Buzzword Killer: Biohacking

“Biohack” your life for a better experience! Be faster! Be better! Be happier! Be more productive! Blah. Blah. Blah. I mean, sure the word sounds cool. And if using a cool word gets you excited, by all means please do it. I’m all for whatever helps you as an individual. 

But I want to dissect this buzzword “biohack” (or “biohacking”). The root of the word is bio. You know, life. We all know what “hacking” is in the sense of life. I’m sure all of you have heard of Life Hacker. Maybe you’ve watched the TruTV show Hack My Life. Even if you’ve not read / watched those, you’ve found a shortcut that you use to make your life easier. 

Biohack = Doing What Works for You

Some of the articles I’ve read on biohacking list some crazy shit. Well, what I would find to be crazy. For some people, it might work perfectly well. And that’s kinda the point I want to make with this. Don’t get overwhelmed by a buzzword especially if you look into it because people seem to be raving about it and getting up at 5 am, running 12 miles, and drinking black unsweetened coffee with grass-fed butter and coconut oil (okay, I get up early most days and I like the butter coffee shit) and that shit isn’t anything that interests you…or that you dread it. (Although if you’re struggling with time management, stop hitting snooze. Get up earlier – self-discipline!)

Try out productivity methods, morning routines, afternoon routines, aromatherapy, yoga, meditation, hot baths, or hanging upside down from a tree by your toes (be careful) if that’s what interests you. Find the little things you can do in life that make you look forward to your day and that make you feel better. 

My Routine

Out of the blue, I was asked about what I do in the mornings to prepare myself. I don’t mind discussing it. I have CPTSD and AFib. Working from home can be a repetitive and monotonous experience. I enjoy it most of the time, but there are times I don’t. It can be hard to separate yourself out when you live where you work. Amirite? So, my “biohacking” (routine) looks like this:

  1. Hour of Power, as Tony Robbins calls it. I get up, take my supplements, drink some water, feed the dogs, and workout in some way. Sometimes, I go to the gym and sometimes I just do yoga at home. I meditate after. I also answer the Morning Power Questions.
  2. “Bulletproof” coffee. You can make it yourself. You don’t have to buy it. I buy a ghee / coconut oil blend I use to put into the coffee. Make sure you do your research before doing this. Some people get an upset tummy if they get too much oil. Don’t make yourself sick. If you don’t like coffee, don’t do this. I love coffee. I like it as dark as my soul. 
  3. I drink my greens. Good nutrition is an important component of my life. I get dressed if I’m still in workout apparel. You feel better if you get dressed. It’s science
  4. While either drinking my coffee or my greens, I plan my day. I have a Panda Planner. I also have three notebooks. I’ve also used OneNote. I also have a project management software I rely on during my day. I think about my end goal. What do I want to get out of this day? I take 1% of my day (15%) to plan out the other 99%. My plans are also based on my monthly goals which I set with a group of ladies every month. I write down, in advance, all appointments and such that I must attend. I work everything else around it. I also think about Brendon Buchard’s four questions that help high performers continue to perform at a high level.
  5. I work when I am most productive. I embrace the deep work concept to some degree. Because I have AFib and CPTSD, some days are better than others. I am usually focused in the morning and early afternoon. If I have a lot of appointments or errands, I rest during the day and do something fun…and I work in the afternoon / evening when everyone is settled. 
  6. I drink a fuck ton of water during the day. Turns out, that AFib causes your body to use more water. I drink close to 100 ounces of water today (and no, I don’t force it). It helps me feel better. I also take certain supplements three times per day (for AFib support). 
  7. When I get stressed, I am learning to take a break. My favorite break is to take a hot bubble bath in the middle of the day. Sometimes I go out into the backyard and just hang out. I’ll work on my loom. I just try to recharge. 

Those are the things that work best for me. What works best for you? Leave a comment!

The TRUTH about Why So Many Women Fail When They Start a Business

It doesn’t matter if it’s a side-hustle or a full time business, I know why so many women fail at it. First, some demographics: I’m 40. I’m a mom. I’m a woman (and no, I’m not using terms like cis…if you feel like a woman or like this applies to you, then it applies to you. Period dot). I own a business. I work from home full time. It started as a side-hustle (in addition to two other jobs). 

Discouragement and Self-Loathing

I am just going to get straight to the heart of the matter. Women fail because they begin to feel discouraged and, especially behind closed doors, we tend to be self-loathing creatures. And no, I don’t mean all the time. For some women, it is all the time. I don’t feel that way all the time. I used to, though. Let me explain how this happens. 

We start the business with great excitement. It will bring in more money. It will give us more time to do X. It means we can stay home with our babies. Keep inserting positive talk here. You know what I mean. It is very, very rare that we are told to look at the other side of the coin. If we look at it, we want to think that we’re going to be the very small statistic that doesn’t have THAT problem. You know, no clients. No sales (and no matter what you do, you’re involved in sales – product, services, or even yourself because people buy from people they like or to whom they relate). Extra stress. You’re tired. The kid is sick. The KIDS are sick. Like, shit takes a major turn for the worse.

That stress is real. It doesn’t matter if it’s a combination of small things or one or two big things. That stress is legitimate. And it causes discouragement and self-loathing. We set these big goals (there’s nothing inherently wrong with setting big goals. I encourage goal setting.) and then we get upset when we find out (the hard way) that we are NOT part of that tiny statistic that can hit every fucking goal and feel great and stay positive and work what feels like 24/7 (because if you do work from home at all, you know it can be hard as fuck to separate your work life from your home life – especially since any new business takes a LOT of work). 

So, women quit. Sometimes, quitting is the right decision. Maybe you learned you really didn’t want to do that, but you know there’s something else you want to try…except now you’re discouraged because THIS didn’t work so OBVIOUSLY you’re not meant to run a business. Sometimes, women quit too soon. Starting a new business is just hard work. People say no. And that typically affects people (especially women) because they take it personally. They don’t know what else to do and life sucks so screw this shit. I know. I’ve been there. I get there about every four months for about six hours and then I move on with my business and my life after I take a hot bath. 

So What’s the Solution?

So, how can I help women who are in that boat? It’s both easier and harder to do than you think. The concept itself is crazy simple. Doing it, well…I can’t force you to do anything. It takes work. Your work. I can’t do it for you. I can only tell you how to do it. Knowledge is nothing without action. Action is the game changer. In my experience, most don’t want to take action because they’re more afraid of the future (and even the fact that they might succeed) than afraid of staying in the same rut that they know so well. They know how to survive where they are. 

Think about this. If your best friend, mom, aunt, daughter, sister, niece, (insert favorite relationship here) came to you and they felt discouraged and like they were a failure, what would you tell them? How would you help them? What would you do to help them feel better? Would you tell them to quit? Would you agree with them that they’re lousy and not meant to be in a better place? 

Treat yourself in the same way that you would treat your beloved friend. Take a few minutes (or a couple of hours) and feel like shit if you want. I do it every now and then. Then, treat yourself well. Would you take your person from the last paragraph out to lunch? Would you tell them why you think they’re awesome? Would you offer to help them brainstorm ideas? Would you tell them bad days aren’t forever? 

In short, be your best self. Be the person that you need in that moment. Run that hot bath and get in there. Enjoy it. Go out to lunch. Go outside. Do something you like. Get into a grateful place. Make a list of all the great things you have and the things that are great about you. You’re obviously an optimist – you want to start a business. If that’s hard for you, then you need to do it every day. You have to learn how to like yourself. This isn’t about arrogance. It’s not about making people feel less so you can feel more. It’s about learning to appreciate what you can do and the learning process involved in bad moments. 

Stop being a dick to yourself. You’ve got this and you know it. 

Productivity and Busyness: Don’t Get Them Twisted

I’ll write about how to improve productivity on Digital Workflow today. But, I’d like to summarize it here. Don’t get productivity and busyness confused. They are not the same. A 17 step workflow where a three step workflow will produce the same results doesn’t make you productive. It makes you busy. 

It doesn’t matter if you work at home like I do or if you work a more traditional job. Or if you have a side hustle. If you’re wondering why you don’t have enough time in a day to do everything you need to do, look at your processes. Chances are, they’re just too complicated. Simplify. 

WTF Wednesday

Yeah, I know…when I do these it’s usually a Friday thing…but it’s fall break here so it is sort of kind of Friday, at least for Baby Bull. Today, I read a horrifying story about a woman who murdered her nonverbal autistic son by leaving him a hot car. The news story pissed me off because of its content and because the headline talked about how the woman’s Google search results were “disturbing.” Her Googling was far less disturbing (“teen dies in minivan” and “autistic children and reincarnation”) than the messages she sent her friend, the living conditions of her child, AND her blatant lies. 

She said that she took a nap and that when she woke up, her kid (who had a history of wandering away) was just GONE. Okay, so as a mom who has a nonverbal autistic child who spends 95% of his time with me (outside of school), let me tell you something…you do not turn your back on a child who has a history of wandering away. You do NOT leave them unsupervised. Ever. Baby Bull isn’t much of a wanderer although he will definitely try to run away if something scares him. And there’s no telling what will scare him. So, when we go out walking, I always hold his hand. He is not allowed to go outside into the front yard alone. The screen door stays locked. Our backyard is fully fenced. He can go out with moderate supervision (ie I am not constantly over his shoulder) into the backyard when we offer OR he lets us know in some way (usually pointing or saying “outside”) that’s what he wants. We also have two large dogs who I can assure you will not let anyone (or any other animal) within three feet of him. 

There is absolutely no excuse for this. Special needs exist. It doesn’t matter how you label it. There are solutions. Solutions include better parenting (that can include taking classes if you really don’t know what to do), getting professional help to come INTO the home to help you OR help with your kid, and there are also facilities for placement. 

I really hope that woman gets the death penalty and I am not a big fan of capital punishment for several reasons (none of it really has to do with moral inclination). 

October Is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

I wanted to take a few minutes and address one of the most disheartening things that most people don’t know. It’s an issue I dealt with personally many years ago. And that issue is that in most states, it is perfectly legal for an employer to fire a victim. 

I worked for a technical college. I taught paralegal studies, directed the program, acted as an academic adviser, and managed the internship program for paralegals. I had recently moved to Oklahoma City. The Tribe paid for my move. They came and installed window and door alarms. My advocate went with me to court hearings for the protective order. I am forever in debt to the Absentee Shawnee Tribe for their help and their support. 

One day, the Campus Director (who also happened to be a lawyer) called me into his office because of a “problem.” The college had received an anonymous phone call that essentially said I was a sexual deviant and had nude photos of myself online. I had to talk to him, the Director of Education, AND legal. Separately. And all at once. My job was on the line because, as they eventually determined, the ex that I have a permanent VPO against (that is now worked into the divorce decree via amended language) for stalking, abuse, and harassment made these allegations. 

I had to produce old emails from websites that held pictures that he had that he used to try and blackmail me. I had to produce my entire court file that led to the VPO. I had to hand over documents (including police reports) filed with the local police and Tribal police. My domestic violence advocate also had to get involved. 

So, essentially, I had to be retraumautized and revictimized to keep my job. Legal eventually told the Campus Director to drop the matter and ensure that day time and night time security was notified of a name, description, date of birth, car tag, car description…all the stuff I could give them, basically, to ensure that they could keep me as safe as possible since I taught both days and nights.

Not Everyone Is So Lucky

I hated what I went through. It was like reliving everything. And I could tell you some real horror stories that I’m still not ready to discuss. A lot of victims are fired because their employer doesn’t want the potential liability, the potential danger, or the absences that take place because the victim has to go to court, move, or (God forbid) is in the hospital. They lose their jobs. Their income. It’s the one lifeline they feel like they have. 

As a nation, we simply must do better.