Two Areas You Must Master If You Want to Be Successful-Part 1: Time

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We all desire success, but success has many meanings. For some, success will mean we are high-achievers, earning multitudes of accolades. For others, it will mean massive financial success. And for many, it will mean having flexibility with their day-to-day routines. Finally, there are a lot of us that define success as having healthy, positive relationships with family, friends, and their community.

The real question is this – what does success mean to you?

Regardless of what success means to you, there are two major areas you must master if you want to be successful. The good news is, we all have the option to make these decisions. Everyone qualifies. There is not one person reading this who lacks the power in their circumstances to choose wisely in these two areas.

Time

The first decision you must make if you want to be successful is how you will spend your time. Have you seen the social media gif that says, “We all have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé?” It’s true! We all get twenty-four hours a day to maximize. Time is the one commodity we don’t get back. It’s so precious!

Some of you may be thinking, “I don’t have power over my time. I have to take my kids to daycare, show up to work, pick my kids back up after work, go grocery shopping, make dinner, do some laundry, put my kids to bed, and at some point, I need to sleep.”

While I won’t argue that you may have tremendous responsibilities, I will argue that you still have the power to prioritize your time. For example, you can choose to get up before your kids do in order to get your workouts in. You could spend your early mornings reading books on salon business or development prior to starting your day. After work, you can choose to hit the gym before going home. You can choose to substitute television for planning your digital marketing each week. We may have a lot on our plate, but we still have the ability to maximize our time. Depending on what success means to you, how will you choose to spend your time?

I personally choose to get up before my ten-month-old son does, so I can have a quiet time. I also start work before my salon opens, so I can make it to a 4 p.m. yoga class – which I do so I can make it home before my husband is home from picking up our son from daycare. Additionally, I go to bed by 9 p.m., so I can easily wake up early and refreshed. Every choice has to be purposeful because there are many tasks to complete and many events I need to be accountable for. I once heard that success is simply making a few value-based decisions and managing those decisions each and every day. I make sure I book no more than two in-person meetings per day, while giving myself at least two uninterrupted weekdays to accomplish tasks. I’m mindful about only scheduling one afterwork event per week so I’m not neglecting my family time, and I’m especially intentional about getting enough sleep. I’m sure there are many other little things I could share, but you can get a great picture of what this means to me. The question is, what does prioritizing your time mean to you?

For the next month, consciously think about how you are prioritizing your time and start making changes. But, remember that time is only one of two areas that you must master for success, so make sure to check back for Part 2 when I share the second area!  

Finding Your Time

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Have you read any productivity books or blogs lately? Productivity is a HOT topic and one that we can all learn from. But, with all of the information circulating about increasing your productivity, you might be wondering where to start!

If quitting your multitasking habit or only checking your email three times a day is too scary, I have one exercise that is easy and can make a huge difference in your work! This practice is all about finding the best time of day to work on certain tasks—finding your time.

Pay Attention to Your Body Your first step towards finding your time is to begin noticing and paying attention to your body. For example, do you wake up early to respond to emails, but already feel exhausted by 9:00am? That’s a sign that you should either sleep later or save emails for the afternoon. On the other hand, are you the most creative after eating lunch, around 1:00pm? Then, start scheduling your creative projects for the afternoon. Are you catching on? By scheduling specific tasks for the time that you’re best suited to work on that project, you will save time, frustration, and you’ll create better work!

Be Patient & Practice. Finding your time will take some practice and patience—this is OK. Spend a few weeks experimenting with your tasks and scheduling. Maybe you’ve always wanted to exercise in the morning, so you give it a try but you’re ready for a nap by lunch time. Recognize that what you want and what you need might be different, so try switching your workout to the afternoon. You won’t find the perfect time the first time, but don’t give up!

Be Flexible. If you’re lucky enough to be a leader and have a team who reports to you, be flexible with their needs. As you may know, I am the founder of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, WI and my team of stylists are ALL millennials. After building my team, I quickly realized that their work preferences differ—often significantly—from mine. Sometimes as leaders, we expect others to follow in our footsteps simply because we did it this way and we know it works. However, I’ve learned to compromise, set boundaries, and be flexible. If you have an employee who wants to come into the office at 6:00am and leave at 2:00pm, be open to their needs! Don’t get stuck in a traditional mindset at the expense of happy and productive employees.

Are you ready to find your time? Give it a try, and share your results and other productivity tips with me on social media!

Say NO to FOMO

What Is FOMO?

Have you heard of FOMO? Recently, I've been seeing this term everywhere! I've heard it in podcasts, on my favorite Instagram accounts, and even in finance articles. So, what the heck is FOMO? 

No, it's not a scary genetic illness. FOMO stands for "Fear of Missing Out." Yep, you know the feeling. Here's a very real example: a group of your friends invites you out on Friday night. Even if you were planning to stay in and watch a webinar, you become so scared that you're going to miss out on a fun night with friends. And, here comes the FOMO. 

You don't want to be the one who misses a hilarious inside joke or is excluded from all the fun Instagram pics. So, you spend hours agonizing on whether or not you should go. This is FOMO, and it can kill your energy and happiness. 

My FOMO Story

I first learned what FOMO means during a sermon about being face-to-face and fully present in the lives of those who we care about. Many people can relate to this feeling of being pulled in so many directions that some of your personal connections suffer. But, my fear of missing out is related to missing business or educational opportunities. Now, you might be thinking: “That doesn’t sound like Kati—she is always on the top of her game, constantly learning, and building her business!” Yes, that is me, but my priorities have recently shifted.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that my husband and I recently welcomed our first baby boy to the family! Baby Nash has become the sunshine of my life and fills me with joy. But, I've become a victim of FOMO.

I'm constantly worried about education and business opportunities that I might be missing out on while staying at home with my family. With a newborn, I’m limited in the events that I can attend and be present for. I know the working-mamas can back me up on these struggles: Where do I find a decent babysitter? Will I be mom-shamed for attending an out-of-state conference with an 8 week old at home? How could I miss baby’s first smile, laugh, words, and the list goes on!

Say NO to FOMO

Now, it’s not fair for anyone to experience FOMO—especially when you’re a hardworking, thoughtful, and compassionate person. So, how do you combat these feelings and say no to these negative emotions?

  • Gratitude  

A great place to start is with gratitude. For me, I think about how thankful I am for a healthy baby boy, a loving husband, and amazing friends and family. When I’m present for Nash’s first words, I will be thankful for that moment.

For you, this practice might look different. If you’re a graduate student and your FOMO is related to going out with friends, take time to write down how thankful you are for having the opportunity to further your studies, attending the university of your dreams, and learning from top minds in your field. Everyone has something to be grateful for.  

  • Take Your Time

FOMO will not disappear immediately, but it can get easier with time as you begin to define or realign your priorities. For example, I recently received an invitation to volunteer for an event that I really care about, but the time and location are totally inconvenient for my life. On the first day that I received the email, I had a bad case of FOMO. I kept thinking about the participants who I would let down and how much fun I would have at the event. But, when I came back to the email a day later, I didn’t feel FOMO and politely declined the invitation. Oftentimes, you can come back to an idea or feeling with a fresh mind and a clearer perspective on your priorities. Make a decision and don’t look back.

  • Trust

As a follower of Christ, I trust God’s timing and the path for my life. I know that I am exactly where I’m meant to be right now, and I know it’s true for you too! Remember to treat yourself kindly, stop comparing yourself to others, and enjoy exploring the unknown.

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Do you have a FOMO story, or tips to combat these fears? Share below or reach out to me on Instagram! Together we can say NO to FOMO!

A New Way To Think About Your Influences

Do you remember that children’s song that goes something like, “be careful little eyes what you see”? What about being careful with our adult eyes?

We're all influenced by outside sources. In fact, thanks to technology, our exposure to outside influences is greater now than it has ever been. If you open up your Facebook page, you’re going to have multiple opportunities to be influenced. How many of you are on Twitter, Instagram, or the internet in general? We cannot completely avoid what it placed in front of us.

Isn't this why parents are so mindful of what their children are exposed to seeing and hearing? As adults, do we plan or prevent our own influences?

Who or What Are Your Biggest Influences?

You may have heard me talk about the fact that we are who we hang around. “Birds of a feather flock together.” Or, you may have heard that we’re the sum total of the five people we spend the most time with. We are failing to recognize that if we’re hanging out with our iPhones more than humans—this becomes one of the top five people we’re the sum total of. Are you with me on this? In other words, who or what we’re hanging around within technology will become the five people we’re most influenced by.

If I follow certain people on social media, I’m going to learn from them and it will inevitably start to shape my mind—if I’m not mindful of filtering them.

Listening to a certain genre of music will start to influence us. By the way, I use this to my advantage. If I need to get in a certain mood, similar to athletes prior to a big game, I will play a specific style of music to influence my mind and body. It can help build adrenaline, and on the flip side, music can help calm and soothe.

There have been shows I’ve started and had to discontinue because I was getting hooked on the lives of the people in the show—how embarrassing! It would impact the way I spoke, how I responded to people, and eventually it impacted decisions I made. I’m grateful to have recognized this sooner than later.

Now, I have a list of shows that I love to watch on Hulu each week. These are escape from reality shows, such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” Once I’m caught up on those, I’m done with TV for the week. It’s time to get away from the couch and do other things. Because if I search hard enough, I’ll find something mind-numbing that will not add any value to my life. And trust me, as much as you may need to read this, I need to write this. I have had periods in life when I’ve been completely enthralled with a show and watching it was all I wanted to do. I would binge watch every episode, season after season. It can be very addicting! Now, I have those allotted shows for a reason. They’re entertaining and fictional. But there’s a handful, and that’s it.

What if you developed rules that you were to abide by, as if you were parenting your teenage self? For example, I will listen to positive podcasts that offer personal and professional development as well as reading similar books.

What About Your Time?

It’s really about recognizing the value of our time. What do you want to do with your time? How will seeing, listening, or reading, whatever it is, going to affect your life? Is it bringing you closer to who you want to be? Or distracting you from all that you could accomplish?

I once saw this social media post and it said, “We have the same 24 hours a day that Beyoncé has.” And that my friends, is true. Let’s filter out the crap and proactively pour in the purposeful.

Comment below and let me know your takeaways; what you have—or will apply to your life!

Affirmations that Work to Your Benefit

When you think of affirmations, you may typically think of standing in front of your mirror and saying something like, “I am powerful, I am beautiful. I am fit. I am [fill in the blank].” While those may be true, what if they aren’t? Meaning, what if you say, “I am a millionaire. Or, I am a triathlete”. What I want to guide you on is how to make sure that those affirmations work to your benefit.

You see, your mind recognizes when you’re telling yourself something untrue. It’s basically calling your bluff. So if you were to say, “I am a millionaire,” and you really aren’t yet, your brain will call you out for that. And it definitely doesn’t sit in the storage compartments of the brain as an honest truth about yourself.

So here’s a quick tip for you: Change the ways you say your affirmations so that your brain says, “Ah, that’s true”, instead of recognizing it as false.

You can do that by saying, “I am in the process of becoming…”

You look at yourself, maybe in the mirror at home, or however you like to approach your affirmation. Then take what you started with before, and adjust it to say, “I am in the process of becoming powerful, I am in the process of becoming fit, I am in the process of becoming a millionaire”, and so on. You can fill that in with whatever you may be striving towards, but no matter what, when you use the words “I am in the process of becoming...”, your brain responds with, “Yes, yes you are.”

How many times does it take for an adult to retain new information? The answer is, twenty-one times! This is why we are pounded with certain advertisements over and over again. Repetition is key to associating a message with a brand. Hence, I encourage you to stick with your affirmations until it becomes your brand and your belief about yourself.

What are you in the process of becoming? Share in the comments below!

What is Your Daily Agenda | Part 2

A couple weeks ago we talked about the book, "Today Matters" by John C. Maxwell. The key to success is found in your daily agenda. In other words, what are your daily priorities? Are you running your day or is your day running you? 

I wanted to share my musts for each day. I literally create an agenda sheet and print a new one each week. It's my version of checking off my goals. Am I the only one who loves doing that? I thoroughly enjoyed having a curriculum in school or when I was off to a sports or bible camp. I found that I struggled with consistency once I became an entrepreneur. It's not that I didn't work. I actually worked day and night. So much so that I lost balance and family time, among other areas, suffered. 

Each day I must: 

  • have a daily quiet time/devotional
  • post to my own social media sites
  • work out
  • read or watch an educational video
  • write
  • plan (blogs, podcasts, mastermind topics, social media, etc...)
  • laundry-- ha!  "It's easier to keep up than catch up"

In addition to my daily musts, I have weekly goals and/or restrictions as well as monthly tasks. Oh, and like most of you, I have an ongoing to-do list that is dependent upon upcoming events, speaking engagements, etc... I once was told that I needed to focus on the behaviors that lead to results rather than the results themselves. It's a practice. It's continuous. And it works.

P.S. what I mean by restrictions is I set boundaries for my schedule. Okay, an example would be that I only allow myself to have two one-on-one meetings per week. I know if I go beyond that, the consistency of my daily routine will suffer and other important tasks or goals may not be met. I pre-plan open spots each week for those times when someone wants to get together for coffee. You dig?

Please reach out with yours or share on my Facebook page so we can high five one another and hold each other accountable :)

What is Your Daily Agenda | Part 1

The book "Today Matters" by John C. Maxwell talks about our misunderstanding of success. It's not what we think it is. It's not what I thought it was...

He writes, "The secret of your success is determined by our daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed." 

Besides reading this awesome book, I recommend joining me in the following exercise. What are the main decisions you need to make in the following categories? Once you've made these decisions for your life, you will need the discipline in managing them. And remember, discipline means giving up the good, and the better, for the best! 

1. Attitude: Choose and display the right attitudes daily
2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily
3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily
4. Family: Communicate with and care for family daily
5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily
6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily
7. Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily
8. Faith: Deepen and live out my faith daily
9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily
10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily
11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily
12. Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily


If you're open to it, I'd love for you to share with me on social what you've decided on in these categories for your life!

How to stay strong through difficult times

We all go through tumultuous circumstances. How do we stay strong? How do we get through?

First, and this may surprise you, we don't have to stay strong. We can allow ourselves to be weak, vulnerable, and exposed. I've always tried to muscle my way through life. And as life would have it, there are times when I just can't. I need to admit, I alone cannot overcome the hurt, nor the pain. I alone, cannot find my way through this.

Most of you know that I'm a believer in Jesus Christ. When going through difficult times, I've learned it is best to go to my Heavenly Father. For me, He is strong when I am not. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  

What Paul is saying, and I agree with, is it's okay to give your rights over to those who can help you. For me, I find strength in going to God with my burdens. Asking Him to lead the way. And I also share my struggles with trusted advisers, who will pray for and with me, or offer advice, give me direction or give me a referral to someone who can help.  In our willingness to be vulnerable about our problems (we all have them), we find freedom, grace and mercy.

At the end of the day, each trial, each storm we live through, is forming us into the version of ourselves we are meant to be. Have faith and hope in the midst of it all. Because in my opinion, there will come a glorious day when we'll no longer suffer from the sin of the world. Amen?!