Read & Watch

Crush on your business and your customers (not your competition)

In life and in business, we can spend an awful lot of time worrying about the competition. What they’re doing. Not doing. What they’re doing better than us. Smarter. Flashier. Faster. And it all adds up to feeling like you don’t add up.

And while you know it to be an exercise akin to sniffing spoiled milk (you know it will smell awful and likely make you sick to your stomach) you spend far too much time stalking researching your competition on Twitter.

Here’s the tonic (gin optional). Your competition doesn’t care about you. Period. You are crushing on that cutie who doesn’t even know you exist. They’re in love with someone else: your customer.

Crush on your business instead.

Love your business into its greatness. Spending your days defining your unique offering? I guarantee you’ll not find the answers in your competitors’ sales pages.

Here’s a more soulful way: ask a friend to interview you. Video tape it and notice the energy hits and dips. What are you offering that makes you very useful? Why were you put on this earth to start this business? What is so easy for you that you barely realize it’s your gift? When do you feel strongest? What are you proudest of in your business? What’s the biggest version of what you’re creating? What are your peers saying about you at an awards ceremony five years from now?

Pretty quickly, you’ll get to the heart of your brilliance. Settle into your throne and bask in it.

Then do the work you love to do.

Keep your compass trained on where you want to go. Surround yourself with accountability support to keep you in action and away from the teat of spoiled milk.

Crush on your customers.

Love THEM into their greatness. What problems do you help them solve? How can you deliver your very best to them? What do your existing clients thank you for (and how can you give them more of that)? What else can you be giving them?

Thank them. A lot.

About that competition

Yes, it’s possible that your competition will beat you from time to time. You may lose that client, gig, or deal to someone else. Or to the market, the weather and a nasty bout of the flu.  Worrying about any of that won’t do a single thing to stop it. The real enemy here is inertia, not your competition.

I am not suggesting that you turn a blind eye to what they’re up to in your shared space. Knowing who they are and what they are up to is indeed important. In fact, they even made a cameo in the SWOT analysis of your business plan. TWICE. Under threat (as in “HOLY %@&, someone else wants a piece of my pie”) and ALSO under opportunity. Remember why? Two good reasons:

  1. If you’ve got competition, it means you are actually in a category and have a market. Bravo…you don’t have to educate your customers all by your lonesome. There are more of you out there banging the drums for hiring copywriters.
  2. There’s nothing like it to breed innovation. What new channels can YOU come up with? What’s never been done before?

And once you’ve established that goodness, celebrate the yayness of competition and reach out to them. Connect. Commune. Maybe even collaborate. You each have something very different. Complementary, perhaps.

If that’s not available, lovingly let them do their thing. You do your thing. In your own voice. In your own way. With over 6 billion people in this world, the pie’s big enough for everyone’s unique brand of gorgeousness.

Tea with my Future Self

How woo-woo is the title of this post is? I mean, really. Tea? With my “Future Self”?

Yet, there it is. Because I’m sharing this part of me in service of you.

Here’s why.

I love reading people’s letters to their 20-year old selves. If they knew then what they know now…that sort of thing.  And as much as I feel like I could tell 20 year-old Tanya (“enjoy shooters now because you’ll find them repulsive soon”), I’m more interested in what 20-years-from-now Tanya has to say about things. She’s one smart cookie, that Tanya.

I know this because I’ve “met” her. Over a year ago in coach training with CTI…we did a Future Self visualization that blew me away. I saw, quite clearly, the woman I will be in 20 years. She is the sum of who I’m becoming.

The z in the formula x + y= z. And she’s got it going ON.

When faced with a tough choice, I’ll check in with my Future Self and just know what she’d do. Course corrected, wrong righted, inspiration reignited.

Given my propensity to interview inspiring people (Ray, Danielle, Krystyn, Dyana,  and Emma, to name a few), I thought I’d do the same here with my Mother-of-All-Inspiration, my Future Self.

Here we go…cue the dream sequence music and wavy picture.

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I walk up the front walk way of a stunning home. Gardenias in full bloom…peppery floral scent sweetens the air. The door opens before I can knock it. 57 year-old Future Self Tanya knew I was coming.

There she is: Empress-like in her posture, a wicked gleam of fun in her eyes and warmth in her smile. We hug (heart to heart…the only way a hug counts). I notice she still wears our necklace.

In the living room, I settle in to a comfy armchair and take in the space. It’s Dwell meets French country. Reclaimed plank floors are scattered with Persian rugs. Pictures on the impressive mantle tell of a life of family, fun and travel. Colourful abstract art adorns every white wall.

She pours me a cup of tea (Mariage Frères, natch). A little milk and a little sugar. She takes hers black (I wonder when that happened).

(2010 me) – So, you look pretty happy here in 2030. How did we get here?

(Future Self) – You can call it following your heart, your north star, your values, your passion, your truth and it would all be correct.

I call it following my intuition. In 57 years, it has yet to steer us wrong.

And good people. We have very good people.

What am I doing now at 37 that is setting us up for where you are now? I guess I’m asking what you’re proud of me for doing in 2010?

Am proud of so much.

That you started to really respect cash and learned to be with money rather than without money.

That you decided not to let your weight control you (as much as you want to control your weight).

That you do your work with joy in your heart. And that you decided late in 2009 to only work with partners and clients that you really wanted to work with.

That you always smile at strangers.

That you realized that life balance is like an oasis – appealing from afar and yet ever elusive. Kind of dull too, frankly…always the same palm tree and pond. That you realized an alive life is what you wanted and would fight for.

That you stopped living for others, but continued to love them fiercely.

That you do love fiercely.

That you learned to say “no” so you could make room for so many “yes’s”. And there’s more work there for you too, Darling.

What do I need to let go of?

Needing to be right. It’s wrinkle-inducing. You’ll always LIKE to be right (that hasn’t changed) but it’s no longer a need.

The fact that not everyone will like and agree with you. It’s so much more than okay.

Mistrust…of others, but mostly of your own sweet self and your decision-making.

The “shoulds”…fully and completely. Recognize that they are like cigarettes – addictive and smelly at the same time.

Quantity. You’ve always known quality is where it’s at, so sink into it. In everything.

Do you think I should do the project that I’ve been invited to do?

You’re reluctant to because you don’t see it as being aligned with your path. And it may not be,as you see it. Yet the partner that you are considering to co-create it with is the right one. This could be a fun process with unexpected outcomes.

What does it mean to have a life of no regret?

To live a life free of regret is to be free of regret. Simple. It’s a wasted emotion…and there are so many other, juicier emotions to be with. It’s self-indulgent goop. We don’t do that anymore. We dropped that as a gift to ourselves when we turned 40.

What do you still do that we used to do at 16?

Eat cookie dough.

Belt out Trooper’s “We’re here for a good time (not a long time)” when I hear it like it’s my job.

Where else in my life can I be digging in deeper right now?

The success is coming. So you can stop fretting about that.

Take that found energy and spend more sacred time with your family and friends. Be patient with Dad. You’ll be glad you did.

At home, play lots more. More puddles, more balloons, more “cooking classes”, more ant-watching.

Final question, when did we start to drink our tea black?

Great story. Funny as hell…but I’ll let you find out for yourself. Let’s just say it happened en route to India.

I thank her for the visit, and we hug again. Like friends who’ll be seeing each other soon.

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Back here in 2010, I am inspired and recharged. And I am clear about what my next steps are regarding the project. Crystal clear.

Gettin’ yer voice on with Emma Alvarez Gibson

I have this fundamental belief that successful businesses launch from passion. Am in good company here as we live in a glorious time where most coaches, consultants, fire starters and business mavens advocate the same. Passion can’t be taught, nor bought (though one of the aforementioned professionals can help you tease it out) and the root of the passion is always TRUTH.

Now truth and passion may sometimes dance a sloppy two-step, but when they do sync up, you’ve got yourself some hip-shaking grease lightening.

What’s ALSO glorious about this time is that many people start their businesses with a blog. Maybe they start the blog first before they start the business, or maybe the business comes first and then the blog comes along as a marketing tool. Maybe it’s a “should” or an “oughtta” (I hope not…shoulds and oughttas = don’t bother).

I am getting somewhere…promise.

This whole blog thing can be a huge stopper for some people. From some of my clients, I hear:

  • What do I possibly have to say {lots}
  • Who could possibly want to hear it? {your people}
  • Where do I even start? {from here}
  • What’s my voice supposed to be? {ahhhhhhhhhh…yes}

So, when Facebook and Twitter friend Emma Alvarez Gibson posted a status update about her Brand Alchemy Sessions that address this very issue of finding one’s voice, I was curious.

So I messaged her about it and she responded with:

“Please, ask away! I really think I can help…this is one of the things I was born to do. Xoxo”

*Serious swoon* When people identify that they know what they were born to do, as in Life Purpose kind of stuff, I get goose bump-y and tingly with a desire to know more.

So, she graciously complied. Generous and lovely… a winning combo.

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Tell me more about how you were born to help in this way…I have my popcorn and am ready to hear it all. How did you discover this was your gift (and personal brand of genius)? Are there more?

I’m someone who’s always lived sort of between worlds. Ethnically, culturally, socioeconomically. Even in terms of interests, I’m all over the place. I’m fascinated by almost everything, and that includes people. It all, on some level, makes sense to me.  Also, I’m—ahem!—highly sensitive. To…everything. Sounds, textures, colors, scents. People breathing at me wrong. (Just kidding! Ha, ha!) (Okay, not really.) (I am, a little.)

So, what this all means is that I tend to notice patterns that maybe not everyone notices. And that helps me better understand who and what I’m dealing with; I’m able to speak in the way that makes the most sense to them.

And that helps me to do what I think is really the big, big picture for me: doing what I can to make people feel acknowledged and accepted. A friend of mine once very kindly said that what I do is create space for people to be themselves, and I love that. It’s what I aspire to. Once in awhile I get it right, even.

Why do you think we struggle with finding our voice? What do you think holds us back?

There’s a sense of safety ascribed to fitting in, and it’s comforting to find that place where you’re safe and have a place and a purpose. Raising your voice, sticking your neck out, particularly during those hideously painful and awkward formative years, can cost you. Maybe it’s not worth the price, at that point in time, and maybe the safety is vitally important—and I’m being ironic here, because safety is vitally important—so you sort of put it aside and get on with things. We’re creatures of habit. Raising your voice becomes a language you used to speak. (Happily, it’s not hard to recover fluency.)

What’s the link between voice and brand?

Brand is currency. It’s about projecting a message, a sort of shorthand, to the world.

Voice is intimacy. It’s about how you connect, and what’s driving you, and about the sum total of your experiences.

(If brand is the cute boy with the black hair and guitar, then voice is how he looks at you, how he holds your hand.)

Do you use any filters in your writing…beyond the “knowing your audience” stuff? (I have a couple: that my words are aligned with my values, that mother-in-law will still take my calls and that I feel 80% proud of my posts…I’d still be working on my first post if I were going for 100%)

Authenticity, buzzword though it may be, is everything. But it’s hard sometimes to be authentic without hurting someone who matters. It’s a challenge I put myself through: how can I approach this story so that it’s about whatever it’s about, without creating regret or shame or whatever it might be, in anyone else? It can be a matter of the words you use or the words you leave out. Or a matter of structure or back story. If you truly want to tell your story, you’ll find a way to do it.

That said, sometimes it’s best to scrap the whole thing. (This is a general life rule, as well.)

When I hear crickets after posting on my blog (as in no one comments, responds or retweets) I tend to collude with my saboteurs who tell me that my writing is just not very good and blah de blah blah. And then I brush that off and get back to work. Sometimes it is easier than other times. What advice to you give to others in the same place?

Isn’t that crap, though? Ugh. It’s such a mental parlor trick, too. Because you tell yourself you shouldn’t care. It’s one post, it’s not a big deal, maybe nobody’s had time to read it yet, whatever. And then you feel even worse, because not only are you a loser whose blog nobody ever wants to read, but now you’ve got your knickers in a twist over something that doesn’t even matter and you are even lamer than you thought you were during your darkest moments at age 13! WHY DID YOU EVER THINK YOU SHOULD BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE INTERNET?

Yeah. I know. It totally sucks.

I find that it helps me to let myself feel bad for a couple of minutes. If I can tell myself, “Yeah, that…wow. I kind of feel like crying,” and not be judgmental or harsh about it, then I get over it much more efficiently. Acknowledging that it’s awkward or painful or whatever, and feeling it, helps me to move through the lameness, and then dump it. And, miraculously, by the time I’m done feeling it, I’m usually feeling pretty badass again.

Because it doesn’t really matter. This one post, this one lack of whatever, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you’re sincere in your efforts. Listening to that still, small voice inside of you. Doing what you know you’re meant to be doing. Staying pure of heart and all of that. That’s what matters.

Attention is most excellent; it’s a fantastic buzz. Enjoy it when people tell you they love what you’ve written. But never forget that you’re doing this to fulfill some greater purpose.

And if that’s not why you’re doing it, stop. Go find whatever it is you are supposed to be doing.

I think it’s easy for new bloggers to default to others’ proven styles, and while imitation may be the highest form of flattery, am wondering where you think it gets someone if they appropriate another’s voice?

Ideally, it gets them to a place where they begin to recognize their own voice. Imitation is something we all do, to varying degrees. I learn best by doing, so I’ve always first sort of “traced” someone else’s work to start with. It gives you a reference point, shows you how to do something without having to suffer all the consequences of forging it yourself. And then you can move on and do all your own stunts.

(But actively trying to write like someone else, trying to pass it off as your own voice, is simply counterproductive. And stupid. )

I keep thinking of you as a writing voice coach….do you have any “scales” for someone to run through to get their voice on right now? With the same abandon they may have belting out Aaron Neville in the shower?

Think of something you did recently—went to buy a cup of coffee, say—and write it down as though you were telling your best friend about it. Keep it short. Then write down how you’d tell your grandmother about it. Then your boss. Then a co-worker. Then a child. Then someone you want to have dinner-and-a-movie with. (Yes. That is, in fact, a euphemism.)

Now read them all. What, besides the actual events, keeps coming through? If it seems like not much of anything, keep writing. Try a different story and do the same thing.

I really like the analogy of scales. They’re not exciting. They seem almost offensively primitive at first. (I took piano, so let’s run with that for a bit, shall we?) You think, “But I want to play piano, not play these same stupid notes up and down the keys for an hour. This isn’t music!” And you’re right, it’s not. But it is the only way to build a relationship with the instrument. Which is the only way to improve.

Whose voice do you love? This is veeeeeeery wide open here. It can be someone’s voice that just speaks to your soul in an authentic way, or someone whose content would be meaningless in another’s voice.

There’s a sort of “ping!” that I hear when the voice and the person are one and the same. (It’s similar to the “click” that I feel when I see good branding.) That’s what I love most, and it can happen with anyone’s voice. But if we’re talking a few favourites:

Blogs:

Maggie Mason (mightygirl.com)

Havi Brooks (fluentself.com)

Twitter:

Daniel Poeira (@daniel_poeira)

Daniel Thurston (@Daniel4is)

(I also follow people on Twitter who are not named Daniel.)

Books:

Joanne Harris (Chocolat, The Girl With No Shadow)

Frances Hodgson Burnett  (A Little Princess, The Secret Garden)

Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient, In The Skin of a Lion, Elimination Dance)

All of the above:

William Gibson (williamgibsonbooks.com, @greatdismal, Pattern Recognition)

Frank Delaney (frankdelaney.com, @FDbytheword, Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show)

In their own category:

Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement (flightoftheconchords.com)

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Raising your voice, creating space, talking about cute boys and authenticity. You love her too, don’tcha? You can find this whip-smart wordsmith, media maven, editrix extraordinaire at:

http://www.emmaalvarezgibson.com

http://delishmag.com/

twitter: @ealvarezgibson

Laughing my way to a Brain-cation

(If you’re viewing this in an email, please click here to see all links. XO)

In my coaching session today (yes, of course coaches have coaches…we need our own stuff out of the way so we can keep our focus on our glorious clients), my coach and I were discussing all of the projects that I had on the go (or on the brain) and the panic that I was feeling to GET. IT. ALL. DONE. AND. THEN. SOME.

I was going around and around and around and then…she told me to turn my brain off. Not for the session. Not for the day. But for a couple of days. Letting go of the thinking, thinking , thinking will make space for the new, she posited. And that it was critical to my business strategy.

That got my attention.

I literally stopped walking in circles and sank into my armchair and sat with this thought. Then I got really quiet.

It was in this stillness that I realized just how cooked I’d been feeling.  Not like burnt toast mind you, more like an egg fried on hot pavement. Splattered, tough and gritty and not at all tasty.

I needed a brain-cation.

So I agreed to turn my brain off of the projects and products that keep my eyes fluttering and to give in to the slower pace in summer. Simple as that, right?

Not so much.

Turning the brain off, turns out, is not as easy as turning off a light switch or unclenching your butt cheeks. (Who knew?)

It wants a signal. Some sort of release that kick-starts another way of being.

So given that my natural way of being IS thinking, I thought and thought and thought and thought about how I could stop thinking. (This reminds me of the phenomenon of frantically racing across town to get to a yoga practice to get your zen on.)

And the absurdity of all this thinking about not thinking made me laugh at myself. Lo and behold, I started to feel lighter. Released endorphins will do that for ya.

So I’m thinking a really good, authentic, ab-scorching belly laugh with snorts should do the trick.

Maybe you could use the same.

In case you need some laughter-inspiration, here are some things that always make me laugh:

  • The word “fart”. And whoopee cushions (my nephews think I’m the best).
  • Pretty much anything Colleen Wainwright pens.
  • Liz Lemon.
  • Reading the list of quotes we’ve been amassing from our daughter’s –isms over the year (“hold the big phone!” is a recent addition).
  • Seeing someone getting beaned by a ball. In a word: Dodgeball.

Recognizing that what appeals to my funny bone may not appeal to yours, I checked in with some people who make me laugh to see what makes them laugh.

My husband (the “funny one”, according to our daughter – I’m the “good cooker”) has been enjoying reading our friend Sharon’s Daily Toms. Also, apparently, the Old Spice Man thing.

Kelly likes “random, writerly, miniscule detail”. Like:

  • Russell Brand (about Katy Perry): “And she hit me on the crown of my human head! Where I do all of my thinking!”
  • Anne Lamott, on why wannabe writers don’t make time to write: “They start to explain that they have two kids at home, or five, a stable of horses or a hive of bees, and 40-hour workweeks.”
  • Annie Binns, on writing funny: “For example, a story about squirrels would be funnier if it were about nine beady-eyed squirrels that stuck to the side of my deck in formation, reminding me of the time my little brother glued his G.I. Joe’s to the kitchen wall and declared war against all things legume.”
    • quirky miniature details – my “human head”; “hive of bees” “all things legume” – make her giggle and guffaw.

Victoria cannot get quite enough of Man Cold.

Carla loves laughter yoga.

Will swears this Bon Jovi chant gets his students in a playful and laughing place before his yoga classes.

Dyana’s go-to for laughs include:

  • Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert
  • Goofy YouTube videos of babies playing with dogs
  • Her faux pas (“regular and hilarious”, she says)
  • Her improv videos
  • And

And if NONE of that made you laugh (seriously?) then spend some time with the person in your life that makes you laugh so hard your lemonade comes out of your nose.

  • For Lisa, it’s her brother and sister. Asthma-attack inducing laughter.
  • For Tia, it’s her fave uncle in India.
  • For me, that’s my sister. When we really start to get going, our laugh starts to sync up and takes on a HE-HE-HE-HE frequency of its own. Much to the chagrin of the cats.

Am feeling a lot looser, a lot lighter and a lot more spacious. Will now give myself the next couple of days to enjoy a brain-cation. To notice unusual things, read some delicious fluff, listen to summer and see what shows up in the new space created.

And if it doesn’t? Meh. The calorie burn of laughter was good too.

In the comments, please share YOUR fail-safe, always-makes-you-laugh go-to.

Ramona Quimby, Loaded Suitcases and the Fear of Success

My sweet sister gave my daughter and I a book the other day. One that I read with my own mother 30 years ago: Ramona and Her Mother.

Warm and wonderful memories flooded back as I snuggled my girl into my lap as we read about the dated trials and tribulations of precocious and tenacious 7 ½ year old Ramona Quimby. I confess that I read on after my girl fell asleep last night…so tempting was it to relive that closeness I remembered with my own Mama.

Plot summary: Ramona wants desperately to be “her mother’s girl”. She feels misunderstood, awkward (she’s neither a cute toddler, nor a responsible adolescent) and threatens to run away. Her agreeable mother helps her pack her suitcase. She jams in Ramona’s stuffies, books, box of baby teeth, roller skates, and a myriad of other unnecessary things. When Ramona tries to lift the suitcase, it won’t budge.

“You tricked me!” cries Ramona. “You made the suitcase too heavy on purpose. You don’t want me to run away!” Of course not, says her mother: “I couldn’t get along without my Ramona.”

Tears.

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Heavy suitcases that stop you from setting out on your journey.

Huh.

Let’s play with this metaphor, shall we?

I’m going to go ahead and assume that the destination of the journey is success. Just ‘cause.

Kind of exhilarating when you decide to set out down the road to success right? Exhilarating AND frightening. But more exhilarating than frightening, so you pack your suitcase and map the journey in your head. Ready, set and go…you grab the suitcase. It won’t budge. And let’s face it….you’re kind of relieved. You were sort of afraid to go down that road too.

Who made the suitcase so damned heavy? My best guess is those saboteurs/gremlins/trolls who want us to stay put. Exactly where we are. Nice and safe, cozy at home and watching So You Think You Can Dance and eating 7-layer dip. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

What did they jam in the suitcase to make it so heavy?

My best guess here is fear, but wasn’t sure so I checked with the fine folks in my twittoverse. I tweeted this question:

Why do you think people are afraid of success? (“success” being subjective – in business, a project, a product etc)?

Resoundingly, they thought that fear of success was in cahoots with other fears.

Let’s unpack the suitcase to see what we can see.

  • Fear of failure – This one is the yang to success’s yin. Failure is bad. And you just might fail if you set out to succeed. Best to stay put. (Suit)case closed.
  • Fear of change – Everything is going to change with success, right? And change is scary and hard to manage. Will your kids need to go to a private school once you’re successful? Can you still go to the store in your Birkenstocks without makeup? Heck, you might not even KNOW how much things are going to change, so….
  • Fear of the unknown – Will I need to hire staff? How many people? Will they be dependent on me to feed their families?
  • Fear of sacrifice – What is the COST of success? You’ve heard that Martha Stewart sleeps only four hours a night. You can’t do that!!! Will you ever get to see your family?
  • Fear of disappointment –What if after all this hard work and lack of sleep you FINALLY get there and you’re STILL not happy? What if success isn’t the answer?
  • Fear of disappointing others –Some people have come to love the lack of success in your life. They like it that way (you make them look richer, thinner and more put together). What if your success makes others uncomfortable?  Or what if others think you’re getting too big for your britches?
  • Fear of living up to the success – Once you GET the success, how can you ever keep it up? In her famous TED Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert acknowledges that the answer to “aren’t you afraid you’ll never be able to top [Eat, Pray, Love]?” is “yes”. And she’s goooooooooooooood. So how can YOU be expected to top YOUR success?
  • Fear of exposure – You’ll be in the crosshairs now of everyone’s rifle. Everyone will be watching you…waiting for you fumble.
  • Fear of scarcity – You only have one kick at the can, here, right? No room for mistakes…you’ll never get another shot at this.

No wonder you couldn’t lift this thing. Those are some pretty prolific saboteurs. They can jam a whole lotta trash into one Samsonite.

Whew.

Now, take a closer look at those piles and in the case. What else is going on? What other fears are lurking in there? Unpack those too. Get ‘em all out.

And now that you’ve unpacked every last fear from the suitcase and they’re sitting benignly in piles on top of your bed, what will you do?

Since I’ve been doing so well with guessing today, and I feel like I know you pretty well at this point, allow me to take one last guess. My guess is that GLORIOUS YOU does something like this:

  • You get really really clear about your destination: your vision of success. Crystal clear. Like down to the colour of your farmhouse in the Loire Valley. You know what you’re wearing to the awards ceremony in 2014 when you’re celebrated by your peers. You know what pieces of art will adorn your crisp boardroom walls.
  • You define your road map to success in your terms. Not Martha’s, nor Oprah’s. Yours. What you’re willing to say “no” to and what you’re willing to say “yes” to. Who gets to come along for the journey and who doesn’t.
  • You decide to take back your power from the saboteurs who are now nervously lurking in the corner. You decide to step strongly into your belief that you were put on this earth to create the work you do. And that you were put on this earth to succeed at creating the work you do.
  • You then grab the empty suitcase and revel in its lightness. There is much to see on your road to *enlightened* success…you’ll want the room to gather souvenirs.
  • You head out. Chest high, smile on your face. Passport at the ready.

Ramona was only 7 ½. Not quite ready to take on the world. But you are. And the world’s ready for you.

Talking Dastardly Dip, Boost and Juice with Dyana Valentine

What follows is a great conversation with the one and only Dyana Valentine about breaking through the Dastardly Dip. You know the dip…the event that seems to happen, as if on cue, every time you set out to tackle a new project. You’re excited about the outcome, stoked about the process and can’t wait to celebrate completion.

So you get going, committed to minimize your time on Twitter to 30 minutes/day, inbox at zero, and a new playlist on the iPod. And off you go. Working, working, working. And you hit a block. You deke it and keep on going. But you notice that the adrenaline has started to fizzle. Even Beyoncé can’t keep you going. So you’re sitting there with a half-completed project, less sleep and more stress. And no celebration in sight.

The Dastardly Dip.

So what can you do? Push through? Quit? Phone a friend?

Here’s what the Mighty Dy has to say about it.  She does, after all help “self-starters self-finish, one project at a time”.

I adore her. I suspect you will too.

(And if BTW, you’re interested in the backstory of this video, please see the text BELOW…this was no easy feat!)

Taking on the Project Dip from Dyana Valentine on Vimeo.

The BackStory

One of the many “you oughtta’s” I’ve been hearing from every corner of my life has been: “you oughtta have a video of yourself on your site”. I tend to shelve most “oughttas” until the right time (and the right reason and the right partner) comes along. So when I asked Dyana to weigh in with some thoughts on the Dastardly Dip for a post a month or so back , and she offered to videotape a chat, I was over the moon.

MY FIRST VIDEO! With DYANA VALENTINE, no less!!!!

We had some techno-glitches (on my end) and with some patience and lip gloss, we finally got ‘er done.

While the vain girl in me is less than in love with the way I look at times in this video (exhibit A, the screen shot), I am thrilled with having broken through, and am grateful that Dy was my first!

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