Freedom: Know Your ‘Why’ and Deal With Your ‘Why Not’.

Emotional FreedomNoelle Schwantes, LPC-MHSP, NCC

In a recent business meeting my partners and I were talking about the importance of knowing your “why.”  It’s common knowledge among business leaders that if you don’t have a compelling “why” for what you do, you won’t be effective or meet your goals.  One leader stated, “Your ‘why’ should make you cry.”  This is true on a business level, but it is true in every area of our lives.  Why do you eat what you eat?  Who are your friends and why do you hang out with them? Why do you want to get married?  Or why don’t you want to get married?!?

In discussing our business “why” though, I had a moment of brilliance.  (It’s important to be able to pat yourself on the back) I blurted out, “I’ve had a great ‘why’, but I also had a really strong ‘why not’!”  In a flash my struggle of the last year became really clear.  I worked my business…sort of.  There was always a push/pull that seemed to alternately tug in two different directions insuring that while I made some progress, my “why not” was sure to pull me back the other way.  It’s kind of like what Paul talks about in Romans 7:15.

 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

I had a “why not” that whispered that “people won’t be interested, people are tired of hearing about home based business, I don’t want to be seen as a salesperson who doesn’t care about people.”  This got me to think about other “why nots” in my life and how they’ve held me back.  The funny thing is that we don’t usually acknowledge the “why nots.”  You may want to get to a healthier weight…If the “why not” of eating healthier doesn’t acknowledge that there are aspects of your life that are so discouraging that chocolate cake and fried chicken feel like your only solace; then the weight won’t come off because you’ll need the food to cope.

If your “why not” is not acknowledged and dealt with it will always be stronger than your “why.”  In my case, I first had to acknowledge the “why nots.”  Since I knew that God had brought me into this business I figured it was His job to address the things holding me back.  I asked to have them removed and through the course of events this began to happen for me.

Today, if you are having trouble making progress in an area that is important to you, start by acknowledging the conflicts that hold you back and address them honestly.  If your life is discouraging, get support about addressing the source of your discouragement; if you are secretly embarrassed about your dreams ask God to remove the shame; He created you for ABUNDANT life, He will do it.  It is His will that you live in your “why.”

After you do it, tell us about it!  We are cheering you on and joining you on the journey.

What is the “why not” that has held you back from something you want?

How are you going to deal with it?

Physical Freedom: Free Report on Sex Beyond Your Wildest Dreams!

Physical Freedom -Noelle Schwantes

Here at String of Pearls we have come up with another idea in our continuing odyssey to add members to the String of Pearls community.  Today’s blog is focused around an area we haven’t addressed yet, but certainly something most of us on the planet have an interest in.

Over the years as I’ve counseled couples and individuals, I’ve seen the toll that a painful sexual relationship can bring.  Below is a form that will allow you to access a free report on some surprising tips for a deeply passionate and fulfilling sex life with your spouse.

Please know that we will never sell or abuse your email information, and we’ll hope to hear any comments or questions after you read the report.  You may have some tips of your own to add to the list!

 Free Report!

5 Tips For Sex Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

We respect your email privacy

Email Marketing by AWeber

Guerilla Business School – Focus

We are posting another piece of learning from the GBS conference and it is actually quite intuitive.  It is simply this – Focus.

In the months before I went to GBS I was involved on a number of levels with several different projects.  I was working on a book with a colleague and friend, involved in a start-up company called Psych Assess, running my private practice, and launching a blog that we are growing into a business.  Being that I have a tendency toward being a workaholic, I was quite impressed with myself.

Turns out that was silly and completely counter-productive.  Through the learning I gained at GBS, I realized that by splitting my precious time and resources, I was insuring that I wouldn’t really make a strong success of any of it.  Think about it, developing a business takes a great deal of energy and passion.  (If you aren’t passionate about your business it might be part of the reason it isn’t doing very well!)  If you are splitting your focus, it is not getting the momentum it needs to be really successful.

Adam Markel shared with us that everyone who has been successful in business started with ONE business.  ONE focus.  My husband Marcel, who is a life coach, puts it like this, “We’ve all got a plate. Most of our plates are very full.  If we keep adding things to our plate without taking things off, the plate ends up overflowing and creating a big mess.”

This idea caused me to do no small amount of soul searching and I made some difficult decisions in terms of what I was going to let go of in order to focus on growing our String of Pearls team.  It was hard to tell my friend I was no longer able to work on the book and it was difficult to figure out how to restructure my time.  In the end though, I’m more productive and focused.

What’s on your plate that needs to be taken off?  What do you want to grow and improve with the power of your FOCUS?

A Big Hairy Deal! (Free Webinar)

Recently I have spent a great deal of time thinking about our blog and the growing amount of services we are offering.  It is a time of expansion and fun, and yes, a bit of anxiety.  The blog has evolved a great deal from when it started.  Initially it was something I felt called to do and so I would write what was on my heart each week.  Later, we learned about sweet spots and marketing, etc. so we are growing to meet more of the need we have discovered.

In order to do that we recently hired Mirania to help transfer the blog to a more sophisticated platform, we hired Emily Hammond to do our business cards and design products, we hired Amy Vitrano to do a welcome video, (You should see the results of that on the blog in a few weeks!), and this week, tomorrow night in fact, we will launch our first webinar.

All in all, this webinar is the culmination of a years worth of preparation.  It is a big hairy deal to us!  Of course, if you are not a woman entrepreneur it will likely not be a big hairy deal to you, but the bottom line is that WE ARE VERY EXCITED!

The purpose of our blog is two-fold.  Our primary purpose is to support women entrepreneurs.  Those that are just starting or those who are just considering it.  We offer posts that cover practical training opportunities, help remove emotional blocks, and connect you to the core of who you are.  This is a free service because it is a mission and a calling that beats powerfully in our hearts.  We have also recently offered bi-weekly conference calls to support that aspect of our mission. (See the side of the blog for details on the calls)

The secondary purpose of the blog is to offer a business vehicle for women who are ready to step into their identities as entrepreneurs.  But we didn’t want to just offer a business vehicle.  We wanted to offer the vehicle AND the infrastructure and support to make sure women have what they need to be successful.  I was not a wealthy individual.  At times in my life I survived on approximately $7000-8000.00 a year.  It was a super exciting week when I could afford a pizza.  I KNOW what it’s like to have the anxiety about having enough money feel like it is choking you to death.  To have it wake you up at night.

That is not my life anymore and I want to share how I did it with others. Because of being so well acquainted with that anxiety, our team has taken it slowly and carefully with a TON of prayer.  For a year, we have been quietly but steadily putting the pieces into place.  You see, we didn’t want to make an offer that was anything less than fantastic.  We wanted to make sure we were ready as a team to fully follow through on what our team needs to be successful.

So maybe now you are catching a glimpse of why this is such a big hairy deal!  Our hearts have been engaged for a year, behind the scenes, preparing for you.  And tomorrow we are ready to unveil this program!!  The webinar is free and will occur at 8pm EST on Wednesday, June 13.  Here are the details you’ll need to know.

Instructions for the webinar:

  1. Go to at 8pm EST on Wednesday, June 13.
  1. Call 559-546-1200 for audio
  1. When you get to the website, go to the box on the right that says, “Join a Meeting”
  1. Enter your meeting ID#, 115-608-614

We are so grateful to those of you who have faithfully followed our blog and we are excited to offer this initial launch as a thank you and support of your dreams.  Our goal is to continue growing into the services you need most.  We will look forward to seeing you on the webinar…who knows, tomorrow could change your life!

Weekly (FREE) Conference Calls

Those of you who follow our blog know that our goal is to offer support and services to women entrepreneur’s.  (Yes, men are welcome too.)  In the last few weeks our team has begun to put together many exciting programs that we plan to launch within the next few months.  You will hear more details about those in the next weeks,  but initially, we are very excited to announce weekly conference calls for those of you in business who would like added support.

  • The calls will occur every Tuesday at 9pm EST, and Sundays at 9pm EST.
  • The Tuesday call will be directly related to business.
  • The Sunday call will be directly related to Spirituality and it’s role in our business, financial, relational, and emotional growth.
  • We will launch this program tonight, May 22 at 9pm EST.  
  • For those of you who will join us, the phone number is 424-203-8400 and your access code is 692996#. 

Our agenda will be to talk about the String of Pearls blog, how it was birthed and how it can support you in your business, we will cover a one minute business presentation, and lastly, we will talk about what you can expect from the Sunday call focused on Spirituality and connection to God.

We are super excited about this new development and hope that each of you will utilize this option.  If you are not in business feel free to participate for the sake of the learning you will gain and the support it will add to your life to have regular contact and accountability.

Also, we want to remind you that the SOP blog is where we will continue to announce and notify you of new services.  Please, if you haven’t done so already, and are interested in these updates, make sure you give us your name and email address by signing up to subscribe in the box at the top right of our blog.  We will not give your email to anyone else and signing up will insure that you get notices about each new post.  We are also working on a free gift that we will give to all our new subscribers.  (We’re very excited about this gift and look forward to having it fully prepared for you!)

We want to thank those of you who have followed us on the beginning of this journey.  We are so happy to be expanding our services and look forward to serving you better and better in the months and years to come!

Cute Aussie

We wanted to offer some good, practical support this week and so I am including  a link from a Matt Lloyd presentation (who happens to be a cute Australian!).

Matt Lloyd is a young internet marketer from Perth, Australia and we highlighted one of his video trainings several months ago.  I have been studying internet marketing for some time now with a lot of different sources and so far he is my FAVORITE.  His information is gold and he presents it in a very simple, systematic way.

On a personal note, I find his personality to be humble and professional and I could listen to his Aussie accent all day long!  If you are interested in building a business of any sort online, we offer him as a valuable resource.  (He is one of mine.)  Let us know what you think!

Matt Lloyd Training

Taking Control of Your Money

Let’s face it, learning and growing demands being willing and able to manage your money.  I have tried numerous types of budgets over the years and usually ended up scrapping the whole idea because when I wrote down the numbers I realized it was impossible to live on what I was making!  Today I’m going to give you a budgeting format that is easy.  I mean it!

It’s called the jar system and it was developed by T. Harv. Eker.  There are 6 (maybe 7 if you are self-employed) areas to utilize.

1) Financial Freedom Account (FFA)
2) Long Term Savings Account (LTSS)
3) Giving (GIVE)
4) Education (EDUC)
5) Play (my favorite) (PLAY)
6) Necessities (NEC)

1) The FFA is what Eker calls your “golden goose.”  This account NEVER EVER gets spent EVER.  This account is what begins building your empire :) and the only thing you spend are the golden eggs your goose lays.  You can spend on investment opportunities.  For example, my husband and I are currently investing in a new business.  Our FFA money is currently going to that new business.  By investing we are increasing this account.

2) The LTSS is an account we use to save for 6-12 months for things we want or need.  Marcel and I have two of these accounts, one for fun savings, and one for needs that come up.  One account will go toward our trip abroad this year, the other for house repairs, new tires, etc.

3) The GIVE account is pretty clear…if you want to receive, learn to give.  For those of you who are Christians, we are PROMISED abundance when we act in faith in this area.

4) The EDUC will cover the things you need to learn as you grow your business or expand your skill-set in any way. Something that all wealthy people have in common is that they are life long learners.

5) The PLAY account is to be blown in whatever way you wish every single month.  Yes, that is what it means; shopping with no guilt, spa days, books, massages, whatever floats your boat.  When we constrict and hoard we start looking at life that way.  We get resentful and often that leads to over spending or erratic choices.  You must learn to live and receive while you’re building your skills.

6) The NEC account is what you use to pay your basic bills; electricity, rent, car pmt. etc.

You’re probably wondering how to split all of this up…well here you go.

Taxes – 20% of whatever you bring home if you’re self-employed
FFA – 10%
LTSS – 10% (If you have two accounts it is 5% in each account)
GIVE – 10%
PLAY – 10%
NEC – 50%

Let’s say you are self employed and bring home $1000.00, here’s how it will break down numerically.

Taxes – $200.00
Now you have $800.00 left to split up amongst your jar system
FFA – $80.00
LTSS – $80.00
GIVE – $80.00
PLAY – $80.00
EDUC – $80.00
NEC – $400.00

Now for those of you who exclaim that there is no way you can pay bills on 50% of your income, do not worry.  You can use this system simply by setting up 6 jars in your room or 6 accounts at your bank.  I know a woman who started using the system by splitting up a dollar in her jars.  She had very little to live on but as she practiced good money management her income and resources increased.  The important piece is that you PRACTICE!  If you want to manage millions, learn to manage the smaller amount that you have right now.

Marcel and I have also made some concessions in order to get our NEC account at 50% of our take home.  We’ve given up our cable television (today is day 1 and so far I have not run out of the house to the movie theater!), I got a less expensive car, and I will be shopping for cheaper car insurance.

On a final note, this budgeting stuff is not for the faint of heart.  Many of us have guilt or shame around money and se we tend to spend it when we get it, ignore it, hoard it, etc.  Any of those habits will be challenged by this new practice, so DON’T TRY TO DO IT ALONE!  Have a friend, coach, counselor, partner, etc. who is committed to learning this with you and above all, connect with God who has ultimate power in your life and is the source of discipline and growth.  Remember God sent Jesus so you can have abundant life…life to the full!  Learning these skills is a part of building abundance so know you are supported and loved as you practice.

Please feel free to ask questions or get feedback from us as well.  Now go forth and conquer!

Millionaire Mind Intensive

This past weekend I and my business partners as well as my hubby, went to a conference on money management.  Before you roll your eyes, the difference about this conference was that the founder’s philosophy is that we all have an emotional “money blueprint” and that blueprint tells us how much money it is right, safe, or possible to have.  The goal of the conference was to raise people’s blueprint so that it didn’t have limits.  

The presenters gave numerous examples of their own and other’s experiences.  One facilitator talked about how angry he was because of an abusive childhood and how the root of his drive to make money had been to prove his father wrong.  He said that because his root of earning money was about anger, the more money he made the angrier he got.  Eventually he lost it all.  He talked about dealing with his emotional issues around money and how that had impacted his ability to rebuild his wealth and retain it.

I felt like I was at home this weekend.  Intuitively I have believed these last several years that if I get my emotional life around money stable that I would be able to move forward into the goals and dreams I have had for a lifetime.   This intuition has paid dividends and Marcel and I have been continuously increasing our income each year during a recession.

Becoming emotionally stable around this topic is no easy task though.  Think about it; what are your beliefs about money?  Do you feel a little guilty when you think about how nice it would be to have a lot of it?  Do you believe it’s really difficult or even impossible for you to be wealthy?  There are a lot of get rich quick schemes out there, but rarely does anyone talk about emotions and beliefs about money.  This conference did and in powerful ways offered healing and hope for things that held us back.

Throughout the weekend I kept marking things in my notes and reminding myself to blog about them.  Needless to say I have a series of topics in mind and wanted to let you know that the next few weeks will be a series of sorts, looking at our attitudes and beliefs about money.  I will likely suggest exercises for those of you who are interested.  So to kick things off I wanted to share about one of my favorite ideas from the weekend.

One of the suggestions at the conference was something I put into practice immediately.  They suggested a success journal.  Adam Markel, who is the CEO at Peak Potential and was our main presenter, talked about practicing this discipline daily.  He pointed out that if a success is not acknowledged and celebrated it is not actually a success to us.  I thought about what an impact this makes in all areas of our lives.  Not just money.  I have so many clients who struggle to make changes simply because all they can see are the things that are wrong.

So here is my challenge: start a daily success journal.  Follow this series.  For anyone who is active and in contact about their impressions or findings during this series, we might have a surprise for you! :)

For anyone interested, here is the content of my success journal so far today…

1) I got clarity on a long-term wound in therapy.  Began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
2) I figured out our net worth despite the fact that I wanted to run for the hills rather than face the reality.  I set goals about how that number will change by the end of the year.
3) I cleaned the kitchen
4) I called our homeowners insurance about the leak in the basement. (I tend to want to run and hide when financial issues hit, this is why it was a success to follow through.)
5) I got a new calendar and labeled important dates
6) I started a new success journal!

All of these felt great to record and the day isn’t even over yet! They don’t have to be huge successes, just important to you.  Feel free to share your successes in the comment section, we’d love to hear about them.  We’ll look forward to sharing more with you in the weeks ahead.

Time to GO!

It is early January and the holidays are over.  I’m feeling a strong drive to get moving!  For New Years this year my husband and I spent the time leading up to midnight seeking God.  We did some praying, some reading, some talking, and some connecting with each other as well.  I had a list of questions that I’ve been waiting for direction on and I went into that night with great expectations.  Later in the evening two of our dear friends came over and another friend joined via Face Time.  (Don’t you just LOVE the iPhone?!?)

It’s quite exciting when you hear from God.  For me it’s not usually audible, but it is a thought I wouldn’t have had on my own, a quickening in my heart, to be quite honest, it is the thing that keeps me going in dark times when I wonder whether my projects will ever come to fruition.  If God told me to do it, it keeps me strong and it allows me to surrender, I’m just following orders.

For those of you who might be curious, here are some of the questions on my list…

How much should we invest in Psych Assess?
Should I hire a personal assistant?
Should I go into a partnership and allow John to become a publicist for the book Rawly and I are writing?
Should I continue to cut back the hours of my private practice to work on these projects?
What car should we get?
There are a few other questions as well, but for now, the rest will stay in the private realm. :)

These questions had been bothering me for weeks.  I obsessed and lost sleep over them and was over it.  I feel in my spirit that 2012 is going to be a big year and I don’t want to miss out on anything God has for me.  So I came after Him this weekend.

What are your questions as you begin this year?  I encourage you to write them down along with the things you long for and bring them to God.  I’d love to hear what He says and what He does in your life this year.  I’ll keep you posted as my answers continue to crystallize.  I’ve had some great direction from God and will tell you about them in another blog. :)

Matt Lloyd Presentation

Our intention in writing this blog is to provide emotional as well as practical support for women entrepreneurs. (Men are welcomed as well, but you may notice the focus is distinctly feminine!) The topics will be broad and varied and today I wanted to share with you a video presentation by Matt Lloyd. This is an EXCELLENT presentation for those of you who are marketing online (or want to learn to market online.)

Online marketing is the vehicle our team has chosen for our company for several reasons. The main one being that all of us are tired of lengthy meetings that may or may not yield a sale. We realized that in order to really expand our team we needed to find other like minded women and make it our goal to see them succeed. With the internet we can do this from home in our pajamas. (Which is what I’m in right now!)

Matt is young and cute and even if you aren’t interested in online marketing, you should check out his fabulous accent! The video is approximately 90 minutes + the introduction by Jonathan Budd who is a young guy who has taken online marketing to a new level and finds himself a multi-millionaire at a young age. I hope you enjoy!