February 28, 2008

Serving in your passion

Remember my last post on a quick way to find your passion?

I loved reading your answers!

I also thought I'd clarify just one thing. Usually your passion is expressed WHILE you are helping others.

Mindi mentioned that she'd travel the world while taking photos ;) Mindi happens to be a very talented photographer so I know they'd be gorgeous photos!

BTW, Mindi, sorry to pick on you, but you were the first commenter :) and I feel like doing some quick spot coaching...

Now, if she shared those photos with others and used them to inspire creativity (as she already does with me through her blog) or bring beauty to others, she'd be helping people in that way.

See? Easy!

Now over to you --->>

How would YOU most like to help people?

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P.S. I would most like to help people by inspiring them to action so they can reach their goals. And of course, I do this through coaching, speaking and writing :)

February 26, 2008

A quick way to find your passion

People often email me saying, "I don't know what my dreams are" or "how do I find my passion".

It's something many thirty-somethings struggle with, the age-old, "is this all there is to life?" question ;)

So today I thought I'd tell you a really, really quick way to get in the right direction of your passion.

If money, family and time were not a problem, how would you spend your time?

Most people then say they'd travel the world ;)

If you're one of those, then question 2 is this...

And after you're done travelling the world, how would you then spend your time?

Leave your answers in the comments!

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P.S. I usually do a 90-minute coaching session to help people discover their passion with a comprehensive assessment - this one question is not meant to replace that at all!

February 25, 2008

Monday Motivation - 25 Feb 2008

This is week 2 of Monday Motivation!

Last week I had 2 unexpected, additional events. The talk that was scheduled for Saturday was postponed and I did another talk (same subject - 7 things you must do to achieve your goals) to a group on Wednesday evening (unplanned).

Also, we went out to supper with friends (also unplanned). Time that I'd planned to do these two sales pages ;)

What went well last week was besides the goals talk (19 people), I also had a teleclass for my new How to become a professional organiser group coaching programme. And of course, I got all the other stuff done.

So for this week, my goals are:

  1. Blogging - done
  2. Write weekly tips ezine - done
  3. Get sales page up for new ebook - done
  4. Go to gym on Wed - done
  5. Launch ebook to mailing list with special offer - done
  6. Revamp sales page for 7 easy steps to organise your office - not done
  7. Confirm Scotland dates with Suzanne! - done

What are your goals for the week?

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February 23, 2008

The discomfort of change

I am obsessed with personal growth. I am happiest on the razor sharp edge of the discomfort of change. - from Shane and Peter, this fabulous new blog I discovered

I love this quote but more importantly, what does this mean to you?

Are you getting more and more comfortable with change?

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February 21, 2008

Getting your chatty colleagues to stop talking!

I received a great question from a reader (who asked me to keep her anonymous, due to the nature of the question ;)) recently:

How do you get the co-worker who shares your office to stop asking you questions all day long (about work and non-work stuff), constantly telling you stories about her family and friends and interrupting your work (without ruining a great working relationship and friendship at the same time)?

That sounds really awful, but definitely affects my productivity.


Sorry, I had to laugh. I have been in MANY situations like this too.

You can do things in a number of ways:

Direct and straightforward
Generally, my approach in life is to be direct, but in an office, I suggest trying another way first and only if, after numerous attempts, you don't see a change, then you should be direct.

Office politics is alive and kicking, people, and if we spend 8 hours a day there, we don't want to make it worse than it has to be, right?!

Clear but subtle
This is my preferred method.

I would pick my battles and only do this in the mornings, when I had a big and looming deadline, or at peak productive time.

Option 1

As you're walking into the office, say good morning to everybody and then announce to Loud Colleague, "Okay, Jane, today I have LOTS of work to do so I'm going to sit here quietly and not move my butt until this is all done."

Notice you haven't said anything about how they are keeping you out of your work.

This works really well because...
  1. it's all about you so the other person won't get defensive
  2. they feel like they're partnering with you to keep you working
Option 2
I've also just ignored the person and worked furiously and then when they say, "Marcia, are you listening?", I can honestly say, "sorry, no, I really have to focus so I just blocked out all sounds".

After a couple of these sessions, they start getting the hint that you can't work and talk all the time.

Option 3
Use your iPod at work and pull your hair behind your ears so the earphones are clearly visible :)

This is actually more or less acceptable in offices these days. I personally don't like it because I love the team vibe but in open-plan offices, you've got to do what you need to get things done.

Hope this helped!

How would you deal with this situation? Please share in the comments. (Suzanne, I'm really keen to hear from you)

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February 19, 2008

making time for health and fitness

We all know we need to eat right and exercise more but how do you actually make the switch from thinking to doing?

1. Get organised
When I first started eating correctly (early 2006), getting it all together seemed extremely overwhelming until I realised that I could do it easily if I got myself organised.

On the weekend, plan your meals (breakfast, lunch and supper) and THEN go shop for food. Make sure you buy enough fruits and vegetables for the entire week.

Then do as I do and get all your breakfasts and lunches ready and packaged for the week.

2. Get a workout buddy or make yourself accountable to someone
If I'm really in a slump (like I am right now with gym), I purposely tell someone, ANYONE, that I'm going to gym that evening.

Inevitably, I don't feel like it (successful people have to work through those lazy feelings) but because I've told someone, I make sure that I go.

It just so happens that one of my coaching clients goes to the same two dance classes as I do. So we always say, "see you on Monday" because her coaching appointments are on Saturdays and of course, I don't feel like it, but because I know I've said so to her, I make sure I go!

3. Link it to one of your current routines
If you know you get lazy once you get home, then make a new routine of going to the gym straight after your day's work, or early in the morning before you start work.

I have a routine every Sunday morning to pack all my breakfasts and lunches for the week. That's when I also pack my lunch bag for Monday.

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February 18, 2008

Monday Motivation - goals for week 18 Feb 08

While blog-surfing last week, I came across this Monday Motivation thing over at WAHwebmommy. Since I LOVE goals and goal-setting and I live this stuff, I decided to join for the week and post my goals for extra accountability:

So here goes - my goals for the week:

1. Finalise handout for my talk on Saturday - it's on goalsetting and time management - done
2. Get products printed for back-of-room sales - done
3. Finalise 6 sections of new coaching programme - done
4. Submit article to ezine articles. - done
5. Redo sales page for 7 easy steps to organise your office
6. Write sales page for new ebook - yayy!

What are YOUR goals for the week?

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February 16, 2008

Being passionate about your work

Yesterday, I had a client phone and ask me about my organising services. She has a home office and needed help getting all the paper and filing organised.

After a couple of minutes, she said to me, "are you passionate about this kind of work?"

I love paper organising and home offices, so I said, "YES, I actually am. That is my favourite type of organising."

And we laughed.

So today I was at her house and she said, "do you remember I asked you if you were passionate about your work?" After I said yes (this is the first client who has asked me something like that so of course I remembered ;)), she said this...

"I resolved this year to only work with people who are passionate about what they're doing".

WOW! Isn't that powerful?

I happen to agree with her because a passionate person brings a lot more energy and enthusiasm to your interaction - let's face it, passion is inspiring and you just want to catch it!

Are you passionate about your work? How can you get more passion into your life?
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February 14, 2008

3 easy steps to make time for your passion

I really believe that each of us has been put on this earth to do a specific purpose. That purpose is expressed as your passion.

So why should you find out your passion?

Honestly, because without it, life can be rather boring and very drab. When you live life with passion, you start experiencing life in Technicolour!

But how do you create time to express your passion?

1. Make it a priority
The first step is to recognize that your passion is important and make it a priority in your life. That means you have dedicated time in your schedule each and every week to indulge your passion.
For example, if you passion is to bring joy to underprivileged kids, then it’s a good idea to volunteer regular time at a children’s orphanage every week.

2. Learn to say no
When you say YES to your passion, you’re going to have to say no to other less important things. Have a look at all your current commitments and ask yourself why you’re doing those things.

Maybe you’re serving on a committee for the wrong reasons like guilt, peer pressure, or wanting to be the “dependable one”.

3. Set clear boundaries
One of the dangers when you’re involved in doing something you love is that you can get completely absorbed by it.

However, you must remember that you still need to live a life in balance.

Keep checking in and asking yourself:
* Am I doing what I truly love to do, or am I being sucked in by the “small stuff”?
* Is this what I signed up for? Sometimes you get involved for one reason and before you know it, things have turned around.

Your coaching challenge
(a) Eliminate at least one commitment that you’re no longer excited about.
(b) Make a call/ send an email/ go see someone about doing something on a consistent basis to express your passion.

For accountability, leave a note in the comments telling me what you’re going to do!

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P.S. I wrote this article for Katherine Reschke's blog, Passions that pay, earlier this week.

February 13, 2008

Are you ready for YOUR awesome relationship?

Do you want to jazz up or improve your current relationship or get into a new fulfilling relationship?

© Are you single and wish you had a fulfilling relationship?

© Do you wonder why you can't seem to make a relationship work?

© Are you married and "just comfortable"?

© Are you in a good relationship and want to take it to GREAT with a couple of tweaks?

Great! Then I'm speaking to you!

When you're on your death bed, it won't matter that you spent time at work. You'll wish you'd invested more time and energy in your family.

Isn't that the truth?!

I also chatted to someone else yesterday and told her, "it doesn't matter how much time you're spending working at the church if your marriage is suffering for it".

Do you agree with me?

I ran a series of fun and exciting relationship workshops live and in-person in Johannesburg. Over 30 participants participated and had a ball!

The workshop was beyond my expectations. It was excellently presented. I realized today that there are some issues in my relationship which I have to work on. – Nola Stevens

People said that they were fighting less, loving more J and generally enjoying the time spent with their spouses.

Ready to order your copy? Click here now.

Don't you want to have fun with your spouse again?

The Awesome Relationships audio programme is available for a LIMITED time only at the special price of only $27 (+- R200).

You get:

1. 56-minute audio download so you can listen as many times as you like!

2. 10-page PDF workbook

3. plus special bonus, 101 romantic ideas ebook

It was excellent. It was a lot of fun and I got to learn a lot more about my partner. – Alan Olivier

Read more testimonials here.


I guarantee that once you've listened to the download and done the exercises, you'll have at least 7 NEW WAYS to add spice to your relationship! If you don't, I'll refund you personally from my own pocket!

Ready to buy? Great!

Click here to complete your purchase

P.S. The sooner you get the audio, the sooner you can have the awesome relationship of your dreams!

P.P.S. If you prefer one-on-coaching, please email marcia AT takechargesolutions.org.

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February 12, 2008

Why you need to get a professional first time around!

One of my goals for 2008 is to get my professional image jacked up - some of the action steps underneath that banner are to 1) get the website revamped and 2) get professional photos done.
I'll confess that getting the photos done was a HUGE issue for me - I'm not a hair & make-up kind of girl. I really only go to the hairdresser when it is absolutely necessary (need a colour or can't cope with all the curls) and I wear very little make-up.

So I fully intended to leave this for as long as possible ;)

Until I had my consult with the web designer I chose (it's a secret for now so you'll have to wait and see everything at the GRAND unveiling). We were tossing around some possibilities and she asked about photos. I thought that this is as good a time as any to take action so why not?!

Because I'm accountable to someone to deliver all the copy and photos, I had to actually make the calls and get it done. But the dread was still there - and when my friend couldn't help me with the make-up, I really wondered if it was all worth it.


I got my hair done, followed Angie's instructions (do your make-up a lot thicker than you think it should be) and bribed my husband to come with me to the other side of the world (Meyerton!).

The photographer took one photo where a normal person (like me) would have taken at least 10 to get the shot.

I was so impressed and realised once again why it's always better to get a professional in, first time around.

It actually saves you time and money when people know what they're doing. Don't you agree?

There's another photo on my Facebook profile too which I love, love, LOVE! And of course, this one on the blog.

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February 09, 2008

What would you do if you had 12 months to live?

The Boardwalk, Port Elizabeth

Jen Ballantyne has stage 4 colon cancer and has been told that she has only a very short time to live. She asked a question on her blog - what would you do if you knew you only had 12 months to live?

Meg Casey wrote a response post on her blog here. Get your tissues ready - it is a beautiful, beautiful post!

If I had only 12 months to live, I would
  1. resign the very next day and then make Dion resign ;)

  2. buy tickets to New York (that is the ONE place that captures my heart)

  3. travel more

  4. go to the hairdresser every week

  5. not worry about my non-flat tummy after the op

  6. only watch movies that make me laugh

  7. phone my family more

  8. use all my "good stuff" - plates, mugs and so on...

  9. listen to soppy music and sing along at the top of my voice - oh wait, I already do this :)

  10. take time to really connect with people

What would you do? (this might also be a good time to make a life list)

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February 07, 2008

You ARE worth it!

You know how I love notebooks, right?

I used to write in just any notebook before until I found these beauties...

They're about 10 times what I normally pay for a notebook but they were just SO gorgeous - I couldn't resist.

But you know what was weird? Actually putting pen to this lovely, smooth, thick paper.

I felt like I needed to have something worthy to write in there. Perfectionism rearing its ugly head.

And then I realised - I do. Whether it's a new idea for a coaching programme or just a things to do list, it deserves to be in a gorgeous book.


Because they're my ideas. And even though all my ideas might not be great, they are still worth writing down in a beautiful place.

Once you start, you get used to using nice things very quickly. I hardly broke a sweat when I started my 2nd gorgeous notebook this year. I chose one to match my gorgeous planner ;)

The other weekend Dion finished his church notebook. So he asks me, "do you have a notebook I can use?" Of course this is the HOUSE OF NOTEBOOKS so I have stacks (after seeing the selection, he told me I have a sickness ;)) None of them was quite right so I said (about the blue one in the picture), "what about this one?"

And he went through the exact same feelings I'd been through!

  • how can I write in something so nice?
  • I feel like I need to write something more substantial in it.
  • and so on...

So I told him, your thoughts are worth writing down and this weekend, he broke in that beauty!

Your coaching questions
  1. Do you value yourself?
  2. Do you find yourself thinking you don't deserve to use nice things?
  3. Which ONE thing can you start doing today to treat yourself better?
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February 05, 2008

Work once and repurpose your work

I'm a big fan of repurposing my work.

Today, I thought I'd give you a tip that can save you time and energy.

If you find yourself leaving a long comment on someone's blog, copy it and paste it into your drafts folder. Write the title so you remember what it's all about.

Next time you have to blog and you don't know what to blog about, you can quite easily write a post around that comment.

I saw a great example of this recently when Erin Blaskie used a comment she left here and turned it into a blog post here.

Great work, Erin!

Coaching question
Use at least one comment this week and turn it into a blog post!

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February 02, 2008

Bought on a beachfront in PE

A reader from my newsletter reminded me that I forgot to post the paintings I bought in PE - thanks for keeping me authentic. I love it!!!

On the beachfront in Port Elizabeth, there were about 3 different guys painting things like this. I liked this guy's style and more than that, his demeanor. Here in Johannesburg, everyone is so pushy and this PE guy was like, "whatever you want to do is cool with me". Shame - how sweet!

We paid R25 for each of those. R50 is about $7. And then I bought those frames at my beloved Pick & Pay for R59,99 each (they are now R79,99 each - yessss, I love it when I get things at a good price), which is $17 for the two frames.

I thought it was a great deal!

I still haven't decided where I want them but you'll be glad to know they are no longer on my sideboard - I just did that for the photo.
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Ali, if you're reading - I'm sure they do things like this in Mozambique. What would you pay there?