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This past year with the kiddos has been everything this mama needed. See, in the past we had sitters and grandparents fill their days off with events so Mom and Dad could be off to work. This year has been much different. On days off we snuggled, adventured and even snuck in a little family vision board session – summer will be no different. One morning recently I was doing the scroll, one hand on the keyboard and the other wrapped around my middle snuggler.

As we sat there, he asked a bunch of questions about who people were and what they were doing, but the question that stuck with me was this » ‘what are you looking for mama?’

Oh child of mine, you are wise beyond your years.

Now I get that we have heard the whole ‘don’t waste time on social’ stuff, but hearing this question from my littles changed my perspective. I personally love scrolling the social platforms. I enjoy seeing the pics of my friend’s kiddos, the quotes from my entrepreneur friends and the successes of so many. The thing is, there comes a point that there needs to be a true intention set. At that moment I was pointlessly scrolling – you know, the mind numbing waste of time sort of scrolling. I was sucked in. I am not going to get all guilt trip on you, but what I am going to tell you is to have a plan – even if it is loose.

We all do a little bit better with some structure. See, if we spend too much time not knowing what we are doing or looking for, that is exactly where we will stay. Stuck and clueless.

This last week I got on the phone with several business owners to help them get unstuck and we began to create a new plan. Sometimes we need a little help with that whole structure thing and maybe even a little bit of guidance to know what it is we are truly looking for. Need a jumpstart? Let’s jump on the phone and start that journey » www.bit.ly/Tena30Min. Yes, that is 30 minutes on my calendar you can grab up, free of charge.

So, what are you looking for? Leave me a comment.

rise up,
tena

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I have a little secret to tell you.

Something that may surprise you.

Guessing you have become accustomed to my over the top transparency. It is true, I share just about everything going on in my world, whether good or bad. There is a sense of freedom in it – just having it all out there. But sometimes this can be scary. There is a major fear of judgment, people misinterpreting your words or peeps just simply not agreeing with your decisions.

But my secret? I don’t share everything. The things I listed above are not the reasons though. The reason is actually something that may be holding me (and you) back.

Of course I have a little story for you.

I am going to bring you back to my college days… and let me just pause and thank the good Lord that social media did NOT exist. So, back to my story… within the first week of school I caught wind that they had a dance team, I had danced for nearly two decades at this point and was excited, but hesitant. Why? Fear. I had this conscious fear that I wouldn’t be good enough and maybe I wouldn’t make the team. I stopped to look at the fliers for try-outs every.single.time I walked by one and contemplated going. So I made a plan, one that would entail not.being.seen. See in good ole Bemidji, Minnesota it is so darn cold, they have underground tunnels to each building. You literally do not have to go outside. My dorm happened to be right across the parking lot from the try-out location and rather than just walking out the front door… you guessed it, I took the tunnel.

But even more uncharacteristic, I didn’t tell even one person I was going. The try-out lasted all week and each night I just escaped my little dormitory and danced my little heart out with girls I did not know. Each night the group got smaller and smaller as they made cuts.

It came down to the last night… I almost didn’t attend – you know, cause fear. Each person that showed up that night was told they had made the team – no more try-outs. I almost didn’t believe it. Now in all reality this small club dance team that performed at football games should NOT have been a fear of mine, but it was. What if this thing I was so excited about didn’t happen? What if I wasn’t good enough.

Now here comes the sad part of the story. Because I had not shared with even one person that I was trying out for the team, I had not one person to share the news that I made the team. Queue the depressing music as I walked back to my dorm, dance shoes in hand. Not a person in the world to celebrate with. See, I was trying to avoid failure (not making the team) by not telling people what I was up to. If I didn’t make the team then I wouldn’t have failed… right? Wrong. Instead had I not made the team, I would have just been sad alone and felt like I failed that dream.

Can you see where I am headed with this story?

SHARE YOUR DREAMS. All of them. Out loud to those you love. Avoiding failure by not doing or not sharing is NOT serving you.

See, my fear was SO not reality and actually the complete opposite… The following year I was chosen to be the captain of that team and held that position until I graduated. It was an honor and one that shaped my entire college career. I wasn’t the best dancer on that team, but I led with all that I had.

Now you could go down my old path of just not sharing your dreams and goals or what you are up to, maybe thinking that this would be a way to avoid failure – but that is a lie. There are still times I let this fear creep in and hold me back from sharing my deepest desires. I am reminded of this story and how I felt as the celebration of my accomplishment was celebrated alone.

Honestly if we avoid failure, we may just miss out on our whole life.

That decision to try out for the dance team didn’t just change my college career – it changed my life. I met my husband on that football field.

Two lessons: do the things, share the things.

rise up,
tena

P.S. What am I doing? LAUNCHING a new podcast. Date TBD as I put all of the pieces together AND a new website. Lots of awesomeness happening in the tena pettis world. How about you?

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This whole failure thing is not for the faint of heart. As I wrote that, I am not even sure what it means *google* lacking the courage to face something difficult or dangerous —usually used in the phrase not for the faint of heart. This is a difficult climb that is not for the faint of heart. BOOM » well at least I used it in the right context.

See, not one person is like ‘I really hope I fail today, wouldn’t that be super fun’. To be completely transparent (when am I not?), I thought I was above the whole failure thing once I shut down the ole salon. Okay, you can stop laughing now. AND if you are lost on the whole salon thing, let me give you the quick version » bought a salon, wasn’t my jam, closed it, made some people mad, piled on some debt. Now doesn’t that sound amazing?

Okay, but it kind of was. I know how the saying goes, make lemonade out of lemons. I didn’t dismiss the fact that this whole thing kind of sucked but the awesomeness that came out of it couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t gone through it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not wishing large failure on anyone but I realized that I continue to have mini failures and guess what… I learn from those too.

But here is the deal, I realized I got to a point that I wasn’t letting the failures grow me anymore » I was letting them stop me. I was making smaller goals… why? Because I had evidence that if I made larger goals I didn’t achieve them and therefore it felt like a failure and I no longer was trusting myself to keep my promises so I could hit the goal. So, I brought on the smaller goals and guess what, I was shrinking. I didn’t stay here long… in a very short time I had several messengers pointing me in a similar direction and I woke right back up out of my small goal thinking.

Do you know how burnout happens? You start to pile too much on your plate, you can’t keep your promises and then guess what? Fail.

Big goals can totally be a thing, there just can’t be 17 of them on your list at the same time. Does this lesson come back and hit you every once and awhile too?

Here is the lesson (if you didn’t already pick up a few) grab your calendar and cancel anything that doesn’t serve your why or your purpose. « notice how both are singular.

My why? To create time and financial freedom for my family to live their best life.

My (biz) purpose? To serve entrepreneurs daily with the lessons I have learned in almost a decade of business ownership.

^ the only way you can follow these (and not have major failures) is to strip away the excess that no longer serves them and you.

It takes courage to create BIG goals, to share your why and your purpose… and even more than that it takes courage to live them out.

As always… I want to hear from you. Comment and let me know about that WHY and PURPOSE!

rise up,
tena

P.S. You may have heard but I am launching a NEW podcast. Kind of freakin out over here on all of the awesomeness. Just got done recording a few episodes and YOU GUYS… SO good.

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I was 9 years old when the movie Pretty Woman came out and until the light turned on and I realized that Vivian was a prostitute, this was my all time favorite movie. I recited the lines word for word, laughed at every.single.joke I had heard 3 times that week and *spoiler alert* teared up at the end as Edward drove up in the limo and swept her off her feet.

Now, if you are a true product of the 90’s, you could recite the following line, but for those of you that are lost… let me bring you back to 1990. Edward dresses Vivian up all fancy, takes her to dinner and the Opera. At the end of the opera the ‘hard of hearing opera goer’ next to her turns and says: “Did you like the opera, dear?” Her response: “It was so good, I almost peed my pants!” Of course Edward jumped in quickly to cover before the woman had a heart attack and said “She said she liked it better than Pirates of Penzance.”

Now we may have thought ‘phew, thank you Edward for saving the day!’ But I want to put a little twist on it.

What if he hadn’t?

What if the elderly woman had actually heard what Vivian said. Yes, it would have shocked her – but It would have made for a much better story around her bridge table the next day.

See, we don’t need an Edward to sweep in to filter our words – we do it all of the time ourselves. We hold back from saying what we were meant to say. Maybe because we are afraid it might shock someone, turn them away or even worse yet, offend them. We are afraid we will say the wrong thing and that leads to staying quiet or editing our thoughts before we say them or post them. 

Your filtered stories won’t be shared. They won’t be remembered.

The beautiful Gabby Bernstein once said, “Don’t dance around the perimeter of who you’re here to be.”

So, what are you filtering?

rise up,

tena

 

P.S. I just want to simply say thank you for being a part of this beautiful community and for listening to my unfiltered heart on virtual paper.

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For 8+ years I have been trying to wrap my head around the online course world.
They are enticing, filled with info, usually priced right (the list goes on and on)… but yet people fail to complete them.
Actually the statistics are gross » Just about 95% of this stuff is never put in to action.
All this equates to is wasted dough and minds filled with guilt.
See, while I have been researching WHY these things don’t work, I have been putting together a master plan to create something that does.
I think I found a few flaws.
1. Time. Courses usually pack SO much info in to a SMALL amount of time. Now that may have been totally doable to sit in front a computer and watch videos and take notes sans kids and mortgage payments, but now we live in the real-ish world where priorities take over and cramming in hours of online courses + well life, isn’t really all that practical.
2. Accountability. So you purchase said course, get your login and are super excited to jump right in and devour all the content available to you. The excitement lasts just about as long as opening up gifts on Christmas Morning. Now the ‘real’ work comes in to play. And slipping back into the depths of Facebook scrolling is WAY easier than you know, doing the work.
3. Excitement. You bought cause you got excited. You read the LONG sales page, got completely drawn in and just clicked the buy button. We get it, it’s called impulse buying. Can’t say I’ve never bought a pair of shoes or new jacket on impulse… um, or a course or 6.
So, here is the deal. I will fill you in on this master plan. Now, we didn’t just slap together a course based on correcting the flaws. We laid out the things we see (almost) every solo-preneur getting stuck on with their marketing. The obvious ones like blogging, social media… but also things like photos and design.
Although people (including myself and staff) go to school for this sort of thing for years, as a business owner we are expected to just get it. It doesn’t seem fair but it is sadly reality.
The solution?
The brand guide.
Rather than a course laid out in a few weeks with massive amounts of content to consumer, we laid it out with one theme each month. Okay, now breathe that sigh of relief.
Okay, so I know you may be thinking ‘but I need to know it all RIGHT now.’ I don’t disagree. But really how impractical is that? This whole biz thing is a journey, one that I hope to be on forever. If the learning stopped now, what fun would that be?
The coolest part of this whole ‘thing’ is that we get to hyper-focus on one topic, completely understand it AND put it in to action « cause that is the MOST important part.
Of course we have a sales page for this whole thing, cause some of you may need some more details, like price, start and dates… so here you go: tenaciousedge.com/brandguide. Read through it, ask questions and then click that ole ‘ready to get started’ button.
I can almost promise this will be one of the best investments you have made for your business.
shine bright,
tena
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You haven’t lived until you have been to a state fair, and even more specifically the Minnesota State Fair. We joke that the people watching is worth the price of admission and often comment that we wonder where these people are the other 355 days of the year. It is entertainment because many of these people are very different than us.

The thing is, this is why we are intrigued with every little thing. Yes, everything. Just think about it for a minute, if we open our eyes to the differences in people in a positive way (and sometimes even the negative thoughts) – we learn things. Lots of things. « My 4th grade teacher would have scolded me had I written the word ‘thing’ that many times in one paragraph. So for the sake of Mrs. Wallace, I will explain the ‘things’ a bit more.

Tell me this, have you ever just watched a speaker on stage to understand why they do the things they do? Or have you ever listened to a webinar or podcast to figure out the point of their show or understand their offer at the end? Oftentimes 100’s of people could listen to the same show and hear something different. Heck, you may be at the state fair and not even think twice about the zebra print zubaz circa 1989 that the guy in front of you is wearing, because you still have your pair in the bottom of your dresser. We all have a different perspective. We don’t just people watch, we perspective watch.

Understanding why people do what they do is intriguing. We watch gobs of reality tv, learn from ted talks, scroll social media like it’s our job (well… in our case it kinda of is) and we share stories with people over wine, coffee dates and lunches every.single.day.

Why? Because different is truly intriguing. It is easy to throw on the judgement hat, but I want to challenge you not to focus on differences or even similarities – but to find their perspective.

This last month I have spent time interviewing business owners that are doing something a bit different in this world. Maybe not always the craziest industry or brand new idea – but in some way they shifted the perspective on the usual way of doing business. They have truly shined a bit brighter than others in their industry. In these interviews I didn’t just focus on the shiny stuff, cause it is never just bright – sometimes (actually most times) there is a dark and not so shiny spot in our journey as entrepreneurs. You will notice that these business owners persevered through these moments.

Today I introduce to you the ‘Shine Bright’ podcast. I can’t wait to hear how you like it. Listen here »»» bit.ly/ShineBrightPodcast

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I promise we will land on a super legit business experience here, just hang with me for a minute or two.

I know you have heard the statement ‘the shoemakers child goes barefoot’. I oftentimes hear business owners use this excuse. Website designers saying they do their clients work before theirs, therefore their own website sucks. OR maybe the bookkeeper who hasn’t done their own books in a few months.

This isn’t okay.

Like not even a little bit.

Here’s the thing. You know you are losing clients because of this, right? Even if they don’t know your books are not done or your website isn’t fully functioning – you know. You have insecurities around it, you have guilt around it and you lose energy thinking about it.

A few months ago I was meeting with one of my clients, Amanda Walljasper-Tate. Our worlds connect in every way possible. She is a tena.cious client, she is on my doTERRA team and she carries the Hello Life brand in her stores. She is bold, just like me, and she came right out and said ‘you need to wear the lipstick Tena’. Of course I do. Why wouldn’t I wear the lipstick from a brand that I co-founded? I should basically sleep in it… okay maybe not, but you get my point. We need to actually rep the brands we create.

Think of your product as the lipstick. What are you not ‘wearing’ right now? I want you to stop what you are doing, look at your calendar, grab all the people you need and get your lipstick on. Oh and if you want to grab up some actual lipstick, you can do that here.

What will you be working on? Leave a comment so I can hold that accountability for you.

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Wow has it been a month!

If you have been following my journey on facebook, you may have noticed that life has been a little wild.

We wrapped up the 2nd annual before conference at the end of April and then jumped right into our AFTER mastermind. My brain feels like it is on fire. I am not sure if I have ever been so excited about the people surrounding me and the knowledge I have pouring in and out of me.
I have so many stories hanging out in my brain right now, I can hardly believe I haven’t shared them all with you!

First off, huge apologies for not hitting your inbox as of late. Not the way I usually roll, but sometimes life happens – and you roll with it.

Second, I need some updates from you all! I miss hearing from you in my inbox too. Hit reply and let me know that ONE THING you are working on right now that totally keeps you up at night – for good reasons!

Okay, now for a story.

As you can probably imagine, after closing the salon, I had a bit of emotion swirling around. The thing is, I rocked out my conference on a wed-fri and closed the salon on sat-sun. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to reflect on any of it. I took Monday and Tuesday off to just be and was back at the craziness on Wednesday. Here is the thing – things needed to look different. Gone with the days of having my email and phone be the boss of me. Can you relate? I don’t think anyone got into business because they were super passionate about responding to emails and scrolling facebook. #seriously

But as I sat in wonder, I reflected on a few things:

1. Who am I?
2. Who do I want to be?
3. How do I want to show up?
4. Who do I want to show up for?

I journaled. I talked (cause duh). I prayed. I meditated. I wrote. I basically did the whole Eat, Pray, Love thing – without Bali. When we get into this space, sometimes it can get dark. It’s easy to rest on the ‘who am I’ and focus on all of the things that have been in your past that no longer serve you. It’s okay, we need to go there – we just need to get out as quickly as we can.

In one of those moments, I leaned on many of you. We can only guess what people say about us when we’re not in the room. But what if we asked? So, I did it. I asked. Publicly. I went to Facebook and I put out this simple post and the responses made me laugh, tear up, cry like a baby and it brought me back. I got private messages with not so appropriate comments from friends that clearly didn’t think it was PC to post publicly, thankfully. I got long winded emails from people that couldn’t explain me in 5 words and heartfelt voicemails from others. Thank you to all that took a minute to help me reflect.

You know what I found out? The person I am and who I want to be, are not so different.

But here is the thing, this Q still lingered… ‘Who do I want to show up for?’

My kids and hubby were an obvious, but let’s talk biz.

I have been told for years that my little boutique marketing agency has the structure to work with large businesses. I have simply dabbled in this area because I was told to do so, it felt like the thing I was supposed to do and the money seemed to be there.

Gross.

Like seriously, gross (…said in my the most valley girl voice you can conjure up.)

I actually couldn’t think of anything worse. Please re-read that last little paragraph – hear ANY passion in that? I didn’t think so.

That isn’t where my heart is, it isn’t who I want to hang at coffee with or spend my time strategizing with. Honestly, I don’t want to watch these businesses grow.

Want to know where my heart hangs? With you.

C’mon, if you read all the way down here – you are my people.

The days I get to spend serving those business owners who wake up, make a to-do list, hammer it out, scroll some social, grab a coffee, serve others, raise families, focus on faith and still find time to change the world a bit with their awesomeness. Yep, these are my people. This is where my heart hangs.

In the next few months, my only biz focus is creating for you. I can’t share just yet what that looks like – but so far, I am pretty sure it is exactly what you need. My favorite part about it? We are working on ways to make it all as affordable as possible.

I want you to ask yourself those 4 Q’s and maybe… maybe just post a little something like I did. You never know what will come from it.

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Since late March, I have been praying for May to be here.

See, in March I made the decision to close the doors of a business I had only owned for a bit over a year. All of the emotions have been swirling around. I have been reminded of the excitement I once had for that business, the marketing ideas, the people and their passions, my love for main street business… as much as my heart wants to be pulled in to regret I know it wasn’t an easy decision, but it was the right one.

After spending 3 days with business owners at the before. conference, I realized that what I thought was thinking/playing big by purchasing the salon, was actually playing small. See, I had to put all of my focus on ONE business. When I looked over the 100+ business owners in the room I knew that this is what I was put here to do.

Kristen Brown spoke and asked us to write down 3 words that we wanted to be known for. Mine? Awesome (cause duh), Inspiring and Generous.

and we were reminded by Tracey Winn Steivang to add margin in to our life… you know… to be able to actually HAVE the time to be those things so people can say those 3 words about you.

Although I had already made the decision to close the salon, the confirmation from every.single.speaker that I made the right one was exactly what I needed.

Kit Welchlin shared with us that when people hit burn out, it takes them 2+ years to get back in the game… I know I didn’t hit this, thankfully. But I did take the last 2+ days to just be. To hang out with my kiddos and to find those moments where I shine the brightest.

At the end of the conference I wrapped it all up with a story of my journey over the last year, challenging people to shine their very brightest and to not let the comparison trap or the negative nellies get in the way.

I shared that my oldest, Preslynn, had told me that one day she wanted to be famous. When I asked her what that meant to her, she quickly responded with ‘I want to sing on a stage’. Well… just so happens I had a stage at my conference. As the audience wrote down their shine bright moments and lit a candle, Preslynn bravely graced the stage and SHINED.

Thank you to ALL that were a part of my journey, the salon, the conference – basically all the things.

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Actually, please don’t.

This whole ‘hot mess’ era we are now living in is really no badge of honor to be worn. As funny as it may be to hashtag it all day and share the behind the scenes of your craziness, take a small moment before we rag on your current state of life.

Now, let’s be honest – it is funny. Sometimes really funny. But I want you to stand back and ask yourself » Is it really that messy, or are some things really awesome? Cause I am going to go out on a limb here and say that we are letting the brilliance hide behind the #hotmess.

See, a couple of years ago I took the word ‘busy’ out of my vocab. It didn’t serve me, it made me feel unapproachable, and no one asked me to help them.  AND I LOVE helping people. Here is the thing… I replaced that word with ‘crazy’. Do you know the actual description of this word? Um, it isn’t pretty…

Crazy: mentally deranged; demented; insane.
Also: senseless; impractical; totally unsound.

Eeeek.

I want nothing to do with that word. Nothing.

The truth is, if we say it (over and over again) – we become it. Whether it is ‘Crazy Busy’ or ‘Hot Mess’ or… you fill in the blank.

Right now, more than ever, this world needs us business owners to throw out the messiness and take every bit of who you are and shine.

We all have bad days, but please let’s start celebrating the great ones.

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