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When you’re not sure how to begin, continue

Beginning anything is heavy. Expectations and pressure can weigh down even the loftiest ideas — to the point those ideas never catch the wind they need to sail.

Before we start, our ideas grow heavy with fear: this might not work, I don’t know how to begin, my plan is not complete, what will they say, it’s not the right time.

Don’t worry about starting; instead, continue.

Take the gold of what is now and keep going. The future is imaginary.

Don’t waste a moment questioning what is next. Continue.

Embrace mess

Side steps. Mistakes. A missed call. Broken code. Messes are often where innovation is found; the places we release control and let go of “perfection” is the space the unexpected is allowed room to breathe.

Julia Margaret Cameron’s smudgy photographs became her hallmark. Navajo rug weavers intentionally left imperfections in their work. Wabi sabi ceramics celebrate imperfections. Silly Putty wasn’t meant to be entertainment, and Potato Chips were the result of a complaining customer.

The next time you feel like you’ve made a horrible decision or dropped the ball, see if you can reframe the moment as an opportunity.

Have any of your mistakes worked in your favor? Tell me @redheadlefthand.

Avoiding burnout

This is an important question. These six considerations can help:

  1. You can’t be everything to everyone, and that is okay.

2. Sometimes you will be recognized for your work. Sometimes no one will notice. Surround yourself with like-minded people — people who have your back and respect what you do.

3. Take time away. Say no. Know what you need to do your work and remain focused on creating art.

4. “Straight As” are overrated. Show up, earn that “C,” and be on your way. This is perfectly acceptable.

5. Cultivate a toolkit of music, art, dance, sports, writing, meditation, yoga, cooking, and friends. Regularly return to what brings you joy.

6. Remember: Take care of yourself. The world needs you.

ethnic female cafe owner showing welcome we are open inscription

Show, don’t tell

If you want to attract premium clients, selling won’t work. You have to show why someone should buy from you.

Sure, a high-end customer might be ready to pay, and they may want to commit long-term. Why? Because they trust you. They’ve watched you regularly show up and prove that what you say and do align.

Want better clients? Consistently demonstrate you’re worth investing in.

crop man getting dollars from wallet

When your product is “FREE,” is it worth it?

Price isn’t simply an amount, it’s a representation. This is how good we are, this is why you should trust us, this is the commitment, this is the value you’ll receive.

Yes, FREE can help solidify a brand and attract customers. Maybe it can make selling easier. But unless you’re using “free” to establish consistent revenue, is it worth it?

When you circumnavigate hassle with a free label, you might sacrifice perception in return.

Free could just be an easy way out.