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3 Listening Skills To Spark Your Genius

By Leadership

One of the challenges of being the genius that you are is forgetting listening skills. Remember: other people exist in the Universe… and they might have something to say.

When you’re focusing intensively on your gifts, you might get a little carried away with yourself. You might be so tuned into your genius and your ideas, that you barely notice anyone else out there with an opinion. Your listening goes out the window.

Suddenly, you’ve sucked all the air out of the room without noticing it. Your thoughts, your ideas, and your voice are all you can hear. That’s not good for the Genius Ecosystem. (The Genius Ecosystem is the collective genius in your world: your team, organization, collaborative community. Like a natural ecosystem, it’s a web of interdependence where one supports the other.)

One of the keys to a healthy Genius Ecosystem is great listening. Listening takes you out of your own head and opens you up to receive the ideas and brilliance of those around you.

Here are a couple of exercises you can put into action right now to build up your listening skills and strengthen the Genius Ecosystem around you.

Exercise 1: #STFU

 

Businessman with a duct tape on his mouth

 

A great exercise to test your listening skills is to partner up with someone and have them talk for 2 minutes straight about a challenge… particularly a challenge that YOU are expert at solving. Your job is to sit there SILENTLY, not interjecting your solution or ideas. You are not to give facial responses to indicate that you know a solution (no “Pick me! Pick me!” faces). You can’t pantomime, wave, dance, shimmy, moonwalk, or use your body to convey anything. You just sit there, mouth closed, eyes on the person, and ALLOW them to speak. For some of you, those 2 minutes are going to KILL!

When you’re done, switch partners and repeat.

Debrief and discuss after… that’s when you can go over all the agony you endured of sitting there silently. But… what did you learn? That’s the important part. And how did the other person feel when they could speak uninterrupted for 2 minutes straight?

 

Exercise 2: Telephone

phone red

Yes, the party game you played in 6th grade that gave you the chance to whisper in the ear of that cutie you had a crush on, is a great tool to improve listening. The beauty of Telephone is that it shows how we create context and meaning from the information we have on hand… even if that information is inaccurate. You start off with “3 circus clowns in a car”, whisper it to the person next to you, they whisper it to the person next to them, they whisper it to the person next to them… and end up with “Trees grow in the forest.” Hmmm where did we go off course, team? Discuss.

Exercise #3: Yeah, What She Said

phubbing - people playing with cellphone snubbing others

Ever look down at your phone while someone was talking to you, check your latest text or Fantasy Football scores, then  look up and say “Oh, cool. That’s great.” But honestly, you had no clue what they said. You play acted. You tried to be a coy multi-tasker. But guess what? They know and you know that you failed.

Let’s make things right by doing an exercise where you must be attentive and fully present. This is a great team building exercise and can also be used in social situations where you introduce people.

Person A tells you a bit about themselves. Let them talk for a minute or 2. Have them cover the basics: who they are, where they’re from, what they do for a living, and something personal like a hobby or where they last traveled.

You, aka Person B, will then introduce Person A to someone else. You can do this at a meeting as an icebreaking exercise or in a social situation. Your job is to accurately summarize all that they told you (where they’re from, what they do for a living, etc.)

For an icebreaking exercise or team building, you’d then switch and Person A would introduce you the way you did for them.

Can you glance down at your messages while they’re telling you information about themselves? No.

Can you space out and think of all the other things you have to get done today while they’re talking to you? No again.

You simply need to be FULLY PRESENT. If you were around before cell phones, you may recall what that means to be fully present. It’s quite nice when you’re in it.

Put these 3 listening skills to work in your life and you’ll notice a change in how people hear YOU. Honoring another person by listening is honoring their genius… and remember: we all hold genius. Yours is important and so is the genius of those around you!

 

 

Radical Change and Nerves of Steel

By Business Motivation, Leadership, Uncategorized No Comments

In Spring 2014, I had a numerology reading with the very gifted Peter Vaughan.

One thing really stood out. He said “By the end of 2015, your business is going to be very different than it is now.”

I wanted to understand what that meant RIGHT THEN AND THERE. Hearing “your business is going to be very different than it is now” could mean I’m making more (or less) money, could mean I’m working with a different clientele, could mean I’m panhandling, could mean SO MANY THINGS! Not knowing what it meant drove me crazy… but I kept following each indicated step. I vowed to trust the process.

Trusting the process is wonderful when viewed through the rearview mirror. However, when in the middle of it, it freakin sucks.

It puts you face to face with all your shit: inner fears shit, core wounds shit, money shit, parenting shit, relationship shit, car breaking down shit, ex-husband shit, adrenal exhaustion shit, perimenopausal shit, family shit, colleague shit, client shit, and all forms of miscellaneous shit.

Dammit, why does it have to be so complicated!

So many things changed in this time… unplanned but following God’s plan: a complete revamp of my business, creation and destruction, birthing and ending.

But as I take inventory today, I see that a lot of good shit happened too! The rearview mirror is looking quite nice:

1. I met The One and fulfilled the prophecy of finding true love when I’m 50.  We now share a beautiful home and each day I’m filled with smiles, hugs, and love. Being happy and loved is good for my business and my creativity.

2. I attracted amazing clients: Powerful leaders, 7 figure entrepreneurs, visionary changemakers who saw their strengths in a whole new way. Together we built a plan for them to lead and grow from their genius, communicate their genius, create a legacy, and make a global impact.

3. Developed a podcast (coming soon!) with the amazing help of Doug Foresta! LESSONS FOR THE LEADING EDGE. Which brings me to my next item…

4. Owning MY GENIUS as a guide for visionary leaders and innovators. Boldly integrating LEADERSHIP as an area of expertise. it’s always been there, it’s just now spelled out. Finally!

5. GETTING MY BOOK DONE! The Genius Finder is in the works. OMG did that take only a decade to start or what????

6. Laying out the framework for an INSTITUTE for leading edge entrepreneurs and their organizations. Book and podcast to support this. (message me if you’d like to know about the next training).

Trusting the process… more doors yet to open, more discoveries yet to be made. Step by step.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness

By Business Motivation No Comments

My mother was a nurse for over 50 years. From the perspective of the patients she cared for, she could be either angel or tormentor, depending on their pain tolerance or mental state.

It wasn’t easy work. Some nights she’d come home so mentally exhausted, all she could do was cook up a batch of popcorn at midnight and watch Johnny Carson, then Tom Snyder, then go to bed well after the TV stations went off the air for the night.

Patients would demand things from her that she was unable to provide like increased doses of medication or for the doctor to come to the hospital in that instant. They’d get testy and angry with her for a policy she was powerless to change.

I asked her how she managed through all that.

“I kill them with kindness” was her standard response.

Jokingly, I created a signature line for her email account and put “Author of the upcoming book ‘Kill ‘Em With Kindness'” and people actually thought she was writing it. That made her chuckle, then she’d explain that her creative daughter was always thinking of crazy things to write.

Her kind nature changed situations from turbulent to calm and it transformed difficult people into calmer, more understanding souls. Because she worked and lived in the same town, it was a common occurrence to bump into former patients at the post office, grocery shopping, at the gas station, or walking through a shopping center.

She’d whisper in my ear, “I took care of that guy in the hospital.”

Then I’d look at her. “And?” I’d ask.

“Once I killed him with kindness, he was tolerable.”

We smiled and went on our way.

Nice

My mother’s mantra of kindness won her many fans. She was constantly receiving cards, flowers, chocolates, quilts, cookies and handmade gifts from the families of patients she cared for. The notes would always speak of her patience, dedication and most of all her kindness.

I like to think that her bedside manner was a big part in her patients’ recovery, and a part of the legacy she left behind.

One day, she told me her secret.

“When you look at someone, imagine they have a sign on their forehead that says ‘I’m important!’, and treat them that way.”

She made me laugh when she shared such simplistic advice, because at that time in my life I was looking for complicated solutions to understanding the deep meaning of everything.

As I grew older, and especially after I started my business, I found myself relying on her advice. I noticed how I felt when I’d go to business events and people would look past me and not care who I was or anything about me. I vowed not to be that way. I’d make it a point to say something kind to people. When it came to marketing and selling, I found myself being as appreciative and kind as I could and not coming down hard as if my job was to punish people into working with me.

Fact of the matter is, I’ve been criticized by a couple of colleagues for being “too nice.”

Isn’t that interesting? To me, that’s like criticizing fresh air for being too breathable.

Kindness counts.

Kindness counts when you walk into a room and don’t dismiss someone because they’re a “nobody”.

Kindness counts when a person just starting out asks you a question, like “What’s one piece of advice you’d give someone like me?”, and you actually take a moment to address them.

Kindness counts when the group you’re around goes on a gossip rampage and you choose not to participate.

Kindness counts when you refer prospective clients to someone else because you know deep inside they’re not the best fit for you and a much better fit for your colleague.

Kindness counts when you speak to your audience with intelligence, respect, and honor. Your audience can be a target market, a social media following, blog readers, a room full of people… they’re listening and following your every word so make them matter.

Kindness counts when you are kind to yourself, watching out for the signs of burning yourself out or not taking enough breaks.

Kindness counts when you’re honest with yourself and the people around you.

Yes, I am a firm believer in the power of kindness. I believe it has the power to transform our lives and the lives of those around us because it reminds us all of what my mom believed every day of her life: imagine each person with a sign on their head that says “I’m important!”

Find a way to be kind today.

 

Men: Go From Doing to Being

By Uncategorized No Comments

A lot of successful men come to me for consulting and coaching. They’re at the top of their game, financially secure, and masters in their fields.

But something’s up. They feel restless. Wondering why being BUSY like they’ve always been doesn’t give them the buzz it once did. What’s their genius, they wonder? What is it they’re really meant to be doing here?

And yes, like most men they want to FIX IT! Fix that feeling, fix that restlessness, find a solution and let’s move on!

Look, guys: you’ve spent YEARS finding fast solutions to fix things. But your answers aren’t going to come to you via transactions this time around. When you reach a certain age- say 45 and up- things change. Especially if you’ve enjoyed success and have reached your goals.

More and more men are coming to me with the desire to stop DOING and start BEING.

They’ve built up this wonderful business, taken all the risks, started things, created, constructed… and now they’re ready for something else.

But what is that?

For many, it’s the journey to becoming a mentor, a leader, and a teacher.

To fill those shoes, you need to know about yourself. You need to understand what makes you tick, what your strengths are, and what you want to be remembered for.

It’s not a small feat.

You start to use words like “legacy”, that before sounded strangely grandfatherly. Or you might realize that building for you is no longer about start ups or ventures… building for you is now about something within.

Men, let me tell you something.

If you’re feeling this restless pull to go within and find out WHO you are, you are in good company. More and more men are coming to this place of realization where they want to now be honored for WHO they are, not just for WHAT they have done or can do.

When I work with clients, I take them on the inner journey by delving deeply into their Talent and Genius. I find out their life story, their innate gifts, their character. I learn about their personality, their dreams, and their biggest goals. I discover hidden talents, little known traits, and strengths that couldn’t be revealed until now.

And after that digging and learning, a leader emerges. A man ready to embark on the next phase of his life, a man ready to mentor and inspire others.

The first step, though, is to unhook from DOING… and learn how to BE. Just Be.

If you’re a man on the brink of your next chapter, a man who has built it and done it and is ready to discover WHO you are as a legacy maker, then contact me and let’s see if my work can usher in that next phase. 

Are You Successful But Unhappy?

By Business Motivation, Market Positioning, Uncategorized No Comments

Yesterday I was talking to a colleague about people who are successful but not enjoying their success. For everyone out there who is hustling to make the money, believe it or not, it doesn’t always lead to happiness. Yeah, nod your head and say “Amen, sister, that’s right!”, but take a moment to feel into this.

**Successful and not enjoying the success.**

Do you know what happens when everything externally says you should have it all together, but inside you’re not?

It stinks. You feel off purpose and empty. But because the money is coming in and all looks peachy-keen on the outside, you can easily stay there and hide. You’re standing there with golden handcuffs on, not sure what to do.

[images style=”0″ image=”http%3A%2F%2Ftalentandgenius.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fgolden-handcuffs.jpg” custom_width=”Y” width=”500″ custom_width_val=”500″ align=”center” top_margin=”0″ full_width=”Y”]

Last year, I dismantled a high level coaching program that was a 6 figure revenue stream for my business. But… it was my version of the golden handcuffs. I loved my clients, they got results, but there was something missing from it and I knew it had to end. I could have continued re-enrolling people and bringing in new clients, but until I got my head around my own purpose for what I wanted this group to be, I just couldn’t run it anymore.

Yes, it was scary to dismantle this.
Yes, when I told people what I did they looked at me like I was half-baked.

I told myself the answer would reveal itself to me when it was ready… when I WAS READY.

At times I felt a bit panicked and impatient… “Ummm, hello God? It’s been a few months now, I kinda thought we’d have resolution in a few days… I’m getting a little worried!”

The time is NOW. Things are READY.

My Golden Handcuffs are off. I have the clear vision of my intensive work with leaders and impact entrepreneurs. The habits and behaviors I had that attracted in non-ideal clients have been replaced with habits and behaviors to bring in my ideal clients- the visionaries, the change agents, the leaders feeling the need to know who they really are and what’s their unique genius…

OK let’s just let this sink in… golden handcuffs… feeling trapped… breaking free. Can you relate? What comfort is holding you prisoner?

(Originally posted on Facebook)

‪#‎TAGtip‬ ‪#‎TalentAndGenius‬ ‪#‎FeelingFree‬ ‪#‎ComfortableInYourOwnSkin‬

Want to be in on this exciting new program? If you’re a successful entrepreneur but feel like your identity has gotten lost along the road to success, contact me to set up a conversation to explore if this is for you. 

How Your Thoughts Impact Your Marketing Message

By Uncategorized No Comments

I was so jazzed from making my last video on the Spiritual Roots of Your Marketing Message, that I decided to take you onto the next step of my process for transforming your business through your talent and genius.

The Vortex (the first step) is getting yourself spiritually aligned so you can tap into your deep genius. However, being the magnificent humans that we are, we tend to screw things up when they’re humming along. It’s that pesky mindset stuff… the negative programming, the habitual self-sabotage, the moving towards the familiar even if it’s a stinky pile of poop. In addition to staying in tune with your inner self, you also need to have tools to work on your thoughts so they don’t derail you.

In this video, I share some favorite mindset tips, take you through a quick exercise on gratitude (that, I must say, left me feeling really good and I know it’ll work for you), and have a special message for all you personal development gurus who just might think you’re **beyond** some of this stuff. Haha, that’s my favorite part of the video.

It’s 7 minutes long… a tad longer than my last one but worth it. Be sure to click the link below the video so you can get some fun free tools from me. Enjoy!

[youtube]https://youtu.be/E-tcdUJksy0[/youtube]

[button_1 text=”Free%20Download-Mindset%20Tools” text_size=”20″ text_color=”#feebeb” text_bold=”Y” text_letter_spacing=”0″ subtext_panel=”N” text_shadow_panel=”N” styling_width=”40″ styling_height=”30″ styling_border_color=”#000000″ styling_border_size=”1″ styling_border_radius=”6″ styling_border_opacity=”100″ styling_shine=”Y” styling_gradient_start_color=”#ee2530″ styling_gradient_end_color=”#ee2530″ drop_shadow_panel=”N” inset_shadow_panel=”Y” inset_shadow_vertical=”0″ inset_shadow_horizontal=”0″ inset_shadow_blur=”0″ inset_shadow_spread=”1″ inset_shadow_color=”#ee2530″ inset_shadow_opacity=”50″ align=”center” href=”https://talentandgenius.com/7tools”/]

The Spiritual Roots of Your Marketing Message

By Uncategorized No Comments

After a long hiatus from making videos, I’ve found my mojo again and am LOVING getting some new words of wisdom out to the world.

(Apparently my cat, Orange Kitty, is also loving the fact that I’m making videos as he’s chosen to saunter past me a few times during this Genius Moment.)

What keeps me going in business and life is having a solid spiritual foundation. With each passing year, I find myself drawing out the spiritual more and more in the most unlikely places. When I look at business, and especially the way we communicate about our businesses, I see endless points where spirituality makes contact. I’ve always felt those, but now is the time when my inner thoughts about this are ready to burst forth and become stronger in my own message.

Your message isn’t just a collage of words to make you sound good. Your message is the articulation of your God-given gifts. And if you’re not in touch with the spiritual part of you, you won’t know the sacredness of those gifts.

When I work with clients on finding their talent and genius, the spiritual foundation is the first step. I call it The Vortex. It’s where all the meaning , purpose and intention of your gifts originate from.

In this video, I give some more background on The Vortex and how you can tap into yours to get to the deep roots of your message. There is a challenge for you in this video- watch it. And please leave your comments, share it, like it… I’d love to hear your thoughts.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/DuIx5WpPppA[/youtube]

My most successful clients (like the ones adding an additional 6 figures to their income, speaking in front of tens of thousands of ideal clients, and standing out as thought leaders in their industries) put these practices to use.

If your business is in the 6+ figure level and you want that alignment with your genius so you can achieve the  next stage of success, contact me for a consultation. I’d love to find out how we can work together to bring your Vortex more into your message so you can change the world. 

How to Be Succinct in 3 Steps

By Market Positioning, Uncategorized
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Back in school, I remember getting the word “succinct” on my vocabulary list.

“Why do we need to learn THIS word?”, I groaned to the nuns. (Carmelite Sisters of Charity… I think they wore army boots and brandished weapons under their habits, but we’ll save that for another post.)

They couldn’t really answer beyond “Because we say you must learn it!” … right before I was sent to Mother Superior for some lecturing on talking back in class.

Fast forward from my insolent youth and into today:  I actually get asked questions using the word SUCCINCT several times a week.

When I ask someone “What’s the biggest challenge you have right now in your marketing?”, 9 times out of 10 someone will say “I can’t say what I do succinctly.” Or “I can’t be succinct in my marketing communication and it’s driving me crazy and costing me.” Same thing, different word forms.

Ah, so the real world does use the word succinct and it seems to be a hot topic!

People I work with come to me with wordy descriptions of what they do. They’re in utter pain because without a concise way to describe how they help others, they get passed over and can’t transform the lives and businesses they can help.

They also can’t communicate the value of their work, connect it to the needs of their clients, and thus increase their revenue.

The “talk about what you do” thing is the hinge on the door that opens up to more business. If you’re having trouble with that, then you’ll have trouble generating the interest you need to get more sales.

Being succinct is the name of the game but  it takes practice and retraining. It’s about distilling large pieces of information into bite sized nuggets people can mentally latch onto and associate with.

Here are 3 tips I give my clients to retrain them to be succinct. Put these into practice and your succinct message will be much easier to get to:
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Practice those 3 steps and you’ll find yourself getting to the gist of things much more quickly and easily. When you can dial in your message succinctly, people will get what you do, want what you offer, and hire you!

 

Next step? Connect with me for a consultation to learn how to apply these principles to your business.

Strategy Call button

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Deep Dive Into the Deep Genius

By Build Your Business, Market Positioning No Comments
[feature_box style=”22″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” content_font_size=”16″ alignment=”center”]The other day I found myself doodling about the levels and layers of the work I do with clients. I took a picture of it and posted on Facebook… which opened the doors to a great discussion I decided to carry over to the TAG blog.

Your Deep Genius is the core of your strengths, passion, drive, and mission. It’s more than a personality test or a simple assessment. Inside the Deep Genius is what I call “the chip God planted in you with the perfect way to be perfectly you”.

It’s very easy to skip over the Deep Genius… society, culture, peers, institutions, and other people’s opinions cloud the skies when it comes to seeing the expansiveness of our potential and strengths. You may be great at A and love A, but you’re advised to go with B because “it’s what will sell.”

Case in point: a frustrated life coach who becomes a business coach because “that’s what will sell”. Meanwhile she’s miserable and feeling like a fraud because she doesn’t want to be a business coach, she wants to hold an entirely different kind of space. Do you think that person is going to have the kind of success she wants doing work from a place of “should” versus a place of “want to”?

So look at this image and follow the path, starting at the bottom:

Deep Genius doodle

Your Deep Genius sits deeply inside of you. It’s the innermost core of your greatness.

From there you move up to “Sub-branding”. This digs into another level of values and strengths.

Next, you go to Personal Branding. This is how you authentically present yourself to the world.

Finally, you go to the Branding (such as messaging, image, logo, communication, etc).

Raise your hand if you’ve ever done this process in reverse and gotten frustrated and fed up. 

Yep, thought so.

Too many people start with a BRAND and treat it like it’s just a quicky little decision. It’s not… in fact, before you go to create a brand, get clear on the 3 factors that feed into the brand. It will save you money, time, and frustration.

You may want to know what your Deep Genius is. I seriously suggest you work with someone to discover it. Trying to find it on your own is like trying to look at the tip of your own nose. If not me (apply here for a consultation), then someone who will take you through a powerful, proven process to dive right into the core of your genius.

Don’t gloss over your Deep Genius. It’s a powerful source of authentic direction you’ve been craving and is the missing piece for many entrepreneurs.

Feel free to connect with me to learn about finding your Deep Genius by clicking the “Strategy Call” button below.

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Happiness Explosion

By Business Motivation, Uncategorized No Comments
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OK, this is straight from a Gen X-er who used to be uber cool and is now shopping for Mom jeans …reporting in with a simple question: 

What’s so awful about expressing joy and happiness, people?

Case in point: commercials.

You have a couple of hipster 20 somethings acting aloof and cool. Guy usually has some scruffy beard-thing going on, girl has cute bangs with secretary glasses. One of them breaks into a happiness explosion (maybe they just bit into some candy bar or pizza or whatever the commercial is selling), disarming the aloofness of the moment. The happiness exploder laughs, exclaims something ecstatic, expresses feelings to the nth degree… and is inevitably met with an aloof, smug response from the other person.

“Ummmm, yeah?”, she says with sneering eyes of disapproval.

Happiness exploder dials it way, way  down and reverts to smug hipster conformity. Off go the smiles, down go the arms from their victory salute. Happy person stops expressing him or herself and steps into line.

This is so uncool! Why is it happening? Is it a reflection of how people really are? I’m not totally disconnected from young hipsters, I try to maintain intergenerational friendships, but still it leaves me wondering. Are advertisers capitalizing on and reinforcing the drive towards emotional conformity? Is it a trend in society? Mom Jeans lady (that would be me) stands perplexed.

I’m all for Happiness Explosions and personally have them umpteen times a day. The minute Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n Roll) or  Guns ‘N Roses come on, I’m insane with happiness and kinesthetic gratitude tapping with each toe. Maybe for you it’s hitting every green light, seeing a beautiful sunset, or watching your cat chase a speck of light… but sometimes we just have to get out of self-consciousness and release! These are important ways to stay tapped into our creativity, our zest for life, and our genius. And I assert that if more of us had them, we’d be much more successful in business, life, and we’d be a helluva lot more fun to be around.

Look at Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks: when his team cinched the division championship, he grabbed a police bicycle and started taking victory laps around the field. Did he care if he looked like a little boy having a happiness explosion? No way! Did his actions free others to have their own happiness explosions? Absolutely!

Michael Bennett’s Happiness Explosion

I reached out to my friend and happiness junkie, Susan Liddy. She’s a Burnout Recovery Coach for business owners and executives. If anyone could back me up on this message, I knew Susan would be the one! Plus she expertly ties this into how happiness impacts your success.

Here’s what Susan has to say in support of happiness:

“Happy people think more clearly, solve problems faster, and are more likely to create successful businesses than their more pessimistic counterparts. Author and happiness researcher, Sean Achor reveals in his book, Happiness Advantage that happiness raises nearly every business and educational outcome: raising sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%, as well as a myriad of health and quality-of-life improvements.” 

“And the good news is that studies show that up to 90% of happiness is well within our control. So often people focus on external reward — validation, money, things to create happiness. Yet studies show that only 10% of our ‘circumstances’ feeds into making you happy. Your attitude, perspective on life, your choices to acknowledge yourself and practice gratitude is what makes the difference.”

So what do you do now? Go have a Happiness Explosion! Take the proverbial stick out from where it’s stuck and release. I can’t wait to hear what that looks like for you.

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