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Raise your hand if you have plans to launch a business , or dig deeper into a business idea in the new year?

Now,  I’m going to ask you to get real with me, and with yourself, if I had asked you this question last year around this time, how many of you would have the same response?

And now another question, how does that make you feel?

I’ve been there before. Kicking around business ideas for years on end. Telling myself that this, that, and the third had to be just right before I could set up shop. When I worked primarily as a freelancer, it took me awhile before I was able to put myself out there, and advertise my services. And even today, now that I’m doing more branding and marketing strategies for businesses, I still have moments when I want turn my back on all of the discomfort and questioning that comes with putting your ideas out there.

So, what are the three things that are causing you to slow your roll?

 

You Don’t Really Believe In Yourself

Straight up, putting yourself out there as a business owner takes guts. It takes guts to believe that you can do what it takes to get clients, and more importantly, follow up with good work. Ever heard the term, “fake it till you make it?” Yeah, well people with a belief issue, can’t find the courage to fake it. They are sitting on the sidelines, silently willing themselves to get off the bench, yet they stay glued.

So how can you develop more self confident in your business abilities?

By doing the work.

There is really no way, no tip, and or trick around this one. Confidence is just like a muscle. The more you use it, you build it up.  You don’t have to make leaps, you don’t even have to make strides at first. A baby step will totally do. But you must make a move.

 

You Don’t Allow Yourself To Focus

If your business ideas are all over the place, or you are coming up with like five ideas every other day, then I’ll keep it real with you: you aren’t allowing yourself to dig into the type of deep focus that basically allows you to be OBSESSED with your dream, and what you really, really want to create.

Dude, I get it. I’m also one of those people that comes up with a million ideas, and dagnabit, a good number of them are good! But, truthfully, if you are spreading yourself too thin when you haven’t taken the time to develop one thing that you just effin rock at, you won’t be able to move toward your other ideas.

Emile, over at Puttylike, is all about the power of the “over arching theme” meaning, is there a theme that ties your interests together?

My overarching theme at TFLP is “Freedom”. Freedom to define happiness and success on your terms, freedom through entrepreneurship. Freedom to be who you really are.

Freeeeedooooom, freeeeeeedom, freeeeedom!

Okay, I think you get the idea.

What types of overarching themes can connect your interests to one another, until you get to the point where you can hire people to help you execute your other ideas?

 

You’re Refusing To Launch

Perhaps you’re waiting until everything looks “perfect”. Or you’re stuck in comparison land, drowning your sorrows in wine because your blog or website, or biz idea doesn’t look like all of the websites you’ve been digging through rather than focusing on what you have to offer.

It’s killing your vibe big time, and you need to let it go,

Everyone had to start somewhere. And if the person who has a biz that you admire/covet has been around for awhile, I’m sure they had a starter site that looked pretty crappy too.

But guess what?

They launched. They started. They accepted that it was a work in progress, and they got it out there.

 

You can too, my friend.

 

 

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VINYL

 

*Note: This post is for all of my bloggers and reluctant writers who need a gentle kick in the hinny of their creativity.

 

There will be those days when you look at your blog, and with a quickness, you shut that tab DOWN. You walk away from your computer, look at it sideways, and find recluse in whatever distracting task you can possibly get your hands on as quick as possible.

Yes, you’ve set goals. Yes, you feel as if your readers are virtually giving you the side eye, because the only thing jumping on your site these days is crickets, but you don’t care about any of that because dagnabbit, you just don’t feel like writing a damn thing.

I feel you my sisters (and brothers). There have been many times when I didn’t feel like writing. Didn’t even want to THINK about writing, and I’d be lying if I said I forced myself to do it anyway.  In most cases I didn’t.

But in the good name of all that is delightful, and the shit parade that is about to become a barrage of “New Years Resolution” themed-posts, I wanted you to be prepared.

Introducing, my tips for what to do when you don’t feel like writing a damn thing.

You are going to promise yourself that this year you will show up, and show out on your blog weekly. And you’re…I mean we’re not going to break that promise, right?

RIGHT!


So, here are my three ideas/suggestions for things to get your creative mojo flowing. Bookmark this because I have a feeling we’ll need a nifty reminder very, very soon.

 

Number One: Read Something That Inspires You

When I feel as if I have nothing to write about, it usually means that I need to come out of my writerly hibernation chamber a.k.a. my room, and go chat with people or read a good book, article, blog post, something with words that inspires me to get in touch with the words I want to kick out of my head.

I try not to overdo it. It’s super easy to fall into the Internet’s black hole of awesomeness and overwhelm, so you’ve got to watch it. Limit yourself to reading two blog posts, or purposely discover a new blog that challenges the way you see the world, and then retreat to get your wordsmith on.

Good writing makes you want to write. It invokes that antsy feeling that usually translates into you not being able to do something until you verbally vomit. Okay, that’s kinda gross, but you get where I’m going with it, right?

Read to write. It’s a good idea.

 

Number Two: Watch Something That Inspires You

Dude, get thee to Ted.com and watch something that makes your brain shout. Creativity abounds in that camp. Just don’t get depressed because you haven’t been invited to give your TEDx talk that that you’ve been practicing in the mirror yet.

Watching something inspiring, funny, or thought provoking can jumpstart your creative juices, and inspire you to want to explore some thoughts that have been bouncing around in your head for awhile.  One of my fav inspiring talks that I could watch over, and over (okay, have watched over and over), is this one by educator, Rita Pierson. It’s seven minutes of amazingness.

Totally unrelated to the TED genre is this skit by Katt Williams. It’s a few years old, but dude, if you overheard me watching it, you’d think it was for the first time. It’s totally rated R for some of the language, but I swear this video never gets old to me. I laugh every.single. time.  It doesn’t do much to encourage me to write in the way of thinking of topics, but laughter is good for the soul, so therefore I’ll claim it as a cure for writer’s block.

Watch something!

 

Number Three: Read Your Old Blog Posts

Sometimes reading what you’ve wrote before can give you new life and perspective on things you want to write about today. Case in point: this post.

Clearly, writers block was attempting to creep up on me. But I combated it with a trip down memory lane. Seeing the love I’ve put into my blog in the past inspired me to not only keep going, but it renewed my energy and perspective on why I enjoy this so much, and sometimes you just need that.

Go ahead, get lost in your archives right quick. I’ll still be here upon your return.

 

Number Four: Kick It Old School: Write On Paper

Step away from the screen, my friend. I know I’m all Gen Y/ Millennial, so that means I’m supposed to be obsessed with all things technological, but I love paper. Seriously. Take me to the nearest Staples and watch me lose my shit.

Paper represents endless possibilities to me. Thoughts just waiting to drop on the page.  And best of all, if you mess up, or decide you want to say something in a different way, you can cross it out without losing your previous thought that, in a little bit , might actually work better. Paper gives you a space to be messy in a way that typing onto a digital writing pad just doesn’t.

Give yourself some space to just create to jog your brain, and wake it up, and then start writing. Refine, and rock with it.  Just make sure in all of your excitement, you don’t write illegibly, and then blame me later when you’re squinting at your notepad, and trying to type up your post for the big screen.

Alright, that’s what I got. *Drops Bic pen and walks away*

 

Tell me, what could be number five? To all of my reluctant writers out there, what inspires you to put the pep in your step and get to work?

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By now you’ve probably seen it, heard about it at the least, and spent more than a few minutes “ooo-ing and ahhh-ing” it from every angle at the most.

Yes, I’m talking about Solange Knowles’ wedding dress. No, I don’t really spend much time writing about pop culture, but this particular topic fit within the frame of something I wanted to explore.

Fierce, honey!

 

A few months back, a reader hit me up on Twitter and asked me to write about how not everyone wants that white, picket-fence life,  and how there are other life choices out there beyond getting married, popping out kids, and doing the “typical thing”.

I pondered it. And had this been a few years ago, I probably would have been down to ride out, and roll over those picket fence notions, but instead I’ll do something different: challenge you to define your relationship state for yourself.

In terms of what you want, what you never wanted, what you feel pressured to aspire to,  what hasn’t worked out, and what you are afraid of.

Back in the day no one questioned the validity of choosing to go about your life in the way the ancestors have mostly done it. It made sense, and the options were few.

Now, we have more access to more choices. We can travel further, delay commitments, and control so many aspects of our fertility.

And this has caused some chaos.

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I have a confession: I am often so incredibly uncomfortable about over the top announcements of personal life business on social media.

Not because I am anti joy or happiness, or bitter, or any of those negative words that brings to mind a person who poo poos on the positivity of others. Not at all.

I’m not a fan of them because I always wonder why the “the shit has hit the fan” events don’t get the same treatment or bravado.

Why is it okay in this culture of over sharing, that we only show one dimension of ourselves?

I just wonder if we are determined to make our lives a public spectacle, is it fair to ask for honesty when shit goes wrong? Can you update everyone on the bumps in the road too?

If we did this, would Facebook turn into a place for compassion rather than comparison?
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balance-new

I wrote this at 5 something in the morning. Not because I can’t sleep. Please, believe me when I say I CAN sleep. But because if I’m not up writing now, then writing doesn’t get done. And when writing doesn’t get done, I don’t feel good. And the sleep that I am so obsessed with getting? It becomes tainted with the anxiousness of thoughts of what I could be doing with the precious minutes gone by.

A few months ago I wrote about battling the burnout that many creative entrepreneurs experience, and while I feel that I am on the other side of the hump of that struggle, the battle I face now leaves me just as tired.

It is the battle between balancing the duties of my real life, and trying to create all of the things that feed my ambitious soul.
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