It's the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere - the longest day of the year.
But for solo-preneurs like you and me, even the longest day can feel too short.
I don't mean to start this month's message on a negative note, but let’s face it. Business can be a grind.
We wear so many hats. Often, our to-do list becomes really LONG.
When this happens, it’s tempting to become task-masters with ourselves, disconnecting from our hearts so we can move full steam ahead.
When our business is reduced to grinding out the mechanics, we start losing hope it can be what we dreamed it could be.
And that can lead to stress and burnout.
But what if being productive didn’t have to involve disconnecting from our hearts?
Here's where a trusted guide can help.
A skilled guide, coach, or consultant will hold space so you can let go of the taskmaster and soften into possibility.
It’s like a caterpillar inside a cocoon. Part of its transformation involves turning into goo before becoming a butterfly.
Do you know this gooey feeling? You may mistake it for failure. But it's not failure at all - it's a necessary process of growth and change.
So I want you to know – it takes courage to surrender and let ourselves become goo.
As women, we're built to hold space for others. But It’s hard for us to allow someone to hold space for us. We often resist letting go of outcomes and surrendering to process. Our cultural role dictates that we become problem solvers, fixers, and pain-alleviators.
But when you allow someone to space for you, amazing things happen in your business - and life.
A truly transformative guide will help you construct a reliable cocoon, bear witness while you melt, and help you find your wings.
~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Looking for some structure you can soften into?
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I've had the honor of coaching and connecting with some amazing women in my Big Magic groups these past few months, snd a common theme I noticed is this:
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be "original."
The shame associated with "copying" the work of others lingers with us from grade school, scaring us away from even considering jumping off from an existing idea.
Somewhere deep in our psyches, a false belief has been planted:
You must re-invent the wheel. Every time. Or else...you suck.
And this keeps us from even beginning a new creation, a new idea, or a new angle for our business.
But listen. I'm here to tell you it's OKAY to use pre-existing ideas, structures, and concepts for inspiration. It's okay to borrow and blend.
As a graphic designer, I'm trained to follow templates. And I've had great success (and saved a LOT of time) using them.
A template can box you in,
OR it can or provide a structure from which you break free.
It's all in how you look at it.
Templates can be a starting point for you to find your own unique spin. They can be blended to create your own unique recipe.
For example, I use a template when coaching my clients to write their marketing stories. It's called the Story Arc, and it's a universal storytelling device that works really well as a jumping off point.
Why would I want to reinvent that?
Instead, I work with my clients to add their spin and their voice to the mix, and the result is a story that's uniquely and powerfully theirs.
Elizabeth Gilbert writes about originality vs. authenticity in Big Magic:
“The older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”
It's true. The pressure to be “original” will stop you in your tracks. Aim for authentic instead.
Authenticity gives you permission to borrow, blend, and benefit from what’s already out there. And remember, it’s okay to use templates as starting points. From there, you get to add your own spin, in your own voice.
The result? Something that’s uniquely YOU!
Think about this as you approach your marketing and brand storytelling.
Need help getting started with your brand story arc? I’m just a click away!
Book a complimentary Brand Clarity Call and we'll get started.
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Did this article spark anything for you? I'd love to hear what you're going to borrow or blend for your next project!
As exciting as it is, spring can also be a crazy time. The crazy wind and shifting temperatures often mirror our inner state of being. I'll share an example with you. I woke up today feeling FRUSTRATED by all the items on my to-do list. I felt like tasks and goals were floating around my head, like leaves swirling in the wind, each competing for my attention. Write more blogs. Develop new programs. Reach more clients.
I was more focused on the gap between my accomplishments and my goal, rather than the accomplishments themselves. This frustration began rising and morphing into anger, followed by beating myself up. Why didn't I get out of bed earlier? Why can't I muster more productivity?
Does this sound familiar to you? It's tough, because creatives and entrepreneurs like us have an open-ended space to get our projects done. When structure isn't imposed on us by an external force, each day challenges us to create a framework to work within. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed.
But here's some good news: it's possible to trick our over-active, problem-solving brains into a place of gratitude and flow. I want to share a proven tool with you that does just that. I've incorporated this tool from two of my mentors, Jill Badonsky and Christine Kane, and it gets rave reviews from my clients each time I offer it. It's called a Credit Report, and this month, I'm offering it to you, my dear subscribers, as a free download.
If you're currently buried in your to-do list, I encourage you to download this tool right away and take 5 minutes to complete it. That's all it takes – 5 minutes.
The Credit Report is a powerful tool that shifts us from a feeling of lack to a feeling of abundance. In essence, it's a to-do list turned upside-down. Instead of listing everything you need to do, you list everything you're glad you've already DONE. This can be anything from "I brewed a cup of tea for myself" to "I got my taxes done."
It's amazing how this takes us from a "cup half empty" to a "glass half full" state of mind. The effect multiplies when we share it with others, so I am offering an option for you to share yours, if you want to. Simply click below to access your Credit Report worksheet (PDF format). You can print it out, or type your list directly into the spaces provided on the document.
Then, I invite you to share your list in the comment feed at the end of this post. I'll be sure to give you a big high-five, and I know others who read it will, too.
Interested in more tools to lift your spirits and boost productivity? Download my FREE e-book, Progress Without Pressure: 5 easy tools to help you get on track with your creative project – RIGHT NOW."
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.