This week has been an incredible rush! I can't believe it's Thursday already. But then there's this music video, and I laugh and laugh. (Kudos to Al and John for introducing me to this.)
So, I made something and showed it to several of you over the weekend (if you're on my email list, you've seen this already). If not, take a look and tell me what you think. September is going to be the best month ever.
You know what I love about being an adult? You have the power to fulfill all of your childhood dreams. I have to remind myself of this when I get busy and my brain gets full of work.
Enter, House With Slide. This is AMAZING. (Though John's first reaction was, "What is that flower thing? Is that a couch. Uggh." Seriously John....that's what you noticed?) More on Handmade Charlotte.
Hey look! A guy who wears a pirate costume every day. (Not that it's the same. I am Napoleon, not a pirate. Totally different, for the record.)
“He’s incredibly shy when he isn’t in costume,” his wife confides. “Good luck getting two words out of him. But in the costume, he just transforms. He becomes just a total ham.” Mrs. Mudbone
I've had the best week. A new hire, a new website (finally), and I woke up at 6am every single day (a heroic feat for me). Happy weekend everybody!
“Put yourself out there and give yourself permission to suck. That’s not to say you should try to suck, but you have to give yourself permission to allow for the possibility of sucking. Without sucking, you’re never going to find your boundaries, and you’ll never push through those boundaries. That’s all it is. Constantly bumping into walls you do not think you can climb and then climbing until you get over them. There’s no mystery to it, no magic. It’s about dedication and constantly trying to improve.” Michael Ian Black, The Rumpus Interview, [via Buster Benson]
I got an email a couple of weeks ago that made me cringe. There were a few low-lying jabs that felt like veiled assumptions about my character and business sense, but the overall gist of it was attempting to be constructive.
I spent half an hour deciding how I felt about it, and I finally came to the conclusion that it didn't really matter. Creativity can't happen in a place where you don't feel free to suck sometimes. And if you're on an even remotely public platform, you have to feel free to suck...publicly.
Whether I suck or I don't suck isn't really the issue (and for the record, I'm pretty sure I don't suck; at least not any more than anyone else). But you know? I have permission to suck. We all do. And if that means I get to try things that end up on the opposite end of the sucking spectrum, I'm going to use mine without apologizing for it.
(Oh yeah...and today's the last day to register for the Tour de Bliss before the price goes up. Trying to avoid tons of last-minute registrations this time around.)
"Opportunities do not float like clouds in the sky. They're attached to people. If you're looking for an opportunity — including one that has a financial payoff — you're really looking for a person." - Ben Casnocha, Why Entrepreneurial Thinking Is For Everyone Now
I love concepts that drastically simplify my thinking.
"...our email seems to call for us to complete the task of removing the unopened item notification in a sort of challenge to gain control over it (the self). Interestingly, these motivations go away as soon as we’ve actually opened all our emails and the mystery disappears. We’re addicted to checking email while there is still variability of reward and once that’s gone, emails languish in our inboxes." Nir Eyal, Want to hook users? Drive them crazy.
So that explains my email addiction.
Nir's article on desire engines is brilliant (and now I understand the rewards that I sent Hot Daters for completing their work wasn't as effective as I'd hoped...they were too predictable!). Of course, marketing companies are always using their knowledge of the way desire works in the brain for their nefarious purposes. But I know you. You'll go and use it for good.
(Hat tip: @TeaSilvestre for sharing this. Thanks!)
Public service announcement No. 754: If you haven't signed up for the weekend getaway yet, you should not do that. It is far too entertaining and useful for a Thursday. Carry on.
Stay up late.Strange things happen when you’ve gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you’re separated from the rest of the world. - Bruce Mau, Incomplete Manifesto for Growth
I really hope this is true. This week, I've been on an high-energy trip working on the Tour de Bliss. I almost want to stop before I crash into a wall, but I'm having too much fun. (Hat tip: Hedger Communications for sharing this).
Last week, I auditioned for a local production of Godspell...and I made it! We started rehearsals Tuesday, and since then I've been gorging myself on Godspell soundtracks. You are the Light of the World is my favorite right now, as I'm putting the final touches on the Tour de Bliss. Letting my light shine feels appropriate.
"Money flows through all our lives, sometimes like a rushing river, and sometimes like a trickle. When it is flowing, it can purify, cleanse, create growth, and nourish. But when it is blocked or held too long, it can grow stagnant and toxic to those withholding or hoarding it. ...
Grounded in sufficiency, money's movement in and out of our life feels natural. We can see that flow as healthy and true, and allow that movement instead of being anxious about it or hoarding. In sufficiency we recognize and celebrate money's power for good – our power to do good with it – and we can experience fulfillment in directing the flow toward our highest ideals and commitments." Lynne Twist, The Soul of Money, pp. 102-103
I've been taking a break from publicly publishing lately to work on the thing-that-is-replacing-hot-dates (except for writing sneak peeks to the sneak peek-ers), but I had to share this. I've been working on my relationship with money lately. The stucknesses and the avoidance and the why-isn't-it-ever-enough-ness. So much flowed through my business last year, and yet I directed most it away from me and my family. The goal was to make things happen, but I realize that I wasn't intentionally making those decisions. I was doing what felt like "had to be done" without consciously making a choice about what would align with my values.
No longer. I'm tired of avoiding money. I'm tired of it feeling icky and blah. I want it to feel like when I plant seeds and am not ashamed when they grow big and tall and beefy (because that's what's seeds do). Seeds are abundant. Seeds are tiny and lovely and full of possibility. Seeds are for sharing and cultivating good things. And you don't need many to grow something huge.
P.S. For more money resources, I've also been listening to Bari Tessler (thanks to Cali, who sings her praises) about the idea of conscious bookkeeping -- I had no idea that such a thing was even possible. I'm back in the groove of using Mint and Hello Wallet to categorize my expenses and make budgets and goals (simultaneously, because I'm having trouble choosing which is best for me). I'm also going back through June Walker's Self-Employment Tax Solutions as I'm preparing for Uncle Sam.
"You are in the stream of life, whether you like it or not, and you have to accept the responsibilities. I would like a few more of the pleasures, but there doesn't seem to be time." Lawrence Weiner
Beautiful film by Hillman Curtis of visual artist Lawrence Weiner. (I would have embedded it for you, but it's not embeddable.)
This "being yourself" thing...it's rather hard, isn't it? I mean, it just is, with all of these little selves running around in the world, bouncing off of each other. You'd think it would be easier.
"It seems obvious that there comes a period in your life where you have to learn how to say no to things that you don't want to do, but I think the biggest, trickiest lesson in holding onto the stalwart commitment to your creativity is learning how to say no to things you do want to do." - Elizabeth Gilbert, The Intelligent Channel interview
I've had a whole lot of practice saying no to things that I really want to do this past year. I think you've got to know the enormity and importance of what you've already said yes to to really do this effectively.
For me, this means:
- Yes, I want to publish on my blog consistently, even though it's not urgent and it doesn't even seem important in the everyday run of things. (I've decided it is VITALLY important to me, no matter what it seems like in the moment.)
- So...no, I don't want to spend so much time publishing on social media; in the limited time I spend there, I will connect with people I like and conversations I find interesting.
- Yes, I want to re-open the program-formerly-known-as-the-hot-dates on March 19th (this is a new epiphany; I will be talking about it more to the sneak peeks people soon).
- So...no, I will not invest my time in that new product idea that I have. It will just have to wait.
- Yes, I want to build digital nations.
- So...no, I will not fill up my time with smaller-scoped projects (even ones that seem fun).
I can't say no to things I'd love to do unless I fully understand the scope and commitment of what I'm saying yes to.
So much fun. By the way, "curated" is such a great word. I know it's getting curbludgeoned by overuse (I think I made that word up), but I will always love it. Almost as much as "cured". Because cured reminds me of ham, which is delicious (on toast).