Tag Archives: Dreams

3 Reasons We Have to Learn to Say No


I’ll admit that there was a time when saying no was a problem for me. As a chronic people pleaser, I was always saying yes to things I should have been saying no to. It led to overwhelm, frustration and often times, resentment. This is why I feel pretty confident in sharing these three reasons why we have to learn to say no.

  1. You risk becoming a bitter b-tch

When we don’t have boundaries, there are always going to be people who take advantage of the situation. If you don’t want to feel like you’re constantly being treated like a doormat, you’re going to have to put on your big girl panties and start saying no. Sure it will feel uncomfortable at first, but if you don’t learn how to say no soon, you’re going to end up bitter and resentful. When it gets to this point you run the risk of saying no to things you should actually be saying yes to.

  1. There’s always someone else who will say yes

Many times we choose to say yes because we worry that if we don’t the person asking will be left stranded. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re playing the martyr in a situation like this. We feel like we have to sacrifice our time and do what’s asked of us because if we don’t the world will come to a complete standstill. I hate to be the one to break it to you, but as wonderfully special as you are, you cannot possibly be the only go-to person for every favour request. Believe me when I say that even if you say no, it will get done – eventually 🙂

  1. You’ve got your own empire to build!

I’m sure you have your own list of things to accomplish, goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to make a reality. If you spend all your time taking care of everyone else’s needs, when do you find the time to get the things that are important to you done? You’ve got to find a way to balance it all. If you haven’t reviewed your priorities lately, then there’s no time like the present! If we don’t identify what’s important to us, then we don’t know where we should be focusing our time and energy. When we lack focus, it’s so much easier to get pulled in many different directions, none of them serving our needs in any way.

It’s okay to say no sometimes. Know that NO can actually be a full and complete sentence. You don’t have to give an explanation or justify it. If you feel you need to, go ahead. I’ll give you this warning though – no matter what the explanation is; there will be those that don’t want to hear it. Especially those who are used to you saying yes all the time. Some will even consider this change in behaviour a bit selfish. The good news is that most will respect you for it in the long run and your relationships will benefit as well. Like TD Jakes says, “greatness is contagious”. You might as well focus on your greatness so that you can lift those around you to the same level. If you don’t have the time to focus on you, how will you ever become the rising tide that lifts all boats?

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution. She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!






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How to Network when Networking isn’t your thing


You’ve opened your own business. You have hopes and dreams of hitting the big time or maybe you just have a vision, values and a commitment to a product that you want to share with the world. The problem is – you’re just not that comfortable sharing. You believe in your product and that YOU are the subject matter expert but talking to others makes you tremble in your boots. How do you overcome this challenge and get out there to meet, greet and network?

It all boils down to this: GET REAL and BE R.E.A.L.! (Be Realistic & Reasonable, Manage your Expectations, Develop a positive Attitude & Love what you do!) Too many of us spend far too long trying to be something that we’re not. If networking isn’t a strength, that’s fine. Some of us are experts at writing words and some are great at speaking them. Either way, OWN who you are and be proud of it. This one act alone will help boost your confidence. Getting R.E.A.L. is about acknowledging who you are and what strengths you have, then setting targets that are reasonable and realistic. When it comes to networking these first two elements are key: Be Reasonable and Realistic about your Expectations. If you’re a wallflower, don’t schedule a conference with over 200+ attendees as your first venture into networking. Rather, find something local, check in with your Chamber of Commerce or Small Business Enterprise Centre and connect with like-minded local entrepreneurs where there may only be 12-15 people in the room. Log in to “MeetUp” and search for groups that are within your specific market and consider attending one of these meetings just to observe how others in your field interact. If you work up the courage to engage even one person in conversation, distribute a business card or two, consider that the first step in your successful networking career! There are also many organizations that cater exclusively to networking for women and while cutting off 50% of your potential clientele is not a good long-term strategy, it is an excellent place to start and feel comfortable – in a nurturing all female environment. Before heading out the door on your first attempt, practice on family members, heck speak to the family dog or sit hubby or your best friend down on the couch and practice your pitch on them until it sounds right. Writing something down vs. saying it “in your out loud voice” are often two entirely different things so don’t just write a great intro for yourself, practice saying it out loud to see how it sounds.

Along with Reasonable and Realistic, make your first few networking experiences memorable by adopting a positive Attitude. This might sound simplistic but if you’re nervous going in it will show. Attitude isn’t just about the words you choose it’s how you carry yourself and the face you show to the world. Stand tall, put a smile on your face, project a positive attitude out into the room and you will receive it in return. Put your cell phone away and don’t rely on it as a crutch. I once watched a women at a networking event as she arrived, “reading” email messages, checked in, found a seat and cell phone still in hand, never looked up once. As others joined her table she would glance up briefly and smile but no words were exchanged. I purposefully approached to chat with her and it was obvious she was very nervous. I understand but never looking up and attempting to make eye contact or engage with others won’t help improve your networking skills. No doubt her overall impression of that networking event wasn’t positive but she did nothing to help herself. A positive “I can do this” attitude while you are at an event will help carry you through the event.

For women networking here are some other practical tips:

  • Ditch the purse or invest in a crossbody bag that keeps you hands free.
  • Find a small, easily opened case to hold your business cards and in which to store those you receive.
  • Put your cell phone away – unless it’s your kid calling from school or jail chances are you don’t need to take that call. Cell phones are a distraction and make it too easy for you to appear busy and not focused on the reason for attending in the first place.
  • Likewise – stash your coat, your nerves will keep you warm enough!
  • Networking isn’t about the coffee – make your goal to meet people first then suggest to someone you’ve just met “let’s grab a coffee and find a table.” It’s a great way to extend a conversation rather than fumbling to balance that coffee and extend your hand for a handshake when you are first introduced.
  • If you are more comfortable attending your first couple of events with another person that’s fine but agree to split up when you arrive. Maintain eye contact for mutual support and you can always join up later to sit together. You’ll have the confidence of knowing someone is there with you but the opportunity to meet other people too. You might even double your odds if you both meet others and mutually share the contacts and introductions you’ve just made!
  • Recently, someone suggested to me that you make a specific goal for yourself like “Meet three people” or “Exchange 4 business cards” and then you can leave. Having an objective before you head into the event will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment when you achieve it.

Finally, you hear a great deal about passion these days. That is – hopefully, if you are a small business entrepreneur trying to grow your business, you LOVE what you do. If you love what you do your passion will shine through and that’s going to help you in terms of your positive mental attitude and your confidence level when walking into a room for networking purposes. Here is the most important tip – if you LOVE what you do, fine-tune your introduction so your love, commitment and passion shines through. We’ve talked in this space before about your “pitch” or “elevator speech” or introduction. Whatever you call it, it will only work for you if it truly resonates and you are comfortable both saying it and believing it. In my Communications Course I talk a lot about the rule of 10 and this can be applied to your introduction as well as any other areas of your business. Take the time to identify the top ten words that best describe your business and what it is you want to convey to potential clients. Once those words are on paper, play around with them to create one short sentence that acts as a great introduction of yourself and your business. Most importantly – it should be a sentence that invites and encourages conversation through questions. I learned a similar technique several years ago while attending an event hosted by The Leadership Forum in Caledon. Conversation engages and encourages and is so much better then throwing a business card at someone hoping it sticks. Engaging in a great conversation is what just might lead to future business.

In the end, being R.E.A.L. about who you are will allow your integrity to show. Trust and integrity are an enormous part of why someone chooses to do business with you. If you are not great at walking into a room – that’s fine – practice some of these tips and be passionate about what you do and that will help significantly. Maybe even admit your fears when you’re having a chat – chances are, the person you’re speaking with might be feeling the exact same way!

As Owner and Principal partner of “Writing Right For You” Sheralyn is a Communications Strategist – working together with entrepreneurs to maximize profit through effective use of the written word. Looking for web content that works, blog articles that engage or communications strategies that help you get noticed?  Contact Sheralyn today. Sheralyn is also the mother of two children now entering the “terrible and terrific teens” and spends her free time volunteering for several non-profit organizations.

Sheralyn Roman B.A., B.Ed.

Writing Right For You

Communications Strategies that help you GET TO THE POINT!

416-420-9415 Cell/Business


LinkedIn / Facebook / www.writingrightforyou.weebly.com

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Dreams vs. Goals


Can you believe that there are just over 5 weeks left in 2013?  I don’t know about you, but time seems to just keep speeding up.  It feels like just a few months ago I was ringing in the New Year with friends and loved ones!  As we head into the final stretch, now’s as good a time as any to review our accomplishments for the year.

Do you have a long list of things you wanted to achieve back in January that still remain undone?  If so, then it’s time to consider why you didn’t make the progress you wanted to this year.  Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, but we lose focus as the year continues.  Think about how packed gyms are in January and how the numbers start dwindling in February.  Why do we lose momentum so quickly?

One of the reasons is because we don’t see the immediate results we desire.  We live in a world where instant gratification has become the norm.  When we don’t see the results we want as quickly as we want, we become discouraged.  Another reason is the fact that we haven’t put a plan in place to achieve our goals.  I’m sure we’ve all heard it said that a goal without a plan is just a dream.  Without a strategy to achieve our goals, it is easy to get distracted and/or discouraged.

Plans don’t have to be static.  The most effective plans evolve as we put them into action.  When we take action on the goals we want to achieve, we learn new things and often encounter unexpected outcomes and challenges.  The plan needs to be flexible if our goals are to become a reality.  Remember to focus on what you want to achieve and not be too stuck on how you think it should happen.  It’s impossible to know all of the avenues that exist to take you to the realization of your goal.  Keep an open mind and you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves to you!

As we get closer to the end of the year, now is a great time to start thinking about your goals for the New Year and develop the plan to make them a reality.  Consider what you want to achieve in all areas of your life: personal, career & education, health & wellness, relationships, financial, and contribution (charity/giving back).   Break them down into short, medium and long-term goals and keep track of your progress at regular intervals throughout the year.  As you see the progress you are making, you will be more motivated to keep going.   Your goals can become a reality; you just have to be committed to making them happen!

If you’d like to get a head start on 2014, join me for my Jump Start Your Year workshop on December 1st.

Here’s to making 2014 your best year yet!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution.She is working on her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve!


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Creating The Perfect Picture


Many of us have developed idealistic pictures of our lives.  I remember seeing myself as a popular chick in the “in” crowd with incredible long dark hair.  I have the perfect cheerleader body and was full of pep and vigor.  All the girls wanted to be my friends and all the jocks wanted to date me.  Later I decided I would make an incredible rock star.  I was going to change my name to something exotic, like Monica. That’s right!  I thought the name Monica was exotic!  Later I thought I was going to meet a prince who would love me and take care of me and our family forever.

I created a vision and then sadly found myself disappointed over and over.  I was far from popular and labelled myself a loner.  I was okay with that because that means I didn’t have to be disappointed anymore. I cannot hold a tune and I certainly do not have the cheerleader pep!  What happened to me?

Creating a vision is healthy and creating a positive and realistic goal is important.  I did neither. I simply dreamed for things to come true.  I did nothing to set my dreams into action.

So now I write out my dreams.  Who I want to become; how I want to accomplish this; when I want to have this happen.  I am specific! I have a detailed outline of the entire plan. This next part is VERY important!


Everyday do something to move towards your purpose. In business it may be cold calling or getting caught up on your administration or networking and connecting with others that may be great contacts for you and your business.  In your personal life it could be setting a daily menu to ensure healthy eating, setting your organizer to have quality days and times with your family or simply setting alone time to reinvigorate yourself.

Be realistic and know that wanting to make a huge change in your life could take a long time and to set timeframes to ensure your success. Also be brave enough to push yourself so that you don’t lose sight of your end result.

YOU CHOOSE!  You get to set your dreams and turn them into an action plan!  I look forward to hearing all your great accomplishments.

Anna Ottaviani is a Board Certified NLP Master Practitioner & Master Coach, Board Certified Master Hypnotherapist,Creating Your Future® , Time Line® Therapist Practitioner and Reiki Master. Her methods are unique and tailored to each individual client. She can be reached at www.sucessfullyyou.ca or by phone at 289-221-5772. You can follow her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/successfullyyou?ref=ts&fref=ts

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