About Jeff Hellenbrand

Jeff Hellenbrand is obsessed with helping wedding entrepreneurs love their business and their life. If you don't have the business you want, it's because you aren't having enough fun. Learn how in the free teleclass.

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 22

Michelle tries out recording her videos in the morning (and in the backyard) and it doesn’t exactly pan out. She does, however, get her video recorded and checks in on where negotiations are at (with the sellers who rejected her initial offer to buy their floral business).

She also talks about trying to influence other people for their own good and it not exactly panning out. Michelle explains her plan for keeping her energy up during this intense period of not knowing whether or not she will purchase the business.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Songza Saves the Day

staring-monsterFor today’s tech tip, I wanted to do something fun. Music is like breathing for me. If I go too long without hearing it or making some, I start to lose my mind. Songza.com is my go-to place for free streaming music. It’s not for everybody, but it’s my cup of tea, especially now that I’ve used it for a bit. Songza was one of the very few online music services that also worked in Canada, which has been nice for the last six months.

 

 

Why not Pandora?

Pandora is pretty sweet, except that when I want to listen to Elliott Smith, I create a channel based on him and then I get to listen to everything that sounds like him. But almost never him.

Why not Spotify?

Don’t get my wrong, Spotify is amazeballs. I’m just not cool enough to create my own playlists every day. I want a service that plays music I like and introduces me to new stuff without me doing the legwork.

Why Songza?

Songza’s claim-to-fame is it’s music concierge service, which is really cool in theory. When you first land on the site, it gives you some listening options based on the time of day and day of the week. So on a Friday evening at say 6pm, it will give you options like “Cooking Dinner,” “Pre-Partying,” and “Chilling with Friends.” You then choose from a short list of genre’s and lastly pick from three different playlists. If you like to work with music on (I know I do), there’s even an option during weekdays for “Music without Lyrics” so you don’t get too distracted.

I’ve used the concierge a bunch and I pretty quickly found that I didn’t like a lot of the playlists. However, I also found a handful of playlists I absolutely love. And those playlists occasionally get updates so I can keep listening to them without things getting stale.

Here are my top lists (I’m into Indie bands that aren’t cool anymore):

  1. Handclapping & Footstomping
  2. Guitars & PBRs
  3. Coffee Shop Indie

And just like Pandora, if there are a couple of songs on the list you’re not into, you can always give them the thumbs down.

Enjoy!

 

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 21

It’s Day 21 of her Meh to Marvelous Transformation and Michelle just got off the phone with Jeff. She talks about some changes coming to her videos. She admits her lack of tech-savviness and talks antique cell phones. As she makes some deep internal shifts through coaching for her personal life and in business, she’s also learning some new technologies. Michelle has been getting more direction, clarity and focus through coaching and she wants that to show through on her videos.

Do you want more direction, clarity and focus in your business? How about life in general? If you crave it but you’re not quite sure how to get it, shoot Jeff an email, and stop drifting aimlessly, dammit.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

7 Lessons from Living on the Ocean

View from the front yard, courtesy of @emilypearl on Instagram.

View from the front yard, courtesy of @emilypearl on Instagram.

We’re back in the U.S. after an inspiring six month stay in a little cabin at the foot of the mountains on the Pacific Ocean of Canada. Considering that it’s snowing in Minnesota right now, you could say we’re missing the sun and the (little) waves. It was hard to say goodbye to new friends, but it’s been great to be close to family once more.

During our time by the ocean, I learned a lot about myself and what it’s like to live someplace you’ve been dreaming about. Here are some lessons I took from the experience:

 

  1. You can’t get away until you unplug. Even in such a remote place, if you’re on Facebook, you’re plugged in. It wasn’t until I turned off my phone that I experienced the peace and stillness of the place.
  2. Beauty is everywhere. We lived in a stunningly beautiful place. But there were ugly things about it. One of the biggest lessons I learned is that beauty is everywhere, but our experience is determined by what we focus on. If we dwell on what we don’t like (e.g. shoveling), we miss the overwhelming beauty right in front of us (e.g. snow on tree branches).
  3. People are more important than place (to me). I loved living by the ocean. We were pleasantly surprised by the fun, artistic and intelligent community we found thriving in that little town. In the end, it’s the people I’ll miss the most. If I had to choose, I’d take good people over a beautiful place, but I don’t think you have to choose. I want both.
  4. Doing nothing is essential. I made it a point to spend time doing nothing while sitting on the water. It was hard. I didn’t do it as much as I would have liked. When I did do it, I felt centered, calm and at peace. I made better decisions, listened to others better and listened to myself better. I felt connected and happier. It wasn’t the ocean (though that didn’t hurt), it was being still on purpose. Doing nothing is important for everyone and it’s essential for introverts.
  5. Everything is a tradeoff. In Chicago, when I was dreaming of the ocean, it was easy to complain about the smell of poo emanating from the sewer. Have you ever lived on the water? In general, it smells bad. You get used to it, but the point is that no place is perfect. It’s about knowing what’s most important to you in a place and choosing wisely. (In short, the grass may be greener, but it may also give you a rash.)
  6. Less is more. We took only what we could fit into our little car when we left on our road trip. Our tiny four-room cabin made for a tight fit, but it rarely felt cramped. Instead, it forced us to be creative. Getting by on less felt good. Having less stuff to worry about, store and manage felt great.
  7. Moving won’t change you. We had big ideas about hiking and exploring. But we’re homebodies. We did get out of the house more, but our lifestyle didn’t change drastically just because our environment did.

It was a wild ride. And though some of the lessons I learned may be slightly depressing to those of you who’ve been dreaming of being somewhere else, I hope you take away a more inspiring message: that what matters is not what you see, but how you see it. It can be easy to get down on the place you live at times (especially when it snows in late April). What I found on the ocean was that what happens inside of us is more important than what happens around us. We tend to expect external things to make us happy, which is weird, because they rarely do. Happiness, the kind that lasts, comes from within.

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 20

In today’s “Meh to Marvelous Transformation” video check-in Michelle talks about her amazing neighbors and how important they are to her and her family. Living in community is something that’s super important to Michelle. She and the girls talk about gardening (and horse poop) and get a little carried away. We get another glimpse into the daily life of Michelle as she tries to make some big changes in her life amidst the chaos of wrangling her adorable kids.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 19

It’s day 19 of her Meh to Marvelous transformation, and Michelle and her business partner just made an offer on the floral business they want to buy! Check out her positive attitude and how she responds to the offer not being accepted. Will they come around? Will she walk away? Will her business partner be a good fit personality-wise?

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Gratitude Journal iPhone App

gratitude journal screenshotIf you aren’t familiar with the benefits of keeping a gratitude journal, it can be pretty damn awesome. This study revealed that people who kept a gratitude journal (as opposed to a journal about neutral or negative events) exercised more regularly, felt better and were more optimistic. It also suggested that people who kept gratitude journals were more likely to have made progress toward their goals.

If that’s not enough, I can attest to the power of gratitude. Keeping a journal has made me more optimistic and happier. Instead of focusing on all of the stuff I don’t like in my life, it’s training my brain to constantly seek out the good. I end up feeling more fulfilled and satisfied on a daily basis. It’s made me more productive and even more confident.

As a coach, I help people reach huge goals. And it’s awesome. But here’s the thing: reaching your goal won’t make you happy. If you aren’t happy now, nothing is going to change that. Especially (according to studies) if you’re living above the poverty line. It’s faster and easier to change your perspective than it is to try to make a bunch more money to buy shit you don’t need (to impress people you don’t like). Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best, most sure-fire ways to change your perspective. And it’s cheap!

I don’t care if you keep a paper journal, use this app or find another one. I just hope you start taking note of what you’re grateful for.

I personally use the iPhone app Gratitude Journal, which comes in at about two bucks. It’s clean, simple, easy and fun to look back at things I’ve been grateful for over this past (very busy and adventurous) year. One surprise for me were the daily quotes. Some of them suck, sometimes they repeat, but overall I’ve loved the quotes and I’ve been impressed by the fact that they’re lesser known (I don’t often say “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard that before.”) and still really powerful. Why shell out for the app? Because it looks better than my handwriting, the alarm reminds me each day and the calendar view lets me see whether I’ve been staying on track or slacking. What are you grateful for?

Enjoy!

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 17

For Day 17 of her Real Vendor Transformation, Michelle talks about a dear friend who’s moving out of state. This person took care of her kids and did so much more. You can tell just how much she meant to Michelle. There are clearly a lot of emotions going on, but in addition to the sadness of saying goodbye, there is also a clear sense of gratitude for the comfort and peace this friend gave her.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 15

In today’s Real Vendor Transformation video, Michelle gets a lot of “help” with her video. She talks about the challenges of trying to run her own business, while looking into purchasing another business. All of this is of course on top of her gardening commitments and needing to plan birthday parties for the girls. She shares just a bit of what’s running through her head today and we get to see what it’s like in her household while mom tries to get something done.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.

Meh to Marvelous Transformation: Day 14

Today’s Meh to Marvelous post is just a quick check-in from Michelle, where she gives a snapshot of the busy weekend ahead of her. She hints at a big pending decision in her life regarding business. Stay tuned for details. 

Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel to see all the videos.

“Michelle came to me because she was looking to make some huge changes in her life and kickstart her new business. She’s an experienced florist living in a major city and she is totally devoted to her kids, including a daughter with special needs. Michelle’s motivation to start her own business stemmed from her desire to spend more time with her daughters. She’s keeping a video diary of her progress in this 90-day Meh to Marvelous transformation.”