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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You’ll never find me using “retail therapy” as a means of relaxation.  In fact, most of the time I walk into stores and instantly feel overwhelmed by the racks and racks of endless choices.

My brain goes on overdrive and I get frustrated and tired really fast. (Can you relate?)

MissingThisBut a few weeks ago I had a much different experience.

And it all was due to ONE big juicy, powerful word.

In fact, this one word makes all the difference between my business feeling like a hot mess vs. when it runs smooth like coco butta ;).

It’s also the secret to successfully marketing your products, services, and programs.

Let me explain.  

It was a Friday afternoon and we were going to a casual, “all white” summer wedding.  I had dressy, white jeans and needed a simple white top.

I didn’t have much time, so I figured I should go to the one store I knew would have a shitbunch of options.  Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most chaotic, overwhelming, nerve-frying stores in New York City.  Forever 21.

And get this.  It was a major holiday weekend.

I broke into an anxious sweat just thinking the store could be even more insanely packed than usual.

But to my pleasant surprise, not only did I enjoy myself (did I really just say that??), but I got exactly what I needed within about 25 minutes with zero frustration or anxiety.

Here’s what happened.

I walked in and instantly dismissed every pink, blue, black, green, yellow, orange, graphic, brown, gold, stripped, polka-dot, be-dazzled and NON-WHITE top in my visual path.

I darted around the store like a lightning bolt and quickly scooped up every viable option I could find.  Seriously, I was a fucking shopping ninja!

After about 10 minutes scouring two floors of a store that often feels like a teenage clothing explosion, I collected seven awesome “white wedding top” contenders.


I was in the dressing room for all of 4 minutes before I edited down my selections to the one top that worked. SWEET!

I grabbed a fun, multi-layered gold and pearl necklace, threw down my credit card and skipped out the door unscathed.

As I walked home smiling, I thought to myself,  “What happened? Am I in the Twilight Zone?  That place is usually a shit show,”

Then it hit me.  There was a big difference between this visit and how I typically shop.

This time I knew exactly what I was looking for.

I needed a simple, white top that would work with skinny white jeans. Period.  End of story.

That “exactly” thing is key.  It means I harnessed one of the most powerful business words ever.


When there’s chaos in your business, clarity is often what’s missing.  Clarity, my friend, gives you instant speed, confidence and watch-the-fuck-out-I’m-a-ninja-like-effectiveness.

Think about it.   When you know exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, you instantly eliminate all the other distracting bullshit that makes you crazy.

Clarity also super-charges your marketing.

It makes designing your offerings and writing copy oh, uhm, about a gazillion times easier. You know exactly who you’re going after and more importantly, who you’re not.

And that, my sweet, leads to better, happier customers and a lot more money for you.

In short, clarity cuts through business chaos like a Ginsu knife.

If your business feels chaotic, here are two simple ways a little clarity can help you get your own ninja on.

1.  Know exactly what you want to accomplish, before you sit down to work.

The worst mistake many of us make is getting on the computer without a clear, prioritized task list to guide our time and actions.  And the busier and more successful we get, the more vital this practice becomes.

Think about it.  Without clarity of what you want to accomplish, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll get sucked into the abyss of the Internet and waste hours on porn sites.

(Just making sure you’re paying attention 🙂

Sitting down to work, especially online, without a a clear plan is like me walking into Forever 21 with 5 million pieces of clothing; ear-piecing club music and absolutely no clue what I’m supposed to be buying.  Not fun.

When you have clarity on what you plan to accomplish and why, you are sooooo much more likely to enjoy the process of creation and keep your business chaos to a minimum. 10 minutes of clarity work prior to any work session will do wonders.

2.  Know exactly who your ideal customer is before you create your marketing, product offerings and sales materials.

Right now, I’m launching a brand new program called B-School (business school) for women who want to make it big online.  (Side note:  the free content we’re releasing for this is beyond awesome. If you want a heads up on all the videos as they’re released – go here.)

It’s the the most hard-core marketing and technical “how-to” business course I’ve ever offered.

I spent a loooong time getting crystal clear on exactly who our ideal customer is for B-School before I did anything else. I interviewed women and created a detailed customer profile for who this program is for, and more importantly, who it’s not for.

Surprise, surprise. . . it’s made the design and content creation process easier than almost anything I’ve done before.

When you know exactly who your ideal customer is FIRST, your marketing and offerings are more clear, compelling and powerful.

Now of course, there are loads more ways clarity helps cut through the chaos of your business and life.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts.

What say you?  Got any good stories, tips or strategies around clarity or your lack of it?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

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  1. Nicole

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear 😉

    Thanks, Love.

    • marie

      You are so welcome Nicole!

  2. Gina

    Maria – Thank you. You are so right about this “clarity thing” – I know it all too well but, sometimes, lose it. And, you make me laugh. Nice top.

    • marie

      Why thank you Gina! And a little more clarity while we’re on the subject, it’s Marie. My yoga-name is Maria 😉

  3. 🙂 I knew that’s what you were going to say! How? Cos that’s what I’m doing right now – clarifying my niche. And of course, the Universe always sends little nudges to show me I’m on the right path. Cute pic! @TiaSparkles
    .-= Tia Singh, Coach T.I.A´s last blog ..Embrace Your Imbalanced Life =-.

    • marie

      Nooice Tia! Gotta love that the Universe always has your back, right? Thanks a million on the pic. That’s my man Josh in the mid with our smarty pants buddy Tim 🙂

  4. Spot on once again ~ SO very true! Definitely loving the analogy!

    I can’t get a darn thing done unless I make a list and stick to it.

    Only working on #1. Only working on #2. That sort of thing.
    .-= Eva Rawposa´s last blog ..Welcome my fellow non-icky- non-SPAM-y business people! =-.

    • marie

      I hear you Eva. As we grow more and more digitally connected (ahem, distracted) it’s more important to workout those single-tasking muscles.

  5. When I launched my online biz in the beginning of the year, I knew that I couldn’t cater to every single woman who wanted to read my work. (I launched an online mag which sold ads and had awesome national sponsors in the first month.) People kept telling me to involve a mothers section, a student section, to add this and that. But like writing, you can’t write for every audience. When I read Rework last month, I definitely got even more clarity about that. I mean, there’s really no reason why campfire and backpack have to be more complex than they already are. Thanks for the great analogy Marie!
    .-= Bethany´s last blog ..SoBo &amp SoBlue =-.

    • marie

      You are so welcome Bethany! and CONGRATS to you on national sponsors first month!! WOW! I hear you on not writing for every audience – I struggled for a long time with my desire to be me vs. an idea I was supposed to be “more professional” than that.

      • Marie,

        Love your style; F-bombs and all.

        Kelly Ann

  6. Once again, you are right on. As I’ve gotten clearer with where I want to go with my business over the past few months, the easier it is to get shit done when I sit down to do it. It seems to get done so much more easily when I know exactly what I need to do and when I need to do it.

    And I love your shopping story! I hate to shop, so I do most of it online. Long ago I figured out what I make per hour, and it’s so worth it to pay the shipping and save myself the time! But if I have to go to a store, it’s because I need something in particular, and I get in, get it, and get the hell out 🙂

    .-= Lori Latimer´s last blog ..Are You Living On Purpose or On Auto Pilot =-.

    • marie

      Oooooh Lori! You’re SO so smart!! I have another shopping trick. Her name is Grasie Mercedes and when it’s time to do major shopping (like for a new season or a special event) – I pay her to organize me, style me and get it ALL done with as much pleasure and fun as possible! So great to hear on the biz clarity too.

  7. YES. clarity is da bomb.
    (i found some this weekend too)
    .-= ABCcreativity´s last blog ..creating dreams come true having a plan part 2 =-.

    • marie

      Agreed and congrats on your weekend clarity! 😉

  8. LOVE THIS! We went to Ikea yesterday and that place is a total energy suck and to boot it was a Sunday. My hubby and I knew exactly what we were there to buy and it was in and out and I picked up a lint roller like your gold necklace… lol It made the visit way more effective and we didn’t get the ikea eye buldge burnout. Oh, and I totally use this for my day thanks to you. Get the list and do what HAS to be done first. Thanks M! xxoo
    .-= Hillary´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

    • marie

      Yeah Hillary! IKEA is like Forever 21 in that way. Totally fun if you have time for wandering and just letting inspiration bubble up. But when you need to get things done in a particular time frame, clarity is super helpful!

  9. Teri

    Marie: Once again, absolutely PERFECT timing! I am revamping my websites, and am really thinking about my perfect customer instead of putting stuff up in a hodge-podge-like fashion. Also, the reminder to keep in mind EXACTLY what I want to achieve makes work so much more fun & productive (and keeps the web surfing under control).

    • marie

      Go Teri Go! I would highly recommend writing out a detailed customer profile. Her/his irrational fears, irrational desires, where she lives, age, income level, what she watches on TV, etc. It’s a tough, but fun exercise that really lasers in on WHO you’re looking for and who you can best serve!

  10. “…clarity cuts through business chaos like a Ginsu knife.”

    What a fantastic post. Would like to tattoo this phrase on my right hand. Brilliant. Thanks, Marie, for once again pushing us working girls to yet another level of business clarity.

    ps – Great photo 🙂

    • marie

      Hey Manisha! Thank you so much. If you do tatoo that phrase – be sure to send me a pic lady 🙂

  11. Phil

    Hey Marie! Haven’t seen you in ages! Anyway, I just wanted to comment on this and tell you that you hit it bang on! Constantly I can feel the overwhelm: you feel like your rowing a boat with only one paddle without clarity.

    Personally for me, stepping away from the chaos and clearing my mental desk for a day or so gives me a perfect opportunity to gains some clarity without all the clutter to distract me.

    • marie

      Hey Phil!! Thank you so much. Hope to catch you in person sometime soon. OOH – I love the idea of totally stepping away. That’s HUGE for clarity!

  12. I really needed to read that – I am constantly distracted and your shopping analogy nailed it perfectly!

    PS Love the word “shitbunch”!!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..What is it like running an Italian restaurant in Belmont Shore =-.

    • marie

      Thanks Lisa! I’m a big fan of shitbunches of things too!

  13. Kirin

    OMGosh Marie, that is exactly what happened to me this week too! Except I was shopping for my daughter. But I needed something VERY specific. So between mall shopping and online shopping, which would normally take days, we had everything we needed in a matter of hours (that includes driving time, lunch time, and shopping for fun for non-needed items time). How’s that for cool?

    And the best part was, I felt I was teaching her an important lesson on clarity….and I felt like a damn good mom for doing it too. Never even made the connection to my business. DUH! Thanks for pointing out the obvious Marie!



    • marie

      Go Kirin Go! You are a damn good Mom. I LOVE passing on this kind of juice to our youngins. And SO happy the dots are connected with business too 😉

  14. Nancy Reid

    Marie, this story about clarity, and your video earlier this year about “the decision comes first”, are incredibly powerful ideas. Thank you.

    • marie

      You’re welcome Nancy!!!

  15. Oh clarity my guide…I’ve been seeking you. So I was totally avoiding my to-do and read this. I am always amazed that when I am feeling the overwhelm my clients are as well and I listen to myself coach them and on the side, I’m taking notes to self….listen to your own f*ing words!!!!

    Really just adore you. I’ve signed up for a biziliion marketing newsletters and I am overwhelmed to say the least. I’m getting rid of them all and just getting some clarity from you. Thanks Marie.

    • marie

      YES Hannah YES!!! We ALL need to listen to our own advice – that’s what makes this stuff so fun. Share. Learn. Share. Learn. 🙂 Great to have you here as always!

  16. Hey Marie!

    That makes so much sense! I’ve gotta get clear, clear, clear about my target person and prioritize my task list for the day! Thanks for the tips – and, oh my god, I know what you mean about Forever 21. I try to avoid it as much as possible! But they’re good for last minute pieces!


    • marie

      Ohh yes Amanda – last minute pieces and basic t’s and tanks! Go get’m girl with your newfound clarity power!

  17. Hey Marie,

    What great guidance – especially about getting clear on your target market! I can’t wait for the launch of your program!

    Take care,

    • marie

      Thank you Marion!! We’re super excited about B-school too! YAY 😉

  18. Melody Granger

    Hey Marie!

    You hit a key point that I make with my organizing clients – if you are clear on what your home to look and feel like, then making decisions on what to keep or let go becomes soooo much easier! The shopping does too.

    Your analogy is perfect. It made your point very CLEAR!

    Thanks for making marketing more fun!


    • marie

      You are SOO welcome Melody! HA HA on the CLEAR point lady.

  19. stephanie*


    YES! Theme of today! (I was packing my boxes to move) It is so much easier and fun with being clear.
    I had some hitting stories on the CLARITY side just in the last time – one of it:
    In the search of a new room, I had a very clear picture about how it should be. I found the perfect room after some days…but the appartment-mates were not my taste…so I got clear about my guys…found some cool guys in a nice app some days later, but outside the city…
    Now for the clarity ninja 🙂 : On the same evening, I sat down with a good glass of wine and in a very good mood and wrote down a list with 14 points and one joker (the joker was for fun). On the same evening, I got a mail from a friend who just told him about a free room in his app. ALL 14 points NAILED 🙂
    (except the joker : a cat 🙂 – this could still happen… 😉 ).
    I love your posts, Marie! And am very happy, that they are coming so often now, it is a true pleasure 🙂
    Stephanie. xo

    • marie

      Stephanie – you are a woman after my own heart (you love smiley faces as much as I do! 🙂 Go clarity ninja go!

  20. stephanie*

    OH, I was so excited, I wrote a mistake: It means: I got a mail from a friend WHOSE FRIEND just told him about a free room in his app.

  21. This is perfect. I do find that it is so much easier to create and get things done when I know what it is I want to accomplish than when I’m just wandering around clueless. However, sometimes I do find inspiration in the insanity but that’s only when I have time to sit and explore my options.

    Great post 🙂
    .-= Arwen Taylor´s last blog ..3 Home Based Business Ideas for College Students =-.

    • marie

      Sweet Arwen! I agree. When there’s time to explore the options, some chaos can be fun. Thanks for swinging by.

  22. So glad I clicked over here – this theme is echoing all around me lately and the steps I’ve been taking towards clarity have been so refreshing!! For example – yesterday I went NINJA on my ridonkulous load of years worth of saved up emails. (Packrat much?) And it feels SO GREAT!! And I’m also working on a clean desk right now – in a clean space, and it is so freeing. I just love that I keep bumping into this topic – that so many of us have this on our minds right now. It’s so reinforcing.

    • marie

      Yeah Lisa Marie! I LOVE the image of you going NINJA on your email. Slay that inbox girl, slay it.

  23. Awesome Blog Post from the clearmistress herself.
    Love it.
    Thx Ri
    You also looked really cute in white.
    the joshi blog:

    • marie

      Oh Joshie! You look really cute in white, too. Is this the first time you’ve commented on my blog honey? So sweet!!

  24. Thank you for the reminder about clarity! Analogies are so helpful…saw this one CLEARLY!
    .-= Jennifer Palais´s last blog ..Evernote Trunk – my integration =-.

    • marie

      Ha Ha Jennifer! CLEARLY you’re one smart cookie!

  25. Great stuff Marie. Having done many shopping excursions to Forever 21 I can so relate to the fear of total chaos from the choices. (Side note: I generally do all my shopping in Maine because there are far less choices and it’s just easier and more efficient that way. That’d be another great post…why giving people less choices is the way to go…wait, maybe I’ll write that :)) Anyhooo…I LOVE the reminder to get a clear list of priorities before I sit down to my computer and get sucked into endless hours of email (not so much porn sites for me but to each his own). Thanks for a great post lady! (P.S. I can already feel my muscles getting sore from our bootykon workout…incredible.)

    • marie

      Yes Kate Yes. Write that blog post girl! And I’ll bet if I found Bootykon porn, you MAY take a look (Whoops, did I say that outloud??????)

      More kicks, crocodile crawls and gorilla drills around the room please 😉

  26. Once again Marie…amazing effin’ shit!!! I love this because I am finding myself getting so clear on my business that writing blog posts, etc. is getting way easier. Now if I could just find some clarity in my personal life…i would be set!

    .-= Kimberly´s last blog ..Eating For a Healthier You- The Top 10 “Lean Body Foods” =-.

    • marie

      Thank you SO much Kimberly!! Hey – let us know how we can support you in VM baby! We’ve got your back 😉

  27. Hey Marie-

    I am right there with you with the whole shopping drama. You’ll find me in Starbuck’s reading and sipping a coffee. You hit the nail on the head. It’s a clarity issue. Just today, I sat down without a plan, and whaddya know? I wasted several good hours of my life facebookin’ and tweetin.’

    Somethings gotta give!

    thx girl!


    • marie

      You’re so welcome Tonya! Thanks for swingin’ by!!

  28. Jen

    Marie – as usual you kick-ass in the message department. Clarity – yah, that’s what I’ve been missing…because when you know you have a million brilliant ideas (oh if I could just pick one) it gets you all wound up with nothing to deliver. Clarity not only keeps you focused, it shows the universe and all your supporters that you’re serious and they’re ready to help you achieve your goal! I just love your blog…and can’t wait for B-School! Aloha from Hawaii! Jen

  29. Marie, as an image consultant and personal shopper, your post really spoke to me and I’m excited to hear that you completely nailed it at Forever 21. I strongly encourage my clients to focus and to know what they’re looking for – it’s a strategy that has worked wonders for me. However, as a business owner I took your advice to heart. Too often I sit down at the computer only to get up an hour later and then remember why I sat down in the first place. This is the reminder I need (and an analogy I can relate to) to prioritize and stay focused on my goal. Thank you!

  30. I know what you mean about Forever 21! It’s great if you are in time-wasting, browsing mode and you are actually ENJOYING not looking for anything in particular. This is the shopping equivalent of surfing the web just because. The trouble comes when you mistake surfing for actually working, and browsing in clothing chaos for shopping for something you actually need. The trick is to KNOW when you’re wasting time, and decide if this is really the most fun way of wasting it! Otherwise, as C.S. Lewis wrote in “The Screwtape Letters”, you’ll find you “spent most of your life doing neither what you ought nor what you liked.”
    Great post, and just because it’s simple doesn’t mean we don’t need reminding.
    .-= lisa rothstein´s last blog ..Are You in “Idea Overwhelm” =-.

  31. I have been playing with two C words that are making big differences in my life: clarity and consistency. I am working on a project about procrastination, a project that I feel I have spent my whole life preparing for (since I am a huge procrastinator). As I do research and talk to others, I see more and more that the two issues that are getting in my own way are clarity of purpose and consistency of action.

    I do agree on you and the importance on clarity. I don’t agree with you on shopping in Forever 21 because they seem to be enforcing this policy that Plus starts at size 12 and as a mother of an 18 year old daughter, I am appalled at the message they are sending (yes, I am a overweight, I just don’t think that making people feel guilty about their size is the best way to get them smaller). I will admit, you do look cute in the picture.

    Thanks for the post.

  32. Thanks, Marie, for this very timely reminder. I find myself wasting a lot of time on BS, always regretting it later. This goes for my personal life as well as my life spent running my tiny business. But I promised myself that I’ll do better-don’t really have any choice if I want to make progress instead of just coasting.

  33. Kimber

    Great stuff! I just found your blog because of Laura Roeder. Glad I did! You’re insights and observations hit home in many ways! Just this weekend I told my friend that “shopping is an energy suck” and it’s why I often avoid it! Too bad I didn’t have CLARITY this last week when I was looking for outfits for a photo shoot. Six hours down the drain (I ended up using clothes I already had). So, your example hit home – for shopping and marketing! Thanks for the insight! Clarity saves time and makes for productive results!

  34. Erlyn

    Thank you for the Clarity post. I have been doing this myself with shopping lately and I am feeling glad that I am not alone with the clarity issue.


  35. Katerina

    Hi Marie,

    this article is really something I needed to read. It gives an answer to A LOT of my questions. But the funny thing about this is I actually have experienced how clarity works… We were on holiday with a friend of mine; hitchhiking. The first few days we were not clear at all about the place we wanted to get to, so the cars always took us for 10-15 km only… After having this experience, we gave it two days to get to the harbour at the end of our journey (we thought we would not be able to make it in a shorter time). And guess what? We were so crystal clear about the place we want to get to, it only took us A FEW HOURS! Have a similar experience with looking for a job and a flat. When I got clear about what I wanted it never took a long time till it became reality. Katerina

  36. I like that! Thanks for the much needed reminder! Peg

  37. catherine comerford

    i love your attitude i have done this a million times when out shopping the key is not to get distracted by all the other crap you dont need just what you need and get out of there you then got so much more time for other things without stressing yourself out. ps i love your book make every man want you its brill i read it often as just getting over break up it helps so much thanks marria your fab. xxx

  38. Jenny

    After struggling through Chaos the past few months, I know (with lightning accuracy as you say) what it is that I want and also what I bring to the table that is unique and different. And guess what – I’m getting everything I want and more. Been reading your posts for a while Marie and this is spot on. Thank you!

  39. Hi Marie
    I ould like to thank you.

    Saw your interview with Tony some time ago and as with this article it really is helping me shift some thoughts on having to go out and find a job as my business at the moment is running very slow.

    I have had a rough time starting up as a single mother (24/7) and at the same time i have not been able to overcome some self enflicted shame having to give in and take a job.

    But in the end it comes down to knowing what I want and taking a job for half a year might just be what is needed, when every other possibilities fail.
    You helped me see this perspective – so thank you.

  40. Shitbunch. 🙂 I must confess to a love for shopping. But it really only works when I’m alone. I have to be in the right mindset, where I know what I want, but am also OPEN to the moment. And I go about my ninja thing. Interesting that this is very much like my writing time as well- I set out to write with this same CLARITY alongside the OPEN MIND thing- and if I’m lucky I’ll end up with something….wonderful. Thanks Marie!
    .-= Megan Matthieson´s last blog ..Proud Alienation let those fers go =-.

  41. Gary

    Hello Marie,, loved the article, amidst the high flying F-bombs was complete clarity,, I’m not much of a shopper myself,, but like most men we just go in and get out… Thank ya…

    Like the lady above says she gets to many marketing newsletters and suffers overwhelm,, well,, I’m to gonna get rid of a lot of them F-ing things,, how’s that?

    But not YOURS…

  42. Jolina

    Dude, amazing post blah blah (the nice kind of blah) but more importantly, FUCK YEA! re: ninja skills!! I will always be an advocate of ninja-fying an issue to provide metaphor and inspiration (even gave a performing-arts youth class on the subject) and am so freakin happy to see you use it here.
    Came across your site and work via Laura Roeder as well (how cool she is, I cannot even begin) and am a huge fan of your style and message. Thanks for sharing, looking forward to more.

  43. “watch-the-fuck-out-I’m-a-ninja-like-effectiveness.”
    At Century 21. Really?
    I seriously love you. If I had the attention span to finish reading the entire news letters and sign up for your program one of these days my business would be on fire Im sure.
    Oh – and is Tim Ferris single? Just kidding. Sorta.

  44. Wow, Marie. This makes so much sense it’s absolutely unbelievable. I totally see where having a 10-minute-clarity-sesh before I sit down at the computer is way more efficient than sitting down at the computer with no clue & trying to figure it out as I go along (this usually just leads to Fbook stalking/Tweeting!).

    Thanks mama! xo

  45. joan

    I find that this works for me when i am shopping with limited funds and go into a store where i can get carried away with things that i like but don’t really need. I buy what i need first then anythingelse after that and i am out in a jiffy particularly if i am shopping overseas. For business when i set a clear precise goal and write it down the steps to acheive it just naturally flow. I find that it is accomplished in no time.

  46. Cat

    Purrrfection. The past few days have been very enlightening!

    During a bout of PMS-induced weepy frustration, I made a point to calm myself by stopping and asking myself what was really bothering me. In this case it was the lack of structure my life had taken since I moved two months ago. It was beginning to effect my sleep, my business, my cognition and my good habits were falling by the wayside.

    I started breathing. I tidied up the pile of straws I’d thrown to the floor in anger and disgust after they’d fallen from the cupboard into my face and across the counter. Then, I went to my desk.

    I organized all the clutter, I found all the bills and RSVP’s and other correspondance that needed attention. I wrote the dates on the wall calendar and in my day planner. Finally, I did the most important and easiest part; I promised myself something. I promised myself this room would be the first place I went before starting my day. My guest room/home office is a sunny, relaxing spot. The colors on the walls make the sunlight sing, the blinds on the window create delicious patterns; it may be the smallest room in the house, but it’s mouthwateringly inviting.

    Now, after washing up and getting dressed, I take my shoes into that room, check the calendar and enjoy the infusion of energy I get just from being there as the sun comes up. I’ve only done this for three or four days, but it’s working! I’m getting things done, my to-do lists are up-to-date and I don’t feel like the world is handing me a tornado and ordering me to make sense of it!

    I have CLARITY now.

    [email protected]

  47. This is so true.. When I started cold calling (what my last blog was about) I felt like I was just calling people up to sell my product – a marketing platform. But more and more I found, if I approached the business I was contacting with a defined plan and an established knowledge of their goals in their business.. they were more willing to look to a youngen like me to help. Though I’m only in my second month so I have maybe two clients Im making sites and setting them up with comF5.. the fact I can know what they want and be clear on WHO they are has helped me make a report that will probably get me word-o-fucking-mouth referrals. But never everyone can deal with others on such a one to one basis. Go figure, one older man who played sales manager for me at another job always told me “never stop talking” “try not to fraternize” and “never drink” when making a deal… well most are wrong. You want that connection so the client feels better and when creating something.. you need to know the REAL client, not just the business. Why is it only a few get it?
    Lexi xo

  48. I love this analogy! I also hate shopping, for the exact reasons you outline. And I’m stealing the term “shitbunch” from you and pretending I made it up. Just so you know. 🙂 Great post!

  49. Great article Marie.
    Have you visited The Forever store in Times Square?

  50. Justyna

    I love it =) Just what I need.

  51. ah yes – clarity! I ignored for too long my “target market” of busy Moms just trying to figure out how to use their darn cameras! I didn’t need to worry about EVERYONE in the world who wanted to take pictures. Once I realized this I haven’t looked back!

    Great post – as usual 🙂

  52. I’m left with a slight feeling that I need to be female to comment, but anyhoo –

    Great post!!


  53. Carol

    You’ve hit the nail on the head! I must admit that I’m still working on having clarity with regard to my business — it’s so important. Looking forward to future info from you.

  54. Hey Marie,

    You asked for deets, so you got em! I decided (with respect to my law firm) that it’s my business and I’m going to run it the way that I want to run it, goddammit. And everyone else is either on board or better get out of my way. I’m doing things radically different from other law firms, charging subscription rates to clients instead of hourly fees, and systemizing the business. I’m marketing fearlessly. I fired bad clients. I stopped feeling guilty.

    I’ve had so many awesome ideas for two years now, but they just weren’t getting implemented. Everyone was a naysayer, including some of my employees, colleagues, friends, clients and even sometimes myself. I felt guilty because I was always behind. Then, like three weeks ago, I literally just decided, “Screw this! If I’m going to work this hard and not have the business that I want to have, I’m just scrapping it all and going to the beach! I have a business because I want to have one and if it’s not working for me, then I’m done.” And then it just shifted for me. I asked myself, “OK, then, you know what you don’t want, so what is it that you DO want?” And I already knew the answer to that question. So, I spent a whole weekend with a whiteboard, scratch paper and my computer, and like a mad woman concocted my ideal business in the form of an annotated organizational chart (it’s hard to describe; I work in my own mysterious ways).

    Once I focused that clearly on the outcome I was striving for, I just started doing. I have had a complete energetic shift. I hired new awesome employees who pump me up more and get shit done. I didn’t even have the money, but since I was clear that I needed them, I was clear that the money would show up. I told negative people to help or go, and I did so confidently because I knew they needed me more than I needed them. I haven’t even started publicizing my new products yet, and I already started getting new, ideal clients and the ones I don’t want stopped calling. And I already have more money than I’ve had in literally months.

    I’m also just getting stuff done because I’m rigorously scheduling, sitting down and focusing, and stopping the chatter (thanks, in no small part, to my awesome new assistant). I feel so sure that my new business model is so freaking killer that it’s preordained to be industry disruptive. It’s like I’m literally on a mission from God.

  55. Aaaahhh…yes, clarity! Wouldn’t it be great to have that all the time. It’s definitely a great tip and believe me, when I have it, I have one of those days that everything just seems to go right…with fun and ease.
    But it takes practice, for sure. I got boggled down with sooo many tasks that I often feel like a hamster on a wheel, running too fast for my own good.
    Thanks for the reminder Marie. I will definitely put the 10-minute rule into practice and get my sh*t together. 😉

  56. Gail

    BINGO! I too have ninja-like precision for everything from shopping, to parking, to picking awesome friends, and mentors because I’m really clear about what I want. Now it’s time to apply this to building my biz. Problem is, I get hung up with defining my ideal client. I know the kind of person I want to work with but is this the same as getting clear about who the ideal client is that would want to work with me, and buy what I’m offering? I find the whole target market, niche thing confusing – very chicken and egg. Which comes first, the client or the product? Do I just define my perfect client, locate them, and ask them what they want, then custom fit a product/service for them? Or do you create the offering and then set out in search of a suitable niche and the people who hang out there?

  57. Wow, you are so right about clarity! I always get a lot of shit done when I’m really clear on what I’m doing. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder on this – it’s definitely something I need to pay more attention to! I’m really bad at sitting down at the computer without a focus. This week I am going to take 10 minutes to focus BEFORE opening up the laptop, so that I know exactly what I’m doing. 🙂

  58. Excellent point! This is why I tell people that time away from the work is actually part of the work. In order to gain clarity, you have to set aside time to reflect.

  59. Hi Marie,

    Really enjoying your launch videos & you are so dead on with this post about CLARITY!

    I think this is one of those obvious secrets to success that far too often get overlooked when people get bogged down with what software to use, etc

    As the saying goes, if you don’t have a very clear target you’re aiming for
    it’s pretty damn hard to hit it.

    Keep up the great work! Love what you’re doing!


  60. Marie, your free content is so valuable. Every line of yours I am reading I can use it right on the spot. Thank you for sharing all this content!
    .-= Andrea Sydow´s last blog ..Satori por skype =-.

  61. Hi Marie,
    You just underlined some good points on business, what some of us are often missing or having trouble with. I think that finding our right spot and our right people clarifies what our business needs. All our Ads and marketing campaigns will only be worth it if we focus on the right customers.
    Cool post!
    .-= Guisela´s last blog ..Swarovski Crystal and Soft Polish Beads Earrings – Earth and Fire =-.

  62. Hi folks! I am reading this a second time and just had an insight. I am not only a coach but a fundraiser as well. So while I am clearing the fundrasing strategy for a summit of the German Society of Systemic Constellations I kept thinking: Who is my ideal money giver? Who wants to buy a ticket on this ride? The money is for a congress in Berlin with the scary title “When does a war is over?” It´s about trauma and that in consequence it is expensive for society and companies having insane people walking around. Well, that´s clearer now. Thank you Marie!
    .-= Andrea Sydow´s last blog ..Satori por skype =-.

  63. You my darling, are exactly what I need.

    Clarity. O jeez. Yess, I am in much need. I’m a mess!!
    Thank you much for sharing. ♥
    .-= Brittani´s last blog ..Love Is Divine =-.

  64. Loving thinking about clarity!

    Thank you, look forward to watching and reading more about your RH&H.


  65. Great post. You’re right on! Love the real world example 🙂

  66. My business is a shit show of chaos right now because I’m not clear on, well really anything. I also just read your Tony Robbins post and I need to use the clarity to create exactly what I need to do in a super short time period. I have years of stretching out my business tasks to make up for.

  67. Hey Marie! Looks like I’m a little late coming to the game, but still wanted to let you know this was awesome, awesome, AWESOME(!!!!) info (did I mention awesome?)!

    Lack of clarity is a tough one. I’ve finally settled on one niche as you’ve spoken about in some other articles and videos, but find I’m still having to define that in order to streamline my writing. I’m using this as my daily reminder. 😉

    As far as tips for gaining clarity, for me it was a matter of looking at and talking to the people I’ve already helped in life (haven’t we all been using our gifts for years already) and determining (and yes, more defining) how I helped them and what helped them. Then it became easier to narrow the niche. Start with where you’re strongest I say – you can work up to the other stuff later if you like. Or, share some of your other passions in your blog if you just can’t stand to leave them lying about. After all, the more real you are, the more you share of yourself, the bigger impact you can have on those you’re sent here to serve, right? Authenticity creates trust.

  68. Oops – forgot to subscribe…

  69. shantala

    i love the clarity idea of doing exactly on list and not getting distracted with socializing online. i scheduled time to do just that lol….i even changed up my personal schedule for the day on google calendar to straighten out my agenda….i feel like i got SO much more clarity and work done

  70. I LOVE YOU!!! I know today I am on th right path! I just made my FaceBook staus “The word of the day is Clarity” then come to your site and read this. I am getting clear right now! Thank you for all you do.

  71. You’re spot on with Clarity! I have it! I also have focus! Timing is my issue. For weeks I’ve been a ‘gunna’. Gunna call in and introduce myself to the new business people in town. I procrastinated for two weeks and have now lost a potential client, to my competitor.

    Thanks for your Tuesday vids. May see you in b-school next time around.

  72. Ha! I could totally relate with your shopping experience! This was exactly what I’ve done when shopping for maternity dresses at Forever 21. I took 5 pieces to try on, and left with 3 perfect ones in less then half an hour! A big belly makes you more focused I assume! 🙂 Clarity is the word!

  73. Wow! I am so happy that I discovered this website!! One of my customers pointed it out to me to use as an example for a design style that she likes (I just started my blog design business). I AM IN LOVE! I get overwhelmed so easily, so this is exactly what I needed right now. Thank you!

  74. Joanna Szurko

    Hey! Thanks for a kick in the BOTTOM;)! You are so right about the clarity! I am currently in the process of opening my interior design business! It is taking me longer than I originally hoped for. Yes, I do have a full time job but I am terrible with managing my evenings. I lack of energy after a day of work and I find sitting in front of my laptop a bit overwhelming. It is because I want to do everything at once. I seriously need to give myself some deadlines to work towards and structure my efforts a bit better!
    Your videos keep me going and I am very grateful for your help!
    Regards from Loondonn! X

  75. Marie

    You are so good, it kinda scares me. Nothing you say is ever short of obvious – and i mean that in the most flattering way – but it’s how you communicate it. Brilliant once more. Thank you

  76. I needed to read this more than ever today! Thanks a bunch!

    • the funny thing is that i stumbled upon this when i was sitting down to work without clarity. 🙂

  77. I’m just starting out and this helps a ton! Thankyou so much, i’m going to try combining going to the gym with thinking through my day and what i want to have achieved by the end of the day. 🙂

  78. Clarity! I have noticed that having a plan – written on a blue note card does make all the difference. Blue cards will stand out against all the other pieces of paper and keeping it on a note card keeps me from writing more than I can possible get done.

    And I can relate to shopping – too many choices and no clear plan = deer in headlights. I get run over every time.

    Thanks! For the reminder.

  79. Lynne

    I saw you on Oprah super soul and thought you were smart and spot on. I come to your website and you use the word fuck in a story about shopping? What a total surprise. You are too bright for this.

  80. Aw! Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece.

    Favorite. Book. Ever.

  81. Just what I needed today!
    I looove you, Marie!
    Thanks! 🙂

  82. Love this and your stuff a lot!!!

  83. Hi Marie, many thanks for all that you do and the inspiring energy you exude (even virtually)!
    I am American in Paris, and after years of wanting to change my life, I left my cushy marketing job, divorced and launched a start-up that I am deeply passionate about. Your words help me tremendously – to stay on track and to – “just fucking do it”. 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real.

    All the best to you!

  84. Cacey

    Hi Marie! What a great tip! Just found your site & have been sifting through these awesome archives of wisdom gems. I’m in the midst of developing a small business & beginning each day with a million options of what to do has been getting overwhelming. I end up like a deer in the headlights instead of my usual productive self, because I don’t have a clear plan. Clarity before I begin is exactly what I need. It’s so clear to me now 😉 Thanks so much!

  85. Yet another insightful right on target piece of advice. Man, a light bulb went off because chaotic is sometimes what it is around here. I have to juggle a lot with home/family/blog/business. I am going to cut this chaos and bring CLARITY to every task. You rock Marie.
    xo Kelly

  86. As a business owner, I feel like my laptop swallows me whole some days… Between unending email, running my company’s social media (which includes Pinterest, the Forever21 of the interwebs), writing blog content or just keeping up my website, sometimes I get to the end of the day and wonder what I actually accomplished, and how is it I’m so exhausted?!

    Instead of continuing my circles in the madness trenches, I need to take some CLARITY time for me so everything I’m doing is more efficient. Thanks so much for always giving it to us straight.

  87. Bella Marie-
    Ur Truly Inspirational
    Wonderfully Witty & Wise
    Fantastically Fun, Fearless & Female
    Thank U

  88. I am a handmade accessories designer and I struggle between my 3 main revenue streams, which one to feed, and when. I have tried “a little bit of this, a little bit of that”, and it works okay, but I need to up my productivity to keep up with demand, and increase return. I feel like letting the little stuff go, in order to concentrate on the big stuff, is where I need to start. Also, I need to prioritize my tasks according to which stream has the highest return. Then, I need to stick to the list. Oh Clarity, thou shall be mine!

  89. Stacy

    Been feeling glum about business lately which is due to the overwhelming sense of chaos. Clarity is exactly what I need! And…time management, of course! Thanks for all that you do and share with us women! Much appreciated.

  90. True Jersey girl dropping the F bomb! Love it!! Keeping it real!

    Clarity! Clarity! Clarity! It’s so easy for me to run down every rabbit hole when I sit down to work! Thanks you for a simple, great message!

    I seem to get paralyzed when thinking about my niche market and ideal customer.


  91. Kristina

    Clarity is the word for today! I find myself sitting down at my laptop trying to accomplish things for my business and my brain is like scrambled eggs. There are so many things that need to get done, but because I did not come with clarity and a clear plan of what I wanted to accomplish, nothing gets done and before you know it I’ve wasted six to eight hours. Frustrating. I love the Forever 21 analogy, have a plan and focus on what you want to accomplish and Ginsu knife the rest. Taking it from landscape to laser! 🙂 Thanks Marie!

  92. My problem is that I have multiple target audiences for difference products and I’m not sure which to tackle first. Is it okay to have more than one kind of ideal customer as long as I commit to each for a certain period of time?

  93. Karen

    My ideal customer is someone exactly like me! (and I think there are quite a few like me out there) 😀

  94. Penny

    Hi, Marie, my manager introduced me to learn how to be a business woman from you, the wearing, behaviors, tones etc etc, I’m quite far away from this way!!

    An unconfident, chaos, self abased Chinese girl wants to change!

  95. GREAT post Marie, I do get that way in my business sometimes…being a restauranteur is a tough one to stay focused, and we need a break sometimes. But time at the computer (of which I enjoy a bit of) while very necessary can be a squirrly mess of non accomplishment if you let it.

    Keep on rockin the content!

  96. and getting clarity on my best guest avatar will certainly help me to market clearer and cut to the core of who really appreciates my business.

  97. Tahvia


    Lady I love your raw non cutting edge tone. You are awesome thanks for sharing and reminding us all about clarity! You rock!

  98. I read this a few weeks ago and totally loved it. I’ve done the same thing while shopping, and it does take super focus & feels so great. But I had never likened it to my time in business. Ever since reading this, I keep referring back in my mind to this article, when I’m feeling like work is chaotic or I have too much to do. It’s such a great analogy and has helped my mindset so much! Thanks for connecting the dots to provide the inspiration!

  99. This analogy was absolutely perfect, Marie!
    FOCUS – Follow one course until successful. . . Works every time!

    Keep on inspiring,

  100. Amanda

    I love this and you! I can’t begin to explain how grateful I am to have come across you and your website. Your videos have given me so much clarity.

  101. Ellen

    Wow!!! You just totally offended me with this article. I have been watching your stuff and found you really interesting. Are you serious? Could you not have wrote this article without the offensive language? You look like a classy lady and your selling a business. Our society in general is really slacking, you would think in the business world people could still have class, especially when their trying to sell their business. I think you can do better than this. Would you really go on Oprah and talk like that?

  102. Lee

    I stopped reading this at the line “f**king shopping ninja”. Is there a strategy to swearing in articles?

  103. Dee

    What clarity means to me is to pick one thing thats most important for the alotted time that i pick. Work it on it nonstop see it though. So i really started writing things down to prioritize my routine. Its really been working out better than i thought.

    • Caroline - Team Forleo

      That’s a great tip, Dee! We’re big fans of prioritizing and focusing over here. Just for fun, I thought I’d share one of my other favorite MarieTV episodes on the subject:

      Thank you for stopping by!

  104. Bairbre

    Another brilliant instalment!
    I am working for a charity that provides extremely low cost vet treatment for people on disability, social welfare, low incomes etc. Pets are v important for everyone but can be life saving when your going tru a rough time! So we are extremely short staffed and I have taken it upon myself to sort out our awful awful website!! I kept getting a little lost on how to do up a charity website versus what I would of done for my own business before. I was feeling very lost re were to begin. Now I have my clarity! It’s actually the same really. Our target market has to be people who will donate to the charity! Followed closely by our clients. But if we don’t have donations we can’t help our clients! Simple and clear! What do we need to accomplish? Clients need easy to access info about our clinics and eligibility guidelines. But Donations are key! I need to sell the concept of what this charity does to reassure potential donors their money is going to a worthy cause.
    Phew thanks a mil! Again!
    I think Marie Forleo may be who keeps me from having a mini breakdown in this crazy job ??????

  105. I almost always walk into a store knowing exactly what I want, it’s a great money saving tip too

  106. Debanik

    This article has hit the nail on the head.
    Thanks immensely.

    focus is a function of clarity.

  107. C L A R I T Y – yes, yes, yes! Thank you for this – was like scraping mud of the windshield for me so I could see that this is what has been missing. As I finish the recuperation process from a surgery that set me back more than I expected, I realize that this force slowdown and “down time” has actually be the opening of space that is allowing me to get out of overwhelm and clear about what I want to accomplish and a vision of what I want my life to look like a year from now! (And, I feel the same when I walk into Forever 21, too much if you don’t stay focused on what you want.)

  108. this is how I grocery shop and why I love it. I have a list and only (well almost always!) stick to it. makes shopping fun and a lot less stressful!

  109. Marie, thank you for this! I absolutely LOVED the message in this article – so useful and seems so obvious now that you’ve said it!

  110. I’m getting hung up on the idea of an “ideal client” as I want to be inclusive and inviting to all people! I know this kind of clarity is important, but I also don’t want to turn a blind eye to anyone who could benefit from working with me. If I had done that when I first started doing thai yoga bodywork (I originally thought I would not work on men for the first few months) than I would not have 3/4 of the clients I have now! I also struggle because my ideal client does not make the kind of money I believe I desserve for my services, and while I’m currently trying to create a sliding scale structure, it is complicated and difficult! I’d love to explore more of this idea.

    • Mandy - Team Forleo

      The ideal customer avatar is challenging to many entrepreneurs, so you’re not alone in this. The good news is that honing in on an ideal customer doesn’t actually exclude anyone. Your customers won’t know who the ideal customer you have in mind is, they’ll just know whether your work resonates with them or not. So while you want to orient your offerings toward the people you most want to work with, that doesn’t at all mean you have to turn away others who would be good customers just because they don’t fit the profile of your ideal customer. The ideal customer avatar is for the benefit of entrepreneurs to help them keep the kind of person they most want to work with in mind and communicate with that person in a way that resonates.

  111. I literally laughed out loud of the porn site comment of whether or not I was paying attention, element of surprise! I really enjoyed it 😉 hahahaha

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