Be Brave!

Be Brave!
What if instead of being fearless, we encouraged ourselves to JUST BE BRAVE. “Dearest Fear…I recognize and respect that you are part of this family, and so I will never exclude you from our activities, but your suggestions will never be followed. You’re allowed to have a seat, and you’re allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the road maps or suggest detours; you’re not allowed to fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, you are absolutely forbidden to drive.” Elizabeth Gilbert

Hear me out…like you, sometimes my fear gets out of hand. Sometimes it’s uncalled for or all in my head and other times it keeps me safe…like in dark alley ways or sketchy parking lots at night. 
So often we get too far ahead of ourselves and determine all of the reasons why we’ll fail before we even start. Fear will continue to be present in your life at one moment or another and so being “fearless” all the time is impractical, impossible, and pretty unrealistic. If being fearless is undeniably unattainable and we can’t move forward without achieving that state of mind, then in theory the pursuit of fearlessness itself leaves us stuck…indefinitely….no?

Maybe the point is to listen and lean into our courage instead. Perhaps, instead of wishing for life to be easier, we committed to face our fears with strength, confidence and resiliency. It seems to me that brave movement forward, intimidating as it may be, is still progress and I'll take that over fearlessly stuck any day!!

Grit & Grace

Grit & Grace
Grit…it’s quite possibly my new favorite word.

Author James Clear argues that grit is the number one defining element of geniuses:
“How do creative geniuses come up with great ideas? They work and edit and rewrite and retry and pull out their genius through sheer force of will and perseverance. They earn the chance to be lucky because they keep showing up…No single act will uncover more creative powers than forcing yourself to create consistently…” While I’ve not reached all my goals…YET!…I AM hustling for them! I put in the countless hours, I learn new skills when needed, I’m constantly trying new techniques and I make great sacrifices of my time and energy. I do it because I love what I do! It’s worth it and my dreams are worth every challenge, every sacrifice, every stumble and subsequent fall, and yes, the triumphant comebacks, the new opportunities, and the reward of achievement too!

Hustling is Hard! That’s the truth…not gonna lie. It takes next level determination, resiliency, commitment and consistency! I think when it comes to maintaining a habit and not burning out, there's another important piece to the puzzle: grace.

Grace meaning the act or instance of kindness or courtesy. Grace meaning the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful. I realized when I leaned into my grit, my ability to stick with it and keep showing up for myself, I also needed to find grace. I needed to find personal grace and foster kindness to myself. To be gentle and forgiving towards myself when timelines were longer than I anticipated, when growth wasn’t happening fast enough and when I felt like I wasn’t enough!

There are days that the very best thing for me is to take the day off or to keep it super simple. It wasn’t easy in the beginning but I now give myself permission to take those days when I need them. In fact, allowing myself that grace from time to time is what makes it possible for me to stick with it over the long haul. Along with grit, I'm learning grace and I think that will help in the even longer haul. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I’m stepping forward with Grit anchored in Grace!

Dear Sleep...

Dear Sleep...
4 am. It’s that grey area between a Goodnight or Good Morning.

All tucked in and cozy in bed but the silent alarm of creativity goes off and boom, eyes are open, mind is wide awake. You try to fight it by negotiating and rationalizing why you “should” sleep…a busy day, endless to do lists, clients, appts, etc., to no avail. Does this sound familiar to you? 
If it does, you might be one of those Creative Insomniacs like me. We are a special breed of people with masochistic minds. Minds that, when you are ready for sleep, or in the middle of it, choose to explode with activity.

Often the mind wanders aimlessly. Sometimes it goes through how the day went…like Every. Single. Aspect of it. Sometimes it thinks about tomorrows plans; breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sometimes it ponders about work, about hobbies, about love, about life, and about every little thing it possibly can.
“Maybe I should have went to the gym yesterday. Do I actually look good in those green pants? Can my elbow touch my nose? Oh never mind, it can’t. I wonder…how much wood can a woodchuck really chuck? Are woodchucks even a real thing? ”

But sometimes, just sometimes, the mind transforms into a creative genius. An expert mathematician. A philosophical writer. Or an artistic designer. You obtain a state of clarity that empowers your mind. It’s like someone pushed the nitro ignition of your brain. That magical time where creativity and inspiration comes naturally from within. Where you can still dream while being wide awake.

Suddenly your drawings are amazing, your designs are beautiful, and your writings are engaging. Whatever you churn out during that secluded period of the night, embrace it, do something with that borrowed time!! It’s bound to be good. Really good. Right?!

Side Hustle or Full Time Job?

Side Hustle or Full Time Job?
Side Hustle…Is it just a little extra money on the side or a shift of employment as we know it? “With 25% of adults side-hustling today, there is no way back. The genie is let out of the bottle. Those who are underwhelmed and under-financed by their work, but have the appetite, if not the confidence, to go it all alone as an entrepreneur, will not let the chance slip. We can expect growth in side-hustling, possibly even doubling, in the next ten years.” Professor Bernd Vogel, Founding Director of the Henley Centre for Leadership, Henley Business School

This change in mindset has occurred for a range of reasons: Clearly, financial instability in the job market is a key driver. However, I think the most important element is realizing the dream to work for yourself – even if only on a part-time basis in the beginning. That’s an interesting concept to most people! Interesting enough that it’s something most are at least “willing to try”. Many crave more freedom and less “working hours” but we also have expensive tastes! The truth is, the only arena that offers those specific desires for us, IS entrepreneurship!

Going into self-employment is a major step to take for anyone. That being said, a side hustle doesn’t have to cost a lot and therefore comes with equally low risk. You can dangle your toes in the water and get a feel for it, yet still, have your full-time employment. Of course, what that side hustle looks like is completely up to you too. And that’s the power of making the decision to create your own additional revenue stream. You decide your future, how it will evolve and where it will go.

Whether or not you’re ready to leave the familiarity of your current job, I think it’s pretty clear, the attraction to a little side hustle is pretty enticing for a lot of people! The best part is...that we have choice in this day and age to choose what's best for us! And who knows, if you’re anything like me and fall in love with entrepreneurship the way that I have, in a few years’ time, your side hustle could transform how you work completely. That's entirely up to you!