To introduce myself: I’m Veronica. I’m probably just like you, or similar. Solo mom with a full time job and a small business coaching side hustle. Massive enjoy-er of life. Dating an incredible guy (who shall be called Mr. Turbo) who has his own munchkin, a year apart from mine (7&8). Gardener. Painter. Procrastinator. Fully human (read: fully imperfect). And striving, every day.

Recently I’ve been realizing that building the coaching business to the point I can transition to it full time would require me to give up more sleep than I’m willing to lose, so I need to create a way to bring in passive income. The thing that lights me up about coaching is working directly with people in small groups or one-on-one, so building courses to mass-market isn’t the path I want to take – at least not right now. 

Also, I’m one of those ‘multipassionate’ nutcases who has about eighty things that I could imagine myself doing for the rest of my life. All at once. ALL OF THEM. And somehow I like to convince myself that I can.

Welcome to the entrepreneurial soul, friends. If you’re anything like me, you feel pulled in multiple directions all the time and either just drop projects without completing them or run in every direction at once. Hey, sometimes you’re even successful! But it takes some serious dedication to get yourself to focus on one or just a few things to reach that success. That’s my problem, too.

The following is going to be a documentation of my foibles, complete fuck-ups, doubt, resignation, fear, procrastination, guilt, shame, ice cream binges, and avoidance. It will also be a chronicle of success.  Yes, ALL OF THOSE THINGS are necessary to success. And I’m going to show you how.

This, friends, is how a small business coach builds a business.



Side note: I haven’t figured out how to get to the text editor of my main blog posts page, so they all appear in most-recent-first order. I can figure out the shortcode to get them in ascending order but I don’t know where to put it!

Help! 😀

(If you want it in chronological order, read it bottom to top. Sorry!)


For no-nonsense small business coaching and tools, check out

Professional Catalyst

For houseplant care and nonsense, check out the in-progress

Oh Happy Plants!

New post, new year, new direction!

Welcome back, and happy 2020! It’s been a season of rapid, intense growth for me – similar to the butterfly that goes into a cocoon and dissolves into goo before emerging victorious, I stuck my head into my projects for a few months. BIG updates included  🙂

Once in a while I offer a free little coaching brainstorm (or info chat for someone looking to become a coach) to a member of the Don’t Keep Your Day Job FB group. Feel free to reach out to me via that group if you’d like to spitball ideas about small business.

Yesterday I spoke with a woman in Colorado who wants to become a coach in a specific niche and had some questions. When I told her about my path through the coaching world, she was excited and relieved to hear that I’ve been able to navigate an evolving coaching career while learning, growing, and adapting to my clients’ needs. It sounded like she had a fear of choosing a niche and being overly committed to it. She doesn’t want to be stuck – and you probably don’t, either!

So: here’s your permission.


You’re not stuck, and you have all the space to grow. Take it and do whatever you want – but there are a few things to keep in mind so you don’t go completely mad.

Start with something attainable now.

Whatever your industry, I think it’s important to start with something you can do. Choose a ‘product’ that’s a bit of a stretch – you always want to be learning – but make it attainable. In his book Drive, Daniel Pink calls this sort of thing a “Goldilocks task” – neither too easy (boring) or too hard (overwhelming). You should also be sure the product suits you. For example, when I became a coach (in…2011? Has it really been that long?!?) I was aware of a ton of fluff on the market – coaches that wanted to chat with you about manifestation and mindset all day, and give you exercises centered around improving those things. While there’s definitely space for that, it’s not my style to focus on. I want concrete results. So when I started out, I marketed myself as an accountability coach rather than a general life coach.

Always be learning.

This one is self-explanatory, to a degree. I definitely mean active learning – seeking out books, podcasts, mentors, etc. Also, think about how you approach life. Are you curious when you come up against obstacles in your business? Do you explore the rabbit holes you fall into, or avoid them altogether? Constant learning will help you avoid stagnation in your business on an emotional level, and it will also help you adapt to the market as it changes. Keep it up!

Adapt and grow.

About 3 years after I started I had a client who had good results with personal transitions and wanted to switch the focus to professional accountability. I had continued to learn about human motivation and started to niche it down into the professional sphere. For a few years I worked with clients reaching for goals both personally and professionally, providing support and accountability. Then, after learning more and more about business for my own purposes, I was approached by someone who wanted to start a small service business.

Be prepared to jump on opportunity when it arrives.

This was exactly where I wanted to be. As soon as I made the shift it felt entirely natural, and I started marketing more toward this crowd. I threw myself into learning with even more enthusiasm – this is a topic that’s intensely interesting to me. Here’s some woo-hoo-ery: as soon as I committed myself to the shift, I had more small business clients come out of the woodwork, ready to get started. Weird, but it happens. Your customers are waiting for you. Go do the thing.

The time to push yourself will arrive. Get scared – and do it anyway.

So here I am – working with small business owners for several years and now building another side business with the knowledge I’ve picked up from that and my day job. I’ve also been learning more about interpersonal communication and  psychology. I apply it to marketing within small business, but all of last year I kept having ideas about how to apply these same marketing/psych ideas within larger organizations to improve employee engagement, workplace communication, and productivity/profitability. I also have experience turning toxic workplaces into good relationships (change yourself and they have to adapt!), and I want to share it because it’s needed in the world.

Get used to talking about your venture!

Then, in December, one of the clients from my day job approached me about helping them with a women’s event at the end of January. They were looking for someone to do a growth-oriented activity with plants, and thought of Oh Happy Plants. Btw, when people ask you what’s up, TALK ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. Get used to it – you never know what someone else may be able to bring to the table. Sometimes you’ll clarify your ideas when you say them aloud, sometimes others will have something to add, but at the very least you’re going to get over the embarrassment/anxiety/imposter syndrome that comes with every new venture. Tell your coworkers, tell your clients, tell the checker in the grocery store. Don’t be crazy about it, but any time it’s appropriate, mention it. Drop one little bit of info – the other person’s reaction will tell you if you should go into it more.

Keep your creative hat on and your mind open.

So I have this fledgling tutorial business, right? We don’t do events. But I’m asked to do an event – and it dovetails with my other business perfectly (growth/change focus of event = coaching).

Here is the way to combine my businesses.

It’s profitable marketing and a way to be welcomed into a corporate space (bring a plant gift with brochures, give it to the receptionist for their desk – befriend the gatekeeper and they’ll spread the word!). It’s a way to get the Professional Catalyst name out there. And it’s exactly what I’ve been waiting for – I just couldn’t yet see it.

Do that scary thing.

So here I am – after spending a year working toward launch, I’m refocusing on the event space. Interim products for OHP will be house plant consultations, which I’ll farm out to a few of my co-workers. In the meantime, I’ll continue putting out free content and start putting out a ton of free videos, because my goal isn’t tutorial sales anymore – it’s using OHP as an attractant for corporate clients so I can land coaching clients.

What’s scary about that, you ask?

I need to invest in myself. I’ve been bootstrapping all of the learning within my coaching business, which is doable with small business coaching (and many other forms). I read 50+ books a year, listen to hundreds of hours of podcasts, and learn by doing – so every hour of coaching is opportunity for improvement.

That’s the long road, though. The short road is more expensive, but I’m dedicated to doing this the right way. So I’ll be investing in my development this spring and completing an executive coach certification program, and likely an organizational communication training (I’m really interested in the 5 Voices style and would like to be licensed to teach it).

Exciting? For sure. Terrifying? Also.

Time to lean in.

Go do the thing. Get started. And, like I told the woman from Colorado, DON’T QUIT. She mentioned that she’s aware of the masses of coaches who ‘failed’ and never talk about it, and I told her that the only difference between myself and those people is that I never stopped. I’ve changed and grown and adapted, but I’ve kept moving forward. That’s it.

Go get after it 🙂

Who’s the real villain?

Okay. The saga continues…

Mr. Racoony, a.k.a. Cuthbert, is completely MIA. He’s no longer able to get in and out of the crawlspace and must have found a new home. But! As we were trying to catch him, we met another local.

Meet Piglet.

Wee little Piglet is a possum, and probably the friendliest (or most miserable?) possum I’ve ever met. He’d been in this cage in the drizzle for I don’t know how long, and was pleading with me with his little possum-y eyes to be let out. I had no quarrel with him, so I complied, and he trundled away and hopped the back fence.

Since then I’ve learned two things: it’s possible to catch all manner of unintended things in a raccoon trap, and masked nighttime marauders don’t always rip apart your house to get into their hidey-hole after you block it up. We haven’t seen any evidence of Cuthbert the Raccoon since the day I surprised him.

So what the heck does this have to do with building a business? Two things!

Number 1: there’s ALWAYS something thumping around in your basement.

You can do a few things here:

  • Avoid dealing with it and allow it to impact your life (toward the end of the summer I didn’t quite know what was going on, thought something had maybe died under the house? Either way, it smelled bad and I wasn’t about to invite anyone over. This lasted an entire month before I did something about it).
  • Get all scared and run away, or burn the place to the ground (we all know someone who deals with their fears within relationships with the nuclear option. You’ve seen both of these, I guarantee it).
  • Effing DEAL WITH THE RASCAL and move on!

This last one is obviously the only one that has any logic to it. The first two are reactionary and driven solely by emotion. This isn’t brand new information though – this is something you’ve heard eight million times.

Still. Did you need to hear it again today?

If you’re anything like me, you keep overcoming fears only to find new ones. New level, new devil. What’s holding you back today? What’s your impulsive reaction to it – run? Blow it up? Ignore it?

What would it look like to deal with it – how hard will that be?

Is it hard because you’re scared? Why?

Now, what would it look like if this were easy?

Because sometimes all you need is a couple boards nailed to a hole in the ground; no stressing necessary 🙂

Progress is a pile of molasses

Most everyone will understand a piece of what I’m saying here. Forward progress in your business can be annoyingly slow and hard won.

I feel you.

Last weekend I was all set to do amazing things – then Wednesday I got some weird illness that totally wiped my energy (and strangely enough, it started in my ears of all places – no other sinus congestion, just feeling like I was underwater with intense dizziness to boot. Like an amusement park had taken up residence in my eardrums. Totally fun). So I made the blanket decision to do as much as my body would let me, and to take a LOT of naps. Then Sunday the flu set in big time – joint aches (like, in my TOES, even – everything in my body hurt!), chills/fever, sore throat, headache, the whole nine. So instead of working on my projects I was in bed at 7pm.

Another whole weekend gone, with just a few bits of progress to show for it.

Enter: Monday. I push myself to work, because there’s no one to cover for me and if I don’t do my job, it dies. My boss knows I’ll take care of things and also myself, which I end up doing – can barely stay awake on the road I’m so fatigued, so I wrap up what I absolutely have to accomplish and head home for a nap.

Nap complete, so I putter around and set up my growing area (the first of many, I’m sure). It’s just a wire rack in front of a window with an articulatable grow light clipped on one side.

I was going to put in a photo of it but WordPress isn’t uploading the file. Moving on; I don’t have time for this crap!

Next thing: as the file was wasn’t uploading, I discovered who my houseguest is! The creature living in my crawlspace is none other than a massive raccoon. It actually makes some pretty cute noises. I’ll name him Cuthbert, because I need to know who to address the eviction notice to (will be buying a big ol’ raccoon trap this afternoon!). Add that to the list of ridiculous nonsense that is my life.

Okay. Anyway. Back to the point. Slow as molasses. You want to know what else molasses has going for it?

It’s sticky as FUCK. And sticky is contagious.

Yep. Gets on absolutely everything until you wash anything remotely near the mess with hot water.  Why the hell is this relevant, though?

Because that’s your game.

Slow, sure. But you aren’t going to stop. And every little second you have enough energy to move your business forward, you take one little step. You’re obsessed with the idea and can’t stop thinking about it. You keep finding hurdles, but you approach them with a flamethrower, because jumping over every single one is for schmucks 😉 You have a million setbacks, but you keep moving forward.

Just a little bit of progress every day. That’s all it takes.

What will you do today?


Time for money? Or money for time?

Okay, some massive movement last week and this week. Two shifts in my thought processes to further my break from my upbringing and the story I had in my head about money.

Unsure if I mentioned it before, but this is what I was raised with:

  • One parent who believes that if a lot of money comes to a person easily, they must have done something immoral or psychologically damaging. This is less a judgment on the person as a belief in ‘the way society works.’
  • Another parent who is unwavering in the belief that all rich people are some kind of evil and can do no good (or at least that’s what I’m hearing lately).
  • A third who worked 8 days a week, completely nonstop, to care for a family on a shoestring budget.
  • Tons of examples of entrepreneurial endeavors, but none that really took off (i.e. the belief that while working for ourselves is the thing to strive for, it’s exceptionally hard and getting a job is the easier and more lucrative path).
  • LOADS of folks who live a simple, good, happy life and are also in constant struggle with money.

So there I was, up until 4-5 years ago, using this as my ‘story’ because I hadn’t broken it down and ejected it yet.

Enter: possibility.

What’s scarier than playing a small game all your life and never stretching yourself? Doing exactly that in full awareness of the possibilities available to you. So that’s where I started – I developed my awareness of possibility.  And I kept developing it until I got to where I am today, with the full awareness of how money works (it is a completely made-up thing based on an exchange of value, and value can be created from thin air, so money can too!). I’ve also grown my awareness of different styles of business, specifically two: the time-for-money equation, and the passive income equation. Add that to a strong marketing and psychology background and I feel completely unstoppable.

So, last week’s massive shift? A fabulous coach on the Don’t Keep Your Day Job FB group asked a question that I realized I couldn’t answer. She asked ‘What’s your target income?’ (or some version; I don’t remember the exact wording).

I realized I couldn’t answer.

Numbers were popping into my head, but they just felt wrong. What would it take in gross sales to cover all business expenses, taxes, insurance, and my day job’s income? Maybe $5k a month. But that number wasn’t anything close to my target.

What would it take for me to feel amazing about my progress with OHP? Something like $20k a month. Then I’d have plenty to help out my family, not to mention donate a fabulous amount to charities each month. But that still didn’t feel right.

An income target of $20,000 per month felt like a limiting belief.

So I reworded how I was thinking of my answer as a step; not a goal. After about five days of chewing on it, I realized that what felt good was “In five years I’ll be bringing in a million a year through all of the lines of business I create, with plans for expansion.”

25 year old Veronica would NEVER have sights this high. Hell, 33 year old Veronica wouldn’t either, without all the work I’ve done on my beliefs about money.

The next big thing I sorted out was the structure of my business. I’d been thinking about offering plant consultations, but that isn’t scalable if I do it myself.

So I made this rule for myself: Unless it provides value to all of my customers, I don’t work directly with individuals.

This will allow me to provide fabulous service, give people immense value, and add that ‘personal touch’ all while serving my broader customer base. It will allow me to help folks solve their plant-related problems and really believe in their ability to grow things. And I’ll feel great about every exchange – not like I just traded time I can never get back for a couple hundred bucks.

Remember, money is renewable. Time is not.

This is how I explain it to my son: it’s smart to trade time for money, as long as you’re buying your time back. In our future, that will mean hiring someone for housekeeping and yard work. It’ll mean hiring out our grocery shopping and meal prep.

Trading time for money in the other direction, though? We avoid this.  Even if you’re making a base rate of $400/hr as a business coach. There’s a cap on that income, because no matter how hard you work, the length of the day stays the same.

My challenge to you:

How are your beliefs about ‘how things work’ holding you back?

How could you structure your business to provide IMMENSE value with less work?


Get after those limiting beliefs. Your life depends on it 🙂


This was me this morning, looking for something to occupy my time that wasn’t building the slide deck.

I found a ‘road block’ in the form of an idea I was attached to, but didn’t know how to execute. I felt stuck. I felt swamped with all the learning-of-software that I know I’m perfectly capable of, but this one more piece of software is massively daunting, and…

…then I realized that I don’t actually need to use it!

That idea was WAY more complicated than it needed to be, and I get to throw it out if I need to – but no matter what, it doesn’t get to stall my progress. So I’m sitting there reaching for something else to pretend to work on and I slap myself silly (verbally) because I DON’T GET TO DO THAT.

What’s the ‘hard thing’ that you’re avoiding?

Stop telling yourself the story about how it’s so freaking hard and either figure out how to simplify, or just:


After the mental shakedown I got to work, knocked out some scriptwriting and created a few more slides, all the while kicking ass in the kitchen by braising chicken to make soup out of tonight.

I call that a delicious day 🙂


So, first: stop fucking around already. Do the hard thing you’re avoiding. You have zero permission for anything else 😉

Next: right now I’m at my computer right before bed because I like to open the windows I intend to work on before I’m bleary-eyed and noncommittal in my pre-coffeed state at 5am. Give me a blank window, I’ll start doing garbage online and pretend I’m working.

If I sit down and my script and slide deck are in front of me, though, where will I hide? I mean, the slide deck is LOOKING AT ME. Can’t get away; it’s like Sauron’s eye or some crap. Gotta just get to it.



Go do the thing!

Never accept defeat (or difficulty)!

Alright, the start of last weekend had me avoiding my project and instead getting mired in the weeds of stupid Google add-ons.

Stupid add-ons that didn’t work.

I found out that not only is Google Slides absolute GARBAGE for creating a slide deck, it comes with 3 font options, no way to upload your own fonts, and their add-on (extensis fonts) wasn’t adding on. It’d tack itself on to Docs, but not Slides. So I’m sitting there with this fabulous option in front of me if I want brand cohesion: Type everything out in Docs, then copy and paste to sheets.

Fuck. That. Noise.

The beautiful thing about the world today is that near every piece of software you can even think of needing has already been created! The other beautiful thing?

If you build your pack of fellow entrepreneurs, they’ll expose you to fantastic solutions to things – completely on accident!

Enter: Canva.

At the meeting Sunday, one of these women asked about ‘that app for creating Instagram posts.’ Another said Canva, and I was like “that’s what Amy Porterfield uses!”  I had it buried in my list of software to check out, because Instagram will be my main social media tool for Oh Happy Plants.

Then Monday evening I checked it out (read: was avoiding my slide deck because it was hard/frustrating/stuck), realized that it solves ALL OF MY PROBLEMS WITH SLIDE DECKS, including the ability to import fonts, create branded color sets, etc. Plus the magical social media creation tools.

Canva, take my money!

Now I’m creating gorgeous slides, IG posts, and visuals for Facebook. And it’s so freakin’ easy!  It’s even fun!

This is a great time to remind myself that this business is going to feel good. I knew that at the start because it’s based on a serious passion (obsession?), and throughout it keeps drawing me back in. The ideas keep pouring out, and they’re all useful to move me forward (and if you’re an entrepreneur, you know about having too many ideas and not being able to use most of them!).

So I’d like to ask you: what if all of the work you do in your business was TOTALLY EXCITING? How would that feel?

You can make that reality!

Question time – get out your journal!

What are you stuck on right now? List everything, then address each separately.

Does the underlying project light you up?
If not, do you have to do it?
What else could you do to get the same result?

If the project does light you up but you’re still feeling resistance, you probably have a tool or process issue.  How could you change your actions to make this feel better?

Let’s insert Tim Ferriss’ favorite question:

What would this look like if it were easy?


Right now is a great time to think about writing down your processes. You, my friend, are NOT going to be doing everything in your business forever. You WILL hire an assistant at the very least, or a full staff, or build your business into an empire. That part is up to you. What you are NOT authorized to do is let this business become your new 9-5, complete with the obligations and daily slog through tasks that you really don’t enjoy.

So! How do you aim yourself toward freedom in these early stages?

Write out your processes! At this point I’m collecting all of the info for the physical tasks within my business (site maintenance, copywriting, course creation, social media curation, free content, etc) as well as all of the products I use (MailChimp, WordPress, Canva, Mighty Networks, Stripe, etc). I need to have all of this info in one place with an explanation of how I use each product, because I’ll need an easy way to loop my assistant in on everything.

I’ll also be creating screen-capture videos of my process for creating new content, setting up mass emails, etc, so that when I need to train I have the majority of the ‘training’ ready to go.

Also, I’ve decided that the main attributes in a hire will be the ability and willingness to learn and grow, as well as personality compatibility and ability to adapt to my writing style and adopt my brand aesthetic. Yeah, they need to be tech-savvy, but I don’t care about familiarity with the programs.

You may think it’s too early to think about this, but as soon as you start building your own plan for getting from idea to launch of your business, you need to build in the ability to hand it to someone else and take a vacation. Get your ego out of the way and build a business that doesn’t necessarily need you, or at least not full time.

Because we take vacations 🙂

Build Your Network

Good morning! Just a quick post this morning – the group of women entrepreneurs I pulled together had our first meeting yesterday afternoon, and it was FABULOUS. Four of us were able to make it (out of the FB group of eight-ish). I can already tell these women are going to be instrumental in my growing businesses. And with the group’s support, they’re going to take more chances and make more progress than they would otherwise.

If you want to join or start a group like this, DO IT. It will be instrumental to your business’ growth. There are so many growth-oriented, encouraging people in the world, and all it takes is YOU to pull them together.

How? Well, I used a dating app 🙂

No, seriously – Bumble has a ‘friend’ function. It’s pretty heteronormative, so if you’re a woman it’ll assume you’re looking for female friends and male friends if you’re a man. I was looking to create a group of women, specifically because women face different challenges in small business (here’s one example, if you’re unaware). But you do whatever you want. I certainly have no problem interacting with and leading groups of men; I simply needed female energy this time around.

Bumble (and Vina as well, an app specifically for women to find female friends) garnered me 2 fabulous ladies.

I also put out a call on Facebook to all of my friends, because I wouldn’t assume to know which ones might be interested in starting a small business. Enter 2 more.

The Don’t Keep Your Day Job FB group got me a few more (3, I think?), though they weren’t able to make it. Also, one of my new friends via the apps invited a woman she’d recently met, too!

Then I created a private FB group and we planned a date. Our first meeting was about getting to know each other, our business ideas, and brainstorming (and HOT DAMN was this fun!). We also set goals for the coming month.

Afterward, I threw together a doc on the FB group covering a bit of what we’d talked about (mostly just a description of each person’s business idea and their goals, so we have a record). The point of that is to make this accessible to all of us – we’re not all going to be able to line up our schedules every time, so we need a way to communicate with folks who miss it so they don’t feel totally out of the loop. My main goal is to make this a reasonable commitment and extremely valuable to all involved, and neither of those works if attendance is mandatory.

So that’s it! I would DEFINITELY encourage you to pursue this in your city. Get creative! Maybe your favorite coffee shop has a meeting room – post a sign by the register to gather people who already patronize this spot! Use Meetup and other apps to spread the word. This is completely do-able (I mean, I gathered this group while I was going half insane over the summer – it took almost zero work).

Remember, you’re the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you want to be an entrepreneur, are you getting the social support you need?


Good MORNING! It’s a gorgeous fall Saturday here in the Pacific Northwest – sunshine, perfect temp to go for a run or work outside, a sweet old kitten harassing me for snuggles, plenty of coffee, and…

Lobster pajama pants!

I also had a fabulously productive session with one of my clients last night, and we’re working together to figure out how I can assist clients in experiencing what I’m feeling about Oh Happy Plants.

The success of Oh Happy Plants
is inevitable.


Throughout this process I’ve felt this in my bones – that all I have to do is show up and do the work. That my future customers NEED me to do this, and that I’ve got a really strange, specific skill set, so I HAVE to do it. It’s odd for a person working a somewhat menial job in horticulture also be as well-rounded as I am in other areas, and my business coaching background has given me all the knowledge I need to do this well. It’s really strange for a massive go-getter to stick to aforementioned plant care job and get the 10,000+ hours of experience necessary to be really good at plant care. 

It certainly helps my mindset that I’ve encountered three types of people when talking about the business:

  1. My future customers (they’re INTENSELY ENTHUSIASTIC and say things like “Oh my GOD I need you! Maybe I’ll become a plant person after all; I really want to be!” These people are massive cheerleaders, and are usually exactly what I imagined my target demographic to be – professional women in their late 20s through early 40s; totally fun and spunky and full of life).
  2. Folks who don’t quite get it (the ‘it’ that they don’t get is why people would pay for information, because they wouldn’t – they believe money is a finite resource and are willing to spend their time to figure things out instead. The “I could build that myself in 200 hours, so why would I pay $200 for it?” type. These people aren’t my customers). Lovely folks, and I don’t listen to anything they say about OHP unless it actually serves my purpose. I know that time is finite and money a renewable resource that I can make out of thin air (more on this soon, because money is fake!) 😀
  3. People who maybe would buy a couple tutorials or consume the free material and who want me to succeed or think the idea is cool, but aren’t crazy about plants. Again, not quite my target market, but they’re lovely folks.

In examining all of this and trying to figure out why I’m so dead certain of success, I asked my client to describe the feedback he’s gotten when he talks about his business. He said about the same thing – there are enthusiastic folks who want to work with him, slight skeptics who are willing to try his product, and folks who just don’t understand. So: mostly positive feedback.

A note on feedback like this: if a large portion of your market research (i.e. “talking about your business to people who aren’t your mother’) comes up with ‘they don’t understand my product,’ then YOU are the problem, not them. Fix how you communicate!

Anyway! My client knows his product works and has proven it with many clients. And I’m sitting here like YOU HAVE TO DO THIS, IT’S AMAZING! Yet there’s still something in his way. So we’re talking about it more and this comes up: he knows that his product works but isn’t in a space of gratitude to the universe for giving him this skill to bring to the world. Instead, there’s some little fear under the surface that’s keeping him from being his full, incredible self. His ego is pointing to his past and telling him that trying again isn’t a good idea, because “what if…?” His ego is trying to keep him safe. But there’s an antidote to your ego’s fear.

Fear can’t exist in the same space as gratitude.


This is why gratitude journals are taking the market by storm. THIS SHIT WORKS. So we’re going to try it, and I’ll report back – if this works for him, it’ll work for you!

So my ‘prescription’ to combat ego-based fear for him is this:

  • Daily gratitude journal (like, 5 minutes or 10 sentences or whatever; just get in the headspace!)
  • Affirmations prior to approaching new clients (things like “I am SO grateful I get to heal these people!” and “The universe/god/whatever gave me this incredible way to bring people joy/healing/relief/insert-whatever-feeling-you-give-people and I am incredibly lucky!”)
  • Follow up questions to keep him in a growth mindset after approaching potential clients (questions to help him learn from and examine his approach, to keep him on a meta level and avoid being mired in any feelings of failure. The only failure is not doing the thing, people!)

Again, I’m going to work with him on this and report back. Egos are sneaky little devils, but remember:

The devil guards the gates to heaven.

And your ego-devil will lead you straight to those gates, if you decide to follow. You just have to get past the booby traps, and gratitude is like a jet-pack.

Get some 🙂

Let it sink!

That was an intensely hard weekend (stepmom’s memorial). I learned something valuable, though – not working doesn’t help. Making forward progress daily doesn’t need to be filed under ‘addiction’ if it keeps you sane 🙂

So! Onward!

Yesterday I built the outline of a slide deck. It’s not entirely finished – it’s 90% scripted; I need to put together slide content and text, then build the actual deck, obv. Still, it’s forward progress. And because I failed pretty quickly with the filming a week and a half ago, I made the turnaround quickly too.

Instead of being scared of failure, fail fast so you can fix it faster!

You likely have a project that really, REALLY isn’t working, but you’ve put so much time into it that you don’t want to give up on any existing work. This is an illustration of the sunk cost fallacy – a psych principal that makes us believe there’s some value into holding on to work that’s bad simply because we spent a lot of time on it. How to get around that really easily?

Hold on to the lesson.

If you’re making something new, whether that means painting a new piece, writing a new song, building a new process within your business, starting a new business entirely – hell, even trying a new way of training your dog! – get attached to the learning, not the intended product. Maybe the painting isn’t going as planned; it doesn’t look exactly like the thing you wanted to capture, but this piece over on the edge has some really cool surrealist qualities that you’d LOVE to explore further. BUT THAT WOULD RUIN YOUR ORIGINAL IDEA!!!


Ruin it. Go ahead – let it go. Go the new direction, because you’re in this for the process, not the product. Besides, if you’re actually that attached to the other thing you were doing, you can start again on a new canvas and do it better this time. You’ll get to the same point faster and without all the nonsense you’re experiencing right now.

Your new business isn’t gaining any traction, and you’ve spent a TON of time in market research and it should be working?

Should isn’t reality.

Right now is the time to take a good, hard look at what is actually going on here. With a buddy, if you’re delusional like the rest of us 😉  Maybe your research was off – or maybe everyone was saying “yeah, that product sounds fabulous, especially if you added ____” (did you listen to them?!?). Maybe your processes need a solid tweak. Maybe you’re trying to copy someone else instead of develop your own voice. Maybe your marketing message is off. Could be that it needs a language tweak, could be that you need to scrap the whole thing and develop a new message.

Whatever the issue, GET EXCITED, because you get to learn!

Learning has to be your north star. The physical bits of your business don’t actually matter – what matters is that you commit to the process, which means committing to your growth as a business owner. That project you can’t let go of? The one that’s keeping you from growing?

That’s your ego.

And it will keep you stuck until you release it. Right now, I could choose to be in a place of “I shot video for over an hour and struggled to figure out the import and did a ton of prep for it so I HAVE to use it!” Or I could look at the video, realize I didn’t do what I set out to do (namely, I’m not concise when I just wing it – something I know about myself, for fuck’s sake!), and decide that I may find some useable content in there but I need a better approach.

This right here is the ‘test’ phase anyway, and that’s a great concept for the start of your business. You’re in ‘test mode.’ This means that none of this matters except for what you learn from it.

The trick here is to stay in ‘test mode’ throughout the life of your business, at least in certain areas. If you can keep yourself here, you’ll avoid some cognitive entrenchment (read Epstein’s Range for more on that). You’ll also have more fun, because ‘test mode’ is all about playing with things so you can find out what works. It’ll put your ego on the back burner, because this isn’t serious – you’re just trying things, so it doesn’t need to be attached to outcome.

Where are you stuck right now? How could you put the project into ‘test mode’ and take it less seriously?


Alright. Last night I realized something that’s pretty obvious but gave me a better understanding of my mom’s side of the family.

Addiction doesn’t run in families.
Avoidant responses to trauma/hardship runs in families.

A natural response to pain is to withdraw from it – we all know that. Touch the hot stove, pull your hand back. We’ve an entire nervous system built to protect us. But did you know that emotional pain is processed on the same neural circuits as physical pain? So when you experience loss, “this hurts” is entirely accurate.

That’s the space I’m in right now – this hurts. I’m unsure if losing my stepmom is more emotionally complicated than losing a biological parent – probably not? I do know that it sucks to have such limited contact with my partner right now. I’m feeling pretty isolated, which makes me super aware of the potential for slipping into some kind of nonsense behavior. Grief isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ feeling – it’s an opening. Typically I welcome opening up to undiscovered things, but in this case there has been no one to catch me, and I’m exceptionally tired of catching myself. Hence the avoidance.

But! Sinking into this has given me a perspective for the pain others in my family have dealt with that led to addiction. That would be a very natural path for a person to take, in this situation – which is why I’ve been so vigilant.

Yep, I’ve used Xanax to get to sleep about half the nights since getting the prescription, maybe more. Making sure to never use it during the day, even last week when I was on the edge of a panic attack for four days straight. That’s not what it’s for. Have been leaning heavily on tension tamer tea on other nights, with the occasional hard kombucha. Very, very aware of the substances I’m reaching for.

Another substance to try to hide behind is food, and my eating habits over the past week haven’t been great. Food is one of the addictions that run in my mom’s family and I’m realizing that my normal relationship with it isn’t completely unhealthy, but isn’t intentional and thoughtful either. I could go that route and gain thirty pounds right now, if I shut my eyes and stuffed my feelings. But I won’t.

The one that’s relevant here, though, is this work that I’m doing. I’m filling my time so thoroughly that I rarely slow down. I’m getting little dopamine hits from posting blogs (though this does also help me to work through things). I’m listening to podcasts about launching courses and membership sites, and planning what both will include for OHP. I’m learning software, shooting video, taking photos of plants whenever I see a pretty one (or a problem, like the spider mites I caught on camera yesterday).

I’m chasing this dream like there’s a demon after me.

Because there is.


So here I am – realizing that another form of my avoidant behavior is one that I’ve allowed to take over my life already. You hear about people who are ‘workaholics’ and we joke about it, but this is actually what addiction looks like, folks. All addiction is avoidant behavior – avoiding dealing with the emotional charge of a situation (past or present) in your life.

Yes, I have all of my reasons at the ready. I’m building a better life for myself and my son, partner, his kiddo, hell – even my parents, because a higher income will allow me to be there for them in ways I haven’t in the past. I need to work for myself, and the world needs this work that I’m doing. I love plants and gravitate toward small business like the butter-side of your toast and your kitchen floor. So yeah, there are reasons.

But. If I hide my emotional crap behind my reasons, they become excuses.

I’m having a really hard time differentiating between the two right now, and I’m having a hard time thinking about continuing at the pace I’ve set for myself when it might not be the best idea for my emotional state right now.

Enter Veronica-the-coach. What would she say?


Alright. I’ll start there. Regular journaling – at least a page a day, for at least two weeks. Setting an alarm now (pro tip: never trust your memory, even if it’s good). Now, off to work.