I would pawn you my watch,
I would pawn you my chain,
I would pawn you this golden diamond ring.
‘Cause I need it so bad, I would give you everything
Just so I could start my life over again.
~ Alicia Keys
For many of us, this is a time of year when we can be excited about our businesses.
The promise of a new year is a tantalising mix of possibility, and big dreams. A time for audacious plans, and investigating what’s out there on our horizons.
All around us, we can see others making their plans. Choosing a theme for the year. Writing out goal cards.
But what if…
…all you feel when it comes to your business is trapped, and confused?
…you’re too consumed by overwhelm to dream a bigger dream?
…the thought of spending another year feeling dread opening up your inbox is just too much to even think about right now?
If you’re feeling pretty confident about where you’re at in your business right now, that’s awesome. You’re in a good place, friend – grab it by the you-know-whats, and run like the wind.
If you’re in the ‘trapped and confused’ camp though, I just wanted to take a moment to remind you that as much as it sucks – it’s ok.
The thing is – there’s no point in pushing something you just can’t – and don’t – believe in.
Trying to convince yourself that it’s ‘just teething pains’ (like I did) does nothing other than delay the inevitable.
I remember the relief I felt this time three years ago when I gave myself permission to press the RESET button. I was trapped inside my business, and it was making me miserable. I’d denied it for so long (mainly because I was worried about admitting to my family that I’d gotten it all wrong, and it hadn’t even been a year yet). I was so consumed by doing things the ‘right’ way (or the most ‘effective’ way), that I’d lost myself in the process. And I was paying for it. Daily.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still hard. But now, the frustration is balanced by a feeling of fulfilment. I still have days where I wonder why I think I can even do this, but it’s a kind of frustration that’s short-lived. I know that underneath it all, the foundation is solid. And it makes me happy.
Pressing the reset button doesn’t mean defeat. Quite the opposite. Pressing the reset button means accepting responsibility for where you’re at, and taking the first step towards building something that tugs at your heart strings.
[bctt tweet=”Pressing the reset button means accepting responsibility, not defeat.”]
It might be total, or it might be partial.
You might want to reset certain areas of your business (such as what you offer, or who you offer it to), or you might wanna rip the whole thing down, and start over.
If your heart is calling you to do it, do it.
- Decide you’re wiping the slate clean for a fresh start.
- Decide what (if anything) stays, and what’s out for good.
- Ground yourself in your Primary Archetype (or your Archetypal Blend if you know it), and look for clues as to where you’ve been misaligned, and why.
Either way – follow your heart.
You might just be surprised what you find when the dust settles.
So, as it turns out: my iMac is a spiritual teacher.
Well, I didn’t see that coming.
Wait, let me give you some context.
A few weeks ago, I was feeling stuck. Reeeeal stuck. The kind of stuck you feel where you want to pack it all in, and open a cat sanctuary (feel free to substitute the word ‘cat’ for whatever you’re comfortable with).
I wanted to do/make/say something awesome, but I was uninspired. (OR…I was so inspired that my brain just shut down at the thought of trying to unravel it all – I’m not entirely sure).
Either way, I was stuck. And I was frustrated. I was frustrated at the irony that just when I’m inspired to do/make/say something awesome, I find myself drained of inspiration. Like a petulant toddler, I wailed (silently) to the clouds: Universe…are you kidding me?
So, back to my iMac being a spiritual teacher.
About a week later, I was awake at an ungodly hour, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I knew my husband would be getting up for work shortly (poor guy), and Poppy would do her customary let’s-jump-on-mummy-to-wake-her-up routine within the hour. So, I padded across the landing into my office, and opened the window so I could hear the birds doing their thing (love that time of the morning).
After a week or so of the whole inspired/uninspired torture, I don’t know what I was expecting. But I figured if I could just sit there, in the peace of the morning, something might just come at me out of the blue to jolt me back into being a useful human being again.
And there it was.
With bleary eyes, I read the words on the screen:
“Your connection was interrupted”.
At first, I nearly overlooked this pixel-generated bombshell as a yeah yeah…so what’s new?
And then I read it again. My connection was interrupted.
Wow. My iMac was RIGHT. My connection HAD been interrupted.
I’d been so busy wallowing in the fact that I was seemingly void of anything useful to contribute to the world, that I’d forgotten to do the one thing that I know steers me back to where I should be spending my energy:
Reconnecting with my Archetypal Blend.
When the connection has been interrupted between my heart and my Alchemist and Sage, I feel it deeply. I feel confused. I spend my time on things that don’t serve me (or anyone else). I make poor decisions. I do things that are out of character. I say ‘yes’ when I should say ‘no’. I invest in things I don’t need (Sage wants to figure it out, Alchemist whispers ‘trust your intution‘, Sage wins, another course I won’t finish).
If you already know your Archetypal Blend, it’s simply a case of awareness. Awareness takes practice, and persistence. (Listen, I’ve been running my business from a place of archetypal authenticity for four years, and seemingly even I still have to rely on my iMac to get me out of a hole).
If you don’t know your Archetypal Blend, I’ve made it super-easy for you to find out (in the pay-what-you-can Initiation Kit, which you’ll find here). The test to discover your Secondary Archetype is your first step.
When you’re next feeling not-so-great in your business, ask yourself where you’ve been disconnected from your Blend.
Which of your archetypes is out of sync – your Primary, or your Secondary Archetype?
Are you thinking through one archetype, when you know your inspiration flows from the other?
Which of your archetypes has the ability to get you moving again (both literally and energetically), and what can you do to re-connect with it?
Today, I’d really love to hear from you in the comments below. Come and tell me your Archetypal Blend, and a recent example of where you’ve been disconnected from it. What did you do to re-connect? How did that feel? What flowed from your experience?
(Or, for extra bonus points, come and tell me what you substituted the word ‘cat’, for. I’m genuinely interested to know).
[bctt tweet=”Your connection was interrupted.”]
Prefer to listen to this message? This is for you…
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Without a shadow of doubt, the biggest challenge I have always faced being a solopreneur is this:
How can I sell…without selling out on my soul?
As warm and fuzzy as our hearts may be, the truth is: we need to make money in order for our businesses to survive (and thrive).
Yet time and time again, I find myself thinking – but at what cost?
I know you’re here for the same reason I am: to earn a good living doing something meaningful (to both you, and others).
For me, both parts of the equation are equally important. I take my duty to be of service extremely seriously – yet I’m also not afraid to say I want to be able to provide for my family (and when I say ‘provide’, I mean far beyond the breadline).
But there’s always that little pecking away of my conscience that whispers – but how far away from yourself are you willing to go?
If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s tar everything with the same brush. I am also the least judgemental person you could ever meet. (Aside from when it comes to deciding where to eat. I’m pretty judgemental then – ask my husband, he’ll confirm).
Some of the messages about what it takes to get the ‘six figures’ and ‘reach millions’ worry me.
Although some are offered with the purest of intentions, somehow this still just doesn’t sit well with me. I’m not saying that these methods or strategies are ‘wrong’ – but for many of us, the line is just too thin between soul-sucking and acceptable business practice. A few examples of what I’m talking about:
- ~ Reinforcing your ‘ideal customer’s’ insecurities, to which you position your offering as the solution
- ~ Offering value, but purely with the intention to sell at the end of it
- ~ Methods of tapping into your customer’s psychology, making them want what you offer before they even know they need it (when in reality – they may not even need it at all, but you’ve planted the seed of doubt)
- ~ Webinars that claim to ‘educate’, when really…it’s all just one big sales pitch
Full disclosure: I’ve explored these methods of selling. Ok, so I had to make little adjustments here and there to satisfy my conscience – but yet…
It still just doesn’t feel right to me.
Another full disclosure: I don’t have the answer. Over the last four years, I’ve tried to navigate the stormy sea of selling with as much grace and integrity as I can, whilst still keeping the ship that is my business (and life) afloat.
With that said, I’ve experienced enough to believe – with a big pinch of faith – that it IS possible to earn a good living by promoting honesty over hoodwinkery.
Transparency over smoke-and-mirrors.
Vulnerability over inauthentic words.
Simplicity over more more more.
Trust over strategy.
Depth over deception (no matter how innocent).
Speaking rather than shouting.
Speaking only if it means something…meaningful.
Being who you are – not who you think others want you to be.
Like I said, I don’t have the answers (although I’m getting clearer as each day goes by). In my experience to date, the most valuable tool in helping me achieve a balance that feels good to me is understanding and embodying my archetypes (which is ultimately why my work is so important to me – because I figure if it helps me? It surely could help others, too).
But for now…I just wanted to let you know that if you’re like me, and you fear the trade-off might be too great, it’s not a lost cause.
Icky marketing isn’t the only way. And it’s our duty to stand up for what’s real, and prove that soul AND sales can live together in harmony.
[bctt tweet="Sell-your-soul marketing. So over it."]
So much love…
Ps. Have something to say about this? This topic is so dear to my heart, and your thoughts mean a lot to me. Let’s connect here in the comments below.
So…over the last few weeks (months, actually), I’ve been trying to pin down where I can actually be useful to my community.
I know that many people find discovering their Archetypal Blend (or even just their Primary) immensely life-affirming and useful, but where to from there?
My area of expertise is brand identity design. But the truth is – creating a business that is aligned with who you really are, and fulfils you on all levels, is a multi-faceted journey. You not only need a strong foundation – but you also need to immerse yourself in this way of running a business every day.
I’ve been developing my next course – Noticed – for a while now. Noticed is a course that will teach you how to take your Blend Board, and turn it into an authentic brand identity (and also teach you how to create all the visuals for your business, including PDFs and workbooks etc).
However – following my latest survey, it’s become so apparent to me that many people are just not yet at that stage. They still haven’t answered the big questions, created the strong foundation.
They’re still stumbling on questions such as who am I? What do I have to offer? Who will want it? Why do I want to create it? Why am I even doing this? What’s it all for?
So my plans have changed a little, and I’ve now started creating a new offering – On Purpose.
I’m still trying to figure out what this new offering looks like, but what I do know is that it’s aim is to get clarity around the answers to those big questions (or – if not answers, at least some peace).
I’m thinking about making a five day email course – simple, to the point, and deeply impactful in its simplicity. It will all revolve around that one question: Who do you want to be in your business?
When thinking about this question through the lens of your Archetypal Blend, you can start to go about doing things with intention. From choosing what to do, to the way you do it – it will all be aligned with who you are at a core level, because the intention has come from your Archetypal Blend (and therefore, your soul).
I’m even considering making a little planner-type offering to go with it. A weekly planning sheet for sure, where you filter your ‘Blend Intentions’ into your plans for the week. I might even expand this (if you know anything about me, you’ll know I’m a HUGE planner geek) – I’d love to see it grow into an entire business planning system, that you can just print out and use in a way that suits your lifestyle. I’m currently testing out this weekly planner sheet, and so far it’s been absolutely invaluable.
Anyways – I just thought I’d share all of this with you! If you have any feedback on what you’d find useful, now is the time to share it. I’m deeply committed to doing whatever I can to help you on your journey – and find success, whatever that looks like in your world 🙂
Go big or go home.
Isn’t this the message we’re bombarded with?
That the only way to make an impact is to have a big list? To have a program that fills out? To write a bestseller?
Going big your thing? You’re awesome. Go for it. You’ve got this! Namaste 🙂
Having a little trouble with the whole ‘big’ thing? You know…you’re pretty awesome, too.
Allow me to share this little Rumi nugget with you.
“My heart is so small, it’s almost invisible. How can You place such big sorrows in it? “Look,” He answered, “your eyes are even smaller, yet they behold the world.””
One thing I’ve learned over and over during the time I’ve run this business is that the world doesn’t reveal itself to me in the big things – it unfolds itself in the small, and seemingly insignificant, things.
Every time I’ve focused my energy in the pursuit of ‘big’, I’ve only ever ended up feeling small.
Every time I’ve focused my energy in making the most out of the smaller things, I’ve only ever ended up feeling useful, and fulfilled.
What are the ‘smaller things’?
Sharing reflections spontaneously.
Opening up a conversation.
Sending an unexpected email.
Creating something – not part of a big master plan, but just because you’re being called to create it, right at that moment.
Don’t let the size of things determine what success means to you.
Bigness is awesome, but it comes with a cost. (Both emotionally, and literally).
Appreciate all of the smallness.
It’s the smallest of things that lead to the greatest impact.
[bctt tweet=”The smallest things lead to the greatest impact”]
Ps. Let’s celebrate small together. What small things can you be grateful for? Come and tell me here – I’ve created a special post on Facebook to connect with you 🙂
I remember when I decided to completely change direction at the end of 2013, I was TERRIFIED that I wouldn’t be able to find an ‘audience’.
I’d struggled to get to 100 subscribers in the course of a year in my previous business, and I just couldn’t see how it would be any different with the new business.
Oh…how wrong I was!
I’ve been reflecting lately on how I’ve managed to grow my community to over 16,000 in just over two years, and the truth might surprise you:
I’ve spent less than $150 on advertising in that time.
I’ve never done a list-building drive, webinar or challenge.
I don’t even post on social media about my opt-in.
So…how do I do it?
I focus on providing immense value – with absolutely zero expectation.
Many people focus on the first part of the equation, but I believe wholeheartedly that it’s the second part of the equation that holds the magic.
When I created my Primary Archetype Test, I poured in everything I had into making it…purely because I wanted to create something truly valuable. At the same time, though, I’ve never considered it as a ‘bribe’.
It’s a hugely valuable tool…and if people want to learn more about this work, or take the next step, they’ll naturally want to stay on my mailing list.
But just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that I expect them to.
It’s been said to me before that I ‘got lucky’ with my opt-in.
That I ‘happened’ upon a ‘viral opt-in’, and that that just doesn’t happen to most people.
I find that kind of hard to swallow, because the truth is – I don’t think it’s anything to do with luck, or a fluke.
I put HOURS and DAYS and WEEKS and MONTHS into creating it.
I’m still developing it now (the new test and PDFs will be released with my new website).
I demanded that of myself.
I decided I wasn’t going to go down the easy route with my opt-in. I decided I was going to give it more than my all…and the results paid off (and continue to pay off).
If you’re struggling with how to grow your audience, take a deep breath and think about what would be so completely and utterly valuable to those you can serve right now.
Then create it.
It will take time. It will stretch you in ways you didn’t imagine.
But it CAN be done simply, organically, and without compromising who you are.
[bctt tweet=”Intention + effort + heart = THE most effective marketing strategy. Ever.”]