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Skip the small talk.
September 22, 2022, Dina Marie Weineck
My best friend just started traveling perpetually. I’m SO excited for this chapter of her life – man, she’s leaning ALL INTO who is wants to BE in this life. She’s unapologetic about it. Every time she tells me about some new development in her mind and life, my jar drops, my soul gives a Tinker Bell-Esque standing ovation, and my heart smiles. This woman is designing her life, taking full and self-loving control of it. It’s fucking inspiring. And the greatest service anyone can do to the world.
(Wondering how she’s doing it? How I’m doing it? We’re BEING. It’s a journey from Doing to Being anyone can do, and this might be the perfect start for you.)
A few months ago, as my best friend was giving up her location-bound life in Los Angeles, she called me and proclaimed: “You’ve got to teach me how to make friends when you’re on the road all the time. You are SO good at it – look at all your friends in Lisbon!”
My answer was simple: “You skip over the small talk and lean in.”
Leadership: The New Self-Love
September 16, 2022, Dina Marie Weineck
Where does good leadership come from? The type that elicits great job satisfaction among your team and fantastic customer service, black numbers on your annual reports, and staff that feel motivated to work for you?
It doesn’t come from your degree or what you do — not even the vision you have.
It comes from love. It comes from how you consistently and in every situation relate to yourself and, ultimately, to others. Good leadership creates a healthy workplace culture and puts the employee first. Meanwhile, toxic offices — remote, virtual, or in-person — are always indicative of bad leadership and the absence of love. Now, before we dive into loving leadership, let’s first lay out some definitions:
Who is a leader?
Anyone that sees and ignites the potential within others by presenting them with the resources, opportunities, support, and challenges needed.
What is leadership?
The act of uplifting those around you in service of both the individual and greater good.
While the head of a company inevitably takes a leadership role, leadership is not a position — it’s a way of being. Leadership is not a promotion — it’s a choice. I’ve seen people in the C-suite that have no business calling themselves a leader. I’ve seen executives being hailed for the success they’ve accomplished on the shoulders of their crippling staff, the underpaid mid-level manager picking up her boss’s slack while the boss is on vacation. A leader leads by example, is compassionate, pursues a vision, starts a euphoria for the future among their team, listens deeply and intentionally, and most importantly, genuinely cares for his team.
September 15, 2022, Dina Marie Weineck
What would you consider to be an ask too bold to make? When is the last time you lowered your ask, or didn’t ask in the first place, because you thought it would be a point-blank audacity?
We’ve probably all been there.
We lower our fee hoping that will get us the yes. (it won’t)
We start a salary negotiation at a lower-than-desired number because we don’t want to come across as too demanding. (that’s attaching a number to your self-worth and asking someone else to approve of a ‘low self-worth’, which doesn’t even exist)
We don’t ask for the ride so to not cause any trouble. (What the f*ck do I know what it will cause!? A new book recommendation, a friend, a date, a client, sexy time…?)
And we won’t return the overcooked steak because it would cause the chef extra work. (the chef caused that)
Here is the thing.
A vision, a dream, a designed life cannot soar unless you’re willing to make the bold asks required to make the dream a reality.
Playfulness, connecting with a lost part of myself, and letting go of the things we love.
September 6, 2022, Dina Marie Weineck
My heart is SO FULL right now – it is dancing the cha-cha-cha right now. This past week, something I’ve quietly been working on over the summer with my wonderful colleague, Sandra Janke, came to a culmination. And that is: Sandra’s festival, “Letting Go – Grow yourself and leave YOUR mark on the world”.
The festival was deeply insightful and moving. Sandra curated, facilitated, and hosted the festival. I ran operations, production, and part of the communication – AND coached at the festival.
We had over 80 registrations, 13 workshops and keynote speakers, 12 experts (including yours, truly), and two days packed with this exploration:
If we were 10x as brave, what would we let go of?
We even wrote a break-up letter at the end of the second day. I broke up with the approval and validation-seeking part of me. It was a cathartic experience.
Here is the thing: This has been a major part of how I’ve spent my summer and YET, I never once mentioned any of it in public.
Why? Because I had held onto a limited version of my mission. I feared I’d be seen as “less than” if I shared about a part of my business that is not straight coaching.
Finally, I let go of that.
Surrendering is a b*tch.
August 25, 2022
When is the last time you did nothing?
As in: meditation.
As in: drinking coffee with your phone off.
As in: gazing at the stars wondering where we came from.
As in: looking over a rice field (or equivalent) getting lost in your thoughts.
In many cultures, we are taught that doing and achieving something is good and desirable. At some point then, we come to define ourselves and our worth through the lens of doing and achieving. Whatever our life looks like on the outside becomes more important than what it feels like on the inside.
Before long, things start to go sideways: your body gets sick, relationships fall apart, you begin to sabotage the projects you’ve started at work, business stops coming in, you get a headache, clumsy, and moody.
Yet, you keep on going, filling every minute with something that you have to do.
Making a change becomes something you allegedly “don’t have the time for.
That is not true, dear reader.
You’re not actually doing all these things to achieve something. It’s not that you aren’t resting because you don’t have the time for it; you aren’t resting because you’re afraid.
August 17, 2022
It’s Time You Align the Stars Yourself! – Call in Your Future, NOW
There are two ways to go about life: you can work towards achieving the future you deserve or you can spend your life waiting for it to somehow come around. Wait for the stars to align, or you can reach for the stars and align them yourself. Are you waiting or aligning? Your answer can be the difference between growing old and bitter OR growing wise and fulfilled. Let me explain.
Only YOU Can Call the Shots!
If you’re waiting for the stars to align, you might wait forever. You might, in fact, hustle your life away – hustling after the things that you’re hoping to, one day, have. Hustling to one day wake up being that one person you’ve always wanted to be. But life doesn’t boil down to the hustle, in the same way that your value doesn’t boil down to how much you hustle. You’re the only one capable of aligning the stars and creating the future you deserve, so what are you waiting for?
July 13, 2022
Fallen Sick? Here's what (not) to do.
Sick and running a business is a tough one. Good-meaning doctors, insurances, friends, colleagues, and mothers will tell you to just rest up and pick up the slack on the other end. There is profound truth to that.
Often, however, these well-meant wishes fail to understand that a service based or early-stage business does not make money with the business owner out sick. You might even be the only employee of your company – you being sick means the entire company is out sick. Now what?
Bit of background: I am writing this article as someone who has been perpetually sick for the past year. It all started with 3.5 months of mono last summer. It wasn’t until I began to build a partnership with my body that I became better. Before, it was a lot of judgmental push and pull. Albeit my body and I get along much better now, and to this day, I have good phases and phases when I get very sick every month. I am in one of those phases right now. The following is what I’ve learned over the last year. Let’s first address the immediate sickness. Second, I’ll speak to running business in a manner that is sustainable for your body in the long-term.
June 22, 2022
Don't Should Yourself. Get yourself satisfied.
“I should stay to please dad.”
“I should come in early, hopefully my boss will notice.”
“I shouldn’t ask for a promotion because it will threaten my colleague.”
DON’T! Walking through life hoping to please others is an incredibly dissatisfying course of action. It throws you way out of integrity. And being out of integrity leads to frustration and depletion.
In pleasing others and seeking validation outside ourselves, we are actually spending and wasting a ton of energy. And in wasting energy, we are actually setting ourselves up to do mediocre work. And that, dear reader, is a huge disservice to the world, whether that’s your staff, boss, company, or family…especially to those whose validation you’re hoping for.
You’ve got to let go of “shoulding” yourself and, instead, ask yourself: “What do I really want here?”
And then request it.
June 14, 2022
Asking for help is a show of strength: The Law of Receptivity
A few weeks ago, I found myself in need of quite a bit of help. Physical and emotional support. An open door, a shoulder, and a cup of tea, so to speak. I was overwhelmed with the generosity and no-questions-asked way my community of friends offered all of these things to me.
It reminded me of the power of community and that I am, in fact, absolutely able and permitted to ask for help…and be open to receiving it.
We live in a world that celebrates individualism over community. A world where saying “I need help” and “I don’t know” have been given the connotation of bad, weak, and inferior. In a world, that has become quit-pro-quo from the way business deals are handled right down to some family dynamics.
Submitting yourself to that world and trying to make it all by yourself is unhealthy, lonely, and suffocating.
Shocker: We can’t make it alone. None of us can. And I say this as someone who travels the world alone and runs her own business – I thrive living out my own individualism. If, however, vagabonding has shown me one thing, it is this:
The support of community and asking for help are synonymous with being individualistic. And the giving soul, if willing, shall receive.
June 11, 2022
Spirituality as a Business Practice and the Key To Focused Leadership
You, dear reader, have all the resources, love, and support you need within you. Right at this moment. There is no thing or degree that stands between you and you being ready or worthy enough to move forward in life.
That’s what is at the core of what I’m about to share: Spirituality as a business strategy.
If you find yourself getting triggered by staff or partners, taking feedback as a personal attack on your character, feeling no love within yourself while working tirelessly on a team to build a loving community, or holding grievances and judgments that keep you from going BIG in business (or in life), read on.
May 26, 2022
Elevator pitches...size does matter
It is conference season. Most people think that researching other delegates and printing pretty business cards is what diligent conference prep looks like. The truth is, who you show up as and your mental preparation are FAR more important than the business card (although I do love a pretty biz card).
Conferences: I produced and spoke at one, attended one, and will coach at yet another one in June. In other words, I have and am about to hear a lot of elevator pitches. In a coaching environment, I don´t care so much about hearing any kind of succinct statement of what you do. There, we go beyond a simple pitch and uncover what is holding you back from manifesting your vision and standing by your mission. We look at who you need to become and what you need to overcome in your journey towards your vision. So that…
…when you do attend a conference to network, and enroll potential business partners and investors into your vision, both your words and Being attracts the right people to you.
That´s right. There are two key things here: Who you are. What you say.
May 10, 2022
Intentionality: Pretty F*cking Feasible
There is a word that can change everything. Your marriage, your company’s future, your day, your workout routine, your EDI (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion) efforts: INTENTIONALITY.
April 13, 2022
Leader! Do your team members have a vision?
As a founder, keeping your team members happy and thriving is crucial to realizing your company’s vision…here’s why and how you do it.
One of your biggest responsibilities as a founder or leader is to help your team members see a place for themselves within the vision they help you realize. In other words, the vision every single one of your team members has for themselves is just as crucial to the success of the company as is the vision you have for the very company itself.
Early on in my work with clients, I help them develop a vision of their Future Self. We give them names, like Beach Tony, Dr. Caitlin, or Resort Anna. And then we put the Beach Tonys of the world to work:
With that vision at the forefront, every day, they’re becoming their future Self, and ultimately, take emboldened action in the present.
Living from that future place opens up a lot of potential. For you as the individual. For your company. For your team. And for the members of that very team.
As a founder, you’ll have your own reasons for going into business. Your business is, in some ways, the vehicle that helps your call forth your Future Self. Similarly, you'll also want to clearly define your envisioned future for the company. Ultimately, you want to help your team members define their own future vision and, collaboratively, create a vision wherein the company's future can support the individual team member's future, and vice versa.
April 6, 2022
ONE moment: What are you waiting for?!
A friend of mine teaches a class, “Getting good at getting old”. A soul as old as time, a spirit as young as a newborn, agility as fresh as that of a 7 year old, and a body around 70, she has the students of the course contemplate how everything they do might be the last time:
Blow a kiss to your grandchildren, walk down your favorite street, have dinner with your best friends, say good night to your loved one, etc.
What becomes utterly clear towards the end of a long and blessed life is, in fact, a universal truth: everything we do at any point in our lives might just be the last time.
I say this in celebration of life!
All we ever have is the moment at present. We don’t know what next year, month, week, day, even hour looks like. We don’t know if or how we’ll experience the next moment. Or where we’ll be. All we ever have is the moment at hand and it’s time to cherish every single one – and make the most of it...
March 30, 2022
Priorities - do you have them?
Or are you just busy?
What is it that you really want? What is important to you? And are you putting your money and time towards what's important? Or are you a victim to your own circumstances? Whenever I coach clients, especially entrepreneurs and leaders of organizations, we look at this one universal truth:
Ultimately, a leader’s ability to realize the vision they’ve so carefully laid out comes down to two things:
how they spend their time
how they spend their money.
March 23, 2022
Are you the sacrificial lamb of your dream?
Something I ask my clients is “How would this dream of yours turn into your personal nightmare?” Typically, a list of things they would no longer be able to do unfolds. A look of horror settles in on their face. And yet, by the time the list feels complete, they discover what it is they have to protect with all their might while building their dream.
Personally? If my dream of traveling was stolen from me and you’d instead place me in a grey cubical at a 9-5, that’d be a scary nightmare for me. As I’m writing this, I’m sitting near the beach in Lisbon, in a beautiful Café, eating Pastel de Natas.
My business and my lifestyle are, by design, intricately connected. This is something I’ve built over years with the help of strong intentions, clarity on what I wouldn’t trade the world for, and a loving commitment to myself.
Are you the sacrificial lamb of your own dream? Or do you live while building the dream?
March 9, 2022
I'm opening up my calendar
I'm opening up my calendar. Times of crisis, especially of war, are times of reckoning, times of introspection, solidarity, and ultimately, they are times when creativity levels will rise. These are trying times for all of us. You may have read more of my thoughts in this article on Home, Love, and War – thank you, truly, to all those that have reacted to this.
Sometimes, there is but one thing we can do at any given moment...
I’m opening up my calendar to YOU: In being with my clients this past week, I’ve realized that we all are in need of a Being With someone. So, I want to extend the invitation to Be With someone to you, as well, at no charge.
March 3, 2022
About War, Home, and Love
This blog post was supposed to be about my recent change in lifestyle, my move to Portugal, and the start of a nomadic chapter in my life and business. I was going to write about the contradictory feelings I had on the flight here – the excitement and wonder: Is this the right thing to do?!, and my plans for the business. It was supposed to be a lighthearted message along the lines of “if you can believe it, you can make it happen”.
Then, war broke out, threatening the very sovereignty that enables so many of us to follow our dreams of not only a country but the individual. Writing about aimless nomadic travel while there are hundreds of thousands, soon-to-be millions of people being uprooted and forced to flee their home country, Ukraine, isn’t right.
When US President Biden offered to evacuate President Zelensky, he responded: “I need ammunition, not a ride.” And he shall receive - literal ammunition and that which can’t be measured in numbers: love, support, belief…and the strength and actions that love, support, and belief can unleash.
And he shall receive, for love is the ultimate weapon.
March 2, 2022
Welcoming Fear with Open Arms is Daunting, but Establishing a Relationship With it is Essential for Your Growth And Fulfillment
Fear. That stifling, deafening, defeating feeling of paralysis.
You can’t do anything. It keeps you from proposing to your partner, deciding to quit your tedious job, or applying for your dream job. It keeps you from climbing the mountain, going bungee jumping, or scuba diving.
But does fear always have to limit you?
Wait, Should I Settle?
A dear friend once begged me, as I was driving him to the airport to send him on his way to live in a new country, “whatever you do, promise me you won’t settle.”
What he meant by this was the decision to settle down and getting complacent might feel good for the moment. However, long-term, it’s dangerous for the mind. It’s the exact opposite of growth and fulfillment.
This article has originally been published on the MAPS Journey. Click here to read on.
February 23, 2022
Getting unstuck - can't you or won't you?
I recently went over to my mom’s for coffee. A treat, as always. My brother came in with his chemistry homework and asked something-something about potatoes. (my last chemistry class is way too far in the past for me to still speak that language). He basically said "I can’t do this. I don’t know the answer to this."
The conversation with my brother wasn’t too different from how some client conversations start:
Client: "I don’t know what I need to do to be a leader. I don’t know how to network in this new field I’m trying to break into. I don’t know how to set up an email marketing campaign. I don’t know….."
Typically, I don’t buy that. Of course, when I know the ‘how to’, I’ll happily share or offer a resource. However, the "how to" isn't the core of the matter. Instead, I ask a few questions that relate more to the BEING than to the DOING:
February 16, 2022
Networking during a career pivot - ultra-hard or easy?
Having played Simba for four years – ages 6 through 10, Pumbaa and Timon left a serious impression on me. Particularly, a version of “leave your past behind, Hakuna Matata”. The pre-2010 version of YOLO or Eff It.
Well, neither Simba nor I have much followed that advice in later years. However well-intended Hakuna Matata might be as a motto, there are lessons in our past that will keep hitting us over the head until we turn around and not only deal with them, but integrate the value past connections have to offer into our presence and future.
Put differently, at one point or another, especially the people of your past will become the secret key to unlocking the next level of success in life. And by people I mean business partners, clients, speaking opportunities, new job engagements, and referrals, that’s mentors, web designers, etc.
Let’s talk about networking when you’re switching careers/industries.
February 9, 2022
Are you a playwright yet?
Have you ever found yourself wallowing in the stories your favorite characters live out so fiercely on the big screen, or on Broadway; feeling inspired by how they rose to the challenges while tirelessly pursuing their objectives? I like to think of good storytelling as being synonymous with building your own life, career, or business. In fact, I submit that the exact same things are needed to make either, the story on screen or of your life, a fabulous creation of the mind. So, instead of wallowing in some character’s life, why not choose to learn from what goes into great storytelling and start writing your own script?
February 4, 2022
What's your story?!
Finding truth in a change of perspective
What’s your story? More importantly, how do you tell it? DO you tell it? Or are you reiterating how someone else has passed it down to you? A parent or a mentor, maybe? When telling your story, or when contemplating which decision to make in your company, a change in perspective can be pivotal. A change in perspective can reveal solutions, offer insights, and pave the way not only to better outcomes, but forgiveness, empathy, and compassion.
How often do you stop and examine your own personal story?
January 31, 2022
How to turn into the person you want to be - right now
Our past and present is here to inform, not determine our future. To help achieve this, I’ve created a process that calls forth your innermost leader and, in doing so, supports in you creating a future goal you’re coming from, not hustling obsessively to reach achievement.Once we make a shift from describing to creating our reality, we are then also designing our future. Ultimately, stress levels go down as a sense of fulfillment and purpose settles in.
This article has originally been published on the MAPS Journey. Click here to read on.
January 28, 2022
CEO - A Title or a Choice?
Lately, I’ve found myself in a lot of conversations with friends and clients that consider their next move in their career, some contemplate leaving one career path in order to pursue another career path, some think about their next move within the same career. Either way, they’re yearning for a big change. I admire their bravery and see something oh-so-familiar in their eyes: The clash of excitement and terror that seems to set in the minute after they’ve made a pivotal Choice:
To become the CEO of their lives.
This article is for all those that are at a crossroads in their career. It’s for those that are thinking about pivoting, changing their career path, becoming freelancers, or leaving a perfectly “fine” career to start their own business. You might even see yourself in anyone of these stories:
December 14, 2021
Forgiveness – When Your Business Becomes a Mirror of Your Soul
During tough times in business, many of us tend to grind harder, work longer, and make “I can sleep when I’m dead” their new motto.
Before long, we have completely abandoned any attempts at self-care: that morning walk, the phone-less coffee after lunch, or the two hours of brainstorming with your inbox put on pause.
This typically leads to burn-out and doesn’t do a thing to the bottom-line — nothing good anyway.
Once you set out to found your own business, it becomes a mirror of your soul, with all those wounds, limiting believes, and sabotaging behaviors you’ve picked up over time. If you’re not careful, before long your self-worth is in-toe with your net-worth.
My mom grew up in the former GDR, East Germany, and self-development and personal growth pretty much granted you a spot in jail at that time. If you weren’t careful, voicing judgments and claiming your own opinion would lead to the denouncement of the harshest kind. It could come from anywhere: your best friend, your neighbor, your colleague at school.
The forgiveness process I’m about to share would have been illegal in East Germany (it still is in some countries these days). This process is about freeing your mind from triggers and acknowledging when work triggers a private memory – and working through it.
This article has originally been published on the MAPS Journey. Click here to read on.
November 2, 2021
For An Entrepreneur, Traveling Can Be a Wealth of Resources and Connections. Here Are Three Key Ingredients to Building Transformational Relationships While On The Road
If you love the idea of working from the same office five days a week and enjoy your once-a-year vacation, that’s great. This article isn’t for you.
If, however, you consider the world-wide-train-and-flight-connection-web to be your office, you’ll want to keep reading.
I built my business on the fly. Literally, I built it on flights, on trains, in hostels and hotels, in foreign cities, and at conferences. Every time I pack my backpack, inspiration jumps out at me, hugging me like an old friend.
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about networking and building relationships while traveling, and that’s what I’m going to share with you.
Take the Leap. Buy The Ticket.
I needed an escape from traditional nine-to-five so much, I booked myself on an around-the-world ticket and came up with my business.
This article has originally been published on the MAPS Journey. Click here to read on.
September 21, 2021
Cultivating a Business Plan That Offers True Freedom Might Sound Like a Fantasy. This Coach Shares the Secret Recipe Learned From A Margarita-Artist Named Lemon.
If you’re building a business, you probably started with a business plan or at least guiltily remember that you were supposed to have one. But what if the traditional way we think about a business plan is actually the thing that is holding you back from achieving lasting success?
I work with classical musicians that are building community-based businesses. Each of them seems to believe that they need to grind, sweat, and sell their souls to be successful. But as they learn pretty quickly, that just leads to a failed business and burnout.
In my work, I’ve found that there is only one real reason people quit their 9-to-5:FREEDOM.
They want financial freedom and the freedom to work where, when, with whom, and wearing whatever the heck they want.
But by the time they’ve filed all the paperwork, lost years of their lives creating a website, and find themselves surrounded by vision boards and oughta-dos, it starts to happen: money worries creep in, and friends and family cast worried looks their way.
They realize that they’re anything but free...Learning from Lemon: How I Learned to Create True Freedom...