Until two years ago, Natasha Lindor was a typical office-goer—which is to say, she perpetually felt dissatisfied with her life-work balance. Today, not only has she achieved the equilibrium she once coveted, but she's become a leading source of inspiration for others to do the same. Her website TheANDFactor.com revolves around an acronym for Amazing New Dimensions, but also applies to the underlying idea behind work-life balance. Lindor's goal? Help women achieve career success and financial security and sustaining relationships and . . . you get the idea.
Using her own experience climbing the corporate ladder for 15 years, Lindor guides clients during indivdual and group coaching sessions to become the antithesis of what she herself once was.
We caught up with her to talk about her tips for balance, what successful people share . . . and the power of green smoothies.
When did you launch The AND Factor? Was there a particular incident that served as its impetus?
I started The AND Factor in March 2013 after I left my corporate career to help go-getters have a fulfilling career and time for whatever is most important to them—whether that’s friends, family, kids, love, health or just time to reflect and relax.
In my last corporate job, I was a communications consultant helping leaders and middle management improve employee engagement. At that time, I was coaching on the weekends to meet the number of hours I needed for my coaching certification. Then one morning it hit me in the shower (don’t all great ideas seem to start there?): I had a gift for coaching. My coaching had led people to make big, positive changes in their lives—such as going from a sedentary lifestyle to working out three times a week, or feeling confident enough to interview for a dream job, or falling in love with themselves and realizing the negative impact of habits such as smoking and eating out a lot. I realized that I should put my skills to good use to help myself and those around me. So I gave my notice and haven’t looked back since.
Your work centers on the "Amazing New Dimension" factor. How do you define AND? What do you do personally to find your own AND factor?
Too often, we get caught up in one dimension of our life, such as kicking butt at work, being a great mom, or being a great wife or girlfriend. One of the best parts of being human is that we get to experience life—and it’s too short for us to miss out on what we really want. We’re meant to have the career we want AND the relationships that fuel us AND financial security AND health AND whatever else we desire.
The AND factor allows people to experience work-life harmony and get things done with joy and ease.
I find and maintain my own AND factor by living in alignment with my values. Everything I do supports my core values of connecting with others, walking my talk, and creating abundance, order and inner peace. And I guide those that I coach to do the same.
Many of your clients seem to be those who've lost their groove and need a lifestyle wake-up call. From your experience, what is the typical profile of the people you work with—and what contributes to the necessity of the work you do?
My typical client is a go-getter who is smart, dedicated and wants to live a meaningful life. While she might have invested tens of thousands of dollars and hours in her education and on-the-job experience to get where she is today, she’s living in a place I refer to as The Land of Settling. It’s where people live a life that’s very different from the one they set out to create. Most of my clients traded in some part of their dream to please someone else—whether it was a parent, family member or peers. And they now find themselves in a stressful job or relationship and are too busy or drained to go after their dreams, true values and passions, as well as what is good for them, such as working out, eating better and taking time off.
Where do you think people tend to go wrong in their career, such that they miss out on the “bliss and balance” critical to healthy living?
I’ve found that people go wrong in their career for three big reasons:
1. They make career decisions based on an old set of values.
While everyone has values, very few people know what their own core values are in relation to who they are today. Even fewer people are making choices about their career based on their current core values. To position themselves for a fulfilling career and a life of bliss and balance, people must recalibrate and make decisions based on the values that are important to them today.
2. They let the “inner game,”or mindset obstacles, talk them out of what they really want.
Four main inner game obstacles impact success in all areas of life: belief blockers, assumptions, gremlins and stories. I have a whole program that addresses all of these, so I’ll focus here on the biggest of the four—the gremlin. This is people’s inner critic, inner bully or inner mean girl. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t have a gremlin. It’s that little voice in people’s heads that tells them to not try, never take a risk and play small. It has one simple, destructive message: You’re just not good enough! Everyone has a gremlin, but the most successful and fulfilled people know how to effectively manage it. If people don’t know how to defend themselves against their gremlin’s messages, they’ll never get what they want because they won't bother trying.
3. They don’t know how to say no, so they say yes to experiences, projects or opportunities that don’t fit with what they really want.
Many women base their concept of success, self-worth and happiness on someone or something else. They have a hard time saying “no” because they want to seem helpful or polite, they want to avoid conflict, or they fear they won’t seem serious about their career and will be passed up for the next opportunity. By not saying no mindfully and respectfully, they end up in situations that are very different from the ones they imagined.
You work with many high-profile clients. Are there two or three specific traits you've found that contribute to people achieving huge success in their personal and professional lives?
I’d say the three traits common to my most successful clients are:
1. Clarity: They let go of the how and focus on the what. They get clear on what they want and which factors should most influence the way they live, work and play (their current core values). This clarity helps them say yes to the right opportunities and no to the wrong ones—which allows them to go for what they really want rather than settle for less than they desire and deserve.
2. Alignment: They strategically align their life choices and approach to career, relationships, health and finances with their current core values. They also have daily practices to support their aligned life and build resiliency to help them recover when life throws them a curveball.
3. Support: They understand the powerful role that community plays in their success. There’s a saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with!” These five people create what I call people’s circle of influence. One thing I know for certain is that people’s circle of influence is key to their success or failure. The most successful people I’ve worked with have continued their momentum because of the support they’ve received from those around them—whether their circle of influence holds them accountable or embodies the qualities they want more of in their life, such as knowledge, positive influence, happiness, wealth, inspiration, fun and health.
What do you do to find your own bliss and balance in life?
Once I uncovered my top core values, I determined that living in alignment with these values is my secret to bliss and balance. For a long time, I didn’t have regular practices that supported what I said I wanted in life . . . so it was no surprise that I didn’t have what I wanted. Now, I have daily practices such as my FREEDOM morning ritual to ensure that I maintain peace, order and flow in my life. It’s been such a powerful tool that I’d like to give the ladies in this community access to it.
I’m also a spa buff. I love everything about spas—the way they feel when I walk in, the aromas, the yummy food and the treatments. My home reflects this love: I have a steam shower, rolled towels in the bathroom, bamboo bath mats, a fireplace with stones instead of fake logs, scented candles and a green smoothie habit.
I even lead live workshops and retreats at spas and other wellness-centered establishments as part of my business.
You send out a newsletter, update your website, do videos and run a business, thus seeming to be on your toes at all times. How do you keep yourself organized and on top of things? Are there any specific management mantras that you follow?
Planning, trusting my intuition and working with an amazing team keep me on top of things.
Clarity is power. Having a clear plan allows my team and I to know what to work on every day, every month and every quarter, so we can focus on what will ultimately support our clients as well as The AND Factor/Bliss & Balance community.
People can’t create what they can’t envision, so I approach planning in a way that integrates my work and personal life with my core values and life mission. Too many people get into action mode and skip the planning (I used to do it myself). When they take the time for clarity, however—using their intuition to envision what they want and how they want it to feel and then backing it up by creating a plan and enlisting a strong support system and team—they are unstoppable.
What things do you think are absolutely essential in order to have a "soul-satisfying" life?
I’d say it’s essential for people to know their current core values and align their lives with these values to create a strong foundation for a purposeful, soul-satisfying life. Then they need to keep up the momentum by:
· Following daily practices, such as a morning and evening ritual. Here's a free gift for Ravishly readers: http://theandfactor.com/ravishly
· Surrounding themselves with supportive people. Considering the fact that people are the average of the five people they spend the most time with, it’s best that those people support and represent the kind of life that fuels them.
· Integrating emotional intelligence and a positive mindset into how they communicate with themselves and others.
· Giving their bodies the exercise, fuel and attention they need.
· Revisiting their vision to make sure it’s still the vision they want and making adjustments as they learn and grow from life experiences.