Every morning I wake up and pinch myself. I think – why – oh – why didn’t I do this before? Why – oh – why didn’t I start my own business before?

The answer – I wasn’t ready for it and neither was my life.

It’s that simple. Trusting that I’m doing the right things at the right time is always a challenge, but things always happen when they are at the right moment to happen.

I wish

I want

I do

All things in good time. Wishing and wanting are good, but believing in those things is not the only thing.

Do something. Keep wanting, dreaming, believing, but action is everything. Live your life like the story you want it to be – as if – you are already in the new story. Live your life – as if – the story is yours to write. You are writing the next word on the page – what is it going to be?

Had I not had the life-experiences and job-experiences I had in the moments that I had them – I would not be doing what I’m doing now. End of story. LIVE. Everything in your life has brought you to this very moment. It’s yours.



2781942861_d83cc52858_oI’m apologizing to myself today and to many people I’ve worked with over the years.

I have to say I’m sorry. I probably didn’t treat you the way you wanted to be treated or manage you in a way that was helpful to you.

My expectations were too high, my style was too much, my patience was too thin. I expected you to show up and get IT done.

I set the bar high when it comes to performance. Whether it’s people, sport, you name it. I show up and deliver my best whenever I can and I expect that other people will do the same thing.

I want to work with the best people, who are full of passion and who care enough to do their greatest work as often as possible. The people who leave it all out there, every time they hit the field or office.

I find it IMPOSSIBLE, to work with people who have no inspiration, no passion, who fly below the radar, who half-ass it, whose best is mediocre.

In every organization I’ve worked there’s always been one or two who I’ll call “YOU”. And what I realize – wherever I go there will always, always be another “YOU”. The YOU without fire, the YOU who is okay with mediocrity, the YOU who doesn’t think there is time to do it right but doesn’t mind doing it over. The YOU who is too fearful, nervous, or small to live up to you own big-ness, the YOU who settles for less than.

I also realized that was not YOU at all – it was me. I’m the one who was going about this the wrong way. I’m not okay with “YOU”. Maybe that makes me a jerk, a neanderthal, an ass, or makes my expectations unrealistic, or maybe, just maybe, it makes me different. Not better, different. We don’t have the same values.

I’ve thought over the years and sometimes have been coached that I should learn how to work with “YOU”. That I should tolerate “YOU”, since there will always be another “YOU” and then I turned a corner and realized, that’s no way to live or work. That’s not me. That’s not how I do it. The time when mediocre is acceptable needs to be over now. It’s what’s wrong. Why we can’t get ahead. Mediocrity sucks.

My thought is if you are in a job where you can only perform at a mediocre level, find a new one, get better, do it! Find what you really want and do it!


the year of revolution


Sometimes you have to do the hardest thing.

2012 was my year of revolution.


I had to get clear, be patient, deal with being exactly where I was and am and keeping pressing on.

I look back on the last year and it all happened exactly the way it needed to for me to be pushed to do what I want to do. I wrote a lot, I published on this blog, I was published in print for the first time. I got fired, I got hired somewhere else. Something was missing. My passion. My fire.

I kept thinking about what I wanted to see in my future. There was doubt, fear, and all the other things that come with worry, but I kept on and on. This revolution was years in the making.

I envisioned true revolution something like this:

I work from home, I exercise when I want, I write in the mornings, I make enough money to feel safe. I wrote it down, erased it, rewrote with more clarity and intention. I pulled images together in my head of what it looked like. What it meant. How it would feel.

I had no idea how it would work OR IF, but I was certain about this – if I didn’t start today and today and NOW, I would never know. So I did it. I began.

And last week I resigned from my job because it happened, it all came together, all the stars aligned and I now work for myself. I did it. I started my own business. I can shape it into what I want it to be. To write, to take on only the work that I want to be doing, to believe in myself and to take my own advice and GO!  I’m terrified and overjoyed. Thankful, humble and feeling badass all at the same time.

And I find it no coincidence that it’s right about year ago today that I started, that I began. That I posted for the first time on this blog. That I wrote my way through all of it.

My friend Candice always says, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

It might not be exactly the way you envisioned getting there, but you just might get it.  Dreams do come true – are you willing to risk it? Take that chance? Set it all on fire? Start today?!

Design – DeSigN

We love beautiful things.

Even if we have never seen a beautifully designed product, the first time we do, we know it. We know we’ve seen something different.

The problem with the mainstreaming of good design, we’ve allowed some things to become mediocre without question – but with sincere and apologetic acceptance.

Yesterday, I received an email from someone I admire and who has amazing design sense. At the bottom of the email after the signature was: Sent from my IPhone. Please excuse typos.

This is what we’ve become. We’ve coveted a device that allows us to make typing and typos “acceptable”, because we’ve typed them on a supercool beautifully designed piece of hardware.

I was in a heated debate about an approach on a project via email, which was likely a bad idea in the first place, but in any case, there I was.

I responded quickly to an email and was so confident in myself that I hit send without re-reading. Fail.

My email which was supposed to say something to the effect of: I get what you are saying, the strategy we are proposing is one that will move us forward for the next few months, even years, instead of the next few weeks.

INSTEAD: my email read:

I get what you are saying, KoBe Beef we are proposing is one that will movement to forward….blah blah blah, other typos and missed words.

iPhone didn’t create typos for me, it helped me not take the time to read my own email, it allowed me to sound – ridiculous, not engaged, not paying attention to details.  No one thought I meant to put Kobe beef in the middle of the sentence, however they couldn’t even decipher what I meant. It was a failure.

If I had taken the extra moment to read the email again, I would have never hit send.

iPhone has made us lazy, lazy about communication, hiTECH, with low brain activity. iPhone and email in general have taken us away from true communications with other people. It allows us to not be clear, not explain ourselves and assume the other person will figure it out.

Good design shouldn’t create new problems that we accept and add notes “sent from my iPhone, please excuse typos.” Good design should inspire us to create something new for ourselves. To think.

Pause – think – relate – pause – reread. SEND. design.

“Posted from my iPhone and I took the time to read it twice before hitting send. Because I care.”

working it.

For the first time in my life I work with sixty four other people – In the same office. I’ve been a part of large and small organizations and sometimes even felt like a contractor in my last job when I was an office of ONE. But I’ve never worked in an office with this many people.

In an office of 65, you don’t have to like everyone, work with everyone, or even talk to everyone. It’s foreign, compared to the smaller places I’ve worked where you kind of have to find a way to deal with everyone’s crazy.  I mean we’re all crazy – right? It’s a matter of whether my crazy works with your crazy or not.

What this new office has made me think about is what makes a good company? What makes people want to come to work everyday, what makes people positive instead of negative?

So far, I’ve realized, nice is better than cool – considerate is better than cool – organized and trying to be a better collective organization is better than fighting the world for the ideas of one influential leader.  The opposite of patriarchy is good. Positivity is good when it’s real.

Smart people doing good work together is cool.

These things seem obvious, but why are so many organizations dysfunctional then?

In a world where we are so conscious about service, why do we sometimes choose to work in environments that are less than employee-centric? Aren’t we the internal customers of the companies we work with?

Maybe a better way of saying that is – isn’t there something in it for the company you work for if you get better at your job and become a better human being? I think there is.

Working for a company that so far embraces me for who I am and what I bring to the table and allows me to play to my strengths is where I believe the future of successful businesses is going. It makes such good sense that I find myself mistrusting it every day, I keep thinking, this can’t be real. But so far – it is.

Employer got you down? They most likely aren’t going to change unless you do. Nothing is static, everything changes, start with yourself – it’s the only real control you have.

In any good relationship as you change so does your partner, you communicate, you talk about change. If you’ve changed and your work/boss/environment hasn’t or can’t come along with you, maybe it’s time to find a new place to work. As painful as that can be, it’s worth it, you’re worth it.

If you’re a business, you might want to think about how you treat people, how you engage with them, how you influence them, or stifle them. Are you thinking only about what you’d like? Or are you asking the tough questions about what the people who work with you actually want?

The world is changing to be more inclusive will you keep up with that change?

Starting a NEW job

Starting a new job, is one part first day of school – at a new school – and two parts first date, minus the nervous laughter.

You hope you end up loving them as much as you want them to love you.

You hope that everything you’ve heard and thought and the story you’ve told yourself about how it’s going to be –  IS TRUE.

You hope

Anyone can be anyone – even any organization can be anything you believe it to be for six months – and then the cracks show and the truth comes forward and you realize – you might want to make it work and you might not.

I’m thankful to have a job and thankful that it seems to be one that’s going to be amazing and the best and RIGHT opportunity for me right at this very moment. I’ve been telling people in the last few weeks that I found a job – they were so congratulatory that I had to take a step back and remember how hard it’s been for some people to find work.  I’m grateful that this all came together in the way that it did as quickly as it did.

My biggest challenge, while working, will be continuing to focus on the things that I love writing and fitness.  I’m prepared to figure out a way to DO IT. I can do it. Taking everything I’ve learned in the past and bringing it right here, into the NOW. Saying no to the black and white, always living in the gray, in between the absolutes of work and no play or play and no work. We can have both.

It’s a challenge for everyone to find time to do what they love in the world while continuing to make an income to live the life they want to live. One day those two worlds might become the same world, but until then we ride the edge.

Dreams do come true, of course it’s not without actually doing something about them though. The FUTURE is now. GO!


I’ve been in a funk.

It’s definitely a funk.

The whirlwind of the last three months, trying to figure out what I was going to do next – were stressful, fretting – a lot. I was patient with myself and with the process, but it impacted me in surprising ways.

First, I had to let go of the idea of my old job and the camaraderie, my pals in BTV and NYC. Getting fired makes you feel like – crap – and in this case, it ripped people out of my life that I held in high regard. It was instantaneous. Like death. There’s no way around it – you doubt yourself and you wonder what other people think of you. Some people call or email and some people don’t and you wonder, is it their discomfort with the situation or did they never have any respect for you at all? So, I spent the time crying and grieving all that I needed and that dropped me down into the first part of the funk.

Signing up for unemployment feels like – crap – too. The process is antiquated, the usability of their website is challenging and then you submit and have to wait for approvalfor weeks. It doesn’t take as long if you weren’t fired, but if you were fired – they have to make sure you didn’t do anything that “caused you to be fired” – like punch someone in the face. Then, every week you have to claim a week of benefits, which reminds you that you don’t have a job and that you are receiving unemployment benefits. I understand why you have to do it, but it still feels like – crap. DEEPer funk.

Sunday nights and Monday mornings are difficult for the first 8 weeks. You know that everyone else is getting ready for the week to come and you are not. Monday mornings were 100% depressing. Lonely.  DEEPer funk.

Finally, sending out resumes, talking to people, networking, figuring things out – takes time and energy and it creates self-loathing.  I’m all for promoting myself in a genuine way, but you find yourself wanting people to look at you and affirm that you are good enough, which is weird. You know you are good enough, but for some reason, having someone else think that, especially after you’ve been fired, means something.  This was the DEEPest funk – relying on other people to validate me. Sad.

I felt terrible many days, but worked on being positive. I knew it would all work out, but that trust, in and of itself, was a challenge. But a good one.

What came through for me was this – I know that I sometimes want people to validate me, but it’s not really what I want. I want validation from myself and when I could get to the place where I could give it to myself and believe it. The funk – it lifted.

It’s going to be a great weekend. Get out in it. GO.

What puts you in a funk? What lifted the funk for you?

Synchronicity and a New Job

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen ~
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are looking for signs of what you should be doing in your life, they will appear. It CAN BE that simple.

I was fired on the same date my brother died 21 years ago. Given the number of days in a year and the number of days in the last 21 years when something significant like this could happen on

February 16th, I’m going to say it means something. I’m not exactly sure what, but…here’s where I went with it.

My brother was an artist, a handsome devil of a man, who died too early, at 34.  I believe that he died because he didn’t follow his dream. His dream of being an artist.  I’m taking this event as a sign that I must follow my creativity and follow what I want in the world, don’t hold back, hold myself to my own standards and thinking. Don’t kill myself doing something I don’t want to do. GO.

I don’t know how it will end but I do know how it begins.

On February 22nd, I posted about being fired and what I would be doing next. Something with writingintention setcheck.

I promised myself to take the time to grieve, not stress too much, not fret, to have courage – it would all work out in the way things always do and then I watched it all unfold, from the past to the now.

In 2005, when I left the job I was working, I was given a copy of a book that is published by an agency that specializes in writing and strategic communications.  The book is personal creative writing of the people who work at this firm.  They publish it annually to keep their own creativity moving.  The person giving it, knowing I was a writer thought I would enjoy reading it. I read it and put it in a drawer somewhere.  When I moved in 2008, I got rid of nearly everything I owned, so I no longer have it.

Fast forward seven years.

I’m sitting across the table at a Thai restaurant from a recruiter and she says “Have you ever heard of this strategic communications firm?”
“I’ve seen them, but they are in Vancouver.  Who wants to work in Vancouver?”
“Have you seen their building, because if you see it, you’ll know that if you HAVE to be in Vancouver, this is the place to be.”
This was only two weeks after losing my job, so I wasn’t quite ready to REALLY talk to people yet. So, I replied “Let’s wait and see how things go.”

I emailed her about a week or so later and asked to be introduced, because I kept thinking about it.

She said “I’ll introduce you, but let’s wait a little longer.”

A few weeks go by and at the end of March I get an email, from said agency, that says “Our CEO, received your resume from someone on the Agency Roundtable that she attends.” They attached a job description and asked if I wanted to come talk to them.

Synchronicity. I called and said yes!

Who gets a job interview like this?  Maybe a lot of people, I don’t know.  I also don’t know who gave her my resume, it wasn’t the recruiter, that I do know. Whoever it was, thank you.

When I got to the interview I sat down on the sofa and saw the same book, I was given in 2005 when I left that job, which I had forgotten until that day.  Synchronicity!

I spent the next couple of weeks interviewing. There were multiple other shining moments of synchronicity, in addition to sweeping views of the Columbia River, but I was still questioning it, it was almost too good to be true. It was like I was in a movie and everything in the world was saying this is the next step – follow me, but I wasn’t convinced and I kept thinking what is going on? – and then something magical happened, they sent me a job offer.

There have been other options in the last few weeks, other dangling carrots, but I’m trusting that all the signs are pointing me in the right direction. If there is this much energy flowing here, I’m going with it.

I accepted that offer today. It surprises me to say that, but it’s how it all came together.

To be clear, I didn’t sit back and think about what I wanted and wish it would come to me. I set a clear intention – acted – I wrote a manifesto from my heart, that represents me and how I am in the world – I knew that people who didn’t like it wouldn’t like me – and I used it as a cover letter – you can see the latest version of it here – I sent that out to a few key people and then I networked some, and in return I received.

And the next chapter – BEGINS.

The universe delivers.  intention – action – reception.

What are your intentions? You are powerful.

NINE Principles for PREMIUM Client Service

What is premium service? It’s relative, depending on what service you are seeking, but if you are in the premium service business, or want to be – there are universal principles.

These have likely been stated by others, but here is my take on them.

If you are in the premium service business, these should be requirements, not suggestions.

ONE. The person in front of you is the most important person in the world. The person on the phone is second and the person on email is third.  NO exceptions. Take care of them in the order above. NO exceptions.

TWO. Answer all your emails and phone calls within two hours of receiving during business hours, unless you are on a plane. If you are on a plane without WiFi, be sure to have your out of office activated. Check email once each day on the weekends. If you can’t accomplish this you have too much on your plate – hire someone to help.

THREE. Try your best to use positive language when communicating with clients.  Instead of saying – No, we can’t do that in that timeline. Say YES!, we’ll create an aggressive and attainable schedule. Or instead of saying, that’s management’s call, I can’t make that call. SAY I understand your frustration, let me see what I can do for you…AND then DO SOMETHING.

FOUR. Don’t defer to your boss if you know what your boss is going to say.  Make it right. NOW.  Take responsibility, your boss will love you and so will your client. If you can’t make it right now – do not argue, question or anything else, drop it and take their information so that the appropriate person can contact them.

FIVE. If you offer a premium service, always charge a premium price. Never sell your company short for something you do well or a product you deliver. NEVER have a sale, unless you are desperate, that’s what a sale says.  Our product/company/people aren’t worth what we thought, let’s discount it. Exception to the rule: client appreciation day, a single day sale per year or something similar. YOU ARE VALUABLE – stay that way.

SIX. Treat people fairly, they are your customer/client, you want them to like you. Refund anything people don’t want or like, it’s easy.

SEVEN. Know your regular clients likes and dislikes, so you don’t end up suggesting, offering, or giving something meaningless to them.  Which brings me to…

EIGHT.  Create meaningful relationships between you and your client. They love your product, service, idea, get to know why and how you can make it a richer experience for them.

NINE. Don’t be fake! Be the real you. Don’t try to create a meaningful relationship.  Either do it or don’t. If you don’t like doing this, hire someone who does. Your business and clients will thank you.

What would you add to this list?