F*ck your excuses

The other day, someone asked me what made me start my business. Here’s the short version.

Almost 5 years ago,  I had health scare.

Before that moment, my life was going good. 

But while I’d achieved a lot of success, and ticked all the usual “boxes” you “should”, I wasn’t living my potential - and I had a lot of dreams and goals I was taking to the grave with me. 

Maybe you can relate. 

Life is pretty good. It’s comfortable. You’ve been successful. 

But there’s more within you, a desire, a dream, a goal you want. You’ve got potential that you haven’t fully explored yet and you know you’re made for more.

And it’s a little scary. 

So it’s easier to put it on hold just for “right now” for when things settle down in life. 

You know, wait for a “better time” when life is less busy.  

Here’s the thing: I’ve been there too.

I’ve waited for “one day” and told myself that “someday” I would start a business. 

It took me 8 years to let go of the excuse that I needed the “perfect business idea” to start. 

I dreamed about living in Vancouver, and flat-out believed it would NEVER happen.

It took two round-trips between BC and Alberta, and more boxes, bottles of wine and friends than I can count to find a way to make it happen. 

I imagined visiting Thailand, bought the guidebook and let it get dusty on my shelf for 8 years. 

It took a cancer scare, the reality that I might only have a year or two left to live, for me to just book the damn trip and finally eat authentic khao soi and meet a real Thai monk, like I’d dreamed of for so long. 

This is what I’ve learned - through my own journey in life and through the honour (yes, HONOUR) of coaching incredible women:

The excuses will ALWAYS be there. 

Your excuse “I’m too young” will turn into the excuse “I’m too old”.

Your excuse of “it’s not the right timewill turn into the excuse “I don’t have enough time left”.

Your excuse of “I don’t know enoughwill turn into the excuseit's too late to go back”.

Your excuse of “I can’t afford it” will turn into “I have too many other expenses to ever invest.”

Your excuse of “they won’t like it/me” will turn into “I don’t even know what I want anymore.”  

Or worse, “I don’t even know who I am anymore.” 

Your excuse “I’ll invest when I have more money” will turn into the excuse “I have too many other expenses to ever invest.”  

Your excuse of “I don’t know how” will turn into “I can’t do it.”

Let go of your excuses. 

Because if you don’t, it will only turn into yet another excuse.

For me, it took a health scare.  For others, it takes the death of a close family member. 

But why does it have to?!

The truth is, it doesn’t. 

Setting the intention, investing in yourself to do the hard work, and a really damn good coach (ahem, hello friend) can work wonders on those excuses. 

Girl, I’ve got two spots available for one-on-one coaching this month, and then that’s it: there will be no more opportunities to work together privately for several months.

These spots are rare, and I know they will go fast. In fact, the first one went last week within hours of announcing it. 

If you’re ready to drop the excuses, let’s do this. 

Your life is precious. 

And you’re WAY more freakin’ capable than you give yourself credit for.

Book a coaching discovery call and let’s connect to see what “someday” dream you are going to make reality. 

It’s time to get excited about your life. 

It’s time to get clear about what you want - without the excuses. 

It’s time to step into the woman you’re meant to become. 

And create the life you’re meant to live. 

Book your complimentary call today and let’s get you fired up to drop the excuses and make ANYTHING possible

Here's how to change career paths. Even if you're afraid.

Is the career path you want to take unexpected?  UniqueUnchartered? Or unconventional?


Do you feel scared to take the first step?  Worried you’ll disappoint someone?  Afraid to take a risk?  Or nervous you’ll end up broke eating ramen for dinner every night? 


I truly believe you deserve to love your work and your life.


I believe it’s possible to enjoy what you do in your career


And when you love your 9-5, it spills awesomeness and joy into the rest of your life.


You’ve heard it from me. Now I want to share a story about the journey Kimiko Stella has taken to get to a place of real life career love.



A few months ago, I was getting my hair styled by the lovely Kimiko.  Mid-shampoo, I casually asked her “do you like your job?”  (It’s a habit – I can’t turn the coach off.)


Her eyes lit up. She grinned, threw her head back and said “YES! I love my job”. 


From that moment, I knew I needed to know more.  So I got the chance to sit down with her for some lunch (and bottomless mimosas) to get deeper into her story.


Kimiko has inspired me and I know she will inspire you.


Kimiko is a 30-something Japanese Italian woman who is feminine, strong and beautiful inside and out.   Growing up, she was surrounded by amazing women.  She has a very strong mother, a sweet and gentle aunt, and a Nona you don’t want to mess with (let’s be honest, is there any Nona you would mess with?!).
Life wasn’t always easy for Kimiko.  She struggled with depression.   She has been married and divorced.  She’s a survivor of sexual assault.  She took the unconventional path in her career and it put a strain on her relationship with her family.   At the age of 26, she came out to her family as a lesbian.

But all the steps in her journey have led her to become a seriously inspiring badass, and a force to be reckoned with!

Today, she’s a hairstylist in one of the top salons in Vancouver, Brush Salon (check them out!).  She gets to do hair for all sorts of glamorous events like Vancouver Fashion Week, and several TV shows filmed in Vancouver.  Somewhere in there, she does regular people hair like mine.

Every day, she goes to work and LOVES her job.  And she’s fiercely confidentShe’s uniquely herself

Here’s Kimiko’s journey to becoming a top stylist in the city.
Growing up, Kimiko was encouraged to take a traditional path.  Go to school, they told her.  We’ll pay for your education.  Do something that will make you money and be stable.  Needless to say, Kimiko’s family did not support her being a hair stylist. 
Their vision for her was one of an academic path.  So, she dabbled in kinesiology, counseling, nutrition, customer service and radio broadcasting – things she was interested in but not passionate about
Her family was supportive of her education, even going so far as to paying for her education as long as it was on their terms. 
Have you ever worried what your family might think if you quit your job?  Or if you changed your major?  Or went back to school?
Kimiko knew she wanted to be a hair stylist.  But she also knew they wouldn’t be happy with her decision. 
She needed to overcome this huge roadblock. For Kimiko, she came to the realization that she had to be ok with - and accept - that she was going to let people down.  This was not an easy journey
But she knew she wasn’t going to be able to follow the path others set out for her.  

She knew the journey she was on, easy or not, would be her own.
And she knew it would be worth the challenge.   

She took out her own student loan.
Made the decision to say goodbye to academics. 
And faced many difficult conversations. 

She shared with her family that as much as she loved themshe was going to follow her dream and passion to be a hair stylist.

Lesson #1 – Sometimes you have to walk the path alone.  Sometimes the path gets darker and more challenging, before it gets easy.  It will be worth it.  


Kimiko’s story is painful and strikingly honest.  It’s also one that I know isn’t only Kimiko’s.
Many of the men and women I know have grown up with similar messages.  Well-intentioned families, teachers and even friends tell us “you can be whatever you want to be”.   

But as soon as we step away from the classic “acceptable”and “stable” jobs, fearful comments and ominous warnings instantly begin. 

This is incredibly difficult.  As children, we want our parent's approval. As we grow up, we want our family and friends to support us.  To go against their cautions and wishes is counter to most of what we’ve been brought up doing. 
She persisted despite their growing fears for her.  One family member even told her “you’re going to be living in the gutter if you have that job.”  
For Kimiko, she knew her family’s worries and anxieties existed because they didn’t understand the business.  But she DID understand the business.  Kimiko knew her passion and creativity meant she would be successful!  She wasn’t worried about not making it.  Instead, she focused on following her dreams and has become a mega-successful hair stylist.  

Lesson #2 – People will project their fears onto you.  While they might mean well, know yourself enough to know if your fears are your own… or someone else’s. 

Kimiko wanted to be a hairstylist enough that she was willing to go through the challenges, the financial struggle, and family turmoil because it would be worth it.
For Kimiko, hair styling is about art. It’s about growing a business. It’s about connecting with people and genuinely making them happy.   It’s about relationships. 

And that is what she wanted deeply for herself – to have fun and make others happy.  

Lesson #3 – Your desire for your dreams has to be greater than your fear of taking a risk.

As you’re probably realizing, Kimiko is a deeply insightful, strong and intelligent woman (on top of being an amazing stylist).  Her wisdom is inspiring and beautiful. 
What Kimiko knows for sure:

  • Our choices are ultimately what define our personality. What we choose to do and our actions, are our soul being bare to the world.   Your words and what you say is one thing, but your actions are ultimately a reflection of your true colors.  So take action to create the live you want and need!


  • Societal pressures and expectations will shape us, without us even realizing it.   But your life belongs to you.  Get clear on what you want and be true to that.


  • Careers are an important part of our lives.  It’s what we do for 30 - 50 hours a week.  And the right career is nourishing. It feeds you (pay check, stomach, and soul).


  • Historically, femininity has too often been about being docile, submissive, gentle, quiet and small.  But now, there’s a chance (a need!) for women to be present, have a voice, and stand up.  It’s time for women to show the world who we are. 


  • Strength is having no regrets and no shame in what you believe in.”  Kimiko strongly believes that there are times that the situations we are in are uncomfortable. The setting hits a prickly nerve.  With friends or family, this is even harder - it’s icky, gross, nitty and gritty. And necessary.  Stick with what you believe in – it is the definition of strength.

Are you wondering how you could possibly create a career you love?
Here’s Kimiko’s advice for getting success on your terms:

  • Have a constant pursuit of happiness.  Happiness doesn’t come to you automatically.  Make it a mindful effort to chase and explore what brings you joy and delight.  It’s why we’re here on this planet.


  • Always be reflecting and growing.    There are so many people who live life on autopilot and end up drifting wherever life takes them.  Don’t do that. Be consciously living and critically making choices to take advantage of this short, beautiful life you have been given.


  • Learn. All the time.  Every part of your journey is building you to get you where you need to go.  It all happens for a reason and it will pay off. 


  • Take risks and make mistakes. Sometimes you get hurt. Sometimes you fall down pretty bad.  No risk, no glory. 


  • It’s not too late.  Even if you have no idea what it is you want.  If you know you’re not loving what you’re doing, take the first step. Be ok without knowing and get curious about yourself and what’s next for you.


I’m so honoured to share Kimiko’s story.  I am deeply grateful to her for opening up her soul and sharing her story with all of us.

I am humbled by her authenticity.  But most of all, I KNOW her story is going to resonate for so many of you.  




Her courage is palpable. 

She's courageous for standing her ground.
She's courageous for taking a risk.
She's courageous for following her passion.
She's courageous for sharing her story with us.
She's courageous for opening up to help you.

My hope is that you will also be inspired by Kimiko’s courage
My biggest wish for you is that if you are in a place in your career that you aren't happy, you start taking the steps to find joy in what you do. Today.  
My longing is that you explore your deepest desires and give yourself permission to want more. 

My dream for you is that you find the courage within yourself to create the life that you want. 
Because your life DOES belong to you.  To you and you alone. 
And you deserve to design your beautiful life into the one that you really, truly, madly, courageously and deeply want.

Thank you Kimiko, for your huge gift - reminding all of us that courage and strength pay off with huge bonuses of joy, purpose, and passion.
 - Lisa
Success Coach


PS.  My hair is also eternally grateful that you, Kimiko, a) followed your heart and b) I found you.  
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I never thought I'd admit this


Just over a month ago, I challenged you to fail.   (For those of you who are new to me, you can find the post  here.)


I’m going to be honest with you.  The thought of failure makes me uncomfortable.



I want to be successful.  I want you to be successful too. I'm guessing you do too.



For me, failing isn’t easy.



This sounds entitled, but I’ve been successful a lot in my life.



I’m grateful.  I’ve been fortunate.  And I’ve worked damn hard.



But success has made me scared of failing.  



(And duh, I’m a Success Coach.  So what’s that got to do with failure?)



I realized a month ago that my fear of failure was killing my creativity.  It was so strong that it was holding me back from the work that I love, and the mission I’m on.



I decided enough was enough.



My belief that we can have it all – success on our terms – is WAYYY more important than my fear.



So, I decided to shift my perspective about fear.  In August, I committed – and I asked you to join me – to redefine failure.



Together (and with some inspiration from our friend Sara Blakely in her video here), we agreed to celebrate our failures for the next month.



We redefined failure together. 



Here’s what I know to be true – and set out to prove:



Failure is not trying.



Failure is not putting yourself out there.



Failure is being too afraid to do something.



Failure is not starting the business you want to.



Failure is not trying out for the play you want to be in.



Failure is not applying for the job you want, even if you think it’s out of your reach.



Failure is not asking for the promotion or raise you believe you deserve.



Failure is not writing and sharing what you believe will help others.




So last month, I played to fail.



Because if I was failing, at least I was trying. 



Truth be told, this is a bit awkward for me.  But, in true celebration spirit, I can’t wait to tell you how I failed.  Here’s just a few examples:



  • I applied to sit on two separate committees for the development of a new Vancouver neighborhood.  I was rejected from both. 


  • I tried to set up blogs to automate before I left for vacation and I didn’t.  #vacationfail


  • I sent out videos to you and one had a privacy setting so you couldn’t even watch it!  Whoops.


  • My very first Facebook ad was disapproved. Bah.


  • When my Facebook ads were finally approved, they bombed.  Guess there’s more than I thought to this whole marketing thing…


  • My coach challenged me to get three new clients in a week.  I only got one.  #lovetheoneIgot


  • My landing page was ineffective.  For those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, my success rate was about half of the average


  • I was supposed to record three videos and I fully chicken-sh*tted out. 


  • I bought a lottery dream home ticket and really, truly, thought I could use “the Secret” to win.  Spoiler Alert:  We do not have a new dream home.


  • I missed 3 “planned” workouts.  Uhh… let’s just say my workout clothes got lost… uhh… in my bed… where I was searching for them, not sleeping… I swear… zzzz…zzzz.



Yup.  That’s a whole lot of failure in just one month.



I’ve been reflecting on these failures.  Working on extracting the lessons.  Luckily, I have a coach (two actually!) so I got coaching on my failure. 



I shared with my coach that focusing on failing was a bit drab to me and I was feeling more like a failure, than I felt like celebrating



It was a bit depressing.  I prefer to be positive, rah-rah-rah-ey and the like.  I wanted a champagne-and-cake-kind-of-celebration, which is much more my style.



And my coach explained something extremely profound to me.



He said “Failing has made you.”




Suddenly it clicked.




I f-ing love that.




Failing has made me.



In just one month, I have changed. With every failure, I’ve evolved.



Failing has made me the tenacious woman I am today.



Failing has made me realize that being rejected hurts for about 20 minutes.  Then I get over it.



Failing has made me excited to try because I never know what I just might get (like a dream home, or featured on the Huffington Post – which actually did happen!)



Failing has moved me forward in my business.



Failing has brought me new, inspiring clients to work with.



Failing has gotten me invited to speak at dream-team events.



And failing has taught me.



Failing has taught me about best practices with Facebook ads. With Youtube settings.  With visualizations.



Failing has taught me about myself. 



This Lisa is more resilient for trying.



This Lisa does make a difference in people’s lives, regardless of failure.



In fact, this Lisa makes a difference because of her failure.



My writing is being shared with people who need it.



People who believe in my mission are hiring me to speak to their groups to inspire them.



I am changing lives.



Even better than this just being about me and my journey?  Having failure on my mind has opened me up to some beautiful conversations with others about failure.  



Let’s be honest:  no-one talks about failure voluntarily. 



Most of us don’t share our missed targets, or rejected statuses on social media.  Often, we only see the best, most beautifully curated version of someone.



But I’ve discovered, that all of us go through hard times (yes, duh).  And even more shocking – sharing our own challenges opens the door for the person next to us to embrace challenges too. 



It has been humbling and reassuring to be able to share my challenges with friends, clients and collaborators.  In return, they have opened up to me and shared that the amazing business I see them running today had its share of struggles. 



That the first few executive jobs they applied for, they didn’t get.  



That sometimes they kissed a few frogs before they found their prince (who hasn’t?!).



There are always ups and downs.



Even the most successful people you see have had to overcome challenges.



You are not successful despite failure – you become successful through failure.  



I agreed to try on this new definition and perspective of failure for a month.  And I’m so glad I did. 




I’m so ecstatic about the fact that I failed forward, that it’s not over for me!  It’s a reminder I’m setting for myself each month to celebrate what I failed.  (Literally, I’m setting a reminder in my calendar. You should too!).



Heck - maybe I'll start calling myself a "Failure Coach" instead of a "Success Coach"!  


Then again.  Maybe not. 



If you also failed this month, I’d love to hear from you!  Tell me what you failed at. Tell me what you learned.



Share with me (and the world) who failing has made you.



Because failing is not the same as failed or failure.  It’s not permanent.  It’s not tattooed to your forehead for all the world to see.



What is permanent is your growth.



And what the world sees is your courage.



Your vulnerability.



Your authenticity.



Your brave, daring, audacious self that’s jumping back from challenges, and continuing to show the world who you really are.



Keep failing. Keep learning. Keep getting up.  



Keep allowing failure to create the wonderful, driven, empowered human you are becoming each day.



The new and improved, failing,


 - Lisa

Success/Failure Coach


 PS. Ironically, as I made breakfast and finished writing this, I started listening to Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong  (and I love it already!).  I immediately realized it is ALL about failing!  What?! Where was this book in August?! 


I did a quick search and here’s what Google says about the book: “The physics of vulnerability is simple: If we are brave enough often enough, we will fall.

This is a book about what it takes to get back up and how owning our stories of disappointment, failure, and heartbreak gives us the power to write a daring new ending.

Struggle can be our greatest call to courage and Rising Strong, our clearest path to deeper meaning, wisdom and hope.”



I’m on it. I’m reading Rising Strong this next month as I find ways to own my story and create a new beginning for myself.  If you want to join me, check out her book Rising Strong  or click on the book below.