Mind Tricks for the Healthy Entrepreneuress

How to stay sane in an insane business world

Stories of insanely successful business women are abound. But it’s the road kill – all those women who crashed and burned that also intrigue Suzi Lala, the author of The Motherhood Evolution. Lula, who has been a counselor for 18 years and recently expanded her business as a speaker, workshop leader and author, is obsessed with the field of human transformation and how mother’s in particular can thrive.
 
“What I figured out after talking with and counseling so many women – especially mothers – is that women are too often out of balance. That’s what gets in the way of their goals,” says Lula. The problem boils down to a lie women tell themselves - working harder and sacrificing more pays off. Lula says it rarely does. Too many women try to do it all and be everything to everyone. The result is exhaustion, burn out and unhappiness.
 
“What's helped me in my journey more than anything else is to have the courage to say ‘I’m done for the day’ and then go do something that really replenishes me; not something for my family or my business, but something small that makes me happy,” says Lula.
 
While going out to dinner with a girlfriend is one of Lula’s favorite replenishments, she also likes taking a yoga class, buying fresh flowers for her house (an instant pick-me-up), and rocking out to music while she cooks. Lula says that “these treating yourself to tiny treats every day work like a mind trick - they keep you focused on your intrinsic worth regardless of what’s going on in life.
 
“Women are brought up to think that our value and worth comes through how successful we are or how successful our kids are. The trick is that you have to know that you’re deserving regardless of anything. Your business will go up and down, and that’s the nature of business. But your self-esteem shouldn’t waiver in the process.  
 
Women who treat themselves with kindness, respect and plenty of replenishment conquer goals because they don’t question their worth. “Success comes when you create a lifestyle and attitude that’s grounded in self-worth, which breeds stability. Someone who stays centered even when the waves come has the best chance at truly becoming the captain of her own ship,” says Lula.

How To Make Your Time Off A Priority

Fear not. Your job will still be there!

If you are like most Americans, you work hard everyday. You might also have a difficult time letting yourself take time off from work; statistics show that Americans collectively leave over 170,000 vacation days untaken! Why? Most people fear losing momentum at work or falling behind, yet studies show that taking time off makes us more creative and efficient. If you are vacation-phobic, here are some tips to help make your time off a priority:

Understand why it is good for you

Taking time off allows you to recharge your body and soul. It gives you time to reconnect with your spouse, family and friends. It also teaches you to trust your co-workers with handling your workload, teaches you to delegate tasks and can make you efficient at finishing projects at work (your reward is time off!). When you entrust your work environment and colleagues, it can lead to deeper professional connections and growth; so you are really improving your professional life, not hindering it.

Don’t pressure yourself

Sometimes planning a far-away vacation sounds like a lot of work in itself, so don’t pressure yourself to travel a far distance. Taking a day off can mean going to a yoga class, meeting a friend for lunch or even catching a matinee… anything you want. You can even take a stay-cation and enjoy the sights in your own city or a nearby town, giving you the same adventurous feeling without the stress of spending money on an expensive vacation (and packing and unpacking!).  If finances are your reason for not taking days off, consider starting a part-time flexible business or job to help earn a vacation fund.  This is especially a good idea if you are a homemaker and want to make sure that your family is able to vacation without any financial burdens.

Schedule your time off

At the beginning of each year (or in the Fall at back to school time), try to map out your vacation days and put them on the calendar with your family and work. Knowing that these days are already on your agenda can help you mentally prepare to actually take (and enjoy) them!
 

Top 10 Things To See and Do in Paris

Your guide to the city of lights

A seamless blend of classic and cutting edge, the French capital is a favorite destination for many a seasoned traveler. It’s also one of those rare places where the tourist destinations are just as satisfying as mixing with the locals. So, whether you’re a Parisian pro or someone simply aspiring to visit one day, consider this as your must-do list when in the city of lights…
 
Le Marais

One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Le Marais is the Paris you’ve imagined. With narrow, crooked cobblestone streets and more pre-revolution buildings than any other arrondissement, it’s rich with history and home to some of today’s hippest art galleries and fashion houses.
 
Eiffel Tower

It sounds obvious, but don’t let that fool you. Some iconic landmarks earn their status and this is definitely one of them. Go just before dusk to experience daylight, sunset and the lights that make it famous.
 
Notre Dame

Yes, it’s a cathedral. But you’ve never seen one like it. Building started in 1163 and a trip up 387 steps will give you a view of some of the city’s other most famous attractions including the Arc de Triomphe and The Pantheon.
 
The Latin Quarter

Known for its bistros, music and universities, many consider the Latin Quarter the liveliest arrondissement in the city. An intellectual epicenter it was also home to bohemian Paris at its height.
 
The Seine

Okay, so the river that bisects the city into left and right is hard to miss. But you’d be the one missing out should you choose to skip a cruise from Pont Neuf, which is the oldest, and many would argue, prettiest bridge in the city.
 
The Louvre

The largest museum in the western world, the Louvre is many an art lover’s first stop in Paris. As if its unending collection isn’t enough reason to go, visitors enter through a glass pyramid in the Cour Napoleon.
 
The Champs-Elysées

Something like New York’s Fifth Avenue, but even more grand and glamorous, no woman with even the slightest appreciation for clothing, cosmetics or luxury goods of any kind can miss this destination. While it’s been commercialized in recent years, you’ll still feel the spirit of cosmopolitan chic.
 
Musee d’Orsay

Located in a Belle Époque era train station, this is where you’ll find all the famed French Impressionist paintings of Monet, Degas, Cezanne and Van Gogh. You’ll also get a breathtaking view of our next can’t miss attraction.
 
Sacre Coeur

The Sacred Heart Basilica dates back to the 19th century and towers over a neighborhood known as the Montemartre. Inside, you’ll find glittering gold ceilings with red and blue mosaics depicting notable figures like Joan of Arc. And if you’re feeling adventurous, a crypt!
 
Bois de Boulogne

Located on the city’s western edge, the Bois de Boulogne is two and a half times the size of Central Park. Inside its borders you’ll find lakes, botanical gardens, a zoo, an amusement park, two  horseracing tracks and the tennis stadium that houses the French Open.
 
Luxembourg Gardens

Is this number 11? Paris is simply that fabulous! And the famed Jardin du Luxembourg just couldn’t be left off any list. Described by some as taking a stroll through a French Film, you’ll find sailboat and pony rides, a puppet theater and merry go round in addition to the colorful paths and some of the best people watching in the city.  

The Entrepreneur Stress Hack: Meditation

How business leaders stop, breathe, and focus

We all know that successful entrepreneurs have loads of energy, ambition and, unfortunately, stress, yet it may be a bit of a surprise to hear what many of these go-getter businesspeople are doing for fun these days. They’re doing nothing. Yep, nothing. Full disclosure: the nothing has a name – it’s meditation, also known as the ultimate de-stresser.

Entrepreneurs are following in the footsteps of business giants such as Google, where Chade-Meng Tan holds the official title Jolly Good Fellow and teaches employees to meditate. Even business schools are getting in on the action. Claremont Graduate School and Harvard Business School teach meditation techniques to their students.

Researchers say meditation thickens the brain's cortex, lowers blood pressure and helps people relax and focus. Which is why business people all over the world are using meditation for better mental and physical health, team-building and even capturing a competitive edge (if you watched the HBO series Billions both the district attorney and the self-made tycoon meditated!).

Meditation can be as simple as closing your eyes and noticing your breath for a few minutes. But who wants to do that when you can download cool apps that make it a bit more fun? Headspace or Buddhify2 offer guided meditations and an easy route to incorporate them into a busy day. And then there are the drop-in meditation centers popping up in many cities. In Los Angeles, it’s Shambhala Meditation or Unplug. In NYC, a self-made woman who needs a recharge might hit Ziva Meditation. But the ultimate entrepreneur unwind includes doing a couple of days – or perhaps a week – at the growing number of meditation retreats nationwide. A few of our faves are Miraval in Tucson, Travaasa in Hawaii, The Raj in Fairfield, Iowa, and Esalen in Big Sur, California. They’re not cheap, yet they offer plenty of guided meditations and classes. Oh, and a promise tailor-made for the entrepreneur: once you master meditation, you’ll be able to do less and get more done – stress-free.
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