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Success & Career

Chop Wood and Carry Water: Business Success 101



success in business

Successful Business Practice: Chop Wood and Carry Water Daily to Boost Personal and Professional ROI


Before Enlightenment … Chop Wood And Carry Water. After Enlightenment … Chop Wood And Carry Water.

The central focus of most of my professional career has been at the apex of health, wellness and sustainability. When I work with young entrepreneurs in the industry, one of the first questions they all seem to ask is how I got started. The answer is always the same: take some measurable action toward your goal or objective every day. And when you work with a group of trusted people, you can enhance your momentum.

Chop Wood and Carry Water- Business Success 101 2

This has been my process for over 20 years now, and most recently, I was involved in the rollout of Wild Oats affordable organics as well as Pet Promise, a natural pet food business, and a recycling business, all of which were successful business ventures. That success, however, is based on more than just profits; it’s an excellent business model for how individuals, without industry specific experience, can build a new business that is gratifying.

To maximize abundance and productivity, I remember to be present in the moment and do two things. First, take some action towards your personal business or life goal; make this action meaningful and purposeful. Second, do something kind for someone else. Doing these two actions everyday will help you accomplish your goals, and will ensure you have a network of people who support you and will yield an inspirational return on investment (ROI).

This logic is embodied in the 1,000 year old Zen proverb: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water.” I believe these are two things that we should be doing every day, and in fact, the only things we should be doing every day to advance and enhance our career and personal life.

Chop Wood and Carry Water- Business Success 101

This proverb has served me well, and now, I want to share it with like-minded entrepreneurs as a motivation tool.

Here’s a little personal insight: for me, chopping wood is much easier than carrying water every day, but carrying water is the part that is most rewarding and makes you feel good. Even if it’s something as simple as going into your favorite coffee shop and brightening everybody’s day with a big smile, or a genuine “good morning, all of you wonderful and awesome people.”

I started practicing carrying water because I believed I had chopping wood down pact. Now, carrying water has become the favorite part of my day. But to do it, I have to remove all negative distractions and focus on staying positive and upbeat at work, operating at a high vibration all the time.

With that said, it’s no easy task in the world we live. I think that ultimately if you have a purpose and a goal, and think about that purpose and goal every day, and then take action daily to support your purpose and goal, you will gain momentum. If you start doing kind things for other people consistently, and consciously, you will be lighter, happier and loving life. This is a critical point I missed early in my career.

I wrote the book, “2Steps2YourBest — Chop Wood and Carry Water” as a free success guide for those seeking success and happiness. This is the key insight that I missed as an entrepreneur building businesses versus building an army of people with the tools to not only get things done, but to be light, happy and purposeful. Because if you are light and happy you would never pollute or hurt another individual, plant or animal. This is what I believe is total health.

Here are a few key components to consider when working toward “2Steps2YourBest – Chop Wood and Carry Water”:

1. Be Purposeful: have a personal goal and a heartfelt reason for accomplishing it.

Find what your soul wants to do, or what you think you want to do, and start chopping wood tomorrow and see where it takes you. Be prepared that you will be uncomfortable, but start building that woodpile. No matter if it is absolutely right or not, just start and write the goal or accomplishment down on a piece of paper or in your digital notes and start chopping; don’t question, just go with where it takes you, and enjoy the process.


2. Make sure you are mindful about “carrying water” and doing something for someone else.

Be mindful that everyday you are going to help. It could be as simple as making the barista smile or telling your friend or significant other how awesome they are and surprise them with flowers, chocolates, nice words or even eyes that look at them and say without a word, “you are beautiful.”


3. Be mindful of what you eat since you will need stamina.

The energy it takes to chop wood every day requires a clean diet of whole nutritious foods heavy in vegetables and clean proteins like grass-fed beef, grass-fed milk or goat milk products. Vegetables should be abundant in every meal. And, whenever possible, always eat organic because the pesticides in the food will slow you down. Your body requires extra energy to fight off toxins and pesticides.


4. Daily exercise is crucial.

Needless to say, you are going to have to be in good shape to chop wood every day so proper stretching and exercise is a must. These exercises can be random — in fact it’s actually better if they are! Try not to get in the trap that I get in, which is doing the same routine everyday. Try and mix it up with some yoga, some stretching or some weight training.


5. Rest and relaxation.

The other most under-utilized key to giving you the energy to chop wood is rest, sleep and restoration. Sleep is so important as it is the time when all the cells of the body are healing and recharging. Make it a goal to get at least 8 hours of sleep per night.


6. Be proud of you.

Do you know how awesome you are for taking this challenge on and chopping wood and carrying water?


7. Smile.

Do this always, and to everyone, because you are changing the world.

Download a free copy of “2Steps2YourBest” at:

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Success & Career

5 tiny habits that can change your life and career



Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

When it comes to the daily grind, time seems to keep passing by – yet many things remain the same. We are so busy trying to get things done, keeping our heads above water, that we don’t take real time to think about things like balance, self-care, or making necessary changes.

Little do we realize that small tweaks at home and at work might create opportunities for us to have true balance, and even achieve that elusive success.

Let’s look at five tiny habits you can implement today to control the chaos – and start changing your life and career.


Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life and Career

1.) Embrace the concept of a “clean slate” at work.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

This involves implementing a few simple routines and organizational tools upfront. This will save you time in the long run, and will leave you feeling satisfied at the start – and end – of your day.

For example:

  • Create folders in your e-mail inbox by person and topic. Be sure to move applicable items there. The feeling of a clean inbox can reduce anxiety and enables you to find important material faster!
  • Write phone messages on a notepad next to you each day.
  • Return each call.
  • Note the status of what you were able to do, what needs to be done, and cross out which ones have been taken care of.
  • Complete your list before you leave work.

Nothing feels better than looking at the list and knowing that you have attended to every person, every item, and every task you started with. Yes, more may come in later. But these were your starting tasks.

You are leaving with everything crossed off, a clean slate for the day. You can start tomorrow with a clean slate as well. You’re more organized: able to look at a detailed history of each item you did, each person you spoke to, each item you completed.

A well-structured system and way of doing things is mentally good for you. It’s also a nice feeling to walk away with a complete sense of accomplishment for the day.


2.) Surround yourself with people who nourish your soul, NOT people who infect it.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Think about the people you chose to be with. Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries, no matter who they are. Be honest if someone is a “toxic” person in your life. Surround yourself with folks who build you up, support you, are honest but fair with you, and those who have your best interests at heart.

We of course need people who are going to tell us the truth. But remember that truth can be told with kindness. We can give ourselves permission to distance ourselves from, or let people go. These are individuals who make us feel bad about ourselves, or take every chance they can get to criticize our every choice.

There is enough negativity in the world. We don’t need to have it in those closest to us. You will be amazed at the difference when you give yourself permission to set healthy boundaries. So surround yourself with healthy relationships. Stop feeling like you must endure unhealthy ones.


3.) Clutter creates anxiety more than you realize.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

Whether it’s your home or your workspace, getting organized makes a huge difference in your state of mind. So start practicing tiny habits that create structure.

At work:

Get those piles into drawers and desktop storage. File folders are your friends! Label by topic, date, etc. Having things organized and at your fingertips will save you time and a great deal of anxiety.

Have trays for things that are needed on a daily or weekly basis. Organize your office supplies neatly. Remember that your desk is also a presentation of who you are.

You may think that those piles make you look busy – but they really make you look disorganized. Create your own system so that you can locate anything instantly. That, is more impressive than a pile.

At home:

Think more in terms of scaling down to get organized. Make it a goal to make you space your solace. Organize, donate, and find a place for everything. If you have not used it in a year, consider donating. If things belong together, group them. Get the right storage to hold things.

Group things where they make the most sense. Move things where they work and function best. Get rid of things that no longer work, are expired, are outdated, or that could benefit someone else more than sitting in a pile at your home.

You will not miss them. You will probably feel pretty good for sharing the love. Nothing feels better as having a fully functional home where you can live and breathe; where there is no clutter, and where everything has a place.


4.) Practice good, daily self-care.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

It may seem so simple, yet we all seem to fall short when it comes to this vital area that impacts our lives and our careers. If we practice tiny habits of self-care, we function better, perform better, and surely, improve our opportunities for success.

Good self-care includes things, such as:

  • Getting enough sleep each night. This includes going to bed and getting up at the same time, seven days a week. When going to bed, there should be NO electronics, including screens or cell phones, as they stimulate the mind and keep you awake.
  • Eating food that nourishes you – such as whole foods, not processed foods.
  • Drinking eight glasses of water each day.
  • Enjoying treats in moderation, no need to crash diet!
  • Be sure to wake up 30 to 60 minutes earlier than usual to ease into your day, and allow yourself to practice your morning routine.

Whether it be reading the paper, listening to a podcast, watching a TV show, yoga, or morning meditation, how you begin sets the tone for the day. So set aside time in the morning so you are not rushed. This is an essential part of your day.

If you start rushed, you are going to feel that way the whole day. Starting with balance, leads to a balanced day.


5.) Self-talk is one of the most powerful habits we can change.

Tiny Habits That Can Change Your Life

If we think about how often we thought something negative about ourselves, someone else, or about a situation, we would see how powerful negative self-talk can be. Now think about how better our lives could be if we stopped ourselves before doing it. It’s possible – but it takes effort and conscious work.

You simply need to pay attention and catch yourself. But as you do, the difference can be profound. You start to see how by removing negativity and replacing it with realistic thinking, you feel more balanced. Imagine the impact it can have on your work and relationships, to not see things in the worst possible light?

By implementing these tiny habits, you can bring about tremendous changes to your work and personal life. A few would only be one-time tasks. While others require minimal, but – hopefully welcome – effort.

If things are not working well in these areas of your life, why not give these tiny habits a chance? You will at least be a little more organized. And hopefully, be well-rested at the end.



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Success & Career

7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success



Organize Your Day for Success

Nope, don’t panic. I’m not going to start by telling you to get up earlier! As an Integrative Nutrition® Health Coach, I firmly believe in bio-individuality. This is the idea that we are all unique: just as some people can’t tolerate gluten and some can, there are early birds and others are night owls. Neither is wrong – they’re just different.

So yes, just as our definitions of success look different, how we structure our days for success will vary as well. However, I believe that there are some things in common.

For the sake of having a starting point, let’s agree that success is showing up in your life (career, relationships, physical activity, etc.) in the most biologically effective way possible (i.e., you are healthy in every sense of the word).

So how would you organize your day for success? Here are seven ways to try:


7 Ways to Organize Your Day for Success

1.) Wake up without an alarm if possible (see also #7).

Organize Your Day for Success

Jolting awake to an alarm is a sure-fire way to feel like you’re off to the races first thing in the morning. Instead, learn how many hours of sleep you are naturally inclined to. Then try to get that every night.

Waking up naturally prevents that influx of fight-or-flight chemicals coursing through your veins: nobody needs that kind of stress at the start of the day! Chronic stress can wreak all kinds of havoc with your body, starting a cascade of poor health outcomes.


2.) Start the day with screen-free “me time”.

The moment you check your email or social media, you are giving others power over how you spend your time. There will almost always be an email that just can’t wait or a post that brings on a severe case of #FOMO. Before you know it, you’re sucked in.

Instead of reaching immediately for a device, consider starting a new practice that can take as little as 5 to 10 minutes (or less) or as much time as you create for it: breathing, meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, journaling.

The Web is full of resources for these – just don’t go looking for them first thing in the morning! Are you an early bird? Use this gift of time to work out, meal prep, read, etc.


3.) Create time blocks (see also #5).

Organize Your Day for Success

As much as we think we can multitask, research shows we really can’t. “Task-switching” – what we’re really doing when we think we’re multitasking – can cost us as much as 40 percent of our productivity.

The solution: block out specific times on your schedule for tasks that require your full attention. During those times, close all other tabs and turn off all your notifications – and I mean all of them!

In between these blocks and not before, take a break to check email, make some calls – take care of some smaller tasks. Set a timer that indicates your next productive block is starting.


4.) Schedule your workouts and meals.

We seem to have time for everything but what really nourishes us: fuelling our bodies well and moving them regularly. As a health coach, when you tell me, “I don’t have time to…” what I hear is, “I don’t prioritize…”

I see you rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: if you do that enough, they’ll stick back there. But seriously – it comes down to this: if you wouldn’t cancel on your work, your client’s needs, your spouse’s needs, your kids’ needs, why would you cancel on yourself?

Meaningful self-care is putting on your oxygen mask first so you can help those who depend on you. Organize your day and put those blocks on your schedule. Treat them as unbreakable appointments with yourself.


5.) Multitask…intentionally (see also #3).

Organize Your Day for Success

Yes, I know I told you not to multitask. Now I’m telling you it’s okay if you do it intentionally. What does that mean?

In my work, I talk a lot about primary foods – all the other things in our lives that nourish us (or don’t!) besides what we put in our mouths. Think: sleep, career, spiritual practice, physical activity, time in nature, etc.

The multitasking I encourage is the kind that helps us nurture ourselves on the primary level, NOT the type that tries to manage a staggering number of little tasks that make our schedules so overwhelming.

What this looks like:

  • Need to spend quality time with family members? Instead of adding an outing (with all the planning, preparation, and consensus-building it requires), combine it with another area that needs some attention: take suggestions on the week’s meals, shop together, do some meal prep, etc.
  • Missing time with your girlfriends? Combine it with a workout or better yet, a walk in nature.
  • Desperate to do a little meal prep for the week? Invite a few friends over to cook so that you all get to stock up for the week. (There might be wine involved?)
  • House feeling like a hardhat zone, but you’d rather read? Clean while you listen to an audio book.
  • Time constraints making you choose between a workout and your spiritual practice? Take a walk in nature or practice a walking meditation.


6.) Make a plan for tomorrow.

You don’t have to organize your day down to the minute (although that works for some people). Instead, write down 1-3 large tasks to be done tomorrow and prioritize those once you’re done with your “me time.”

Are the tasks unpalatable? Brian Tracy has written about this concept in his book ‘Eat that Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’. He calls the tasks we are most intimidated by (and therefore put off doing) as “frogs”.

His recommendation: start your work – not just the day – by “eating a frog”. If all the frogs look big and ugly, eat the biggest, ugliest frog first.


7.) Get to bed on time to get the sleep you need (see #1).

Organize Your Day for Success

Once you know how many hours of sleep you need, organize your day and figure out when you need to get to bed. Make sure to end the day as you began it: NO screens for at least 30 minutes before bedtime!

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