Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let it be

Hooshing Pooh sticks
Got some VERY good advice from a new client and hope-to-be friend the other day.

She's a professional coach.

There are lots of them out there.  Guess we all need a lot of help.

Mercifully I have met five or six really genuine people who are genuinely good at the gig and completely enthused and professional about their undertaking.  Elvira, Darla, Sara, Angela, Michael, Carole, Grace and others are people who have reinvented themselves in mid-life to realize their real ambitions.

So what was the advice?

"Acknowledge yourself!"

It is incredibly easy for the solopreneur to get down on himself.  (Please allow me to forgo the nonsense of the politically-correct s/he debate!) When business starts to go sideways, as it always and inevitably does, we have only ourselves to blame and for some of us that's when our skills really come to the foreground.  I know in my case that if business slips - as it has done precipitously this year - I am first in line to dump on my efforts to regain momentum and revenue.

It's a real Catch-22 truth be told.

So, what my new friend suggested was this - give yourself some credit for successes achieved and realize that this downturn is not the end of life as we know it.

So, part deux, when Gabriel and Samuel and I were at the lake a few days ago, Sammy decided to hoosh Pooh sticks.  (Read your Winnie the Pooh if this reference is not familiar.)
I thought what a great exercise and something we all need to do from time to time just to collect our thoughts and celebrate even the smallest achievement.  

That stick being hooshed above may be in Niagara or Hamilton by now.  Or, it may be back on the beach here in Oakville just feet from where Sammy set it adrift.  But you know what?

He doesn't give a duck fart 'cause it was fun to set it sailing and so I'm going to start hooshing a few Pooh sticks myself.

Business will improve.  It will require work and focus and discipline and all those other grown-up things we have to do BUT it will also come back because we can acknowledge our success and talent and take comfort in the challenge knowing that inherent talent and stick-to-itiveness will pay off.

At least, that's what I think.

Pick me up

No, don't click on this.  Click on the link below.  This is just for prettiness!
Check out the video on my friend Angela Kontgen's blog in the about Angela section: Might perk you up if you need it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Greening your outlook
All of those art-based fields are similar in that they're all hard to make a living in and they all require an intense amount of training and discipline.
Alicia Witt

An unabashed trick hook in the header to bring in those thinking about the environment.  On reflection though, I guess this little missive is about that too.  However, it is more about the mental environment in which the creative solopreneur operates than the external issues about carbon footprint, oxygen depletion and saving the great whales!

This all started with my feeling green with envy about my friend and colleague Darla Campbell ( continuing to post to her blog every freakin' day for the past 3 months (or something like that) while she runs her business, maintains a healthy family relationship, helps others in our Muses & Masterminds group, and well just seems to keep it together in a highly-productive fashion.

So, rather than wallow about in a comfortable pursuit of one of the seven deadly sins, I started to think about what enabled her to accomplish so much while I feel good if I get a few moments of introspection transferred to paper every few days.  

Yup.  Discipline and training your mind.  

Those of us who labour in the creative field do so knowing that what Alicia Witt writes about in the quote above is bang on, but we also can occasionally slip into lassitude (A condition of the body, or mind, when its voluntary functions are performed with difficulty, and only by a strong exertion of the will.)

And, maybe, that's when the deadly sin of envy is equivalent to a good slap upside the head to get you thinking about what can bring you out of the doldrums.

So, Darla - thanks for the inspiration.  I won't commit again to trying to blog meaningful stuff every day 'cause that's not within my reality but I will be mindful of the need to train my mind to stay on track and in focus.  

Oh, Sara, Carole, and Bob kind of piss me off too with their ability to remain on target.  However, maybe together I can start to drag you all down!!