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Cute Demon DevilWhen I started working on The 2016 Almanac this year, my social media feed and inbox seemed to be just crammed full of other people’s planners and Kickstarters for planners and creative planners and planners for artists and sparks and passion and documented planners.

It totally triggered me.

My first response was to rage and deny.

No. This was not helpful – but it’s honest and that’s what happened.

I am a closet type-A personality.

I am aggressively competitive, but don’t like to lose so I pretend I’m not competing.

It’s all very passive-aggressive and stupid… but we are often not rational and these are the things that I do.

Take it for whatever it’s worth.

However, to remain sane in business – this competition thing needed to be looked at, so I did what I didn’t want to do…

I investigated my competition – which I was super afraid to do.
 
 

The fear is “not good enough”

The fear was that I would investigate the competition and find out that what I do isn’t good enough, everything else is better and what I produce has no value.

I feared that I would reveal myself as unoriginal, uncreative and having nothing of worth to offer the world.
 
 

Nothing less than

total worthlessness.

 
Nice – and we wonder why our fears can have power over us.

 
 
Still… it’s not true – and is actually kind of a dumb response.

The Almanac is a very popular item in my biz. I sell a bunch of them every year – even to returning customers who have previous editions and don’t need to buy the new version (except that they want to upgrades).

2016 Almanac boxshot

The Almanac is obviously valuable – to my clients and to myself, considering that it’s how I function in my biz. It’s what I use to keep myself focused and on track and bringing my ideas to fruition in the world.

…but fears aren’t logical.

Fears aren’t based in truth or reality.

Fears come from a misunderstanding of the truth.

Fears come from a mistaken belief in scarcity, limits and “not enough”.

Even the idea of “competition” is a lie… but I’ll get there in a minute.

What I needed to do, was to do the thing I feared – investigate all the planners that were crossing my path.

They were there for a reason.
 
 

Walking into the fire

Fire_of_St._John_in_Soultzbach-les-bains_2015So I did.

I spent a couple hours investigating every planner that showed up in my sphere.

My initial reaction was fear and resistance and armouring against…

Against a perceived enemy that didn’t exist.

There was nothing here that could hurt me.

True, there were good planners and ideas that I wish I’d come up with… but there was nothing there that made my offer less valuable, or less worthwhile OR less suitable to my customers.

I started to see how different planners could work for different people with very different modes of operation.

I started being inspired by the differences I was seeing between the planners available and seeing how some ideas could be changed and tweaked and then incorporated to use for my own purposes.

I started being able to appreciate other people’s ideas and my own as a result. I started to become grateful for my own perspective and vision since NONE of the planners that I investigated would work for me better than my own.

I began to really appreciate what I had made and be grateful that I had stuck with it.

I’m glad I bound myself a copy and I told myself I wouldn’t start in it until 2016, but I can’t help it and I’ve already started using the “Scribblings” section.

I started to really appreciate my own unique experiences that created The 2016 Almanac – because I keep depending on it, and it keeps working for me.
 


 

The thing about competition

It’s not real.

Competition is an idea based in scarcity.

“Limited people with limited resources.”

What's after the finish line? Another race? Another finish line? How many do we need to "win"?

What’s after the finish line? Another race? Another finish line? How many do we need to “win”?

Is a lie.

There’s more than enough people. There’s more than enough resources.

Lots of competition in a category is a good sign. It means that there are a lot of people interested in that thing; there’s a lot of opportunity for creators.

One planner I saw was 3000% funded on Kickstarter.

That’s a LOT of people saying yes to planners.

The thing about competition is that you’re not competing against someone else’s ideas or product. What competition is really about is getting good at listening to your own unique creative voice and producing the things that are exactly perfect for your people.

The Almanac planner is not designed for the people who want other kinds of planners – a sleek, slim executive planner is not what I wanted or created. The Almanac is designed for my customers.

My customers don’t want an executive planner… they want some room to be creative, but they don’t want a scrap book either.

That’s when it finally hit home – how being connected to our higher guidance and listening for direction is SO FUCKING IMPORTANT.
 
 

The Planner that finally hit it home

1449608896638When I stumbled upon the Unplanner in my competition investigation I was filled with the bad feels.

I felt so jealous at how wonderful it all was and so much stuff came in the kit and so hands on… and so intricate… and so much to do… and so much to create… and how long would it take to make a page… and when would I have time to use all the little do-dads and gee-gaws… and oh my god it’s a scrapbooking chore, not a planner!

That was the moment that it really hit home – we make very particular stuff for a very particular set of people and the better we can get at that process, the less competition is going to be an issue because our people won’t want anything else but the stuff we create.

I love the Unplanner and think it’s super cool… but I don’t want it. None of my creative entrepreneur customers will want it either. It’s too much creative energy put into scrapbooking a planner as opposed to using that to plan their year and focus their creative energies on their own creative business.

That was an ah ha moment.
 
 

 
 

The 2 fold lesson

Know yourSELF is a constant theme in my life… and probably yours since you’re here.

The quest to know mySELF is ongoing and layered like an onion.

Listening to the inner guidance and following it’s direction on what to create in business is golden and repeated, ad nauseum over here… no, I won’t ever stop reminding you – I promise.

This is YOUR FIRST JOB in your creative entrepreneurship – follow the voice of higher SELF. You will recognize it by the flutter of joy it brings.Should-My-Pants

I shit you not. These are the real sign posts; fun, laughter, joy, excitement… lightness and possibility – those are your guides.

Any sense of “chore” or drudgery and we’ve fallen into the “should” ditch and we’re no longer on the path.

No one wants to “should themselves”.

Take a minute to refocus on joy. Ask for the fun and excitement – that’s where all the abundance is. Re-situate yourself in alignment with enjoyment and you’re on the right track.

And then…
 
 
 

Give thanks to fear.

 
 
 

Take a minute to thank our friend fear.

It never fails to direct us where we need to go.

Fear indicates dirt on the window.

Fear indicates a misunderstanding of the truth.

Fear indicates a lie about life and those are always good to clean up.

Embrace the fear of another person’s gifts.

Embrace and connect to the resentment and jealousy… FEEL and allow the resentment and jealousy…

THEY ARE the door to appreciating our own genius and talents and becoming grateful for the unique beauty and perspective we bring to the world.
 
CircleLeaves
 
 
 
 

I recognize the divine dwelling within you is the same that dwells within me.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

xox
Lezley
 
 
 
 
 

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I had a dream the other night where I was asked what I really cared about… what was most important to me.

Without hesitation I said, “I care most about doing everything I can to help people follow through with their passions and desires here on Earth.”

You came here to be a mirror to others of the truth you feel in your soul. You did. It’s real. Go do it.

I had to take a good, long, hard look at what I really wanted my life to be and what I was willing to create and have in my life.

Finally at 40, I’ve stopped waiting for permission.

Promise…

I had trouble with this the first few times I tried. I cried. I resisted. I cried some more. I could feel the truth in my words as I spoke them to myself and it made me weep to know that I could trust myself to always love me. No matter what. It’s still a […]

Seconds…

Then there was me… Seriously, Keith’s a saint for putting up with the noxious smells that come from my ass. I love you baby.

Firsts…

Ah yes… the first time one of you passes gas in front of the other. There is love here.

Love Returns

I love the birds… anytime really, but especially in spring. I love the moment when I hear them for the first time of the season – it actually gives me a little thrill. I love the birds, they make me happy. That is all. Actually, that’s enough.