One of the best decisions I’ve made is to try new methods and systems to get to different results. For example: I want 2017 to be the year when I firm up our family’s passive income stream. I’ve set up different investment tools in the past, of course, but this year I am going to dedicate much of my time to building a solid system for us. It’s different, but I am expecting a different (and very good, yes!) result, of course. I have been attending training, coaching sessions, and learning new methods, some way out of my comfort zone. The thing is, I’m willing to do this because I want a different result.
Try something different
At the start of the new year, it’s normal for many of us to feel “wired” to change things up. That is why we make resolutions, set new goals for ourselves, wishing and hoping this year will be “the year” we achieve what we’ve set out to do. We try on our own to make things work, but let’s face it: most of the time, we’ve failed on our goals and good intentions, even before we’ve started working on them!
Well, I’ve seen in the past that the things I achieved my favorite goals when I deliberately did something about them. Let me cite some examples:
In 2011, I took up my first blogging course and started to monetize my blog. It was the first course I ever paid for, which proved successful in helping my blog earn a national award (Best Home & Parenting Blog for 2011 Philippine Blog Awards).
In 2013, I started being coached by Jess Lively, intention & business coach, to help me beef up my services as a “blog coach.” Simultaneously, I did two blog branding courses with Blogging Your Way, which helped me to professionalize my brand. Both the coaching and the courses were a hefty investment, but instrumental to me setting up a thriving coaching business that has lasted to this day. They also helped me build the confidence to do my own writing workshops for bloggers.
It’s important to note that when I tried something different for my blog — courses, coaching, accountability, mentoring —, I achieved different results. Each course or coaching I went through helped me to level-up in my brand and business, and they also helped me change my mindset so that I would keep going towards my desired outcome. As a working mom, I wanted to keep on working from home, do something I enjoyed (if possible) and create something sustainable. Did all of those, thanks to trying something different.
You can try something different, too.
Our workshops this January may be different for many of you. You may have not tried doing a vision board in your life, or you may not have ever had any life coaching. I get it, but, I also know that some of my biggest breakthroughs have been during times that I tried something different than just doing things on my own. Who knows? It might be the same for you.
What’s the difference between our #makeitblissful Workshops this January? Here is a short low-down:
JANUARY 21, SATURDAY: THE VISION BOARD WORKSHOP
The main purpose of this workshop is to teach the actual science, mindset and purpose behind a tool known as a “vision board.” Vision boards are actual tools to help us achieve goals, desired outcomes, and generally have a positive, proactive mindset towards your life. They are used by leaders, high achievers, and professionals in many fields. You can learn how to make your own, too! Sign up HERE to get our early bird rate: Vision Board Workshop, Jan 21st, 8:30AM-12NN
JANUARY 25 (W) & 28 (S): GET BLISSTIFIED WORKSHOP
The main purpose of this workshop is to help you launch a “passion project.” This could be a business, a blog, a book, an advocacy, a health goal or whatever it is you are feeling strongly about. Whatever passion project your declare to begin during this workshop will have a timeline of 12-months, in which you will receive monthly tips &a encouragement, as you get closer to fulfilling your project. You will be part of a 12-month long private Facebook accountability group, after completing the workshop.
Sign up here for the weekday run at the Henry Hotel, Pasay: Get Blisstified, Jan 25th, Wednesday
Sign up here for the weekend option in Local Edition, Makati: Get Blisstified, Jan 28th, Saturday
I sound like a broken record when I say the word “resolution,” but I still believe in making them. I mean, what could be better than purposely setting aside the first few days of the year to actually plan for some changes, right? But most of us (myself included) give up because we have told ourselves “I’m going to get distracted” or “I’m not going to lose that much weight, so why try?” or “Resolutions are stupid, nothing ever changes.”
The key to making resolutions that actually pull through? CHOOSING. If you choose to succeed in what you set out for yourself to do, then you have already chosen to be that person, you have already chosen to be in that place or situation that you desire in your heart.
Let me explain what I mean, inspired by my “quote addiction” (!):
In my first year offering my blog coaching sessions (as a “side hustle” to my regular job as a digital strategist), I remember deciding to simply “make it my full-time hustle.” I knew I wanted to create a job that I enjoyed doing, doing something that was both fulfilling and fun for me. So even if in the beginning I had to juggle the side hustle and work double the time, it was because I had decided I wanted to make this job sustainable enough for me to replace the income I was making in the company I was employed in. Eventually the hustling paid off after a year or so, when I was able to resign from employment and do my blog coaching and blog sponsorships on a full-time basis. It wasn’t without the long hours, the time and effort invested in courses and trainings to help me in the areas of branding, consulting and coaching. But that’s because I had already decided where I wanted to be. All the hours put into making the side hustle work, in the end, paid off. (And here I am still, going on five years!)
Without commitment, all we have are wishes and dreams, no plans. I saw this on one of those Facebook quotes some time ago and it stuck. We can say “I’m going to do this, one day,” but if we never commit to actually doing what it takes to see the dream come true, then we will never be more than just dreamers. (And dreamers are, well, asleep.)
I was watching a viral video on Facebook about Martin Strel, a 60-something year old who holds the Guinness World Record in long distance swimming in open water. This man is a total animal who has some kind of surreal, innate power in him, I believe! He has defied all limits when it comes to swimming in open water (yes, including the most polluted bodies of water on earth). Just watch:
“Water usually kills people. Not me,” Martin says, after sustaining sickness, life-threatening diseases and all sorts of bodily challenges during his torturous swims. (He has at times swum for sixty days straight!) What struck a chord with me most was when he talked about the water being his strength, particularly when he’d escape his abusive father by swimming off. (That, and getting attacked by flesh-eating fish while on a swim!) The biggest deal? It’s that each river or sea he committed to swim across or through, he’s done it.There’s a reason he’s been able to withstand the most awful conditions and limiting beliefs.
“It’s in your brain,” Martin says simply. “I am still a simple man, and I can change the world.”
Commitment to being what you want to be is what takes you one step closer each day to your goal. Like Martin! He would like to swim the Grand Canyon one day, maybe even swim across the planet. I’m sure he’ll be able to do one or both, because heck, this guy is all about dreaming and doing what it takes to meet his goal. We can have all the pretty dreams in our heads, but wouldn’t it be a whole other level to LIVE them?
I’m not yet where I want to be, even though I am doing work that I enjoy, or I have “made my passion my paycheck.” To be honest, my passion isn’t something I want a paycheck for: I want to be a full-time mom. Sounds big coming from a known work-at-home mom like me, a promoter of women empowerment, right? I know I’ve often written about and talked about making things work, and they can, but I’ve dared myself to dream bigger and plan better so that I can design my life a better way. I’ve been a mother for seven years now, and to be honest, I don’t want to be a working mom my whole life. I’d like to do other things, too, and find solutions to how I can activate income streams, without trading hours for time. That’s what 2017 will be about, and I have decided to work on priming my new passive income streams. I know it is hard in the beginning, but like one of my favorite people says, “Work hard now so that you can reap the benefits later” (Pat Flynn). I’ve decided I will succeed in setting up successful passive income streams. I’ve seen what life can be when that goal is reached, and it is too good to pass up the opportunity to really design my life the way I want to, the way my family deserves.
Bottom line? Everything that will go through when we run for our goals — the hard work, the perseverance, the mistakes and failures, the progress — are chapters in our success stories. I don’t consider my becoming a full-time housewife, or an established blogger, or a small business owner a “success.” As another famous man said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts” (Winston Churchill).
I hope this new year, you will CHOOSE for yourself what you would like your life to be like. That you would shift your mindset to one that says “I can and I will,” because once you have chosen, you have already decided to succeed.
Make Your 2017 Happen with Your Own Vision Board!
I say that one of the best ways to help you CHOOSE and live intentionally this year is to join our Vision Board Workshop on the 21st. I have teamed up with Vision Board Coach Trixie Barretto Esguerra for this event, who has conducted successful Vision Board coaching all over the Philippines, parts of Asia and the United States.
Doing a Wish Grant with Make a Wish Philippines is something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I understood the positive effect it has on the children. So before the holidays set in, a few of us from the Blissful Brands & Businesses Group started a simple chat thread on Facebook and started to plan a wish grant for two preschool aged kids — Ezra and Krystel, both with life-threatening illnesses — who wanted to have their wishes granted.
The “wish grant” by the Make a Wish Foundation is an experience that brings hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening illnesses. According to their website, 89 percent of health care experts around the world believe that the wish granting experience can influence a “wish kid’s” health in a most positive way. Eighty-one percent of parents of wish kids also observed that after wish grants, their children were more willing to comply with their treatment protocols. Most of all, 99 percent of parents affirmed that the wish grants give their children increased feelings of happiness, which has often resulted in a turning point for the children during treatments (i.e., some get well or start on the road to wellness).
Who wouldn’t want to give these children all that?
Each wishgrant is more about creating an magicalexperience for each child, giving them a day that they will remember forever. As sponsors, we were encouraged by the Make a Wish team to think out of the box to make magic happen for Ezra and Krystel.
First in order was the venue. Earth Kitchen in Bonifacio Global City let us use their venue without needing to meet the regular rate for events (Thanks, Melissa, Pinky and the EK team!). To create a “magical” effect in the venue, we had the gracious support of White Box PH, a company that specializes in ready-made party paraphernalia that are hard-to-find or make. For this party, the ladies of White Box went with the colors of Make a Wish (white and blue) and created a “winter wonderland.”
With the White Box PH ladies, and our wish kids
Once the venue design was in place, we sounded a call for volunteers who would want to give through talent, so that the wish kids and the party goers would be able to enjoy some entertainment. For this, we were blessed to have volunteers from among the Blissful Brands & Businesses members. The first performance was by our youngest volunteer, Yanthy Dumadag, the son of my friend Teresa Gumap-as Dumadag of the Hands-On Parenting While Earning workshops and consultancy. Yanthy is a talented keyboardist who is also a homeschooler, and has been playing the piano during daily Mass, so for this wish grant, his offering was a number of Christmas songs. So impressive!
The next set of volunteer entertainers was Make Believe Philippines, a company dear to my heart that specializes in creating magical storytelling experiences and events for children (owned by my cousin-in-law, Lesley Leveriza). The first Make Believe experience I ever had was when they came to do a Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed birthday craft party for my son Vito’s 2nd birthday, and I remember everyone loving it so much! So for the wish grant, Make Believe prepared a moving story about Juanito, who learned how to make the world a more colorful and happy place. Both the adults and the kids in attendance were super psyched and involved during the performance, which is really a trademark of the Make Believe team’s interactive stories.
The Make Believe Team also brought with them their trademark face painting station, so that the kids could have some colorful fun. Our wish kid Ezra had them paint his favorite superhero emblems on his arm, to his delight. Meanwhile little 3 year-old Krystel wanted lots of flowers.
Last but not the least, the talented indie artists of World Extravaganza, led by Ms. Crystal Lin, rendered some acoustic tunes for us, including an original song. “World Extravaganza is a community arts organization dedicated to organize events and design programs with the mission to promote, advocate, and communicate music and the arts to the general public.”I suddenly remembered my days in youth group band, while listening to these guys and girls. I can’t explain how much music has an invisible power to touch the heart, especially when the musicians making it truly love their craft, as these young men and women do. (You’ll find them on weekdays at Frank & Dean’s at Burgos Circle during Open Mic sessions — check out their Facebook page for schedules!)
We transitioned from the last song by WorldExPH into the actual Wish Grant portion, which Ezra and Krystel were not expecting. As it is done during wish grants, the wish kids were led to sit in front of the party crowd, facing the people with their eyes blindfolded. Everyone scurried to get the gifts in place while I gave some instructions on what was to happen.
Once the gifts were in place, we counted down before the kids were instructed to take off their masks and see all the presents before them. They were in shock at the pile! The Make a Wish team had gone to great lengths to make sure our donations from the Blissful Brands & Businesses group would go into getting Ezra and Krystel the toys on their wish list. For Ezra, a “big remote control car,” and for Krystel a Barbie and Barbie house. They ended up getting all that they wished for, and more!
Both Ezra and Krystel suffer from blood thalassemia, a blood disorder caused by the body’s lack of hemoglobin, which is a crucial component of our red blood cells. It’s a treatable disorder, which means that both wish kids will be undergoing blood transfusions and chelation therapy for the rest of their lives. While it’s hard to imagine these two beautiful kids have such a condition to live with, it’s possible to keep helping them on a regular basis. You can contact Make a Wish Philippines on how to donate and how to organize a wish grant for other wish kids. Trust us, it’s totally worth it.
We hope you enjoyed this recap of the Ezra – Krystel Wish Grant! You can view all the pictures from the event over at our photography sponsor Amari Moments’ Facebook Page.
Have you ever had to “fire” yourself from a job? I’m talking about it in the context of a blogger, a freelancer or creative. This is an idea I learned from my brothers, when they were deep into their digital strategy business. They were behind big brands like Fully Booked, Jericho Rosales, DMCI Homes, and such companies. Their goal after their corporate trainings and consultancies was simple: For their clients to become so competent so that they could fire their consultants (the consultants being my brothers). When I asked what he meant, he said:
“As a consultant, your job is bring ‘smarts’ to the situation. When you do that, you should be increasing your clients’ capabilities so that as you work together, it’s a learning process for them. Within a certain amount of time, they should should be able to fly without you,” says my youngest brother, Kayo Cosio of HoneyComb Communities.
Ever since they stated this years ago during a training workshop, I’ve thought about it in the context of my own work, and being “fired” on certain occasions, plus to how “fire myself” from situations. Let me explain.
See, I’ve been blog coaching for four years now. In the beginning, when I was handling a few clients at a time, it was great. I could do everything on my own, except for the graphic design elements of the websites and blogs of my clients. Down the road, more and more clients came, and I had to hire more people to make the websites and to do the work with me.
Growing a team is never easy, and I even hired some really bad people along the way. There were a handful of projects that never saw the light because of some unreliable freelancers I contracted. Of course, I learned it the hard way: All the blame went to me, as the project manager. As a result, I fumbled up projects, made clients unhappy, wasted people’s money and time, and of course, all that ruined my reputation. I had lots of great projects, but the disappointments and failures always affected me the most.
What my failures in consulting have taught me
I’ve seen through the years that I should have fired myself when I saw warning signs — like those I’m listing below. Looking back, my unhappy clients have been the ones whom I didn’t give value to. There were those who felt I wasted their money, others who didn’t jive with my style of coaching, and others who didn’t like their websites and blogs. These clients, I’ve since grouped into “the dissatisfied” for data purposes. Normally, I would let these glaring failures keep me down, but as it turns out they are the most helpful category of clients for me. Because it’s my failures with them that help me create something blissful out of a seemingly negative and career-killing situation.
What I’ve realized is:
1. There are clients who need more hand-holding than others. I’ve had clients who are more demanding of my time and supervision than others. If I’m not delivering their time expectations, I will of course fail them because they find value in constant access to me. I should fire myself before things get too detailed.
2. There will always be people who equate service price with hours rendered. I’ve had a handful of prospects who’ve said “Your Skype sessions are overpriced” without even trying them first. But I’ve had MORE clients say that my Skype sessions were vastly helpful, even more than my offline group workshops, because of the one-on-one aspect. When colleagues and I deduced what the unhappy clients found wrong with the service, we saw that these clients didn’t really care about the price, but they made price instead of time & consulting the most important aspect of their choice to work with me. I should fire myself, because I am not valued, nor is my service.
3. There will be clients you think are great for you, but they don’t really need you. It’s important to validate a particular client actually needs you. This was one mistake I made more than once. My coaching is most valuable to clients who really don’t know what they want for their blog or website. So in the times I was hired by clients who already knew a majority of what they wanted, I should have actually let them go. Why? Because if I cannot work with them or offer them value, then they will of course feel they didn’t get their money’s worth.
So, thank you, to every client I’ve had. The successful projects have affirmed that I am a great blog coach for a specific kind of client. The failed projects on my part confirmed what I was doing incorrectly, and have since helped me to “fire myself” as a blog coach.
But this doesn’t end in failure. I’m too much of a life hacker to settle in the dust.
I will always love doing social media and blogging strategy. But just because I want to work doesn’t mean I want to keep trading hours for money. For sure, I don’t want to work until I’m 60. And so, the goal is to create systems so that I still give value to those who come for brand consulting, coaching, but spend less hours being physically doing the work. This can be achieved through my new books, some webinars that we are cooking up, and limited number of consulting spots for those truly serious about growing their brands. This means letting go completely of certain services and automating current ones. These will also help filter out my non-ideal clients (those who need hand-holding and my constant presence).
So, hello to new things! Now that I have “fired” myself from certain roles, I can breathe easier, work more efficiently (and with better results), work with clients who are really the best fit (and I for them).
Have you ever had to “fire” yourself as a coach, a consultant or service provider? How did you look at the situation? Let’s share our experiences in the comments. (Or I invite you to start a topic in our Facebook Group, the Blissful Brands & Businesses)
Ah, Tagaytay! I love that I did my Avida workshop there last October, because I always like escaping to this holiday city (despite its recent reputation as a traffic-riddled weekend getaway). Sadly this is true, because this hilltop city is filled to the ridge on weekends with vacationers from Manila, who all want the comfort of a searing, homey helping of authentic bulalo with a side hot rice and some tawilis, capped off with a cozy cup of coffee while enjoying a view of Taal and a clear sky.
But what if you could live here, right? The thought has certainly crossed my mind. Friends who have made Tagaytay their permanent home have advised us to consider it, because the traffic isn’t as bad on weekdays, and the city is just an hour’s drive from the beach on good days. Plus, who doesn’t love the nippy mountain air, especially when the cool season comes around this time of year?
The new Serin development in Tagaytay offers prospective homeowners a home that feels “like a holiday, every day.” After living in mega cities all my life, I can appreciate this thought! I’d love to wake up everyday with a view of leisure farms, pine trees, and that huge world-famous lake! With the right condo space on the ideal side of the city, I can.
During my Home Gatherings Workshop, I talked about how we should be able to design the lifestyle we want our families to have. I like to believe that we who work hard and provide for our families have earned the right to design our lives, right? Avida understood this when they created their Serin property, a hilltop, mid-rise condo residence with a strategic view of Tagaytay’s ridge and world-renowned lake, situated across the convenient Serin mall, right in the heart of the tourist city.
“What if you could wake up and every morning felt like you were on vacation?” I mused, as my blogger guests and the invited media converged in the Serin showroom suite. “Here in Serin, we can achieve that.”
Thank you to Avida Land Corp for this opportunity. For more details on Avida’s options for homeowners, please visit their website and Facebook pages to talk to an Avida associate.