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noun: an intense feeling of deep affection

verb: like or enjoy very much

I know you are probably thinking how is a woman who is divorced and single writing about LOVE? I know, I know I see the irony too. In fact, when the word was chosen at random (each week I pick a word out of a bag to write about) and I saw the word was LOVE on Valentine's week I laughed so loud that I had a hard time composing myself before my next zoom meeting.

As I reflected about what to share about LOVE in order to help you... past romantic relationships and my 22-year marriage cycled through my mind. None of those experiences seemed to fit how I felt about LOVE which is probably why I am no longer in those relationships – ha! Instead of focusing on LOVE in a rom-com kind of way, let’s explore what other ways LOVE can be powerful in other areas of our life…like our work.

When I first started out in my corporate sales career in 1994, I was very lucky to have an incredible boss. His name was Keith and he was a father to three beautiful daughters. Having lost my dad when I was a teenager this made him an instant hero in my eyes.

He was an incredible mentor & teacher and taught me all the fundamentals of sales and building long lasting relationships and partnerships. Keith was a master networker and taught me how to build authentic connection with clients and our partners. I credit him for my solution-based thinking and my ability to work together with others to create the best result. His LOVE for his family was clear and the foundation of how he handled stressful situations at work. That is when I first realized how your personal life mirrors your professional life in so many ways. 29 years later I still feel the same way.

Have you ever noticed that when things are struggling in your personal life that your work life suffers? The deals all seem to not go your way or your team isn’t performing at it’s best? Or if things are stressful at work that your home life is out of balance?

I have experienced this first hand in every phase of my career regardless of if I was single, married, raising children or an empty nester.

I have learned many valuable lessons throughout my career, however the one I will cherish most and that has become the baseline of everything I do is the one I learned from Keith. You see Keith’s incredible relationships with his family, colleagues, clients and partners were all rooted in LOVE. However, the biggest ah-ha moment is nearly three decades later I realized that all of his success was a result of the LOVE he had for himself.

That was his base and from there all these relationships around him were able to thrive. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have challenges or that every deal went his way... but it means that handling those situations became much easier.

Having a strong foundation of LOVE for ourselves is the most important part of the many things I learned from my incredible boss. True self-love gives you clarity on so many levels and once you have clarity the possibilities are endless.

I noticed that although I had LOVE for my family, my friends (the family you choose) my clients and my work it always felt “off”. It wasn’t until I fixed the relationship with myself and fell in love with me that things started to flow in ways I never dreamed. I stopped looking for LOVE outside of myself. I stopped chasing and started to attract instead.

What we often forget is that life is mirroring back to us all the ways we feel about ourselves, especially in business. If you are waiting for that next deal to close in order to make you love yourself - you will be waiting forever. You are also giving away your power to the deal instead if keeping it for yourself.

Your first and most important part of your job is you. How you treat yourself, how you take care of yourself , how you talk to yourself and how you talk about yourself. By focusing on treating yourself with LOVE you will create a shift in your life that can bring your life and business to the next level.

Here are some TIPS AND TRICKS on how to LOVE yourself so that your personal and professional life can improve:

- Focus on taking care of your body. Paying attention to how you move, eat and sleep is vital. If you don’t take care of this part the next steps are nearly impossible.

- Don’t think of this as a temporary thing. This is a lifestyle. Figure out what works for you and how you can make it part of your life forever.

- Dress well. Keith always took time and made sure he looked put together. You don’t need to be draped in luxury items (although I love them) in order to look put together. Simply take time to focus on how you can look your best.

- Self-talk is a make-or-break tip. If you are doing everything else and you are beating yourself up in the dialog that no one heard but you then you are self-sabotaging and will be spinning in a place of constant anxiety. Make a decision to stop and put tools in place to keep you on track.

- Don’t put yourself down in order to make others feel better or for any other reason for that matter. This is never ok - period.

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