Posts Tagged ‘Dreams’

My 2018 Word of the Year

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Happy 2018! It is here. A fresh start. This is the beginning of anything you want.

And I know what I want. I have been choosing a word of the year for the past 6 years, this year is #7. It’s one of my favorite New Year’s traditions and it’s instrumental in guiding my choices and path for the 12 months ahead. Over the years I have chosen the words Discipline, Inspire, Action, Significance, Focus and Joy. Each time I chose the perfect word and that’s not by accident, I go through a very thorough process to make sure I get the word just right.

This year, I am in a far different place than I have ever been. I’ve accomplished a lot of my goals in the last 19 years of owning my business and 15 years of marriage. Life is good. But staying in my comfort zone isn’t how I roll. So it’s time for some major shifts. Time to shake things up. Time to dial down on what I want. Change is super exciting to me, but also scary, which helps me know something big is happening in my life.

Maybe it’s my age. I will soon turn 46, on the downhill side of my 40’s. There is something about your 40’s and being at mid-life and having a teenager and all the other things that come with this season of life, that make you look at your world differently. I have a totally different list of what’s important to me than I did in my 20’s and 30’s.

In this season of life, my desire is no longer to make my mark, but rather to make a difference.

I am in a place of balance, a place of peace, a mindset of wellness, with a strong connection to home.  I am ready to serve and nurture and love. I am in a place of dedication to using my gifts and talents and knowledge. I am committed to making my biggest and best contribution to the world yet.

I want to focus on my company and it’s growth internally. I have spent a lot of time working to put my company on the map with social media and public speaking and getting published. Now I want to see where my business can serve people in the biggest way. Who can we help? What can we improve? How can we use our gifts, and talents and knowledge to help others live their best life? Where can we be more streamlined, more profitable, more effective? How can we simplify?

I want to focus on my family and our growth. What can we do to be our best? Who can we help more, serve more, love more? How can we focus more on what’s really important? What life lessons do we need to master this year? How much money can we save? How can we be better to each other, better to our friends, better listeners, better Christians?

I want to focus on myself and my personal growth. What areas still need improvement? What part of my life have I been ignoring? Where have I been holding myself back with fear, or lack of focus, or busy-ness?

And what word will help me stay committed to this streamlined and introspective and focused approach to 2018?  I considered connect, invest, essential, abundance, flourish, peace, balance, cultivate, contentment, mindful, aligned, renew, priority, purpose, shine, worth, value, heart and bloom. I strongly considered grace. And I knew that none of these words exactly captured what I wanted to feel this year.

Yes I am more intentional, more balanced, more simplified and more connected to my priorities than ever before. But I am not looking for a take it easy year. In fact I am looking for the opposite. I am as driven as ever to accomplish my goals this year, but my goals are just different than they’ve ever been. I needed a word that was active and aggressive and committed to the things that are most important to me which is family, health, wealth and joy. And for that reason, I chose…

My life will be different in 2018. I have spent the last 24 months downsizing my big 6000 square foot office to a home-based office, cutting my business expenses by 2/3, and increasing my profit margins by 200%. I have taken my marriage from so-so to on fire. I have gone from feeling like I had very little time for friends, to feeling so connected to more true friends than ever. I have gone from a workaholic who traveled constantly for work, to a mom and wife who is present and connected and my cup is overflowing because of it. The best thing that happened in 2017 is I overheard one of my daughter’s friends say their step-dad was a workaholic and my daughter (not knowing I was listening) said, “Oh my mom used to be one of those”. Be still my heart.

But these changes didn’t mean my business went away, it’s just more dialed in, it’s more intentional, it’s more profitable and it’s more fulfilling than ever before. I didn’t get rid of the important business stuff, I just got rid of everything else. I got rid of the distractions and the mediocre. In 2017, I looked at every potential opportunity under a microscope and the opportunity costs of each one. If it took me away from my family, there was one strike against it. If it made me a ton of money and was inspiring, I would still consider it. If the money or inspiration was marginal but it required travel, it was a no.

And you know what happened…I found that the things that make me THE most money and make THE biggest contributions to the world  can all be done from my home office between the hours of 8 and 3!! And this realization was life changing.

So now armed with my new knowledge for how to create balance, how to be a warrior protecting my schedule like my life depends on it (because it does) and a brand new way of prioritizing so that the things that really matter are where I spend my time, I am ready to THRIVE in 2018.

I will THRIVE :

as a Mom

as a Wife

as a Coach

as a Designer

as a Friend

in Health and Wellness

I am tired of just surviving. I am over barely keeping my head above water. I am done with saying yes to a whole bunch of things that may stroke my ego, but don’t really matter. You know what strokes my ego these days? Feeling rested, energized, connected, loved and helping others feel the same. It strokes my ego to THRIVE!

I believe 2018 will be a good year. In fact, I believe it will be GREAT.

In 2018 my family and I will THRIVE. What will you do?

Bring it, 2018. Let’s do this!

 

 

Saturday’s Secret Sauce: Building Others Up, Not Tearing Them Down

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Life isn’t easy. And we humans have a way of making life even harder than it has to be sometimes. I am a big believer in the late Dr. Wayne Dyer’s philosophy of taking 100% responsibility for where we are in our lives at any given moment, even if where we are isn’t where we want to be. And even if the reason we are there is because we haven’t made the smartest choices or we haven’t had the courage to go after our dreams. This idea is all about not blaming others for where we are and taking responsibility so we can move beyond that place and into our purpose.

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But just for a minute I think we need to talk about what else may be holding us back (particularly for women) as we dare greatly to be our best. And that’s all the armchair critics that no matter how hard we try, are always waiting in the wings at any and every opportunity to tear us down. This mean and hurtful behavior is becoming epidemic these days, and that is so unfortunate. It has become increasingly worse thanks to blogs and social media. I guess it’s the bad that comes with the good of technology today. 

One of my new favorite quotes (new to me but not new) is so familiar to me these days because of my obsession with and admiration for the work of Dr. Brene Brown on shame and vulnerability. Brene sets the tone for her research, work, and writing with this famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”  –Teddy Roosevelt

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We are all being vulnerable when we put ourselves out there every day and dare to chase our dreams, find our passions and live our purpose. We are being brave and daring greatly when we start businesses, do creative work, write blogs or books, document our lives on Instagram and social media and anything else that we do publicly that requires us to show up in the world in order to grow our incomes, go after our goals and dreams, and support our families.

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But it is those critics that are not even “in the arena getting marred by dust and sweat and blood” that thanks to social media can criticize with ease. They can leave negative comments, pick apart our work and creativity, and in some instances even attack, demean and abuse others, from the comfort of their arm-chairs or while hiding behind their computers and electronics.

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And although logically I can comprehend that these critics are miserable, or mean, or jealous or any other number of things that make them want the world and anyone brave enough to put themselves out there, to be as unhappy as the critic, I just really don’t understand it. My mind can’t get around it. And my heart feels bad for those being criticized. But feels almost worse for the critics because I can’t even imagine how truly miserable they must be to want to tear others down in this way. Does it really make them feel better to leave a rude comment? My guess is no, or at least not for very long.

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Why do we as humans feel like we have the right to be critics of everything and everyone in the world around us? And even when we think it, what gives us the right to express it, leave a negative comment, or tear down others work and creativity? Well one might say that maybe that’s what people are asking for, or that they are opening themselves up to it when they use a public forum like a blog to express their ideas, thoughts and work. And maybe this is true. But there is a difference in a critique and criticism. There is a difference in disagreeing and being mean or rude or abusive. One can disagree without being unkind. We all have the right to not love someone’s work or even their behavior, but still not attack them personally.

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And yes both genders are guilty of these behaviors but as a woman, I find that women can be some of the most critical, especially of other women. Call me Pollyanna, but I want to live in a world where women champion women. I remember how girls acted in middle school and my daughter is currently in middle school and the ways girls can be mean is so much worse than 30 years ago when I was her age. We didn’t have cell phones and social media to bully each other with back then. But it’s not just relegated to middle school. I see the same rude and bullying behaviors from adults.

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If you are a designer or have visited any of the shelter magazine social media sites, you have witnessed dozens or even hundreds of people tearing apart the rooms and projects of designers on a daily basis. When I read these rude comments about my own work, I typically laugh it off or ignore it. But when I see people criticize the truly great work of my friends and my design idols, I realize that the critics likely have not been exposed to sophisticated design work or art and don’t even understand it, so their comments are ignorant or at the least short sighted. But there in lies the problem. If we don’t understand something or we are afraid of it, human nature can be to criticize it. But why not appreciate it, or try to learn about it? Isn’t this this same age old problem that has divided races and religions and political parties? In a year where the criticizing, demeaning and ridiculous insults in the presidential election are at an all time high, I think you know what I mean. Our own insecurities keep us from being open-minded about art or creativity and also about much bigger social issues.

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I consider myself lucky and I feel loved and supported so often. I have many, many more people being kind and leaving supportive comments or reaching out to me by email or even in person in support of my work and my writing and my product designs. The compliments are far more numerous than those tearing me down. But even so, the occasional rude comments can sting. And I see and hear of many others in my own industry and in other industries that are struggling under the weight of the criticism they are receiving. It is so sad how many brave souls have stopped striving towards their dreams because of a few mean comments expressed by others whose opinions really shouldn’t matter. And worse yet, what a shame that so many people are afraid to even try because their fear of what others will say or think holds them back.

I work to teach my daughter that “What others think of us is none of our business”. But in her new book Rising Strong, Brene Brown says that totally not caring what others think of you isn’t a good thing either. It can make you apathetic about your life and work or worse, can cause you to relax your morals or not have integrity. She says you should have a small circle of people who really count to you and those are the only people in your life whose opinions should really matter. And she says that all the names of those important people in your life should fit on ONE Post-it note. I love this idea! So if the critics names aren’t on my Post-it note then I give myself permission to ignore their comments, to let it go.

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Thankfully I had a great example for how to treat others from my mom who definitely taught me if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. But what she stressed to me even more was that everyone isn’t just like you and that doesn’t make you better or worse than them. Everyone has the right to be themselves and you don’t have to like it, but it’s not your place to tear them down. She taught me to love other people and learn to appreciate our differences. And she taught me that hating someone else is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies. Hate will kill you while the other person lives on often even unscathed.

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So yes it may be Pollyanna, but I want to live in a world where people love people. I want to celebrate other people’s successes as well as my own. I want to live in a world where women champion women. Where creatives, and entrepreneurs, and others daring greatly are celebrated even when not understood. I want to raise my daughter in a world where people are applauded just for getting in the ring, even if you don’t think their art or work or craft is great or beautiful or meaningful, but because they were brave enough to even try, which is far more than the armchair critics are doing. And even if the critic is in the arena too, I would caution them to not tear others down because like these critics,  I believe that Karma will also be waiting in the wings and there will be a moment when they too will fall or be criticized and it doesn’t feel good.

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Building each other up, now THAT is some real secret sauce. And my hope is that it will be become much less of a secret.

Sending you love and the courage to put yourself out there, to get in the arena even if you are afraid. I encourage you to find beauty in our differences and to celebrate all those brave souls putting themselves out in the world even if you don’t agree with them. Supporting each other is the only way to REALLY make our world a better place.

Happy Saturday, friends! xo,

Tobi Signature

 

 

 

Saturday’s Secret Sauce: Finding Your Passion

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Passion. It’s what sets me on fire. It’s what drives me. It is what has made me work like a dog for 17 years–or really my entire life. But don’t get me wrong. I have loved working that hard because I am passionate about Interior Design and product design, and I am even more passionate about being an entrepreneur. Building businesses, creating revenue streams, reaching my business goals–these things keep me up at night and get me up in the morning. Work. It’s what I do. I am passionate about my work.

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And yes, it can be hard. But I am one of the lucky ones. My passion is my purpose. I have never had to make a living doing something that doesn’t inspire me, that isn’t fun, that I don’t like. I work in my passion every day. And yes there are days that my job is hard and moments that are less fun than others. There are days that I wish I could rest, but I don’t. I push harder. I work a little longer. I make my dreams happen. Why? Because I can’t NOT do it.

So what is Passion? Well it is defined in a few ways…

  1. An intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction
  2. The state or capacity of being acted upon by external agents or forces
  3. A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object or concept

And when it comes to my passion(s) these all make sense. I definitely feel “an intense, driving feeling” and sometimes like I am being “acted upon by external forces”.  And my passion is certainly a “devotion to an activity or concept”. I can’t turn it off. Working at what I love is not elective or optional for me. And because of that, I have a really hard time stopping or relaxing. For better or worse, my passion is often all consuming.

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My daughter is 10 and a half and she is crazy about baking. She says she wants to own a bakery when she grows up. I don’t know if she will really want that when the time comes to choose a career, but at the very least I believe it will be her passion for the rest of her life. She bakes several times a week and often everyday. She feels a “devotion” to baking.

She loves cooking too. She cooks her own meals and often cooks my husband’s even though I cook all the time and would be happy to prepare meals for the family. They have the same tastes in food and she loves to take good care of her daddy. She never thinks of baking or cooking as a chore.

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And although I have an extremely busy life myself full of my own passions, I am having a fun time being her trusty baking assistant. I think it is important to help her pursue her interests and dreams. I think it’s critical for me to invest in her passions at an early age. Plus her creations are so pretty and delicious and she’s getting orders from our friends and my clients, how could I not support that?

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And she’s going after her dreams in a big way. The week before last she made a chocolate chip bundt cake for the family of a close friend of ours who passed away, she made 3 dozen cupcakes for another friend of mine to deliver to the doctors and nurses that helped my friend through cancer treatments, she made 4 dozen homemade chocolate chip cookies for her classmates because they were studying the Ghirardelli company and the history of chocolate. That same week she also made the birthday cake for one of my very favorite clients, another bundt cake for a friend, and 2 dozen cookies for my nephew who is away at college. Whew! And if that weren’t enough, she and I made Chocolate French Macarons and 15 mini loaves of Banana Bread in our spare time. This week she was back at it again making 3 dozen cupcakes for my friend and spa-owner’s business event. And though I make sure she is safe, she does all of this baking and cooking on her own with very little help from me.

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Do you know what I call her love of baking that happens every single day including week nights and all weekend long? Crazy?..Well maybe. Exhausting?…Sometimes. But what I really call it is passion. My little chef and mini entrepreneur is passionate about baking. She never grows tired of it. She’s always up for making a new recipe whether it’s early in the morning or late at night. I think it may really be her purpose. It will be fun to watch her life unfold and see if she thinks so too long term. At the very least, it’s her purpose right now. She’s making people happy with her confections. And it keeps her happy, and energetic, and out of trouble, and from being bored. It gives her confidence. It feeds her soul. And if she’s not in the kitchen concocting something, she’s watching a cooking or baking show like Master Chef Jr. or the Kids Baking Championship on TV or Netflix and planning her next meal or recipe.

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This child literally “eats” and breathes baking and cooking (pun intended) and every gift she gets or dollar she spends has something to do with her passion. She received REAL junior cookware and junior Wusthof knives from Williams Sonoma for Christmas and boxes and bows and ribbons and tags and a personalized stamp with “from the kitchen of” and her name so she can dress up all her creations and let people know they were hand-made by her. And this month when other kids were wanting candy and stuffed animals and sweets for Valentine’s day, she asked for a red hand-held Kitchenaid mixer for Valentines day. This girl is hooked!

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It’s so fun to see how people react to my daughter’s cooking skills and abilities. It’s not unlike how people react to my Interiors. It’s great to see how much they love her food. And I believe the response is because people can tell when you are passionate about something. People love to support others in their pursuit of their passions. It is fun. It’s exciting. It’s inspiring.

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For a happy and fulfilling life, I think finding your passion is everything. And yes, you may have more than one. But there is only room in your days for a handful of things to be really passionate about. My daughter is lucky. She is 1o and she has already found one of hers. I am lucky, I have been working in my passion for almost 2 decades.

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Where are you on the path of finding your passion? Do you listen to your heart and do you follow it to make your passion your life’s work? And if you don’t, why not? Maybe you know what your passion is (or what it used to be) and you’ve lost it. Well that happens to us all. Author and peak performance expert Brendon Burchard (author of the fabulous book The Charge), says there are 4 things to help you re-ignite your passion…

  1. Rest–a good night’s sleep on a regular basis keeps you energized and engaged in your passions. When you get too tired, you often fall off the wagon of living your passion or in your sweet spot. Can’t get enough sleep at night? Try taking a nap or meditating for similar benefits.
  2. Visualization–Get away from other people, your job and your phone on a weekly basis so you can dream again. Go to that place physically and figuratively where you can visualize what you really want. In the busyness of work and life, we lose sight of what we want most. Try to visualize your dreams every night and every morning to keep it top of mind and keep your passion for those things stoked and focused.
  3. Triggers–Set up triggers so you are reminded of your passion regularly. Try reminders on your phone or your mirror, or listen to certain videos, affirmations, or music that inspires you. Only you know what will trigger you to go to your passion place so make these triggers unavoidable.
  4. Celebrating Wins–Allow yourself to celebrate even small wins when they occur–which may even be daily. So many of us just go from one accomplishment to another without ever patting ourselves on the back, writing it down, or acknowledging  these wins at all. By celebrating them, it helps you stay connected with the emotions you feel when you do win, and that can reconnect you with your passions more often.

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So go out and find or re-ignite your passion. To do that you have to listen to your heart and take action. Your passions are waiting for you.

And don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t feeling your passion right now or you’re experiencing burnout. It happens to all of us. I have been going through that very thing just recently. But I am excited to say practicing these tips above, especially rest, has helped me move beyond being stuck and back into a place of motivation so that I can reach even bigger dreams and live in my passion this year.

Yes, finding your passion is the secret sauce to a life that is happy and fulfilled. Good luck!

xo,

Tobi-Signature

 

 

 

 

IMG_5077Speaking of Celebrating our successes, try celebrating with my family’s favorite cake. Here, my daughter made the recipe in her mini bundt pans so we could each have our own personal celebratory dessert!

Chocolate Chip Pound Cake:

1 Yellow Cake Mix

1 pkg Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix (3.9 ounces)

1/2 Cup Sugar

3/4 Cup Water

3/4 Cup Vegetable Oil

4 Eggs, beaten

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Semi-sweet Mini Chocolate Chips

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees. Grease and Flour 10″ bundt pan. In electric mixer, add cake mix, pudding and sugar. Add oil, water, eggs and sour cream and mix until well blended. Fold in Chocolate Chips. Bake for 50-60 minutes in preheated oven. Cake is done when toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto wire rack to completely cool. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

 

Saturday’s Secret Sauce: More Work Doesn’t Equal More Success

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Every day I hustle. I leap into each morning with either gusto and zest for life or like I am being dragged behind the run-away train of my to do list, already behind and more to do than I could ever accomplish. Does that mean life is hard? Or am I just making it that way?

The dictionary has a few definitions for hustle. One is to “obtain by forceful action or persuasion” as in the CEO used his business savvy to hustle the book deal. Another is “busy movement or activity” as in the “hustle and bustle” of life or the holidays. A third definition means to play a sport in an aggressive way. And finally a fourth definition means  “a fraud or a swindle”.

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My goal when I hustle is typically one of the first 3 definitions…to obtain a deal, to be busy or active or to be aggressive in the way I attack my life. But the more and more I strive, the more I am feeling like #4…a fraud. What do I mean? No I’m not taking advantage of people, well except one person. Me. I am feeling like a fraud because what I am telling myself will work, never exactly does. I am succeeding in my efforts and crossing off lots of lots of to do’s, only to find myself miserable at times, when my intention was to feel strong and accomplished.

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I’ve been “hustling” at my job for 17 years. And boy has it paid off in many ways. My list of accomplishments is long. I look super-successful “on paper”. And depending on how you (and I ) define success, you could definitely say I’ve reached it. But longer than my list of accomplishments, is my list of lessons learned and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that more work doesn’t necessarily lead to more success. I’ve also learned that to hustle, to bust your hump, to strive and do and push makes you tired. It wears you out. It’s exhausting.

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Think about it. There are people who work really hard every single day and they don’t have more success and they don’t have more money. Assembly line workers can break their backs working for 30 years and have very little financial success to show for it and they certainly don’t have much control of their lives or their schedule. But some high-powered and very smart business people can take very little time and energy investing in the right deals and make bookoos of money in a small amount of time so that they can live the rest of their time the way they desire on their own terms.

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Now I’m not suggesting there is an easy way, but I do think there is a better way. Yes those CEO’s work hard and spend many years getting to where they are. There really aren’t any get rich quick schemes. But there comes a time when you can’t keep “paying your dues”. There is a point in which you have to decide what you want and how to get there or it will never happen. And complaining about it but not taking REAL action will not get you anywhere. It’s hard to change, but it’s harder to work hard without the results you want.

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So what if the Secret Sauce isn’t working harder, but rather it’s doing the RIGHT things the best you can do them and saying no to the rest. You might call it working smarter and not harder. I think “working smarter, not harder” is one of those phrases that is often over-used because we hear it all the time but I am not sure we REALLY know what it means. I think we all think we’re working smart when we’re hustling. But really we are just hustling. We’re frantically doing a bunch of stuff we think we need to do, but those things aren’t actually moving us closer to our goals. And no that’s not smart, but I don’t think we realize it’s not working smart or we wouldn’t be doing it, now would we?

Imperfection is a form of freedom. (1)

This goal of finding freedom is my focus for 2016. And I was just watching a great video from Hilary from the fashion blog Dean Street Society and her new class about living with Elegant Excellence and she said if you’ve been striving for years and putting things off like your health or your happiness and telling yourself “just let me just get through this week (or launch, or project) and then I’ll workout (or slow down or make money or start living my dream)”, then you are never going to do those things. Hilary says “there isn’t a day you’ll finally finish your to do list” and “Perfection, Completion, and Total Control are NOT right around the corner”. Ah-ha moment, isn’t it? These things don’t come with just working a little harder and a little longer. Trust me, I’ve been trying this approach for years and I would say my to do list is longer than it’s ever been and my schedule stays jam packed.

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Get off the hamster wheel. Rest. Slow down. Journal. Decide what you really want. No one says, “What I want in life is to work really, really, really hard, period.” The working hard in and of itself isn’t our goal. But those of us who are driven and super responsible, and committed and people of our word who pride ourselves on our work ethic, and who strive to be like our hard-working parents and grandparents, confuse working hard with what we want. We want freedom, and money, and experiences, and travel and things and we think that working really, really, really hard is the way to get all of that.

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And yes working hard has helped me have many things, and experiences and travel and I’ve made a good bit of money, thankfully. At least all my efforts have been worth something. But what I haven’t achieved with more work is more time. What I haven’t achieved with more work is freedom. And having freedom of time and financial freedom so I can design the life of my dreams, now those are my true desires. Are they yours? If they are, then that requires us to stay hyper-focused on these goals while changing our methods for reaching them.

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So the key is figuring out what few things make the most difference in getting us to our REAL goals. We need to decide what can go away from the plethora of things on our to do lists or in our minds or hearts that we “think we SHOULD be doing”. It’s likely that 75% or more of the things on our list aren’t making a difference in our financial or time freedom. And we also have to give ourselves a break at the end of each day when we haven’t marked every thing off our list. We have to stop working every night and every weekend. We have to rest and replenish and let our minds focus on those few things that we truly want so we are ready to start the next day smarter and more organized and NOT hustling. It’s like spending time sharpening our axe so when we do go to work it we will be sharper and smarter than ever. We will get more done, in less time.

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In other words, it’s time to stop the madness. Do you want to work on the assembly line of your life for the next 20 years and never reach where you think you are going, because thats what you’ve been doing and it’s all you really know how to do? Do you want to win the medal for hardest worker and get an award to hang on your wall and admire for the rest of your life.  Or do you want to be sitting on the beach with your family, having paid for that trip by working smart, and be able to stay at the beach for a month because you can work for a few hours a day from there with a big payoff?  Now that’s what I dream about! So I am basing my decisions on the beach.  I can already feel the sand in my toes.Want to join me?

Working harder doesn’t equal success. And that’s the secret sauce to reaching your dreams.

Happy Saturday! xo,

Tobi Signature

 

 

 

Saturday’s Secret Sauce: Taking Action Every Day

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6Wednesday was my Birthday…my 44th birthday. The good news is that I still feel like I’m in my 30’s and hopefully I look that way too. But it is pretty interesting to think about the possibility that if I live a long life, I am possibly at that half way point as we speak.

So when looking at my life so far, it’s fun to see what I’ve accomplished and if I am where I would have wanted to be half-way through my life. Thankfully the answer for me is yes. I realize that I have accomplished more in my 44 years than many people accomplish in a lifetime. I believe that is because I work at it all the time. Success almost never happens by accident and my accomplishments have been plans that I crafted and set in motion.

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I set goals. I review them regularly (as of this year daily). I constantly read and study and travel and learn. I am on a quest to squeeze all the life out of my life that I possibly can. And I also have a very clear vision of where I am headed. And that, my friends, may be the single most important part of my 44 years of success. You can’t move towards your goal if you don’t know where you are going. You cannot walk a straight line if you don’t have a fixed point to follow. Now don’t get me wrong, none of our lives are actually a straight line. And success is definitely not a straight line. But the goal is to stay on course more than you are off course. And the thing that helps keep you on track is noticing as quickly as possible when you are off so you can course correct and keep forging ahead.

None of us are perfect. Nobody is going to hit every goal they strive towards. But if you don’t have goals or a plan of attack for reaching your dreams, you will have a very low chance of getting there. Still,  you can have the best plans in the world and if you don’t take ACTION, you won’t achieve them. Action is definitely the secret sauce!

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I am not one to regret much in life. I have almost no regrets really. And I think that is because I take very focused action on a daily basis to create the life that I want for myself and for my family. I don’t wait for things to happen. I make things happen.

This started way back in my childhood. Fortunately I had parents who had a clear picture of what kind of life they wanted for me. And what they wanted was a life where I could dream big and I could have the resources and support system to achieve anything I set my mind to. Lucky me! I am well aware that everyone doesn’t have that kind of support. The funny thing is that as a child when my parents were having me listen to Dr. Wayne Dyer on cassette tapes at the age of 12 while my friends were watching Saved by the Bell (ok I did watch it some too), I didn’t think their ideas were super cool.

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But by age 18, I was buying my own set of Tony Robbins personal power tapes from an infomercial at midnight from my college dorm and mapping out my future. And thanks to my parents planting these sorts of seeds in my life, my future grew into many successes and achievements because I designed the life I wanted and I didn’t wait until the timing was perfect or I was “ready”. If I thought it was important then I went after it. I still do this today.

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It’s never to late to achieve your dream life. Martha Stewart achieved her first major success at age 41 when her first book came out. She had started her catering business in her mid-thirties. Vera Wang didn’t get into fashion until age 40. My fellow Arkansan Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at age 44. And you’ve probably heard that Colonel Sanders started Kentucky Fried Chicken at age 62. I started my design firm at age 27 and it’s been a fantastic 17 years of growth, but I am thrilled that I still have so much time to reach even bigger goals. These stories of great women like Martha Stewart and Vera Wang inspire me to keep pushing for my dreams and that it’s never too late to start a new path.

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If you are looking at your life right now whether you’re “middle aged” like I may or may not have just become (wink), or you’re in your 30’s or 60’s or 80’s, the most important thing is that you believe that you have what it takes to make your goals and dreams happen. And that you do that one critical thing…Take Action!

Cheers to going for your dreams this year so matter your age. You can do it!

xo,

Tobi-Signature