The Biggest Lie You've Been Told

Time to read: Less than one minute

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Dear Rebels,

When you were young, did you dream of your future? Maybe a job that earned a good living. A family. Time to pursue your passions and interests. Travel. Then, once you got that job, you poured yourself into it with gusto (or not). You played volleyball after work. You took painting classes or sang in a choir. You slept in on weekends and had dinner regularly with friends.

Then maybe you committed to a partner. Perhaps you built a family. You got promoted or changed jobs or went back to school. Your parents got older. Maybe you bought a house. Life got more complex and even though it happened over years, it seems like overnight you became exhausted, overwhelmed, and focused on life as a checklist of transactions. You used to feel like you had it all together and now balls are dropping, friends are a distant memory, exercise was first to go, and the "few tips" you've tried to regain control lasted all of a minute before everything snapped back to the relentless new "normal."

Does some version of this sound familiar?

I grew up in the 1980s when young people were fed the biggest lie of all time.

The lie?

You can have it all.

It's total crap.

Also total crap is the feeling that there is something wrong with you if you can't manage it all.

A wise mentor once said to me, "You can have anything. You just can't have everything."

Cue one of my favorite themes: Choices.

You get to choose your priorities. When you're trying to stuff 15 pounds of life into a 5 pound bag, you get to choose what to let go, what is non-negotiable, what can wait, and what you'll prioritize.

Stop beating yourself up for not being able to manage it all. No one can. It's a lie.

With rebel love,


P.S. Know someone who needs to let go of the lie? Send them here to find relief.


Can You Be Powerful When Things are Out of Control?

Time to read: 40 seconds

If you're making choices, choose what's important to you, like Adventure!

If you're making choices, choose what's important to you, like Adventure!

I was talking with a client today about choices. She's in a tough situation that leaves her feeling powerless and isn't likely to change anytime soon. The challenge for her: to stay empowered and at choice even when so much feels out of her control.

So how do you stay empowered and at choice when things are out of your control?

The lesson is summed up in this poignant quote from writer, Annie Dilliard:

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."

You make choices every day - about how to respond in traffic, to be on time to meet a friend (or not), to show up to your child's soccer game (or not), to be annoyed after a meeting (or not). We all know people who seem bound and determined to be unhappy. And others who find happiness and gratitude even in the face of unbelievable hardship.

Your small choices matter, every minute of every day.

  • They matter to you. (Are you truly choosing according to what's important to you or are you choosing based on some sense of what you "should" choose or from a reactive emotional place?)
  • They matter to the people around you. (What are you modeling for your employees or your children?).
  • They matter to the world. (What is the energy you are projecting out into the wider world? Is it the energy you want to project?)

Life isn't always easy, and you don't always get what you want. You do, however, get to choose, every day, how you will navigate the cards you have been dealt.

And that, dear Corporate Rebel, is how you create the life you want. One choice at a time.

With rebel love,



Do you choose work? Or life? Or both? Ack!

It's short. One minute tops!

My daughter, choosing NOT have her energy sucked by a photograph.

My daughter, choosing NOT have her energy sucked by a photograph.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to the Boyd-Smiths, real or imagined, is purely fictional.

Imagine this morning: You were up in the middle of the night with a sick child. A text awaited from a dear friend wanting to chat about something. You are preparing a presentation. Even this morning, you might be recreating something because you had a better idea (like, for example, this newsletter) while your kids are getting ready for school and the dog is whining for her breakfast.

Ack! Work/Life Balance!

Can you relate?

Here's the thing, sometimes managing work/life balance is a minute-to-minute affair.

There is so much more to say on this subject and for today, think about how you choose to use your precious time and energy in each minute. Here are some examples to get you started:

A sick child. Yes seems like a good choice. You can motor through the next day a little tired. Not ideal but workable.

For those of you who know me personally, you know that I would love to do nothing more than yack with a friend. In fact, it's my favorite hobby (and honestly, avoidance tactic). To stay focused, sometimes you have to counter-offer with support that will take less time. And tell your friend how much you love her and be transparent about what's going on.

Create a new newsletter? This choice is a toss-up. Depends on your priorities, timing, and what else is going on. In this case, I can ignore that my son is eating Cheetos for breakfast and watching YouTube. The commitment to get quality content to you each Thursday, is non-negotiable.

Get dressed? Later. No one cares if you drop off at carpool in your PJs.

This, my friends, is what wild, weird, dynamic and real life balance looks like. Really and truly.

And now, I must return to preparing next week's presentation. Besides client sessions, YOU are my #1 focus today.

I hope this helps.