Doing You

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Doing You

By Mike:

As soon as my front tire hit the ramp I knew trouble was ahead. After a trip to the emergency room, a cast on my broken arm and a mangled bicycle, my initial assumptions were confirmed.

I was in 2nd grade, my mom had just left on a long over due vacation to Hawaii and this was day one staying with my grandma. The boys who lived next door were several years older and setting up a bike jump ramp in the cul-de-sac. They said I could jump it first.

Not wanting them to think I was chicken I said, um…sure...GULP!

What was behind this bad decision?

It was my fear of what these kids would think of me if I didn’t jump.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say 90% of the things we do and especially don’t do are because we’re fearful of what others will think or say about us.

I like to use a tool I call the 5-Whys when I need to get to the core of a thought. It goes like this.

What do I want_______________________?

1. Why do I want that?__________________

2. Why do I want that?__________________

3. Why do I want that?__________________

4. Why do I want that?__________________

5. Why do I want that?__________________

By the time I get to the 5th Why, I’m a lot closer the the real emotion behind my desire.

I find it helpful to make sure my decisions support me and the person I’m striving to become, and not an underlying need of others admiration or approval.

Don’t waste anymore time worrying about the opinions of others, it will keep you from your best life. Go do you.


Do You Have Money Blocks?

by Megan

Money blocks can sneak into your mind in many different forms creating mental hurdles that hold you back, usually stemming from childhood.

If your parents always argued about money your block might be “money causes trouble” so you sabotage growth opportunities. Or perhaps your college friend would lament that “all rich people are greedy” so you have guilt around earning too much.  

But sometimes blocks are really sneaky as my friend Kamala found out several years ago. She shared with me how receiving a check from a business client required her to physically drive to the bank (before our convenient days of phone banking apps), she’d unbuckle her young son from his carseat, sometimes need to wake him up and then go stand in line to make a deposit.

It was sheer drudgery to deposit money into her account. 

One day she recognized this weird paradigm of dread, so she changed banks to one that had a drive-thru teller. Guess what, instantly the task of depositing checks became easy.

Her results were immediate and profound! She said she began to make more money because she eliminated this check depositing block. Subconsciously it impacted how she viewed new work and it showed with more clients.

Does it sound rational? No. But we all do it more than we are aware.

This week I listened to CEO Sallie Krawcheck discuss, “What We’re Taught About Money”. It’s an important listen about our thoughts, behaviors and blocks about money.


This week at Hillside Farm

by Megan

It was another bi-coastal week for me and Mike. 

I spent the week in California soaking up the warm sunny days with my nieces Bowie and Harlow. Mike was busy drafting at home, as well as popping over to watch the ridiculously awesome Pumpkin Regatta in our neighboring town of Damariscotta.

I had a moment on Sunday that stuck with me, I was squeezing Harlow’s wiggly arms into her Halloween costume so we could do a photoshoot. The moment I slipped the hooded pineapple sprout onto her noggin, she instinctively started tugging at it to make it go away.

Convinced she would approve of the cuteness, I showed her costumed reflection in the mirror and she instantly smiled and stopped tugging. She was sold and owned the look for the duration of the outfit!

The lesson here is, there’s a lot to be said about not caring what others think about you, even if you look like a pineapple.


The Clouse Chronicles: Sharing

Please forward this issue of The Clouse Chronicles to a friend. Thank you!

~Mike & Megan

Navigating Your Life

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Hope Needs Action

By Megan:

Have you ever gotten lost in your thoughts while on a drive, fantasizing about what your life would look like if you won some mega jackpot lottery? I do this often, but Jess from Carats and Cake reminded me recently how hope is not a business strategy - nor is it a life strategy.

“Often times I hear people attaching hope when they talk about their business goals, whether that’s wishing they were making more money or wanting their career path to be different. But the reality is, hope isn’t a business strategy. Instead it’s about figuring out what you can do in that moment to get one step closer to what you want.”

It’s still fun to dream the lottery dream, but more practical (and rewarding) to make a plan and get busy.


Navigating Your Life

By Mike:

The best app on my phone is Maps. Being able to navigate most locations with realtime traffic and step-by-step directions is mind-blowing.

To navigate a destination you simply need to know where you are and where you want to go. Navigating our lives (goals, dreams, desires) requires the same two pieces of information, where we want to go, and where we currently are.

Knowing where we are includes our thoughts, mental blocks/limitations, and mindset.

Paying attention to “where I currently am” gets routinely overlooked as my busy mind focuses only on tomorrow. To get this in balance I've started a daily journal to track my thoughts.

Journaling is new to me, but I figured if Oprah Winfrey attributes much of her success to keeping a daily journal, then journaling it is.

If you’re looking to reach new destinations, consider journaling. It may provide you with a better route.


This week at Hillside Farm

We’ve been getting things buttoned up around here, saying goodbye to Summer and welcoming in Autumn as the leaves explode with color.

We were really hoping to use our summer items a couple more times, but the chill and rain was the deciding factor to finally move our lawn chairs, umbrellas and kayaks into the shed. The picture above shows the stand up paddle board tucked tight against the barn beams until next spring.

We also walked the property picking the last of the apples from our trees, made apple muffins as a thank you to our neighbor Chuck and froze the rest to make apple pies at Christmas when our boys arrive.

We're glad you're here, see you next week!


The Clouse Chronicles: Sharing

Please forward this issue of The Clouse Chronicles to a friend. Thank you!

~Mike & Megan

Mindset Matters

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Abundant Thoughts

By Megan:

I knew our move to Maine from California would impact my established photography business, but I was excited for a change, knowing a new beginning would allow me to pursue a few business ideas I’ve had on the back burner.

However, what I could not foresee was how slowing down my business and income would affect my mental state.

In these last 10 months, I’ve found my mind going from, “I can always make more money” to “It’s all gone forever!!” and it’s been quite the mental rollercoaster.

Mindset is everything! I spent much of my 20’s figuring this out and applying what I learned to help create the life I currently live. But over the last decade or two I’ve let some of these principles slip and can see how it’s impacted my thoughts. Since thoughts are the seeds of our future it's time to get things dialed in.

I found this podcast about fear helpful in my journey towards getting my abundant mindset back on track. Especially with this statement that Marie practices daily:

“Every time I’d write a check I would bless it and say, ‘there’s always more from where that came from’.” - Marie Forleo


How Expectations Kill Gratitude

By Mike:

Choosing a partner to do life with is interesting if you really think about it. It complicates everything by 10x, but also makes it more beautiful by 10x all at once.

After a few months, and especially years together it’s easy to forget you are two separate people with individual dreams and desires.

An overlap of shared goals and responsibilities blends the lines turning me and you into we. As we lean on each other for inspiration, guidance or support it becomes easy to simply expect your partner to be there, pick up the slack and deliver. After all, that’s their job, right?

Reading this article on how expectations kill gratitude was a great reminder, we are all in relationships by choice. Sure we need to rely on one another, but recognizing our partner is also choosing to be here is important.

Paying attention and being grateful for what they do everyday (big and small) to keep our relationship boat afloat is a great step towards a happy life.


Current Book:

We try to read one book together every month or so and share our thoughts and takeaways with each other.

Now that you're with us we'll share the books and thoughts with you as well.

Ryan Holiday has a facinating background and has written some great books, he just released Stillness Is The Key and we're just diving in.

Join us in reading and we'll share thoughts!


The Clouse Chronicles: Sharing

Please forward this issue of The Clouse Chronicles to a friend. Thank you!

~Mike & Megan