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  • Writer's pictureRicki Braswell

Is This A Sign?

angry jack o lantern

Let me introduce you to Mr. Sweeney, my iRobot from Roomba and, ever increasingly, my spiritual guide.

Mr. Sweeney is like a fortune cookie. If a fortune cookie captured the roller coaster of emotions that are embedded in the day-to-day life of an executive. Picture this, I'm hustling, day in and day out, with the intent of growing a business which serves others and makes me proud. Most days I'm ticking things off my ever growing to-do list, I'm interacting with clients, eliminating frivolous emails and making headspace for creative solutions.

But some days...well, some days are a slog. For every solution I think up, three obstacles take the place. For every creative thought I have, ten critical ones smother it. For all the people who surround me, I feel alone, like no one understands what it is like to try to run a successful, built from scratch business. On those days, I see Mr. Sweeney's messages and I wonder if this is the Universe sending me signs. Hey I get it, the life of an entrepreneurial business owner is packed with challenges. But these messages. Some days I do feel like I'm stuck near a cliff. And yes, other days I have a low battery and am in desperate need to return to my home base to recharge. And yes, there are days when I end the job absolutely stuck.

So why do we do it? What gives us the energy to swing our legs over the side of the bed every morning and stand up to a new day promising new challenges (or, ugh, the same challenges!)? For me it is simple - when I successfully complete a job and I know, deep in my center, that I've served others and served them to the best of my ability, that feeling of accomplishment, that pride, fills my tank to overflowing. And it is a good thing because I know that there are lots of days which require me to dig deep to come up with a new way of thinking or behaving.

So here are 4 steps for how to center yourself when you're feeling discouraged about your business (and if your Mr. Sweeney is sending you not so comforting messages):

1) Recall your Vision

Remember what motivated you in the first place and what you are trying to achieve. Your vision is bigger than a tough day or week, or even month.

2) Take stock of where you Stand

What has gotten you where you are today? What are you best at? What part of your business is most profitable? What is most fulfilling? Measure where you began with where you are now and be proud of your progress.

3) Revisit your Plan

It is easy to get lost in the daily grind of the numerous tasks. Sometimes you need to get the big picture plan out and make sure that you are on course (or make adjustments if you aren't). Progress doesn't just happen.

4) Take time to recharge

Every engine requires fuel. In my case water and popcorn can only sustain me for so long. I need to rest my mind and reconnect with who I am and what centers me. Unplugging, unwinding, recharging...there are lots of words for what is essentially taking time away from work to rest and reset your mind and body.

I would love to hear how you cope and re-center yourself when you're feeling worn. DM me on IG or FB or email me

Recently I was working with a group of leaders and sharing some tips for how to encourage critical thinking with their team members. Since I am blessed with the opportunity to work with great people it really is no surprise that I learn something from everyone I have the privilledge of working with and this encounter was no exception. After the session one of the leaders reached out to me and shared a really great tool. You know that I can't keep something great all to myself! Before I share it I have to give a huge THANK YOU to the woman who shared this with me - Shawn Bassham, the Chief Philanthropy Officer at St. Francis Reflections Foundation.

In her note to me Shawn said that she used this in her prior role when she would with people who were in a clinical environment, but that this was applicable in most settings. According to Shawn, "it helps non-critical thinkers get to decisions and movement by creating a one page summary of a project, problem, potential growth, ect" and applying SBAR which means:

Define the Situation

Provide the Background

Assess the present and the future

Recommend avenues to pursue (could be several recommendations or Plans B & C)

I just love a tool that is easy to remember, easy to implement and so very effective. Thank you so much, Shawn, for sharing this!!

On a related note, I am in awe of the entire team at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care. They are a not-for-profit that provides palliative and hospice care for people in Brevard and the surrounding counties in Florida. They pour so much devotion, caring, professionalism and love into their work that I am inspired each and every time I interact with this team. The work that they do is from the heart and not at all easy. They are a team of heroes. Check them out on Facebook to get a dose of heartwarming inspiration.

If you're curious about what success coaching can bring to you, schedule a virtual coffee and let's chat.

We will set aside 45-minutes to explore what your goals are and I'll share my philosophy and practice style. The session is complimentary and allows you to experience some coaching and determine if we might be a good fit. The link allows you to view my calendar and pick a time that works best for you. Having the life that you want begins with taking that first step.

If you are enjoying Beyond A Pep Talk and know others who would as well, please share! Also, I'd love to hear what you want to learn more about so that I can create content just for you. Email me at with your thoughts, comments or just to share a chuckle.

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