We all have our thing.

But in order to say that we have one, we have to be okay with saying that other things are not our thing.

I don’t know about you, but that feels scary to me.

It not only puts us in this place of ‘expert status’ on our one thing, but it also tells others that we can’t do everything.

It’s okay. Just like we can’t help everyone – we also can’t do it all.

As we have added services at tena.cious, we have added experts. Each one of them has their thing and every time I have tried to give them more than that one thing – it hasn’t gone so well. When they focus on their expertise, it all runs more smoothly.

Here is the deal though – tena.cious as a whole still needs their one thing. I had to ask myself what it is that we knock out of the park and every.single.person on our team aligns with.

It was clear to me that this one thing was, and is, strategy.

We are rock solid on this one thing. Whether it is managing a social media channel or programming a website, we back this up with strategy. There is always a plan. Oh and when there isn’t (which does happen from time to time), we fail.

What ‘things’ do you have on your plate that just aren’t really your ‘thing’?

you got this,



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People value expression.

Just yesterday my youngest, Tenly, looked up at me as she was being ridiculously silly and said ‘Mom, I like being weird, cause who wants to be boring?’ She is 4 and a half (she would be mad if I left that last part out), and she gets it.

She already gets it.

I was sitting down with my leadership team at Capture Salon a couple of weeks ago and I was asking them what the team would value – what would get them even more excited about their career. Heather, our manager (and my sister in-law) spoke up and said ‘Give them the freedom to wear what they want.’ At first I had a ton of resistance. Up until this point, the gals had always only worn black. It was a little piece of something I could control. If it wasn’t black, don’t wear it. Simple.

As Heather expressed her thoughts, my eyes were opened. She had heard another leader in the industry speak out about stylists expressing themselves. That their clients look to them for new trends, not only in hair, but in their clothing styles. How in the world would they express themselves and share trends if all they could wear was black.

My resistance was gone.

When we announced at our team meeting that we were lifting the rule – the girls were joyful. They all expressed similar feelings as Heather. My heart was full.

As a leader in your company, industry or even just your household – where can you drop the control and let joy in?

you got this,

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When I step on a stage, my first question is usually something like ‘Who in here classifies themselves as a leader?’ You may not be as shocked as I am to hear that not many people raise their hand. In fact, I usually need to coax them to think about what a leader really is, and I get a few more hands.

The English dictionary states that a leader is: the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.

Whoa – I think the word ‘commands’ is what throws us off or maybe the fact that we believe that we have to be an expert to be a leader.

This is wrong. So very wrong.

In fact, you only really have to be one step ahead in order to lead. Now let’s all take a deep breath, and soak that in.

Here is the deal, most people don’t know WHO they are leading. So the scary part is in the unknown. Once you do that work (you know, the ‘define your perfect client’ work) – things become more clear. Like you almost picture yourself as the momma duck with your fresh baby ducklings waddling behind you.

Right, because in order to lead – those babies might even be on your heels. This is awesome, why? Because then it pushes us to walk a little faster.

Those followers force us to be one step ahead. I remember being in the grocery store with my Mom and begging to push the cart, cause I wanted to be just like her. The thing is I would oftentimes run the front of the cart into her ankle – I was SO eager to be close. This is what you want as a Mom and as a leader.

In fact, I just started a monthly leadership lunch with my team at tena.cious and we discussed people in our lives that we looked up to as a signifiant leader. Some of the qualities were profound, here are a few:

» Inspirational
» Has trust in others
» Creates a path to get ‘there’
» Big vision thinker
» Confident
» Push you before you are ready
» On trend
» Assertive or straight forward

Our lists were two pages long and this was compiled from almost 10 people, our answers vary but I think I could sum it up » they care. Not one of the people said ‘they are the smartest person I know’ or ‘they were super successful’ or ‘they knew more than me’…Do you get it?We all have people watching and waddling behind us ready to knock right in to us and hopefully, if we are lucky – they start leading their own little waddlers.Leaders create leaders. They don’t do this by being the best at something or by having all of the answers – they do this by caring and showing the way.

Nothing is scary about caring.

you got this,

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How truly solid are your relationships? This might need a moment of reflection, or you can do what I did. I scrolled my Facebook connections.

As I ran across names, I realized that many of these people I have never even struck up a conversation with. Now, you may be a person that only accepts those you know personally, but here is the thing – you can truly only hold 150 contacts in your brain before you start to forget them. The average Facebook user now has about 388 friends. That is 238 people (or more, if your friend list is anything like mine) that you really don’t have a connection with any longer.

So, the solution here isn’t to go drop your virtual friend count down to 150 – the challenge is to reach out a bit more. Of course I have a story and this one might surprise you a bit, I used to avoid people. A lot. You know those moments you see someone in Target down the end of the aisle and you move a bit quicker so you don’t have to have that odd small talk convo? As much as I hate small talk, I also hated the feeling of having relationships with people that were only virtual.

This past week, in fact, I was walking out of a store and was barely in eyesight of an old acquaintance. I turned around, said a simple hi, her name and went back on my way. Later that night I got a message on Facebook saying how she was happy to see me and was having a tough day or she would have talked longer. We chatted for a bit and are grabbing lunch in the next couple of weeks. She wants to discuss a few different business things… she needs a website from tena.cious, she wants to talk oils and she wants to hear about this whole makeup line.

Now, not every simple hi is going to equate to this much awesomeness, but you.never.know. The old Tena would have used the ‘I’m already out of eyesight and don’t have to talk’ excuse. BUT guess what? That not-so-small talk turned into a high quality deep convo.

Here is to deeper conversations + less virtual-only friendships!

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Who doesn’t love a little challenge?

Okay, so basically most people. Honestly, when faced with a challenge the majority of peeps shy away. Why? Because it sounds hard and who really likes to do things that don’t come all that easy to them?

The thing is, if we let them, challenges can be anything but hard.

There has to be something more behind it, though. For me, it is the competitive piece.

This past week, Amy, our programmer at tena.cious, shot a message off to our entire staff to join Blogher– it kind of freaked me out a bit but then I eagerly jumped on. I knew it would stretch my time, my writing capabilities and it would force me to share more openly… oh and more often. 30 days of writing sounds intense, but guess what? Other people have done it, and that means I can too.

So of course I did what any good ‘boss’ would do… I told Angie that she was going to do it with me. #miserylovescompany » oh, wait… I was supposed to be inspiring her.

All joking aside, I am pumped to share a bit more of my brain with you this month. So, how are you going to find your next challenge?

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I do nothing alone.

I mean, let’s be real, I am a Mom (and a dog Mom) – so even the not so private stuff usually includes a peep or two.

The thing is, that statement above makes me happy. It doesn’t make me feel co-dependent, but loved. This isn’t about being a Mom, it is about real inclusion and accountability.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days with some amazing women. We all worked on our businesses, not in them, and we set aside the time to be productive. The first thing I knew I had to do was tell them what I expected to complete. Why? I needed them to celebrate with me as I checked those to-do’s off and the biggie was that I needed the accountability. I have been on these sorts of retreats before and accomplished a ton, but I didn’t do it alone.

This small step ensured that there was NO chance of me scrolling Facebook, chatting on the phone with a friend or simply just day dreaming – we were there to work and we held one another accountable while doing it.

What do you need accountability on right now?

We have a great group over here that is just waiting to hear from you. Toss your to-do in here, you never know, someone may be working on the same.exact.thing. Everything is better together.

you got this,

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Since birth, or maybe shortly after, we have been conditioned to see differences in people.

Walking in a room and either shaming ourselves for not wearing the ‘right’ thing or judging that new hair color on the person handing out name tags. Don’t lie — We have all been there. (Unless of course your name is Jesus, therefore you are perfect, no need to read on.)

We could get in to some deep stuff here but I prefer to keep it a little lighter and toss this into the business realm. For today anyways.

As our company has grown both financially and in employee count, I have to be honest here, it has been difficult to continue to attend the same networking groups, because it felt that no one could relate with my similar issues.

I have scoured the Twin Cities to find people that are in the exact same spot as me. « This is sort of laughable, cause that statement is relative, right?

Here is the deal. I was at a conference in California and I mentioned this, exact ‘issue’, stating that I needed to play in a bigger space, which I know is a common statement said by many.

I was stopped in my tracks when someone said ‘How can you relate and not separate Tena?’  Talk about a humbling moment.

I could feel my mind racing back to conversations and events where I wasn’t fully present because I was focused on the separating and not so much the relating. In fact, by doing this, I was separating myself even more.

The thing is — this swings both ways. There have been plenty of times I have thought ‘I am not exactly worthy of being here’ or ‘this person has WAY more going for them than I do’.

Either side you fall on, I know you can relate.

I want to challenge you, the next time you walk into a room (either physically or virtually) put on your ‘I am going to find ways I relate with this person or group hat’.

I get that sometimes it’s stretch, but I promise this small shift in perspective will change your everyday experiences.

Speaking of relating, I know there had to be tons of you nodding your head + totally agreeing with these words … you know how it goes — leave a comment and share with me what came to mind when reading this.

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If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are FAR from alone.

Every single day I talk to small business owners that have a list that could rival the lines of the Apple store on ‘new product day’.

The thing is, this list doesn’t die down. It continues to grow, and grow and well…grow.

Seriously, doesn’t this stress you out? It does me. Why? Because I live it too.

It isn’t until I step back, put my priorities in place (oh and sometimes figure out what my priorities actually ARE) and make a real list — one that doesn’t have projects on it, but the steps to complete the project. This is a biggie.

Break these big items down, into quick tasks that can be checked off with ease + before you know it, the list is done. Talk about feeling accomplished!

I know this isn’t my usual tena-talk-a-lot self – but we have things to do people!

Leave a comment and tell me the NEXT thing that is getting checked off your list.

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Ever just ditch something or someone NOT on purpose and look back and think – ‘that was the best decision I ever made.’?

So let’s imagine that you actually decided to do this on purpose. Frequently.

Of course I have a little story for you, cause that’s how these points hit home.#takenoteyall

One of the first things I spotted when I purchased Capture Salon was the space NOT being used. Several stylist chairs, but also an area in the corner of the salon was a beautiful pedicure chair, loads and loads of nail colors and every little thing you would need to create a fab look. The thing is, we had one chair. Now there were many reasons I got rid of this service, but let’s be real, who wants to get their nails done by themselves?

Almost instantly I took nail services off of our menu. As I said, there were a few reasons behind it – namely, the revenue generated from this square footage was hardly worth the effort of ringing it through the cash register. The other reason, I had plans gurl!

That plan included one of my very dearest friends, Emily. This girl gives an AMAZING facial. Not just the relaxing type, the ones that change your skin foreva. Love her and her skills. So back to my point… she needed a space to rock this talent. We quickly hired someone to toss up some sheet rock, sold the chair and threw on a beautiful custom made barn door. #openforbusiness

In the first 90 days Emily sold more from her new space than that pedicure station did the entire 3+ years it existed. Did you read that? This may sound obvious, but I see this happening every.single.day in businesses.

So yes, I had a great chair, fabulous polish and a cute space for it » but it wasn’t a fit. By eliminating this one offer, I was able to illuminate a new service, our bank account and Emily.

How can you apply this to your life? Oh, I KNOW you have an offer, an opt-in, or something hanging on for dear life that you need say the whole ‘So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodnight….’ to. Ready. Set. Illuminate.

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Time is so stinking valuable.

Oftentimes we sprinkle it around like confetti but we need to get those minutes on lock down. Or those moments, they pass you by. I know, corny, but for real. 

In early 2013 my life took a huge right (or wrong) turn — tena.cious was booming and business was on my mind all.the.time. Hold up … I’ve got 3 kids and a hubby at home vying for my attention.

You can only SAY that family is your priority for so long without taking some serious action.

It literally took 3+ years to shift my thoughts and the thoughts of those around me that I love. I had to take HUGE steps to correct this craziness.

This summer was my shift. I brought my cray cray schedule down to 3 days a week and guess what… life changed. My priorities steered right toward the direction I had always hoped.

You know, being a mom and loving it… well most of the time anyways. No, things are not perfect… obvi. But they are always looking brighter.

During the past few months, I have been 100% MIA from writing to you all and I am unapologetic. My consistency fell right out the window and that is okay. Don’t get me wrong, my kids still saw me on my phone from time to time or with a computer on my lap, but I was home.

This week our school year started and this mama was ready to start with a FULL heart. (and of course a few tears…)

But now, I am welcoming September with open arms, waving to my kiddos from the school bus stop and getting my booty in the office. 

Starting next week you will see some fun stuff happening over here. You might just want to join in, and it is absolutely f.r.e.e.

we got this,

P.S. Oh and leave a comment – I want to know what your September looks like!

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