SIMPLIFY TO AMPLIFY

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As educational as it has been to become increasingly conscious of my own behaviour patterns and calling myself out on my own bullshit, I have actually become further confused about what I want and who I actually am.

You see, I have defined myself by so many different things over the years, particularly my career, and when I started to question that I began questioning everything else.

I’ve been slowly pulling bricks out of my own walls, and while sitting here in the ruins, I flit constantly between glancing out at my new view as well as trying to come up with a creative solution of what to build next.

But to be quite frank I’m shit scared of arranging these bricks badly and building the wrong thing.

Being present is something I still struggle with, and as my mind digs into the past, projects into the future and tries to apply it to the here and now I’m getting nowhere. 

In fact, I’ve been getting so far deep in my own head that I’ve automatically picked up my old habits and I have been turning to my usual distractions –  Namely, seeking out other people’s shit to deal with so I don’t have to tackle my own.

So I’ve put my foot down and from now on I’m swapping my distraction for action.

I am stuck for the simple fact that it’s impossible to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going.

And if your past experiences keep appearing like a mind montage of epic disaster every time you try to take a step in any direction, then not only will you not move anywhere but you’ll just be sitting in fear forever – which is pointless, torturous and let’s face it – pretty dumb.

So with my new call to action, I’ve thought long and hard as to how to tackle this and I asked myself what does one do if one gets lost in the physical world?

Find your way back to where you started… and try again.

So with this in mind. I’m going back to basics.

Stripping it all down, taking away all the needless fluffy stuff and cutting out the distractions and BS.

First step, I’ve handed my notice in on my work premises (which I’ve come to realise was a decision made by my ego rather than out of necessity in the first place) and I’m headed back to where I started – working from my dining table and seeing clients in the spare bedroom.

Now, I have been EXTREMELY close to dissolving another business of mine but I’ve finally got over myself and come to realise that I’m actually sitting on gold dust with this one – How often does one have the beauty to start all over again with the knowledge of the past years under their belt and some lovely clients already in the bag too?  Not too often I don’t think. 

Some things, of course, are not salvageable but this little enterprise I’ve put my heart and soul into definitely deserves another chance.

So my current mantra is “simplify to amplify”

With this in mind, I’m cutting right back on our company’s offerings, and re-modelling the entire operation to be more in line with mine and my team’s values so that we can serve our clients better and be seen as the kick-ass people that we actually are.

So now I’m back at the start, it’s time to put one foot in front of the other and get moving in another direction.

We will no longer be the jack of all trades.

Trying to please everyone gets you absolutely nowhere at all and over the years I’ve drifted so far from what I set out to achieve and the company I wanted to create that it’s completely unrecognisable.

So instead of saying “Yes” to all things I will likely be saying “No” a hell of a lot more and honing in on the things that make us great. 

It’s scary, I’m not going to lie, but I am confident we’ll come good at the end.

The word “No” doesn’t feature in my vocabulary very often, I would assume partly because I’ve always loved the thrill of just saying “Yes” and figuring out how to do it later, but also (and perhaps more so) because it would seem I have some codependency issues lurking in my closet which have not been serving me well.

The problem with saying “yes” to too many things is, it’s very easy to lose yourself to other peoples demands and expectations and therefore your actions do not come from the heart which never works out in the long run.

Cutting back, simplifying everything and essentially undressing it all has already made me feel so cleansed, I’m wondering why the heck I haven’t done it sooner?!

So if I continue to keep my ego under wraps and remember to always KISS (the acronym for “keep it simple stupid”) then I’ll be well on my way to designing a life (and business) that I love once again.

And as we all know, life isn’t plain sailing all the time (there’d be no fun in that anyway) so when those shit storms do occur I have the words of the great Samuel Beckett to see me through… ”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.”

PEOPLE LIKE YOU

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Whilst sunning myself in Tel Aviv the other week I was devouring a pretty awesome book by Daniel Priestly and this quote really hit home for me.

“THE WORLD IS CHANGING AND SO MUST YOU.”

It was after reading this sentence and the paragraphs that followed that the penny dropped.

I realised my constant struggle and frustrations with business and life was down to one simple thing.

My resistance to change.

Sitting in any place of resistance is not only painful but bloody exhausting.

My stubbornness to continue trying to work the same way that I have been for the last 9 years was getting me nowhere and no matter how long I continue the struggle, it never will.

It’s plain and simple – Things are different now and there’s only one thing for it – we need to let go of the way things worked in the past.

Yeah, sure, learning and understand something new is daunting at first, it looks a lot like work, but after we’ve grasped the concept of whatever it is we are learning then it always enhances our lives in some shape or form. 

Because knowledge is power.

Just as 20 or even 10 years ago it seemed a simpler time to run a business, and arguably a simpler time to run your life, what we actually have now is a wealth of shades between the black and white.  Every single one of us – rich or poor, old or young – has a ridiculous amount of opportunity at our fingertips.

Back in 2000, if you did something quirky, arty, cool or a bit different (ie. what pretty much ALL businesses are doing right now!) people would have a tough time finding you. 

You’d still have to somehow fit your business into the categories of the yellow pages.

Until recently you had to work within a structure and there was little freedom.

Today, there are teenagers across the globe KILLING IT online from just their bedroom with nothing more than a phone with a wifi connection and a desire to send out a message.

There are now millions of small, lean enterprises honing in on serving individuals rather than generic markets. 

You can now have unique things that were made for “people just like you.”

The internet has connected so many.

On the internet no one can be too fussy or have strange taste, we are all part of a “tribe” as we have found others out there who think like we think and believe as we believe.

On the flip side though, there are some very stressed out business owners and entrepreneurs out there who haven’t quite grasped social media and/or are still stuck in the dark ages with all things technology.  I had one sitting at my coffee table yesterday at the end of his tether trying to get some advice as to how to continue on with the one thing he is trained to do and has been doing all his life.

These business owners and entrepreneurs are angry, frustrated and struggling to adapt to the way things are now because they think they haven’t got the luxury of a tech or marketing department and don’t even know where or whom to turn to learn all this new stuff for conducting their business online…

BUT they are missing the point.

It is not social media, e-commerce platforms or opt-in web pages that make people rich or popular.

IT’S THEIR MESSAGE.

All social media does is make them louder.

There is ALOT of noise out there, but the one thing that will cut through it all and speak to the people you want to speak to is your message, and this can be neatly tied up in the “brand of you.”

Comparing yourself to others is simply setting yourself up to fail.

If you just try to copy everyone else, imitate what they are doing and speak how they speak, you’ll get lost in the noise and won’t be heard.

Now, maybe you don’t run a business, perhaps you’re struggling on a personal level online with, Oh, I don’t know, say… online dating??

The same principles apply.  You need to be clear about your message and ensure what you are putting out there is “on brand” and that is the wonderful and unique brand of you.

When it comes to conducting your business life or your personal life, if you don’t know what you stand for or really know the message that you are trying to get across, then no amount of marketing or mentoring can help you put it out there with success – You’ll have very little luck getting noticed, and if you do, the chances are you’ll be attracting the wrong thing anyway.

We’re technically in fun times here. 

Anything goes these days – We can play by our own rules and the scope of which we can explore, create and achieve is limitless.

We’re all thinking outside the box more and more to grab people’s attention in this noisy online and offline world and in doing so our creativity is blossoming.

So relax, have fun with it because I’ve got some good news for you…

Success is no longer only reserved for the qualified or elite.  Anyone can grab a slice of the pie!

All you have to do?

Be unapologetically you.

DREAM TIME

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I stopped dreaming, that’s where it went wrong.

As life picked up pace and workload and social engagements filled my calendar, my quiet thinking time got less and less. 

I stopped allowing myself the necessary time and space to dream.

I was hurtling through life and energised to build my business and get the most out of everything. 

I was on a mission to put myself out there as much as I could.

I had a one-track mind – to be the best that I could be, to do all that I was capable of and to learn as much as I could. 

I was striving for success on a daily basis, and at the time… I was loving it!

Everything was new, exciting and I was wide-eyed at the scope to utilise all my skills, explore all my abilities, learn from all around me and build something that was all mine.

I conditioned myself to say a huge fat “YES” to everything and just figure out how to do it later. 

I worked hard and celebrated harder when I pulled shit off.

I was untouchable, surfing the waves of wonder and I had completely turned my life around.

I was light years on from that broken 21 year old who spent her Christmas that year in rehab.

I was 100% not going back to the painful years I had put myself through and I had no desire to!

I finally had a vision.  I had a purpose.

I knew with every bone in my body that if I could dream it and I then believed it, I would 100% achieve it.

And I was right. 

Whatever I put out to the universe, it came back at me two-fold.

I “kept my side of the street clean” – made sure I was doing the right things and the rewards just kept coming.  Work came in, ideas materialised, I bumped into the right people and I was presented with amazing opportunities. 

I was content, I was vibrating at a high frequency and life just flowed.

Some years down the line, however, those waves took hold of me.  Somewhere along the way while I was riding my ‘surfboard of glory,’ I got knocked off.  Those waves took me under, churned me around and have spat me back out on the beach – exhausted, weak and half drowned.

I veered onto the wrong channel and I’ve certainly been vibrating at the wrong frequency for some time now.

I didn’t go on holiday for a couple of years when starting my business, I didn’t need to.  I was too excited about making shit happen here and I didn’t want to go away and miss a thing!

Mini breaks and holidays soon became a great little recharge zone for my mind and body. 

In the early years, they really gave me a chance to come away from it all, gain some perspective, work out what needs to change and what I need to do. 

I used to come back rejuvenated, with a clear plan of action and ready to put it into practice!

Over the last couple of years though it seems my mental rubbish and negative thinking has been sneaking itself into my luggage. 

I’ll gain a fraction of the perspective I used to and then have to busy myself abroad to distract my mind from whirring around anxiously with the same problems and not finding a solution.

It’s pretty shit being miserable on a beach.

I’ll recharge marginally and have some ideas but then as soon as I’m back, my familiar surroundings trigger old behaviours and thinking and I’m back staring at the same shit heap with no plan how to tackle it.

I’ve got a trip coming up to Israel in a couple of weeks which I am (now) mega excited about! 

It nearly didn’t happen. 

I was supposed to be going this week but a work opportunity presented itself and then I felt I didn’t deserve a holiday anyway so was going to forfeit the flights and just get on with things here.  THANKFULLY after a few days and a bit of soul searching I came to realise that I needed to get away now more than ever!

I’m going to be just me in another country. 

Apart from the clothes in my luggage and some toiletries, that’s all I’ll be taking from here.

3 days alone, just me, myself and I.  I will do as I feel, feel as I do and hopefully rediscover what lights me up.