Why it is so easy to pile things to do on our plates?

kim ravida


Have enough?

As business owners, it’s easy to have loads on our plates (er…desks). We all have enough things to do, places to go, and items to manage.

And why is it so easy to end up with our proverbial plates piled higher than we even stand? Well, lots of things and one stands out among them all…the inability to say no.

No is a single and complete sentence. Yet, so many business owners feel they have to offer more and more specifically, they have to say why they can’t or don’t want to do something.

So they end up saying yes, hence the high piles of things to do, places to go and items to manage. And no time for doing what they truly want.

How to say no.

If you found yourself saying “yup, that’s me, I just can’t say no.” Let me tell you that 1) it’s ok for no to escape your lips often and 2) no one will die if you do (not even you =).

True you might feel bad, but you’ll get over it and it gets easier. I was a serial YESer. I’d say yes to everything. I did it because I wanted people to like me and think I was helpful. Only a funny thing happened, I ended up not liking myself and I certainly wasn’t as much help as I could have been to those I said yes to because I resented saying yes.

That’s no way to be respectful of yourself or others. I discovered my reason for yes after working with my own business coach and the second I did, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. I felt freer than I ever had.

How to say no easily is simple, p-r-a-c-t-i-c-e! You need to practice saying no. Here are a few for you to practice with:

  • Short response: No.
  • Feeling the need to say more: No, thank you.
  • Wanting to expand it a bit: No, I won’t be able to help you (do that for you) with that.
  • Said succinctly: No.

There is no reason for you to be sorry.

You will notice that no where in your practice material are the words I’m sorry. Because I’m sorry has no place here. We are accustomed to using “I’m sorry” as a habit. If you really, really, really want to offer a reason for your no, be honest and to the point. Here is the thing, you either DO want to say yes or you DON’T and when you don’t the respectful response is no (full sentence, end of conversation).

If you do feel sorry, why is that? What is it you feel you need to do or be for yourself to feel good about your saying no? Give some thought to that. My guess is you’ll discover what it is I discovered which for me was I wanted to be liked, ultimately that lead to a fear of not wanting to be rejected. Once I discovered that and knew that truly no one can reject me (that only happens because of how I feel), saying no became easy.

The result of saying no.

There are many benefits to saying no to things that are not for you to do, you have more time, you get more things done, you feel better, you truly enjoy what you are doing, you no longer need to complain, you no longer need to feel bad about yourself and not getting to the things that are most important to you. You get so many benefits.

What is one thing you need to say no to right now? Go and do it. And here’s a tip, you can say no even if you already said yes. It’s called “I changed my mind.” And like with no, it’s a complete sentence. and yes, in this case, you can say “I’m sorry, I changed my mind.” Because here it fits. Though you certainly do not have to say I’m sorry ever in these instances.

Give this a shot and I’d love to hear from you about how it goes, if you would like to share your experience here, post in the comment section below.

Are you having a hard time saying no? Let’s practice together, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away feeling confident about saying No without any guilt!

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How do you and your time get along?


Being purposeful with your time.

You and your time not getting along? Time can either draaaaaag or it can go like a snap of the fingers.

Are you among the many business owners that it just goes like a snap of the fingers? Do you often end your day thinking “wow, I never got to do everything I wanted to do? If you are there is a way to overcome that.

One of the most important things you need to do is to be purposeful with your time. In my last blog I talked about being purposeful in order to reach your success and how to stay on target when the going gets tough.

The next thing you need to do is be purposeful with your time.

How to make time stand still (or seem like it).

Let’s say you have 7 working hours and you have 10 things to do. How often do you take the time to write out how long each task will take? Probably not very often (for many of my clients, until they start working with me, it’s never).

If you were to take 5-10 minutes to give some thought to how long each task will take you, you will soon know if you’ll have time for all of them. And an added benefit to you is that you more than likely will decide that a couple of things don’t even need to be done now.

It’s time to make time stand still for you!

Do a time assessment of how long everything you do takes you. This may take about a week or so. Don’t despair, it is time well invested. Once you know how long things take to do and how many hours you have in a particular day or week, you can now easily schedule them to be done.

Give this a shot and I’d love to hear from you about how it goes, if you would like to share your experience here, post in the comment section below.

Still finding that time disappears on you? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a clear picture of how to be purposeful with your time to begin using it purposefully now!

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Learn how to Design Your Success with Purpose


Being purposeful when planning for your success.

If you are looking to make this year the year for yourself and your business, there are several things you need to know. You need to purposely plan for it. In other words, you need to design your success. In other, other words, what is it you will do in order to get the results you want?

Three things that I consider important for a success formula are:

  1. Intentions
  2. Plans
  3. Actions

Each of them, if executed properly will always equal results. See it’s not the results that people struggle with, you more than likely already know what you want. It’s setting the intentions, creating the plan and then taking the steps to get them that is often the problem.

Staying on target when the going gets tough.

So often my clients tell me that they didn’t take an action or do something they said they wanted to do. It usually is because they got scared, didn’t know what to do or got caught up in “other things”.

When this happens, remembering your purpose for doing what you are doing will go a long way. Some people call it their “big why” and asking one of the following questions of yourself can help get you back on track:

  • Why did I go into business for myself?
  • What is my purpose for doing this?
  • What is my WHY for being in business?

Look, it’s easy to get pulled off target, especially running a business and having a life! It’s not that it won’t happen and what’s important for you is to go back to your purpose so you can get back on track. That’s how you design your success.

No one is going to give you anything, you have to go and get it.

One thing I know for sure is that no one will knock on your door or phone you up and say “hey, here is your success!”

You have to go and get it. You have to make it happen.

Here a several steps for you to take to help you design your success with purpose:

  • Write down your 3-5 business results you want for the year. This will be your purpose for the year. And it will be your guide so that you stay on target.
  • Set your intentions for the year. What is your purpose or attitude toward what it is you want to accomplish? Write it down. You could say this is your mission statement.
  • What is the plan for you to reach those results? Create a list of steps that you will use to achieve your goals. Make sure you put a timeline on each of the steps and then put that into your calendar so you stay on target. This is your business plan.
  • List out and schedule your daily, weekly and monthly actions. What is it you will actually be doing that will, in the end, mean you have accomplished what you set out to do? It’s key for you to schedule these in your calendar so that you actively see where you are and where you are going.

It’s time to make your success happen!

Now all you need do it take the actions! And as you do that, new information will come to you and maybe from that new actions. Keep moving forward with your plan and adjust as you need to. Remember, you are the one who is designing your success and since it’s with purpose, you get to course correct anytime you need to.

Give this a try and I’d love to hear from you about how it goes, if you would like to share your experience feel free to post in the comment section below.

And if you are pulling your hair out trying to put this success formula in place and would like help, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a plan (with immediate actions =) for you to get to started!

Bonus:  Watch my recent Facebook Live class on Design Your Success with Purpose for more tips and help with designing your success for 2018.

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Success is planned, are you ready for it?


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

No, I don’t mean holiday time. I mean, in regards to being in business.

As small business owners it’s the best time to plan for success for the upcoming year.

Too many times I’ve worked with new clients who when asked what their plan is they tell me “I don’t have one.” or “I don’t know.”

Sometimes after I’ve asked the question, I don’t hear anything, just silence. And when that happens I think to myself (to quote Han Solo) “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”.

In order to succeed in any area of your life, you have to plan!

Why planning is important and why you need to do it.

I talk a lot about planning, knowing what to do and then organizing your time to get it done. And this is no different.

Planning is important because if you don’t know what you are going to be doing, how on earth can you do it? Well, you know the answer! You can’t. Planning is integral in business. If you want to succeed, you need to plan to succeed.

As a process person, my goal is to help my clients create their plan for the year (or maybe just one month), get clear on what it is they are doing and then get it into their schedule so that they do it.

Give yourself the gift of clarity.

Here are several ways that you can use right now to get yourself set up for next year:

  • Look at the big picture. What is it that you want to have happen in the upcoming year? What is it that you want to move forward from this year to next. Be honest with yourself, no pie in the sky ideas, just what you truly want to succeed at.
  • Take a look at what worked well this year. Review where things worked out well and where you could perhaps implement that moving into next year.
  • Look at what didn’t work well this year. Review where things didn’t work out so well and note down what you want to let go of.
  • Create step-by-step plans of action. From your answers above, you’ll create your plan of action and come the 1st of January you’ll be ready to go!

Clarity gives you the gift of creating a plan that works for you! What better gift could you ask for?!

I’d love to hear from you, what is one thing that you will commit to doing in the upcoming year that will set you up for the success you want? Please post below.

If you would like some assistance setting up your success for next year, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a productivity plan for you to get to doing the right things at the right time!

Bonus:  Watch my recent Facebook Live Design Your Success with Purpose Class for more tips and help with designing your success for 2018.

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Are you on target to reaching your goals for the year?


How would you rate your success so far?

As we head into the last several weeks of the year, how would you say you have done so far?

  • Have you reached or are you close to reaching the goals you set for yourself?
  • Are you feeling great about what you have accomplished so far?
  • Will you be doing the Snoopy Dance by the end of the month?


  • Are you not even close to reaching the goals you set for yourself?
  • Not feeling so good about where you are in regards to what you wanted to accomplish this year?
  • Hanging your head and wondering how the heck this happened?

If you are on target to reach your goals, congratulations! I’d love for you to tell me what worked for you. And if you’d be inclined to post here on my blog so others can learn that would be awesome.

Ways to get closer to hitting your goals.

If you aren’t on target and are feeling less than successful with where you are at this point with your goals, don’t despair.

I have a few tips for you to end the year on a high note and set yourself up for an amazing new year. Are you ready? Good!

  • Review what it is you wanted to accomplish.
  • For each one of your goals, rate on a scale of 1-10 where you feel you are. 1 = nothing, 10 = near the end.
  • List out what still needs to be accomplished.
  • Look at the time you have left in the year and determine what you can realistically complete by the end of the year.
  • Schedule time in your calendar to do it.

Give yourself permission to hit reset.

One thing I know from working with my clients and in my own business is that it’s ok (more than actually) to hit the reset button. Sometimes in order to reach your success what you truly need is to just start again.

Be willing to do that for yourself!

Your turn, where can you hit reset and have the type of December you truly want? Where can you take a look at where you are and get started again to move yourself forward to what you want?

If you would like some assistance with creating realistic action steps to accomplish what you want by the end of the year, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a productivity plan for you to get to doing the right things at the right time!

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Want a simple method to have more time?


Time IS on your side!

You may remember the Rolling Stones song, Time Is On My Side

Do you remember the last line in the song? It says “Time is our closest friend”.

I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty awesome concept. Yet, why is it everyone runs around like the Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland?! I’ve even written about it before because it’s so prominent in the lives of many business owners.

Make Time Your Closet Friend.

Yes, there are many strategies and tactics that we can apply and I teach a great many of them. Yet, what I’m talking about is creating a positive relationship to time.

Presently, I’m participating in Deepak Chopra’s free meditation and guess what the focus is? TIME!

Perfect right? You bet! I’m only on Day 3 but basically it’s teaching us how to live in the now. And from experience, it’s only in the now that we can truly live. You are probably saying “yes, Kim, I get that, but how do I do it?” Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy.

As Eckhart Tolle says: Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life.

Learning To BE In The Now.

See, here is the deal, when you are thinking about the future or the past, you are physically in the now yet your mind isn’t. You hear me talk a lot about mindset and how that basically all of our successes happen because of how we perceive them.

So if your perception of time is that you never have enough, feel overwhelmed with all you have to do and can’t fit it all in or constantly fall short of completing what you want then that’s what you’ll get. As well, if you are constantly worried about the future, reliving the past you pretty much as throwing the time you have in the here and now away. I call that being a time waster.

Now if your perception of time is that you can expand it, you have plenty of it or that you have all you need to do what you want then that is what you’ll get.

Steps To BE IN The Now.

You already know I love to give you steps, I’m a application kind of person! So here you are:

  • Breathe. Sit or stand (stand works wonders) with your back erect and your hands resting in your lap (sit) or beside your body (stand). Inhale steadily through the nose feeling your chest rise and maybe your shoulders widen and exhale through your mouth steadily as if you are blowing up a balloon. Try to make your in breath and your out breath equal. Notice how present you feel.
  • Say out loud “I am in the present moment, all I have is now.” This helps remind you to be in the present. Your mind can only focus on one thing at at time (yes that’s right) so by focusing on the present you can’t be in the past or the future. Extra credit: say this while you practice breathing 😉
  • Focus on ONE thing right now. If you are doing this and that at the same time your attention is diverted. Remember, you can only focus on one thing at a time, use that to your advantage. Go and do one thing, take a pause (maybe breathe) and then choose the next thing you’ll do.

That’s it! That’s your method to expand time, get more done and be in the present so you can create your phenomenal future!

How can you use the above tips to expand your time and how you feel about it?

If you need help with any of the above steps or would like help creating a day-to-day structure that will work for you, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a productivity plan for you to get to doing the right things at the right time!

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Tips for improving your productivity right now

I am always curious as to what words mean. I love looking up words in the dictionary and in the thesaurus. And today is no different. Today I wanted to know exactly what the dictionary said about “productivity”. And here is what it said:

A measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory, system, etc., in converting inputs into useful outputs.

Productivity is computed by dividing average output per period by the total costs incurred or resources (capital, energy, material, personnel) consumed in that period. Productivity is a critical determinant of cost efficiency.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/productivity.html

Converting inputs into useful outputs.

As a business owner, are you converting your inputs into useful outputs? Is what you are doing (your input) resulting in useful outputs? Is it resulting in you getting what it is you want? Or are you doing things yet never really see any results?

Let’s look at a few inputs when it comes to time, shall we:

  1. Going to networking events
  2. One-on-one meetings talking about your business
  3. On social media
  4. Creating content
  5. Various other marketing activities

If you are getting the results you want, then your inputs are equaling a useful output. But what if they aren’t? Then what?

Tips to get the outputs you desire.

There are many ways to be productive and get the output from the input you put in. Here are several ways for you to do that:

  • Determine what your outcome is. What is it you want out of your input? Do you want more income, a bigger customer base, more customers?
  • Brainstorm what steps will more than likely, equal those results. Do you need to talk to more people, speak at events, ask people to sign up to your mailing list?
  • Create benchmarks. In order to be productive, you need to know what you are doing. If you want to talk to more people, how many more people, by when will you talk with them, what will you talk with them about, etc. In other words, you need to measure your productivity.
  • Set aside time to review your results often. In order to know if your inputs are leading to useful outputs you need to review where you are, what needs to happen to get to where you are going and what changes, if any, need to be made.

Productivity isn’t just about the doing.

Productivity is about doing what will bring you your end result. Anyone can be productive, yet if you aren’t working on the right things at the right time, you are just wasting time, money and energy.

How can you use the above tips to improve your productivity so that you get the results that you are wanting?

If you need help with any of the above steps, schedule a 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session with me. You’ll walk away with a productivity plan for you to get to doing the right things at the right time!

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How to avoid running around looking for things at the last minute

Does it seem like your things grow legs and disappear on you?

Do you often find yourself running around looking for items that you swear were there just a moment ago?

Are you constantly trying to remember where something is only to feel frustrated that it’s not where you thought it was?

The Solution To Stop Wasting Time Looking For Things.

Create a landing space for your items. Your items will always be found, exactly where they are suppose to be. And you’ll never have to search for a lost item again.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice? I know it does to me! Furthermore, once you have a designated place for your items to be, you will stop wasting your precious time running around looking for them.

One of the things that people often come to me for is help in getting more productive. My first question to them is how often do they spend time looking for things. If I hear them tell me “all of the time”, I know one of the reasons they aren’t productive.

Determine Where You Need The Most Help First.

Here are a few steps to get you started.

  1. Determine what item (or items) seem to go missing most often. If you tend to lose a lot of things, start with one or two items first.
  2. Determine where would be the place you think you’d know to look first. If it is your keys (been there, done that =) would a place near the door that you use most often to exit be a good place to put them?
  3. Clear out space and declare this is where my stuff goes. After you figure out your item(s) and the place they will go, create a space for it. You may need to put hang up hooks or get a bowl or tray for your items. Whatever you feel would work, do it.

Breathe a sign of relief because your racing around and wasting time days searching for things are over! With your system of having a place for things and things in their place, you’ll never have to say “I have no idea where my stuff is.” And you’ll never have to utter “Honey, have you seen my stuff?” Now, that’s a beautiful thing!

Be On The Look Out For What’s Next.

As you were reading, you probably realized ok, but what about the other things that come to me. Things such as mail, emails, texts, social media notifications and requests from others, to name some.

You will need a system for that and I’ll be covering that in future blogs. So for now, be on the look out for the type of things that come to you and what you currently do with them.

Like I said, I help a lot of people with becoming more productive. I also help them collect, assess/analyze, leverage their time and manage their stuff.  I call it the CALM System.  If you would like help learning some high value productivity actions, that can bring more calm into your life I can help you do that! Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

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Never again put your productivity in jeopardy

It’s a sad fact that a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs jeopardize their success.

Honestly, it’s not hard to do. What with all of the things that have to happen to first start a business, then be successful at it.

Recently I wrote an article that I published on Medium. It was a pretty popular article. So many people highlighted parts of it and commented on it. One man wrote:

“What I came to notice, though, in my own search for improving (or establishing at all) productivity is that prioritizing my tasks and planning for the day A) rarely works out; and B) can quickly overwhelm me. The former, I guess, is rooted strongly in being a freelancer. But the latter I think is something a lot of people can maybe relate to.”

And what he said got me to thinking.

To Be Productive, You Have To Be Yourself.

See, if you are truly to be productive you have to be yourself. I can tell you to do this or that but if it doesn’t fit for you, you won’t be successful with it. And I want you to be successful. I want you to be super successful!

So while my article gave the how to be productive and while many people liked it and are trying it, what if it doesn’t work for you?

Well first, go read it to see if it won’t work for you. And if you find it won’t, then we’re in business! If it does, then, we’re in business! The beauty is you will be aware of how to be you! Either way you’ll be productive.

Get Results, Your Way.

No, we aren’t talking Burger King. Well, yes, actually we are.

You can have your productivity YOUR way! And that said, in order to do that you still need to take some steps.

  1. Decide what it is you want for results. While I’m all for being in a flow and just going about taking actions, if you aren’t taking specific actions on a specific goal, forget about it. You will never get anywhere. And you do want to get somewhere don’t you? Yes, I know you do!
  2. Determine what you need to do to get your results. Like the photo in this article, if you are here, there and everywhere you’ll get nowhere. Clearly determine your action steps that you will take to reach your end results.
  3. Make a list of all your actions. This is valuable because you can pick and choose from your list and do things as you feel appropriate and that fits into your energy for the day. It gives you the opportunity to be you and just go with the flow yet still be productive.
  4. Create a timeline. By being clear about by when you want to have your results you will be able to have a feeling of free flowing yet you’ll be moving things along at a pace that feels good to you and with an anchor that will help keep you on target.

Tips For Not Jeopardizing Your Productivity.

Now that you know what it is you want, how you’ll get it and know how and when it will happen, there are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Allow for white space in your day. My reader mentioned that planning rarely works out and he’s correct (for the most part). Things do happen. And things do work out. When you give yourself space during your day, rather than jam pack it thinking you will be productive but rarely are, you give yourself freedom to be in the flow of whatever happens to happen during your day.
  • Give yourself permission to be who you are and work how you work. A lot of people will read my article and go I need to do that in order to be productive (and I’m not going to say no that isn’t true, because it is true for a lot of people) but if you are like my reader and are a go with the flow person, then give yourself permission to do that.

Remember it’s how you look at productivity that will have you being productive. Kind of like the saying “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”.

You Are Your Best Expert.

Let’s face it, YOU are your best expert. I can give you all the advice, suggestions, tips, tools, etc. in the world yet if they don’t fit you they are useless. If you are having a hard time being you, another article I wrote can help you with that. You can read it here.

My suggestion to you (if you are willing to take it =-) is to allow yourself to be you. Work the way you know feels good to you. As long as you are getting things done, are being productive for how you define productivity and are seeing results, there isn’t anything wrong with what you are doing.

If however, you feel your go with the flow ways are not benefiting you and you feel you aren’t getting the results you want because of it, learning a few high value productivity actions will always help you.

If you would like help learning some high value productivity actions, I can help you do that! Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

The good news is that it isn’t hard and it doesn’t take long to learn to be productive, it just takes the desire to learn to do it.

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Success is what happens when you stay on target

You are 100% responsible for your results.

I say this a lot. And it’s so true. Yet, there are a lot of people out there who do not take responsibility for what they want and blame others because they don’t have it.

I hope that isn’t you. Though if it is and you are resonating with what you just read, have no fear. As of this moment, you can change it. You can have your life be different and you can truly be the boss of you.

Be YOUR Difference.

If you are willing to take on the mindset of “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me”, here is what I would like you to know:

“The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” –Steve Maraboli

Did you see the part about WE greatly reduce OUR power? You have the power to make changes in your life.

  • What changes would you like to make that you may have been thinking it’s up to someone else to do?
  • Where may you be wanting to do something, yet have been feeling like it’s someone else’s fault that you haven’t been able to do it?
  • How are you letting someone else be the director of your life?

You are your greatest champion, your greatest supporter, your greatest cheerleader and the greatest leader of you!

Create Your Absolute List.

What do you want in your life that you don’t have now?

Create a list of what you absolutely want to have in your life. Take a look at your list and ask yourself what your top 3 items on it are. Put this list in a prominent place in your life, these will be your target goals. Without a target to focus on, you’ll never have any direction and you will never get there.

These will be the goals that you will work on, take regular actions on and move forward on regularly to see results.

Eyes on the Prize.

In order to be the difference and reach the successes that you want in your business and in your life you must stay on target. Having laid out that target by creating your absolute list, you now have a starting spot. Here are some things to help you stay on target:

  1. Create an action items list. This list will contain everything you will do to reach your goal.
  2. Create your timeline. This will be your beginning and end dates and the actions you will do in the middle that move your toward your end result.
  3. Bring in support. This can be anyone who you think will help you, family, friends, a professional, etc.
  4. Be accountable. Lay out how will you hold yourself accountable for staying on target and taking actions.
  5. Build in checkpoints. Create points for you to check-in on your progress and results.
  6. Review and Reassess. Take time to review what you are doing, have done, still need to do. Reassess where you are and what you want.
  7. Course Correct. If you find you need to course correct, do it. The goal is for you to stay on a target that you want to stay on.

You Are Solely Responsible For Your Results.

In a previous blog, I told you that if you aren’t 100% happy with were you are in your life and in your business, your thoughts may be to blame. And while that is still true, it may be you haven’t had a target or you haven’t stayed on target and so you haven’t been responsible for your results.

This will help you not only be responsible for your results, but have you in the drivers seat so that you can have the power to change your circumstances in your life and in your business!

If you’d like some help creating your target goals and a plan on how to reach them, I’d love to help. Schedule your 30-minute complimentary Productive Planning For Success Strategy Session now.

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