The surprising connection between living a life you LOVE and designing a profitable, sustainable BUSINESS.

After working with hundreds of heart-centered entrepreneurs, I’ve seen a pattern that many of us buy into (that’s actually setting us up for insane amounts of stress and anxiety in our businesses).

While we all want to create a business and life we love, I see many of us DELAYING the life we love because we believe that FIRST, we’ve gotta work our fingers to the bone to create a successful business.

The result?



And a nagging feeling that we aren’t ENOUGH.

Even if you absolutely love the work that you’re doing and adore your clients? if your life is all work and no play, it’s only a matter of time before you hit a limit to how much success, happiness, and freedom you’ll really be able to experience in your biz.

As a recovering workaholic, this is a pattern I know all too well.

After leaving the traditional corporate path in 2008, even though I knew I was finally creating a business that truly reflected me and allowed me to share my greatest gifts with the world, I found myself falling into many of the same old habits that landed me in an ER at 25 thinking I was having a heart attack {it wasn’t just the first of many stress + anxiety induced panic attacks}.

I was using building my business as an excuse for NOT living a life that I really loved.

I spent every available moment I could working on my business. I spent every available dollar on my business. And I never felt like I was enough.

Honestly, if I didn’t get pregnant with my twins in 2009, I would have burned out. I probably would have thrown in the towel long ago! But having kids forced me to dramatically re-evaluate how I was living my life and running my business.

Once I became a mama, I realized I had to put an end to the madness. I didn’t want to wait to live a life I loved. I wanted that life now.

But for some reason, I had always bought into the story that the life you love is 100% dependent on achieving certain things first. Getting the MBA. Marrying the handsome college sweetheart. Having a six-figure business.

And as I checked things off my list, I was starting to really feel confused and frustrated. I was achieving all these things, but it NEVER felt like enough. The satisfaction of checking something off the list was quickly replaced by the need to achieve more.

I mean, isn’t that the first step that every lifestyle design guru tells you to focus on? Decide what life you want, figure out how much it costs, and work to build the income you need (and then, finally, you’ll have that freedom to live the lifestyle you deserve)?

Turns out – you can live a life you love. RIGHT NOW.

And the best part?

When you start living a life that you LOVE – your business will instantly up-level to support it!

[clickToTweet tweet=”You can live a life you love, right now, while you build your business!” quote=”You can live a life you love, right now, while you build your business!” theme=”style2″]

When I became a mama, I realized that my over-achiever personality was actually my inner mean girl running the show. My inner mean girl (you might call it your inner critic or monkey mind) is a real b*tch whose entire job was to convince me that I wasn’t enough. That I wasn’t good enough. Talented enough. Focused enough.

And when you’re feeling like you’re not enough, you feel like you’re not worthy. Of love. Of joy. Of play. Of anything good.

So it becomes this crazy cycle of trying to prove you’re enough and then punishing yourself when you’re not enough (according to your crazy inner mean girl).

This almost always resulted in serious self-neglect.

When a coach recommended that I dramatically increase my own self-care (as in, regular time for rest and relaxation, yoga practice, better nutrition, time for meditation or mindfulness practice, and even an occasional pedicure), I brushed it off. Seriously? That was the answer?

Actually, yes. Turns out it is.

When you don’t feel that you are enough, when you don’t feel you are WORTHY of love, joy, play, rest, pleasure, adventure, your business suffers.

You’ll never attract the abundance and freedom you want if you’re not feeling that abundance and freedom. Energetically, you’ve got to be in alignment.

That’s why so many people get hung up on the idea of charging what you’re worth. It’s damn near impossible to feel confident charging the fees you’d like to when you don’t feel like you’re enough.

If you wanna charge what you’re worth, you’ve gotta feel WORTHY!

And feeling like ENOUGH – feeling WORTHY – It starts with living a life you love, right now.

When I took stock of what was really important to me, I quickly realized that I had been spending a lot of time and energy on a life that I would love someday in the future and not enjoying much of my life in the present.

So I turned that around, pronto!

3 Essential Ways to Live a Life You Love, Right Now, While You Build Your Dream Business!

1) Upgrade your self-care!

First, I realized that I was not showing up as the best version of me when I was neglecting myself! Because I didn’t treat myself like I deserved to be taken care of, I couldn’t be the entrepreneur or mama or wife or person that I want to be.

I had to ease into self-care. It’s not like I suddenly was getting weekly massages or hitting up the day spa. But these simple practices helped me nurture myself and let go of the guilt I felt when I was tending to myself and not my kids:

  • Get enough rest! I regularly talk to entrepreneurs who burn the midnight oil after kids are asleep. Somehow we became a society that boasts that we only need 4-5 hours a night of sleep. That’s BS. Sleep deprivation is a torture tactic. When you don’t get enough rest, it’s the equivalent of showing up to work drunk the next day. Your body and brain need rest! Log a solid 8-9 hours a night and you’ll be AMAZED how much happier you’ll feel.
  • Get pampered! When I was first upping my self-care, I really resisted this. How indulgent! How high-maintenance! So I started with simple things. For me, a weekly bubble bath felt amazing. And then I added in an at-home Sunday spa ritual (mani/pedi/face mask). And as I started to see how much happier and more relaxed I felt from these simple upgrades (and began to feel like I deserved to take care of myself!), I explored getting regular massages and facials.
  • Get healthy! Like most people, when I feel burned out and stressed, I reach for the Oreos (and eat the entire bag in one sitting). Then feel like crap about myself. And the inner mean girl shows up again. Now I’m more proactive, and I know that when I eat well and move my body, I feel a million times better! And when you’re not using food to punish or soothe yourself but to fuel yourself, you’re more likely to do the other things that contribute to a life you love!

Even though so many healing + helping entrepreneurs KNOW the importance of self-care (including rest, nutrition, and movement), this is one of the FIRST areas we tend to let go of when we are stressed and focused solely on our businesses.

The truth is, if you’re not willing to invest in YOUR SELF-CARE, you will struggle to find clients willing to invest in YOU! From an experience perspective, there is a HUGE difference between working with a yoga teacher who walks her talk, has a regular practice, and invests in her own teachers, retreats, and continuing education from a teacher who has stopped filling her own inspiration tank.

Personally, I realized I felt out of alignment when I was teaching business and marketing to healing + helping entrepreneurs but not investing in those exact services for myself! So in the past couple of years, I’ve worked with private yoga teachers, massage therapists, and health coaches. A HUGE shift for me! Now that I’ve invested in those services, I feel 100% more confident as a mentor.

If you’re not walking your talk – if you’re not even willing to invest in yourself – how could you possibly expect a client to invest in working with you?

2) Upgrade your environment!

Am I the only one who thought, “When my business is successful and I have enough money, I’ll finally be able to have a home that I really love?”

Well, I did. And when you live and work at home (plus have 3 little ones), you can quickly start to feel like a complete fraud when you have a version of “Successful You” in your head – and her home and office is gorgeous. Totally reflective of a CEO running a multiple six-figure biz.

But real life you is still working from a room filled with piles of stuff that your kids dragged in from all over.

I realized that just because we’re not living in our DREAM house doesn’t mean we can’t love the house we’re in — and make it feel WORTHY of the CEO I wanted to become!

  • Get great lighting! This is so crucial for me because I can’t work in a cave with no natural light! Position your desk by a window for great natural light and get a beautiful lamp (it doesn’t have to be expensive!). Use candles. If twinkle fairy lights make you happy, hang ’em up! Great lighting makes everything (including your videos or Facebook Live) better!
  • Get clutter-free! I admit there is clutter on my dining room table (coloring books + crafts from the kids) and a bunch of books on my nightstand. But in my workspace – None. Zilch. Nada. It is a clutter-free zone. I feel so much more successful when I sit down to a cleared desk and don’t have to shift through piles of paper.
  • Get beauty! It may seem so silly but working in a beautiful space instantly makes me feel happier, more successful, and yes, more worthy! Flowers, candles, art, music, whatever sets the mood for you. After I gave up my home office for baby #3 and moved into the 1960s wood-paneled den for my office, I HATED it. I didn’t want to move. I was about to put the baby crib in the closet so I could keep my office. But then I realized I could solve the problem with about $50 worth of paint. Voila! In a weekend, I had a freshly painted den transformed into my home office and HQ for Racheal Cook MBA.
  • Get dressed! For me personally, I realized that I wasn’t feeling like a PRO, much less a CEO of my life & business, when I showed up to work each morning in my jammies with dirty hair piled on top of my head. I asked myself, if I was really being the CEO, how would I show up each morning? Now, I make time for a luxurious shower, blow-dry my hair, and even put on some makeup and a beautiful (still comfy) outfit. Such a HUGE difference.

These may seem so insignificant! But honestly, the moment I started asking myself what I really needed to surround myself with to feel like successful CEO Racheal, my confidence skyrocketed. I’m enough. And I treat myself like I’m worthy of the lifestyle of a successful CEO!

3) Upgrade your FUN!

Some people naturally seek out fun (my husband, Jameson, all the way). They find time for games and play and adventure.

Some of us {ahem – moi} are naturally a little more serious. But the truth is, when you really love what you do, you can forget to allow yourself to have non-work fun.

Turns out, fun and play contribute to feeling like you are ENOUGH. The more you allow yourself to let your hair down, laugh, and enjoy the company of friends and family, the more you feel like you deserve a life you love.

  • Get Hobbies! The truth is, you don’t have to turn every passion into a business. Some passions and hobbies can simply be what you do for FUN! I realized that something I love is photography, so I gave myself permission to buy a nice DSLR Nikon and a few books on digital photography. I even signed up for 2 different self-study courses last year to learn more! I LOVE having gorgeous pictures of my family (and my kids indulge me when mama wants to play photoshoot!). If you’re not willing to invest in your own hobbies, why should your clients invest their interests (aka in what you offer)?
  • Get Vacay Time! Too many heart-centered entrepreneurs don’t give themselves any break from their biz. They work 24/7/365. In my Fired Up & Focused Challenge, I introduced the idea of a regular Business Savasana – and lots of people breathed a sigh of relief! Yes, you can take a break! And even more than that, when you take regular breaks, you not only LOVE your life more, but you return to your business refreshed and fired up to do even more amazing things!
  • Get Business BFFs! Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely path. Especially us heart-centered entrepreneurs who are creating non-traditional businesses! If you’re frustrated that no one seems to get what you’re up to, it’s time to get some business BFFs. Business BFFs are friends and colleagues who are on the same path you are on. They are perfect for bouncing ideas around, asking for feedback, and yes, a good venting sesh when you are feeling frustrated.

These ideas are simple but POWERFUL.

When you commit to living a life you love right now, you’re telling the world that you are enough. That you deserve a beautiful, amazing life (and a business to match). That quickly translates into feeling more confidence declaring your worth in your business.

I’d love to hear from you – how are you raising your vibration and living a life you love right now? How does that impact your business? Let me know in the comments below!


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