FAQ with Sunni

For my birthday in July I asked my tag-along adventurers, friends, and connections on social media to complete an online survey for me. (Thanks to everyone who participated!) My goal was to understand the impact this blog, my email updates etc were having.

There were 3 questions asked many times. So, here you go, answers!

Common Question #1: How do you afford your life?

Answer: Video response!

Common Question #2: What can I do to help you? (or) What support do you need?

Answer: Connection and connections.

Connection

I know it seems like I’m always busy, but I’m really not. I keep busy with work and clients, but because I’m on the move so much it can get pretty lonely. Getting feedback from people on how/if my sharing impacts you, having friends reach out to stay in touch and send virtual hugs – these things are super valued by me.

Connections

I choose to be nomadic because it allows me to meet so many new people and experience so many new cultures. To fully immerse myself, and keep my life affordable, I barter for lodging wherever possible. I trade my strategic services for lodging which allows me to serve people who may not otherwise be able to afford my services. I’d love to trade with someone in Arizona, New Mexico or California for the Jan/Feb/March time frame. If you’re interested in bartering with me, or know someone who might be, you can click here to learn more. I’ve done this many times, so I’ll guide you through the process, ensure we have clear boundaries and agreements in place, here is what some of my past barter clients have to say about the experience.

Common Question #3:  What exactly do you do for money?

Answer: I work. Duh. 😜

Okay, for reals, I do several things.

I freelance as a Project Manager and Operations Manager for larger companies.

I apply these same skills when working with Entrepreneurs and Small Business owners to define a growth strategy, gain more clients and run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

As an Intuitive Strategist, I mentor people on a journey for self-discovery. So many people operate in survival mode, reacting to the things around them, acting out of obligation. I support people in intentionally and proactively designing a world that they love. One of my clients recently told me that I’d helped her to meet her true self for the first time. (#squee!)

Change your reputation in 5 steps

No matter what you think of yourself, part of your identity is how others think of you. Their opinions and thoughts of you influence how they relate to you, what they say about you, what connections they offer etc. This isn’t new information. What may be a new concept, however, is that you have the power to shift how they think of you. With a bit of intentionality and time, you can shift this in five steps, here’s how.

1 – Get clarity on how you’re seen now

The easiest way to do this is quite simple. Ask. Ask as many people as you can to describe you in five words. To get a really great holistic view look to ask someone from each area of your life, or community that you’re a part of. I asked someone from each of these groups : siblings, parents, gal pals, co-workers, gym buddies, neighborhood buddies, church pals, social media.

Keep in mind that they’ll likely share the positive things with you, it’s rare to have a friend, even more so an acquaintance, that will actually be straight and share negative impressions with you. The first thing you can do to combat this is to be clear that you want honesty, not flattery. Additionally, you may also look for the more blunt and honest people in your world and ask them what five words they often hear others use to describe you, good, bad and neutral.

The words I got the most often were: Aggressive, Smiling, Intelligent, Caring and Bossy/Pushy.

2 – Decide how you want to be seen going forward.

Take your time with this. Be intentional. Choose five words that you want to embody. I sat down with a thesaurus, dictionary and the internet and really looked at the definitions, etymology (history) and various associations with words. Once I found a word I pulled synonyms and definitions together to create my own – what I mean by that word.

Here are the five I chose:

Catalyst: a person or thing that precipitates an event or change; a person whose talk, enthusiasm, or energy causes others to be more friendly, enthusiastic or energetic.

Fun: inspiring enjoyment or playfulness. providing mirth.

Tenacious: holding fast, persistent, holding together, stubborn, cohesive, not easily pulled asunder; tough.

Thoughtful: showing consideration for others; manifesting careful thought; mindful.

Smart: quick in action, ready mental capability; clever, witty or readily effective, dashingly or impressively neat or trim in appearance, socially elegant, sophisticated, saucy, pert.

3 – Embody this new you.

This can be the hardest part. Especially if you think that you’re already some of these words. For example, I felt that I was already tenacious, but that it was being interpreted as bossy/pushy. So I had to spend time really looking at what it would take to have my commitment to a result show through, rather than bossiness or forcing something.

Whenever I found myself feeling stressed, annoyed, or under pressure and returned to these words, as a grounding point, as my commitment.

4 – Create a structure to remind yourself of what you’re committed to.

These words became a bit of a mantra for me. I am a Catalyst. I am Fun. I am Tenacious. I am Thoughtful. I am Smart. And, life happens and it can be super easy to forget this type of project. So create some structure to support your future self in success.

Print the words/definitions out and post them in a prominent spot in your environment. Move them every few weeks too, so they don’t begin to blend in and become part of the landscape. I started with them on my fridge and over the course of the year they lived on my bathroom mirror, next to my bed, next to my computer screen, over my kitchen sink, in my car, you get the idea. I also created a small image to make the screensaver on my phone as well as the desktop background on my computer.

5 – Check in with others to see how you’re doing.

After the initial inquiry to my friends of 5 words, they think of related to me. I made it a practice to check in every 4-5 months. What was interesting for me is that the second time I asked, people were a lot more likely to share words that could be perceived as less flattering.

I didn’t say it would be easy, but it is fairly simple.

I never quite got to where everyone always related to me as my five words. I did get to where it was close: Transformer. Fun. Tenacious. Compassionate. Smart.

The bigger impact I see, now that it’s been a few years and I have the benefit of hindsight, is how I think of myself. I now know that I have the power to shift not only how I see myself, but also how others see me. This is just one element to designing my life, creating my world, ensuring that I get to live the life of my dreams.

What are your five words?

 

Designing My Life

It’s been happening little by little, I seem to be leaning toward a minimalist lifestyle, and something tells me I’m not done slimming down my life.

This is primarily a result of me refocusing my intentions. I spent a great deal of my life in survival mode, reacting to the things around me, putting out one fire after another. I would go to bed and then wake up thinking about all the things I needed to react to. Over the past several years I’ve made a shift into what I call Anti-Survival Mode, where I actually intentionally design my life, proactively making things happen.

For me (this is not the case for all), shifting into Anti-Survival Mode and the shift of perspective that comes with it, has inspired me to slow down and take time to be grateful for what I have and practice designing my world on a daily basis.

What’s funny is I’ve been encouraging my clients to do this in business for years,  I always start by asking two questions:

  • Where are you already winning?
  • What result do you want to produce?

As I do the work to develop my Spiritual Practices and shift my whole life into Anti-Survival Mode, I see that I now start each day off with a variation of those same two questions:

  • What are you grateful for?
  • What is your intention?

I ask these questions daily, in fact I write them down (old school pen and paper) before I get out of bed each day. I don’t just scribble something though. I spend about 5 minutes on it.

Once I pinpoint what I’m grateful for, I spend a couple of minutes meditating on how I’m grateful. What has it given me? What has that then given others? What would life be like without it? Where did it come from, what or who do I need to acknowledge for its presence in my life?

As for my intention, I spend a couple of minutes with it as well. I look at who I have to be today to have that intention get fulfilled. For example, if my intention is ‘productivity’ then I have to be present to my calendar, focused and energized; if my intention is ‘connection’ then I need to be aware of others, open, smiling, available.

I know some people who have a similar practice at the end of their day. As with everything, there are no rules, or ‘right way’ to do this – if this appeals to you, play with it and find what works for you.