Marie Forleo introduction


I'm Marie

You have gifts to share with the world and my job is to help you get them out there.

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Ever have one of those days where no matter how hard you try, your brain just won’t cooperate?

You can’t seem to focus for more than a nano-second.

Any attempt to “force” concentration results in a circular thought loop that concludes either your brain is broken or you’re a total loser…or likely, both.

You certainly can’t write anything cohesive or get anything substantial done.

Add to that, the ticking clock haunting the background of your mind… as though father time himself is begging you,”For heaven’s sake, get something productive done today . . .”

Oy. I’m intimately familiar with those days. And boy do they suck. Big time.

Figuring I’m not alone on this one, I thought it’d be useful to share some of my favorite ways to move my business ahead when my brain calls in sick.

1.  Connect with your clients.

Call them for no reason other than to check in.  See what’s cookin’.  Let them know you appreciate them and find out what else you can do to help.

In the new economy, people who have the strongest personal connections with their clients will not only survive, but make lots of money and have a great time doing it.

And from a business strategy lens, it’s a lot more expensive to find new customers than it is to take really, really good care of your current ones and turn them into lifelong fans.

Want to know my favorite part of this strategy?

Every time I talk with my clients, I get reconnected to why I’m in business in the first place, which is to change lives and make a difference.

2.  Move your bod.  (dance, yoga, run, nookie, whatever)

Our bodies contain waaaay more business wisdom, creativity and insight than we can possibly imagine.

And when our brain decides to call in sick, it’s a big fat hint we need to switch gears. Like immediately.

There’s undeniable magic that’s accessed through exercise that simply cannot be accessed any other way.

The brain chemicals released during exercise such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and endorphins, are a slam-dunk productivity and confidence cocktail – without the hangover.

You won’t get that from a Red Bull and vodka.

(Take it from the Jersey girl. I’ve tried!)

And best of all, these natural highs are proven to improve mental alertness, perception and information processing.

3.  Give back.

This is one of the best ways to reboot your brain, especially when calls in sick from a “pity party” bender.

Nothing kicks you back to reality faster than realizing what a little biaatch you’ve been complaining about your creative “dry spell” when almost half the world – over three billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day.

What’s more, according to the Women’s Funding Network, 70% of people living in poverty around the world are women and children.

Bad ass organizations like get your brain back on the wagon with a few clicks and as little as $25 bucks. Kiva is a microlending site with a 98.04% repayment rate.  When your money comes back, you can either withdraw it, or lend again (recommended).

Crazy awesome, right? It’s basically recycling money to end poverty and change the world while you get the side benefit of brain rehab and an instant workout for your abundance muscles.

(I’ve set up a lending team in Kiva for this very reason and I’d love you to join us.  For real.  Do it now. I’ll be here when you get back.)

4.  Connect and contribute.

Choose five people you admire and connect and contribute to them. Write a thoughtful comment on their blog. Reply to a post on their Facebook page. Give them a shout out on Twitter. Write them an old fashion letter and mail it.  (bonus points for this one!) Buy their stuff.  Let them know how it’s helped you. Support what they’re doing and who they are.

Success in any industry is sooooo tied to who you know, you knows you, and most importantly, who loves ya. And the most organic and authentic way to increase your network is to consciously contribute to those whom you admire and want to be connected to.

Bottom line? Business growth is all about spreading the love. And recent studies have shown that when your brain calls in sick, your heart will do just fine running the show.

OK. I’ve shown you mine and I think it’s only fair you show me yours. Got thoughts or ideas on this? What do you do to keep your biz rockin’ when your brain calls in sick?

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  1. I really have no idea at all how I came across your article, but I’m thinkin’ how did you know my brain called in sick today? This is exactly how I feel at the present moment.

    Personally, I go for a walk, which I just did. I actually visited another building on our property where there are no computers or people and spent a few minutes just reading and writing. Did wonders, but my brain… still out!

    • marie

      Hey Brandon! LOL – I know how you feel man. It’s crazy, right? The exercise thing (especially when it’s a real heart pumper) usually does me right because then I need to shower, have a bite, etc. And by that time, the brain has had enough recovery.

      Thanks for stopping by 😉

  2. Yup. Take a walk – that’s my go-to. Especially if I’ve been inside all day. Usually my first thought is, “no, no walk for you, you don’t have time.” And then I acknowledge that if I don’t go for a walk, I’ll spend that same hour procrastinating in my desk chair, and all I’ll have to show is procrastination shame and a sore back.

    So I take the walk. And when I come back, I’m usually more productive. But if I’m not, at least I went for a walk.

    .-= Laura Belgray´s last blog ..Little help? =-.

    • marie

      I’m ESPECIALLY lucky cuz those walks often include a swing by my pad 🙂 Can’t wait to see you next week to plan some Marie Bday celebration! xoxo M

  3. Great Blog Marie!

    After talking with you and Lisa the other day I have immediately upon getting home from work gone for a nice brisk walk, I have a big hill to walk up to so I get my heart going on the climb home.

    Yesterday I added a few sit ups for after the walk and will add some more strength moves as I acclimate to the whole exercise thing…:)

    The benefits have been amazing, it is like have an extra day of life and energy after that walk and my mind gets clear and ready to tackle my other projects. It is amazing the physical and mental connection. The benefits seem to carry over to the next day as well.

    Thanks so much for reminding me of all this!

    • marie

      Rock it Laree! Now you have to KEEP going girl. Seriously, no matter what – keep the exercise consistent. We’re all got your back and all the RHH Virtual Mastery gals do too! xox M

  4. cyn

    lovely. thank you Marie.

    • marie

      thank U 🙂

  5. Funny you posted this today because today is one of those days! Brain never woke up this am! So, what did I do? I called over my business partner and friend, Alicia Duanms to come work with me so we could kick each other in gear! And it worked!

    It has been three hours since Alicia got here and we have created the promotion materials for a new teleseminar, organized a task list for our VA and are about to shoot a video for our blog! However, next time Alicia isn’t available my favorite suggestion on your list is to connect and CONTRIBUTE! (which I just did 😉

    Thanks Marie! You rock!!!

    • marie

      NICE Britt. The partner in crime approach is a really good one. And thank you for taking action on #4 so quickly. Love it! (now go get your Gravatar so we can see your face woman. I’m kind of obsessed with seeing people’s faces on the blog 🙂

  6. OMG this happens to me all the time……sadly more now that I am a mom. I find a good meal – specially one that I spend some time cooking up does the trick……or some other outdoor activity like hacking at my garden! Glad you brought this up – having major brain freeze today and need to start with tip #1
    .-= Sarah Shaw´s last blog ..Are You A Goal Getter? =-.

  7. I call this ‘brain fog’ 🙂 can’t see much, everything looks out of reach…
    My secret to overcome it is walk my dog Pandora; she gets a longer walk or more walks, she loves it and when we get back the fog usually has lifted.

    • marie

      Hey Ana! I LOVE that 🙂 And your dog sounds SOO cute!!

  8. Mark

    When my brain wants to stay home from the office I also take a walk…with my camera. I look for things that are normally overlooked and concentrate on small parts of the big picture. Lots of questions arise and stimulate my mind if I find an object that is out of place. Or I may find tiny flowers or mushrooms that invite closeups. The bonus to this is it doesn’t cost a thing nowadays and offers instant gratification due to the digital camera.

    • marie

      Sweet Mark! LOVE that – a more artistic approach with instant results. I’m also a huge mushroom fan (goes back to my childhood love of Smurfs) – they pull me in everytime.

  9. Is there something in the air? My brain went on strike today.

    I shut dowm my computer sat at the kitchen table, put on some Christmas music and all of a sudden the pen starting writing.

    Great post.

    .-= Tricia Dycka´s last blog ..The Holiday Season… A time for Gratitude or Unsolicited Advice/Ridicule =-.

    • marie

      Thanks Tricia! Ooooh. Music. You just hit on another favorite of mine. Dance parties often do the trick for me (especially a little Michael Jackson or J.T.)

  10. stephanie

    dear marie

    i like it***and i m happy about myself, because that is just what i do in the last time-keep moving (mind body and heart)

    and here is my little thank you note for all your blogs (see your point 4 🙂 ) and appreciation for your sharing nature*

    greetings from switzerland,

    nb. won t make it for the rich happy and hot (money money money), but i filled in the form (for myself to get clear)

    • marie

      Hey Stephanie in Switzerland! HA – you are awesome for rocking out #4. Thanks for that. Congrats on filling in the application for RHH Mastery. Hopefully it gave you some insight and sparked clarity for 2010 😉 Stay focused on giving, helping and creating value – that’s the big ol’ secret (plus, of course – really good marketing) to making the $$.

  11. Karen Fagan

    Hi Marie,

    I’m raising my hands up to YOU! Your my new love 🙂 and what I mean by this is I love what your blogs and thus far my connection with you brings out in me ( truth, fun, excitement and more energy who knew I could get more?) I used to just kick butt now I’m owning it and creating my empire)! I can’t wait to work with you (seriously right, like I’ve already told you this, this week)

    Awesome blog – Thank you!

    • marie

      Hey Karen!! I’m SOO excited to work with you too! RHH Virtual Mastery coming up soon 🙂 xo M

  12. I think there’s a situation of having brain fog and mental tiredness and then there’s emotions out of balance. For me, it can be hard to separate the two. However, I do notice that as soon as I start thinking about what I’m grateful for vs. what is happening that is not good, I feel better. Exercise is always a good antidote too.

    Usually I look at food, water, rest and exercise and find one of them very out of balance. Then I have to laugh at myself for making everything “seem” so much more serious than it actually is.

    • marie

      I have to agree there Maryellen. Once you step back from “forcing” and start nurturing (any of the 4 ideas I mentioned or the awesome ideas here in the comments) – the emotional stuff can unclog and will either naturally fall away or – as you so brilliantly said – you won’t take it nearly so seriously! Excellent point 😉

  13. Like others, walking is a big favorite with me. So is pulling out my guitar. Doing some kind of mindless physical work usually helps and my office and house stay cleaner. And if all else fails, just ride it out until I can get a good night’s sleep and start over again tomorrow. 🙂

    • marie

      Ooooh yeah Leanne. Cleaning is another big one for me!!

  14. How crazy that this finds me today. Reconnected with an old friend (who is my IDEAL client) today, and our conversation was so inspiring, I fired off a sales letter that totally had me stuck for days. And then I read your post. Great minds, girl! Thanks, M.

    • marie

      Fantastic timing Carly! And congrats on that sales letter – those can be doozies 😉

  15. I have a few tricks I turn to: a nap (if possible), some yoga, reading inspirational articles like this one, and taking micro-baby steps (such as writing one sentence, working in 10 minute chunks, etc.).

    I also enjoy getting my groove on with your workout DVDs, Marie, as I did this morning! I love that you relate to people on the mental, physical, and emotional planes.

    • marie

      Hey Christine! I’m with you on the nap (although I’m still working on not feeling guilty on that one 🙂 COOL on the DVDs – dancing or strength?

  16. Hi Marie,

    What a great article! I laughed all of the way through because it happens to all of us at some point and you nailed it. Sometimes to get my wiring “re-booted”, I go outside, look at the view in panorama vision, breathe in deep, and remember that we are God-created, full of capacity, and then I make up my mind to be protected, respected, directed and connected. This little mantra frees me from negative news reports, doom and gloom details, and puts my priorities back on enoying purpose, passion and people!

    • marie

      NICE Cynthia. Good to know we’re not alone right? (sometimes in my head it can get a little crazy 🙂 And I like your mantra – I got a good boost just from reading it.

  17. MARIE…. THAT WAS ME YESTERDAY! I was in a fog all day. I decided to just roll with it and write out “ideas” but definitely didn’t have a productive day. Coulda used these pointers!

    • I have no idea how to make my photo show. I signed up but still no clue.

      • marie

        Hey B! did you go here? if you’re still having trouble, ping me on Facebook – we’ll get you set up 🙂

  18. Love this! And I just had one of those “brain’s calling in sick today” days earlier THIS WEEK. So what did I do? I decided to take the day off. I went shopping…FOOD shopping….came home and cooked up a few meals for the rest of the week.

    Not only did I have some awesome, healthy meals for a couple of days (both lunch AND dinner) but it got me in a better mood. Not every day, but often I find cooking just calms me (yeah, I know that’s not like most people). And call me crazy, I ENJOY food shopping (cause I just love food!)

    But you know what else? After my my brain had a day “off” — the next day it was just rockin’! And as I already had my meals prepared (just needed to heat them up) I saved myself time and got MORE work done than if I just tried to get my brain to work that day it just wanted to call in sick.

    Lastly, I LOVE what you said at the end of your post: “…when your brain calls in sick, your heart will do just fine running the show.” Honest to goodness truth!
    .-= Dinneen Diette´s last blog ..The Secret to Surviving Thanksgiving Without the Weight Gain =-.

    • marie

      HA! Dinneen – I’m too a lover of food shopping. (Not always but especially when I get to do it outside the city in BIG stores with no time pressure!) Love what you wrote here and yes – having all those pre-made healthy meals is SOOO ridiculously nurturing (and time saving!!)

  19. joan

    great article.

    • marie

      thx Joan 🙂

  20. Hi Marie-

    I am SO glad to know that I’m not the only one who has brain sick days.

    I have found the best thing cure for these times is to play with my dogs. I just close the office door, head outdoors and walk the pooches.

    There’s something about watching my dogs, the masters of living in the moment, that puts things into perspective for me. Not surprisingly, I have my biggest breakthroughs and ha-ha’s when outside in nature, usually throwing tennis balls or walking them on the beach.

    My brain heals, and I’m ready to go again!

    Much Love,


    • marie

      love it Tonya!! Ya know, there’s def. something to the whole cute, furry wonderful, loving little doggie thang. I don’t have one, but I’m always looking to pet or borrow someone’s doggie for short amounts of time 😉

  21. Hey Marie,

    You always seem to have impeccable timing:) just when I need it most! Funny here is a tip I just sent to my peeps!

    Overwhelm means Overthinking…. When you find yourself in Overwhelm, start by getting out of your head and taking a break. Sometimes a simple walk around the block, a breath of fresh air or even just spending a few minutes with your family or your pets can take you from Overwhelm to Overdrive!

    Love ya tons as always! Cant wait for RHH Mastery!

    • marie

      Why thank you Marguerite!! And I am THRILLED you’re in for Mastery. Incredible and just wait till you see what we create together in 2010.
      YES on overwhelm means overthinking and vice versa. Agreed on the family/pets/nature tip. Love ya too! xo M

  22. Great article with some real slam-dunk techniques.
    I get silly when my brain calls in sick – I go to the beach with my Ipod, Mr. Brightside loud enough to blow my ears off and dance like crazy on one of the beach huts…hoping nobody will walk past. 😉 Thankfully our Australian beaches are pretty quiet most of the time…

    • marie

      Hi Kath! Thank you so much. And I really want to get myself to YOUR beach 🙂 sounds awesome.

  23. Laurie

    Hi Marie –

    You are so right about the need to “switch gears”! I find my brain falls asleep when I’ve been sticking to the same old routine and schedule for too long — time to mix it up. This morning I’ve been connecting with friends and colleagues on FB and then I’m headed to the gym after a journal-writing session. I think the key is recognizing that the slump isn’t permanent — and knowing how to work with it. As you’ve written, “what you resist, persists!”


    • marie

      YES Laurie. Changing things up is really good and having that awareness to know it will pass is huge too!

  24. Trina

    sooo true; I don’t own my own business but these ideas are so great for any woman who cares more than the average Jane about her work, clients, productivity, and well being!
    I close my office door and do leg extensions up the wall to get the blood back to my head!
    I try not to pound the coffee as this is counter productive! water all the way!


  25. arti

    hi Marie! perfect timing- my brain goes on srtike too- its on strike now! exercising and reconnecting with people is SO helpful- which is exactly why i got on your site. 🙂
    its funny because sometimes connecting with others around you gets you all charged up but i’ve also found that sometimes some me time is what i need.

    dancing by myself in my living room has always been one of my favorite activities. we’re always so busy at work and at home, surrounded by others, their thoughts their lives that getting away for a few minutes really charges my batteries. and then i can truly give to others!!

    which ofcourse, ultimately makes me feel better. :))
    thanks for the article marie,

  26. Hi Marie,

    Great blog topic and ideas! I had an episode in Grad school where I was doing a ton of research and with my period came a ton of tension and my brain turned off. Acupuncture helped immediately release the tension, also my wellness practitioner reminded me that women are not meant to live in their head and think so much… that this is common in women in school.

    Which reminds me… your work with being in the present, living from heart and intuition and acting on those thoughts instead of thinking about it is very important work! I think I am going to go over and order your Living in the moment Booty camp… it has been on my list of things to do long enough!


    • marie

      Hey Leslie! AWESOME suggestion on the acupuncture. Woo hoo on getting the Live In The Moment Booty Camp program. It’s pretty darn amazing and life changing. Can’t wait to hear your feedback!

  27. Walks can be a little difficult for me but often just going outside (I’m inside my apartment nearly all the time) and connecting with the beauty & wonder that is our world makes a major difference. Having gratitude that I got to wake up, and experience this day is another. And just realizing that things are only as hard as you think they are is another empowering thought.

    That being said, I fall off the positive wagon a lot, and when that happens I realize it and dust myself off. I try not to beat myself up about it because it’s normal and just another step in my learning process which I am grateful for.

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