You Can Have it All by Masha Malka

November 12, 2008

By Masha Malka

I was asked by one of the reporters to describe how I balance being a mother working from home and having a career. The following article is the result of that discussion.

When my first baby (Veronica) was born I felt that now I had it all – the loving husband and the baby I always wanted and waited so long to have! I just couldn’t get enough of her – I couldn’t wait for her to wake-up so that I could play with her; I wrote her songs and letters; made hundreds of pictures and videotaped her every progress.

When Veronica was two years old something strange happened. As I was hanging out the laundry I felt tears running down my cheeks. And then I felt a deep yearning inside of me for something else, for something that was not a part of my life at the time. As much as I loved my baby and staying home with her, I had to do something else.

So I went back to school. I decided to continue my education through an online university (Capella University) so that I could still be with Veronica as much as possible. I studied while she slept and a year later I got a Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Training Online.

That same year I traveled to Las Vegas to attend a workshop on Accelerated Learning Techniques and became a certified trainer. Four months later I flew to Thailand to attend a Transformational Thinking Certificate Program. By then Veronica was three and a half years old and I was “working” on having another baby.

When I got back from Thailand I was so full of ideas and desire to start a career in training that I decided to postpone having the second child; yet, just two weeks later I discovered that I was 6 weeks pregnant!

“Well”, I said to myself, “Why should a pregnancy and a baby stop me from doing what I really want?!” So I proceeded to design my first workshop and delivered it when I was seven months pregnant. I have to mention that I had a terrible fear of public speaking and it took so much courage and determination not to give up my idea.

After the success of my first workshop I was “too pregnant” to deliver any more but I still felt I had to do something, so I converted my workshop into an e-book (“Discover Your Inborn Genius”), designed a website and 6 weeks later started selling it online. I knew absolutely nothing about e-books or selling them online when I had that idea.

My second baby Julia was born a week after Veronica’s 4th birthday. Three month later we sold our house and moved to Bulgaria! My husband and I wanted to do Corporate Training for Emerging Markets and decided to be closer to the action. Not knowing anyone there and with two young children, we dived right in to finding clients and developing our first workshop.

I put my desk in the living room so that I would not miss “any action” while I was writing workbooks and doing my research. I also hired someone else to do the house chores so that when I did not work I could just be with my girls.

I still wrote songs and letters to my kids, as well as took lots of photos and videos. My career, though demanding, provided a perfect balance for me.

When Veronica turned six and Julia turned three I felt like my life was getting a little easier. Girls where in school and more and more independent; I was in the middle of writing my second book and there was a big demand for my coaching services. Though I really wanted to have a boy, I decided my family was perfect as it was and that I should not have any more children and give more focus to my career.

Ha! As I said that to my gynecologist he has informed me (after the routine check-up) that I was pregnant!! Completely shocked and realizing that with the third child I might have to let go or postpone quite a few of my dreams I just did not know what to do!

Since I am still not sure “how it happened” (I mean we used the same protection we always used), I thought to myself that this was really meant to be and it was not for me to decide whether this was the right time or not. So I just decided, as with everything else in my life, to take it one step at a time and see what happens.

I did not give up on any of my dreams! Two weeks after my baby-boy David was born, my book was published! I felt like I gave birth to two children that year! The joy and fulfillment was indescribable!

I chose to breastfeed all of my kids; which meant frequent waking at nights and not much power to think or do much. Yet, I had to get back to work – my clients were waiting and the book needed attention.

When I had only Veronica and no career, I used to think that it would be impossible for me to take care of more children. I just could not image how some women did it!

Now, with three children ages nine, five, and one, as well as a rapidly growing career I realize that we greatly underestimate our power and our strength! I am a very petite 5’2″ and 105 lbs woman who was always kind-of jealous of people with lots of energy (since I never seemed to have any). Yet, as I look back I realize how much I have already achieved!

My new book, The One Minute Coach: change your life one minute at a time published by a New York Publishing House – Morgan James Publishing – addresses many areas to assist others in creating balance in both their personal an professional life. I am busy doing what I love and I have created a perfect balance between my career and my family.

My children are growing up understanding that taking care of personal needs is just as important, if not more so, as taking care of other people’s needs. I still work from home and I am a very involved mom – attending all of the recitals, teacher meetings, doing project with my kids and taking them on “dates with Mommy”.

When we let go of our fears; do what we love; and just take it one step at a time – we can have it all!

Masha Malka is an entrepreneur, author, Clarity and Focus guru, international speaker and trainer as well as the mother of 3 children.

Masha has delivered workshops, seminars, written articles and books, and provided personal training and coaching in the field of success and the skill of learning since 1998.

She is the author of The One Minute Coach. This book is a great resource for anyone looking for more balance in their life. Order you own copy of The One Minute Coach within the next 24 hours and receive over $9,000 in bonus gifts from experts around the globe. Go to  http://mashamalka.com/bookpromotion/


Skills for a Successful and Happy Life

October 24, 2008

From my experience as a speaker and consultant, it seems that striving for success creates much unnecessary drama. The image that comes to mind for me is rowing with all of your might to get to an island that never appears. When do I get there? How do I get there faster? What if someone else gets there first? If there is drama in the boat, getting to the island isn’t going to be much better.

With that in mind, here are five skills that will make your success journey one worth savoring.

1. Define success
2. Seek and experience joy
3. Take care of yourself
4. Master your beliefs
5. Own your choices

Define success
One of my favorite authors, Eckhart Tolle has some great insights about success. He says, “Don’t let a mad world tell you success is anything other than a successful present moment.”  One of his most profound teachings is the concept that you cannot become successful, you can only “be” successful. What if you take the success question off the table and you declare that you are already successful? When you are free to “be” you start living in the flow and you can really experience success versus strive for it.

Seek and experience joy

No matter what your accomplishments or achievements, you can’t experience success if you are unhappy. For two years I have researched happiness and success and I ask the question “what is heaven on earth?”   It is surprising that the number one answer (over 70% of all people surveyed) say time with family and friends is heaven on earth. Vacations is a close second and third on the list with over 50 percent say reading a good book or eating a good meal. The fact is, you can create a little heaven on earth every single day.

Take care of yourself

If you aren’t healthy and happy you can’t contribute at work or at home. When you travel by air, the air, the attendants always tell you “In case of emergency put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else.” It seems counterproductive in our fast paced world, but taking regular breaks including taking a lunch away from your desk promotes productivity. According to Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz in their business book, “The Power of Full Engagement” the body requires rest and recovery every 90 minutes. If you are skipping regular breaks you are not doing anyone any favors. In addition workaholism is an addictive habit that gets you hooked on adrenaline overload which contributes to a reduced immune system and illness.

Master Your Beliefs

The reason you may be working without breaks is because you are listening to the lies you tell yourself.  You have habitually allowed thoughts like, “I don’t have time to take a break, “or “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done”  While there might be a kernel of truth (as there is in every victim story) the reality is, if you died tomorrow the world would go on.

The reality is you need to learn how to say “no” and you might need to delegate. One thing is for certain, if you master your beliefs you can catch yourself when you get sucked into the tribal mentality of “there’s no time” or ” no one will help me.”

Own Your Choices

The best way to “be” successful is to become completely responsible for your choices. This means no complaining, no blaming, no manipulation and no explaining. This means you must be willing to give up a few things. You must be willing to give up the need for others to always agree or understand. You must be willing to quit explaining why you didn’t step up or why something isn’t working. You must also be willing to stop saying and doing things just to get approval.

When you become the master at these five skills you will have plugged the leak, stopped the drama and you will be in the flow and loving your successful life.  Get your copy of Success is a Given Here.


Looking for Purpose? Six Re-Invention Steps to Success

October 1, 2008

Recently I spoke at a conference using the title of my book, “Success is a Given: Reading the Signs While Reinventing Your Life.” As would be expected, many in the audience were in the midst of reinvention, looking for purpose, reinventing their career or entering a new decade of life. These life transitions, I call “the search.”

Four major themes emerged though personal conversations:

  • I don’t know my purpose
  • I just turned 40 and I want something more
  • I’m scared, frustrated and overwhelmed
  • I don’t know what to do

It’s easy to let the drama of life-reinvention trigger unhealthy conversations that keep you farther away from your goals. The communication we have with others is always evidence of the emotions going on underneath.

I understand the emotions because I traveled a similar path about 10 years ago. I was getting ready to turn 40, I had worked in a factory all of my life and I was searching for a purpose and a new career. Once I actually quit my job, the world was open to possibilities…in fact, too many possibilities which is just as frightening as none at all.

You go from being marooned on an island with no escape to complete freedom floating in the middle of the ocean with no map, too many islands to choose from and just a couple of oars! It’s easy to let your attitude slip into negativity and desperation as you row in circles trying to chart your course.

Here are six easy tips to reinvention success.

1. Slow down

2. Get some structure

3. Create an inner purpose

4. Experiment

5. Master your communication

6. Start where you are

Slow Down
Slow down and take a breath. This is not the time to panic. When you are searching too hard, you mistake activity for productivity. One woman said she was spending 10 hours a day searching on the computer to find just the right opportunity. I asked her if she was willing to go inward and listen to her voice. Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are rowing in the right direction.

Get some structure
To increase your personal effectiveness and productivity create some boundaries. If you are completely out of work, set up a schedule for yourself. Get up at the same time every day. Set up specific times for job searching, working out, and create daily routines. Creating boundaries for yourself makes you feel in control instead of lost at sea.

Create an Inner Purpose
Don’t allow searching for your life purpose be the big drama that’s keeping you stuck. Too many people are looking for some big magical ah-ha moment that signifies they finally got their purpose. Although some people claim to have such a moment, the reality is that life is lived in small segments of the “now.” Looking for the big purpose can be like trying to row to an island 5000 miles away. At some point it just gets exhausting and you never truly arrive.

Look first for an inner purpose and then you can always be on purpose no matter what you do to make money. For example, when I was in the midst of my life-purpose drama, I could not for the life of me figure out how to leave my factory job. I came up with an inner purpose called ICARE which stood for “Improving Communication and Relationships Everywhere.” Then I knew that was my north star for everything I did, even while working in the factory.

Experiment
Give yourself a break. Do you really need to have all the answers right now? Life is about enjoying the journey. Give yourself some time to experiment. Try volunteering for a project. Take up a new hobby. Get to know yourself. If you are going through a re-invention such as divorce or career change, it’s important to experiment with life to know what you want to create for the next phase.

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication
Watch the language you use while in the stages of reinvention. Be mindful of sounding like a victim.
Negative self talk becomes negative public talk. Change your attitude and your words will naturally follow.

One woman I talked to kept talking about “I don’t know what to do” and “the reason what I want isn’t possible is because…” No wonder she was feeling lost. My advice to her was to say instead, “I’m in an exciting period of life reinvention and I’m so fortunate to get to try new things, experiment with my life and create exactly what I want for the next phase.

Start where you are.
Life gives you opportunities in each moment to be purposeful. Don’t fall for the illusion that you need some fancy career or big life calling to be purposeful in your life. I remember creating a mantra while I was still at Kraft Foods. Instead of complaining about the job I would say, “Someone has to make cheese.” If you can be on purpose in the mundane, your presence will lead you to the bigger purpose you are searching for.

What myths are you believing about re-invention and success? Get your free copy of The 3 Success Myths and 4 Lies by clicking here.


Success is a Given: Reading the Signs While Re-inventing Your Life

June 10, 2008

Reading the Signs While Re-Inventing Your Life

I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer! I have just finished my first book. (It will be for sale on AMAZON soon.) Truth is, I’ve had it written for three years but just didn’t have the courage to put it out there.

All of the “mind drama” kept coming up. What if people don’t like it. What if three years from now I don’t feel the same way about the work? What if I get criticized? What if it’s too motivational and not “business” enough?

Does this sound familiar? DRAMA keeps us from success and most of us don’t give ourselves credit for the success we already have.

While in the process of re-invention I kept looking for SIGNS along the way to encourage me or to let me know if I was on the right tracks. This is what this book is about…Reading the Signs While Re-Inventing Your Life. It’s not meant to be “woo-woo” but I do hope the book offers people another way to view their success and their life’s journey. 😉

I have another secret that I can not keep another minute. In the fall I’m going to be offering an “invitation only” workshop where I share my SUCCESS SYSTEM and all the practical tools I use in my STOP YOUR DRAMA training courses and coaching, including the DRAMA TRIANGLE, the GRID, The LINE and other fun exercises to increase your confidence, ramp up your effectiveness, and give you the courage and support to re-invent and move past that which is keeping you stuck.

Here are my two question for discussion and I do hope you will add to the discussion.

1. If there were no limits what would you do?
2. If I were to re-invent any area of my life it would be…

If you don’t want to answer on the blog you can e-mail me at marlenechism@mchsi.com


The Gap and the Three Life Tragedies

December 27, 2007

The gap is the distance between where you are and where you want to be. You’re in a row boat paddling to an island. Your island is 50 miles away, 500 miles away or 5000 miles away.

The gap is a good thing. If there is a gap between where you are and where you want to be, it means that you have a vision and you know the distance.

If you don’t even know where you want to be but you are still unhappy you are in the first life tragedy. The first tragedy is that you know you want something more but you don’t know what it is.

 The First Tragedy
In the first tragedy you realize you don’t have a vision at all but you are unsatisfied with your current situation, be it a relationship, a job or a life calling. In the first tragedy you don’t know what you want but you know that what you have isn’t “it.”

The Second Tragedy
Once you know what you want you enter into the second tragedy: You know what it is that you want but you don’t believe it’s possible. In other words, you see the island, but the gap between you and your island is 5000 miles away therefore it seems impossible.

 All you have is two little oars to get you there. (You haven’t yet learned about motors, or sails or other means of helping you get to that island that seems so far away). You are in tragedy number two either because you haven’t told yourself the truth about where you really are, or you don’t know HOW to get to the island therefore it doesn’t seem doable.
To get out of dream-land you must eventually pass through tragedy number two and into tragedy number three.

The Third Tragedy
The third tragedy is when you know what you want (you see the island) and you believe it’s possible (the gap is only 500 miles away not 5000) but you aren’t sure you are willing to do what it takes to get to the island.
 
Now you are still uncomfortable but the difference is that you can now identify a real gap between where you are and where you want to go. Once you pass through to the third tragedy you must get past the transitional tragedy. The transitional tragedy is when you know what you want,  you believe it’s possible and you now must make the commitment to set sail.  If you want to move past the transitional tragedy you  must be willing to step outside of your comfort zone. This is where the real journey begins.