Merry Christmas – Happy Holidays

What’s Christmas about for you? For me, under “normal” circumstances, it’s spending time with my family. Sadly though, this won’t happen this year. At least not as I had planned. But unusual times require unusual measures.

I’ll say it up front, it is for sure not my preferred way of spending Christmas, but it is way better than being miserable and lamenting about what isn’t possible.

We’ll have a video session with our son in New Zealand, light the Christmas tree candles and some other candles, and make it as Christmassy as possible. We’ll also “invite” my Mom for a Christmas coffee, her favorite afternoon break. We’ll meet some friends, in the US and Germany, for a “Happy Hour” and have our favorite drink together.

In short, I’m going to focus on what I can have and what gives me joy instead of the other way around.

Will there be sad moments? Of course. But reminding myself that there are a lot of positive things as well makes me feel so much better and Christmas so much brighter.

I wish you…

Darn, why did I say yes…


Yes-No w Person 3100993

Do you know this feeling? A friend, family member or colleague asks you for a favor or help and without even thinking about it you say yes. Five minutes later you get an unsettling feeling in your stomach and you regret it.

Truth be told, you have enough on your plate as it is, right? Who doesn’t? We all have obligations and commitments at work, with our families and with our friends that more than fill our waking time. So why do we add more and more?

Yes, we want to be a good friend. We like to be helpful. We can’t let our family down. Therefore, we give up the time that we so desperately need to recharge our own battery, sleep a couple of hours more, or work on something that is important to us or our business. As a result, we feel stressed and overwhelmed – we over-committed. We oblige to do more than we are capable of (Oxford Dictionary, paraphrased).

In an article of Psychology Today over-committing is described as the “consequence of poor limit setting”. It particularly mentions women who “…are socialized to be helpful, accommodating, and polite in groups. If they can help out, they are taught that they should, even if it pulls them away from something they’re already doing or something they really wanted to do.” If they don’t, they are considered heartless and selfish.

Let’s turn that around for a second. What would change if we looked at it as an investment? I got this idea from a Harvard Business Review article that mentioned a book titled “How to Invest Your Time Like Money”. I thought this is a fabulous title because time, like money, is a precious commodity.

With this in mind, how can you avoid over-committing yourself?

I found the best way is to train yourself to take a moment and engage your brain before saying yes. Don’t be offended, but that is exactly what we don’t do. Most of the time internalized patterns rule our response. Engaging the brain sounds simple, doesn’t it? But the devil lies in the detail, because as we all know, old habits die hard.

I made it a rule to defer my answer to a later time, especially when it is a bigger time commitment. It is easy to say, “I’ll get back to you later, I have to check my calendar or with my spouse, children […]”, fill in the blank. It’ll break your ‘yes-pattern’ and allows you to ask some simple questions to help you make the right choice.

  1. Is this really one of my priorities?
  2. If I say yes to this commitment, what do I have to kick off my list? What do I have to give up for it? (I wrote a blog about this late last year.)
  3. Will it be a “hell yes” or at least a resounding yes?
  4. Do I have the time and energy to do it?

If you find out that it is not what you should say ‘yes’ to, there is always a gracious way to say no. Or you may be able offer a different solution?

Now you may come back and say, hold on for a sec. If a friend is in need or a family member needs a hand I can’t say no. I absolutely agree, there are situations when you feel obliged to help, no matter what. But, be honest with yourself, that is only a fraction of the many times you are asked, right?

Remember: “When you give a knee-jerk ‘yes’, all the time you’re valuing the time and happiness of others over your own. Ultimately, it’s the recipe for resentment, exhaustion, and burnout.” (paraphrased: Dr. Frank Lipman, Be Well Blog) And that doesn’t help anybody, least of all you.

Take good care of yourself and say ‘no’ more often.

Narrative Coaching-90 Minute FREE Immersion Session

Hi again,

Writing my own blog after so many people do this already feels a bit daunting. I guess every blogger struggles with these thoughts and the only way to get over it is… to do it. So let’s get this party started.

My hope for this blog is that you will find some great tips, inspiring thoughts, encouragement, or affirmation in it. Writing about entrepreneurship or business related topics is for sure no rarity, but maybe I find the right words that will resonate with you and help you along your way, or I mention a book that tickles your interest and helps you find the solution to a problem, or you read about something you had forgotten and realize that it is exactly what you need to do.

I won’t pop up too frequently. I will limit my writing to topics that I feel passionate about. Instead of telling only my friends, I will share it here. And that is the reason for today’s blog. I learned about an event that I imagine will peak the interest of you.

I am talking about a 90-minute free immersion session about Narrative Coaching by Dr. David Drake. He is the founder of Narrative Coaching and Narrative Design Labs. He is a brilliant presenter and has a gift for communicating complex contexts in a simple and clear way.

“His natural and holistic way of coaching gets to the crux of the matter quickly to help his clients to achieve meaningful results by covering the ‘last mile’ in getting from an ‘aha’ to an aspiration to a meaningful action.” (World Business and Executive Coaching Summit)

If you are interested register for his session here:

The reason why I feel comfortable promoting this session is that I know WBECS for a little over a year now and all free sessions I participated in were fabulous. They were packed with content and lots of food for thought. They allow you to sample new ideas, expand your horizon in the coaching realm, and implement them in your own coaching practice.

Will you join me for this webinar? I am sure you won’t regret it.

See you there!



Welcome to my blog


This is my corner of the internet where I’d like to share my thoughts and experience with you about everything related to entrepreneurship and business, confidence building, encountering and overcoming stumbling blocks, tools that helped me or my clients, books that I read and found inspiring.

Come back soon and check it out. Share your thoughts, tips and tricks with other entrepreneurs and let me know what worked for you or how you dealt with problems as an entrepreneur. Or… celebrate your latest success and shine like a star.