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    It’s Q4: Here’s How To Handle the Madness Without Losing It

    It seems that every year Q4 comes quicker and quicker. Even when I do my best to prepare in advance and anticipate the end of the year rush—I’m always somehow baffled at how it is already October.
    If you haven’t prepped for the mad dash that is Q4, hope is not lost. Let’s talk about ways to set yourself up to crush the last three months of the year—from reaching current goals to planning for the year ahead.

    Get Your Personal Affairs in Order 
    I must admit, whenever anyone says “get your affairs in order”, I think, “what affairs? Should I have affairs?” What I mean here is that we need to take the first month of Q4 to arrange our personal schedules. The last three months of the year always get jam packed with end of year reports, yearly planning, and every single holiday party or event you can think of, so it’s time to get real about our personal calendars.
    We know that come November and December life is going to get a bit hectic. So let’s plan in advance. Before doing any event scheduling, think about what you need as a foundation in your life. Just because the holidays and Q4 get busy, it doesn’t mean we can skimp out on the self-care that brought us this far.
    Take an hour to map out the next few months. Make sure your workouts, nightly routine, daily walks, 20 minutes of reading—whatever you do to stay sane and sharp—is scheduled. Now more than ever is the time to prioritize you. While you’re at it, evaluate what’s working and what’s not. What worked for you last season might not work for you this season. Don’t be afraid to change.
    Once you’ve done that, it’s time to look at the personal events and obligations you have coming up. Pencil in anything that you know will pop up—your yearly holiday party with the girls, your trip home to your family, or your time to Christmas shop. Get it all in your calendar so that you don’t have to worry about it popping up out of nowhere later (believe me, there will be enough surprise events coming at you in the next few months!).

    Source: Color Joy Stock

    Take It to the Office: Review Your Team’s Scheduling
    Now that you’ve planned for your personal needs and obligations this quarter, let’s take it to the office. While it may seem early to begin to plan around holiday vacations and out-of-office emails, let me tell you: it’s not. 
    Now is the time to look at your calendar and the days you need to take off. Then, it’s time to go to your internal team or bosses and discuss everyone’s availability. Make sure coverage is in order and everyone is on the same page about holiday planning (so you know, you can actually enjoy the gingerbread cookies and mulled wine when you have them!).
    Now, let’s take it a step further. Once you have all of your vacations planned, it’s time to loop in any external companies or contacts you work with. The last thing you want is for your client to need something from you when a majority of your team is out of office, or to only email you about something needed while you’re out skiing the slopes. 
    Connect with critical people to communicate days off, company holiday schedules, and plan accordingly. As long as it’s well planned out and transparent, usually all parties involved will understand.

    Plan Additional Time for Reporting 
    While pulling together unexpected reports seems to be an inevitable part of the workplace, there are things you can do to mitigate the end-of-year fire drills.
    As you get into Q4, think about the different end-of-quarter and end-of-year reports that will need to be pulled. Begin putting together templates, and pulling data from last quarter or last year so that once you can put together this year’s information, you are already ahead of the game. Discuss with your boss or clients when their internal and external deadlines are for end-of-year reporting or presentations, and ensure they know you are around to help out (and that a heads up for planning is always appreciated!). 

    Anticipating what your boss or clients may need or want is a simple key to success and how you can stand out in your career. 

    Here are some simple questions to ask: 

    What reports will be needed? 
    What are their internal and external deadlines?
    What template should reports be in? 
    What date ranges are they looking for?

    Now, before you ask these questions, I’d challenge you to take it a step further by actually having ideas for the answers. For example, suggesting a PowerPoint presentation to show year over year growth of your company social media accounts and asking for input, is better than simply asking “hey, what do you want for this report?”

    Source: Color Joy Stock

    And… Plan Additional Time for Planning (yes, we’re planning to plan)
    In addition to considering what reporting is needed, it’s time to think about what planning needs to happen for the following year and especially the first quarter. What worked this year? What didn’t? What goals need to be met to surpass this year? Begin to think about these questions now and get plans in place for the new year.
    If you don’t know what your goals are or don’t have the expectation to set them… ask! I would be shocked if your boss or client doesn’t appreciate you asking them what the goals of the organization are so that your work can play a key role.
    Once you’ve done that, break your brainstorming and planning for the new year into these key steps: 

    Review your goals and performance from this year (if you don’t have those, review what was accomplished and what it resulted in).
    Review what is on the horizon for the next year in terms of company goals and industry shifts (What is trending? What are competitors doing?).
    Begin planning for what goals you need and want to hit, as well as what initiatives will get you there (loop your boss into the conversation if you need to!).
    Break it down into the first quarter. What can you do in January, February, and March to move the needle and set the tone for the rest of the new year?

    All of this planning now will help you maintain boundaries throughout Q4 and enjoy yourself while you’re at it!

    Make Time for the Unexpected
    Last but not least, you can plan and plan and plan, but such is life… curve balls will come your way. Your boss will need a report by EOD, your client will need something by Friday. If you can, try to anticipate that things will come up and have some time allotted for when they do. 
    Q4 can be a stressful time as budgets need to be used up, planning needs to be in place, and end-of-year reports need to be picture perfect (not to mention, you are also probably trying to buy ALL the perfect gifts!). Use these tools to get ahead of the game and make the next few months more joyful than overwhelming by getting a step ahead today.

    3 Rules This Entrepreneur Swears Will Help Set You Up for Success More

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    I Used an Under Desk Treadmill for a Month Straight—Here’s How It Went

    I used to get 10,000 steps in a day without sparing half a thought. Between walking my dogs in the morning, taking a walk break during the work day, going to a workout class after work, and just generally being out and about during the week, my legs were busy. Then, as is the cause of most life changes in the last two years, COVID hit. I was suddenly confined to a 900-square-foot apartment, and the longest walk I took was from my bed to the kitchen and back. That easy 10,000 steps became a sad 2,000 or, on a good day, 3,000. 
    Soon, that eight-week work-from-home period turned into a forever kind of situation. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love working from home. I am more productive, comfortable, and all-around happier than I ever was in an office. The only thing wrong was the drastic dive in my daily activity level. Before long, my up-and-at-’em lifestyle turned into a tired, sluggish one. My body really felt the difference. I lost flexibility, strength, and mobility. I started feeling a lot older than I actually was. When I finally decided to do something about it, TikTok had an answer (because, of course, it did). Enter: the standing desk and under desk treadmill combo that quite literally revolutionized my WFH life.

    Didn’t even walk half the work day and got in soooo many miles!! #walkingpad #treadmilldesk #standingdesk #wfh #wfhlife #wfhhacks #productivity #treadmill #workfromhome
    ♬ original sound – Kristen

    The moment I searched “under desk treadmill” on Amazon, I started seeing tons of TikToks like the one above. (The algorithm truly freaks me out). Here were all these women strutting through their workdays. I wanted to be just like them. After convincing my husband that the equipment investment would 100% be worth it—and not just sit unused in the corner of our office—I hit “add to cart.” But full disclosure: While I thought I would be just like those women on TikTok, once I got the treadmill in my possession, I was wrong. I didn’t start racking up steps. Instead, I slowly added walking at my desk into my routine as much as possible. And I saw my body and productivity reap the benefits of just a smidge more activity each day. We all gotta start somewhere, right?
    So if you, like me, love working from home but also need to be a bit more active, the walking pad won’t make you that girl overnight. But, it will absolutely help. Need proof? Here’s how one month of using an under-desk treadmill improved my health—mentally and physically—and my performance and productivity at work.

    My Setup

    Don’t get me wrong. I love an aesthetic, beautiful home office as much as the next person. But if you’re going to dive fully into an ergonomic lifestyle (and trust me, your body will thank you if you do), you have to sacrifice a bit of style. However, I love pretty things way too much to completely ruin my home office vibe. So, I searched high and low for the perfect desk and walking pad for my office. Here’s what I landed on: 

    Comhar All-in-One Standing Desk
    I love how sleek and unassuming this desk is. Plus, it packs so much utility in a small frame that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live without it. The programmable height settings, USB charging ports, and storage drawer are a big step up in functionality from my old desk.
    2 colors available

    2 in 1 Folding Treadmill
    I can’t lie. This treadmill is pretty big and hard to put out of sight. But the point isn’t to look pretty here. It’s to help you sneak more movement into your days. This option comes in a ton of colors to fit your aesthetic and is a relatively affordable option compared to others in the market. I haven’t looked back once since I ordered it.
    7 colors available

    Versa 3
    I put a Fitbit on for the first time in 2018 and haven’t been caught without one since. I love seeing and tracking the data from my different workouts—like steps, calories, and heart rate zones. It helps me tangibly work towards my workout goals and keep me on track. Bonus: Because I’ve been using a Fitbit for so long, I can really see just how far I’ve come in terms of my overall fitness, which is a huge boost whenever I feel stuck in a rut.

    Week 1

    I went all in on day one and walked nonstop for a full hour. It was so easy to fit it in during a meeting that I was mostly listening to rather than leading. However, that was the only day I went as hard as I did. For the rest of the week, I walked for about 30-40 minutes during meetings each day. But to my surprise, that still brought in a ton of extra steps I wasn’t getting before. Even better, walking made those meetings absolutely fly by. I was more energized throughout the day. (Take that, midday slumps.) I just felt good by being slightly more active. Hate to break it to you all, but it turns out moving your body does make you feel better.
    This week had a minor setback on Thursday, though. I had a migraine and couldn’t bring myself to stand up for too long, let alone go on a walk. I set out at the beginning of the week to dive in and walk every single day. (Heck, I thought I’d get at least 15,000 steps each day). In retrospect, that was a tad ambitious. But this first week served as a reminder of two crucial things: It takes time to build a habit, and I need to give myself grace.

    Week 2

    After watching more and more people share how they used their walking pad at home on TikTok, I decided to make one key change to my routine: I’d wear my Fitbit on my ankle rather than my wrist to track my steps more accurately. This was especially important because I found that my Fitbit tracked absolutely nothing while typing and using my mouse. And what’s the point of it all if I can’t see how great I’m doing? My husband wisely pointed out that even if my Fitbit didn’t count the steps, my body did. But I can’t help but love it when my Fitbit lights up and tells me, “Good job!” after reaching my daily goal. It makes me feel accomplished. Luckily, the Fitbit on the ankle hack works wonders—even if it looks a bit ridiculous.
    While that’s one problem solved, another presented itself this week. Turns out, walking and working at the same time is a lot easier said than done. I got the hang of typing and walking easily enough, but using a mouse was damn near impossible. Any tasks that involved a lot of clicking around (I’m looking at you, Excel) became sitting tasks, once and for all. 
    That said, walking while reading articles or writing stories or emails made those tasks, like meetings, fly right on by. I also found myself more focused on the task at hand. Something about having to walk and work at the same time made my brain extra attentive to what was happening in front of me. So far, this was a winning experience all around.

    Week 3

    By this point, I had fully conquered the learning curve that came with my new setup. I actually looked forward to walking each day. I reserved my walking periods for meetings or tasks that didn’t require a ton of computer work, like reading story submissions or going through emails. Because I structure my day around the different types of tasks I do (task-blocking, if you will), adding walks into my day was super easy. I reserved my walking for around midday when I felt the slump creeping in.
    Rather than wallow at my desk and watch time slowly tick by, changing from sitting to standing and walking brought me out of my funk immediately. It gave me a boost of energy. Before I knew it, that period of work was over (with time to spare, I might add), and all that was left of the day were the administrative tasks I always save for the last hour or so of work.
    As for my body, by this point, I was no longer getting winded after 30 or more minutes of walking. I felt more mobile and healthier than I had in a really long time—and all it took was a minor routine change.

    Week 4

    By week four, walking was as much a part of my routine as letting my dogs out in the yard each morning. It was what I did as soon as the clock struck 11 a.m. On Wednesday this week, however, I simply wasn’t up for it. Rather than beat myself up over it, I remembered what I learned way back in week one: It’s OK to give myself a day off. It might just be what my body needs that day.
    Speaking of my body, the changes in it had more to do with how I felt rather than how I looked. I’m more flexible, less tense, and my mind feels clear. Plus, my work is better for it. And that was the biggest surprise of all. 
    I knew walking like this would do wonders for my health, but I was not expecting my productivity to skyrocket the way it did. I consider myself very productive even on a bad day, but walking during certain tasks made them go by so much faster. While I may not walk every single day moving forward, I’m so glad I invested in this equipment. Getting movement in my day has never been easier. It’s the perfect addition to my regular workout routine. Consider this a 10/10 experience and something I think everyone who works from home should try.

    Experts Say To Prioritize This Workout Over Anything Else More

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    3 Rules This Entrepreneur Swears Will Help Set You Up for Success

    Like many of you, I was told at a young age that the recipe for success requires three ingredients: education, hard work, and a good-paying job. And while that advice isn’t totally wrong, there is one problem with it: It just scratches the surface. The truth is, at the end of the day, success looks different to everyone. So, it only makes sense that everyone’s journey to finding it will vary.
    This is something I recently had the privilege of discussing with former actress Kelsey Formost. You may have seen her in shows such as Modern Family or High Expectations. Or maybe you saw her in the 2015 movie We Are Your Friends, which starred Zac Efron. Nowadays, though, Kelsey Formost has moved on from acting to writing. And as an ex-actress turned copywriting and marketing expert, business owner, and host of the podcast, Find Your Magic, she isn’t shy about discussing mental health.
    Throughout my interview with Formost, we talked about all things mental health and success. There were three key takeaways she kept coming back to that have helped set herself and others up for success. Regardless of what your goals are, she swears that turning to these three rules for guidance will help you manifest success in your life, however that may look to you. Read on to learn all about the three tips for success Kelsey Formost swears by:

    Meet the expert
    Kelsey Formost

    Kelsey Formost is an actress turned copywriting and marketing expert. Through her business, Magic Words, Formost teaches other entrepreneurs how to use words to make their businesses and products stand out. She is also the host of the “Find Your Magic” podcast, which covers everything from business advice to creativity to social justice and beyond.

    1. Strive for harmony instead of balance
    We’ve all heard the term “work-life balance,” but Formost isn’t a fan. She believes the term can inadvertently shame you into thinking that you’re doing life “wrong” if something requires a large dose of your attention. In addition, she also believes the word “balance” implies that everything is equal in your life, which is impossible. After all, there will be times when certain areas of your life require more focus than others.
    What Formost strives for instead is harmony. “I think of all areas of my life—like work, friends and family, romantic relationships, and so on and so forth—as voices in a choir that make up my life,” she told me. “Sometimes one voice will be very loud and require my focus, but if I’ve invested in the other areas and taken care of them well, those voices will work in harmony to support the area that needs my attention.” She went on to add that during times of discord she’ll essentially “stop the music” and see which area of her life needs a “tune-up” so she can get her choir working in harmony again. The key to having harmony in life is listening to the voices from all areas of it and taking care of what’s needed in any given moment—AKA the loudest voice.

    2. Taking care of your mental health is vital
    Formost also firmly believes that taking care of your mental health is the only way to ensure you’re showing up to work as your fullest, most authentic, and creative self. When your mental health isn’t in check, your work inevitably suffers. The energy that lives within you will be reflected outwardly into the world. “Sure, you can ‘hustle’ your way to a big payday, but that won’t be sustainable,” she said. Living with a frenetic and anxious mind will make you more liable to forget important tasks, miss deadlines, and eventually burn out—all of which will block you from reaching your fullest potential. Taking the time to ground yourself will leave you feeling calm and confident. In turn, this will help you manifest success.

    3. Stop “should-ing” all over yourself
    When it comes to attaining success, there is no one-size-fits-all. Everyone’s different, which means their journey will be, too. Instead of thinking about everything you “should” do, focus on doing what works best for you. To make sure you’re prioritizing yourself and your needs, Formost recommends taking one small step each day that incorporates more of what nourishes your soul. This can be anything from meditating to taking a bath to calling a loved one and anything in between.
    She also added that mental health isn’t a quick fix. “It’s the result of the compound interest of many small investments you make in yourself over time,” she told me. Essentially, doing little things that better yourself and your mind each day will add up over time. This will help you embody the highest, best, and most authentic version of yourself. And that’s a guaranteed recipe for success.

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    Ready for a Change? 3 Secrets To Successfully Switch Career Paths

    Welcome to The Everygirl Podcast. Whether you’re looking for insider secrets from successful women that have your dream job, are interested in expert advice to transform your health and feel your best, or just want to be entertained and laugh along with us on your commute, we’ve got you covered.

    We’ve all had that moment when the voice in the back of your head starts screaming, “This is not the right path for me!” Whether it’s about a relationship, a habit, a place, or a job, realizing that you want to be doing something completely different is always a tough revelation. Luckily, there are concrete steps you can take to make a big change easier, especially when it comes to your career.
    On this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast, Josie sits down with the Branded Content Editor at The Everygirl, Ashley Selleke, to chat about her journey from full-time nursing to working entirely in media and content creation. Ashley has so many valuable tips to share, from valuable resume builders to confidence-building exercises. Read on for a few of Ashley’s biggest tips for successfully changing career paths, and check out this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast for more.

    1. Check in with yourself about your career
    Deciding to switch careers may not always be such a clear choice. If you’re getting a gut feeling that a career might not be the right path for you, listen to your intuition. We only get one life, and doing something that you love is worthwhile. However, if you’re not quite sure what you specifically dislike about your current career, sit with yourself and consider the pros and cons of what you’re doing. That time of self-reflection and getting honest with yourself might make all of the difference when it comes to getting into the career that is right for you.

    2. Build your confidence by remembering your skills are transferrable
    If you have a dream job in mind that’s completely different or seems unrelated to your current or past jobs, don’t write off skills you’ve picked up throughout your professional journey. You can still get that dream job, even if you think your resume doesn’t quite match up. Life experience is experience. Period. Even if it isn’t in the industry that you’re trying to transition into, there are so many skills that live in multiple different industries.
    Write out everything that you already know. It will show you that you can be good at your dream job, give you a confidence boost, and show you what skills you could work on before landing your dream job or making the career pivot. If there are a few skills you want for your dream career—but don’t currently have—practice during your free time. This could mean building up writing experience through a personal blog like Ashley, or it could mean taking an online class. 

    3. Be ready for new opportunities that might come your way
    Work on that resume, portfolio, or degree now so that you’re ready if you network with the right person who has a job opening. (Opportunities can sometimes come from unexpected places.) It may be helpful to give yourself a deadline when you want to update your LinkedIn, build a portfolio, or make a website. Otherwise, you might find yourself waiting for the right time to be ready, and opportunities could pass you by. 
    If you are considering transitioning to a new industry, you do not have to wait until you reach burnout or feel like you need to leave your current job. You can build your resume and apply to jobs whenever. This will ensure that you can leap when that dream job application opens up. Even if you think nothing will come of it, you might as well give yourself the deadline—and, if you’re like Ashley, maybe you’ll end up surprising yourself with what you can achieve. More

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    Can’t Negotiate To Save Your Life? This Expert’s Tips Will Help

    As a child, I was always quite persuasive. I could charm almost any adult into giving me an ice cream cone or letting me stay at the park for another five minutes. I seemed to have no problem asking for what I wanted, offering something in exchange (usually the promise of good behavior), and getting the goods. Life was good. I felt like I had some kind of superpower, and I loved it. 
    You’d think this skill would have naturally followed me into adulthood, where I became a ruthless lawyer, negotiating anything and everything with ease and confidence. Well, unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I never made it to law school. (Marketing was more my style!) And I definitely wouldn’t consider myself to be a killer negotiator today. One day at work, I was struggling to articulate why I thought I’d be great for a new project. Then, I had a realization: The idea of negotiating anything made my stomach drop—whether negotiating my starting salary at a new job or the restaurant I wanted to go to with girlfriends. What happened to all of my youthful confidence?
    I decided I wanted to get my mojo back and learn how I could get better at the art of persuasion. So, I reached out to Fotini Iconomopoulos, a negotiation expert who has worked with everyone from top-level executives to new graduates. I learned her best negotiation tips, why so many women avoid negotiating, and how we can all become better at it.

    Practice your skills in low-risk situations
    To start off, Iconomopoulos emphasized that while most people think of negotiation in asking for a raise at work or a lower price on a car, it can extend to almost anything. She explained, “You could be negotiating with your partner about where to take your next vacation or who will empty the dishwasher. You could be negotiating for space on public transportation or with a peer about workloads. You negotiate everywhere all the time!”
    This is especially true when it comes to people who interact with children. (Aha! Suddenly my childhood experiences all make sense.) “Anyone who spends time around kids knows the power of negotiating. You navigate situations with them the same way you would navigate any discussion. You go in with an attitude of curiosity and listening while setting expectations for what you need to work together,” Iconomopoulos said. In this case, trying to get a toddler to eat broccoli is not that different from trying to get a colleague to pull his weight at work. Since we’re engaging in these micro-negotiations all the time, we can practice honing our skills in low-stake situations. Therefore, we’re more prepared—and less intimidated—by the bigger things.

    Be strategic
    As much as we wish it weren’t true, negotiations can quickly go off the rails. When I asked Iconomopoulos what could appear in a negotiation, she highlighted that unfortunately, gender bias is sometimes still present. “Women may be perceived as greedy or aggressive when it’s unwarranted,” she said. But don’t fret—it’s not all doom and gloom! There are things you can do to combat this. It all comes down to preparation.
    Approach the conversation in an assertive yet productive way. “This doesn’t mean suppressing emotions or holding back from negotiating, but using productive language and asking pointed questions,” Iconomopoulos said. She explained how asking open-ended questions and giving room for pause after speaking are parts of a master negotiator toolkit. “It also means finding allies wherever possible to help remove obstacles,” she elaborated. Add this to the growing list of reasons why you need a sponsor in your corner. Fostering connections at work is always a good idea. But it is especially key when preparing for things like raises, promotions, and responsibility changes.

    Do your homework
    While negotiating isn’t always about money, it’s usually the first thing that comes to mind. I’ve had some great negotiations where I went in prepared and got a sizable bump in pay—yay! I’ve also had some not-so-great negotiations where I couldn’t think properly and fumbled over my words. (AKA, I felt the opposite of confidence.)
    Fotini Iconomopoulos reinforced that preparation is truly the key to success here. “Knowledge is power, so know what the market is paying, what similar companies are paying, how you compare to other candidates, and so on,” she said. When it comes to presenting a number, Iconomopoulos advocates for shooting for the (research-backed) moon. “Be aspirational in your ask. It’s easy to back off of your opening offer, but it’s harder to go back and increase the ask later if you end up regretting the original number you gave.” Take this as the encouragement you need to add on that extra 10%. You deserve it! 
    Then, there’s the age-old question: Should you anchor the negotiation with your desired salary or let a recruiter or HR set the pace? Iconomopoulos recommends taking the reins. “If you’ve done your homework, don’t be afraid to anchor your expectations first. Most people worry about putting their offer on the table first, but there are advantages that you don’t want to miss,” she said. Those advantages include coming across as knowledgeable and confident. Of course, you’re also setting yourself up for a result you’ll be happy with.
    In terms of how to make your ask, Iconomopoulos shared her go-to language with clients: “Based on [insert reasons why you know you would be valuable to the team] and what similar experience is paid in the market, I would expect [insert the desired salary] compensation for this role.” Then, pause to see what their response is. Try not to fill the silence by offering conditions or justifications for your ask. (That comes later if it’s needed!) I know this is the scary part. But if you’ve done your homework, you’re already in the best possible spot for success!

    Source: Color Joy Stock

    Know how to handle bumps along the way
    Once you get some negotiating experience under your belt, it’ll start becoming more natural. Then, you’ll be able to tell when things are going your way. But in the meantime, it can help to know some common concerns. The fear of damaging relationships is a common concern that Iconomopoulos mentioned. Coming across as demanding or greedy when you’re trying to project confidence is also one of the most common worries.
    “But the truth is, you can conduct negotiations with diplomacy and tact and maintain, if not strengthen, relationships,” Iconomopoulos said. Respecting yourself enough to even have the conversation encourages other people to take you seriously. This is especially true when you come to the table with well-prepared arguments. (If you present yourself well in a negotiation situation, imagine what you can do when presenting to a potential client or investor!)
    But what about when you do your homework, practice your pitch, and wear your best power outfit, only to end up getting the dreaded “it’s just not in the cards right now” response? “Sometimes, despite our best efforts, rejection happens,” shared Iconomopoulos. “It may bruise your ego for a while, but when handled with tact and with a backup plan in place, it’s not so terrible.” Your backup plan can include asking for non-salary perks like more time off or increased working-from-home benefits. It could also include a follow-up conversation in a few months to ask again. Or, perhaps, you ask for a title or responsibility change.
    Ultimately, Iconomopoulos reassured me that the rejection “can actually bring self-confidence from asserting oneself and can help to gain the respect of others,” which doesn’t sound too bad at the end of the day. As someone who has experienced rejection during a salary negotiation before, trust me when I say that what doesn’t kill you makes you—and your future negotiations—stronger. (But some ice cream and retail therapy can help ease the immediate wound.)

    Remember: It all comes down to confidence
    You can have all the research, know the comparables, and have a spreadsheet a mile long with your recent accomplishments. Yet, there’s one thing that people are often missing when they enter a negotiation. “Your mindset has to be in the right place,” shared Iconomopoulos. “You can psych yourself up, or you can psych yourself out.” Now’s the time to blast some Lizzo, wear your favorite heels, and tell yourself that you deserve this. Then, believe it!
    Iconomopoulos advises her clients to ask themselves two questions before they go into the conversation: “If I don’t stand up for myself and go after this, who else will?” and “Don’t I deserve what I’m going after?” These questions are powerful reminders that nobody will advocate for you if you don’t advocate for yourself. You need to believe you are deserving of more money, time off, or the vacation destination of your dreams before you can convince someone else of it.
    Iconomopoulos’s final piece of advice is to channel that nervous energy into enthusiasm. “Instead of telling yourself that you’re nervous, turn that nervous energy into a more productive energy by telling yourself that you’re excited to finally get what you want. Your brain will thank you for it… and so will your bank account!”

    Want a Raise? Here’s Exactly How To Ask Your Boss More

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    Want To Land Your Dream Job? We Asked an Expert How

    I chased the idea of finding my dream job and life for a long time—and changed my mind a lot along the way. Once I finally settled on something, figuring out how to get there was just as overwhelming. All I could find were tips for being efficient at work, setting boundaries, and providing value to your employer. And while all of these are vital for moving forward in our careers, I was looking for tangible steps to help me move closer to my dream. 
    I sat down with Paige Schmidt, a certified life coach for women with 10+ years of experience, to discuss her top tips for moving forward in your career and life in a way that feels aligned with the woman you want to be. She focuses on intuitive eating, mindset and financial coaching, and all-around aligned living. Believe me. You don’t want to miss this. So, how do you move closer to your dream career and life? Let’s dive in.

    1. Explore what you want
    When trying to figure out what your dream career is, you might focus on figuring out your “purpose” or “passion.” They’re the buzzwords we’ve heard our entire lives, but finding them is way easier said than done.
    Schmidt takes a more simplified approach. She recommends we shift the script. The words “purpose” and “passion” can feel daunting. What if we changed those? What if, instead of beating our heads against a wall to find our “true life calling,” we instead focused on what is meaningful and fun? By replacing “purpose” with “meaningful,” and “passion” with “fun,” we open an entirely new world for ourselves to explore.
    By doing this, we are removing the pressure we have put on ourselves to find the one thing we were meant to do. We are removing the pressure to get it “right.” Instead, we can explore what lights us up. Ask yourself: What would you do for free? What would you do until 2 a.m. just because you want to? Then, do that.
    The proof is in the pudding. Paige Schmidt’s coaching business was born from her love of blogging which she stumbled upon while going to school for nursing. By following her joy for blogging and sharing, she started connecting with women and, over time, realized she wanted to do that more by coaching one-on-one.

    2. Visualize what you want
    It’s time to take it a step further. Once you’ve relieved the pressure and allowed yourself to explore, it’s time to visualize. Whether you just figured out what lights you up or you’ve known all along, visualization is a key piece to the puzzle. According to Schmidt, one of the most important steps to your dream career is to visualize who you are as the woman you want to be. 
    Before she became a coach and built her business, Schmidt visualized what that would look like. She saw the exact pens, the computer bag, and folders she would use for her clients. Then, she went out and bought those things so that she could, over time, become the person she wanted to be.
    So, grab your beverage of choice, get cozy, and dive into the world of your dreams. With a pen and paper, get detailed on what it is you want. What is your future self wearing? What does her hair look like? How does she feel? Write it all down. As you’re doing this, let go of the judgment of others and of yourself. (Remember: People will always judge no matter what you do.) Explore without limits. 
    After years of experience and bringing her own visualization to life, Schmidt believes that the reality of what we can achieve is immensely greater than what we can see for ourselves. So, dare to dream big. Remove your limits. If you need somewhere to start, check out this guided visualization which is one of Schmidt’s most highly rated tools!

    3. Become the manager of your future self
    Once you define what you want your future to look like, it’s time to take serious action. You must make a choice to become the woman you want to be. And you must decide that you are capable of becoming her. 
    It’s not that you must have all the answers to get started, but you must commit to figuring it out along the way. Once you’ve committed to not giving up, you need to be the manager of your future self. Do this by organizing and planning your days to set yourself up for success. So, how do you go about that? Here are the steps Paige Schmidt took in her own journey and what she coaches clients on today:

    Source: Monstera | Pexels

    1. Write out a list of what you need to do. 
    For Schmidt, this list included what exact pens and folders she needed and also the first steps she’d need to take to make her dream happen. This doesn’t have to be insanely detailed. In fact, one of the largest roadblocks she sees with clients is that they think they must know every single detail in order to begin. Write down the first three things you need to do. Then next week, add three more. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

    2. Add the list to your calendar.
    It’s important to physically add these items to whatever form of organization you use. We all know how easily to-dos can get lost when they’re not our main source of income or part of our normal routine. So schedule in time—even if it’s just 15 minutes each week!

    3. Take these commitments seriously.
    Just as she wouldn’t bail on a friend or not show up for a workday, Schmidt honored herself by prioritizing what she wanted. Don’t let yourself down by not prioritizing these tasks. Make the time and stick to it.

    4. Over time, prioritize more of these commitments as you learn to free up your schedule.
    Give your future self the time you deserve. Schmidt started by dedicating three hours one day a week to coaching. As she got more comfortable and was able to free up more of her time, it turned to two days, then three, and so on. It doesn’t have to be all at once. Take it one bite at a time.

    5. Keep your income from your “normal” job—and find the good in it!
    Sometimes, if there is pressure to make your dream career your only income, the creativity that comes from doing what lights you up can get lost. If possible, it’s important to keep income coming in from elsewhere as you build your dream or as you apply for your dream job. This will alleviate some of that pressure and allow you to see where your creativity takes you.
    Equally important is finding gratitude in your day job while you build what you ultimately want. It’s easy for many of us to lose sight of the “good” in our jobs when we know we want something different. But being disengaged causes clutter in your life, and sooner than later, your job will feel like a burden. This can cause negative energy that’s not good for your creativity! In order to continue to engage in your job, Schmidt recommends finding even one thing you enjoy, or that’s helping you for your future. Then, lean into that as much as possible to find that gratitude.

    4. As cheesy as it sounds, believe in yourself
    Hands down, the biggest thing Schmidt sees holding women back is their confidence. You must believe you can become the woman you want to be and step into your dream career in small steps. In other words, you must show up as her as much as you can today. 
    It is easy to see people on social media or elsewhere that have done your dream career or other careers telling you that there is one perfect way to do it. But the truth is, there is no right or wrong way. As long as you move forward into what you want, that is all that matters.
    You must learn to trust your inner self and follow what you want. Coaching was not a “normal” career when Schmidt started. It was not easy to give up pursuing nursing in order to step into the unknown. But she did it, and you can do it too.

    5. Bring it all together
    If you’re ready to take the next step and finally go for what you want or explore what exactly that is, take it one step at a time.

    Explore what lights you up.
    Visualize who you want to be.
    Become the manager of your future self.
    Trust yourself and stay grateful.

    Unsure where to start? Grab a cup of coffee (or wine) and check out Paige Schmidt’s free visualization to see where your imagination takes you. And remember, go toward what makes you feel on fire. Keep going until you get there. Be resourceful and figure it out along the way! 

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    3 Tips These Successful Entrepreneurs Swear By To Prevent Burnout

    Welcome to The Everygirl Podcast. Whether you’re looking for insider secrets from successful women that have your dream job, are interested in expert advice to transform your health and feel your best, or just want to be entertained and laugh along with us on your commute, we’ve got you covered.

    Picture this: You’ve finally taken the big step to start that company you’ve always dreamed of. Maybe it’s a local bakery where you’ll sell the treats your friends have always raved about. Perhaps, it’s a blog where you’ll share your best interior decorating advice. Or maybe–like Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon–you’re starting your own clothing line. This week on The Everygirl Podcast, we’re talking to these two badass cofounders to get all the details on how they manage their busy lives.
    Lattimore and Cannon founded LAKE Pajamas in 2014 and found immediate success with their casual pajama designs and baby-soft pima cotton. However, entrepreneurship hasn’t always been a breeze. When they first launched LAKE, they were both balancing different career paths and new babies. They had to work to scale their business, set boundaries between their work and home lives, and consistently grow their brand after such a successful launch. Read on for three tips that Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon have for preventing burnout as an entrepreneur. Plus, listen to this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast to find out how they grew their business and get more career tips from the power duo.

    1. Hire kind people
    When Lattimore and Cannon first launched LAKE, they were slow to hire. They spent the early days of their business working together at home, babies and all. Once it came time to grow the LAKE Pajamas team, the pair decided to hire jack-of-all-trades workers to help out with their business. “The quality of our internal team here is really what has helped us grow,” Lattimore said. “We have made a conscious decision, both of us, to hire kind people all along the way.” Looking for a team-player mentality in potential employees when hiring has always been a part of the LAKE founders’ business model. As Cannon advised, a great attitude is far more important than a lengthy resume. 
    When it comes to starting your own business, consider the fact that you probably won’t be the only one doing all of the work for long. Think about what values and skills you want your employees to have when you bring them onto the team: What kind of attitude is going to best shape your workplace environment? As Lattimore and Cannon mentioned, building a great team of coworkers can make all of the difference in having a healthy work-life balance as an entrepreneur.

    2. Set boundaries between work and home
    As Lattimore and Cannon experienced when they first launched LAKE, working from home can throw a wrench in your work-life balance. “In the beginning, we were a little too ambitious in thinking that we could work with babies around us,” Lattimore said. Now, both cofounders are much more conscious of having totally separate work and home lives in order to prevent burnout. They maintain flexible schedules, but they prioritize setting aside time blocks for both work and family. “After working with kids at home, I now appreciate so much having separated time,” Cannon said. “That means being able to get everything done at work so that when I come home to my kids, I can fully focus on them.”
    Setting strong boundaries between your work life and home life is essential for preventing unproductive days and long nights as an entrepreneur. As Lattimore and Cannon emphasized in the interview, this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on big moments in either area. However, it does mean that you’ll feel the benefits of drawing those boundaries and blocking out your time. Additionally, your business will likely benefit from your ability to turn off work mode from time to time.

    3. Stay confident in your product
    As an entrepreneur, impostor syndrome can be intense. Lattimore and Cannon credit a huge portion of their success as a brand to their ability to stay confident in their designs, even when they had little prior experience in the clothing industry. They knew that they were filling a demand in the market, which helped them stay on track with their vision for their company. “Our initial sets had some recognizability. They were different than other pajamas that were on the market, and they were a good giftable item,” Lattimore said. The pair knew that the quality of their pajamas would be a huge draw for consumers. Cannon credits their confidence in the product as a critical factor in their low-stress mindset about LAKE.
    Entrepreneurship may feel intimidating at times, but as Anne Read Lattimore and Cassandra Cannon emphasize, being confident in your business can go a long way. When you know how great your brand is capable of becoming, you can avoid the impostor syndrome that often leads to burnout when you’re first starting out. Treat each new business venture as if it’s going to sell like 2014 LAKE pajamas, and maybe it will. More

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    How To Refresh Your Work Routine for Fall, According to a Time Management Coach

    As we head into the fall, you might find that it’s the perfect time to revamp your work routine. Around this time of year, many of us swap PTO and summer vacations for meeting-heavy days and crunched deadlines as we strive to meet our year-long goals. When you add sending the kids back to school or kicking off a new college semester, it’s no surprise we might feel in need of a new, refreshing routine. 
    Here’s the good news: With the help of time management coach Anna Dearmon Kornick, you can craft a productive and fulfilling fall work routine. Kornick told us that workers are the most productive during the last four months of the year—but how do you manage that level of production without crashing and burning? Here are Kornick’s best tips for resetting after a vacation-filled summer and finishing the year off strong.

    1. Head into fall with a fresh perspective on your routine
    Fall tends to signal the start of a busy work season across industries and roles. With only four months left in the year, the pressure is on to get through daily to-do lists and year-long goals before the holiday season. “One of the first things that come to mind about heading back to work in the fall is Parkinson’s Law which states that work expands to fill the time allotted,” Kornick shared. We enter a bustling season to make up for the slowness of summer. We adopt a sense of urgency at work, which can be overwhelming and exhausting.
    Kornick’s advice: “Go into this busy season with a fresh perspective on your routine. What served you well in the spring and summer may not necessarily set you up for success in the fall.” Some areas to start thinking about improved routines in are your pre-work routine, your lunch break, and your recurring meeting schedules.

    Source: Vlada Karpovich | Pexels

    2. Adjust your workday around the time change
    It’s easy to dread the time change—unless you’re lucky enough to live in a place that doesn’t practice daylight savings. An easy way to combat feelings of dread and anxiety is to use the change to your advantage. “Turn the change into something positive. ‘Fall back’ is a good time to transition to an earlier bedtime because of the light shift. Consider letting natural light in through your windows in the mornings,” Kornick said.
    As you adjust your personal routines around the time change, think about how to navigate it at work. The reality is that it’s a tough time for everyone. What can you do to help your coworkers and yourself adjust? “During the week surrounding the time change, be mindful that the change is coming. Shift your meetings later in the day to be kind to your team and yourself,” Kornick suggested. (I’m making a mental note to shift all my meetings by at least one hour that week.)

    3. Plan your schedule around your chronotype
    If you Google “chronotype,” you’ll stumble upon different biological chronotype models, all of which speak to each person’s unique circadian rhythms. For every season, but particularly as work picks up in the fall, Kornick said knowing your chronotype is a game changer.  “Knowing which chronotype you are can help you decide how you spend your time during the day and what you put into your work schedule. It also helps managers and team members know not everyone feels the same way at the same time of day,” Kornick said.
    Not sure which chronotype you are? We covered Daniel Pink’s chronotype model in a recent article. Find out if you’re a morning lark, third bird, or night owl. Then, revamp your fall workday routine accordingly.

    4. Understand what you need versus want in your routine
    Fall is an excellent opportunity to shift into a new routine. Before making any changes, Kornick recommends identifying your needs and wants. Then, reverse-engineer your schedule. Below are some questions to ask yourself:

    What do I need to do every morning?
    Kornick said to think of these actions as the “non-negotiables” for a successful morning. For example, do you need to get up and have a cup of coffee to function throughout your workday? Do you need to wear real clothes for your Zoom calls to avoid uncomfortable conversations with your manager about your attire? Do you need to send your kids off to school each day?

    What do I want to do every morning?
    After you’ve determined what you need to do every morning, consider what you want to incorporate into your routine. Adding 10 minutes of reading, a visual meditation, a light workout, or a morning walk can be invigorating ways to start the day. 

    Source: ANTONI SHKRABA | Pexels

    Once you’ve made a list of your needs and wants, reverse-engineer your schedule to determine when you should wake up. Suppose you must be at work (in-person or online) at precisely 8:00 a.m., and you plan to shower, make breakfast, read for 20 minutes, and do yoga before your workday. Then, you’d figure out what time you need to wake up to accomplish all of those items by 8:00 a.m. Additionally, ask yourself if there are any tasks you can cut, condense, or move to another point in the day. 
    Exercise is a priority for me, especially during busy seasons at work. In my pre-pandemic life, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and went to Pure Barre before heading to work for the day. My workdays look different now that I work from home, but initially, I tried to force that same 5:00 a.m. exercise schedule. However, after doing Kornick’s reverse-engineering exercise,  I realized I could adjust my schedule. I bumped my workouts to 4:30 p.m. (immediately after work) and built a new routine.

    5. Set goals for Q4 and try quarterly planning
    We tend to think about our year in terms of the 12-month calendar. It’s not uncommon to set yearly goals at work as businesses work toward company objectives. However, Kornick said, “It can be easy to lose sight of our goals when we think about the year as a whole. We lose things in the ebbs and flows over a year.” 
    Since fall is a fast-paced work season, Kornick recommends shortening your goal-setting timeframe. Lean into quarterly planning when shaping your routines. “Shortening your timeframe and thinking about your work, life, and goals every quarter is a game changer. The three-month quarters coincide with the changing seasons of the year, which makes it easier to reset your routines with the changing seasons,” Kornick shared. 
    We build our routines around our goals and priorities. Therefore, it can be challenging to commit to a routine when our goals feel unclear. I recently adjusted my work routine to set aside focused work time every other Friday and avoid attending meetings unless I have to. Had I not been clear on what I planned to use this time for—which is deep work for my active projects—I likely wouldn’t have stayed committed to my no-meeting schedule.
    When revamping your routine this season, identify and understand what you need to accomplish before the holiday season. Be realistic with the amount of time you have and what you need to get done. Consider moving non-urgent goals and priorities to the first quarter of next year. 

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