Investing in Yourself is Good for Your Business

Throughout my career I had a burning desire to find out why some people,  although highly educated and with great work experience, couldn’t make  decisions or make actions that would lead them, their team or business to successful outcomes while, others, having the same qualifications, or  experience, or even less, could reach goals successfully. And of course, the  process of finding the right answer to my question started from taking a closer  notice to myself. What motivated me to achieve some goals while I felt  unwilling or demotivated to try to achieve others? The answer is quite simple,  under one condition; that we’re fully aware of what we want to do and why we  want it or why we are so resistant to even try to achieve a goal.

People are the core element of every business or organization and I believe that the most important investment entrepreneurs should make is in discovering who they are, what their true needs are and what role their fears and limiting beliefs play in their way of thinking, when it comes to making decisions and taking actions. Because leading other people effectively, and being able to motivate them to contribute in our company’s success, demands being able to lead ourselves firsts. So, if you want to build a strong and successful business, start by building a strong and successful self firstly, by  focusing on the following points…


Find out why you do what you do


When you set a goal, you make a decision or you take action towards achieving an outcome, what drives you to do so? Which need acts as motivator for you? Is it the feeling of contribution, or of significance, for example, or safety is behind a specific decision or action you take? Maybe variety is what excites and motivates you, or the feeling that through what you do you’ll feel connected or loved by other people. Knowing why for everything you do, is the starting point that will define the outcome.


Identify your strengths and weaknesses


What do you do well and feel confident about it? Write down your strengths. I know that you’ve probably heard this a million times, but I’m also sure that most of us rarely have taken the time to actually create a list with all of our strengths. And, on the other hand, which are these points that you consider as your weak points? Write them also down and think of ways that will help you improve them.


What role do your fears and limiting beliefs play in the decisions you make and the actions you take?


Identifying your fears and your limiting beliefs will help you become aware of the factor that lies behind your decision or action. For example, are you making a decision about your business, based on the real outcome you want to achieve, or you mislead yourself from this and you decide based on a fear you have, or the limiting belief, for example, that you will not take a risk, because you failed in the past and this is why you’ll fail probably again? Knowing exactly, the root of your decision, will help you make better decisions for your business, your team and ultimately for yourself as a businessperson.

So, if you want to run a successful business, take the time to discover yourself first, in order to find out who you are and what you can do, and to obtain the right mindset that will help you use your skills to the maximum, overcome your mental obstacles, make better decisions and improve your relationships with your team, your partners and your clients, as you’ll start to communicate better with them, having learned to communicate better with yourself. And as Warren Buffet said “Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.”


Valentina Kordi

Valentina Kordi is a columnist, a speaker and a Coach empowering and helping Executives and Entrepreneurs achieving their professional and business goals, by developing the soft skills that will get them to success. Valentina studied Mind Programming and Success Conversion Coaching at Express Coaching School in Canada. She holds a Business Administration Bachelor degree, from Newport University, in California, and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from City Unity College. After working for 15 years as Business Executive, she decided to go after her dream and start her online business as a coach. With her Mindset Makeover program, she helps businesspeople around the world achieve the success they desire and deserve, by adopting a positive mindset, overcoming their mental obstacles and gaining the self-confidence they need to achieve their goals.

Connect with Valentina… , Facebook , TwitterLinkedIn , YouTube

Who Are You Comparing Yourself To?

A few weeks back, my boyfriend and I were out for a run. It was a beautiful sunny winter day and I was feeling pumped and ready to run.

But unlike the standard etiquette for a ‘couple jog’, he ran in one direction and I ran in another.

I like running alone you see, and there’s a major reason why.

When I’m on my own I’ll speed off, build a steady pace, push myself to go faster, take in the surroundings, let my mind wander, think up new ideas, let my creative juices flow, and I’m usually far too busy thinking, that I forget I’m even running and my legs just keep going and going. I feel free and inspired and proud of myself for breathing steadily as I plod onwards and forwards at my own sweet pace.

If he ever catches up though, and especially when he overtakes, this weird thing happens – I start to slow down, my mind starts telling me I can’t go faster, my legs get heavier, my confidence dips, and my lovely thoughts start to shrink into thoughts that say ‘you might as well give up because you can’t go that fast.’

Which really, when you think about, is a pretty good reflection on life.

See, when we focus on where we’re at, our own pace, our own creativity, our own pains or passions, our own pump to go faster or our own pride in plodding along steadily, our own plans or dreams, our own goals and unique ways to reach them – that’s when we do the greatest things, when our confidence is highest and when we achieve the most.

But it’s when we start to make comparisons with others and turn our achievements into a competition that the self-doubt creeps in. In our hyper-connected social media obsessed world, our constant assumption that we ‘should’ be doing something the same way and at the same speed as someone else is what shrinks our ability to keep moving forward.

Quite simply, when we measure our success based on someone else’s pace in their own journey, we trip up – which let’s face it, we’re bound to, because we’re on completely different paths.

Tweetable: ’Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20.’

Comparison cripples, well, everything, and whilst it’s something we habitually do as we scroll through our Facebook News Feed and indulge in what everyone else is up to in their lives, it’s not something we have to let affect us.

Whether it’s deciding not to go forward for an interview because we’ve been comparing ourselves with another candidate, not feeling as though we can run with a business idea because someone else is already doing it, slowing down because we believe we can’t go as fast as the person running past us – making comparisons is simply holding us back from being sh*t hot at us!

Let’s focus on our own achievements, our own successes and our own pace, because that’s when the magic happens, where the power kicks in and where we keep moving forward (maybe not at the fastest speed, but definitely the bestest, if we do it our own way.)

Ask yourself: who are you comparing yourself to and how might that actually be hindering your success? And then imagine what you could achieve if you focused that competitive energy into simply being better at ‘you’.


Sophie French

Sophie French

Sophie French is a Lifestyle Coach, Copywriter & Life Enthusiast. She supports twenty-something women who are feeling lost and unfulfilled, to discover and reach their true desires.
Swapping corporate life for flip flops and freedom, Sophie spent a year travelling the world. In embarking on this liberating journey of self-discovery and taking back control on life, Sophie was able to heal her own anxiety issues and now helps other young women to take control of how their story goes, too.
Sophie writes about her adventures and discoveries, as well as inspiration for a life full of love (and some giggles too) over on her blog:

Entrepreneurs: We Can Choose What We Believe

As a Life and NLP Coach, talk of beliefs comes up a lot. And the more I talk to friends and clients, and learn about their differing beliefs and where they come from, it gets clearer that they’re simply based on the information they’ve been told and taken in around them along their path.

In fact, it became really apparent recently when I was having a conversation with a friend about the struggle between being a multi-passionate entrepreneur (enjoying a variety of roles to create income) but also having the want to sometimes just feel focussed on one thing at a time.

We talked about the joys of being multi-passionate, about the benefits of being totally creative with big ideas and the love of pursuing pleasure from a variety of paths and places. And we also talked about the ‘negatives’ of being such a way, like the tendency for mess (hello, desk, under all those papers,), an unfocussed attention on one thing at a time – and a friend said: “Well, what is it they say, jack of all trades, master of none?!”

Yep. That’s what they say.

And that’s what I want to talk about – those little phrases, quotes, suggestions we pick up along the way, that someone, somewhere, uttered once upon a time.

When we hear them so often, we start to believe them. We take them as given. As rules for life. But we don’t even question where they came from or if they’re actually true.

‘And how does that phrase make you feel?’ I asked.

‘It makes me feel like I should just focus on one thing and be an expert in that’, she said.

‘And is that what you want to do?’ I asked.

‘No, I like being good at a bit of everything.’

‘Perfect, so choose another phrase that makes you feel good about who you are and what you enjoy.’ I suggested.

Like, multi-passionate = multi-skilled, for example.

‘And then believe that instead.’

Because the thing is, we get to choose what we believe.

And quite simply, if something we believe doesn’t make us feel good, we have to question the truth behind it, because there’s literally no point in us believing it anymore. (Especially because our beliefs are learnt, and everything we believe is simply based on the meaning and perceptions we’ve created – but that’s for another post.)

Tweetable: If you believe something that makes you feel like crap, it isn’t true.

Of course it isn’t always quite as easy to change what we believe – sometimes it’s stronger than a phrase that they said, and it’s in fact something we’ve been told repeatedly and has been ingrained in us from being a child.

‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ or ‘be happy with what you’ve got’, for example – they probably sound familiar? They might appear flippant phrases, but, when you think about the stories you tell yourself and the beliefs that hold you back from doing more, from being more, from achieving more, from asking for more, there’s often a very simple explanation as to why you believe that, and a very simply way you don’t have to believe it anymore.

And it’s becoming aware of that, that’s the game-changer.

Once you realise that you get to choose what to believe, your whole world begins to shift. And that’s when you can start deciding what you’d rather believe instead, and how the hell you can do that.

And it’s THE most life-changing work to do.

If you’re ready to uncover and remove the limiting beliefs and stories that are getting in your way, my free email course: Live Life On Purpose, Not Auto-Pilot is the perfect kickstarter. 


Sophie French

Sophie French

Sophie French is a Lifestyle Coach, Copywriter & Life Enthusiast. She supports twenty-something women who are feeling lost and unfulfilled, to discover and reach their true desires.
Swapping corporate life for flip flops and freedom, Sophie spent a year travelling the world. In embarking on this liberating journey of self-discovery and taking back control on life, Sophie was able to heal her own anxiety issues and now helps other young women to take control of how their story goes, too.
Sophie writes about her adventures and discoveries, as well as inspiration for a life full of love (and some giggles too) over on her blog:

What Would I Regret Not Doing In My Lifetime?

For 23 years I had been a successful Vancouver based attorney, but that all changed three years ago when I found myself barely able to get out of bed in the morning. Doctors ran tests and were puzzled, concluding that I had some sort of virus, short hand for, “we have no idea.” What was clear, as someone who was an endurance runner, running several half and full marathons, I was now stopped dead in my tracks. I decided I had to change my life and so I walked away from my six-figure salary in order to regain my health and forge a new career. I became an entrepreneur focused on helping others live a life of no regrets. Starting my own business, The Peloton Group Coaching Inc., changed my life forever.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be pressing the reset button on my life at the age of 50, but that’s what I did. I now help other people find their own reset buttons. As a Whole Person Certified Coach, who understands the work/life challenges that many face, I learned the tools that enable people to bring their work and their life outside of work into harmony. My business has flourished in helping people learn how to overcome obstacles, negative self-talk and re-shape their limiting beliefs. In helping clients stretch past their limits, together we lay the foundation for achieving their goals.

In stretching myself, I recently became a new author, launching my first book, The Eighty-Year Rule, a guidebook for anyone wanting to create a new life from where they are today. The Eighty-Year Rule is based on the premise that on looking back on your life from the vantage of 80 years old, and having achieved a satisfying and well-lived life, you know you’ve lived a life of few or no regrets. In telling my own story, I hope to encourage others to be the hero of their own story.


My 6 tips on how to live the Eighty-Year Rule:


1. Take stock, what would you regret not doing in your lifetime?


2. Start where you are by writing down the goal you would like to accomplish.


3. Ask, what is the one thing I can do to accomplish my goal?


4. Put together a step-by-step action plan knowing what’s important to you.


5. Take that first step toward accomplishing your goal.


6. Identify if you’re encountering any obstacles and look to re-vamp your plan to get you over any speed bumps, move forward and believe in yourself.


After moving into a new life as a successful entrepreneur, and having faced the ups and downs, I can say that following your goals and dreams and living boldly is the best way to live a life of no regrets. Becoming an entrepreneur, as I did at the age of 50, I am happy to say, I am living the dream!



Claire YeungLife coach, speaker, trainer, entrepreneur, and author, Claire Yeung knows a thing or two about life’s challenges, achieving her dreams, and living a holistic, harmonious life. A health crisis in 2012 made Claire realize that practicing law was not her life’s purpose. At the age of 50, she walked away from her 23-year career as a lawyer to become a life coach. Claire draws upon her experience as a lawyer and an endurance athlete to help her clients to overcome obstacles, negative self-talk, and self-limiting beliefs so that they can achieve their most brilliant selves and live their fullest, boldest, richest lives. Claire’s recently published book, The Eighty-Year Rule poses the question, ”What would you regret not doing in your lifetime?” and then provides readers with the tools they need to transform their lives.

Claire holds an Associate Certified Coach designation (International Coach Federation), a Whole Person Certified Coach designation (Coach Training World), a Juris Doctor (University of British Columbia), and a Bachelor of Commerce (University of British Columbia). In additional to running her own coaching business, The Peloton Group Coaching Inc., Claire is a sessional instructor in the Bachelor of Law Enforcement Studies program at the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

When not coaching or teaching, Claire can be found running, cycling, kayaking or enjoying a glass of wine in North Vancouver, BC.

To find Claire online: | Facebook|Email:

Twitter: @clairemyeung | Hashtag: #80YearRule | Video


Top 5 2016 Planners

Tools4Wisdom Planner


  1. Tools4Wisdom Planner

Not only does this efficient planner come in 14 different covers, but it helps create goals for your 2016 year.  Compact enough to fit in your purse, this planner has it all.  Week by week pages with enough space to write out your busy week along with a place to fit your weekly goals.  In addition, this planner contains separate pages to plan out your big goals for the year.


Available at for $29.97.



Too Blessed to Be Stressed Planner




  1. Too Blessed To Be Stressed

When your 2016 can get a little stressful, this planner helps you organize as well as appreciate.  It features monthly and weekly calendars, a year at a glance page and a section for contacts.  Blending inspirational and motivating readings and quotes with spaces for all of your plans for 2016, this planner will get you excited for all that 2016 has to offer.


Available at for $7.48.


Mom's Family Desk Planner


  1. Mom’s Family Desk Planner

For all you busy moms out there, this planner is for you! Weekly pages with section for your own plans as well as a section for the family, this planner is a great tool.  It is small enough to fit inside a purse or tote.  Filled with colorful and entraining illustrations from Sandra Boynton, this 17-month calendar allows for Mom to keep up with busy life with a smile on her face.


Available at for $14.99.


Lilly Pulitzer Planner


  1. 2016 Lily Pulitzer 12 Month Agenda

The classic planner revamped for 2016.  This chic agenda book includes not only weekly and monthly planners but also a travel journal, dates to celebrate, notes and address pages.  Its also available in many different signature Lily prints.


Available at for $32.00.




Karen Williams Planner


  1. Personalized Etsy Planner by PosyPaper

A cute planner personalized for you!  Available in many different designs, you choose the start month and your name goes on the cover.  This agenda also includes 12 month weekly view, 2 directory pages, 5 notes pages and a pocket in the back.  A bonus: printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper with soy based inks.


Available at for $20.00.


It’s Okay to Remove Negative Influences

When I met my husband, he and his family seemed perfect. I was practically a baby (I still am), had just started college, and was in the phase of my life where anyone who was not a part of my family was a breath of ‘perfect’ fresh air. I had blinders on, undoubtedly.

When my then-boyfriend began bringing me around, those blinders were fully engaged. He was from a huge family (and I mean huge- he is one of 12 and there are oodles of cousins) and I was a complete kid-lover. His parents and grandparents had acres of beautiful property and I had grown up knowing we were always making ends meet (never ‘going without’ but certainly not with wealth to go around). Most importantly, perhaps, his family was very loving and affectionate. While I had grown up hating physical contact and withholding mushy statements from anyone except occasionally my mother, his family was like a sitcom from decades back, where everyone hugged and was always chuckling and pulling out some nifty card game. Because of these niceties, I avoided the fairly significant nagging feeling that accompanied so many interactions with this group of people.

These nagging sensations came about with assertions being thrown around, such as that women should not be on the front line or hold positions as police officers, because they were obviously too weak. They came about when I was informed that pants were unladylike and my shirts were immodest. They came about when my husband would get questioned about classes and grades, but such questions never carried over to me, despite my equally difficult course-load. Again, I ignored all of this because it was easier to not bicker with my boyfriend about his relatives, but also because I didn’t truly want to find fault in a family that, amidst these off-color comments, had accepted me rather warmly.

After dating for some time, my boyfriend became my fiance, which (sadly) only accelerated the rate of such questionable comments. One particular instance occurred soon after I had discovered it would be difficult for me to conceive children, at which point my future in-laws sat me down to tell me that even if I never had kids, their expectation was that I would stay home. Though my now-husband did articulate how offensive and ridiculous such a comment was, the instance was nonetheless jarring, and certainly initiated an uncertainty in my mind and the mind of my then-fiance regarding how involved my in-laws could and should be.

As the wedding date drew closer, more and more bizarre 50’s-era questions were thrown my way. Was I staying in school? Why not drop out? Why throw money at a degree I was never going to use? Etc.

Post-wedding, this (unsurprisingly, by now) did not stop, but only grew more intense when, to the amazement of everyone, I found out I was pregnant only 4 months into married life. Their confusion at my refusal to drop out after marriage grew into horror when my hugely pregnant stomach was seated happily in class, working just as hard and accumulating A’s. In fact, at 8 months pregnant, a professor contacted me to let me know that I was being considered for a brand new program; I had been selected by faculty members as a candidate for a 4+1 BA/MA Accelerated Program in English. After responding with letters of recommendation, transcripts, and writing samples, I was one of only two students to be selected, and was to begin graduate level courses the following semester, as a senior in college. My husband and I were downright jubilant. I felt more confidence and pride then ever before in my life. Faculty congratulated me, my siblings were ecstatic… yet when we told his parents, they were silent. My father-in-law in fact not only failed to reply verbally, though he was standing right in front of us, but his face was also one of sheer disgust. Weeks later, when my husband informed his parents that he had received a scholarship, they were thrilled, and his father quickly pointed out that I had not. To his dismay, I’m sure, that was inaccurate. I too was the recipient of a scholarship that we had not mentioned to them, all too familiar with their mentality toward my achievements.

Their behavior continued in much the same way, getting only ever worse, and the once-amicable and even loving relationship dissipated quickly, ending ultimately this summer when my father-in-law held a family meeting (to which we were not invited), in which he informed everyone that he believed I was a narcissist that had always plotted to steal his son from his family.

Why this anecdote (if it can even be called that, based on its length)?

Why am I divulging such personal information for public consumption?

To say one very important, very true thing: it is OKAY to remove negative influences from your life. Whether this is a friend, a blood relative, or your in-laws, do not feel obligated to allow leeches to suck you dry, fill your mind with self-doubt, and prevent you from achieving the greatness of which you are capable. Others will disagree with me, and that’s okay. “Blood is thicker than water,” nay-sayers will argue. But here I am, disconnected from my in-laws, and something amazing is happening. I’m living my dream, completely free to be self-confident and motivated. I received a 4.0 this semester, juggling 3 graduate level classes, an 18-month-old, and a part time job at a coffee shop. I am one semester away from my master’s degree in English. I am applying confidently to publishing companies and am hopeful of their interest in me. Of course, family is important. Do you know what is also important? You. Your dreams. Your goals. Don’t let yourself be guilted into maintaining toxic relationships if you need to get some space, break away, and push for your goals to be met. In 2016, remember this: it is okay to rise above negativity.

Elizabeth KemmererElizabeth is a 22-year-old wife, mother, graduate student, and aspiring writer. Her career goals consist of: becoming a freelance writer, working at a publishing company, publishing at least one novel, and beginning a non-profit to help mothers return to school. She has one life, and intends to fill it!




You're In! The Passion & Purpose Challenge is on its way to your inbox!