Category: Business Advice


Last week’s Ask Me Anything was a lot of fun! It was so great to help so many of you in such a personal way. I plan on doing another one of these AMA’s in a few months, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, I’d like to address one of the popular phrases that stuck out to me in answering the questions you shared.

“I feel lost.” 


Today I have a fun new episode of The Lively Show for you chalk full of actionable advice for starting your own business as an artist and adopting or rescuing a pet.

My guest today is Kim Vargo of Yellow Brick Home and The Pet Shop (her pet portrait business). She’s sharing about her unexpected journey to becoming a successful artist (over 700 custom paintings sold!) and pet rescue advocate.


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Today’s Lively Show episode packs in a lot of great takeaways on several topics including streamlining your career (or business), transitioning from a day job, and facing cancer as an entrepreneur.

To talk about these topics, I asked the spunky and energetic Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach. She’s a life coach, “boob cancer” survivor, and friend that I am honored to have on the show.

Though the topic of cancer is discussed, the tactics and steps that Michelle took could apply to anyone going through a difficult health challenge or even perhaps a small business maternity leave.

This episode is perfect for those who want to learn more about how to handle difficult health challenges while self-employed, or who are feeling overwhelmed by the wide range of their careers.




  • How Michelle’s broadway dream brought her to a corporate job and eventually to life coaching.
  • How Michelle baby stepped her way out of a corporate job and into her coaching practice full-time.
  • How “boob cancer” (as Michelle calls it) affected her life and coaching practice.
  • The policies and boundaries Michelle created to accommodate her treatment (these actions can apply to any entrepreneur with a serious illness, life change, or maternity leave).
  • How Michelle maintained the same income year over year – with cancer treatments and less coaching.
  • Why streamlining your career or business at times can be a powerfully positive choice. (35:30)
  • What Michelle would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




The International Coach Academy

An Effective Escape (workbook)

2012 By The Numbers (post)

Grown Up Gigs

Career Camp

The Declaration of You!

Lindsey Pollock

20 Jobs in 7 Years (post)






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – The Lively Show landed on the iTunes New & Noteworthy page this Monday! Thank you so much for your reviews on iTunes and for subscribing – you are the reason this show is spreading!


Happy Tuesday to you!

Today I decided to change things up by answering a question you had in a video!

Today’s question comes from Gina on Facebook and she asked:

How can I properly + cleverly balance: online career + one year old baby boy + home? Keeping all together is hard.

Watch the video above where I answer her question with three tips that I’ve picked up from working with business owners and Life with Intention clients who struggle with these same issues.

Also, if you like this video and would like me to do more videos and/or answer more questions you might have about living life with intention, please let me know!

If there is a good amount of interest I’ll continue to do these little videos more regularly.


PS - Are you a mompreneur? Please leave your helpful tips for her and other mompreneurs (or soon-to-be mompreneurs) in the comments below!

PPS – Sorry for the creepy finger in the video snapshot! YouTube grabbed that frame and won’t update it to a new image for some reason…


Listen and subscribe via iTunes.


Happy Thursday to you!

Today’s episode of The Lively Show features a beloved blogger and friend that you most likely already know (and follow!), Nicole Balch of Making It Lovely.

In this episode, I talk with Nicole about how she became the sole breadwinner for her family as a blogger. We go into detail about the ins and outs of how she makes money through blogging and why she diversifies her income streams.

She also discusses what it’s like being the breadwinner while being a mom and shares about her stunning new home in Oak Park.

So if you want to make money as a blogger, or hear how Nicole juggles being a mom and the “bacon maker,” this show is for you!




  • Why Nicole’s stationery shop, Pink Loves Brown, launched her blogging career.
  • The reason Nicole later closed her shop to take Making It Lovely full-time.
  • How her husband’s job loss turned her blog into a breadwinning business.
  • How to diversify your blogging income streams effectively.
  • The “fall back” career Nicole has to maintain her financial stability in an ever-changing blog world.
  • Details about her new Victorian home in Oak Park.
  • The readership transitions that can occur on blogs over time.
  • Nicole’s predictions for the future of blogging.
  • What Nicole would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




The Sequins & Stripes Lively Show episode about pitching sponsors

Nicole’s income breakdown

Better Homes & Gardens column

Cesarstone column

Glidden column

Grace Bonney / Design Sponge article about the changes in blogging

Nicole’s post about becoming the breadwinner






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – Like the show? Please leave a review on iTunes (this helps more people find the podcast on iTunes that may not already know about it).

Thank you so much!



art via

{Sorry for the delay! The site was down yesterday due to server issues and then after I posted this yesterday evening it disappeared… spooky!}


Today I’d like to discuss a simple concept that can restore balance in our lives and simultaneously reserve our self-discipline.


Intention-based rituals.


According to The Power of Full Engagement, up to 95% of our lives are based on habits.


This is pretty crazy. Almost too high to believe.

This means that most of our strengths and not-so-great aspects of our lives are likely rooted in habits that we have cultivated - consciously or not - throughout our lives.

The urge to eat the ice cream out of the carton when no one is looking and our ability to jump out of bed in the morning are both likely tied to habits we have crafted over time.

Knowing that habits have such a HUGE influence in our lives means that we can choose to shape positive rituals that reflect our deepest values and intentions for each area of our life. 


How to Create Intention-Based Rituals


I’ve got a simple exercise that can help you help tie your intentions for each area of life to new rituals.

This simple exercise can help us re-balance our lives, particularly if we are currently spending all of our time (out of “habit”) in some areas of our lives, but ignore others.

By simply taking the time to implement new rituals in the weaker areas of our life, we can refocus in areas that we normally gloss over during our daily routine.

Or, we can expand and deepen a life area that’s thriving.

By creating intention-based rituals, we can build positive momentum which eventually requires less self-control to continue.

– Which means we can save our rather limited daily discipline reserve for other aspects of our lives that may be more challenging.

Step One: Review Your Intentions

First, you will need to recall your intentions for each area of your life.

If you don’t already have them, it can be helpful to re-read this post and think deeply about your values in each area.

Step Two: Form Rituals that Embody Your Values

Next, you’ll want to pick an intention from each area of your life (possessions, personal habits, relationships, and career) and identify how you can craft a ritual to help you embody that intention in your daily life.

These rituals can be daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally, or annually. It all depends on your intention and how you’d like to bring it to life in your life.

Here are four examples from each intention area in my own life:



Wardrobe Intention: To have a carefully edited and stylish wardrobe.

Ritual: To do a handful of Throw Out 100 Things Challenges per year. (Another weekly ritual you could try is the End of the Week Exfoliation.)


Personal Growth Intention: To expand the circle of influence in my life, and increase the distance between action and response.

Ritual: I do a daily “Private Victory” where I read a spiritual book, a non-fiction book, and exercise (the exercise happens about every other day). This practice helps me to explore and develop my mental, physical, and spiritual aspects which brings more peace and clarity.


Marriage Intention: To accept, support, have patience, and be present with Mr. Lively.

Ritual: We read aloud together in the evenings a few weeknights per week. This helps us increase our presence with one another and often spurs supportive conversations.


Secret Project #1 Intention: To deeply explore and explain how we can live balanced, integrated lives in an inspiring and affordable way.

Ritual: I have recently begun working in three 90 minute chunks (with 30 minute breaks in-between) twice a week on this project. 


In your own life, you may already have awesome rituals in place, and you may be struggling in other areas.

Do your best to consider the major intentions in each area of your life, and see if you can find ways to add rituals if you don’t have any currently. 

Or, if you already have a ritual in place, but it’s feeling a bit boring, consider changing things up a bit to continue to reflect your values in a new action or method.


My Own Struggle / New Ritual


One habit I’m personally struggling with is not checking social media updates in the morning before work.

Because I have my iPad in bed with me while I read during my Private Victory, I find itextremely tempting to hop onto Instagram, Twitter, and Disqus to see what’s happened overnight.

This early morning social media itch slows me down and distracts me from my morning routine with Franklin and Mr. Lively.

Plus, it tends to bleed into a habit of checking social media excessively throughout the rest of the day as well, such a distraction! 

could delete the social media apps from my iPad altogether. Or at least sign out of the sites every time I use them to make it a bit trickier to click into quickly.

However, I’d prefer to try crafting a new ritual instead.

I’d rather fill the time with something meaningful and positive than try to simply avoid checking the sites based on self-control alone. 

My New Ritual

Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try doing a 5-10 minute Quigong video (I’m going to pick a free video on YouTube) as a part of the spiritual part of my Private Victory.

By getting out of bed and doing the moves right away after reading, I’m hoping that it will be easier and more natural to just go about the rest of my day without hopping online first.

We shall see how it goes!


Now, How About You?


What new intention-based ritual are you going to implement? 

Let me know by responding directly to this email (I’ll write you back!), or in the comment section on the blog when the site is back up!



PS – I made a Life with Intention “Quick Start Guide”! 

Based on overwhelmingly positive Facebook feedback, I’ve made a free guide with my top 5 posts, books, videos, blogs, and habits for living intentionally (hint: 20 of these resources cost nothing!).


How does anybody really figure out what they’re “meant” to do?

And once you do that, do you find a way to make it into a career?

What’s the difference between a career/purpose and making a living?

Are they always the same thing, and how do you figure out if those things overlap or not?

I received these thoughtful questions from a reader a few weeks ago when I asked for content suggestions.

They also happen to mirror a lot of conversations during the first Life with Intention Online class last week. So today I’d like to clarify and share an often overlooked aspect of purpose.


The Overlooked Secret to Finding Your Purpose


After studying and writing about purpose for many years, I believe there is a simple equation for purpose.

 It’s clear. It’s concise.

And (most importantly) it is universally true. 

In order to survive and thrive as a species over thousands of years, we had to look out for one another moment-to-moment.

So nature hardwired us to seek ways to benefit the group’s survival by producing surges of the “feel good” chemicals serotonin and oxytocin when we help and serve others. 

However, this simple truth about present moment service as our true purpose is often overlooked in today’s world.

Instead of focusing on how we can serve others today - perhaps even in this dreadful job - we spend time dreaming about a specific career or role in our lives that might produce a sense of unending “purpose” that will forever fulfill us and perhaps even bring us a healthy paycheck along the way.

And this is where we can get tripped up.

Being a doctor, a stationery designer, or a mother can never be our sole “purpose” in the truest sense because roles are impermanent. 

Each one of those things can be taken away (lose the job, get into financial trouble with the business, and God forbid, something happens to your children) and then we are left with… a purpose-less life? 

Or, what about the many years before we started that business, had that first child, or got that degree? Were we purpose-less then? What happens to purpose when we retire, or get injured and are unable to perform our duties?

What about children who died young? Did they “lack purpose” because they did not have a career or offspring?

Of course not.

That’s why purpose is about using each day as an opportunity to improve the lives of those around us.

Even if we don’t like our jobs.

Even if we don’t have a job.

Even if we don’t feel particularly passionate about anything.

We still have the same purpose we will have for the rest of our lives right NOW.


The Good News


However, there is some good news: roles and purpose can work together!

Once we can completely connect to the idea that purpose is about present moment service, we get to move onto how we would like to serve going forward.

So, how would you like to help others in this moment? This year?

That’s it.

Just answer that question. How would you like to express your love and serve other people?

In a job you don’t like? Consider looking for a new one or approaching the current one in a different way.

Want to start a business on the side? Find a way to get three people to pay you for your services or products over the next four weeks.

When you no longer attach permanence to your role, you have a plethora of possibilities!

Don’t let the many options you may have scare you, though. Keep things simple. Ask your gut what you should do first and go do that thing.

Then, as you move forward in one direction, you might find that you feel pulled towards another path later.

As long as we serve others in whatever situation we are in, we are fulfilling our purpose and not a moment is wasted.

The only way we can “waste” our lives is by withholding service to those around us in the present moment while we wait for something “better.”




To summarize, we often overlook it, but our purpose is to serve others in the present moment wherever we happen to be.

And when it comes to roles in our lives, we can choose how we want to serve in this stage in our lives without attaching permanence to that decision.

We can let things percolate, progress, and pivot with a purposeful playfulness.

So take a deep breath and enjoy some feel good chemicals!

Go help someone today and you are on your way.


May something wonderful happen to you today,

PS – Want to explore purpose and intentions deeper? Join me in an upcoming Life with Intention Online class!


a new direction

January 28th, 2014   |   Business AdviceLife

NewContentDirectionGood afternoon! I’m back from Alt Summit and jumping right into the fold.

While I was in Salt Lake, I thought a lot about the impact I want to make this year. Particularly when it comes to this blog, client work, and my career as a whole.

My vision is to spend the majority of my online time directly helping people live lives with intention.

I want to spend more time helping you to improve your life, rather than just writing about my own.

After careful introspection and conversations with several readers at Alt (thank you, ladies!), I am excited to announce the following changes to help bring this vision to life on the blog:

  • Twice weekly posting schedule.
  • Intention in your inbox.
  • Daily mini updates (hint: Instagram!).
  • A note about business content.

Here’s a bit more detail about each change,


Twice weekly posting schedule


Going forward, I’m switching to a twice weekly posting schedule.

On Tuesdays, I’ll share a helpful and actionable post about living life with intention.

On Thursdays, new podcast episodes will air (starting next week!).

Limiting my posting to one written post and one podcast is awesome because it helps you consume less content.

Lately, it seems like people are busier than ever before. This slower posting schedule will help me to go deeper into topics (aka: be more helpful) without overwhelming your reading list.


Intention In Your Inbox


Now that I’m sharing less weekly content, I’m also adding an option to follow by email. This way you the blog can come to you.

Sign up is located on the blog sidebar >


Daily Mini Updates


Even though I’ll be updating the blog less, I’m going to be sharing daily on Facebook and Instagram!

This is a pretty big development as many of you know – because I’ve always stayed away from using Instagram publicly. That’s all changed now thanks to Helena, my Alt roomie. She patiently answered a million questions and taught me how to use the social aspects of the app (I may or may not have the nickname #InstaGrandma now).

Please connect with me - @JessCLively! I’ll be sharing all the funny, fashion, flowers, and Franklin pics here from now on.


A Note About Business Content


With these changes, upcoming posts will touch on career and small business in the context of intention, vision, goals, fulfillment, and meaning.

Purpose will trump packaging design.

Significance will outshine social media strategy.

I want help you optimize your approach to life so that all aspects of your life – including your business – can thrive.


So there you have it!

Higher quality / less frequent posts, daily Insta updates, intention inbox... the best is yet to come! : )


PS – There are just a few Life with Intention Online spots left! RSVP now >



{{Please note: this post is not talking about getting things done perfectly. There are many people who have a tendency to hold onto something too long and never press publish because they are worried it isn’t good enough… will never be good enough… etc. This is not a post on that subject. This is a post about how sacrificing quality for timelines is not optimal.}}


As someone who is always trying to launch a new project immediately, this week has taught me the wisdom of getting it right, rather than just simply getting it done.

Writing back each mentorship applicant unexpectedly took me three days longer than I planned, thereby delaying two other big project launches.

Because of this unplanned schedule change, I’m only 9 days in to a new year and I’m already behind. 

My first reaction was to just hustle my buns off and get the first project launched quickly yesterday. That way I could be on target for the second project next week and resync with my original schedule.

After talking it over with Mr. Lively, however, it became clear that rushing this first project for the sake of my schedule was unwise.

Prioritizing “getting it done” over “getting it right” would short-change my wellbeing and the projects themselves.

I would have resented the crazy pace and cut beneficial elements in order to launch within the crunched timeframe.

So though it was against my activator nature, I stopped, paused, and pushed the deadlines back.

Yes, my ego’s still a little bruised by the fact that I’m already pushing deadlines less than 10 days into the new year.

But I’m also more pumped about the fact that this extra time is going to allow me to do these project launches right.

Like Mr. Covey says, Fast can be slow. And slow can be fast.”

With this in mind, I want to encourage anyone else who might already be feeling a little behind, like me:

Though you might not be as far along as you had hoped, there are still 356 more days left in the year to get it right.


May something wonderful happen to you today,



Thinking about doing an Intention Session with me?

The word that keeps coming up when I think about my work with Jess is clarity.

I have a new level of clarity to what I hope to bring to my life by starting a new business. Most importantly, we clarified that my purpose or intention for my life is not necessarily to find the holy grail of “work I love” but to have work that is in proportion to the other areas of my life.

Making this realization with Jess’ help was what I needed to take the pressure off of myself.

Now I have options for how to achieve my intention. This flexibility in “doing” ultimately sets me up to move into the arena of just “being”. I’m grateful to have had this opportunity to work with Jess and will take the lessons she taught me on my new path.

Dacy Gillespie, Mindful Closet



Reader Spotlight
I run Black Bear Ink, a small consultancy that I’m hoping will turn business communications upside down and re-level the playing field for the little guy with big dreams. My aim is to empower small businesses and organizations to own their story and then tell it loud and clear–but to do it within their resources.

Christy Campbell, Black Bear Ink

WhatPurposeReallyLooksLikeSeven years ago, I stumbled upon my purpose in life: to help people reveal their fullest potential. Since then, I have literally designed my career around this mission.

It has been a long and winding road. One filled with challenges and anxiety attacks – as well as huge breaks and celebrations.

In talking to people on the subject of purpose, I get the feeling that many people might be confused as to what purpose in life really looks like. So today, I’d like to share a bit about my journey with the hope that it will dispel a few myths about how a purpose led life takes shape.

This is the “un-Photoshopped” picture of purpose, if you will.


Though many people often assume that you must “find” your purpose, I did not.

I actually stumbled upon it by accident during the most difficult time in my life. As a college junior I was binge eating candy bars three at a time and going to counseling for personal matters from my childhood. In three months I gained 20 pounds, lost all of my self-esteem, had a constant negative loop of self-talk going on in my head, and desperately wished Dr. Spock could beam me into Perfect Jess.

I desperately wanted to abandon everything about myself and just Be Better. Be Perfect.

Not surprisingly, that didn’t happen.

Instead, day by day, I had to pick myself up from the pit of self-pity and negativity I dug for myself. This is where The Seven Habits came into my life. I picked up a dusty copy of the teen version while home from college and found a foundation that I could build my actions and values around.

While in this self-discovery phase, I also happened upon a passage in The Art of Possibility that described how Michelangelo said it was easy to create the statue of David because he saw the figure within the stone and simply removed what was not David.

This passage was a huge paradigm shift for me: I didn’t need to seek my completion, happiness, and potential by adding to my life, I needed to subtract all the not-so-great habits and things that blocked my potential from unfolding.

That simple a-ha moment hit me so squarely in my heart that I knew it was the lesson I was not only supposed to learn in my own life, but was one I was meant to share with others as well.

My mess became my message.


Once I found my purpose, I didn’t automatically know “what to do.” 

With this purpose in place, I set about learning everything I could on the subject of success, achievement, intention, and fulfillment. For the past seven years I’ve devoted my reading and my learning to this topic.

That said, I didn’t know exactly how to bring this mission and the principles I was uncovering to the world.

I debated back and forth about getting a job after graduation. At the time (2007), I was convinced that I was going need a TV show to help people.

You know, like Oprah and Martha.

After a little research, I realized that Martha wrote a book called Entertaining that sold so well that it launched her career as we know it today.

With this in mind, I decided to write a book. I worked on it in my dorm room and in the evenings during my internship at Macy’s in New York.

As I neared graduation, I decided to take my part-time jewelry business full-time in order to pay the bills and continue working on the book proposal.

I moved to a tiny, not-so-nice studio apartment in Chicago and grew my jewelry company to pay the bills. I started with $700 in the bank from college jewelry sales and grew the company to over six figures in three years.

Though this might sound like it was effortless, please know: I’m just sparing all the the awesome and scary details to keep this story going. You can read the whole story of this phase in my life here.


Eventually, I decided to do what I could, right where I was. 

About 14 months into the business, I realized I was climbing the wall of entrepreneurship and needed to start pursuing that book proposal. I hated the idea of being a super-successful jewelry company owner that never pursued the real reason for being self-employed in the first place: to write a book, get a TV show, and help people!

At the time, I was learning about blogs and decided to continue my proposal on a blog, rather than a blank Word Doc.

Due to a completely unrelated giveaway I did on a major blog, a trickle of people started to click from the jewelry site over to the new blog.

Seeing readers respond to my posts, I suddenly realized I didn’t need a TV show or a book to help people. I could simply help people one day at a time, writing online to whoever would listen!

Blogging changed everything. I dropped the need to write a book and poured my heart and soul into the blog. I spent half of my day focusing on blogging related content and the other half on Jess LC.


My day job benefitted my purpose.

Though many didn’t understand that Jess LC was never my ultimate goal – it was a very pretty, sometimes risky day job – that day job happened to help me transition into my purpose as a career.

This was huge. I know a lot of people think that I started off with my purpose full-time right out of college, but really, it was Jess LC as a day-job that allowed my purpose-based career to take place gradually over the last five years of blogging.


People started asking me for help… and paying me! 

The first stream of income based on my purpose (beyond a few hundred dollars here and there for blog ads) was business consulting. I realized early on in blogging, during the peak of the recession, that people craved entrepreneurship online as a way to live intentionally.

So what started as blog posts on the topic of business, eventually turned into one-on-one consulting sessions. Over time, I added traveling workshops, an ebook, and the Workshop At Home.

The revenue I was making from the business services eventually equalled what I was making from Jess LC. At that point, I was able to close the successful accessory line and focus on my purpose full-time.

The whole transition took five years altogether, including four years of blogging.


Over time, how I fulfilled my purpose shifted. 

As I closed Jess LC, I was so excited to help people full-time that I got distracted from my ultimate purpose- to help people find a better way to live a better life.

So there I was in November of 2012, full-time helping business owners with strategy, marketing, and branding.

It was nice, but not quite the fulfilling my complete intention.

A single email from a reader asking me to help her with her life helped me reconnect with the a-ha moment that started this whole journey.

I then expanded my workshops and one-on-one offerings to include life with intention options and straddled both business and life for much of the past 14 months.


Finally, I asked my gut what to do.

Last spring, as I stood in line for the bathroom in an Austin restaurant, I asked my gut what I should do next. I expected to hear something like “more workshops.” But instead, I heard a different, unexpected response.

And while I have been working on fulfilling that decree over the past year, I found it impossible to focus while juggling everything on my plate.

What once seemed like a really fun and super awesome career in doing everything that I liked (business consulting, blogging, workshops, writing, speaking, interior decorating, and re-branding a hotel) turned into a huge distraction from my gut’s simple direction.


I stopped doing some purpose-based stuff do do other purpose-based stuff. 

To get serious about following my gut and evolving into what I am meant to do at this point in time, I dropped the business consulting.

This was difficult for some people to understand as many had come to see me as “a business person who sometimes talks about life topics.”

But really, it is the truest expression of my purpose to date.

I am so excited to see what 2014 brings in this area. It has been a long and winding road with many twists and turns waiting to reveal themselves in the years to come.


As you can see, this whole purposeful journey has been fuzzy, unexpected, sometimes clear, risky, and never-ending.

There is no “a-ha moment followed by a permanent and clear vision of what you are meant to do for the next 60 years.” Purpose is not a straight path.

You simply must do the best you can today to help the people in your life through your talents, ability, and love.

Keep going. Keep growing. Keep following your gut.

The rest will be shown to you.



To show my gratitude for your support throughout 2013, I have five gifts planned for you over the next five days!  There are no outside sponsors or companies associated with these gifts. They are simply from me, to you.


As you may know, my purpose for everything that I do is to help you to uncover your potential and live the life that you want on your own terms. This is why I write, work with clients, host workshops, and create products.

One of the most recent ways that I’ve fulfilled this mission is through the Workshop At Home. It is so awesome to help new and budding business owners reveal their business’ potential and grow with intention – anywhere in the world at a more affordable price point than the live workshops.

Over the last few months, I’ve had a few people reach out about purchasing the Business with Intention workbooks. I’ve never offered the workbooks on their own before simply because the workbooks are designed specifically for the live workshops and Workshop At Home. There are no instructions or advice in the workbooks and the answers to many of the workbook prompts are found in the three hours of workshop videos.

However, I do think portions of the workbooks may be helpful, even without the video advice and suggestions. With that in mind, I have decided to give you the workbook for free during the Week of Giving!

 We have removed the bonuses found in the custom printed workbooks (intentional calendar, lined paper for notes, and contact list) for this PDF so you are able to print it out without using hundreds of sheets of paper. And we’ve included a few highlights from each workshop video in the chapters so you know what is covered in the full Workshop at Home that is not found in the workbook itself.

And for those who want to get the full Workshop At Home – with three hours of advice, custom bound workbook, and tote – we have even included a Week of Giving discount in the back of the workbook!

If you are looking to start a business or take the business you have to the next level in 2014, I hope you use the workbook to help clarify your intentions for your business. And if you are looking for specific, actionable advice from myself and many other talented online business owners, I recommend getting the Workshop At Home.


Add to Cart

This free workbook is only available during the Week of Giving and expires on 12/21/2013

The deadline has passed and the workbook is now available exclusively through the Workshop At Home


May something wonderful happen to you today,



Thinking of doing The Workshop At Home

I am just starting to figure out how to start my business and was looking for direction. Watching these videos and going through the workbook not only made me feel inspired, but gave me real direction, and asked so many questions that I didn’t realize I needed to answer yet AND showed me how to answer them.

Jess gave examples from many situations that I can draw from to see how real people are using her advice. It also felt so authentic, like we were all just having a conversation over coffee and not at all like a scripted presentation you have to sit through at work. I now feel so much more prepared to start my journey.”

Lindsay Wesley, Lindsay Wesley



Reader Spotlight

Inspired by the confetti used to celebrate life’s most special moments, Confetti by Annette’s line of handmade jewelry is designed with the spirit of celebrating yourself and your life every single day.  Combining timeless designs with vivid colors, fresh twists, a dash of sparkle, and a pinch of playfulness, our pieces are handcrafted to bring whimsy and sophistication everywhere you go and in everything you do.

Annette Stepanian, Confetti by Annette




Monday: One-on-One Mentorship for a Year

Tuesday: Free Private Victory Starter Kit 


PS – Special thanks goes out to Jackie for designing the workbook and Jen for helping me make this possible!

how to be successful in 2014

December 11th, 2013   |   Business AdviceThink About It


Though 2014 is still a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’d like to approach the new year in terms of success.

There are the four things I believe effectively cultivate success. For the next four weeks, I’ll be sharing one element at a time, starting with (you guessed it) intention.

For the sake of WILW, I’ll be sharing these four aspects from a business or career perspective most of the time. But these concepts align perfectly with personal habits, relationships, and possessions – so feel free to use them in your personal life, too.


Create an Intention


Though I’ve talked about intentions before, it can be helpful to freshen up on the concept – particularly around the new year.

After seven years of studying the concept of intentions, I have found that a true intention is enduring, flexible, and communicates personal values – independent of outcomes or shiny pennies. 

Let’s look at each aspect in more detail to understand what this means.


An Intention is Enduring


Intentions are like the Constitution. They can be amended, but they are built to last. This characteristic is a quick way to test whether you are attempting to use the term “intention” in place of the word “goal.”

If your intention can be finished or completed, it’s not an intention, it’s a goal. (I made this mistake in my own life for about five years.)

A career intention, for example, should be specific and broad enough to convey what you most deeply want for yourself and your work over the long haul. For example, one of my client’s intentions is “to do work that is proportional and mutually beneficial.”

For her, this means that she desires her career to be proportional to the energy and time that she has at each stage of her life (she’s having her first child soon, so energy and time are changing quite a bit right now), and mutually beneficial. The last aspect of her intention speaks to the fact that she’d like to do work that brings high value for both herself and her clients (this addresses her desire to be well compensated in a non-stressful work environment).

With this new intention to guide her, she can select the appropriate course of action in her career now, once she has the baby, and as her child grows. Though her specific work may change and evolve, the intention is there to fulfill her highest value: to work in a way that supports her personal wellbeing and family.


An Intention is Flexible


An intention also continues despite changing circumstances.

Unlike a goal, that describes a specific course of action or external outcome, an intention can roll with the punches and include more than one course of action.

For example, a personal fitness intention would be flexible enough to still be honored despite a busy schedule or injury. Actions could be modified as needed, yet the overall intention would still be maintained. This means “workout five times a week” is not an intention (what if you get hurt or busy?).

On the other hand, “being adventurous with my physical activity” is a possible intention. It speaks to a value of novelty, challenge, and playfulness in physical fitness. What you choose to do given the present moment, based on the intention, is up to you to decide each and every day.

Also, if you happen to mess up or contradict your intention one day, one week, or one month, the intention can always be fulfilled the next day. There is no end game with intentions. Only a continued practice of honoring what is most important to you.


An Intention Communicates Personal Values


As I’ve hinted at in the last two sections, intention ultimately speaks to what is most important to you in each area of your life. Not on the level of shiny pennies, goals, and metrics – that’s all fleeting and ever-changing.

It’s a mindset you use to filter all of the actions and choices you make in the present moment.


An Intention is Independent of Outcomes or Shiny Pennies


Intentions are not fulfilled by any particular outcome beyond our circle of influence. The very act of doing something inspired by the intention fulfills the intention. This means our self-esteem and success is based on what we do, not what we get.

But be careful, our minds can easily play tricks on us and try disguise a desired outcome as an action. For example, if we decide, based on a career intention, to make 50 sales calls, we cannot let the number of sales (or lack thereof) determine our feeling of “success.” The customer’s choice to buy or not buy our product is beyond our control. We can do our best to convey our product’s value, but we cannot force a customer to buy the product.

So rather than stress out about lackluster sales (a not-so-great outcome), we can continue to fulfill our intention by trying to improve our product to better serve our market. Or, we can make more sales calls.

Both of these actions fulfill the intention without tying our success or worthiness to anything beyond our hustle and control.


If you have a moment today or even this weekend, you might want to take some time to use these four elements to craft your own intentions for your career and personal life. They can serve as the foundation of your success in 2014 and beyond.



May something wonderful happen to you today,



Thinking about doing The Intention Sessions with me? 

Thinking about intentions without mixing them up with goals and shiny pennies can be difficult. But the peace of mind and inspired actions that come as a result of crafting intentions is invaluable.

If you’d like help with this process for your possessions (clutter, home, stuff), personal habits (wellbeing, health, fitness), relationships, or career (small biz, corporate, or a mix) I’d love to work with you


Reader Spotlight

Cristina works with individuals and small businesses to help them establish strong personal and professional brands, develop stellar online presences, and increase their productivity and efficiency. She also runs One Woman Shop, a resource hub and community for female solopreneurs and freelancers.

Cristina Roman, CMR Strategies

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