Since I began working as a business coach with Asentiv in 2008, I’ve been sharing my experience as an entrepreneur and human being openly and honestly with my clients. My intention has been simple – to help them build an amazing business and spectacular life, regardless of where they are on their journey in entrepreneurship. Half the time, I don’t remember what I say in the moment when I’m teaching or coaching, but my clients do. There’s generally plenty of laughter, a whole lot of sass, and on good days tears too. At some point, they dubbed my repeated mantras and no bullshit business advice “Lynnisms”. While I don’t claim to have coined all these words of wisdom myself, they are special to me and reflect philosophies that I try my best to run my business and live my life by. Here’s a list of my favorite “Lynnisms”, as remembered by my clients and students in Hawaii.
“Peel the onion”
Like that annoying kid that asks a thousand times, “but WHY…?”, I believe in always digging deeper. “WHY?” is a common question I ask my clients and the entrepreneurs that attend Asentiv workshops to encourage them to get to the root of what truly motivates them and is important to them when it comes to their business. The end of the day, the magic isn’t at the surface. You have to ‘look behind the curtain’ to get to the stuff that has the power to inspire you and others.
Ask yourself, aside from the money, WHY is what I do important to me? A common answer is wanting to be of service and help people. Don’t stop here. Ask yourself WHY again. What are your unique experiences in life, good or bad, that cause you to feel this way? Search for the emotion. Knowing why we do what we do, on a core level is what we can fall back on when the going gets tough. Over the years as an entrepreneur and business coach, I’ve found that businesses that are not rooted in a firm WHY often don’t last. Having a strong WHY, and being able to talk about it gives you a leg up when it comes to connecting with investors, potential clients, and future team members.
“Dance with the skeletons in your closet”
When I started to ask myself WHY and kept digging, I ran into some painful stuff. AKA my skeletons in the closet. I’m a strong believer that the most difficult things you experience in life can also be some of the most powerful motivators for what you seek to accomplish in life, and how you wish to serve others. Don’t ignore this stuff. Open the closet and get familiar with those skeletons. It may be uncomfortable at first, but if you can begin to see them for the gifts and opportunities for personal growth they bring, you will soon be ready to dance.
Your story is unique. I say, celebrate the good and the bad in it. Own it. We distance ourselves from others when we try and hide and pretend like everything is perfect and we’re fine. It takes courage to offer up the authentic you, but my experience has been that people will love you for it. As I wrote about in my ECC blog post, and more recently in my blog post on my journey with Melanoma, tough times growing up and health issues as an adult inspired me to become an entrepreneur and business coach. I wasn’t always this comfortable sharing publicly about my skeletons. It’s been a process over time. I find the more I share with the people in my life, the closer the relationship can become, as it encourages them to open up and share more of themselves… or it sends people who can’t relate running for the hills. This isn’t a bad thing.
“I’m not everyone’s cup of tea”
This is a favorite of mine and something my kids heard me say often….
I know that I’m not the right fit for everyone, and that’s OK. If you insist on having everyone like you, you’re going to twist yourself into a pretzel and be pissed. Be true to yourself. As the saying goes for dating, “rejection is protection”. I find this to be true in business, too. Knowing what your mission, vision, and ECC (or WHY) are, and communicating them freely, acts like a sorter for who is a natural fit to work with, and who is not.
In some cases, you may find yourself working with people even though you don’t like them, or they don’t like you. I’ve been there. You can still remain true to yourself in the situation, show up for your responsibilities, and conduct yourself professionally. Know where your line is, and stick to it if it’s crossed. Have an exit plan. I’m a firm believer in never sacrificing my mental and emotional health for financial gain, or fear over what others think about me.
“No excuses, only solutions”
This was my tagline for a long time while I was a member and Area Director of my local business networking group. Quite simply, I’m not here to cosign your bullshit. I believe that the best thing we can do in our relationships – whether they be business or personal – is to tell it like it is and focus on taking action rather than sitting in the problem.
Regardless of your circumstances, you always have choices. You can choose to move in a positive, proactive direction (even if it’s a teeny, tiny baby step) or allow yourself to be paralyzed by your excuses and go nowhere. What’s it going to be? I get calls from friends and clients daily because they know I’ll tell them like it is, and not sugar coat it. I’m grateful for the support people in my life that will do the same for me. I think this is a vastly undervalued resource for business owners. Don’t surround yourself with “yes men”.
In case you didn’t get enough… here’s a few more
“Is that coming from scarcity, or is that coming from a place of abundance?”
“What can you do today that will save a headache or heartache tomorrow?”
“Get your head out of your ass.”
“If you can’t duck it, f*%& it.”
“Knock yourself off the pedestal.”
“Love them from afar.”
“Fake it till you make it.”
“Not my people””not my problem”
“We train others how to treat us”
Do you have a favorite “Lynnism” that I missed? I’d love to hear it. Drop me a line here.
People and possibilities. These are the two words that motivate Lynn Howard, owner of Asentiv Hawaii. She lives by the motto “No excuses, only solutions.” As a business coach, her passion is to inspire others to achieve their own success by believing in themselves and
taking action to overcome adversity. She is blessed with a delightfully snarky sense of humor, which provides comic relief when doing difficult ECC work with clients. An adventurous spirit, she loves to travel and has visited Indonesia, Bahrain, Thailand, Peru, and Columbia. She is based in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.