IMPORTANT: Embracing a Radical New Business Model! (Please Read)

Online dating concept. Hand & Wine Glass Through Laptop ScreenAs a business owner, I have often questioned the traditional sales models I have employed over the years. Where do integrity, value and `the going rate’ meet? Should I charge based on my time or my expertise? And what makes an hour of my time more valuable than someone else’s?

With Equal Pay conversations raging through today’s online public forums and discussions, these questions are very pertinent and will very well shape our decisions moving forward as a society.

So how do I decide what my time and expertise is worth? And am I willing to hold my programs and services hostage to high price tags in order to “value” my time appropriately. Personally, I think my programs are invaluable. They will change your life.

Put a price tag on that!

So for me, it all boils down to “Am I a do-gooder or not?” And the answer is, “Yes!”  My whole purpose for being is to do as much good in the world as I can.

Enter the Gift Economy business model. (Ooh! Aahhh!)  Finally an idea that makes sense to me! I can give my programs freely and graciously and choose to work with people who I trust to value my offerings and provide me a fair return (or pay it forward) in accordance with the value (good) that they feel they have received.  Beautiful!

I wanted more freedom to help more people find peace, balance and joy in their work and lives; and this model does just that. How?

First, it opens the door to all people interested in the programs I offer, because affordability is no longer an issue. Whether you have $50, $500 or $5000 to give back or pay forward is not the most important aspect. It’s the intention, generosity and willingness to stretch into the commitment of the program–no matter where you are now.  I want you to sign-up for my programs and feel good about it, so you can fully absorb and apply the materials provided for your highest good. The Gift Economy model does that.

It also takes away the illusion of money being the decision-making factor of whether or not you can participate. There is no longer the convenient excuse, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t afford that right now.” The Gift Economy model forces you to be honest with both me and yourself that you either don’t think you need the service, you don’t believe in it, or you just don’t want to change. And that’s OK! But it’s important that we start learning to be honest about our desires (or lack thereof). That change alone will help to heal our society by bringing a new level of truth and boundary setting into our daily lives.

Embracing a Gift Economy model also eliminates bargaining and price-shopping which is all based on a mindset of lack and is the antithesis of the world I want to be part of creating. I want to foster an atmosphere of “more than enough”, giving, generosity, trust, good will, opportunity, possibility and community.

So, against the “wisdom” of the traditional business model and coaches who say “Raise your prices and know that someone else will help the people who can’t get on board with them”, I say, “No! I am not in the business of trying to ‘get’ something from my clients in exchange for my services.”

Instead, I say, “Yes!” to a model that allows me to give the best of myself for the betterment of others, freely and generously–working with people I trust to value my time, expertise and talents and to treat me fairly and generously in return.

So, from here forward, my services will be gifted to you, and others, in trust that you will commit fully to any program in which you decide to participate and that you will honor this giving model by returning to me (or paying forward) a Gift that you feel is appropriate and proportionate to what you gain. That might take the shape of money, goods, services, referrals, doing good in the world, or maybe some or all of the above.

I am excited to offer this new method of exchange and hope that some of you will accept this Gift and join me in my programs; and perhaps even try the Gift Economy model in your own businesses or projects.

We have the power to change the world. This is part of my contribution. So please take advantage of this offer if any of my programs or products speak to you. After all, a Gift is meaningless if no one receives it.

Spread the word!

And as always, thank you for your support.

 Contact Asha for more information or program registration.

Yes! It can be that EASY!

Smiling make work easierYour software malfunctions and you don’t know how to fix it. Do you suffer through and work around it? Or bite the bullet and call the manufacturer support desk?

Hopefully, neither!

If either “suffering through” or “biting the bullet” and calling the manufacturer seem like viable options, you could be making life more difficult than it needs to be, simply by the way you are thinking.

Many times when I owned my computer repair business, I would go onsite to meet a completely frustrated client who was angry at their technology. However, when I arrived to happily investigate the issue, it was not present.

Coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not.

Sometimes, their issues were simply user-error, but the clients were so upset they couldn’t slow down enough to read the error message(s) that told them how to get what they wanted. Too often, we go through life in the same manner.

When we act from a place of emotional balance, we can be open to all of our options and will often find quick, peaceful solutions. When we don’t, we suffer.

A great example of this is, over the last three days, I spent time trying three different versions of music notation software for my new laptop. None of them were a good fit for different reasons. I felt stuck. I was going to have to buy an expensive program that I really didn’t need because there was no upgrade path for my current product. (To put this in context, I had already dealt with this exact situation several years ago, and was forced to pay money to downgrade my product at that time in order to “get current” for collaboration purposes.)

With those thoughts in mind as I made my decision on what to do next, I could have: 1) given up and paid too much for something I didn’t want, 2) installed my old software which didn’t have the nice feature updates and crashes with newer versions of windows, or 3) called the company, guns blazing, because they keep discontinuing my products and not having current versions available for upgrade.

Instead, I chose to simply put a smile on my face and call to ask what other options were available. Did they have an upgrade path I was unaware of that would meet my needs?

In fact, they did!

I spent 10 minutes on the phone with a wonderful sales rep who was able to answer all of my questions, find my lost account with my old product registrations, and merge that information into my new account–entitling me to a significant discount on the upgrade I needed.  Now, I have all of my product registrations and updated information in one place and a brand new 2014 version of their best product, which I was able to purchase at a terrific price!

Because of my positive attitude, emotional balance, and openness to unseen possibilities, I was able to be greeted by a kind, helpful customer service rep, have a short, pleasant conversation that answered all of my questions, and find a terrific solution to my situation!

You may not always be placed in situations or with people that make you happy or comfortable. But in truth, you’re responsible for your own happiness. By employing a positive, emotionally balanced attitude and outlook, and expecting to be able to find a solution to whatever challenge you are facing, you’ll be much better able to handle whoever you have to deal with and whatever you have to do. Additional options will become available because you can think with a clear and open mind and you will resolve your challenges more quickly and peaceably.

The moral to the story…  Success is in large part based on your ability to stay in equanimity and out of the drama. Try it.

Open your heart. Open your mind. Smile. And go get ‘em!

 

Your Health is Not Just for You

Father and Son Playing Together at HomeWhole wellness includes mental, physical, emotional and spiritual1 wellness, with each aspect influencing the rest. When you are not at your best in any area, you cannot be of best service to others.

“Healer, heal thyself,” it is said.

We must commit to taking care of ourselves first. The airline industry advises, “Put your oxygen mask on before assisting others around you”–even your children! You cannot take care of anyone else if you are debilitated.

I try to make this my motto for living, but sometimes I get off track and find myself procrastinating or justifying why “now” just isn’t a good time. For instance, I did not visit my Chiropractor over the holidays and was in pain for over three weeks.

Finally, I got adjusted and I felt better in 10 mins! Now, here I am writing my blog and getting back to work in a happier, more comfortable and productive way.

“Be kind to your body, not just for you, but for everyone around you–your spouse, your kids, your clients! They may not notice when you’re feeling good, but they’ll definitely notice when you’re not.”

So, how can you start being kind to your body today? 

Below is an excerpt from OSHA about proper computer workstation ergonomics. Working smarter can truly make a big difference in your physical well-being, which in turn will help you to maintain optimal emotional and mental well-being too.

OSHA Recommended Computer Workstation Ergonomics

OSHA Recommended Computer Workstation Ergonomics (www.OSHA.gov)

*Click here for more information about good working positions, glare and strain, component alignment, etc.

If you work on a computer, take 5 minutes to click the link above and see how your set-up compares. Your wellness is everyone’s gain.

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1 Spiritual well-being: “Your view of yourself in relation to all that is.”

 

Success Basics ~ Getting Started

Star’s Simple Seven to Success from NAPW Inc

Success is not as mysterious as you might believe. It’s not some magic “something” that others have and you don’t. But rather, it’s a mindset and a drive to achieve and become. It’s a practice!

If you’re not achieving what you desire… Do you find yourself making excuses for why you haven’t started yet? Are you busy assessing the “reality” of the market or spending trends before you move forward? Or perhaps, are you researching marketing and promotion strategies and software for getting in front of clients, because you know you will need those resources once you launch?

The reality is “yes”, you will need many tools, resources and skills as you grow your project or business. But RIGHT NOW, all you need is an idea and determination, and to GET STARTED!

Everything else is merely details along the way. All that you need will sort itself out by necessity as you expand, so long as you are committed to your dream and you keep moving forward. So… what if you cross those bridges as you come to them, instead of trying to plan every step in minutia before you even begin? The truth is, by the time you get to the point that you need these future requirements, they will most likely have already changed because technology advances, society advances and you will have grown too and will no longer be coming from the same mindset and reality that you started with.

So, if you really want to be successful in whatever you are doing or creating, let’s focus on the underlying principles that are constant and unchanging and will keep you on path toward your hopes and dreams.

The fundamentals that will make or break you are simple and straight forward. They are easy to understand and easy to implement. And when used as a guideline for continued growth, they will never fail you.

Today’s your day. It doesn’t matter what you want to do or create. START NOW! The only way you can lose is by not trying.
  1. Dream it!
  2. Plan it!
  3. Do it!
  4. Never give up!
  5. Repeat as necessary.

“Turning IDEAS into REALITY”
More fun. More money. More life.

Change your thinking and get results fast!

We’ve all heard it before… change your thinking, change your life.

Well, it’s true and it works. In fact, because I believe so strongly in it and have seen the impact it makes in people’s lives, I have dedicated my time and talents to teaching people the nuts and bolts of how to do this for themselves in order to grow their businesses and create more fulfilling lives.

And I’m not talking about some hocus pocus solution. I’m talking about real, down-to-earth exercises, tools and strategies that are practiced daily to retrain your brain for a naturally more positive and expansive automatic response to situations and stimuli around you.

Through simple tools and techniques you can redirect your focus, see what you want to see, find what you want to find, and come up with new, creative ideas to capitalize on the exciting new opportunities you’re going to think of. Before you know it, you’ll be bringing your ideas to fruition–FAST!

Over the next several weeks, I’ll share some tips, strategies and science for doing just that. Come back weekly to get new information on how to change your thinking for faster results.

Stay tuned!

 

“I Could Be More” from the upcoming album “Eulogy”

Exiting news! I am currently working on my second album, “Eulogy, and happily cranking out some new music. So as I go, I thought I’d share some of the songs with you so you can see what I’m up to.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYU_Q9NCGhY 
Click here to view “I Could Be More” lyrics

As you can hear from this YouTube video, this album is substantially different than my first in that it is not an album of spiritual music, but rather a secular album with spiritual undertones.

What does that mean? The songs are all about every day life, but with lyrics that point to deeper truths and understandings about important stuff that is often overlooked, but has HUGE impact on your life when practiced diligently, like:

  • Letting go with Love
  • Looking at what you have (instead of what you don’t!)
  • Being present in the here and now
  • Knowing that you can’t change someone else

Sounds simple, but it’s not always easy.

In any case, I wanted to share my latest performance of my newest finished song (co-written with Nashville writer, Wil Hodge, I might ad).

It’s actually inspired by my life growing up with my Nana and Gramp on a small family farm in the White Mountains of NH. They were an important part of my younger years and have largely influenced my life. In fact, they paid for my piano lessons all those years ago–a gift that keeps on giving even today.

So, in Eulogy to my grandparents, here’s “I Could Be More”.  Miss you both!

PS. To those of you who would like to help me fund this project, you can pre-order a copy of Eulogy or make a random donation and I will gratefully accept your generosity. In return, I promise to send signed copied of CDs to anyone donating more than $15 and will note in my release announcement donor names who have helped to make this album a reality. (Currently, the estimated ETA on this project is Spring 2014.) As always, thank you for your support.  ~Asha

 

Practicing for “Music that Matters”

Made a quick video tonight so that I could listen to myself as part of my practice for tomorrow night. Then I thought it was just goofy and fun, so I’d go ahead and share (since that’s me!).

Stay posted for a video of the real performance tomorrow night, but for now… sleep tight and wish me luck. Posi-Music Festival, here I come.

 

Asha Receives Honorable Mention at 8th Annual Posi-Music Awards

© 2012, EmPower MA 

Straight out of the gate, Asha Lightbearer has caught the positive music world by surprise with a top-quality debut album, “Move Ahead”.

In April 2011, Asha released her first album single, “Ethereal”, followed by her first full-length album, “Move Ahead”, a year later (March 2012). Shortly thereafter, in May 2012, Asha began traveling the country receiving rave reviews for her music performances, healing workshops and speaking events.

In just the last month alone, she has performed in Ohio with the Famous Jazz Orchestra big band, at Unity of Huntsville in Alabama where she performed her original music from her album and also taught her newest workshop “Opening to Possibility”, and at multiple charity events in Atlanta including appearances at Steve’s Live Music on behalf of the Atlanta Community Foodbank and also at a fundraising benefit luncheon for Our Lady of Perpetual Help cancer hospice.

In addition to her busy performance schedule, Asha recently was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Uniting category at the 8th Annual Empower Posi-Music Awards!

It’s not often that first-timers, such as Asha walk home with an award of any kind from a debut album or their debut appearance at the awards, and she knows it!

Asha says, “What an incredible honor to be picked on my first time around. I am so pleased and proud, and am very much looking forward to getting a chance to better know some of the other writers. Plus, I have the privilege of playing at the concert on Friday night too. Good Stuff!”

*Click here for details about the Friday night showcase concert and Pajama Jam at the EmPower Music and Arts 8th Annual Posi-Music Awards in Orlando, January 18-20, 2013.

For more Asha Lightbearer live music and events, check out Asha’s Events Calendar online. Or Join our monthly Mailing List to keep on top of new events coming up in your area.

Rock Band with a Purpose

To date, I have considered myself a solo posi-Music artist, primarily working in a singer/songwriter capacity or with house bands (or tracks); but there is no doubt, I love the full and energetic sound of a band that really has it together–drive, passion, synchronicity, and lots of energy! So, last week I officially launched a search for bandmates to co-create driving, passionate, rock-based music that inspires, uplifts and heals.

To get started, I am looking for bass, guitar, and drums. The music will be primarily secular in nature, but with all positive lyrics and messages of hope, inspiration, love, acceptance and social change. My mission is to uplift and inspire people, helping them to tap into their wounds and release pain, resentment, and unforgiveness–creating space to bring into their lives more light, more life, more love and more joy. Music is a natural medium for this work due to its innate ability to open and shift the listener, and I’m looking to build a powerful sound with bandmates also interested in this important work.

Regarding repertoire, historically I have written virtually all of my song material myself and intend to continue to do so, in general. However, I would love to also write with the band and see where that “flows us” as we open up into more expansive sounds and material.

Ideally, I see a group of talented, heart-centered performers whose musical genius flows effortlessly between them–in performance, songwriting, overall intention and purpose–performing at festivals and other clean-air, positive concert scenes and performance venues.

If you or someone you know might be interested in this vision, please contact me at the number listed on my website or message me through either the website or facebook (www.facebook.com/ashalightbearer). Otherwise, please hold this vision with me as I expand into new territory and take my music ministry to a new level.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Love and Light,  -Asha

Lemons to Lemonade

It’s easy to follow our dreams when everything is going well and we have plenty of financial resources and support from our families, friends and communities. But sometimes, life will throw us a real hook, changing things up and making the safe way of living we’ve become accustomed to no longer easily available. When this happens, most people find themselves stressed, worrying and in a state of decline. But consider this: what if suddenly changing circumstances are the universe’s way of creating the space and time for us to do what we really love and have been wanting?

Often adversity is the exact thing that brings out our greatness, our love of life and our ability to see opportunities we previously didn’t recognize when gazing through a lens of obligation and responsibility. However, when that lens radically shifts due to illness, loss of a job, loss of a significant person in our lives or other major changes to our current living situation, we can be “freed up” to see a more accurate view of what is truly necessary and important to us. When we allow this shift in perspective, we find opportunity to step out into new realms of experience and new ways of being.

So whatever challenges you face, choose to embrace them as a gift. Set your intention to use that challenge to see a new and higher Truth that will free you from limited thinking, old wounds and resentments, and negativity. With a perspective of trusting in the process–knowing that all things are working together for your good and all you have to do is seek the gift–you will find room to make lemons into lemonade.

Discipline yourself to let go of the should’s and have to’s that control you. And instead, focus on, “What would I love?” You might be surprised where it takes you.

Image provided by © Adekvat | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos