social media posts and the emails you send. Then I want you to ask yourself: 

  • Is the design clean and beautiful?
  • Is the copy clear?
  • Is your call to action direct and obvious?

Try to pinpoint what’s working and what’s not. Get to the root of the problem before you look for a solution. For example, if you’re not getting any sales from your online store, is it because no one is visiting the website or because people are visiting but not buying? Knowing exactly why you’re not getting sales will help you know what you need to change and improve.

Related: Branding the Look and Tone of Your Business

4. Try something new.

If you keep doing the same things you’ve always done, you’ll just keep getting the same results. So, if you want to grow your business by increasing your customer base, you have to be willing to experiment to find out what works best for your target market.

Try something new on social media, on your website, on your Esty store, or even in person as you pitch your product or service to someone. Try a new promotion and see what kind of buzz you get. Or maybe you need to show up at a different place and meet a different group of people. When you try new approaches, you are much more likely to find fresh, innovative ways to attract more of your ideal customers.

Related: Keep Things Fresh by Trying Something New

Finding more customers is not as hard as it sounds. In fact, there are so many different ways to do it. Let’s recap the four you should start with. Get scrappy: Don’t worry about a sophisticated formula—just show up and meet new people. Get referrals: Encourage your current tribe to market for you. Improve your marketing: See where you can make tweaks and adjustments to your marketing strategy. And finally: keep experimenting, trying new things, and doing more of what works. You got this!

Attracting New Customers to Your Business with Reina Pomeroy

Reina Pomeroy is an expert at sales and attracting more customers. She’s the founder of Reina + Co., host of the Fueled with Heart podcast and the creator of the Dreamy Client Magnet program. I love how she encourages business owners to be heart-centered, where their passion for the work and the customer always gets first priority.

On this episode, Reina and I talk about:

  • How to make more sales by serving your customers well
  • How to work on your money mind-set
  • Why you don’t need more followers to get more customers
  • How to network and build relationships the right way

The One Quality That Will Transform Every Relationship

I was on a panel a few years ago at a Ramsey Smart Conference alongside #1 bestselling author Les Parrott. Les is a brilliant clinical psychologist and relationship expert.

We were a part of a Q&A session, and someone in the audience asked Les for his best piece of marriage advice—no small question.

His answer completely changed my life. Turns out, his best piece of marriage advice was simply to have empathy. That’s it: empathy. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes as often as possible.

This advice has been transformative for me. I have used this nugget of wisdom so many times since that night. It has helped my husband and I dissolve conflict, increase understanding, and improve our connection.

It seems so obvious, but I wonder why we don’t do this more often in life with all of our relationships. We tend to judge ourselves by our intentions (they’re always good, of course!), but we judge others by their actions.

Seeing the world from only our perspective leads to conflict, misunderstanding and broken relationships. If we’re going to have healthy relationships, we have to be willing to see the situation from the other person’s point of view.

And you can do that by empathizing. By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and giving them the benefit of the doubt. Whether it’s your spouse, best friend, coworker or customer, empathizing will transform every relationship and every interaction you have.

 

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