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,
Let’s talk about magic.
I find magic when I leave behind “should” and choose the opportunities that light me up.
Case and point: My upcoming retreat to India.
When my colleague Cat and I chose the location for our second retreat, this was MAGIC. We wrote out all the places we could possibly go, and chose the spot that filled us with the most wonder and excitement.
Our decision went against many of the standard “retreat-planning rules.” We chose a location far from the United States, created a longer itinerary, etc… because it felt right.
Trusting yourself sometimes means breaking the rules.
Good thing we did! Our decision worked out beautifully! We now have 10 gorgeous people signed up for the trip of a lifetime (two spots are left — is one of them yours?!)!
You know, people talk a lot about RULES. But often, a rule just represents ONE option.
Many people, like Nelson Mandela, left a legacy by breaking the rules. Still more people found success in business because they went against the norm (check out this article by Forbes!).
It’s important to know the rules, yes. It’s also important to trust yourself enough to break them.
Here’s to less “should,” and more magic!
Embrace the Experience,
Do you ever want to say “Yes, yes, yes!!!!” to an opportunity… only to talk yourself out of it later?
These moments of clarity — where we know EXACTLY what we want and feel that desire deep in our bones — are downloads from the Universe. They are a spark meant to light your way in the darkness.
When we act on these moments with courage, knowing that second-guessing and fear is a normal part of the process, we can fast-track our success.
I see this with my clients time and time again. A couple recent examples:
*One woman declared her ideal salary (a number she threw out on intuition, having no idea how it could possibly happen). She got to work on interviews and, a few months later, received a surprising job offer for the exact number she named.
*Another woman got an intuitive hit that she needed a mentor with very specific knowledge. She hesitantly shared this with me. Living in a small town, she had no idea how she would meet this person. A week later, the exact person she needed showed up to a local networking group.
Empowering your divine downloads is a muscle you can strengthen.
In the past, it took me years to say “Yes!” to an opportunity I knew was right for me. It just felt so scary! Now, it can be a matter of minutes.
On a trip to New York in April, I met the man I knew would be my next mentor.
“I feel like I’m supposed to train with you,” I said. “Tell me how and I will make it work.”
Starting in November, I’ll be flying to the Silicon Valley every other month. I made this commitment to train under him before I knew any of the specifics.
I had no idea where or when the training would take place.
I had no idea how much it would cost.
I just had a deep sense that this was the RIGHT decision.
My commitment gave me a serious momentum boost and I’ve just closed out my most profitable 30 days of business ever. Paying for all those flights to California is no problem now!
This email is NOT meant to inspire you to say “Yes!” to any exciting idea.
It is meant to remind you that you can TRUST in the deep calling you feel or in the idea that comes to mind that somehow feels “right.”
Have courage! Listen to your gut! You are an intuitive being with the answers inside of you.
Embrace the Adventure,
Are you waiting for the “right” way to get started? Or the “best” next step to appear?
Are you waiting until conditions are perfect? Until you have the “right” equipment, tools, or techniques to take the leap into what you KNOW is next for you?
If you find this is your mindset, you may be kicking the can down the road. And because the road through life is (hopefully) long…. you can keep kicking that can for a VERY long time.
What if the question weren’t about the “right” time, but about…
- Having fun
- Sharing your gifts with the world
- Honoring your process
- Learning sacred lessons as you go that ensure your long-term success
When we remember that it’s about THOSE things, rather than perfectionism, we make magic happen. We do the work to make ourselves and our mission visible. And then…
The right partners appear.
Sh*t actually happens!
I experienced a great example of the “Just do it!” attitude a few weeks ago when I did an interview about authentic relating with my friends Karen and Philippa. These ladies run a podcast called “Women of Uncertain Age” and I love the attitude they bring to this passion project. We did the podcast session at Philippa’s kitchen table. We recorded the session with her iPhone. We drank a little wine and laughed a lot.
Was it perfect? No way. But it was a hell of a lot of fun… and we had a great conversation that made a difference for people (through their “Just Do It!” attitude, they’ve created a dedicated following!). In fact, someone who heard the podcast attended my last Authentic Relating Games night because she was inspired by what she learned.
Let your LOVE be bigger than your FEAR.
Let your desire to SERVE others and HAVE FUN be BIGGER than the reasons why you can’t.
You can do it.
Embrace the Adventure,
P.S. Let me know what you think of the podcast!
Woops! This blog post had the wrong title!
…and right after I wrote about choosing “Just do it!” over perfectionism.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Let this be a magical, cosmic reminder that DOING THE THING — even if you get the title wrong 😉 — is better than not taking action.
Embrace the Adventure,
Over the past two weeks, I’ve interviewed past travelers on PACK Retreats.
Today, I spoke with Matt Maxwell (who inspired the title of this email!).
Last week, I talked with Neil Takemoto.
I run these retreats with my colleague Catherine Wood, and we are sharing these interviews to show how FRICKIN’ AWESOME our travelers are.
Our vision is that PACK Retreats give people a powerful experience during the trip… but also once they get home. We are building a global community of inspired, heart-driven creators. By highlighting the incredible people who have joined us this far, we know we will inspire other movers-and-shakers to join us in the future.
Are you awesome? Do you love people? Do you love living a happy life?
Embrace the Adventure,
Many of my clients would rather run themselves ragged than be called selfish.
To avoid seeming selfish or uncommitted, they give of themselves until they are exhausted.
They work long hours. They stop going to the gym. They don’t exercise their “No” with friends or family.
Then they wonder why they feel burnt out, tired, and can’t create the relationship with others (or themselves) they want.
This is because, ultimately, their choices are based in AVOIDANCE.
They are focused on what they DON’T want to be.
In this black-and-white world, they’re either selfish (bad) or unselfish (good).
When they stop and examine the fear of being selfish, they start to see a grey area. They start to see that being selfish can be the BEST thing you can do for others.
What does it even mean to be selfish?
It means we put ourselves first.
It means we take care of our own needs.
It means we put on our proverbial oxygen mask before we assist others.
Because, honestly, who are we going to help if we’re passed out in the emergency exit?
To give others our highest and best, we must first exquisitely support ourselves.
I recently saw an interview between Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant that described this beautifully.
“How you treat yourself is how you treat God because you are the representative of God in your life,” Vanzant said.
“So it’s not selfish to put yourself first?” Oprah asked.
“No, It’s self-ful… to be as good as possible to you. You want to come with your cup full.”
Remember: What we avoid controls us. Facing, and changing our relationship to, what we fear is access to freedom.
Imagine the impeccable energy you could bring to others if you were fully sourced, fully supported, fully cared for.
What could you create in your family, your relationships, and your career if you truly put your needs first?
Imagine how THAT version of yourself would show up to a challenge. Imagine how THAT version of yourself would treat others.
I invite you to step into the grey area — to embrace mindful selfishness.
I invite you to give yourself permission to have the self-care or support you’ve been craving.
A life of powerful intention and possibility is within your reach. Are you self-ful enough to claim it?
Did this blog post resonate with you?
I want to know: What is your biggest takeaway?
Embrace the Adventure,
There I am on the far left, looking seriously professional.
But don’t be fooled… This was my left shark moment.
Let’s rewind for those who don’t know this cultural reference.
During the 2015 Super Bowl, Katy Perry rocked the half time show. It was great exposure for her, but the true star was one of her backup dancers — the man in the giant shark costume on her left.
“Left shark” became an instant celebrity featured on national news outlets. People talked about him for weeks because his choreography was clearly off and his improvised moves were oh-so hilarious. You can see the video here.
Ok — now back to the story!
In February, I joined a four-week women’s salsa styling class. I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn new moves and make friends.
When I arrived for the first class, however, the teacher announced we would perform the choreography.
“Are you dancing with us, Megan?” She asked me (in Spanish, of course).
I said yes.
But by the end of the first class I was worried. Most of the women were already amazing dancers. As these beautiful Latinas twirled their way across the floor, I flailed around in back like a fish out of water.
Over the next two weeks, I became increasingly nervous. I spent hours in between classes trying to learn the choreography and no one seemed available to practice with me.
A week before the show, I went to a final rehearsals.
As the other ladies turned across the floor, I stood awkwardly in place. When they did a complicated series of moves, I got lost and ended up facing the wrong direction.
“You look confused.” The dance teacher told me.
It would have been easy to give up. This was NOT what I had expected. I felt humiliated and alone. My ego was screaming at me to call it quits.
But then my coach-brained turned on: What’s the bigger thing for me to learn here?
Since arriving, I had been trying to gain friends and connect with others by looking “together,” rather than by relaxing and truly connecting with people.
I was trying to prove myself by doing things “right,” rather than loving myself — and letting others love me — simply for me. (After all, this gringa with terrible Spanish and mediocre salsa moves was actually really nice, fun, and charming!)
It was exhausting. And I decided I would rather create success from EASE and CONNECTION rather than from PERFORMANCE.
So, for the next week, I asked for support as much as I needed it (especially when I felt like it was “too much”). I practiced laughing at myself and embracing “good enough.” I practiced not taking myself so seriously and keeping things in perspective.
From this new place, I got the support I needed and had a hell of a lot more fun. My fellow dancers helped me, rooted for me, and made sure I was able to get into my costume (those tight, frilly outfits are difficult to put on!).
As it turns out, being a demand for what you want is often necessity here! If you ask once, twice, or three times, you probably won’t get what you need. No one thinks it’s pushy. People think it’s normal. (Thanks, Universe, for the opportunity to endlessly practice standing up for what I need! What a great skill to strengthen!)
By the next week, I was somewhat ready for the performance. I knew most of the moves but — more importantly — I had the right attitude.
Making FUN, EASE, and CONNECTION non-negotiable turned everything around. And I got what I wanted: better dance technique, new friends, and a memorable experience.
Was my performance perfect? Hardly! You can see it here.
But it was good enough! And we’ve been invited to perform our choreography at the Hard Rock Cafe… so I’ll have another shot and plenty more time to practice.
Readers, Where are you taking yourself too seriously? Is it killing your ability to have fun and be present? What is the experience you really want?
Whatever it is, you can create it NOW! You can choose to assume the attitude that will allow you to have the experience you desire.
Don’t forget it, and don’t forget to…
Embrace the Adventure,
In honor of International Women’s Day, I want to feature a few ladies who have made a big difference for me this year, as well as offer a free, three-hour coaching intensive to a woman who is making a difference for those around her.
Who is this gorgeous babe, you ask? Why, it’s Leah Beilhart! Photographer, videographer, and community leader extraordinaire! Leah makes a massive contribution through her community Behold.Her in Washington DC and does beautiful work for her clients — all while being kind, gracious, and quirky in the best way. She is to thank for our beautiful video of the Dominican retreat.
It’s not often your AirBnB host becomes a friend. Darys is an amazing woman and fate brought us together in the Dominican Republic. Darys lived in New York for many years and worked on Wall Street before moving back to the DR to become the first female CEO of the Dominican Stock Exchange. She came from modest beginnings and recently released a book about her path to success. She is in the midst of launching her international speaking career (just last week she spoke at three events in Colombia), and it’s been a blast to work side by side with her from her apartment. She is honest, kind, and all-around badass.
In 2017, Dance Adventures collaborated with Mickela — the Emmy-Award-Winning host of the television show Bare Feet — to run our dance trip to Argentina. Mickela’s tenacity is inspiring. Initially, she struggled to find support for her show because she didn’t look like a typical television host. She stayed with it and now has three Emmys under her belt. She is an amazing example of what happens when a brilliant woman applies herself to a project she adores.
Make sure to follow these three ladies so you receive updates on the amazing things they’re creating!
Embrace the adventure,