what freedom is (and isn’t)

what freedom is (and isn't) // tiffany han

There are so many of us in this world who are seeking freedom:

I want to quit my day job!

I want to be location-independent!

I want to make 6 figures, speak at conferences, and travel the world!

We all want freedom; so-called freedom that looks like this:

You’re sitting on a beach, sipping piña coladas, laughing with your honey and reveling in how you have nothing to do but count the waves lapping up on the shore. The only piece of technology you have is your iPhone, which you use to play Jimmy Buffett on Pandora and post photos on Instagram of your perfect freedom. 

There isn’t an email in sight. There is no mention of twitter followers or newsletter subscribers or monthly pageviews or SEO.

Or maybe freedom looks like this:

You spend your days in an art studio, getting your hands dirty, paint covering your fingertips and your Anthropologie apron and the tops of your hot pink Converse sneakers. 

There is no shipping box in sight. There is no mountain of email to climb every night after your family goes to bed. There aren’t the “but I never have any time to just create” laments to your friends. Laments that I have heard from every single professional artist I’ve ever met.

Y’all. We’ve got the look of freedom all wrong.

When we think about how we want our lives to look, we aren’t picturing what freedom is, we’re picturing a fucking vacation. 

Here’s what freedom really looks like:

Freedom is finally being able to say to the guy “I’m better off alone than with someone who treats me like this” even though you cry yourself to sleep at night and feel lonelier than you’ve ever been in your life.

Freedom is committing to staying in the job, in that fucking job, because you know you need to pay off your debt before you venture out on your own and likely incur more.

Freedom is saying no to dinners out, and fancy shoes, and the IMAX experience so that you can actually pay off said debt and move on with your life already.

Freedom is having the balls to finally quit the job and saying “I’ll sell my car if I have to” because your will to succeed is that strong.

Freedom is taking the part-time job when you need to because desperation doesn’t look good on anyone.

Freedom is choosing to use your credit cards to bankroll your business in the starting months when you only make $125 total because you will do everything you can to see this through.

Freedom is climbing that mountain of email when everyone goes to sleep because that means that you got to eat both breakfast and dinner together as a family.

Freedom is pulling in an annual gross salary of $39,000 in your third year of business for yourself and feeling like a fucking champion because that number – as paltry as it seems to everyone else – represents a 300% increase over last year’s income and is a sign that you. are. finally. doing. this.

Freedom is making commitments and setting priorities and recognizing that you aren’t looking for the easy way out, but for what matters.

Freedom is getting to decide that for yourself.

Freedom is raising your hand and saying yes. Even if you aren’t 100% confident. Even if you don’t feel 100% ready. (Click to tweet)

So, do you want freedom or just need a vacation?

do you really want your own business or do you just need a vacation? // tiffany han

If it’s a vacation, great! Prepare for your life to be a whole lot easier. (Seriously: tell your boss you’re going, but the damn ticket already, and get to the beach yo!)

But if it’s true freedom you’re after, how hard are you willing to work to get it?

And what difficult choices are you willing to make?

I promise it won’t be painting-all-day-in-my-converse or piña-colada-on-the-beach easy but it will be so freaking worth it when you realize that you made it all happen for yourself.



**graphics by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching 

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thought of the day.

Make your own list. -Tiffany Han

Don’t forget: As an adult, you get to make your own checklist. YOU get to decide what makes you happy.

You get to do whatever you want. Even if someone else disagrees.

(I’d recommend starting today.)

*graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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the moments that matter.

the moments that matter via tiffany han

The girls have started to smile. They grin and laugh and flirt with whatever they can – me, a friend, the ceiling fan or a painting on the wall. It is the best thing in the world.

The other day, I did a little dance for them, accompanied by a made up song (I believe it was “Ode to Coffee”) and they both broke out into the world’s sweetest smiles.

I melted. Into a puddle.

And then I realized: it’s these moments that make it all worth it.

In life and in business (especially in business) we spend all of our time focused on the things – the subscribers, the facebook likes and shares, the emails and the yes’s and no’s. It’s so easy to forget about the moments that matter – the moments that make all of it so worth it.

These are the moments that have nothing to do with social media. Or the internet. Or public perception.

The moments like when my girls smile.

Or when I hear the pop of a champagne cork and know that we have something big to celebrate.

Or the moment when Tim nuzzles his face in my hair and says, “I love you” in response to something sweet or funny or loving that I’ve said.

The first sip of coffee after a looong night.

The first page of a really good book.

The last page of a really good book.

That moment of shared eye contact with a stranger at IKEA because Can you believe that woman in the returns line said that?

Yes, we all want to focus on the BIG and the DREAMY and the OMGAWESOME, but without the moments that matter, the rest of it means nothing. (click to tweet)

Sure, it’s much easier to look at all of the things that need to change in your life. And the people who are wrong. And then if onlys and the buts.

And then the whole point is missed.

By recognizing what your most importants are, you can start crafting your life from the inside out. Starting with you. And then moving into the rest of your world.

These are my moments that matter.

What are yours?

**photos by me; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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I’ve been wanting to tell you…

I've been wanting to tell you that you are not alone.

I’ve been wanting to tell that you aren’t alone in this world.

I know it feels like you are.

I know it seems like there’s no one who understands you, or hears you, or gets what it’s like to be you.

And I know that you have big things you want to do with your life, but man, wouldn’t it be so much easier with some freaking support?

I’ve been wanting to tell you that it’s not you vs. the world.

That there are so many of us cheering for you.

That you are not alone. 

There are so many of us cheering for you. :: Tiffany Han

The stands are filled with people who cannot wait to hear you sing. 

Because we know that when you take your place on stage, it will be the most beautiful song the world has ever heard.

Even if you can’t hear us yet.

I’ve been wanting to tell you that fear is a liar. That little voice that tells you that you’re alone, and that you can’t do it, and that you aren’t good enough – that jackass in your head has no idea what he’s talking about.

I’ve been wanting to tell you that you aren’t alone.

That you can do it.

That – beyond being good enough – you are great beyond measure. You are brimming with amazing, and your cup overflows with the gifts you have to share.

There is no enough in the world where you exist. There is no simply adequate.

Your goodness is lavish. And ample. And bounteous.

I’ve been wanting to tell you that you have so got this. That the things you dream about doing can be done. That once you step onto that stage, you’ll sing. And it will be extraordinary.

And I’ve been wanting to tell you that it’s time to take that first step. The scary one. The most uncertain one. (tweet it)

Trust that we’re all waiting with bated breath…

Oh my, how you’re gonna shine.

PS. I’m starting back with Shine Sessions in July and have room for 3 new clients. Are you one of them? (This will be the last chance to work with me 1-on-1 before January 2015. Let’s make magic happen!)

**graphics by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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my so-called highly creative life: Jennifer Lee (plus a giveaway!!)

Jenn Lee My so-called highly creative life

Ahh! I’m so excited to introduce the first installment oh my new interview series My So-Called Highly Creative Life. You guys know my friend (and creative business hero!) Jenn Lee, right? The founder of The Right-Brain Business Plan, Jenn has a new book: Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way: Sustainable Success for the Creative Entrepreneur. It’s good. And I’m featured in it, which means that Jenn is brilliant, eh? *wink* 

I got to chat Jenn up about her creative process and get the insider scoop on how she gets so much done, stays inspired, and kicks so much ass in her biz.  And be sure to check out the giveaway at the end of the post for your chance to win a copy of her new book

Jenn, When do you feel most creative in your day-to-day?

I feel most creative when I have white space, so I aim to build that into my day-to-day. Like time in the morning to journal. Or having lunch outside. Space to think, reflect, dream. Often times I’ll have light-bulb moments when I’m out walking my dog. Or I feel very inspired when I’m working in my “backyard office.” There’s something about being in the fresh air that gets my muse going.

However, I will say there are occasionally times I become utterly possessed by the muse when I have a lot on my plate and my mind is just churning out one idea after another. This can happen when I’m right in the middle of leading an event or developing new material. Like during the weeks leading up to and during the video summit, my muse goes on overdrive because there are so many a-ahs and connection points.

When I’m in that state of creative overflow, ideas come out in big spurts and sometimes it means I stay up late getting those ideas down on paper.

How do you handle the boring, un-fun, non-creative parts of your business?

I either find a way to make it fun or shift my perspective. Like using sticky notes on my wall calendar to plan out launches and milestones. Color coding my spreadsheets and adding pictures. For things like dealing with my attorney for contracts and stuff like that, I know I just need to suck it up and take care of it because it’s in service of getting my message and work out there in a bigger way.

Accountability is key, so I send the message and set up the meeting! Then I lean into my support circles to decompress – like debriefing with my coach, or going for a hike with a friend.

OR I delegate! For example, I have a bookkeeper who reconciles my books for me and handles payroll and sales tax. I recently hired a business manager who is helping me more with the operations and logistics of my business.

If it drives me nuts, I’m not good at it, or my time can be better spent doing something more growth-focused, I need to find someone else to help me.

Do you have any secrets to balancing the fun, creative work with the “gotta get it done” stuff no one likes to do?

One thing that helps me balance is following my creative rhythm. I make sure that I have time blocked out for the fun, creative stuff – I usually like big blocks of uninterrupted time for that (and I have my self-care Fridays). I like to do my outward facing work (like coaching calls, teaching sessions, interviews, etc.) on Mondays and Wednesdays. On those days I’ll also block out time for more of the admin stuff in between the appointments because it’s easier to fill in those gaps with more admin type tasks. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays I typically focus my energy more inward for things like content creation, planning, visioning, and more of the fun stuff.

And like I mentioned above, I do my best to delegate the things that I don’t enjoy doing so I can focus on the things that I do like doing!

Describe the most fun day you’ve ever had “at work.”

The most fun I have is usually when I’m leading an event like the Video Summit or workshop (like with Creative Live), or when I’m teaching a video class with my Mentorship folks and coaching them online or on the phone. It’s fun to take people through experiential learning exercises and help them discover new ways of looking at their life or business. And it’s totally amazing to see when people have a breakthrough. In fact, in 2006 I co-lead a leadership retreat that was so inspiring that I realized it was work that didn’t feel like work! That’s when I knew I had to quit my corporate job.

I also love days when I just get to be by myself. When I can be in creation mode and absorbed in my creative flow plus make time for lots of self-care. Those are days when I feel super productive and pampered. I need a mix of both of the outward and inward “fun” days.

What would people be surprised to learn about you (and your biz!)?

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that I’m a HUGE introvert especially if their only experience of me is of seeing me lead or teach. I have a bit of this love/hate relationship with being in the spotlight. The introvert and HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) parts of me get really drained by being in front of a room AND the Leo and Enneagram 4 with 3 wing parts of me relish the attention. It’s a constant battle!

You are a biz hero to so many people (more than you know!). What do you want all of your “invisible mentees” to know?

Awww, thanks! Hmmm, I want them to know soooo many things but I’ll keep it simple here and share one of the guiding principles from my new book: “Dream Big but Start Small.” Allow yourself to have your wildest, pie in the sky visions about what you want to create in the world. Be passionate about the impact you want to have. Just don’t get so overwhelmed by your big vision that you become paralyzed.

Instead, keep taking small steps forward toward your dream. Each small step will eventually add up. Remember that things take time, so be patient with yourself and your process. And make sure to get support along the way so your cohorts can remind you of the progress you’re making toward your big dream!

You have special gifts to share with the world so keep on keeping on!

Jenn, thank you so so much for 1. sharing your insight with us and 2. being awesome. Cause you are. So awesome. (Talk about sharing your gifts with the world! You have done so much for so many of us!! xox -Tiffany

**The Giveaway: To win a copy of Jenn’s new book, leave a comment below letting us know what your Start Small looks like by Friday (5/24) at 9am PST. The winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!


**graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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the Why of your commitment

the why of your commitment

Confession: I feed my babies formula.

I wanted to breast-feed. I took the classes and bought the books and the pillows and the bras. I was Committed.

But nature conspired against us: I hemorrhaged during my c-section (partly due to how big the girls were) and lost a lot of blood. This, combined with my having two babies to feed, made me an underdog straight out of the gate. 

We started supplementing with formula on day 3.

Fast forward to two weeks postpartum: I am still exhausted. Still doing my best to feed the babies. And still trying to make the breast-feeding happen.

Why? Because that’s what a good mother does. 

In my mind, a good mother does whatever it takes to feed her children the food that her body creates for them. Because breast is best. Because why wouldn’t you want to give your babies the best?

I kept it up long after I knew I wanted to stop. Every time I got out the breast pump, I would think “Really. Am I really doing this again?” and wonder when I could let it go. 

I talked to my midwife. And the girls’ pediatrician. And my OB – they all gave me their hearty blessing to move to 100% formula and assured me that a sane, happy mama was what was best for our girls. 

And yet, I could not come to peace with my decision.

Yes, I was an emotional new mama. Yes, I was completely sleep-deprived. Yes to a lot of things.

But then I realized, I was hanging on to the breast-feeding not because it was the best thing for me and my family, but because, to me, breastfeeding equated to being a good, caring, willing-to-make-any-sacrifices-necessary mother to my girls.

Which it does not.

I realized that, while committed, I wasn’t committed for the right reasons.

I was committed to a story that I was telling myself. And once I was able to let the story go, I was able to let the commitment go.

As we go through life, we remain committed to all kinds of things. Especially those of us who might be more stubborn than others (ahem…).

But how often do you step back to examine the why of your commitment? (click to tweet)

How often to you look at everything, not through the lens of a story you tell yourself, but through the lens of what is best for you, what actually makes the most sense and what you really want for your life?

What you really want for your life.

When was the last time you took a step back from it all to examine what you really want for your life?

Today, start there. If you don’t know what you want, start digging. Start thinking. Start trying. And failing. And learning. 

Because without knowing what you want, your commitments mean nothing.

(Trust me: crying into a breast pump does nobody any good.)

PS. Heads up: The Multi-Passionate Must-Haves sale is ON. These 30 courses, audios and ebooks (including my How to Say No) – worth $2046.95 – that allow you to integrate your many passions into your life and use them as fuel for income, are yours for just $97 ‘til Thursday (5/22) at midnight.

*photo by me; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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friday’s confession: I don’t want to have it all.

I don't want to have it all

I have a dear friend who has a thriving career, a beautiful, popular blog, a happy marriage, a bustling social life, and a soon-to-be amazing business.

She travels, she brunches, she makes shit happen. And she’s expecting her first baby this fall.

From the outside looking in, it’s easy for me to think, “Oh she has it all.” and feel less than in comparison.

It’s easy to watch her enjoy the moments of her life and forget that I’m also enjoying the moments of mine, as quiet and still as they may seem in comparison.

It’s easy to put pressure on myself and my family to go, do, be; to catch up, to stay in line, to busy myself so that I feel like I too have it all.

But what if the life that works for my friend doesn’t work for me?

What if I know myself well enough to know that I need the comfort of stillness to make anything happen for myself?

What if I’m content staying quiet, staying in, and, subsequently, staying sane?

As women, we are constantly told we should want to have it all – the happy marriage, the happy kids, the happy house, the happy boss, the happy friends. Oh, and don’t forget to make time for Y-O-U!

As entrepreneurs, we are constantly told we should want to have it all – the full client roster, the speaking gig lineup, the book deals, and the sold-out workshops around the world.

As people, we are constantly told we should want to have it all – the spiritual awareness, the physical well-being, the 9 hours of sleep, the 8 glasses of water, and the 3 servings of leafy greens.

And please be sure to smile for the camera, write a quippy caption, and document every step of the way on social media so that no one misses out.

Oh yeah, make sure you also make time to follow and like and comment on what everyone else is doing too, because, you’d hate to be anti-social.


Here’s what I know about myself: I don’t want to have it all. I don’t want my business to consume my life. Nor do I want my friends or my children or my Pilates or my green smoothies to either.

I want my business, my family, my relationships, and my hobbies to enhance my life.

I want to work 3-4 days each week and make enough money to support myself and my family.

I want to speak at conferences because I know that I have things to say and love connecting with people.

I want to publish my words because I love writing about things that I think the world needs to hear.

But I don’t have to do it all. I don’t have to do all of that AND blog about my outfits AND make my own baby food AND all of the rest.

When we view our lives in comparison with everyone else, we will never do enough or have enough or be enough. Ever. 

I get to determine what the value of my own life is. For myself. Just as you get to determine what the value of your life is.

You get to decide what works best for you.

You get to be in charge and run the show. Of your own life.

You get to set the standards for yourself.

You get to define what your own have it all really is and then live towards that.

Even if it doesn’t look like anyone else’s in this world.

And whatever you determine doesn’t negate the value of anyone else’s life, just as what I determine doesn’t negate the value of my friend’s. Just as the life she determines for herself doesn’t negate the value of mine.

It’s not a competition. You only have to answer to yourself. (Tweet this)

It’s time we started living as such.

*photo by me; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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thought of the day.

When life gives you lemons, dance.


We spend so much energy in life trying to figure out what to do with the lemons life hands us, but what if instead, we just danced?

Maybe, instead of trying to decide between making lemonade, limoncello, or a martini with a twist, we can say, “Hey life, these lemons suck.”; accept that; and then do something that will make us smile.

Dancing has always worked for me.

**graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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the value of YOUR story (just as it is.)


I had a very healthy pregnancy. Short of severe-ish morning sickness, it was textbook normal.

I carried my twins to 38 weeks, 4 days without any bedrest. Or crazy back pain. Or scares. Everything was fine. The girls were born very VERY healthy. In fact, the doctors who performed my c-section nearly couldn’t get them out through their original incision. Because they were bigger than they ever see twins.

*Side note in case you’re looking for tips on a healthy pregnancy: I ate a lot of tacos, cheeseburgers, and ice cream; drank a ton of water; and made daily naps part of my routine. Also, I chilled the eff out about anything I couldn’t control. That’s it. 

I’m writing this not to brag about my pregnancy but to bring up the validity of my story:  My pregnancy, even though it was uneventful, even though it could be considered boring, is still worthy of talking about. The story of my twins matter even if nothing scary or life-threatening or tragic happened.

We put a lot of clout into crazy stories. We favor the drama. We love a good comeback. Or rising above.

For those of us who don’t fall under the near-death, rock-bottom, omg-you-simply-won’t-believe-what-happened categories, it’s easy to think that our stories don’t matter.

That they don’t need to be told. 

That they aren’t enough. 

{Spoiler: They do matter. They do need to be told. They are enough.}

The stories we hear are either the tragic, heart-breaking ones or the picture perfect ones. It’s time to start telling the stories of the in-between.

There’s beauty in the boring. There’s magnificence in the mundane. (click to tweet)

You don’t have to set your hair on fire every night to have an exciting life.

Your living room doesn’t have to be photograph-ready and blog worthy for your home to be beautiful.

You don’t have to spend your days making pinterest-worthy crafts with your children to be a good mother.

You can have a marriage built not on hard work, but on effort. And love. And laughter.

You can have a family that taught you the meaning of loyalty, and values, and trust without your holidays being filled with tragedy and conflict.

You can have dated men who – while perhaps not being right – treated you with respect and helped you learn what you wanted from a partner.

You don’t have to have been fired from your perfect on paper job to make you appreciate entrepreneurship.

You don’t have to have nearly died to appreciate your good health.

You don’t need to have nearly lost it all to make what your life worth living.

 Some of us are born with better circumstances that others. Some of us are dealt better cards.

Who are we to set those cards on fire and demand a different hand – one that is harder to win the game with, one that requires tricky betting or bluffing or a 1 in 52 chance of drawing that ace?

What if we play the cards we have. Proudly. With gratitude. And respect.

What if we say, “Hey. These cards are awesome. Instead of begrudging them, I’m going to do something with them.”?

And what if we start telling our stories? Just as they are. Just as we’ve experienced them.

On this note, I’m thrilled to introduce you to my new personal blog – A Different Kind of Story – a place where I will be telling the stories of my life.

Won’t you join me?

*photo by Tiffany Schoepp; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching

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friday’s confession: I was copied.



Last week, I received a facebook message from a fellow coach. She had recently come across a blog that had stolen some of her work. A quick google search led her to realize that my work had also been stolen.

13 blog posts of mine to be exact. Copied and pasted into someone else’s blog. Signed “xo, tami” as if they were her words.

It is an awful feeling to see the words you’ve written under someone else’s name.

It is an awful feeling to read a post that you worked so hard on published on someone else’s website.

It is an awful feeling to realize that someone else – someone who claims to be a coach nonetheless – has claimed your stories as her own.

At first I felt violated. Then I got mad. Then I got sad.

Sad that someone thought it was okay to steal the words of so many creative, smart women. Sad that someone who could do this coached clients who trusted her with their dreams. Sad that someone would build an entire brand around not only other people’s ideas, but their exact words while simultaneously promising to help people live more authentic lives.

This woman took the stories of my life. The stories of the lessons I learned, that I worked hard to craft so as to share those lessons with all of you. With vulnerability. And joy. And everything in between.

Stolen with a two strokes of the keyboard.

And the saddest truth of all is that things like this happen all the time. Nearly every successful creative entrepreneur I know has been copied in one way or another. It happens to artists, writers, and designers. And unfortunately, the more we put our work out in a public arena, the more susceptible we are.

If you’ve thought about copying:

Just. Don’t. Do. It.

You will be found out. This is a very very VERY small world and while it may seem like no one will ever know, they will. And it will come back to bite you. So just don’t do it.

And for the rest of you – for those of you who would never copy but have thought “Oh, if only I could {write/paint/draw/photograph} like {Alex Franzen/Kelly Rae Roberts/Emily McDowell/Susannah Conway}, my time will come” – know this:

Yes. All of these women create beauty with their art. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create beauty too. It won’t be the same as the beautiful photographs Susannah takes. Or the beautiful girlies Kelly Rae paints. Or the beautiful things that Emily draws. Or the beautiful words that Alexandra writes.

You have your own kind of beauty. That which is only yours to create. And the only way you’ll find it is to start creating.

Start writing. Start painting. Start drawing. Start taking pictures.

Today. Right now. This very second.

And then keep doing it. Every single day.

Make it your obsession. Fill your notebook with scribbles. Take Facebook off your phone and just use the camera to capture what you see. Commit to making 100 paintings in 100 days. Draw all the time.

Because it’s the thing that fills you up. Because you can’t not do it.

And then keep at it still. Keep going. One day, you’ll look back and realize that you’ve created a body of work. Your own body of work.

A body of work that is exclusively yours, beautiful in its own right.

You can do this. I promise.

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