What Is The Meaning of Life? A Guide to Discovering Your Purpose

The meaning of life is one of those sought after quests that can never truly be answered. There are just too many opinions and personal definitions for any one meaning to be true for everyone.

Also, there are certain topics in life that can simply never be fully described with mere words, such as true love and true self.

Some will say that discovering the meaning behind true love and your true self is the meaning of life. What do you think?

Discovering Your Purpose

While you might feel a bit confused, you can start to find meaning in your life by discovering your true purpose. For some, this comes easily but for others it may take some deep soul searching. Your true purpose is not necessarily a job or something concrete, although it could be. There are no rules to follow, just the rules set out by your heart.

Try some of the following activities when searching for your true purpose:

  1. Brainstorm. Find a time and place where you can have some quiet self-reflection. Just start writing down ideas on what you think your true purpose might be. You may not arrive at it at first, but you’ll eventually come across something that hits the nail on the head.
  1. Activities and hobbies. Reflect on your favorite activities and hobbies. Can you turn any of them into a life’s purpose? Some people feel that if they take their hobbies further it’ll start to feel like any old job. This won’t be the case if you’ve truly found your purpose.
  1. Skills and intelligence. If there are certain skills and abilities that you’re good at, perhaps you should try pursuing those, even if you didn’t think you wanted to before.
    • Also, you might want to look into a theory called Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardner. Gardner describes how everyone has a type of intelligence and it might not always be what is typically accepted as intelligence, such as a high IQ.
  1. Happiness. Ask yourself whether or not you’re happy in your current life situation. If you are, perhaps you’ve already found your life’s purpose or you’re on the correct path to it. If you’re unhappy, see if you can isolate the reasons why. Once you know why, you can take action to correct the imbalance.
  1. Regrets. Make an effort to let go of your regrets. These never serve a positive purpose in your life. However, if you identify your regrets, perhaps you can use them to help you discover your purpose. Perhaps there’s something you regret that you can correct. Often times, it’s not too late to make a positive change!
    • For example, if you’re in your 50s and you always wanted to go to college, you shouldn’t let anything stand in the way between you and your dream.
  1. Religion. If you’re a religious person, it’s likely that your religion discusses life and meaning. Search through religious books or seek out a spiritual advisor to learn more about the meaning of life.

Follow Your Bliss

To put it quite simply, if you’re following your bliss, you’re on the road to discovering your true purpose. You’ll also be discovering your personal definition for the meaning of life.

Remember, you’ll always have outside influences when it comes to finding life’s meaning, but following your heart is the only true answer.

Self Employed? How to Effectively Increase Your Hourly Rate

If you work for yourself, your income naturally depends on your hourly rate. Of course, you’d love to make a better hourly wage. But how do you know if you’re being fairly paid?

Here are some tips on when you should (and shouldn’t!) raise your rate.

When You Should Raise Your Rates

  1. Your skills or service have improved. If you can provide more value, raising your rates to reflect that is reasonable.
  2. Supply and demand have changed for your service. If you’re booking yourself solid and turning away new clients, then you’re in an excellent position to charge more. Simply raise your rate until you’re getting the number of clients you want without having to decline new business.
  3. You’re testing a new rate to gain information. Just be sure you have a plan if the higher fees don’t pan out.
  4. If you want to reposition yourself. There’s nothing wrong with positioning yourself as a high-end consultant, but be sure you can deliver that type of service. You won’t last long if the quality of your work doesn’t match the prices you’re charging.

When Not to Raise Your Rates

There should always be a legitimate business reason for raising your rates. You might just want to earn more money, but that’s usually not justification for charging your clients more. Before making any rate changes, always look at your skills as well as supply and demand.

Frequently Made Mistakes

  1. Never raising your rates. If you never raise your rates, then you’ll eventually be undercharging. Over time, that’s a lot of money that’s not making its way into your pocket.

  2. Not testing. New clients are the best place to try out new rates. Keep your old clients at the old rates while you’re testing; you can always bump them up later. If the new hourly charge doesn’t work out, you’ll still have your old clients to fall back on.

  3. Raising rates beyond what’s reasonable. If you’re just starting out, you can’t expect to charge the same as an expert. You’ll generally be more effective if you start at the lower end with your price until your client base is sufficient. Then you can start testing higher rates.

  4. Changing too frequently. Your clients can’t plan your services into their budget if you’re always changing your rates around.

How to Increase Your Rates

  1. Improve your services. You should constantly be trying to add value without significantly increasing your costs. The better your service, the more you should be able to charge.

  2. Always over-deliver. Not only do you get great word-of-mouth advertising, you’ll have a much easier time raising your rates when the time comes.

  3. Get testimonials. Anytime a client is obviously happy, ask for a testimonial. Put those testimonials on your marketing materials.

  4. Truly care about your clients. When your clients can tell how much you care, you’re much more likely to keep their business and get referrals. Their referrals can bring plenty of new clients to test out your new rates.

Ultimately, rates are determined by the marketplace. Your job is to position yourself appropriately within that marketplace and then test higher rates when the time is right.

However, within what the marketplace will bear, the sky is the limit when setting your own rates. This is one of the best parts about working for yourself. Use these tips to raise your income as your expertise becomes more valuable. You deserve it!

What To Do When You Have More Than You Can Handle

Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.

Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.

A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.

Try these strategies to lighten your load:

  1. Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.
  1. Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.
  1. Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.
  • Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?
  • Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?
  • A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solution?

  1. Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movie theater. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!

  2. Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.
  1. List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.

  2. Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie or spend time with someone that always finds a way to make you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?

  3. Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.

You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.

Admit to yourself that you’re struggling and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.

15 Questions to Ask Yourself to Discover Your True Passions

If you’re lucky, you’ve already discovered many of your passions and get to spend much of your time enjoying things that bring you excitement and joy. However, maybe you’ve not yet connected with activities, skills, and interests that ignite your passion.

It takes time, soul-searching, and some life experience to identify your true passions. These prompts are written to tap into your wants, needs, desires, and fantasies. Have fun with them and discover what you can add to your life that will fill it with delight.

  1. What’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to do? Consider what would need to happen in order for you to carry through with this long-sought wish. Make a plan and get started.
  2. If I could spend today doing whatever I desire, what would it be? Let your mind go. It could be something related to your work, your home, or simply a lark.
  3. Where do I really want to live? What city and what type of residence? Perhaps you’re already fulfilling this passion and you do live in your true first choice. If not, ponder the possibilities of moving to a place you’ll love.
  4. Where would I like to visit? Perhaps you’re harboring a secret yearning to visit Washington, D.C. or Westminster Abbey in London. The streets of Hong Kong may be calling your name or even the Grand Canyon. Can you make it happen?
  5. What do I talk about doing but never do it? In a conversation, you might state something like, “For the last 10 years, I’ve really wanted to take a cruise to the Caribbean.”
  6. What are the reasons I don’t go after my dreams? Explore within yourself why you haven’t pursued the life you want. Can you do something differently to help bring your dreams to life?
  1. How will I finish the sentence, “More than anything, before I die, I want to ___________?” Say it out loud and fill in the blank. Then, figure out a way to accomplish your wish.
  1. What are the things in my life that I would like to get rid of? If you’re discovering you don’t love everything about your life, maybe it’s time to do some “housecleaning.” Make a list of the ways you’d like your life to change.
  1. Which people in my life inspire me and why? It’s important to know who inspires you so you can spend more time with them. What is it about them that lights you up so much? Decide to take every step to be inspired more often.
  1. If I were to make just one radical change in my life right now to make life better, what would it be? Your answer to this question will really open up your possibilities. Moving to a bigger city might really spice up your life. Getting more education might be a goal—plus you’ll likely make more money.
  • You’ll be happier if you chase your dreams. Make 1 change.
  1. How do I feel when I put all my effort into accomplishing one of my goals? Notice these feelings. You’ll no doubt want to experience them more often.
  2. How do I feel whenever I achieve a life goal? Awesome, probably.
  1. What’s missing from my life? Answering this question requires considerable soul-searching.
  1. Who are my biggest supporters? It’s wise to know the people that will stand behind you and help you pursue your passions, no matter what.
  1. Who gets in the way of me achieving my goals? In order to find your true passions, you might be required to disengage from those who wish to counteract your efforts.

If you take the time to thoroughly ponder each of these questions, you’ll be pleased with what you discover. Your true passions are inside you, just waiting to be let loose to bring you excitement, joy, and fulfillment.

What Girl Scout Cookies Can Teach You about Becoming More Successful

The Girls Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 100 years, and they’ve created the largest girl-led entrepreneurship program in the world. In fact, more than 200 million boxes of cookies are sold each year, totaling about $800 million dollars.

While the cookie sales sound impressive on their own, they’re not the only benefit of scouting. Studies show that former Girl Scouts have higher achievements across the board, including increased income and greater self-esteem.

With a record like that, the Girl Scouts must know something about blending traditional and modern paths to success. Take a look at what Thin Mints and Samoas can teach you about reaching your own goals.

Traditional Paths to Success:

  1. Focus on giving. Supporting worthy causes is part of what makes Girl Scout cookies so popular. The money goes back into the local community or to other charities that the girls select. Whether you’re selling shortbread or life insurance, helping others to reach their dreams will help you to fulfill your own.
  2. Be authentic. The pictures on the cookie boxes are all real Girl Scouts, and the girls are encouraged to wear their uniforms going door to door or staffing their booths. Being genuine with yourself and others will make you more likeable and trustworthy too.
  3. Build skills. The Girl Scouts have invented their own 5-part formula for success. It includes goal setting, decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. While you may choose different wording, it’s important to develop the abilities and behaviors that enable you to deal with life’s challenges.
  4. Look out for your family. The first Girl Scout cookies were baked by mothers and daughters in their own kitchens, and parents still bring cookies to the office to sell to coworkers. Family support helps you to stay strong and resilient.
  5. Make friends. Selling cookies takes teamwork. You’ll discover more opportunities and make more progress if you network vigorously and consistently. Focus on what you can do for others and follow up when you make a commitment.
  6. Leverage your strengths. Would you believe that Thin Mints account for 25% of Girl Scout cookies sales? While it’s important to be open to new ideas, your biggest achievements will come from knowing how to use your unique talents.
  7. Live healthy. Speaking of new ideas, Girl Scout cookies now come in vegan and gluten-free options. To accomplish anything in life, you need to take care of your mind and body.
  8. Appreciate nature. S’more cookies are one sign of how scouting brings cookies and camping together. Outdoor activities are another mainstay of a happy and productive life.
  9. Gain confidence. The greatest benefit of scouting and selling cookies may be the increased confidence that Girl Scouts report. Believing in yourself makes you a success in any field.

Modern Paths to Success:

  1. Go digital. Caramel deLites and Do-si-Dos took a giant step into the 21st Century with the launching of the Digital Cookies platform in 2014. Embracing new technology enables you to work smarter and stay relevant.
  2. Use social media. The internet makes it a lot easier to find out when your favorite cookies go on sale. Build your community by staying in touch and sharing your views on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other channels.
  3. Seek balance. On the other hand, Girl Scout cookies are still officially on sale for only about 6 to 8 weeks a year even in a 24/7 society, so girls can participate in other worthwhile projects. It’s a good reminder to stick to your own values and priorities.

Girl Scout cookies are a delicious way to treat yourself and invest in your community. Let these young cookie entrepreneurs inspire you to take action and live the life you want.

8 Effective Habits for the Successful Entrepreneur

Every career has a set of habits that greatly increase the odds of success. The habits necessary for success will vary from career to career. Fortunately, there are many successful entrepreneurs that we can look to for guidance. It’s not surprising that many of them share the same habits.

There’s no reason why you can’t have the same habits as some of the most successful people in the world!

Increase your odds for success with these habits:

  1. An incredible work ethic. It takes a lot of time and effort to grow a company. It’s necessary at first to be a jack-of-all-trades. Until you can grow enough to hire others to cover all the required skills your company needs to thrive, you’re going to have to carry a lot of weight.
  2. Conscientiousness. When you own a business, it’s up to you to ensure that things are done properly and on time. The responsibilities are great. You don’t have the luxury of putting out sloppy work. It will always come back to haunt you.
  3. Use time wisely. Time will always be a limited resource. How you use your time dictates how successful your company ultimately becomes. That means having the knowledge and experience to make wise decisions and the mental toughness to avoid distractions.
  4. Have a plan each day. One of the keys to using your time successfully is to plan for each day ahead of time. Avoid going to bed without having a detailed idea of what you’re going to do the following day. When your feet hit the bedroom floor, you should already know what needs to be done for the day.
  5. Wake up early. There are very few successful entrepreneurs that don’t get up very early. Some get up even before 4 a.m. How early you get up is up to you, but if you’re not beating the average person out of bed, you’re behind.
  6. Set goals. It’s not enough to work hard and work smart. You also must know where you’re going. Goals help you make wise decisions. Know what you’re trying to accomplish today, this week, this month, this year, and 10 years from now.
  7. Deal with stress effectively. Entrepreneurs have plenty of stress to deal with on a regular basis, so it’s important to learn how to manage it. Have a process for dealing with stress and anxiety. Learn to recognize what you can control and what you cannot.
  8. Look ahead for obstacles. Avoid being blindsided by obstacles and setbacks. Be aware of your future. Look ahead for the challenges that you’re likely to face and have solutions in mind.
    • Think of all the major challenges in your life and notice that there were plenty of warning signs for all of them. The same is true with your business. Avoid putting your head in the sand and hoping for the best. Deal with challenges now while they’re still manageable.

What are your current habits? Can you see why your current habits have either helped you or harmed you on your path to business success? Think about what you want to accomplish to be successful and build a set of habits that will support those activities.

The person with the best habits usually wins. How far will you go with your habits?


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

The Reinvention of YOU – Increasing Your Self-Esteem

You might have discovered lately that you aren’t feeling as positive as you could about yourself. Maybe you’re disappointed in how you look or some of the emotions you feel. Your attitude might slip a bit at times and you find yourself making self-deprecating statements to others.

How can you get out of this rut and reinvigorate how you feel about yourself?

These strategies will help you get back on track and increase your self-esteem:

  1. It’s time to take a good, long look at yourself. Although it might be scary or even a bit disappointing, the sooner you do it, the quicker you’ll be able to get yourself back on track.
  2. How’s your physical appearance? Consider any changes you’d like to make to how you look. It’s common to go through life phases when you don’t take the care with yourself that you usually do. For many, a new haircut and some extra attention to personal grooming goes miles toward increasing self-esteem.
  3. Look at yourself with a kind eye and make some decisions on what you can realistically and financially do to improve your appearance. As you probably already know, your appearance is paramount to how you feel about yourself. Improving your appearance most likely means you’ll improve your self-esteem.
  4. Recognize your strong points. Although your mind hasn’t been in a place to really notice what you’re good at, take some time now to do just that. Maybe you’re a great cook, wonderful with kids, and the hardest worker at the office. Every single person has strong points and it’s important for you to know what yours are.
  5. Remind yourself what you truly love about you. Maybe it’s the way your green eyes shine or your red hair makes your facial features stand out. Perhaps you’re consistent about doing exercise or you’re brilliant at keeping the conversation going. You’re even in awe of the patience you have with others or your willingness to step up and volunteer to help out others.
  6. When it comes to you, what are you the most proud of? What do you consider your greatest achievements? We all have something to be proud of. Figure out the things about you that you take pride in to raise your self-esteem a few notches.
  • Maybe you keep an organized house or wash your dad’s car every week without fail.
  • Perhaps you write a good story or can keep your cool when your kids are acting out.
  • Did you work your way through college without any help or support from others?
  • Accept compliments openly. Make eye contact, smile, and say, “thank you” whenever people pay you a compliment. After all, people aren’t going to go to the time and trouble to pay you a compliment unless they believe you deserve it. Relish in the good things about you that others notice. Embrace those positive comments. Doesn’t it feel great?

You can reinvent yourself by taking steps to increase your self-esteem. Look within yourself to evaluate what you need to feel better about yourself. Make changes in your physical appearance, open your eyes to your strong points, and be aware of what you love about yourself. Acknowledge what you’re most proud of and embrace compliments.

As you do these things, your self-esteem will soar. The reinvention of you will be successful and complete!


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Turning Your Hobby Into An Income Stream

If you’re like most people, you probably dream of having a job that’s enjoyable and fulfilling. Maybe the solution is to turn something you love into a way to pay the bills.

You may be thinking, “There’s no way I can make money from my hobby.” But you might be surprised!

Just think how great it would be if you could make money from the one thing that you actually choose to do when you have free time. What could possibly be better than that?

You might not be able to fully replace your regular job right away. However, you could earn a few hundred dollars a month or more for something you would be doing anyway. And that can make a big difference.

The two basic routes to making money from your hobby are:

  1. Teach Online. Someone out there would like to learn what you know. Don’t make the mistake of believing that you have to be one of the world’s top ten leading experts on something in order to make money at it. Nothing can be further from the truth! If you know more about something than anyone on your street, you can certainly make money teaching others.
  • Some ways to teach include:
    • Giving seminars (online or in person)
    • Selling articles related to your hobby
    • Writing and selling a book or e-book
    • One-on-one coaching
    • Setting up a website that provides educational information and sells related products and services.
  1. Sell a related product or service. Hobbies require supplies. Other people may as well be purchasing those supplies from you. If your hobby is collecting something, you can buy and sell whatever it is you collect. Or think of businesses related to your hobby. For example:
  • If you love animals, you could sell your services as a dog sitter.

  • If you love boats, you could sell boat plans or rent boats to vacationers.

  • Do you love design and interior decorating? Do you like to watch design shows on TV? You might not be on television anytime soon, but you probably know more about decorating a house than the average family does. Certainly you could charge a few hundred dollars for a consultation.

  • What if fishing is your passion? How about owning a bait and tackle shop? You could be a fishing guide. You could sell fishing lures online.

  • Do you love to travel? Take lots of pictures and write about your adventures. Travel magazines and websites are always looking for good content. You could also start your own travel website.

The real key is to take time to think about all the ways you could possibly make money related to you hobby. Then you can choose to do so in the most enjoyable way possible.

The hardest part of getting started for most people is marketing; you must market yourself and your business to get clients or customers. So be bold. Tell your neighbors and family members about your plans. Post an ad on Craigslist.com. Make a website. People have to know you’re out there so they can hire you or purchase from you.

Imagine the excitement you’ll feel the first time you cash that check for doing something you used to do for free! Once you make a little money from your hobby, the wheels will really start turning, and you’ll be surprised at all the other ideas that come to mind.

Start today by making a list of all the ways you could possibly make money at your hobby. Have fun, and good luck!


If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

You can sign up HERE to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

How to Embrace New Chapters in Your Life

As you’re well aware, life is full of changes. Sometimes, the changes occur when you least expect them, and you end up with your routines being thrown out of whack. That’s how it often is when new chapters are opened up in your life. You might get caught by surprise, and immediately get flustered because you’ve never dealt with being in that situation before.

It’s easy to lose composure when you’re going through something totally novel to you. It’s easy to give up because you feel like you’ve lost control of your life.

The good news is that you can approach these life events with positive techniques that keep you from feeling intimidated by them.

Follow these strategies to not only deal with, but also embrace, these new chapters in your life:

  1. Have an open mind. Expect the best scenario instead of the worst. Remind yourself that you’ve made it through more challenging situations before.
    • Embrace the idea that this event might bring with it all sorts of positive spins on existing situations that challenge you. This new chapter in your life could be the answer to your reaching previously unattainable goals.
  1. Exercise courage. Fear can keep you from achieving what you want out of life. It can turn strong men weak and result in disappointment, sadness and humiliation. If you picture living a life with those negative attributes, you’ll start to develop the courage to prevent that from happening. So face the unknown with every ounce of courage you have!
    • Even when you’re not feeling courageous, tell yourself you’re brave. Walk into a situation while repeating the words, “I have what it takes to conquer this.”
  1. Take one step at a time. By far, the easiest way to approach any situation in life is to break it down into its smallest parts. When looking at the big picture of your new chapter, it might seem mammoth and insurmountable. But if you take a minute to dissect it, you’ll realize it’s a lot easier to take smaller bites and even savor the taste of newness.
  1. Be guided by past mistakes. Nobody you know has more experience in your life than you do! You know your strengths and abilities, and you also know where you went wrong before. Those learning lessons should be the tools you take into life’s new chapter. Use them as much as possible to help guide you through the unknown.
  1. Be honest. If your new chapter in life is something being presented to you by someone else, be honest about feeling intimidated by it. If you’re expected to tackle it and come out victorious, you definitely don’t want to disappoint! It’s better to state your position up front because people respect honest even when it doesn’t favor them.
    • New chapters don’t have to be scary at all. You’d be surprised how perfectly capable you are of taking things head-on and relishing in the goodness they can provide. Give yourself the chance to experience fulfillment; use these strategies to embrace new chapters like you already know the outcome!

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to take a moment and sign up to receive the BusyGal Bi-Weekly Affirmation Inspiration in Your Inbox.

Affirmations are simply statements that are designed to create self-change in the individual using them. They can serve as inspiration, as well as simple reminders. They also can serve to focus you attention onto your goals throughout the day, which, in and of itself, has the potential to promote positive and sustained self-change.

People use affirmations for a variety of purposes. Generally speaking, affirmations are used to reprogram the subconscious mind, to encourage us to believe certain things about ourselves or about the world and our place within it. They are also used to help us create the reality we want—often in terms of making (or attracting) wealth, love, beauty, and happiness.

According to Walter E. Jacobson, M.D., there is value in affirmations of this nature, because our subconscious mind plays a major role in the actualization of our lives and the manifestation of our desires. What we believe about ourselves at a subconscious level, he says, can have a significant impact on the outcome of events.

At the simplest level, when we feel good about ourselves and have a positive attitude, our lives tend to run smoothly. Proponents of the “law of attraction” often refer to this as raising our vibration such that when our vibration is positive, positive things—such as financial abundance, love, and renewed health—are magnetically drawn to us.

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Online Sources of Capital for Women Entrepreneurs

Capital is pivotal for the success of any entrepreneur to launch a sustainable and lucrative business. Traditional routes of access to capital are changing as technological development creates new avenues and the distance between entrepreneur and investor decreases due to an increase in fast and efficient communication.

Women entrepreneurs have notoriously faced hardships in gaining access to capital, from lack of information and resources and local and state government assistance, to facing cultural biases from investors. Without adequate capital, women cannot make their creative ideas a reality, nor can they afford to maintain the businesses that provide jobs for a significant portion of the population.

U.S. Census Bureau data reveals that women own 36 percent of privately-held businesses and contribute $3 trillion to the economy due to job creation—creating 16 percent of jobs in the nation. As more women become their own bosses, they compose a larger share of small businesses, of which 80 percent have no employees other than the owner. In 2013, there were 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S.

Traditional means of gaining access to capital, which typically involved a long and cost-intensive process, are being expanded with online options, which provide smaller loan amounts faster and at lower costs.

Here are some new, innovative tools for women entrepreneurs seeking financing:

Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is an efficient way to gain capital from many individuals through small donations, and is low risk compared to venture angels and banks. A 2015 Massolution report estimates that $17.2 billion was invested in North America through crowdfunding websites, a number that’s increasing each year. Top crowdfunding platforms include Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, CircleUp, Patreon, Crowdrise, Razoo, AngelList, and many more.

Gender Lens Investment
According to Veris Wealth Partners, investment of this type has risen 41 percent in the past year, up to $910 million. In addition, the number of mandated publicly traded gender lens investment strategies has reached a total of 22, after five years of steady growth. This is an incredible increase from 1993 to 2012, when there were only five strategies for gender lens investing.

Online Lending Tools
An emerging means for access to capital for small businesses in particular are online lending tools. The 2017 Kauffman Foundation report states that many businesses are in need of funds to manage cash flow and to access short-term financing, and the most commonly used tools are loans and lines of credit. Fintech companies like OnDeck and Kabbage are facilitating small businesses’ access to credit in online lending by providing fast online vetting for small business loans, utilizing personal data and credit scores.

Whether they decide to leverage crowdfunding, merchant cash advances or sector-focused angel syndicates like gender lens investment, women entrepreneurs in need of funds for their startup—or capital for their business—have new tools at their disposal.

Commentary by Desiree Patno
Originally post on RISMedia


Desirée Patno is the CEO and president of Women in the Housing and Real Estate Ecosystem (NAWRB) and Desirée Patno Enterprises, Inc. (DPE), as well as chairwoman of NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council (NDILC). With 30 years of experience in housing, Patno is a champion for women’s economic growth and independence. In 2017, Entrepreneur.com named her the Highest-Ranking Woman and 4th Overall Top Real Estate Influencer to Follow. For more information, please visit www.nawrb.co