Gossip Is Not A Form Of Connection

I just read Lauren Evarts Instagram post about emotional intelligence and the last indicator of EQ was that those who have emotional intelligence do not view gossip as a way of connecting.  

THAT has to be one of the best things I’ve ever read. I’m going to be straight up honest with you, for a long time that’s exactly how I connected with people, especially other women. Gossip was just an accepted form of communication amongst high school girls and even later in office settings.

Wherever I have worked it hasn’t mattered the age or gender of the person there has always been gossip.

The truth about gossip though is that it never comes from someone who is on their A game. When you are the one giving out the gossip you immediately put yourself at a disadvantage. You are showing weakness and plain bad character.

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Why is gossip so bad? 

Aside from ruining someones reputation or day, you will NEVER be able to build a relationship of trust from gossip. Immediately it puts you in a place of distrust and any relationship built with it will have no solid foundation.

Your leverage is gone, you have no credibility and you are choosing to communicate with literally the lowest form of communication there is. Why would anyone want that?

We all saw the movie Mean Girls and it was called Mean Girls for a reason. The movie might have been okay to watch but in real life everyone just thinks you’re a bitch.

Positive, successful people all share traits of kindness, empathy, and optimism. Truly successful people help each other to succeed and give positive feedback. It is necessary to be truthful and straightforward and sometimes that’s going to mean saying something abrupt, but it will never be deliberately gossiping or spreading falsehoods about someone else to get ahead.

To close this short, but important piece I will say anyone who is striving for more in life will do themselves a huge favour by focusing on engaging – thought provoking – inspiring conversations and cutting the gossip out completely.  When you go to sleep at night at least this way you will feel good about who you are as a human being and so will many others.

Carlee Lloyd

*Connect with me on LinkedIn, seriously it’s awesome over there.

What Attempted Suicide Taught Me About Living & Thriving In Business

I had been in bed for 3 consecutive days only getting up to relieve myself and grab more alcohol from the fridge. After the third day the liquor was getting scarce and I was left with my own thoughts. I had moved away from my family for a man. Adventure, excitement and  love were all things I thought would be speeding into my life, just as I sped down the highway away from everything I once knew. After only a few short months it was apparent that I had made a gross misjudgment of the situation…it had been a long standing joke that I lived with “rose-colored glasses” and this time was no exception.

 

I had been an alcoholic since the age of fifteen. The moment I had taken my first drink I felt alive, more alive than I had ever felt before and any self-conscious  limiting beliefs seemed to melt away. I felt invincible. Of course, that too only lasted for a brief moment before the drink took over my life and consumed my every thought. Naturally, as any alcoholic would, I found a partner that wouldn’t be turned off by the whiskey glass glued to my right hand.

 

On the morning of my attempt the air felt heavy and I couldn’t stop crying. It felt as if years worth of emotions were coming to the surface and spilling over the top uncontrollably. Trying to explain depression to someone who doesn’t have it is challenging, if you haven’t experienced it there’s no way to truly grasp the feeling. It is like an emptiness,  the most empty feeling you could possibly imagine, there is no happiness or joy or positivity. A void as dark and grim as any monster in any fairy-tale we read as children.

 

The details of the event aren’t at all spectacular, in fact for something as pivotal as suicide they are actually quite boring. I thought taking an entire bottle of acetaminophen would do the trick but I was only able to get a handful of them down before resting for what I thought was only a few moments…  hours later I awoke to myself vomiting all over the bed. I was cold, achy and felt like I couldn’t move. The goodbye letter I had written before lay crumpled into the sheets, dripping of guilt and shame and “I love you’s”.

 

To make what could be an incredibly long and tumultuous story into a nice little article, I’ll move right along in telling you later that evening I checked myself into the Woodstock General Hospital – Psychiatric Ward. I was given an exquisite psychiatrist and stayed there for three weeks in a small room, like the movies go it had four white walls and a window that overlooked the dumpster.

 

So, what did I learn from this experience that can be transferred to business? What did one of the lowest points in my life teach me about living authentically?

 

  1. Knowing what you stand for is easier than knowing “who you are”

 

I fell into the trap of trying to “find” myself instead of just sitting down and figuring out who I wanted to be and what my values were. Not having those things narrowed down made me open to making unwise decisions like moving across the province of Ontario in pursuit of love. The business world is full of strong personalities and unless you know exactly what it is you stand for, unless you have a solid set of values and a strong conviction to those values, you’re going to get pushed around. I had to take the time to ask myself “okay, who do I admire, how did they become so successful, and what values do they have?”. The people I most admire hold values of kindness, consistency, authenticity, compassion and work ethic. It was then a matter of holding myself to a higher standard than before and emulating those values in my own life.

 

  1. Everybody has a story, everybody is trying to make it.

 

Rich Cardona, CEO of Flybys Media, actually said this to me a few months ago and I immediately remembered the moment I too came to this realization. “Everyone’s just trying to make it. I’m trying to make it, you’re trying to make it, Claude is trying to make it” he said.

 

It’s true, it’s so very true. Even Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Office of VaynerMedia posted on his Instagram yesterday: “want your life”, meaning everyone admires all of these amazing people, everyone wishes they could be someone else…but someone out there is wishing for your life. YES, this is another “be grateful for what you have” paragraph, but until you truly grasp what that means you’re going to be so deeply unfulfilled that nothing will ever be good enough. That emptiness I spoke of previously will consume you and you’ll be fighting to hold onto any amount of happiness from any direction (drugs, alcohol, food, porn) until you are simply depleted.

 

Alternatively because everyone is simply trying to make something of themselves in this world, we can be a little kinder, judge less, thank often and help whenever we can. Be kinder to yourself too, someone out there sees you hustling, grinding, putting in the effort and if you just keep going despite any setback things will come together for you.

 

  1. Strength comes from within. You were probably born with it, you just didn’t know it.

 

Can you think of a time when you were strong? Perhaps as a child when you stood up to a bully or found the courage to do something daring. Perhaps it was a few weeks ago when you overcame fear and spoke to someone new for the first time in months. Whatever the case, you probably realize you have had moments of being strong for quite some time. It wasn’t until after I had overcome addiction that I realized no one is weak, no one who is actually trying for something greater is a weak person. We all have strength, true grit, determination. How we put that determination into action is what matters. Many successful individuals have the burning desire to win…they feel it in their bellies, the fire consumes them so greatly that it is all they can think about. Their nature and fierce will makes them strong enough to overcome any obstacle in their path. And so this too brings us to the realization that strength cannot be from any outside source, to truly stay consistent in our strength it must come from that vulnerable and fierce place within.

 

Mark Metry, host of Humans 2.0 Podcast spoke with me yesterday and said “We all have the Humans 2.0 Version inside of us at all times, it’s just a matter of accessing it. I can look back in my own life and see moments where I was that version 2.0 as a young child. At 6 years old I would collect and trade baseball cards and Pokemon cards, and that’s how I got money to buy food because I didn’t want to ask my parents for money, we were very poor.”

 

You can come back from the lowest point in your life and make something out of it. You can inspire other people and create a lasting change in the world around you. And if nothing else, you always have a cool story to tell.

As my friend Wayne Mcleod once said “Don’t forget, everyone likes a comeback story”.

 

Carlee Lloyd.

 

Why I Started A Yoga Studio At The Worst Possible Time.

I couldn’t think of a great title for this piece, hopefully you, the reader, isn’t a “judge a blog piece by the title” kind of person. I guess I’m thinning out the herd.

I recently embarked on a grand adventure. I started a yoga/movement studio and I have never been more scared, energized and happier. I had wanted to have a space to offer “self-care” type activities for quite a long time. Looking back in my journal I had written about opening a boutique training studio three years ago.

So, you ask… do I believe in manifesting your own reality? That’s a hard yes. 

It was the absolute wrong time in my life for many reasons. I was really developing a good writing career when all of my electronics either broke or malfunctioned a few months prior which meant I had lost all of the amazing interviews I had just done. The ceiling in my apartment was leaking, and my landlord wasn’t fixing it until it was flooding my bathroom…he then just tore the ceiling down and left a gapping hole. I was looking to move to a better apartment, I had only a part-time job, my mother had just suffered a stroke and my grandmother was needing help after leaving the hospital from open heart surgery.

There was a LOT going on. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was crumbling around me, but I had a strange sense that there would NEVER be a “right” time and that perhaps…surrounded by the chaos it was actually the perfect time. So, like in some kind of freakish twilight zone I searched for an affordable space and opened within 2 months of deciding to go for it.

I used a lot of my savings and created a space that would be inclusive of everyone, this meant having a sliding scale for pricing so that individuals on social assistance, ODSP, or in recovery could afford to take regular classes. It honestly felt good and made me feel alive to be doing something productive. It took 2 weeks to paint the entire studio, get the equipment needed and put some workshops together for the first week.

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We are now going into our third week open, so still very new. We already have a lot of regular people coming in to enjoy the classes and it has been so wonderful to see a tribe forming before my eyes of supportive, enthusiastic people wanting to experience yoga and movement to heal themselves AND live those practices off the mat as well.

We now have Zumba, Kickboxing, Euphoric and Bootcamp.

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My manifested dream is unfolding before my eyes… and today I really thought about how the timing was COMPLETELY off. How sometimes you just need to take one of the biggest risks of your life amongst the chaos, because if you’re not willing to take a risk then…when will you be?

My mom has made a full recovery, my grandmother is getting stronger and stronger each day, I still don’t own a laptop or voice recorder again yet but eventually I will and I will continue to write, AND I’m moving in June to a better apartment.

The struggle is here still as I juggle running a business with working a job, and running a business means trying to earn an actual income in the first year.

Honestly though, I have never felt more free or more focused…or more living in my “purpose” as I do when I help others feel good… and then of course write about it.

 

I hope you follow along on this journey with me because I will be sharing my take on entrepreneurship, yoga and self-care.

 

Remember: you are loved, you are worthy, you are blessed.

 

Carlee. xo 

 

How To Get Sh*t Done With Depression – Procrastination and Waves of Self-Doubt

Honestly, I’ve been sitting at the computer for half an hour wondering what the title for this piece should be. I finally figured I’d just write it out, you could read it, and hopefully the title that I finally chose would be appropriate.

What I REALLY want to talk about is a mixture of things…but mostly how to still get shit done when you’re dealing with depression – procrastination  and self-doubt.

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A vortex of compromising traits that make it highly probable that the next 24 hours will be wasted. The past 30 days have been proof, if to no-one else but myself, of the fact that you can still accomplish a hell of a lot and feel good most of the time.

So, let’s say you lay in bed until 11am… most entrepreneur “gurus” online would say that is HORRIBLE  and you’re  never going to accomplish your goals by laying in bed on a Saturday morning. Maybe that’s true, but maybe you also get these strange waves of self-doubt and it takes you a while to kick your own ass into gear. Maybe though, you can make up for it in the remaining hours of the day by connecting with people or working on your projects or simply taking a day to yourself because we all need to recharge.

And maybe your body just honestly needed the rest, and your mind will thank you for it.

How then can you be successful with depression – procrastination – and waves of self-doubt?

Personally, I’m on this journey myself. It takes some trial and error and lots of forgiveness but it is possible to succeed. It takes huge amounts of self-care and self-awareness. You need to be able to recognize when you’re actually tired or if it is your unwelcome friend depression coming to say hello.

Procrastination is the real kicker, especially when you run a business that other people depend on. I used to tell myself and sometimes still find myself saying “I work best under pressure”. This may feel true…but I’m not fully convinced. What truly saved me was Mel Robbins 5 second rule.  You basically trick your brain into action and stop the thinking process. You count down 5-4-3-2-1 and then without thinking immediately just get up and do what you are supposed to be doing. It works, it really does, even if I have to take 15 seconds and count down 3 times before I get up… it works.

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Now for self-doubt. This guy likes to come around whenever I don’t get a sale the first time around or share a post on social media that doesn’t get as much feedback as I had hoped for. The trick of the whole thing is not to care about what other people think and to just produce content and move from one sale to the next, but when you are alone your mind can sometimes play tricks on you… and try to tell you that you’re worse at your job than you really are. Self-doubt has never been effectively managed for me by anything else other than three things: yoga – good people – and inspiration.

^^ It can look more like: self -care, relationships – mindfulness.

You will find as you go along your journey, your life will fill up with different – wonderful things and when times like this arise, when things get a little bit hard and these three try to creep back in… you will have created a safety net within yourself. You will have learned that you are better, worthy, beautiful, intelligent and able to conquer the gnawing thought of wasting the day.

It takes practice, as does anything in life.

And my dear, I’m here to tell you, I’ve been practicing for quite some time. You’re not alone.

 

Love always,

Carlee

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How To Remain A Badass Even When You’re Having A Bad Day.

We all have bad days, they happen because we are human and sometimes life likes to mess with us a little bit; make sure we know we’re still living. The day goes something like this: the alarm doesn’t go off, you call the office to tell them you’ll be 15 minutes late, you get in your car but you remember you chose not to put gas in it last night…sacrificing that time to watch another episode of Shameless on Netflix, now you’re another 20 minutes late, by the time you get to work Stacey has taken credit for the idea you told her about yesterday, and to top it all of you forgot to brush your hair.

Wait, did I mention coffee? Yeah…you didn’t have time to grab a coffee either.

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Now tell me you haven’t had a day like this at least once. It’s so easy in that moment to say f*ck it and write the rest of the day off as a complete disaster, I’m definitely guilty of doing it.

It’s taken me some time, but I’ve learned the difference between having a bad moment or morning, and making it last all day. (cheesy quote alert)

When you really think about it, can you even afford to have a bad day…for the whole day? It just takes up so much time and energy. It’s not really the fact that you might have children, or other people counting on you (although important), it’s the fact that you know you’re stronger than a few bad moments, and surrendering to them would mean letting yourself down.

You remain a badass when…

You can laugh it off and find the humour in an otherwise annoying situation. Why, because everyone would rather be stuck in an elevator with someone who’s calm and can crack a few jokes, instead of someone who’s loud, angry and aggressive. (Replace elevator with office, school, or any general activity in which you partake).

You choose to walk away and master your emotions. One of my biggest shortcomings is not walking away at the right time. If you’re having a bad day because someone keeps pushing your buttons, remember your awesomeness, and choose to walk away. All the fuss usually isn’t worth your time anyway.

You say “f*ck it” and continue on as usual. This strategy has worked well for me in the past. Sometimes there’s not much left you can do, and the minute you say those two magical words, the stress just melts away. The day can start a new!

You practice self-care like a damn pro. Obviously I’m big on this one. After a bad day, I like to remind myself that yes, I’m still a badass, and yes it’s a good idea to continue to take care of myself. Find what self-care looks like for you, a bubble bath, good music, yoga, doing some artwork, boxing; it’s individual to you and what makes you feel good.

You connect with your tribe. My tribe is literally a few good friends and my mom…mostly my mom. It’s the people that you can share anything with, and they always have your best interest at heart. Connect, laugh, cry, share your day and all of it’s bizarre mishaps, I promise you’ll feel better.

You learn from it. So maybe you set two alarms, get a coffee maker that instantly brews at 6am, stay away from telling Stacey anything in the future… whatever it is, you can learn from it and going forward, you will have levelled up your badassery.

You’ve managed to define the word “badass” for yourself and live up to it. Yup, whatever the word badass means to you. Maybe it’s hitting the gym everyday, not letting other’s control your emotions, continuing to hustle, standing up for what you believe in, knowing your worth when other people don’t, speaking up for yourself, having the courage to do what is right. Find what it means for you and live it.

 

Last,

You forgive yourself if you don’t do any one of these things, because having a bad day is okay, and believe it or not you’re still badass. Yeah, it’s not really a trick, it’s amazing if you can manage to succeed at doing all of the above, but if you don’t, take responsibility for your side and know that tomorrow will bring something new, and often better.

YOU are strong, capable, and courageous. Even when you forget to do that one thing… you know, the thing that’s been on your list for the last two weeks and it’s finally caught up to you? Yeah, even then, still a badass.

Keep it up,

Carlee. xx

 

 

IF YOU AREN’T CONNECTING, YOU AREN’T BRANDING

Business as far as I can tell is exactly like life.

Once you have everything you’ve wished for whether its money, or cars or a successful small business, what matters comes into focus.

Connection.

Connection is what will build your business, brand, sell your products or build your community and lack of connection is most assuredly what will stop whatever you’re doing from growing.

The only true way to build connection is to actually give a shit.

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Whether you connect in person or on social, you’ve got to interact and start conversations with the people who take notice.

Giving a shit means that you’ll find creative ways to connect, you’ll ask better questions and when you provide value to others you’ll do so on a much deeper level.

You’ll basically set yourself up to be a leader in whatever you choose to do IF you’re passionate about it enough to put in the time and effort it takes to connect.

It isn’t easy, it takes a lot of work and a ton of time, but if you’re willing to go the extra mile day in and day out to build a strong foundation of people willing to support you than you’ve won.

You’ve won because that’s realy all that life comes down too, the relationships you build along the journey and how many people you’ve helped along the way.

We all know this, yet we still fail to act on our knowledge.

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In my opinion, people fail to act because they don’t see the quick results. Building relationships in business is exactly like growing in a long-term romantic relationship. Sure at first you really like each other and you laugh at each others crappy jokes but as the years go on you actually begin to love each other, know each other on a different level and if it’s really good, you wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Branding is the same thing. It takes patience, effort, time and even forgiveness at times. If you can understand the similarities and your in a position of geniunely caring about what you do, you will succeed against all odds.

A brand isn’t built from a logo or pictures with the same aesthetic.

A brand is engaging with your audience on a whole other level.

If your good your competition will take months or years to catch up.

If your extra good you won’t even give a shit about your competition because you’ll be so focused on building those connections.

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So how do you connect?

Like, share, comment, direct message. Start the conversation and keep it about the other person. Good things take time.

And you never want to be the friend who only takes to someone when they want something…

Are you building a brand? What tips on connecting with your audience do you have?! Would love to get sharing.

 

Carlee xoxo

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