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Ins and Outs for a New Year

As one year ends and another begins, take inventory of what needs to stay in 2022 and what you’d like to carry with you into the new year. From creative pursuits to relationship goals, make a list of the “ins” that can serve as guideposts as you take on new projects and decide how to spend your time. For creatives, the ability to commit to making art, regardless of the end result, is particularly important. Make art, make bad art, and block anyone who stops you from sharing it. Seek pleasure and imperfection and look for ways to welcome more wonder and magic into your days.

Scarcity mindsets can be left behind, as well as people-pleasing and comparisons. Throw away pressure to publish “content” into the bin, along with tendencies to edit and overedit your work. Writer’s block is a definite out, and the compulsion to shrink and second-guess intuitive decisions can, too, be shoved into a bag and taken outside.

You deserve all that supports you in creating and growing and thriving. Any other rubbish belongs in its rightful place: in the trash.

Happy New Year, my friends.

Honor the quirk

With all the filters and editing software, it seems we are trying to do away with imperfections. Yet quirks are magnetic. Quirky elements are relatable and endearing — what stops a scroll and captures attention.

This post is an ode to the quirk. A reminder that something is worth doing even if it isn’t exceptional. That art can be created without the goal of perfection. That the greatest entrepreneurial attempts are often imperfect and messy when they begin.

Quirks can be fun and inspiring and a platform for something great.

Just for today, follow the quirks. Embrace them, and look for ways to use quirks in your favor.

Prompt: What quirks have unexpectedly served you? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.

Go on an Inspiration Walk

  1. Set a timer or alarm for ten minutes. Carry this with you.
  2. Start walking in one direction. Resist the urge to check your phone. Instead, pay attention to your senses: What do you feel, see, hear, smell, taste?
  3. If you struggle to focus, concentrate on your footsteps and notice your feet on the ground. What does the ground feel like? What do you hear as your foot strikes the surface?
  4. When your alarm goes off, return along the same route. See if you notice anything different from your initial journey.
  5. Upon returning to your starting point, set your timer for another ten minutes and write about your experience.

This is an Inspiration Walk.

Note: You’re not walking to solve a problem or cultivate inspiration (though either may occur); you’re walking to walk. Often by focusing on the present, the greatest sources of magic are found…

Tell me what you notice @redheadlefthand.

Small business owners have heart

Small business owners are a special kind. We have a lot of heart. This can make decisions — especially when it comes to business — hard.

Whether you’re thinking about scaling, setting up processes, or building a sustainable community, remember to consider what works for you. Your business is a diamond, and each aspect is a facet: content marketing, hiring, planning, YOU. Nurture yourself just as much as the business you’re building and creating and growing.

Entrepreneurship is a long road, and the destination isn’t always certain.

Feeling exposed is okay. Sit in those moments long enough to see if you can find opportunity.

Feeling overwhelmed is normal. Reach out for help or look for ways to make your life easier.

How can I support you? Reach out.

The hunt for joy

Times have been tough for many around the world (including me). While wading through ups and downs, I’ve learned the importance of hunting — an active effort, not a passive longing — for joy.

My wish this holiday season is that you become as relentless as I have become in the quest and creation of joy: joy for self, joy for others, and joy for this puzzling magical surprising world we get to live in.

Here’s to a joy-filled new year and many, many, many more to come.

The secret to getting better at anything

Become an observer.

Notice what draws you in, where your attention holds, and what keeps you engaged.

Want to become a better marketer? Take note of the ads that call to you. What makes them meaningful?

Want to become a better writer? Think about the pieces you take time to read. Why are they magnetic?

Want to become a better listener? Consider how others respond in conversations. Notice how you feel when someone listens to you. What are they doing? What are they not doing?

Want to become a better speaker? Analyze the lectures that made an impact on you. What do you remember and why?

Want to build a better brand? Pay attention to brands that have committed followings. How do they communicate to their audiences?

Of course, practice helps. But without awareness, actions can easily and quickly become unfocused. You need awareness — of both self and of the world around you — to become better.

Start noticing. Make a plan. Then align your actions accordingly.