This week, I emailed the Dalai Llama.
Why? In my entrepreneurship mastermind, my clients and I are talking about “going big”. On our last call, one client shared a story from his weekend at a personal development seminar. The facilitator asked people to raise their hand if they were just three degrees of separation away from Oprah. Next, people raised their hand if they were three degrees of separation away from a state senator. On the facilitator went, listing major influencers — and people were raising their hands for each one! We sometimes stick with the people we know, rather than making bold moves to get our ideas/products/book in front of influencers.
I’m doing final interviews for my forthcoming book, Life Beyond Should, and needed someone to weigh in on the chapter about dharma. Why not the Dalai Llama?
The Dalai Llama hasn’t gotten back to me yet, but I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep working my contacts to see if I can get him on the phone. In the meantime, however, I did secure an interview with a buddhist who lived in a cave for 13 years — three of those years in total isolation.
Pretty cool, right?
This is your reminder to go big. Ask for what you want and watch what you create!
A few other notes for you:
2020 Retreats: In 2020, we’ll have retreats to countries that start with a “D,” “G,” “I,” and “P.” Can you guess which ones? If you haven’t seen the video from our Dominican Republic or India retreats, definitely check them out! We will announce our 2020 retreats next week!
Authentic Leadership Group Program: Want to elevate your leadership? Add authenticity. Read more about my year-long program here.
Have you tried virtual coworking yet? If not, reply to this email and I’ll set you up with one free month!
New episode on The Thriving Creator Podcast: I speak with Emma Mankey Hidem, Founder & CEO of Sunnyside Virtual Reality, about making the transition from day job to entrepreneurship. We cover the topics of procrastination, being honest about your weak points, assessing your weak spots, legal contracts, and more. Listen here.
Embrace the adventure,
I had a great conversation with Kelly Lewis, founder of the travel company Damesly and the annual Women’s Travel Fest.
We talked about:
*Finding your purpose
*Getting connected to the big reason WHY you do what you do
*Pivoting from a 9-5 to the world of entrepreneurship
*Going ALL IN to create leaps forward in your biz Listen here.Kelly Lewis is also a member of my Virtual Coworking Community. If you haven’t tried our virtual coworking, reply to this email! I’ll set you up for a free, 1-month trial! People say these sessions skyrocket their momentum and help them knock big to’do’s off their lists.
I know this interview with give you ideas and inspire you! Let me know if you check it out.
Also, stay tuned for the following:
1. May 15 – I’ll announce our 2020 PACK Retreats (we’ll have 4 incredible trips for you!)
2. May 15 – My private mastermind for entrepreneurs kicks off (Want to sign up? Let’s chat!)
2. June 15 – My Authentic Leadership Group Program kicks off (Interested? Email me!)
Embrace the Adventure,
When I meet successful people, I ask them what they’re reading. These recommended books on business and personal development led to massive momentum toward my goals, and I’m delighted to share them with you.
Books for Business
Why read it? You want a simple accounting system for your business that makes sure you have sustainable growth, get paid for the hard work you do, and have fun.
Quote: “A financially healthy company is a result of a series of small daily financial wins, not one big moment. Profitability isn’t an event; it’s a habit.”
Why read it? You’re launching new products or programs and you need to know how to interview your ideal clients
Quote: “Trying to learn from customer conversations is like excavating a delicate archaeological site. The truth is down there somewhere, but it’s fragile. While each blow with your shovel gets you closer to the truth, you’re liable to smash it into a million little pieces if you use too blunt an instrument.”
Why read it? You want a business model that’s replicable and can help you make good money without working around the clock
Quote: “If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business—you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic!”
Why read it? You’re tired of investing time and resources into ideas or products that don’t have the success you predicted.
Quote: “We must learn what customers really want, not what they say they want or what we think they should want.”
Why read it? You’re ready to challenge yourself to have a brand that people notice.
Quote: “If you’re remarkable, it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise–ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.”
I recommend listening to this book, rather than reading it. You’ll soak in all of Gary V’s positive, high energy as he riffs about all sorts of topics relevant to running a successful business.
Quote: “I put zero weight into anyone’s opinion about me because I know exactly who I am. Can you say the same?”
Books for Personal Development
Why read it? You are ready for your next level of wealth, and you need to challenge limiting beliefs or fears that are blocking you. I believe this is the best book about money mindset that has been written in the last 30 years.
Why read it? It’s time to stop making excuses and start creating the life you want.
Quote: “Any time you sincerely want to make a change, the first thing you must do is to raise your standards.”
Why read it? You’re serious about shifting your money mindset. This may be my favorite money mindset book of all time.
Quote: “Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and, perhaps, some failure. When defeat overtakes a man, the easiest and most logical thing to do is to quit. That is exactly what the majority of men do. More than five hundred of the most successful men this country has ever known told the author their greatest success came just one step beyond the point at which defeat had overtaken them.”
Why read it? You struggle with imposter syndrome.
Quote: “You can have all the confidence in the world and still be reluctant to self-promote out of a steadfast belief that a person’s work should speak for itself. It doesn’t.”
Why read it? You feel like you are heavily influenced by others emotions, behaviors, and needs.
Quote: “Furthermore, worrying about people and problems doesn’t help. It doesn’t solve problems, it doesn’t help other people, and it doesn’t help us. It is wasted energy.”
Why read it? You want to shift from one career to another.
Quote: “You can learn to enjoy calculated risk and uncertainty in exchange for adventure, flexibility, freedom, and opportunity.”
Why read it? You’re interested in open, honest, authentic communication
Quote: “To really experience true contact with another person, you must enter a realm of uncertainty together.”
As a blonde foreigner, I get a lot of attention here in the Dominican Republic. I’m always hearing new pick up lines or comments designed to get my attention.
Some of my favorite pick up lines (from this week):
*Would you like a private Uber driver?
*Oh, how God has blessed you!
*CITTAAAAA (short for “mamacita”… I think)
But here’s the thing: I really hated this attention when I arrived. And I hated it even more after six months. It’s not until recently that I developed a sense of humor about it. After that happened, I got to enjoy everything I LOVE about this country without all the stress of something I can’t control. What freedom!
This reminds me a LOT of starting my business.
When I began, the things I couldn’t control made me so uncomfortable. I had to CHOOSE to show up again and again until, one day, things felt slightly less scary. As time went on, the things that used to send me into a panic became no big deal.
This is the way the comfort zone works. When you commit to creating something new in your life (whether it’s living in a new culture or starting a business), you feel uncomfortable. Beginning is scary and staying with your decision can be even scarier! Your stress levels get higher until slowly — over time — the fear around the change subsides.
There’s a word for this: Acclimation (I talk a lot about this in my forthcoming book “Life Beyond Should”). Stay with what you’ve chosen and your comfort zone will expand.
This applies to SO MANY THINGS:
*Starting a new relationship after a really hard breakup
*Starting a business
*And a lot more
Have courage and stick with your process!
I hope the pickup lines I shared will remind you to keep your sense of humor in the face of your own challenges. Whatever you’re working on creating (or adjusting to), you will hit your stride.
Embrace the Adventure,
I am THRILLED to share the video from our January retreat to India! It captures the essence of the trip and some of my favorite memories, including:
1) A lightning storm at the taj mahal
2) Food that was like POETRY — complex, gorgeous, nuanced
3) Dancing with the locals in India
4) An amazing fire ceremony in Rishikesh (the Hindus do a ceremony every morning to wake up the Gods and every evening to bid them goodnight)
5) And more!
If you’d like to come on future trips, email me at email@example.com and I’ll add you to our PACK Retreats mailing list!
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Registration for our trip to the Dominican Republic closes tomorrow! This will be our LAST year in the DR, so make sure to register if you’ve been thinking about joining us!
I love how peering into other people’s worlds fuels our own inspiration and creativity. Lately, many of my clients have asked me about my day-to-day, so I wanted to share more in case anything I’m up to sparks something for you!
Here’s a glimpse into my life:
- Book I’m loving: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. I listened to this three times over on my morning walks and it’s encouraged me to act NOW on my desires. If you need more NOW in your life or business, check it out.
- What I’m enjoying most about living in the Dominican Republic now: Eating pasteles de hoja — Dominican-style tamales. Here’s a recipe. You’re welcome.
- I’m terrified to commit FULLY to my passion project: I’m digging into the connection between African dances and solo vernacular jazz more deeply than ever (watch the dance I’m currently working on here). Because this is so close to my heart, I have a ton of resistance to following through. I procrastinate, make excuses, and — bottom line — don’t practice. So… I just hired a private African dance instructor to work with me virtually and in-person. I know this project in my heart needs to come out, and I need a lot of loving support to make sure it does! (P.S. This is YOUR reminder to get support for the passion projects that mean so much to you!).
- Cool new testimonial: I just love my client Yvette Gorman-Holmes from Grow Your Moxie Coaching. You can read it below.
- Masala Chai: All day every day. Since getting back from India, I can’t stop drinking it. Here’s the recipe I’m using. Try it for yourself!
- My book: Life Beyond Should is moving right along! I got edits back from my first readers and am incorporating more interviews with scientists. This will be a scientific, spiritual, and practical guide to embracing your authentic desires!
Stay tuned for more updates! And let me know if you try out the book or recipes!
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Here’s the testimonial from Yvette:
“Megan OVER-DELIVERS as a coach and keeps you accountable to what you say you want! Through our coaching together, I learned to boldly move through the inner whispers of fear and ego, as well to stop using shame to fuel my productivity. I discovered how to increase my drive in a way that builds my confidence, inspires me, and makes me feel loved and acknowledged. I raised my prices and got hired for what I’m worth, as well as created a new level of compassion, commitment, and desire in my 20-year marriage. Working with Megan has been a celebrated gift to myself. She is a driven, compassionate, fun-loving, super-organized, disciplined soul who helps you get results and leads by example in all she does.”
We talk about how obstacles and doubt are an inevitable part of any journey, and ways for you to motivate yourself to walk right through them.
Megan offers so many insights and tools in this conversation- I can’t wait for you to watch!
Plus, we go over:
~(3:26) The 3 places we make decisions from + a tip to help us to remember how to show up powerfully in our lives
~(4:52) A somatic exercise for you to do with us to help shift your energy when you’re frustrated
~(16:30) How using an empowered pose can help you walk through things that are challenging you.
*Don’t miss out on an exercise that you can do with us that starts at 4:52
**Watch this TED Talk after to learn more about somatic exercises and power posing!
We’d love to hear how it goes, so share with us in a comment below:
~ What in your body or perception shifted from doing this exercise?
WANT MORE FROM MEGAN
Whether you’re looking for a business coach or looking for someone to guide you through a dance adventure – Megan can help! Learn more about Megan’s work here.
WITH LOVE AND POWER POSING,
About the Author
HIYA, I’M ELYSE!
I’m a personal trainer, fitness coach, and yoga teacher who gets people moving with in-person training and my signature online programs. I want to help people drop the guilt/shame game around exercise and start working out with ease and kindness. When I’m not doing squats and sun salutations, I’m dressed up in vintage lindy hop dancing or gathering other Lovely Lady Entrepreneurs to talk about their careers and living their most passionate lives. Start moving with me today with these FREE stretch breaks you can do to feel more energized and aligned during your day! – stretchbreak.elysesparkes.com
Do you think success requires hard work? A friend asked me this last week, and I answered:
“Success requires consistent and dedicated work, but whether it’s hard depends on your mindset.”
I am sick of hard work. Hard work makes me feel exhausted. It makes me dread getting out of bed in the morning — even to work on a business I love! It turns my creativity and inspiration into a chore.
Instead, I focused on how to make my consistent and dedicated work feel amazing for me.
Some of my favorite methods:
1. Breaking up hard work with dance parties
2. Co-working with different people every day of the week
3. Creating partnerships with people I admire to launch cool new workshops and programs
4. Working from places that feel luxurious to me (beautiful hotel lobbies, cafes where I can get my favorite tea, on my personal retreats abroad)
5. Checking in with myself on a quarterly basis to make sure my programs, retreats, and work relationships make my heart sing (if not, I change things up!).
My favorite methods of all involve other entrepreneurs who inspire me. When I consistently connect with those people, I want to work and create new things. The ideas come easily, I enjoy the accountability and support I receive, and I get to celebrate reaching my goals with people I adore. Hard work is nonexistent.
Embrace the Adventure,