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I am all for making sure your children have a life full of diverse experiences.  However, that should include a variety of foods and diverse cultures not R rated movies and adult settings that kids have no business being in.  I have seen things lately that leave me shaking my head.  How about you?

 I am shocked at how often I see small kids being brought to adult themed movies late at night with their parents or are forced to sit through inappropriate dinner conversation with adults at a restaurant.   Or my biggest pet peeve—when parents take their toddlers to loud concert—nothing annoys me more than seeing a baby in a stroller at a concert with no ear protection.   Wonderful parenting!   Your child now has hearing loss, a contact high, and has an expanded vocabulary that I am sure the other parents at the pre-school will really appreciate!

Yes, it is extremely important for parents to go out and recharge their batteries, you’ll be better parents for doing so.  Just get a babysitter when you go.  There and some places kids should not be.  Here is a hint… if people are giving you dirty looks, time to take the little ones home.

The bottom line is when you have a child it changes your life—or at least it should.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Without a goal or a dream we are charting our course without a map.  I have discovered that how we chart our course can be as varied and unique as the dreams we have.  Some people are visual, others make lists, for some it’s a numbers game.

I have been creating Vision Boards long before they had a name.  This all began years before I knew what an affirmation was.  Since I was a little girl I have either made lists of things I wanted to accomplish or cut out pictures of places I wanted to travel.  I have no doubt this process along with a lot of hard work has been the foundation for following my dreams.

Watching Diana Nyad reach the shore after swimming for over 53 hours to achieve her dream of swimming from Cuba to Florida was incredibly inspiring.   This was Diana’s 5th attempt.  She did something at 64 that she wasn’t able to do at 28.  Just think about that!  At the age of 64 Diana embodies the spirit of commitment and persistence.  I have had the honor to meet Diana and hear her story in person and she is full of passion and purpose.

I just came across a list I made back in 1991.  My goals were so much simpler back then.  Even the list was simpler—a white piece of paper with items typed on it.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Typed.  It was 1991 and I still owned a typewriter.   The list had 23 items on it and 21 had been crossed off.  Crossed off with a pink highlighter.  The two items that had not been crossed off made me laugh.  One was no longer needed and the other one wasn’t a priority.  Everything else that mattered was crossed off with that pink highlighter.  Finding that list reminded me of the value of a list, a goal, a dream.

We must have a dream.  Not everyone will set out to sail across the world or swim between two countries.  But we ALL must have a chart a course.

My lifelong love of Vision Boards and my firm belief that the words and images we choose to surround ourselves with have power ultimately grew into the Stepping Stones collection and the Permission to Dream Journal.  Dreams can take you all over the world, and the Permission to Dream workshop series did just that.  Wanting to manifest your dream is universal!

I challenge you to create a new list or make a new Vision Board this weekend!

 


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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SunI have a friend who used to say he wouldn’t take a day off because he was sure the company he worked for couldn’t function without him.  He told everyone he was the guy holding up the sun.  Well, it turns out, after he retired the sun still managed to come up every single day without him.

I think a lot of us are convinced we are the ones ‘holding up the sun’.  News flash, we aren’t.  The sun is okay without our help.

The world—yes even your own company—will get along just fine without you for a few days, even weeks.  In fact, I truly believe even benefit from your absence if you take some time off to recharge your batteries.

I have a Rose Macaulay quote hanging up that says, “At worst a house unkept cannot be so distressing as a life unlived.” Rose already had that figured out back in 1881.  She was way ahead of her time!  Summer seems like the perfect time to follow Rose’s lead and really start living your life.

Women especially seem to have forgotten the being part of human being. We somehow bought into the human doing theory.  It is easy to forget that we are multidimensional women, and we need to nurture all aspects of our lives. And that includes pleasure.

You are the only one who can schedule down time for yourself.  Make it a priority!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I was in a store a few days ago watching a young Mom juggle three small children.  The woman ringing her up at the check out counter smiled and said, “Don’t worry, it’s a phase, it will get easier.”  Watching this scene, I wondered if I should tell her the truth.

I have come to realize the unspoken truth of motherhood, it gets harder, not easier.  The challenges are just different.  When my kids were babies, I thought if I could just get them in school it would get easier.  Once they were in school I thought if I could just survive the teenage phase it would get easier.  Once they were in high school it was all about hanging in there until they went to college.  They are adults now.   I am no longer in denial.

The fact is, when you put your whole heart and soul into it, parenting is never easy and the older your kids get the higher the stakes become.

Each age and “phase” comes with it’s own nuances and challenges.  I am convinced the reason our babies (think adorable puppies) are so cute is simply so we won’t send them back when they are keeping us up all night. I am also convinced that the reason they turn into teenagers (think dogs) is so when they leave us for college we are ready to let them go.

I am hearing and reading a lot lately about how difficult it is to balance, juggle or lean in to having both a career and children.  However, the subject seems to focus on when the kids are little.  How will we manage when they are infants, or deal with soccer practice and back-to-school nights.  While those times are difficult, those are also the years we are in charge of the schedule.  What I find much less discussed are the college and beyond years as a working parent. I didn’t stop being a Mom when my kids got a degree.

As the wonderful mother and CEO Jane Fonda once said, “You know, you’re only as happy as your least happy child.  So if your kids aren’t okay, you’re not good.”  I think every mother can relate to this.

Raising children raises a lot of questions. Why don’t instruction manuals come standard issue with children?  Will a mothers vast amount of love and dedication be enough to help make their hopes and dreams come true?  How do you keep them safe?  It is an awesome responsibility, one I have never taken lightly.

I am enjoying this “phase” because it comes with Sunday Funday family brunch and picnics in the park together.   Every mother thinks her baby is the cutest and her kids are the most amazing, but mine really are!  And if you doubt me, take a look at my adorable grand-dog Fiona…

Cheers!

 


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I love watching the popular TV show Shark Tank. I am inspired by the innovation of the entrepreneurs and always gain business insight from the savvy sharks.

As an entrepreneur I know all too well how important it is to be passionate about what we do. However, when pitching to investors it is also key to stick to the facts. Although we started our companies because we are wildly passionate about our jewelryFish in School and our widgets, the VC’s are simply looking at the bottom line.

It is painful to watch the entrepreneurs enter the Tank and tell the Sharks that the reason they should invest a half a million dollars in their companies is because they have mortgaged their house or because they really, really love their BBQ sauce. That is not a reason to invest in a company. Now an outstanding order for 2 million dollars you can’t fill because you don’t have the capitol you need—that is a reason to invest. ROI.

Watch the show, swim with this wise school of fishes and learn.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I may be the only woman I know with an autographed 8 x 10 framed photo of Dick Vitale in her office.   March Madness is a national holiday in my home.

I have gone to the tourney for over 25 years, and I have learned a few things along the way:

Teamwork Is Triumphant

One of the greatest games in history taught us just how magical teamwork can be.

March Madness

When the Villanova Wildcats upset the Georgetown Hoyas in 1985 it was because they united as a team and beat the odds.

“The best teams are team in any sport that lose themselves in the team. The individuals lose their identity. And their identities come about as a result of being in the team first.” — Mike Krzyzewski

Size Doesn’t Matter

I first started following Muggsy Bogues back when he played for Wake Forest.  Because of Muggsy I became a huge Demon Deacon fan!  Standing just 5 feet 3 inches tall in height, but a giant in spirit, he was an inspiration both on and off the court.

Watching Muggsy was a constant reminder that size doesn’t matter.  Hard work and determination do. Muggsy was the shortest player to ever play in the NBA. He played for 14 seasons before he retired.

Trust Your Gut

In life and in basketball brackets sometimes we just over think things.  I used to read, study, stress, watch way too much team coverage and then stress some more before I would fill out my brackets.   I have learned to trust my gut.

I am notorious for picking underdogs—which I inevitably get a lot of grief for.   However, I remind all the guys in my pool that A) I picked the infamous Austin Peay game in 1987 and B) I still hold the record for winning our pool the most years in the last 25.  They don’t call me the Queen of Bracketology for nothing!

 

There is Power In Passion

If you watch Dick Vitale and don’t feel his passion for life and for the game of basketball you aren’t paying attention.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell who is having more fun at the Big Dance, the teams playing or Dick Vitale. He is a great example passion and purpose.

“I learned from my mom and dad, who didn’t have a formal education but had doctorates of love. They told me that if you gave 110 percent all the time, a lot of beautiful things will happen. I may not always be right, but no one can ever accuse me of not having genuine love and passion for whatever I do.” –Dick Vitale

 


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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There has been a lot of talk lately about whether or not we can have it all and now whether or not we should work from home or at the office.  Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article in The Atlantic titled, Why Women Still Can’t Have it All, started a lot of  the buzz on the subject and more recently Marissa Mayer’s decision to call Yahoo’s work force back into the cubicle has been front and center.

I have experienced many sides of the debate.  I have been a stay at home mom.  I have worked part-time.  But mostly I have been a mother with a very demanding career as the Founder and CEO of Femail Creations working long hours and lots of travel.

There are a few things however that I still see missing from this discussion.

The first is the notion that all working women are trying to “Have it All”. Many working women don’t have time to think about the lofty dream of having it all, they just want to have enough money to cover their rent, keep the lights on and feed their kids.  I am sure they find our discussions of having it all insulting.  It is critical that the women who have been fortunate enough to be in a position to metaphorically and literally “Have it All” use their positions at the top to make things better not worse.  It is a fact that the un-family friendly work environment impacts to a far greater extent the women who don’t have the luxury to ‘step back’ and don’t have the option of having a nursery built next door to the cubicle they have just been called back to.

Wishes She Could Have It ALL

The second thing missing from this discussion is the other half of this equation. Fathers.  I don’t hear anyone asking if Men Can Have It All?   I don’t recall my husband ever having to choose?  I have yet to hear the words ‘Working Father’ permeate our lexicon.  Until it does things are unlikely to change.

Women have been leaving the work force in increasing numbers.  Not to return home, but to start their own businesses. Women have figured out the best way to currently create the work – life balance they seek is to start their own companies. Corporate American is going to loose a valuable asset and gain serious competition if there aren’t real changes made.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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This Valentine’s Day I would like to suggest the radical notion that you are the special occasion and that the big night you have been waiting for is right now.  And I am guessing you won’t have to spend a dime to give yourself a little something nice.  I am betting there are plenty of wonderful things right there in your own home you have been holding on to.

My Grandma Ethel was always “saving” things for a special occasion too. She never used any of the gifts we gave her over the years.  They were too “special”. So there were many candles she never lit, pretty soap she never used,  luxurious towels she never wrapped herself in, elegant robes she never wore, and many other things she thought were too nice to use. It made us all sad after she passed to see of all the gifts we had given her with love over the years just sitting in her heirloom chest… waiting to be used and enjoyed.   Perhaps the old adage “you can’t take it with you” is around to remind us that life is short no matter how long it is.

So get out the good plates! The special occasion is now. Use that pretty china tonight.  Wear that beautiful necklace you have stored in your jewelry box. Take a bath with that fancy bubble bath you have been saving. Uncork that bottle of wine you have been hanging on to.  Stop waiting, do it today!

YOU are the special occasion!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I am a big fan of Life Lists.  My kids are always teasing me saying, “Is that on the LL Mom?”   That is how often I refer to my Life List!

The start of a New Year is the perfect time to create or add to your Life List.

Over the years I have crossed off some amazing items from my list; swimming with dolphins in the wild, meeting Gloria Steinem, being in Oprah’s magazine, going on a Safari, and learning how to wakeboard (in the spirit of full disclosure my kids would want me to point out it did take a professional instructor!)

Watching your friends cross items off their Bucket List can be just as much fun as doing it yourself!  Especially if they have wanted to go Parasailing their entire life!  That is almost as much fun as crossing something off your own list!

Start creating or adding to your list.  Start LIVING your list!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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A new year is a chance for a fresh start.  It is my tradition every New Year’s Eve to make a list of anything I want to release from that year—and then burn it.

new years eve burningSome years my list makes it’s way to the fireplace, some years we have a fire pit in the back yard, and some years I am lucky enough to be at the beach with a bon fire.

It’s a symbolic way of making sure I let go whatever isn’t working for me so I can head into a New Year with a clean slate ready for a new beginning.

Try it!  It’s liberating!

Happy NEW Year!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Best stocking stuffer ever…

Bridger_Stocking

22 years ago I was in labor– well 21 years and 353 days ago to be exact since his marathon labor went on for 3 days—and here I am celebrating my son’s 22nd birthday today.

Here are few things I have learned about the adventure of parenting…

1. Before your kids hit double digits you know everything, for the next decade you don’t know anything, after that I find you start getting smarter the older your kids get.

2.  What applies to one child, won’t apply to the next.

3.   I  agree with Maya Angelou—whom I admire greatly— your child wants your eyes to light up when they walk into a room.

4.  If children are cranky put them in water.

5.  If their parents are cranky put them in water too. There isn’t much a warm bath can’t cure.

6.   To quote Erma Bombeck, “I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: “Checkout Time is 18 years.”  However, in this day and age they may show up again for a few months every now and then- even after they have left and that is okay too. As long as it’s temporary.

7.   Show up, and just keep showing up.

8.   Don’t say it unless you mean it.

9.   Whatever childhood memory you are worried has scared your child for life—you can stop worrying about—it is something you haven’t even thought about.

10.  There isn’t a manual, so we can all stop looking for one.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Tis’ the Season… To-Do lists that stretch as far as the eye can see—and budgets that don’t. With so much to get done and so many to buy for, this time of year can be overwhelming.

I long ago changed my mindset from decking the halls to impress and shopping until I drop.  I have learned to focus only on the traditions that matter most to me and actually enjoy the season.  My family just finished our annual “Wrap Party”.  It’s a night we all get together to wrap up all the gifts we have bought for the families we have adopted from a local shelter.  We have been doing this for over twenty-five years and it is still brings me joy each and every Christmas.

Giving back is at the heart of our holiday celebrations.  Watch this short little video right up to the end to really catch that spirit. The Secret to Living is Giving

May your Holidays be Merry and Bright!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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So you didn’t win Power Ball?  Me either.  However, as my dear friend Carolyn reminded me, it gave us all all good chance for what I like to call my “Lottery Litmus Test”…

trying to win Megabucks!

It goes a little something like this…I ponder what I would do if I actually won the lottery.

Over the years there have been times I wouldn’t change a thing.  There have been times I would make radical changes.  And there have been times I would only make slight modifications to my life.  But what I have learned about myself is that this Lottery Litmus Test actually has merit.

Life is too short to wait for our 100 million dollar ship to come in!   Whenever I mull over my Lottery Litmus Test I inevitably end up course correcting and adjusting the sails on the ship of my life.

So what changes would YOU make if you won the Lottery?


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~ William Arthur Ward

Sometimes it takes a powerful reminder to have an attitude of gratitude.  Whether that reminder is as strong as a hurricane or as simple as a turkey dinner, don’t let the opportunity pass you by.

Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching?    If like me you sometimes need an attitude adjustment, this inspiring video will do just that with 7 tips you can easily apply to your real life.  ”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=288453&u=355465&m=17824&urllink=&afftrack=


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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The running joke in our family for years was, with two kids and two businesses, there was surely too much of something!

apples

My daughter was old enough when the first company arrived on the scene she remembers it.  Our son was young enough he probably doesn’t recall a time when his parents weren’t running their own companies.

Turns out, the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree. In part this was by design, and in part I think it’s in the genes.

Our daughter started her first company when she was just 12 years old.  She launched a successful company selling empowering products to inspire girls when she was barely in double digits.  When the day to day operations of running the company got in the way high school she went on to sell the line to a national company and enjoyed the benefits of her royalty checks for many years.

What can parents do to instill the entrepreneurial spirit into their kids?  Here are my 5 tips:

  1. I Don’t Know Isn’t an Answer.  Growing up our  kids understood “I don’t know” was never going to fly.  My response would always be something along the lines of, “Lucky for you we have Google”, or “Yay, another opportunity to learn and expand your horizons!”
  2. Travel Trumps Education. Whenever given the choice between an extra class or seeing the world, pack their bags.  The time my son spent traveling in China and volunteering in an orphanage there was invaluable.  His graduation gift was a Semester at Sea. I have always felt my children gained a lot more by seeing the world and experiencing other cultures than by anything they could have learned in a classroom.  One of the most important things you can ever get your children is a passport.
  3. Lead by Example. Get your kids involved.  Bring them to work with you. We always encouraged our kids to be hands on. Letting them into your world is a great way to spend more time together and the teachable moments are priceless. We not only saw more of the kids, they saw more too.  They saw exactly how business works.   My daughter says the time she spent at the office growing up has helped her with her career far more than her college degree.
  4. Give Back. My kids know that making a difference is my passion.  We have always done charity work as a family and that continued with my business.  Let your kids see that your priorities will remain consistent as an entrepreneur.
  5. Encourage Curiosity.  My motto: Life is a buffet, try it all!  Expose your kids to different experiences, places and people.  Be willing to try new things.  You never know whom you will meet, what you will find, or where it will take you.  A sense of adventure is a must!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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If you can read this, you have a teacher to thank.

Educating our children has become an unsung and undervalued profession.  The people who do this important job are shaping lives.  I applaud their hard work and dedication.

I was raised by a teacher.  I know how passionate my Dad was about his work.  He devoted almost 40 years to teaching history—and still hears from students he taught decades ago who tell him what a great influence he was.  Teachers matter!

Share this video as kids all across the country are heading back to school.

http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=205058&u=355465&m=17824&urllink=&afftrack=

Let’s celebrate the heart of our teachers!

 


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Taking the LeapWhen I started my first company I should have been too scared to get out of bed in the morning.  There was a lot to fear.  I was in over my head in every conceivable way.  Yet, I couldn’t wait to get started in the morning and worked around the clock.  I was so filled with passion and excited about what I was doing there wasn’t time to be afraid. I was a woman on a mission!  I was very clear about my WHY—fear didn’t stand a chance.

After years of saying I would never bungee jump, when it came time to raise money for charity, I couldn’t let a little thing like fear stand in the way.  I am willing to do anything for a good cause, especially a cause as worthy as Grameen America.  My WHY was far more important than my fear of bungee jumping.  However, those who know me knew I wouldn’t settle for just jumping off a building somewhere.  It had to be amazing if I was going to risk life and limb.  I decided a tandem jump with my hubby across the fourth longest river in Africa would do.  When we took that leap of faith across the Zambezi river it was pure joy!

Whether starting a business, building something, or raising funds for charity, when we tap into WHY and make our purpose the focus, our fears will often take a back seat allowing us to accomplish so much more.

Audre Lorde said it best, “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Professionally or personally we have all faced challenges at one time or another.  In the midst of a challenge the climb can feel very steep.  Vivan Greene’s quote said it best, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!”

I am grateful to share this incredible video  ”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=181882&u=355465&m=17824&urllink=&afftrack=“  with you and hope you will share it with anyone in your world who may need it.

We are a community and together we can uplift each other!dance in rain


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Most worthwhile things take time, effort and commitment.   The “overnight success” story is usually years in the making.   We all want to succeed, but are we all willing to commit to success?

“I don’t care what my clients want – everybody ‘wants’ a thousand things.  I care about what they’ll commit to.”  ~ Tony Robbins

I recently wrapped up a discussion with friends who are at the top in their fields who “want” to bring in much needed new management.  Yet none of them are actually taking concrete steps to resolve the situation.   Just wishing it would happen.

Have you ever heard a single friend say they “want” to meet someone special?  But then they won’t get out and mingle or engage in any activities.  Unless their delivery person is special, this probably won’t work.

We all “want” to feel great.  I hear people say they want to feel better all the time—as they wash down a handful of chemicals with a sugary drink or hit the drive-thru for the third time that day.  Saying we want to feel better is meaningless. Wanting something doesn’t make it so.

Wanting less stress, better health, more clients, a new way of life or whatever change we expect to make, takes more than desire.  It takes commitment and effort.

Commit

Are you willing to accept a challenge?  Pick one area that has been all “Want” and give yourself a Commitment Challenge. List 3 things in that area that you are truly willing to commit to.  Set a deadline and follow through.

I can’t wait to hear about your Commitment Challenge successes!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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I don’t golf.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I have golfed about 18 holes total in my life.  And most of those were at night under the cover of darkness—but that’s a different story.   The point I am trying to make here is golf comes in handy for business.

Since I am not an avid golfer, I had to be a bit more creative when it comes to the art of the deal. Turns out a lot of women don’t golf.  However, we all have feet, and most love getting pedicures.   And that is how I got my foot in the door…

I have brokered many a deal over the pedicure bowl.   Whenever I have a really tough negotiation I head to the spa.  After a nice lunch, stop by the salon and while your chatting away with your captive audience (she can’t go anywhere without her shoes) you have the perfect opportunity to make your pitch.

Red Pedicure

Society may still be much more okay with guys heading out of the office for the links than with women heading out for a round of pedicures. However, when it comes to getting the deal done, I think red wins out over the greens!


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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Years ago I was at a motivational conference when the speaker asked the group what at the time seemed like a simple question. She asked: What would you do if you knew you would not fail? If you were guaranteed success what would you attempt? I still find that question to be one of the most clarifying we can ask ourselves. When we eliminate all our self-doubts and remove all our inner (and outer) critics, we have a better chance at getting at the truth.

download

Therein lies the answer to the age-old question, what do I want to be when I grow up. Think about it. What would you do if you were absolutely guaranteed success? Would you be a stand up comic, an architect, a photographer, own a café, design clothes, go back to law school, become a dive master and move to an island?  Whatever your fantasy, that’s what you should be doing —guarantee or no guarantee.

I truly believe that discovering our own passions and finding the courage to follow them are our greatest callings. When people ask me what the single most important tool is for unearthing our dreams I tell them holding still. We are all moving too fast, with too much information coming from too many outside sources.  In order to find our authentic purpose we have to spend lots of time listening, really listening to ourselves. It seems so simple really, but how many of us actually do it?

“At the beginning of something there has to be nothing. We have to give ourselves a clean slate – and permission to dream.”   ~excerpt from Dream Big



Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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They say the first step is admitting you have a problem… My name is Lisa, I am a multi-tasker.  Is there a rushing rehab? A retreat for multi-tasking mavens?  Or do you just have to go cold turkey?

I have taken multi-tasking to new and embarrassing heights.  I knew something had to give the day my daughter discovered me getting ready one morning with a blow dryer in one hand, iphone in the other and my laptop on the counter.  The look of horror on her face told me reviewing spread sheets, conducting a conference call and drying my hair simultaneously was not normal. I decided enough was enough, and I was actually going to make changes.

They say if you want something done, give to a busy woman. Well, let’s stop saying that!

Women can do it all, and far too often we do. I have learned to delegate, and learned to say no–the hardest thing for women to do.

Slowlane

After many years in the fast lane, I am happily merging over and enjoying myself in the slow lane.


Lisa Hammond
The Barefoot CEO ®

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