9 steps to effective goal mapping (or How to meet Oprah) 

About a month ago when we discussed upcoming blogs, I groaned out loud on the phone to Lesley when we discussed that I should write this blog. Goals–Lesley is the half of this pair that makes them, and is successful at achieving them. Continually. She gets so excited about goals and achieving them–check out her post about goals last year…I’m more of a dreamer than a goal maker. However, the next day I picked up on a podcast where I left off, and BOOM-I was super inspired. So here we go: Goals 2016.
I was listening to Lewis Howes’s podcast and he was answering questions from listeners.  Lewis was asked what his 5 year goals include. Although that podcast itself isn’t the focus, this question is. But here is the link if you want to check it out.  He started listing people he wanted to interview–and the first few he listed I was with him, oh yeah he could totally get THOSE guests (like I know his reach from listening to his podcast for a month) and then he listed Oprah and President Obama. In my head, I thought “oh yeah, that’s reaching too far. He’ll never get those.” I was getting ready for work and I literally froze in my tracks–waaaaayyyyiiiit. Why COULDN’T he get those guests? He’s a prominent figure in the personal growth world. He’s got a podcast and a best seller and a great overcoming adversity story. He should have goals that big.

Ok. So let’s switch gears for a moment and I’ll come back to this. At this moment Lesley and I are trying to figure out new goals for our LiveClareLesley empire, and so I’m taking in A LOT of content (books, blogs, podcasts) on making a better business, being a better person, better ways to attract a partner…so generically: how to be better. What a lot of the advice boils down to is:

1) Find your strengths.

2) Find your desires.

3) Aim higher than both.

The people spouting this info are always saying that is what they did, became more successful than their gigantic and once unattainable dream, and now people are looking to these souls who have reached their goals, listening to them repeat these instructions.

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Now, back to, my new personal growth crush: Lewis Howes, and his goal to get to interview Oprah or the President–I stopped in my tracks because I was pooh poohing a man who just published a book and is on the best seller list. WHY?!? Because, I realized two seconds later, I don’t trust that if I made the goal to interview Oprah from where I’m standing at this moment in my life, that I could interview her; which would make our Live ClareLesley empire explode! That woman is a current day Midas! But why should she talk to two gals in a startup self help realm? I was so wrong and judgmental on TWO levels.  I was judging someone else based on my fear to make a goal, I wrote about something similar on this blog.

The second bad judgment–the only real reason she wouldn’t do an interview with me is because it’s not my goal to get there. Let me say that again: the only REAL thing stopping me from talking to Oprah is that I haven’t taken the steps to get the opportunity to talk to her.

In the same phone convo where I shirked at writing about goals, Lesley said: if I want something, I’ll move heaven and hell to get it. If I’m not that interested, I will let it pass by.

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THAT IS SO TRUE! If we don’t REALLY want something, why is it a goal?  Maybe I could get the interview with Oprah, or maybe I don’t really want it. In other words, I’m either not aiming my goal to get me where I want to go, OR I don’t actually WANT that goal.
Another thought: at the end, or near end, of any theater project every theater friend asks me: so what’s your next project? It’s a general question we all ask each other. Even if the actor asked this question doesn’t have a show, we always have a plan: I’m going to get my headshots redone so I can hit the ground running in January; I’m taking a class starting next week; I’ve got 5 auditions next week…you get the picture. In other words, actors are always working to get more work, to achieve the bigger goal. Many of my friends dream of moving to Hollywood/NYC to make it big. We continue to strive towards this dream. I’m always planning.  Always looking for the NEXT.  So…..why don’t I do this in other areas of my life? Why don’t I have the goal to someday interview Oprah for Live ClareLesley?!? This blog, this empire is just as important–it’s a newer dream with a newer goal, but it’s just as important as my dream to be a Broadway star and win several awards, get asked to do a television show that will run 10 years and have re-runs that will fund my life, let me be bi-costal, travel, and choose how to live out my late 60s through the next 40 years. (Woah, that’s specific. You’re probably having a similar thought to this paragraph as I did to Lewis saying he wanted to interview Oprah. Yup. Brought it back around).

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Ok. So here’s the New Goal Idea (wellllll, it’s not new, and you’ve probably read something like this before, but reminders are always helpful–and maybe you’re in a better place to receive it now. If not, bookmark this page–you’ll think of it and want it later!) we are going to map out our goals backwards!! Go get a pen and paper. Yes. Paper and pen. I’ll wait.

Ok. Write out your answers. Here we go:

1) What is your big lifetime goal?

(For my example, I’m going to steal Lewis’s and say: I want to interview Oprah)

2) Why is that your goal?

(Uh, Oprah is amazing and everything she touches is gold. Oh and she is a role model and helps people–and I want to help people) Oprah is an influence and I have some great questions I would love to ask her, that I don’t think anyone else has asked.

–if you don’t have an answer for this question, or your answer is hard to come to: re-think question #1. It could be you have a different version of this goal, as in you want to meet a different celebrity like a Kardashian, or maybe you want to be a great influence in the world.

3) what is the last step in your goal? (Huh?!?) This is something that you can control but seems inflated. Maybe even untouchable. It’s ok, humor me.

Ok. Ummm the last step in my goal is to have a wide following (like 200,000 followers) and a published book on the best seller list, so I’m a heavy enough hitter to have Oprah know who I am, and her people will answer the phone when I call.

4) How do I get there? (Ugh! Why are my own questions SO hard?!?)

I need to write the book. I need to build up my empire so great that other people are sharing and helping me market/sell my name and ideas.

5) How do I get to my answer in #4?

(Whaaaaat?!? Is this a trick?)

I create a book idea that is sellable and get it to a publisher (or other options), and I establish and make a big name for myself.

6) How do I get to answer #5?

I brainstorm a book idea. Market my website.

7) How do I get to answer #6? I do research; Look at other books, figure out what audience I have, figure out what I want to say. I go look for marketing tips, books, strategies, people who are good at marketing and ask for help/advice.

8) How do I get to #7?

Get an audience by starting a blog/podcast/website/social media presence.

9) How do I get to #8?
…Ok. I think you get the generic idea. Keep digesting your “gigantic and scary and maybe even seemingly-unattainable” goal until you get to tangible solutions/or mini-goals that will start you up that ladder.

Now, please note, that I’d at any given step, if you had no solution, you might want to think what it is that you really want. OR if it’s an old goal and you’ve already tried the steps, walk away and get a new goal (either for a bit or for good)! No sense in driving yourself crazy for a goal you don’t really want anymore.

ALSO–if you find that your goals are more focused on others dreams or goals (as in: my mother always wanted to have a cooking show, so I’m going to be a chef because once I made amazing Mac and cheese and she’s always told me I should be a chef, even though cutting tomatoes is boring and fish heads terrify me. Um, yeah. No. Get a new goal. One that YOU want.)

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Take this paper you wrote your answers on and put it up somewhere you will look at it daily: next to the coffee pot, next to your bathroom mirror, tape it to your computer top or television! You need to look at your goals DAILY in order to remind/challenge/cheer you on to your penultimate goal. (Yes, for you anal retentives, or you feng shui types, feel free to rewrite or make a more attractive version of your goals. But–once you’ve achieved each step, cross it off or check it off or rewrite the sheet and put it ON TOP (don’t throw away the old sheet–you SHOULD be reminded of what you’ve achieved.) But DO change the look or location of the sheet so you don’t get used to seeing it, and start to ignore it. You can also revise as you go–if you find that other solutions might help you get to your goal in a better way.

Feel free to do this goal mapping for any goal. Dig deep into those big goals–anything is attainable, you just need to figure out how to get there.

So now go forth, dream big! (No one was ever hurt by dreaming big, only for not challenging themselves!!) Go answer the question: what’s next?

–Clare

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5 Steps to Dreaming Big

We want to make our mark on the world in some individual way. Even more we want to be known.  We make friends. While engaging in relationships we find ourselves changing, or even worse, awaken one day to find we have changed into someone who has veered away from the path we thought ourselves originally on. Sometimes we like who we have become; who our relationships and experiences have made us. And sometimes we don’t.

At times these traits are obvious to us and at others they are not. When I first started this post, I realized that week that I’d become a pushover and a scaredy cat. (We often delay our blogs to protect the innocent–which is usually ourselves!) Anyway. At the time I was afraid to leave my job. For many ridiculous reasons that at the time seemed important and true. One: my life feels like a delicate balance and I don’t want to disrupt it. Two: my job was pretty easy and it paid me reasonably. Three: they know me. I’d been at the job for over three years. Four: they seemed willing to work with my crazy schedule.

All of these are bullshit. My life is a delicate balance, but living is about how you deal with obstacles while pursuing your passion. No job (or relationship, for that matter) is “easy” when you’re not being treated right–and sadly, I didn’t  feel like I was being treated well. Which leads to three–obviously they didn’t know me if they felt they could mistreat me. And my schedule isn’t so crazy and it’s not that I’m not accommodating when needed if possible.


Life is a delicate balance, but living is about how you deal with obstacles

while pursuing a passion.


Well, I woke up a week after writing the above. Went into work like a good worker bee, determined to keep my head down and keep working.  During my shift, I found out I was denied my request for time off to perform the show I was already cast in. I lost it. In what feels like the “Hulk smash” version of myself, I decided I didn’t need a job that told me I couldn’t put myself first, and I quit.

I hold myself in high esteem. I’m a calculated person and I very rarely make snap judgements, uninformed choices, or un-researched plans. For better or for worse, I rarely walk into a big decision without a plan. Quitting a job is just not something I do. This was a big decision, and I had talked myself out of it so many times, but when the thing I am most passionate about was put on the table, I didn’t think twice.


When the thing I am most passionate about was put on the table, I didn’t think twice.


Stephen Sondheim wrote the lyrics: “stop worrying where you’re going. If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ve gone. Just keep moving on.”  These lyrics always reassure me, no matter what I’m in the middle of. In other words, stop thinking about it and just go. Just make the choice. If you are that passionate about making the change happen, things will fall into place. If I hadn’t quit, I probably would have gotten let go, because I was going to do those performances. It was also time to leave that job. But I sat in it for too long because I didn’t value myself enough.

A while ago I wrote a blog on self-worth. This is a gigantic topic that we as a society don’t talk about enough. Therefore we question our worth, and what we want fights a battle against what we can offer. Which determines our worth.  If you continually think down on yourself, hold yourself back, or tell yourself that you’re not worth it, you never will be.


Maybe you continually beat yourself up because you don’t know how to do anything else. And if you pick on your own weaknesses, it won’t hurt as much when someone else does it.


I don’t know you. I don’t know your situation. I do know that I’ve been in both types of situations: the ones where I succumbed and stuck with something I didn’t want to do, and I’ve stuck up for myself and went my own way. Both choices have led to both good and bad outcomes. However, most times I’m  much happier standing up for myself, even though I might have to work harder, give up things, ask for help or money, and suffer a little.

How do you begin? Here is a place where lists will help you.

  1. Figure out why you dislike where you are–and “being you” doesn’t count. Is it because of hours you don’t like, not able to have a creative outlet?
  2. Can you change this by staying in your current situation but by just rearranging things?
  3. What is more important: comfort or creative? Heads up–pursuing the creative or the passion isn’t always easy. Generally it’s twice as tough because if you fail at even the smallest parts of your plan, it’s painful.
  4. Figure out your financials–this isn’t to say “don’t leap until you can afford to” but instead, “understand what downgrades and adjustments will need to be made, so it’s not so harsh a reality later.”
  5. Breathe deep and leap.

Just know that if you’re meant to do whatever your passion is, you’ll find the support. My gal Angie Atkinson is a huge example of this (outside of LL and I). Angie started her path to rock stardom three years ago, and isn’t famous yet, but you’ll hear about her soon. Angie started out wanting to move to NYC to be an actress.  That dream (and her amazing acting prowess) brought her to the city.  However, she decided it wasn’t the path for her anymore, and instead wanted to write and perform music.  She has been working on this in her spare time; writing, rehearsing; performing; and making an album–which she just released–go to iTunes or Amazon to buy it!!  For now check out a video or two.

Remember, whatever mark you want to make, you’re probably already on the path either to make it–just take a look around, what are you happiest doing?  What do you spend the most of your time doing?  Are they similar?  Why not?

We only get one life, so live it large.

Clare

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Time and other Entrepreneurial words

As Clare and I have said many times before “everything happens for a reason,” and “everything happens when it’s supposed to.” This week’s blog is evidence of this.  My dearest friend Eric and also now one of my best friends is a killer Jewelry designer. His line is Hespera. A stunning jewelry line that he created himself. He started it out of his condo and now it’s in stores across the country.

If you are sitting at home working on your own thing: this is a must read. If you are sitting their thinking about what you wish you were doing instead of what you are: this is a must read. Here’s a little background.

Eric and I met through Raine my running buddy who was moving to Germany. She met an incredible man (now her husband) at the starting line of the LA marathon (proof you can meet anyone, anywhere, marathon or Grocery Store if you start talking). I was just called by Los Angeles magazine. I was awarded “Best Pilates” in Los Angeles for their “Best of the Best” issue. Eric’s Jewelry would be the perfect statement piece.

Upon meeting we of course hit it off right away, but we also found out I signed a lease just a few buildings from his place. In LA this is huge! As it is hard to stay friends let along grow a friendship and live even a mile away.

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After the fantastic party with LA magazine wearing the incredible Anacapri Eric and I started spending more time together. I had many years experience in sales, retail and specifically jewelry. He had a phenomenal line and I knew it was going to be something huge one day.

That’s why we are here. It is hard to know when that “one day” finally arrives. It is hard to know when you are the one in the thick of it, how far you have come.

The other day I was reminded by Facebook about a picture I posted two years ago. Hespera was at an art walk (his jewelry really is wearable art). It was the one bad weather day LA had that year. Wet and cold. It was outdoors so you can imagine. It would have been easy to get bummed out about the day. The lack of success. Instead, he took advantage of the beautiful display. Lots of pics posted. I posted mine. What do you know! Phone sales!

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After that show there were others. Success can have several different meanings. If you are focused on making money you are in the wrong business. Or at least in the business for the wrong reasons.

Eric understood that everything is a learning experience. He could see the benefit to all the decisions he was making. Remember when you are new you just need to get out there. Eric never stopped thinking of new ways to promote his wearable art.


 

Its hard to know when you’re in the thick of it, how far you have come. 


When you are doing your own thing you have to think out of the box and you have to be a little bit ballsy. He knew if people saw his work they would buy it, wear it and share it. He was able to get his pieces to people hoping they could get it to people. Trusting that his work would speak for itself once it was in the right hands. Trusting others hands to get it to the right hands.

Less than a year after the cold, wet show in LA Hespera made it to People Magazine cover with Elin Nordgren. YEP! Her first interview and right there, smack in the middle of Elin was the incredible work of Eric and Hespera.

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About a year after that Hespera has been growing. Steadily. The line has evolved because thats what you have to do. There is no growth with out change. Today Hespera’s shows go across the country. In two years Hespera is rocking. Does Eric have bigger goals for it? Of course! But, you have to remember my doers of dreams. Rome was not built in a day.

Each day, week and month you have to work on your thing. Talk about it! Shout it from the roof tops. Do not keep it a secret. You may be in need of a social media expert. Tell a friend or stranger. They may know someone who knows someone. You do not have to do it all by yourself. You just have to do it!

Dream big! Then break your dream into sizable chunks. Then create a to do list. Do it now, do it now, do it now! Trust me, it won’t stop calling at you. Once you finally do it you’ll be wondering why you waited so long.

Feel free to visit Eric or Hespera (and tell him that Live ClareLesley sent you) via the Hespera website or become friends on Facebook!

Lastly, some words of wisdom from the creator himself “style is all about wearing what you love and being confident.” I believe this is true for all entrepreneurs. Do what you love and be confident in what you are doing.

Xx~LL

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Climbing the Career Ladder 

As you know from Take a Leap of Faith before I was a Pilates Instructor and Goals Coach, I was a retail manager. Before I was a store manager I was an assistant manager, a key holder, sales person, and before all that I was the cashier!  While I was a store manager, I was becoming a Pilates Instructor. Those were some long days, 15-20 hours a week training, and 50 hours a week managing a thriving retail store. After I finished my training I was teaching part time and managing full time. Doctors work less than I did! There came time when I had to choose. Spoiler alert: I chose Pilates. Stay tuned one day I’ll tell you more about that major decision. I began working as a Pilates instructor at a health club, and as history repeats itself I began climbing up the rungs.

I’m not writing this to tout my successes. Nope, I already know I’m great at what I do. I’m writing this because I’ve noticed that there are many people out there who think they can go from zero to sixty without accelerating through the other speeds. A friend-of-a-friend is unemployed. Has an awesome degree from a very well known university. The job he wants, most people don’t get without having over 10 years of experience. Part of the reason so much experience is desired, is so the right candidate can develop relationships with colleagues in that field. A position like he wants also requires a great amount of experience out in the field, that one doesn’t achieve without starting lower on the ladder. Do you see where I’m going with this?  He has to start lower and work his way up! Also, lower on the ladder doesn’t mean he is “lowly” it just means his experience is perfect for that job. I absolutely do want you to have your hearts desires. However, there are steps in between; there are experiences that need to be well experienced.  You aim for the highest high and the part from where you are now will take you through the route there. I promise! Unless you’re gifted with a company from family, or thin air (and even then I would hope you would want to see how all the moving parts work) you have to get your foot in the door. Show your awesome skills, learn from others and grow.

I started as a Pilates Instructor. Then I was promoted to Pilates Studio manager. After visioning experience running a small studio I was promoted to a bigger more challenging studio. A short time later I was promoted to Area Manager. I know in the future, with more experience there will be another rung! I knew years ago that I wanted the job I have now. But, without the experiences I gained I could not do the job I’m doing today.  I’ll get honest with you. At each rung there was a time I thought to myself “I’m above this. I could be doing something bigger, better with my time.” I saw the areas that were lacking my skills. I wanted to be up there. But, in hindsight I can tell you that I a) needed to gain the experience of that position so I could coach and develop those who would be in it b) I didn’t know all the moving parts from where I was on the ladder. With each rung I gained more insight into the rungs ahead.

We’re there days I wanted to throw in the towel? Yep! Sure, but I knew in my gut that was quitting on my bigger goals. The reason today I can coach those who come to me is because I stuck it out. I kept my focus and learned what I could so I could move up. I never waited for anyone to notice my hard work. I touted it and asked for more.  I shared my goals and perspectives and took advice and critiques so I could climb again. My advice for you is dream big.  Work that dream backwards until you have something “small” to work with. Work backward from the vision until you get to where you are today, right now.  For example, say you want to own your own coffee shop, and currently you’re a barista.  You start having a big dream and a little knowledge. Option A: go around talking about how you would do things if it was your cafe. Get frustrated that a bank won’t take you seriously or that you don’t have investors who can see your vision. Outcome: a whiny life, with a latte Option B: talk to the manager of the coffee shop. Tell them one day you’d like to run your own shop one day. Ask what it takes to move up the ladder. A great boss will see this as a compliment and take you under their wing. Your success makes them look good. Plus, you’ll gain lessons on ordering, hiring, scheduling etc. If you don’t get this mentor then 1) tell that person’s boss your dream or 2) interview at other coffee shops and tell them you are looking to learn. You love being a barista, but you also want to learn how to manage. Outcome: great on the job lessons. You’ll discover if you really enjoy managing people and what your strengths and weaknesses are.

Hopefully my friends friend will stop waiting for someone to give him the big dream job and go get the job he’s qualified for that will lead him toward dreamland. You’re exactly where you need to be right now. Isn’t that Amazing?

Xx~LL 

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!