This week, it’s all about feeling the fear and doing it anyways! We talk about staying inspired, cultivating creative habits, what to do with fear, and how to approach the ugly phase that comes along with every creative endeavor. We also talk about the pros and cons of art school. I love hearing about Mati’s first foray into the publishing world (talk about brave, y’all!) and her secret life in South America.
On Wednesday, I hosted a free webinar about pitching and the art of making the ask. (You can see watch it here until Tuesday) At the end of the call, I issued a challenge: whoever sent a pitch within 24 hours would be entered into a drawing to win a spot in my new program AND could email me to get feedback on their pitch.
Everyone was jazzed. Everyone was pumped up. Everyone was SO FREAKING READY at the end of the call.
I had 99 people on the RSVP list for that call.
Of those 99, 28 attended live and the rest received the recording and a heads-up about the challenge immediately afterwards.
Spreecast tells me that the webinar has been viewed 345 times.
Guess how many emails I got? 15.
15 people raised their hands and said yes. To opportunity. To possibility. To what they really want for their lives.
Was it scary? Sure. But once it’s done, who cares?
Because of these 15 emails, here is what became possible:
guest post stint on a crazy huge blog
interview with big-name blogger
service trade for new headshots
corporate collaboration and partnership
new wholesale account
None of these would have been available if the pitches hadn’t been sent.
Can you imagine what might happen if you embraced the “Fear? So what.” mentality every day for an entire year? Where might be you at the end of those 12 months? What might you have been able to have accomplished? How would your life have changed?
And here I am calling your bluff.
I know that you say you want it.
I know that you think you want it.
I know that you are so freaking tired of sitting around and waiting for it.
But how willing are you to go out and get it for yourself?
How willing are you to take a deep breath, straighten your shoulders, and step outside of your comfort zone?
How willing are you to say, “Hey world. Look the fuck out. Cause here I come.”
You might be reading this saying, “Yes, yes, YES.” So what are you going to do about it?
Because I’m tired of hearing all about your dreams but not seeing action. I was tired of thinking about my own dreams and not moving. I was tired of waiting around and waiting around and waiting around.
Which is why I brought back my 100 Rejection Letters goal. Which is why I’ve committed to receiving 100 Rejection Letters in a year, starting in October. Which is why I’ll be blogging about my experience and am gathering a group of like-minded creative women to join me. (Men are allowed too, but let’s be honest here.)
This week, I had the good fortune to interview my friend Jess Swift. We talked all about her creative business and covered so much, including staying motivated, productivity, owning your title, and all the learning. We also laughed a lot, which led me to realize that I pretty much have the best job in the world. Thanks for the awesome, Jess!
As always, you can access all the episodes and show notes here.
PS. Thank you all for the podcast love over the past week! This is definitely a passion project and I love seeing that you’re as excited about it as I am! If there’s anyone you’d like to hear me interview, please let me know.
Earlier this year, I interviewed a literary agent about the publishing industry for my 100 Rejection Letters workbook. Towards the end of the interview, he casually mentioned that my idea could easily translate into a book and that my website and messaging were spot on.
“Oh. Rad.” I thought, before promptly forgetting about it and letting myself get caught up in the rest of my to dos: the diapers that needed changing, the bottles that needed cleaning, the online scheduler that needed syncing, and the emails that needed writing.
When working on creative endeavors, it’s easy to stay caught up in the busy and the day-to-day tasks. We forget that a little boost, such as the one this agent gave me, can keep us moving forward for weeks or even months!
Someone whose job it is to get books published told me that I had a publishable idea. Full stop.
(An aside: I need to print this out and tape it to my computer monitor!)
How much more motivation do I need to sit down and do the freaking work already?!
And yet, we creatives are starved for motivation. Our biggest challenge is sitting down and Doing the Work and we spend all of our spare time (and work time!) scouring the internet looking for productivity tips and tricks and hacks and secrets.
No wonder nothing gets done.
What if, instead of looking for the OMG LIFE CHANGING SECRETS TO PRODUCTIVITY, we focus on the good, on those nuggets of awesome that help us keep moving?
Tanya Geisler says to make a yum + yay folder for your inbox. Michelle Ward says to keep a win book. I say to do whatever it takes for you not to forget all of the messages you’ve gotten from the world that your work matters and that you MUST keep going with it.
Let it be good. Let yourself revel in your wins, and your sales, and your successes. Take a moment to fistbump the Universe and say, “Yes. I am doing this. It IS working. It is paying off.” and then keep glowing.
Print out that email from your first paying client and put a copy in every room if you need to. Read it before bed and before starting your work day and any time in between when you’re feeling down about what you do.
It is your job to relentlessly protect your motivation and your heart from the voices of inner critics.You get to do whatever it takes to focus on the good.
Let yourself celebrate. Let it be easy to focus on what’s working instead of what’s not working. Let yourself have those wins that make it possible for you to do the work.
Ready…set…go. (Now. Do something now.)
PS. 100 Rejection Letters is launching this week!! (get excited!) To get first dibs at all the bonuses, RSVP here for Wednesday’s call on Mastering the Art of Making the Ask.
In January 2013, I attended ALT Summit. During one of the round-tables, I had an opportunity to pitch my book idea to an editor from Chronicle Books. I only had about 45 seconds, so I quickly exhaled an idea about turning my Social Media Rehab program into a book.
“Great,” said the editor. “We’ve been looking for something like that, but instead of just social media, we’d like to focus on unplugging in general.”
“PERFECT!” I thought. “I’m totally going to just send a quick email and then all of a sudden be published by Chronicle.”
As you can imagine, it didn’t exactly work out that way. After the initial omg, she liked my idea! wore off, I realized that I had no clue how to pull all of this together. So I talked to my friend Kari about what I needed, I brainstormed titles (my favorite, Digital Detox, was already trademark pending), and I thought and thought and thought.
But I didn’t actually do anything.
I didn’t put my one-page author bio together (although I talked to Erin about it). I didn’t map out an outline (although I started scribbling notes but then it got hard). I certainly didn’t submit anything to the editor (nope, nada).
One by one, all those days of not doing combined with life going on to equal me completely forgetting about it.
Fuck, y’all. That was totally the project I could have pitched.
I blew it.
Now, I want to point out that I’m not trying to pull an oh, I could have totally written that here. Because, yes, I could have gotten an idea and put together daily prompts and such (hello! More Shenanigans Please!) but I didn’t. I don’t want to discount the work of the editors who did create this book.
But. But. But. Seeing this made me realize that what I could have done was kept it simple and come up with a fun concept that wasn’t overly complicated.
It made me realize that I should have done the work to follow-up and send the freaking email and see where the process went.
It made me realize that I let fear win out, I let overthinking win out, and I let doubt win out.
And that, my friends, is a shitty realization to have. Especially when getting a book published by Chronicle is one of your dreams and career goals.
I’ve been talking up my upcoming 100 Rejection Letters program for a few weeks; this is why I’m taking on the project again. I’ve gotten to a place in my business where things are good but they aren’t great. Everything is fine but it isn’t amazing.
And with two kids and limited time and energy, the work that I do needs to be in-fucking-credible for me to keep going. Otherwise, I might as well just go out and get a job. (Which is a whole lot of NOT what I want!)
It made me realize that it was time to stop thinking about things and start getting shit done.
Even if I’m not 100% sure of the outcome.
Even if it might feel easier to not most often.
Even if, for a majority of the time, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.
Guess what? Most people feel that way. They just aren’t talking about it.
I made the choice to take my I blew it moment and let it propel me towards something bigger instead of letting it paralyze me into more of the same: inaction.
And starting October 15, you’ll have a chance to go behind the scenes into that something bigger. Like full transparency, laying it all out, here we fucking go world behind the scenes. (Oh! Hi nerves!) You’ll also have the chance to commit to your own version of the 100 Rejection Letters project, to put all you’ve got into making a goal happen for yourself, to see what’s possible when you really try your absolute hardest. (Oh! Hi nerves!)
Everything will be revealed next Friday, but in the meantime, you can sign up here to get early access AND you can RSVP for a free training call I’m hosting on Wednesday 9/24 at noon PST.
In Pitch Perfect: Mastering the Art of Making the Ask, I will walk you through the start of making your own pitches (including how to figure out where to even begin!) and offer an exclusive first look at the new program. I’ve got some amazing bonuses for early sign-ups and you’ll get first glance (and first dibs!) during this call. RSVP here.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your I blew it moment in the comments. Have you ever had that feeling? Have you ever seen someone else pull off one of your dreams? What did you do in response? And, now, in retrospect, what do you wish you had done?
It all comes down to choice. Every time.
PS. Thank you all so much for the podcast love! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you can find all the deets here!
This podcast is all about the creative adventures of (extra)ordinary people and the first three episodes are now available through itunes and below.
In Episode 1, I explain the story behind the name “Raise your hand. Say yes.” as well as how I knew this was the direction I wanted to go. You’ll hear about an experience with this phrase that gave me chills and what I’m most excited about sharing with you!
In Episode 2, I’m talking with the amazing Erin Loechner about how she’s raised her hand and said yes and where it’s gotten her in her life. We also tackle the subjects of faith, branding, and doing things even when they aren’t considered good for business.
In Episode 3, I interviewed my dear friend Lisa Congdon about her creative evolution and how she’s gotten to where she is now. Did you know that she didn’t start painting or making art until she was 32? We also tackle fear in this episode, so if you’ve ever had apprehension about taking on a new creative endeavor, pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready for a listen!
You guys. Can I tell you how excited I am to finally have this out in the world? So. Freaking. Excited.
Over the next few months, I’ll be bringing you interviews with the people who inspire me the most as well as my own insights into how you can cultivate your own creative adventures!
I’m also planning on some big asks over the next few months, so there will either be some exciting guests or more rejection letters to add to my pile. (Total win-win in my book!) If there’s anyone you’d like me to interview, let me know either via my contact form or in the comments below.
For now, if you like what you hear, I’d love it if you’d subscribe and leave me a review.
This podcast was a leap of faith for me, and there were so many times that I thought – hmm, should I really be doing this now in the midst of so many other changes? And then I thought, but if I don’t start now, what if someone else comes along and uses my title? Or what if I forget about these ideas or lose steam for the project? So here I am. Now. With a podcast that may not be perfect, but is here. And here is always better than perfect.
My hope is that you will be inspired by the stories that people have to tell, that you’ll feel the urge to start your own creative adventures, hit go, and make something happen. And that you’ll find your own brand of crazyfaith to keep you going, the belief that you’ve got this. That faith that keeps you going even when the so-called deck is stacked against you. (And one day, I hope to feature all of YOU on this show, so get to it!)
You’ve been hearing me talk about my upcoming 100 Rejection Letters program (<– click to sign up for the early notice list). I’ve been showing bits and pieces of my work on Instagram. I have poured all of my available energy into creating something that (I think!) is going to be remarkable – both for me and for the people participating in the program.
Man, that is a scary place to be.
It is a place that is filled with doubts, with the what if it doesn’t works, with the Oh, man. I’ve never done anything like this before and I have no idea what will happens.
It’s also an exciting place to be. It’s a place filled with possibility, with I don’t exactly know how to do this, but I’m going to take a breath and go for it anyway. With I could be on to something big – both for myself and my clients – and I have to do this work but holycrap whatifwhatifwhatif.
And if I let them, the what ifs would overtake everything, and I’d just put the project away.
I’d let myself get overwhelmed with everything and never get it off the ground.
I’d do what I’ve done before and just talk about how great it would be. I’d plan and dream and research. But I’d never pull the trigger.
So, deep breath (I need to write another post about the importance of breathing!): Starting October 15, I’m re-committing to getting 100 rejection letters in a year. I owe it to my business to find out what would happen if I tried my absolute hardest to make my work amazing. I owe it to myself to find out what I am capable of. I owe it to my daughters to prove to them that goals are worth going all in for.
And I owe it to you – sweet reader – whom I talk to all the time about taking chances, making out with yes, and hitting go – I owe you proof that it’s possible, that it can be done.
This is my chance to walk the walk.
And who am I to do this work if I can’t walk my walk?
Also, hi nerves. They’re here too. But that’s okay. It’s how I know I’m on to something big.
So I’m here, head down, doing the work. I may not show this on social media and in my writing, but there are so many times when I doubt myself, when I wonder what the hell I’m doing. When I want to just give up and be a stay at home mom or go get a desk job or just not have to try so hard.
And then I take a deep breath and remember what this is all for, and what I want for myself and my clients. And I realize what an opportunity this is to make a commitment and try something, something uncertain, and to declare that I’m going to figure it out as I go.
And I want you to know that if you feel the nerves or the fear or the doubt, that’s okay. It’s normal, and a sign that you’re on to something big.
You get to choose whether or not the fear stops you.
You get to choose to take a deep breath and take the next step anyway.
You get to choose to not listen to those voices anymore.
It’s up to you. I think you know what choice I’m making.
PS. There will be more news SOON about what I’ve got up my sleeve for the Rejection program.