Demetri Martin, "This is a Book"

Demetri Martin, “This is a Book”

This year has been a bumpy one for me.

It’s my first year full-time at and that didn’t go nearly as smoothly as I would have liked (more about that in the New Year with the Harvest).

It has been a sharp learning curve in ways that I hadn’t expected either.

Like the trusting yourself gut check.

The “Trust YourSELF” Gut Check

make things = know thyself KleonI thought I was pretty familiar with the gut check.

Most of the big learnings in my life have come through either listening to or ignoring the messages from my gut… the little niggling questions… the tiny sick fall of my tummy… the coldness in my hands and arms… the flutter of joy and laughter… and then investigating further to find answers.

That works well in our private lives where we have the freedom to choose a different path – but it’s not often a tool that we can make full use of when we’re working for someone else’s business.

We can’t say no to a project that our boss hands over, even though the drop in our stomach warns us that it’s going to be a crappy slog.

We can’t end a toxic client relationship when we work for someone else. (Some bosses claim to support the idea of severing ties with overly demanding clients that cost us much more than they’re worth – but they never follow through. In the end, the client always seems to get what they want – regardless.)

We can’t branch out and offer our customers alternative media options and information when the company we work for doesn’t support education – even though your ‘gut-sense’ is ringing a bell that this is for SURE going to be a win AND you’ve got a jump on your competition.

NONE of these are our decisions as employees… and I realized I’m out of practice listening to my gut when making business decisions.

I spent a good part of this year following “should” do’s because that’s what I’m used to in business. That’s the frequency and the energy that I’ve lived with in regards to business for most of my life.

We all do.

There’s an awful LOT of “shoulds” working for someone else.

Black Twitter Icon We don’t have to bring those shoulds to our own work. In fact, we CAN’T. [Tweet this].


I “shoulded” away most of the summer

When I decided early this year to jump back into education in a big way, I started planning workshops and classes in real life.

What a nightmare.

Stomach stones.

Stomach stones; when you don’t pay attention to your gut.

Seriously – if I had been paying more attention to my gut instead of thinking that’s what I should be doing because it was guaranteed to make some money and that’s what every else said I should be doing – I wouldn’t’ve wasted all that time.

It was a drudgery.

I was excited about planning the classes and what I would teach – but the idea of teaching in a classroom or art centre dropped my energy like a rock.

And I kept pushing… and it kept being a rock wall.

Nothing would move forward.

That’s another clue – when things are slow and don’t move and feel like they’re stuck – we’re either on the wrong track or the timing is off.

Again and again in life, when we’re on the path, when we’re connected to the Golden Thread – things happen almost effortlessly and synchronistically.

This isn’t to say that we don’t have jobs to do in our biz that are less fun than others.

"Yeah! Book-keeping!!!"

“Yeah! Book-keeping!!!”

I don’t know anyone that really likes book-keeping, but I don’t put it off the way I procrastinated trying to get workshops to happen in this city.

Plus – the results of the book-keeping is an uplift in my energy. A sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at a job well-completed.

I was getting NONE of that with the workshop plan.

So I shelved it.

I said to myself, “This isn’t working. It’s not fun. I don’t like it. Good-bye.”

I thought that would be that, but there was still something there… there was still a niggling in my gut about the classes. It was unfinished business.

I had started working on them because there was a legitimate interest and excitement about teaching art…

I sat with the question – how can I make this fun… and I realized that selling classes online was TOTALLY hitting all the buttons. All the fun and none of the crap that makes it a chore for me.

Gut check for the win.

The Hot/Cold Biz Test

Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 11.07.00 AMIt was with interest that I read this article from Jennie Shih last week.

I Eff’d Up: How I Failed My Way to Success prompted me to write this post, since I saw the value in sharing these simple truths about navigating our creative entrepreneurship with wisdom.

Jennie navigates her business through the hot/cold test – what does she love to do? Do it!

Not so much? Axe it.

It’s simple advice – that we may assume everyone already knows and follows, so we don’t speak up and don’t share.

hot mug cold mug white mug blue mugThe fact is – we do probably know this, on some level – but the sharing and the power of the reminder is what makes it valuable.

Jennie’s article reminded me that I had made the same decision to navigate my business based on love, joy, fun and excitement.

Not only is it the best advice to living – it turns out it’s the most lucrative too.

The products and services created in love and joy and excitement have consistently yielded MUCH better returns than the shoulds.

Black Twitter Icon Ditch the shoulds. They just get our underpants dirty. [Tweet this].
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