Lisa Robbin Young

For some of us, there comes a time in life when it feels like everyone has given up on you.

You might even feel like giving up on yourself.


As I write this, I've just returned from spending the day in the hospital with my oldest son. Suffice it to say he's on the brink of giving up on himself. He waffles, as I suspect many teenagers do, between thinking he's the greatest thing since sliced bread and seriously wondering why anyone "wastes" their time with him.

If you've followed me for any length of time, you know the trials (more…)

by Leesa Renee Hall

[Editor's note: This is day 24 in the Be Your Own Guru series. I first "met" Leesa  in a bathroom at a conference in 2009, but we really didn't have time to talk. About a year later we met at a different conference, and became fast friends. As she's shifted her focus from virtual event planning to working with her "faithfully rich" clients, I've thrilled at watching Leesa step more fully into the Noble Empire she's been called to create and serve in the world. Today, in keeping with the "how to" theme of the week, Leesa shares three ideas to help you hone in on your most bankable assets.]


This was one of the hardest things I had to write. I didn't want to tell you to "be authentic," or to "become a rock star" nor come back with the witty "you're not special" missive.

Because I do believe that we can be authentic, become a rock star and be utterly special if we use our T.A.G.S. effectively.

Your talents, abilities, gifts and skills (otherwise known as T.A.G.S.) are your edge. It's that thing that makes you unique. Because you were fearfully and wonderfully made in God's image, you are indeed special.

The key to increasing your income isn't to invest in yet another "blueprint" or to uncover the hidden "secret." These will work only if you share the T.A.G.S. of the guru who's selling that program.

Instead, to find your money sweet spot, you need to uncover your strengths and stop focusing on your weaknesses. The easiest way to do this is to add your T.A.G.S. to your idea or business, as that will trigger a flow of income.

So, how do you uncover your T.A.G.S?

Here are 3 ways you can do so.

1 - The T.A.G.S you haven't used in 1, 2 or 3 decades? That's your money sweet spot.

Woman Writing Notes on Music Score

Yup, you heard me. Look back 10 or 20 years and you'll find a talent, ability, gift or skill that has laid forgotten and dormant.

Mine is music. I recently started playing the organ for a congregation. The last time I did so, I was still in university working towards a degree. That was 15-years ago.

To prepare for my debut on the organ, I went digging into a box in my basement for old song books.

What I discovered were pages and pages of unfinished compositions that I started writing in the mid-1990s. My side project is finishing those compositions and getting the choir at my church to sing them.

I now incorporate music and music training into my teachings. I help my clients find their voice when talking about money and there's no better way to teach this than through a song or by using voice exercises. This is what makes my teachings different from other money coaches out there. (more…)

by Erin Margolin

[Editor's note: This is day 23 of the Be Your Own Guru series. Ever had a controversial project that you just KNEW would be amazing if you could get it in front of the right people? If you have ever wanted to rally a throng of people around your dream, if you've ever considered using crowdfunding to raise money for a project, here's a real-life example of someone who did it. I met Erin at a conference a couple of years ago, and never dreamed that she would one day be spearheading a campaign to support children with gay parents. The Gay Dad Project is a documentary that Erin and several of her colleagues are working on - and they raised more than $20,000 in support of that project. But it wasn't without it's hassles - and many lessons learned. I asked Erin if she would share some of those lessons, along with some encouragement for those of you that have a dream in your heart that may not be easy to bring into the world.]

Referenced in the video:

Learn more about The Gay Dad Project

The Gay Dad Project on IndieGoGo

ErinMargolinERIN MARGOLIN is a New Orleans native, writer, mama of three girls, and co-founder of The Gay Dad ProjectAfter years of always saying yes she’s learned to say no sometimes, because she’s found that "yes" is best reserved for what matters most: her blog, the LTYM Show in Kansas City, and making a documentary about growing up with a gay dad a reality. She also loves books, antique typewriters, Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay, social media, yoga pants and playing Memory with her twins, who always, always win. You can connect with Erin on Twitter and Facebook, as well as on her personal blog.

by Winnie Anderson

[Editor's note: This is Day 22 of the Be Your Own Guru series, and we're continuing the them of "how-to's" this week. I met Winnie in an online class, and we teamed up to practice elevator pitches. Then we started talking about fear, love and God. Yep. Deep stuff. Winnie's got a great take on fear and how to get past it today.]

That famous social commentator, Anonymous, is quoted as saying “Owning a business is the best self- development program around.”

How right she is.

Whether you’re an accidental entrepreneur, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being on your own, or you’ve got talents and a passion you’re driven to share with the world, at some point as you build the business you come face-to-face with emotional baggage you either didn’t know you had or were sure you had unpacked when you were 18 and still knew everything.

Starting a business isn’t hard. Any child can tell you how to start a lemonade stand: Figure out what you’re selling, come up with a price, put up a sign, and collect the money.

So why isn’t everyone who starts a business wildly or even mildly successful? (more…)

by Dave Ursillo

[Editor's note: This is Day 21 of the Be Your Own Guru series - and this week we're getting into a lot more "how to". This is Dave's second appearance in the series, and this 20-something whippersnapper's got moxie. Take a cue from Dave today and let your mind flow and find more courage and confidence as you write.]

If you want to become your own guru -- a centered source for self-growth, burgeoning awareness and spiritual expansion -- you must write.

yes - notepad & penNow, I should say that I don't throw around must's and should's very often. And in this case the 'must' is only as true as your intrigue by the concept itself: that writing, beyond all other mediums and forms of human communication, is an extraordinary albeit complex means of not just sharing ideas and telling stories, but becoming deeply attuned to one's own truth, beliefs, ideals and aspirations.

I have come to believe that writing is the most divine of art forms. First, writing is a means of understanding: by putting pen to paper, you engage is a reflective (if not confrontational) process of facing your own truth. That means that, in writing, you are bound to encounter every fear and insecurity that plagues your subconscious; every shred of hope and aspiration that makes your heart beat; every touch of pain that has ever scraped your skin and each taste of love that has ever graced your lips.

When you write, you are unearthing yourself.

As you dig, you will learn. And the old, outdated, naive (more…)

by Teresa Romain

[Editor's note: This is day 20 of the Be Your Own Guru  series. Teresa is a friend as well as a colleague. She's most effective at providing experiential examples around abundance and feelings of scarcity. I practically begged her to do a video so that you could get a very visual, experiential take on why doing/making"more" isn't always the answer to your "not enough" problem.]

Video Highlights (more…)

by Leela Sinha

[Editor's note: This is day 18 in the Be Your Own Guru series. Leela offers us a 7-minute audio that speaks out about the information our body sends us all day long - and how we need to stop ignoring it if we want to experience peace, pleasure, and balance in our lives.]

Download Leela's audio here.

Highlights of the audio:

1:13 - The double edged sword of "letting go"

2:30 - Ways to achieve balance

3:10 - An exercise to connect to your true self

4:00 - The smartest part of you (hint: it's NOT your brain)



Leela Sinha is a certified coach and ordained minister focused on helping you experience real pleasure. Following pleasure isn’t about shutting down everything else. It’s about having a way to find your heart again. Leela says it's "the most engaging, exhausting, invigorating play I’ve ever done. It certainly feels too good to be associated with 'work'. But it’s not exactly relaxing. It’s more like summiting a fabulous mountain with an amazing companion. (That would be you. The companion. Or maybe the companion is me. It’s all about perspective.)"

Want your own great things? Ready to have your body back? Visit Leela's website, or connect with Leela on twitter or facebook.

By Melanie Maddison

[Editor's note: This is Day 16 of the Be Your Own Guru series. This is Melanie's first adventure as a guest contributor to ANY blog, and I'm humbles to share her voice today. Melanie brings the perspective of an artist and an intuitive to this conversation. She reminds us that we all have our own guru inside ourselves - and it's time to let it shine.]

Guru: the act of being a pure, spiritually aligned wise one.

Original Soul Art by Melanie Maddison

Are you your own guru, or is someone else? Do you feel that this thing they are is separate and nothing to do with your own existence? Are they teachers and gurus who convince you they’ve got it down and are perfect super uber spiritual beings? (& Perhaps you're not?)

Well perhaps they have it down.


Everyone is unique.

Everyone is diverse.

Everyone has a different life...


Take on things...




Ones journey to healing, wholeness and alignment is rather different to the next person.

If we are all unique, so are (more…)

By Sarah Robinson

[Editor's Note: I've known Sarah for several years, stalking her at first, and eventually hiring her as a coach and consultant in my business. Her work on developing fiercely-loyal communities has been, hands down, the best training I've ever gotten from her. In fact, this is Sarah's third appearance on the blog (Here's part of our last interview). I'm thrilled she's joined us for this series to help you share your true voice more courageously with your budding Noble Empire.]

People often ask me “How did you do what you did at Escaping Mediocrity? That tribe was, and still is, rabid.”

Lighthouse at TwilightWhen I look back to the beginning, I didn’t set out with a formal strategy to “build a rabid tribe”. What I set out to do was build the space I longed for and couldn’t find. I was exhausted by the sameness of all the blogs out there. The glossed-over lives of people I was supposed to aspire to be like. Business strategies that just felt wrong. No real conversations about what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur.

I wanted something else. So I built it. I remember saying to someone at the time “I’m absolutely certain that at least two people will read my blog for the next month or so. They’re my best friends so they have to.” I really had no idea who else, if anyone, would show up. And my friends would only stick around for so long.

At that point, I made three pivotal decisions (more…)

By Doug Knight

[Editor's Note: This is Day 13 of the Be Your Own Guru series. Today, we roll into more of the "brass tacks" of building a Noble Empire. I met Doug at a local TEDx event, and was blown away not only by his passion for non-profit work, but also his ecclectic music tastes. Over the past year, I've come to learn how dad-gummed smart he is. If you're looking to dive into a new venture, this could be the kick start (or the warning flag) you've been looking for.]

A friend of mine asked me the other day, “How do you…you know… start something?” My friend was having trouble articulating what truly he was trying to get me to talk about, but after a round of drinks it came out a little easier to understand.

“I’m just afraid to drop everything, risk failure, and start off cold and at the bottom. But I know I would love to be my own boss.”

Ah…. got it.  The old “High Risk, Tough-to-see-but-know-its-there Reward” thang.

It’s one of those weird things, especially now with our economic situation as a country (broke), as a typical American (in debt), and as a community (“get a real job” talkers). But I think the first thing I would say to someone who is even just considering such a move is to first ask yourself…. “Are you Happy?”

Wouldn't you be happy too if you could rock a hat like that?
Now this “do what you’re happy at” talk is obvious to many and simple to say (hard to do). But I don’t just mean the personal happiness that you perceive in your dreams when you see yourself as the President/CEO/Chief Food Taster at Honkin’ Industries, Inc.

I’m not talking about money or being a boss per se; I’m talking about that happiness that happens when you live by a “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentalitywhere you’re not sure when you are working and when you are playing because both bring you so much JOY

That’s my belief on the whole “Work/Life Balance” question… Balance it so that it feels great no matter what column you are in.

Being happy also doesn’t mean always in the positive column. You must also know (it is guaranteed) (more…)