I was so excited to talk with the bold and beautiful Alexandra Franzen this week on Raise Your Hand Say Yes and the conversation did not disappoint. We talked about Alex’s latest commitment to fitness as well as how she finds time for her life priorities in the face of so many things she could be doing. Hint: saying no is THE BEST.
We also talked about our motivations for making decisions and some of the tougher ones that we both make on a regular basis for the sake of keeping ourselves grounded as well as Alex’s experience with stepping back from social media. And, of course, we broke down our favorite Magic Mike XXL moments for everyone. Because priorities are key.
Alex, you are such a treat for this world. Like a gooey brownie with just the right amount of salty-sweet. Thank you!!
We can talk all day long about strategy (and we do).
We can talk all day long about best practices (and we do).
We can talk all day long about read this and listen to this and download this so that you know all there is to know about this very specific thing.
And if you need to know a lot about a very specific thing, all of this can be quite helpful.
But, in most cases, you don’t.
You don’t need to know ALL THE THINGS. You just need to know what it’s going to take to get you started.
But we let our chase of the “very specific thing” knowledge overtake everything.
We research something to death, wanting to know one more specific detail, certain that there’s a different perfect option that we haven’t yet discovered.
We poll our friends over and over again. We google. We watch those 2-minute introduction videos.
We let our research supersede the Doing.
Because, all that time, we could have been creating something amazing.
Did you know that the average person spends nearly 2 hours a day on social media?
I recently polled my facebook friends to see what they would do with this time if it was handed to them as a gift: 2 hours each day, no strings attached, no obligation. The answers ranged from sleep to exercise to create to read to have more sex. Not a single person said they’d spend more time scrolling.
And yet. This is what we’re all doing. Every single day. We are giving away the moments of our lives to businesses designed to keep us hooked.
Businesses that are the social media outlets. Businesses that teach about the social media outlets. Businesses that co-exist hand-in-hand with all of these other so-called tools to help us create growth in our creative businesses and our lives.
And yes. There is value there. Some value. But the real value is in you. In the content you create. In the actions you take and the words you say and the things that you make people feel with your work.
That is the value we’re all looking for here. And that is the value that comes from the time spent sleeping and exercising and creating and reading and having sex.
But no one ever talks about the power of the value behind what you’re creating. Because we’re afraid of being hacks and secretly think that our work isn’t good enough, that’s it’s a sub-par version of something that someone else has already done better. Because that’s how our brains work. And we’re uncomfortable with the potential value and the hard work so we hide.
We run to facebook and start scrolling. We look up pie recipes on pinterest. We check out our favorite blogger’s instagram which leads us to a link on their site and then we’re gone.
At that point, our potential for creating something of value is about 4%. But we don’t even know it because we’re numb. And we’ve learned to perceive our numbness as looking for inspiration.
Because that’s what everyone wants us to think. Because it’s in their best interest to keep us clicking and scrolling and liking and pinning. Because that’s how they make their money.
Not that there’s anything wrong with making money. That’s not what this is about.
This is about forsaking your own sleep and exercise and creation and sex for the sake of consuming something mandated by the Gods of the Internet.
This is about making a clear decision about what you want and establishing boundaries that will allow you to make that happen for yourself.
This is about less scrolling and more creating – on your terms, in alignment with what you want, even if the prospect of actually getting it makes your heart race and your palms sweat and your stomach churn and omg could I actually do this?
Yes. You could. You can. But not until you get to work.
Next week, on Wednesday (8/26) and Thursday (8/27), I am teaching two classes forCreativeLive (enroll to livestream for free) that are designed to help you figure out your end game and start taking action towards your dreams without letting social media (or fear!) run the show.
Then on Thursday, in Social Media Sanity, we’ll be turning our focus to social media, talking not just about how you can design a social media strategy that works for you but about how you can also make sure that you are using social media as a tool for telling the story of your brand. What’s that story, you wonder? I’ll help you find it. It’s time to get your time back, Sweets.
If you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it Love. This could be the game changer you’ve been waiting for. Enroll. Watch. Learn.
Hooray! The amazingly talented Lisa Congdon is back on the podcast today! Ever since I interviewed Lisa the first time, I couldn’t wait to have her back on the show to talk about passion projects and how the ones she’s taken have impacted her career and what she’s learned from all of them.
In this week’s episode, Lisa and I talk about the value of passion projects (and how they can become game-changers!), the vulnerability of sharing less-than-perfect work publicly, how to get into an experimentation mindset and what it’s like to get comfortable with discomfort.
Lisa is one of my favorite peeps and I loved hearing her story and everything she’s learned.
Lisa, thank you again for coming on the show and congratulations on your newest book! You’re the tops!
A few months ago, I got an email from Julie Schechter, telling me the story of how she walked away from being a lawyer (after Harvard Law School!) to start her own ballet-inspired fitness company. She was writing to tell me how inspiring the podcast was to her, and I immediately wrote back and asked to her to please come on the show to tell her story.
Lucky for me, she raised her hand and said yes!
This week on Raise Your Hand Say Yes, I’m thrilled to share my interview with Julie where she talked about doing the scary, unpopular thing by walking away from her looks-amazing-on-paper legal career to follow her dream of combining fitness and ballet. We talk about honoring your core values, the power of exercise, and how it feels to fight against the desire for external legitimacy and start trusting yourself.
If you ever struggle with doing what you really want to do and trying to keep everyone around you comfortable, this episode is for you!
Julie, you’re such a star and I’m a huge fan of you (and your kick-ass workouts!). Thank you so much for sharing your story!!
Authenticity is such a buzzword these days that people talk about it all the time but everyone has a hard time putting their finger on HOW to get there. We all know it when we see it, but what are the steps you and I can take to find and hone our authenticity? In this week’s episode, Todd tells us all about authenticity and how we can get started on finding ours. We also talk about the value of building a body of work, how to keep your eyes on your own paper, the power of making a decision and taking action, why we should all craft a manifesto, and what we can all learn from a good underdog story.
Along the way, Todd shares what he’s learned about creating content as a profession and how he balances his busy work schedule with making his family and three kids a priority. I think this episode will speak to everyone and I hope you enjoy it!
Todd, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on the podcast!
It’s a familiar tale – you launch your business, start growing your e-mail list (thanks mailchimp!) and you are happily going about your business until the dreaded thing happens: you send out a newsletter (a really, really good one!) and your inbox fills with unsubscribe notices.
Bah! you think. I must have done something wrong. So you make your emails more bland or you stop sending them altogether, hovering in fear of the unsubscribes.
What if – instead – you blessed the unsubscribes and sent them on their way? What if you kept sending those emails, without watering down what you really want to say for fear of making someone leave?
Case study: the more me my emails are, the more unsubscribes I get. The more powerful the language, the more divisive it is. The emails that I get tons of responses from, my inbox filling up with “How did you know this was exactly what I needed to hear?” are also the ones the get the most unsubscribes.
Because that’s what happens when you have a strong voice for your brand. Peopleknow what you stand for. They get you. And they can easily tell if you’re the right person for them.
I used to hate sending out newsletters because I never thought I had anything to say, so I only sent them when I was selling something. Spoiler alert: Don’t do this. Contribute something valuable with every message you send, whether you’re selling or not. Give people a reason to read your email.
Not sure what to say? Take 15 minutes to write without stopping your hands. Just write. Answer the question “What do you really want to say?”
Tackle the biggest misconceptions people have about you and your industry. What do you wish they knew?
What do you want someone to know or do before they hire you?
What would you say in a secret love letter to your clients?
Start here and let the words flow. Write your truth, but then be willing to bless the unsubscribes that come in once you’ve hit send.
Rather than tell me that I’m doing something wrong, my unsubscribes let me know I’m doing something right.
I only want to work with people who want me in their inbox. By signing on to work with me, you get a whole lot of ME, and if you’re turned off by my emails, you’re going to be turned off by my personality too. Which is fine. Because I know that I’m not the business coach for everyone.
I know that I’m not the business coach for someone who is looking for a suit-wearing, synergysticly-speaking consultant type.
I know I’m not the business coach for someone who isn’t willing to be called out onthose things that have been holding her back in her business – and her life! – for way too long.
I know I’m not the business coach for someone who is turned off by strategy or discussion of revenue streams and only wants to talk about the feelings of it all and why it’s so hard and can’t someone just do it for me.
I know I’m not the business coach for someone who doesn’t have the energy or the enthusiasm to get scrappy and do the work.
I know that if one of those people sign up for my newsletter list, they will not stay on very long. Not because I’m bad at what I do or they’re a bad person, but because I am not the right coach for them.
Which is fine. Because I can’t be the right coach for everyone. That’s not how this works.
I don’t want to be a burden on anyone’s inbox. I don’t want them to roll their eyes when they see my name come in and think, ugh. what does she want? instead, I want them to get excited to read what I have to say, to be giddy about it.
And so I bless the unsubscribes that come in and move on with my life. And I want you to do the same.
Don’t run from them. Embrace them as a sign you are taking a stand for something you believe in. Because that’s the first step in finding YOUR right people. The people who will get excited when they see your name in their inbox. The people who will gladly listen to what you have to tell them, who will buy your artwork or your e-course or listen to your podcast.
Those are the people for you to focus on. And they’re ready – and waiting – for y-o-u.
PS. Heads up: If you’re interested in attending The Hello Sessions being held in Portland, OR on Friday, October 9 (I’m their keynote speaker!) you can get 10% off your registrationthrough August 5 using the code SAYYES10. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll save a hug for you!
I’m so inspired by what Melissa and Joy have created, because instead of just sitting around and wishing something existed in the world, they got to work and made it happen. In this episode, we talk about what led them to create this conference, some of the joys and challenges of making something brand new from scratch, and what they’ve learned working together on this project.
I’ve been wanting to tell you that I know it seems hard.
Like you’ll never have it figured out. Like you’re always going to be working and trying and still not getting it.
And I know that you’re tired. And just want it to be easy.
I’ve been wanting to tell you that you are farther along than you realize, that you are making magic happen, that you are inspiring other people with how you live your life – right now! – that you are already doing it. (Tweet it.)
You are already doing the things that you dream about.
You are creating an amazing life for yourself, despite how messy it seems when you look around.
I’ve been wanting to tell you that you are not just getting by, but thriving. That if you are reading this, it means you’ve survived this game of life and that nothing has stopped you yet.
I’ve been wanting to tell you that you get to make the choice to get out of your own way. You get to embrace who you are and how far you’ve come and what you’ve accomplished – you amazing thing – and you get to say, “Hey world. Look the fuck out. Cause here I come.” (Tweet it.)
And I’ve been wanting to tell you that when you make that choice, when you straighten your spine and drop your shoulders and put your head up and speak those words, the world is going to say, “We are so ready for you. Get in the game.”
And when that happens, look out gorgeous creature, because the game will never be the same.
Are you ready? You’ve got this.
PS. I am THRILLED to announce that I’m going to be the keynote speaker at the amazing new conference The Hello Sessions being held in Portland, OR on Friday, October 9. Tickets are on sale now (and going quick!) and you can get 10% off your registration through August 5 using the code SAYYES10. Let me know if you’re coming and I’ll save a hug for you!
This week, on Raise Your Hand Say Yes, I was thrilled to talk with Emily McDowell. Not only is Emily my most favorite stationery designer EVER (and this is not an honor I bestow lightly!), she is also my friend. (Yep, I’m a lucky duck!)
On this episode, Emily talks about her balance of creative/administrative work (you’re gonna be surprised!), how her 10-year career in advertising contributed to her success in the stationery industry, what to think about when it comes to branding your business, why avoiding trends is a great thing and Amy Schumer.
I’d say this episode is RYHSY gold. And I hope you love it!
Emily, you are a gem! Thank you to the moon and back!!
I realized recently that my time is spent either working, care-taking, house-keeping, socializing, or coming down from ALL THE THINGS. I rarely do anything for myself, to be alone with my thoughts.
And, that, my friend, is a problem.
So when I noticed that I had a hole in my schedule on Monday afternoon, I decided to take advantage of having childcare and took myself on a solo date to see Magic Mike XXL, a movie that my activist friend Erica dubbed one of the “most sex positive” movies she’d ever seen.
I did not leave the theatre disappointed. Hot man abs aside, this movie was also chock-full of business lessons.
What does a movie about male strippers on a road trip have to do with your business (and subsequently your life)? Everything. Here we go:
1. Go all in. But don’t take any of it too seriously.
In the film, the guys realized that the Myrtle Beach Stripper Convention was their last opportunity to do it up right. So they went all in.
What if you realized that – in this moment – you have the opportunity to make some bold choices in your business? That, instead of playing it safe, now is the time to take that risk and try your absolute hardest to make some magic (sorry! I had to!)? What would change?
What does “all in” look like for you in your work?
Also, how can you loosen up and have more fun? What needs to change for there to be more joy in your day-to-day? What do you need to let go of? (No. Really. What do you need to let go of? Because I suspect the list is a mile long!)
Let go of perfection and give your next thing, whatever it is, your all. You might crash and burn, but, love, you might also soar.
2. Play to your strengths.
Instead of trying to reinvent themselves to be what they thought people wanted, the male entertainers owned their strengths and their interests. That’s when everything clicked. (Spoiler alert!)
This is what we’re all after when we talk about authentic branding and finding your voice. If you love baking cookies and golden retrievers, how can you incorporate that into your business? (Says the business coach who’s writing today about a stripper movie.)
What are the things that make you remarkable? Use them. Instead of trying to blend in with the pack, make it your goal to stand out. Get someone’s attention. Be different. Embrace your thing. Your people will find you and will love you even more for it.
3. Bigger isn’t always better.
In the movie, one of the characters has a problem with – let’s just say – finding a partner who can handle his grand endowment, showing that what we think we want isn’t always what we need.
And it’s the same in business. Do you need to make a million dollars a year or are you happy bringing in $50K? WHY do you want thousands of twitter followers? Is social media growth something that’s important to you or are you just reacting to what internet marketers say you need?
Remember: you get to make the decisions about your business. How big (or small) you want to be and how you spend your time. Don’t let other people determine your priorities for you.
4. Figure out how they want to feel.
This is it. The secret to all the marketing, all the sales, all the everything: how do your customers want to feel at the end of the day and how can you help them get there?
The women in Magic Mike weren’t after orgasms. Each one just wanted to feel sexy and beautiful and desired and respected and like a Queen.
Do this for your customer base and you’ve got it. Marketing Magic. Hip thrusts optional.
5. Leave them wanting more.
I don’t know anyone who saw this movie who isn’t ready to go back and see it again. It ended with a bang, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. I want more of Magic Mike XXL: that means the filmmakers did their jobs.
And it’s also okay for you to leave people wanting more in your business. There’s a myth online that we have to be all-the-time available to the World. That is impossible to sustain. Instead, consider how you could create intrigue and curiosity around your work.
It’s okay for people to miss you. You WANT them to miss you. You want them waiting to hear from you again and hanging on your every word. That is success.
And now it’s your turn, love. Homework: go see this movie. Right now. It’s for the good of your business. And your life. You’re welcome.
**photo by me; graphic by Erin Cassidy for Tiffany Han Coaching
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