The statistics say it all – the majority of people are afraid of public speaking. It’s one of the top fears many of us have, including the fear of dying, and of spiders!

I know from my own personal experience just how debilitating and frightening this fear can be, and how it can dominate your life. I remember the anxiety I felt in the time before I had a work presentation, and then berating myself for the quality of my performance for weeks afterwards.

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In a competitive marketplace, customer service is a huge consideration for business owners and patrons. The creation of high-value products and services is often at the top of the priority list for entrepreneurs.

Many people believe that giving is a way to make people happy and essential to a thriving business.  

Giving endlessly in your business is actually a recipe for a crash and burn – not only for you, but for your finances and clients as well. It erodes the long-term sustainability of your business, your body, your relationships, and everything that you are up to in the world.

There are other possibilities

Here are some things to consider – and change – so that you are still a valuable resource for your clients, but not depleting yourself and your business in the process:

Empower your clients

Our desire to help people goes awry when it turns into a level of giving that disempowers them. When people actually choose and reach for something they give it more value in their mind. For most of us, the more value we assign to something, the more we are willing to actually receive from it and we end up valuing it even more. 

This approach to your clients leaves them knowing that they can always ask for more, choose more, and succeed in reaching for it. If you are available to them without giving endless handouts – they know where to find what they are looking for when they are looking for it. From this approach, you become a resource rather than the source.

Action step: When you think you have to give more – stop! 

Pause. Ask yourself, “Is this going to empower my client (and me too)? Or is this going to disempower them?”. Empowerment goes both ways. If your client is empowered, you will be too.

What’s your vibe?

While few people recognize this, it’s the energy, or the vibe, behind everything that we do that actually determines what occurs in our business. If you have the vibe that you need people to choose you in order for your business to be successful, they will pick that up.

For example, have you ever encountered a salesperson that was desperate for a sale? Did you want to buy what they were selling? Probably not. That energy pushes people away. It does not actually work! And yet, people approach sales in this way all the time.  

Action step: Be the choosing one in a business relationship!

In business, most people put themselves in the position of being the chosen one. What that means is that you have decided that people need to choose you in order for your business to survive and thrive. The business then becomes a game of trying to get people to choose you, which isn’t fun – or productive – for anybody.

Take a different perspective and a different vibe. What if you don’t ever need anybody in particular to choose you or your business, and you know that – and embody that in the energy you bring to the world?

How do you do that? First of all, become aware of when you are functioning from the energy of need or lack. Take a breath, get present with yourself, and remind yourself that you are actually pushing people away with that point of view. Then ask yourself, “If I was being the choosing one, rather than the chosen one, what would I actually do?” 

This will give you more awareness over time of the vibe you are putting out into the world – and give you more choice as to what’s going to create the most for you.

When you value you and what it is that you have to give, others do too. When you empower your clients, everybody is greater because of it, including you. Perhaps it’s time to do something very different, put your health and wealth front and center in your own life, and be the choosing one? The world will actually be a greater place if you do! 


About the author
Heather Nichols, MSW, is a Joy of Business facilitator, movement & meditation consultant, tantra practitioner and somatic psychotherapist. She combines her expertise in mind-body therapy with 20 years’ experience in the world of business and entrepreneurship to facilitate people toward a fuller, more joyful, experience of business, life and family. An Access Consciousness® facilitator, healer, and mom, Heather has been running a weekly radio show for more than 6 years. She also facilitates workshops and private consultations online and around the world. She refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer from life and brings to her work a fierce commitment to create joy, ease, and wealth on the planet – in every aspect. 



I have two options, both fantastic: I can attend a business conference dedicated to empowering women in advertising… or my daughter’s school presentation. It’s an age-old case of conflicting work and family events.

At first glance, it was a no-brainer. I would go to my daughter’s performance. But then I started researching the conference. It was dedicated to women in leadership and covered topics I’m incredibly passionate about. I could listen to others who have been in my shoes, discuss how to rise through the ranks, and learn more about supporting diversity both in advertising and the world around me. It looked awesome.

Suddenly, the choice felt impossible. I could spend time learning from other empowered women in my industry and advancing my career, or I could choose to celebrate my daughter and support her on her own journey to becoming a strong woman. Both were important celebrations of women, but ultimately, I still had to decide between doing something for my career or being there for my family. While it was important for me to celebrate women in my industry, I had the feeling that in my daughter’s eyes, if one person needed to be at her performance, it was me.

I’m not alone in this struggle. Working parents have been trying to balance professional and personal demands for decades. Do you choose to stay late and miss family dinner? Do you get to the office early and miss doing morning drop-off? Or do you stretch your timeline at work?

Instead of letting these decisions eat away at us, we should allow them to empower us. After all, just having, and owning, the ability to make these decisions is empowering in itself. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when you have to weigh your personal versus professional priorities:

Go with your gut when choosing between work and family events

You usually know the right answer. What feels right is usually just that. But if your gut isn’t talking, take a beat. Find a quiet space and think. What will make you happiest and most fulfilled? Go with that one. And if that means family comes first, so be it. Or if you choose to stay for a presentation with your team, so be that, too. As long as your co-workers feel supported and encouraged and your family members know that they are number one, it will all pan out.

Be resourceful

While you can’t be in two places at once, your support can. In fact, your resourcefulness is probably one of the reasons you are where you are today. Use technology to help you be present when you can’t be. Or tap into the best resource of all: your support group. Work or family, there are people with whom you share a mutual trust and respect. Who better to ask for help?

It’s all too easy to tell yourself that having to choose between work and family in the first place means you’re failing. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to shine in both places — just in different ways. And sometimes, at different times.

Don’t waste time feeling guilty

Make your decision and stick with it. Feeling guilty will only prevent you from benefiting from the decision you laboured so hard over. Don’t spoil it. You make the choice to be somewhere, and you make the choice to enjoy it.

If you choose work, you’re not saying work is more important than family. If you choose your family, it doesn’t mean your career suddenly doesn’t matter. Those are extreme labels people might like to impose on you, but it’s more complicated than that. You’ll have the opportunity to make another choice in another situation, and if you find some semblance of balance in your choices, you’ll find balance overall.

Separate and conquer conflicting work and family events

Wherever you choose to be, be there 100%. Dedicate work hours to work and family hours to family. For example, let’s say you chose to go to your kid’s basketball game and leave work two hours early. So what? Deadlines are met, and the team knows you’ll be there to support them the very next day. And if you have to be absent at home one night, your family will rest easy knowing that the time you spend at home is dedicated to them.

Carve out time just for you

Ah, that impossible task of finding me time. The reality is, if you don’t invest in self-care, these decisions will be way harder than they need to be. Rather than approaching them with a calm, clear mind, your fears may take the lead, making it difficult to stay on task or be totally present with your family.

Just remember, your decision doesn’t mean one aspect of life is more important than the other. Make sure your family knows they always come out on top. They may lose a few battles, but they win the war. Meanwhile, you may find that these decisions make you a stronger leader at work by building empathy and time-management skills. If you can successfully balance family and work life, at least most of the time, you’re probably a much better leader, personally and professionally, than you’re giving yourself credit for.

So back to the original dilemma: You’ve got two options, both centred on empowering and supporting the women in your world. Which one do you choose?

Lexi HarperAbout the author
Lexi Harper, associate creative director at RAPP, embraces her passion for fusing ultimate precision, relevant tonality and an intimately understood target to craft break-through creative and lasting, memorable experiences.

You want the best for your kids, but what exactly is that? It’s tempting to give them the chances you wish YOU had growing up or encourage them to choose what you think would be best for them. It’s also tempting to raise them in the ways that experts say is best, but your children are unique and that advice might not be relevant to who they actually are. So, let’s take a look at how to raise children to be leaders.

First, we’ll ask, what is being the best parent you can be for them? To raise children to create the life that they truly would like to live. It takes vulnerability, honouring, trust, gratitude and allowance (for them and you). To raise your children to be leaders, you have to be a leader too. This can be done by:

Honouring kindness

My youngest son (now 22) was invited to join Mensa at age 12. He refused. He locked himself in the toilets at school because the teachers were pushing him too hard. As a young child, my eldest son was diagnosed with learning difficulties and put in special education classes that tried to make him fit into a system. However, that system did not fit him. 

Forcing anyone to be what you desire is dishonouring. Ask yourself, what is the kindness that will make the greatest difference to your kids?

Encouraging curiosity, which ensures creativity

Encourage them to explore whatever makes them curious. Making mistakes is a way of receiving more awareness from every choice. Allow them to take risks that may not work out! That’s curiosity and creativity in action. 

Children become disheartened when they are made to ‘choose’ something that doesn’t stimulate them.  When they make choices that may be making their life difficult, I ask, very kindly, ‘How is that working for you?’. This allows them to address the question from a space of curiosity and capacity for a change. 

If a child is resisting and reacting to being controlled, they are distracted from the awareness you are inviting them to. If you allow them to hold the reigns of their life, they can get clarity and make educated choices. 

The education system is linear, but your child’s world is not.  My eldest son (now 25) loves knowing how things work. He recently became obsessed with flying and building drones. This fascination created connections with a tech inventor, that is revolutionising the way power is created and used in the world. Together these leaders are changing the face of the energy industry globally. Creativity is generative energy that creates true leaders.

Building trust and letting them choose

Kids innately know what they enjoy and would like their future to be like energetically. Think back to your childhood. What were you fascinated by? What place does that have in your life now? Allow your children to follow their interests.

How many choices do you make for your children because ‘you know best’? What would it be like if you showed them how to trust their awareness and follow their intuition?

When a child trusts themselves, they’ll instinctively know who to trust as they become a leader. Being able to back yourself when no one else does, is what creates a true leader.

Offer total presence and awareness

As a child, I was OCD, ADHD, Autistic and couldn’t sit still in a chair. I failed at school because I couldn’t be linear. For a long time, I made that wrong, however, my sons are showing me how well this worked for them. I allowed them to be who they are, even if it made no sense to anyone else.

Of course, there are many paths to being a conscious, creative leader and these are some of the choices that have worked for my family. What are you aware of that would make the greatest difference for your kids? Ask them what they know too and get excited for the day that their awareness surpasses yours. Thats when their leadership capacity will begin to create an even greater future.

About the author of how to raise children to be leaders

Moira Bramley is a leadership and parenting expert, and certified facilitator for Access Consciousness, including the Wealth Creators Anonymous program. Moira is also an experienced investor and has many investments in property and shares, including a start-up led by her eldest son.