Personal Development

How to Limit Drama Over the Holidays

During this pandemic, organizing a gathering requires way more conversations and planning.

And — even when people are excellent communicators — I’ve seen best-laid plans end in…

  • Miscommunications
  • Misunderstandings
  • Arguments
  • Disappointments
  • Various types of drama

As I’ve navigated the pandemic social scene, as well as coached my clients through this experience, I’ve realized there is one thing we can do to drastically lower the likelihood of gatherings-gone-wrong:

Turn our implicit assumptions into explicit agreements.

We might, for instance, assume that:

  1. Everyone has the same definition of social distancing
  2. People will feel safe with a certain size of gathering
  3. Your friends or family will all quarantine the same way before your get together
  4. Your guests will send a screen shot of their negative COVID results to your group
  5. People at a party will limit their drinking so they stay properly aware of social distancing throughout the night
  6. And on… and on… and on…

It’s when we don’t name these assumptions and then turn them into agreements that a situation can go awry.

I recently practiced this while out in Boulder, Colorado with a group of friends (nicknamed “the pod”). We created a list of agreements based on the assumptions we were making (think: how we shop at grocery stores, whether or not we dine out, quarantine rules before arrival, etc…).

While the list wasn’t perfect (and is outdated in some ways now that we know more about COVID), it certainly put us on the same page and allowed for a drama-free experience.

If you feel inspired, I invite you to create your own list for your holiday gatherings this year. Let’s stay safe and have lots of fun.

What does it mean to be in our pod?

  • We interact as in normal, non-pandemic times (i.e. hugging, dinner parties, dancing, no mask when we’re together). 
  • When you see folks outside the pod, you:
    • Make sure you and others have on masks if you are six feet apart 
    • Can forego masks if you are outside and more than 8 feet apart
  • When out and about you:
    • Wear an N-95 mask if you are inside and close to others (i.e. if you have to go to the doctor’s office, or are in a building where people are closer to you
    • Are diligent about keeping six feet of distance between you and anyone else (this includes if you’re stopping to ask for directions or other quick interactions)

If people come to visit (i.e. people who are in our pod, but are only staying a short time):

  • They get tested (if they fly, please see directions under flying) 
  • They social distance after their test until they come. 
  • They follow other directions as outlined here

Requirements to be in our pod

  • Get COVID tested and then practice social distancing from everyone except pod members until you arrive 
  • No eating inside restaurants (outside eating only). If you are eating with someone outside the pod, make sure you are 6 feet apart (most tables are not 6 feet wide).
  • Please also:
    • Do not ride in Lyfts or Ubers unless the windows are down and you are wearing an N95
    • Don’t go to the gym
    • If you go grocery shopping, make sure to wear a mask
    • For those who are flying, follow the protocols listed below

Mandatory COVID test:

  • In many places, rapid testing is available that can get you same-day results (**please note that this is sometimes only an option for essential workers or if you’ve been exposed to someone who has COVID**). 

If you are flying to Denver:

  • Note from Meg: people on planes and in airports were not following precautions well when I traveled. Because of this, please get COVID tested a minimum of 24 hours after you arrive
  • Wear an N95 Mask and a face shield when you fly 

If you are driving to Boulder:

  • Take precautions (mask, gloves, hand sanitizer) whenever you stop for gas or to get food

Has this blog been helpful for you? Or have you had an interesting experience turning implicit assumptions into explicit agreements? Leave me a comment below!

25 Cool Things About Me

  1. I went to college on an opera scholarship.
  2. I used to speak French fluently. Now I speak Spench.
  3. I was a vegan for 2 years.
  4. I worked on an organic farm in France for one summer.
  5. I’m currently obsessed with teaching people how to create passive income products.
  6. When I’m sick, I sometimes eat a whole jar of pickles.
  7. I have a cute butt.
  8. I make really good pasta puttanesca.
  9. I learned how to make Thai food last week for a charity event.
  10. My sense of wonder is alive and well.
  11. I prioritize generosity in my business.
  12. I have an idea parking lot where I keep all my good ideas so I can focus.
  13. I’m in the middle of finishing my first TWO books — Life Beyond Should and a Dance Travel Anthology.
  14. I trust my intuition and am willing to do crazy things because it tells me so (move to the DR; tell someone he is supposed to be my mentor; etc…).
  15. I can write well and quickly.
  16. My editing skills were once complimented by a world famous author.
  17. I am an AUNT and learning the things I love about childrenI would drop everything and fly anywhere if a friend really needed me.
  18. My favorite color is purple.
  19. I am willing to take immediate action based on my inspiration.
  20. By the end of 2019, my business will have at least 10 income streams.
  21. One of my superpowers is creating partnerships that launch me forward.
  22. In the last few weeks, I’ve asked for — and received — more head than at any other time in my life.
  23. I like stomping through puddles.
  24. I love everything dance-related, and don’t mind looking like an idiot to learn a new dance or dance move.

What are the Best Books For Entrepreneurs?

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

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine

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.”

The Mom Test: How to talk to customers & learn if your business is a good idea when everyone is lying to you

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.”

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It (1st Edition) (2.7.1995)

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!”

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

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.”

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable

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.”

#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media and Self-Awareness

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

Rich as F*ck: More Money Thank You Know What to do With

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.

Awaken the Giant Within

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.”

Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised™

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.”

The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women: Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It

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.”

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

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.”

Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One

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.”

Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life

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.”

8 Ways to End The Loneliness of Working From Home

8 Ways to End The Loneliness of Working From Home

1. Start and end your day with people: Working from home doesn’t have to be lonely. There are plenty of options for a social fix before and after work. In the morning, attend a bootcamp class with your friends, join a jogging club, or have coffee with a fellow entrepreneur. In the evening, have dinner with your housemates/friends/family, host a weekly games night, go for a long walk with someone you love, or find an activity you enjoy, such as social dancing. It’s best to make these meetings routine so you can socialize without extra work. No entrepreneur needs the responsibility of more planning.

2. Set a boundary around your work hours: It’s hard to be social if you’re in front of your computer from dawn ‘till dusk (so many entrepreneurs do this!). Create a schedule that gives you room for life outside of work. Even if you get 10% less done each day, you will significantly improve your quality of life.

3. Pick up a social-heavy hobby: This can make your weekends a social extravaganza. Join a hiking group, take a pottery class, sign up for improv workshops, or participate in a Meetup group for wine-lovers. Whatever it is, make sure it gives plenty of time for conversation and
connection with fellow participants.

4. Plan Social Getaways Once Per Quarter: Whether it’s a weekend visiting a good friend or a trip away with awesome people (check out the retreats I host at www.packretreats.com), plan these well ahead of time. I suggest my clients schedule their quarterly getaways at the beginning of the year. This will give you something to look forward to, as well as help you avoid burnout, support your self-care and keep your creativity flowing.

5. Find an online community: A quick Google search of “online community for [your focus area here]” will return good prospects. I also highly recommend my virtual coworking community at
www.megantaylormorrison.com In The Thriving Creator, you co-work alongside other awesome entrepreneurs from around the world.

6. Co-work in person: Coordinate coworking at a local cafe with other entrepreneurs in your network. Make sure to keep meeting times consistent so people can plan for them.

7. Work with accountability partners: Find someone you can check in with a few times a week about your progress. You can do this in person or over Skype (seeing this other person, rather than just hearing them, will help fight loneliness). If you want best practices and training on how to maximize the potential of your accountability partnerships, check out my accountability training.

8. Collaborate: If you’re always working solo, consider a collaboration with someone you admire. Host a workshop with that person, edit each other’s work, or create a podcast that supports
both your businesses.

About the Author: Megan Taylor Morrison is a creative entrepreneur and business coach based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She loves travel, social dancing, and watching her clients build flourishing companies. Cowork alongside Megan each week in her virtual coworking community or learn more about Megan’s work here.

8 Ways to End The Loneliness of Working From Home

What Dominican Pick Up Lines and Starting a Biz Have in Common

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)
*”Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

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
*Changing careers
*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,

Meg