I used to have a baby business, one where I dressed up as if I knew what I was doing and was incredibly tenacious (hence the stick in this image). 

I used to have a baby business, one where I dressed up as if I knew what I was doing and was incredibly tenacious (hence the stick in this image). 

I've been in business for over 10 years. Some years I've felt like a pro. Other years I've felt like an impostor. 

Some years I have made tons of money (multiple six figures), other years what felt like hardly any (under $30k). Some years I've outspent my earnings and other years I've saved. Some years I've been proud of my accomplishments and at other times I've wondered if I have any talent whatsoever for what I'm trying to do. 

Most years I worked on birthing other people's dreams (and that is a super valid business). In the past few years, I've worked on birthing my own. (This, for me, is much harder but more rewarding.)

I've learned a ton, observed all kinds of interesting trends and fads, tried and failed quite a few different times, and ultimately now care about a shockingly few things in business and in life: 

1. Creative expression. Having an idea and then NOT expressing it is my greatest source of pain. Pretty much everything I do, write, record, make, paint is because it said, "Hey, I'm here. Please make me tangible."

What a blessing, then, to be able to make money from my creative expression! I sometimes can't believe we live in an era where the internet (and so many other ecosystems) make this kind of lifestyle possible. 

Seriously, I sometimes stop myself and thank God we have the internet! Imagine if we had to make our own paint from egg yolks or could only work with those in our geographic region. Our interconnectedness is a phenomenal gift of technology and so magnifies our creative efforts. HOORAY!

2. Relationships. I want to nurture the ones I have in a healthy way and forge new meaningful relationships in the current stage of my life. I want friends who both feel the urge to create and friends who don't. I like the balance.

Finding friends as parents of a young child has been a challenge because "couple chemistry" with other parents doesn't always come so easily and you have the added wrinkle of the little ones about. Many default to befriending the parents of your child's school friends but I want to be more conscious than that.

I also want to reestablish my identity outside of my marriage and parenthood. I want to be Charlotte's mom and I want to be Lauren! It's the push pull of the public and the private space too, as I think having young ones makes you (it does me) less likely to want to be in the public eye. I just want to be at home in my loungewear cuddling and making cookies and stuff.

In any case, my existing relationships are important and it's also been tough finding our footing since getting married and having a baby in quick succession. Justin is amazing at being in touch with people while I'm not as good at it. And when I finally do get together with an old friend I can be so punchy because it's my first adult convo in ages! Hahaha. Sorry Leslie :) 

But relationships: YES. I want to stay on that ride. It's tempting to form our own little three part unit and stay fairly isolated but methinks life is richer when reaching out. 

3. Wellness. For me this is mental/emotional as well as physical. I could write a whole book about the trauma of my life. I'm not sure I really want to because I'm unraveling the layers of that trauma even more now that I'm a parent to a sentient little being. It's giving me a front row seat to my own triggers and transgressions and to my own path to greater understanding, forgiveness and healing. Space, time and support are crucial on this path to wholeness and wellness. As for the physical, I'm paying more attention to it than I used to. :) 

I should probably add financial wellness in there because I think how we care for ourselves, our home, our earth, our relationships, our businesses and our money are all really intertwined. 

So that's basically it. I care about: creative expression, relationships and wellness. 

You probably won't find me writing a ton about physical wellness here, unless I have some seriously insider details that haven't hit the internets yet. You will find me writing about all sorts of creativity- as an entrepreneur, as an artist and as a writer. You'll also find me writing about relationships. 

Here's what I don't care about: 

- The latest and greatest marketing fad. Remember the telesummit trend? Webinars! Podcasting! Member sites! E-books! Gah. I don't have time for that. 

I believe the world, the earth, our spirits are beckoning us to spend less of our time and energy being distracted and fragmented, and more of our time and energy fashioning our own circles of life and business.
— Lesley Austin of Wisteria Sunshine and Rosehip Business

- Most current events (with some notable exceptions). Yeah, label me whatever you want but know that my decision not to engage with most of our news cycles does not make me anti-intellectual or apathetic or guilty for what has transpired. It just means I am really really picky about what goes in my brain. And most of the time I prefer the ladies of GoFugYourself.com to be my inner monologue as opposed to, well, any talking head or news organization at this point. 

- Keeping up with the Joneses. In the same way that I've shut out most news, I now shut out a TON of social media because I found that it made me less happy. If I unfriend/unfollow you please don't take it personally! I basically only want to see luscious and beautiful things on my instagram feed that inspire my creativity and not my jealousy. 

Sometimes looking at certain feeds fed my green-eyed monster in a way that was taking me away from wellness. I want to have a healthy relationship with my consumerism :) 

Oh also, I'm really sick of basic insta channels- you know the ones! They all use the same fonts, the same poses, the same same same. I like feeds that are less curated than perfection. So opting out of those samesies feeds, for me, is a necessity.

I'm glad that number one on this list is paying me money and I'm really excited about the products and services I'm debuting this year. They are all different from what I did in the past, with one exception: after quite a long hiatus I will be offering one-off consulting sessions starting in May. I'll do two per month as that's all this ENFP/Enneagram 7/Highly Sensitive person can handle. 

Here's a bit about what's coming: 

- The Joy|Money Matrix is coming in physical product form! All the supplies, all the transcripts, all the pdfs and oh so much more will be shipped to you :) I'm really proud of this work and excited that it's taken physical form. One of my pet peeves about digital products is the printing of hundreds of pdfs. Ugh. So I'm printing them for you. In color. On gorgeous paper. And give you plenty of the supplies to complete your Matrix. Just thinking about it makes my heart happy! 

- I'm taking an intuitive and internal approach to business and marketing in general. You have heard me talk about Wisteria Sunshine- an online member site that delves beautifully into the simplicity of the domestic. Now Lesley has created Rosehip Business, a sister site to WS that does the same, but for women entrepreneurs. It's equally lovely and has inspired me to follow the dictates of the Joy|Money Matrix- to cultivate joy as I'm cultivating money. 

It means continually turning inward and assessing my capacity to complete something and the timing. It's so much easier of course to say, "This is what I'm doing and when and how." But it's harder and more easeful at the same time to say, "What would you have me do, dear business? IN what ways can I nourish myself and my customers? What does that mean for pacing, for products, pricing and marketing?"

This is a process and requires me to set aside my prior trainings and programming but it's turning up my intuitive powers and showing me support that I never thought possible. I will keep you posted.

- I'm resurrecting a couple of products this year and building some robust trainings (all in good time of course). They'll include a series on More Than Enough, B2B sales for coaches and consultants that does not involve cold calling ever, and the full training on my Magnetic Customer Experience model (with the option to license it and sell it to your clients if you're a strategist or agency). 

So, that's my update for now. I'm posting nearly every day on my youtube channel about things like creativity, marketing, sales, wellness, relationships, so go there if you'd like to connect. 

Love,

L

 

 

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