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Volume 6 | Issue 22 | December 3, 2010


Had a fantastic time with my Biz & Life Accelerators down in Redondo Beach, California for our retreat. First time they met in-person and I knew they would fall in love with each other (like I have with all of them) ... and they did! Such a powerful group of leaders in such interesting fields and professions: executive & life coaching, warehouse supply, virtual assisting & delegation, weight loss and wellness, graphic recording & facilitation, First Nations governance and development, organizational consulting, social justice, marketing and public relations, etc.

Sheila and Marcus GilletteGraphically Facilitating Accelerator Retreat Review of "Inner Work" Model

Above are a few live action photos from the retreat as well as one below of our special guests, Sheila and Marcus Gillette and The Teachings of THEO. I think its safe to say that the THEO session was a profound event for us ... a safe container was built and many deep questions were explained and internal conflicts resolved. Inner work is SUCH an important part of manifesting what you want and SHIFTing your vibration!

Sheila and Marcus Gillette
With the wonderful Sheila and Marcus Gillette: Ask Theo

The Biz and Life Accelerator (applications now complete for this year) is a 9-month Elite Mastermind of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 50-300K range. We apply both outer and inner work models to growing our businesses and ourselves. One of the topics we cover is building your team (depending on what your goals are and the quality of life you desire).

I've just added another member to my team (welcome Chris!) so this topic is really top of mind for me this week as we go through training and orientation. Soooo, I've opted to write this week's article on "Build Your Team to Assist Your SHIFT".

Hope you enjoy,


Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach
and Interactive-Graphics Mentor



Martine Vanremoortele
Graphic Recorder/Facilitator

In SHIFT-IT Online and Living Law of Attraction I clarified my decision to move into graphic facilitation as a career. I thought it would be in future, but Christina encouraged me to COME NOW to The Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics as her instincts told her I could do it sooner rather than later. At first I thought, "Wow, it's so far to travel from Brussels to Victoria." I did because I wanted to learn immediately and from an originator. I realized how much I love graphic recording and I can do it! Christina is so supportive and empowering. Afterwards, I used my skills instantly. I set goal of 24 graphic recording gigs and I've done 22 so far – I'm well on my way! It's been a BIG SHIFT in my life to move into my own consulting/facilitation practice with an innovative way to work with my clients. I'm so glad I listened when she said, "You have to come to Victoria NOW!"

Martine Vanremoortele
Brussels, Belgium




Mondays, 5pm Pacific (drop-in coaching ... join the community today!)

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7-week Webinar Course: Saturdays, Jan. 15-Feb. 26, 2011

Christina's foundational course --- that grounds you in the philosophy of SHIFT-IT! Join like-minded people from around the globe in this leading-edge transformational experience. Heal your past, process your present and create your best-case scenario future. Learn fundamental Law of Attraction principles to shift your professional and/or personal life ... now and for years to come. All in her pioneering 'graphic coaching' style – using the power of visual tools to Become Your Next Self. Offered Only Twice a Year. Full Details and Online Registration



Online: April 5 – June 7, 2011, plus Client Hours
* Pre-requisites: SHIFT-IT Online & Fundamentals of Interactive-Graphics

Calling progressive coaches, therapists and other helping professionals! Easily and expertly learn how to work visually with your own coaching and therapy clients using Christina's proven, highly effective SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Process® and suite of 17 visual maps. This leading-edge professional skills training provides expert instruction, polished materials AND marketing support to rapidly enhance your new or existing practice – plus membership in a growing global community of practitioners committed to individual and societal change. Apply now, next global cohort forming.

Details and Online Application
***2011 Increases on Jan. 7th Act Now!



May 19-21, 2011, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Learn "Interactive-Graphics" to enhance your consulting, facilitation, training or coaching work with groups or individuals. Hands-on, direct mentoring with recognized female teacher in this lucrative niche. This professional skills training equips you with the base skills to do Custom Chart Work, Graphic Recording, Graphic Facilitation and Graphic Coaching --- the four main applications of working visually to reduce conflict, misunderstandings and confusion and to enhance strategic thinking, decision-making and performance. FYI: all artistic levels welcome, you DO NOT need to be an artist to effectively employ this client-pleasing method.

Full Details and Online Registration
***Early Bird on now!




(Now Recorded!) To Listen to My Audio of This Article, Click Here

Earlier this year I kicked off a brand new, deluxe coaching program ... called The Biz and Life Accelerator (applications now complete for this year). It is a 9-month Elite Mastermind of solo entrepreneurs and small business owners in the 50-300K range. We apply both outer and inner work models to growing our businesses and ourselves.

Law of Attraction

One of the topics of great interest is 'how to build an appropriate team' --- and the answer morphs depending on what your goals are and the quality of life you desire. I've just added another member to my own team (welcome Chris!) so this topic is really top of mind around my business as we go through another round of training and orientation. Soooo, I've opted to write this week's article on "Build Your Team to Assist Your SHIFT".

When the Need for Help Becomes Apparent:
While some of the people I coach are currently employees, most are either self-employed or small business owners. Having made the leap recently or a while ago (and depending on their goals and level of business) ... eventually they need to make some decisions about building a team to assist them with their endeavors.

When I made the leap to self-employment back in 2001, I did everything myself for the first couple of years. I fulfilled my graphic recording and graphic facilitation gigs, I marketed and networked, I did my own meeting reproduction, travel arrangements, invoicing and bookkeeping and office & graphic supply shopping. I found a web designer to help me build my first website. I was CEO and chief bottle washer as the saying goes.

Law of AttractionBetween university and grad school, I was an executive assistant for several years ... so I knew how to do administrative work. In fact, I was quite skilled at it. However, with increasing growth in my business, I found it harder and harder to keep up with all the things that had to be done ... at the level of professionalism that I was identified with.

I was in essence doing two jobs --- a professional job and an administrative job. And, even with the amount of energy and drive that I had, I just couldn't keep the pace up – especially when I created a new website and wanted to move into more of an online presence.

Virtual Assistant(s) As Possible First Step:
For me and for many of my clients, a "Virtual Assistant" is a logical next step. In the last decade a whole field of skilled support professionals has emerged in response to the growing numbers of people leaving corporate and joining the 'free agent nation'.

Called "Virtual Assistants (VA)", "Online Business Managers (OBM)" and the like ... these contractors assist you by performing outsourced tasks. Anything that another person living in a different geographical area can do (sometimes you can find someone local, so the range of tasks is even greater). VAs are entrepreneurs just like you are ... their business is separate from yours and they often have multiple clients, in addition to the work they do for you.

Law of AttractionPartnering with Virtual Assistants has pros and cons. The pros are that VA professionals are often flexible with the amount of hours that they will take you on for ... my first VA started with just 10 hours a month and then progressively increased as my need did. They also can possess specialized knowledge.

My first VA was a whiz in online marketing ... which was a perfect match given I was just entering that way of working. She helped me set up my blog, build my social networking profiles, hook up a backend shopping cart to enable online payments, handled customer service emails, etc.

While specialization of your VA can be a pro it can also be a con. VAs understandably like to work in the areas that they like to work in ... so if you have a need that they don't like to do, you may have to shop around for another VA to handle it. Also, they may not have room to grow with you or be able to respond in really quick turnarounds – given their client load – so they have split loyalties. You just aren't their number one priority, their own business is.

In-Person Employees Vs Contractors:
VAs can be a wonderful beginning place to build your team and for some entrepreneurs, one or several VAs may be the perfect solution for your needs. You do not need to build further. However, if your workload continues to increase and you start to find the virtual way of working a bit of a hindrance (have things that you could really use an in-the-flesh person for), then a 'real employee' may be your next step.

This is where my business is at: I have two Virtual Assistants who I adore (thank you Theresa and Pat! ... plus two Designers, one bookkeeper and my Accountant) – however I've been craving someone who can put in more hours (my business be their only client) and who can become my right-hand person for the next stage of my business expansion. So I've added Chris, my new Operations Manager, who works in a desk right beside mine and lives right down the street (he likes his quick commute and is adjusting to a much more laid back corporate culture than his last job!). We coordinate with our virtual teammates via conference calls, email and project management software.

Breakdowns as Breakthroughs:
Whether you build your team virtually or in-person, you should be prepared that there will be breakdowns. And in the big picture I would invite you to see these as breakthroughs. Really!

Entrepreneurs are a certain breed of people – we aren't always the easiest people to get along with. We are driven, hard workers, particular and opinionated. Those qualities enable us to survive and thrive in our own ventures. In order to create a bigger business, beyond what we can do ourselves, it is imperative that we learn how to lead and communicate effectively. Nothing like a growing business to also grow you as a human being ... such an opportunity!

Law of Attraction

In the course of building your team, you may have some bumps ... I certainly have. However, each bump can make you (and your team member) clearer about what you want. If what you both want is no longer a fit, then it is totally fine for you to part ways. Your VA, OBM or employee goes onto where they are next being pulled and you attract the next person to fill the emerging needs that you now have. And you can do it amicably and wish each other well – even refer and support each other in your new ventures.

That is evolution. And as an entrepreneur you have to get used to your business and your team morphing and shifting as it goes along ... nothing ever stays the same ... that is just business and life!

Keep Your Vision Bright & Strong:
Each celebration and bump in your business helps you move to the next level because through these forms you get clearer about what you like, what feels good and what you next want to accomplish. Like a path of golden lights lightening up your way --- step-by-step. I am learning more and more to trust my process ... that it has inherent wisdom. That when I launch a vision, life has a way of responding to that vision and bringing me what I need each step of the way ... in service of my Vision.

To help this process along, it behooves us to do regular Visioning. To set our sights on what we think/feel we now want and to 'find the feeling place' of it. Work through our resistance to having it and learn new skills and attitudes as we go along.

To assist with defining and building your own team, I suggest you use two previous tools I have provided in this e-zine: the Draw Your Ideal Client post and the Wouldn't It Be Nice If map.

Rather than focusing on your ideal client, focus instead on your Ideal Team Member. And then use the Wouldn't It Be Nice If map to gain clarity about what you want to occur with and through this special person. Have fun with it ... in both cases you are doing powerful energy and alignment work.

Wouldn’t It Be Nice If …

Both exercises will help you warm up your thoughts and feelings on the topic of building your team ...and help you attract them through the amazing power of Law of Attraction. Simultaneously you will also receive insights and guidance about your next logical steps and action to build your team. I look forward to hearing of your successes and manifestations ... viva your team!

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©2010 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other helping professionals in her innovative ways of working. For more information visit:


Ready for your SHIFT? There is a HUGE TRANSITION going on in the world today both at a spiritual and physical level. Many people are feeling the call to ascend to a crisper, cleaner and more soul satisfying life - are you one of them? Enlist me as your personal transition aid. Define your vision, bust through your interfering resistance and start taking action. Pioneering Graphic Coaching and Law of Attraction methods.

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Are you a helping professional with a creative bend? Are you intrigued with the visual way I work with my clients? I've trained hundreds of facilitators, consultants, trainers and now coaches, counselors, social workers, etc from around the globe. Learn fundamental graphics skills that you can use in your own work with groups and individuals. Come join the graphic tribe!

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Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach &
Interactive-Graphics Mentor

Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, she guides individuals, partners and conscious companies in defining and getting what they really, really want.

A teacher of Law of Attraction, she is also an expert in visual meeting techniques, strategic planning and visioning: having worked for such notable companies as BBC, Readers Digest Funds, eBay and Stanford University. After a move from San Francisco, she now lives in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - where she maintains a vibrant coaching, facilitation and training practice.

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Looking for more rich, SHIFT-IT content? Check out my blog for recent ramblings, resources and general interest features:

My Top Ten Acceleration Book Picks

The Hero & Queen Archetype and Law of Attraction

Mentees, Expansion and Wouldn't it Be Nice

Go As Specific as It Still Feels Good

Tips to Accelerate Your Biz and Life, Now!

The 4 Methods of Interactive-Graphics Work

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