creative entrepreneur

What an Irish Goddess Can Teach You About Writing & Marketing Your Practice

If I had one wish for you, it would be that you would stand sovereign in your story and in the marketplace. Sovereignty is at the heart personal fulfillment and professional success. When you are sovereign, you are the confident, compassionate ruler of your own life. You don't assume that you can control everything, but you are sure of your worth and guided by your dedication to the greater good. For the healer, therapist, or coach who wants to change lives with her vision and her work, sovereignty is a beautiful thing to aspire to.

A quick Irish history lesson (and a good story to tell over a few pints of Guinness!)

But, before it was applied to the modern individual, “sovereignty” has belonged in discussions of royalty and statecraft.

Goddess by Moira age 5
Goddess by Moira age 5

At the heart of Celtic myth - and particularly Irish myth - sits the Sovereignty Goddess. She is divinity made flesh and an embodiment of the land itself. In order for the king to take the throne and guarantee the fertility of his realm, he had to win favor with this otherworldly woman. And then she took him to bed to seal the deal.

Across mountains meant to be her breasts and across rivers meant to be her blood or tears, battles were waged in her name. The Sovereignty Goddess did not rule, you see. She was the power behind the throne. Or, perhaps, it's better to say the power before the throne.

She supported his royal cause and she crowned the king, but then, she had to stand aside and let him define his own destiny.

Centuries later, when the Irish peasantry struggled under English rule, the Sovereignty Goddess represented dreams of independence. This time a fairy woman, the goddess would appear to young men in a dream and incite them to take a stand for themselves, their people, and their country.

(Does this sound a but like what you do for clients? You help them along their journey of becoming and giving them the tools to succeed on their own, right?)

What does the Sovereignty Goddess have to offer the modern transformation professional?

History is starved of powerful women, so this influential creature is a welcome shot of the feminine. Certainly she got my attention when I was a student, just as she got the attention of the people who used these myths to understand their world.

But a couple of generations of feminist literary and cultural criticism has taught us that “and then a woman appears” is not always a sign of gender equality and empowerment.

Though seducing mortals and actually being a country is all very fabulous, it’s quite disempowering. The goddess is momentarily star of the origin story, but then she is pushed offstage until the hero decides to invade a neighboring kingdom in her honor.

With this in mind, what can a kingmaking, rabble rousing Sovereignty Goddess do for the transformation professional on their own quest to change the world?

Well, being an essential part of the prologue or “just” having a recurring role in the supporting cast is actually what being a healer is all about.

5 Lessons About Storytelling & Marketing that Only a Sovereignty Goddess Could Teach You

When you’re a therapist or healing professional writing in support of your own work, the Sovereignty Goddess can be the perfect model.

As the writer or the healer, you’re not the star. The reader is the hero. The client is the hero.

Your role is to awaken, inspire, support, facilitate. Though you hope to sustain a long term relationship with your readers and your clients, the focus is on their process and growth, not your role as guide.

Here are five ways to embody the Sovereignty Goddess and make a difference in your business and in people’s lives:

  1. Live the Legend: Like the Sovereignty Goddess, you need a powerful legend. Through your writing and branding, you can build visibility and a strong reputation that invites people to learn more about what you offer. Intrigued by your story as well as the social proof (what people are saying about you), prospective clients (or, perhaps, perspective heroes) will be excited to explore how you can help them rewrite their own stories.
  2. Embrace the Magic: The Sovereignty Goddess used magic to turn commoners into kings and warriors. In our contemporary world, we have our own kinds of magic. After all, there’s something just a little mysterious in that alchemical process that turns ideas into words that help your ideal clients understand that you're the one who can help them become healed and whole.We create and connect to magic through stories. When you sit down and write out your vision for your clients, describing what sort of transformation you know is possible, you are taking the first step in making heroes who, in turn, can be sovereign in their own lives.
  3. Exercise Choice: Just as the goddess has the power to name her consort, you have a similar power when you decide on your ideal client and reader. Choose someone who has the life experiences that your stories can speak to. Write for people who seek the outcomes that your work can promise. It’s in being choosy and specific that you’re most effective, telling stories that go deep and doing work that changes lives.
  4. Seek to Empower: When that young man laid down with the goddess, it was guaranteed that he’d arise an empowered man ready to make his own way in the world. Your hero client/reader is going to use the seeds of your story to create his or her own great narrative. Ultimately, this is what you want: your audience’s new sense of success and happiness originates with you but does not permanently depend on you.
  5. Practice Trust: The Sovereignty Goddess understood her role in the grand scheme of things: kings would pass on and young upstarts would need her to help them take their place. She trusted that in every king’s court, her story was told around the fire - the modern equivalent of being shared on the Facebook wall, the Pinterest board, and the Twitter stream.Create content that matters to you and is designed to speak to your ideal readers and you can trust that your good work will inspire your hero client to share on your story (most likely by crediting your supporting role in their own remarkable journey).

This St. Patrick’s Day, as we celebrate all things Irish (both pagan and Christian), I’d be grateful if you shared the Sovereignty story with your community - who knows what getting in touch with their inner Celtic Goddess might do for them!

Do you need help discovering and telling your own Sovereign Story? Check out my writing coaching services.

If you're longing to meet the Sovereignty Goddess within, I can help you connect to her during a Creativity Healing & Coaching Session.

I’ve got a creative problem for you, Liz Gilbert, but I am almost too afraid to ask for help

I’ve got a creative problem for you, Liz Gilbert, but I am almost too afraid to ask for help, #365StrongStories by Marisa GoudyElizabeth Gilbert, the magical creature behind Big Magic and Eat, Pray, Love is inviting us all to come to her with our creative aches and pains. (See her Facebook post here.) As we prepare for house guests to arrive - scrubbing just enough to make the place look decent before our families destroy the place again - I’ve been writing and rewriting my 100-word submission in my head.

You can read what I'm sending below, but first, an admission: I’m afraid to admit I have a creative problem.

So much of creating and manifesting a livelihood and leading a life seems like a head game. “Your thoughts create your reality” and “Where the mind goes, the energy flows” and all that… If I spend a day thinking up all the ways I’m a pathetic creative lost in the woods who needs a brilliant best selling writer to save me am I giving up whatever creative power I have? Thing is, being afraid to ask for help, of course is by far more isolating and disempowering. This crafting a business and doing the creative work is hard enough. Let’s all hold hands and ask for guidance and healing when it’s offered.

My Magic Lessons Submission

As a “creative entrepreneur,” I try to make the writing I love to do serve the work I have to do as a writing coach.

I launched my #365StrongStories project to give myself a creative outlet and to show potential clients that it’s possible to “create content” (Ie. tell stories) every day. Most of the time, however, I seem to end up in a no man’s land trapped between the stories I want to write and the stories that I hope will help me build a business.

Entrepreneurship is a necessary creative act, but it threatens my true creativity.

Writing for the Web Is Crushing Your Creative Spirit

Writing for the web is crushing your creative spirit. Marisa Goudy, Writing CoachLast week, we explored how to take a story from your own life and shape it into a narrative that bolsters your visibility or furthers your business. The goal is a simple one: connect to the reader through a description of a personal experience and then offer some useful or inspiring content that makes the reader the hero.

Essentially, invert that high school essay writing funnel: go from the narrow personal tale to the more universal message that speaks to the interests and concerns of your tribe.

I devoted two posts to this Art of Using Personal Stories In Professional Writing.  One was a basic “how to” and the other was devoted to modeling the process.

Part of me hates that advice and part of me stands by it… because I am about to do it again.

Note: I’m defying the form I just offered you and inverting  the “personal to universal” funnel.  I may switch to another metaphor completely. 

Since this post is about identifying and defying rules - as well as owning up to the pain of the online writing process and honoring the needs of your own creativity - funnel nixing and metaphor mixing seems acceptable.

But first, let’s establish some more rules - just so we can have the pleasure of breaking them. And so we can admit how we all feel a little broken by all these bloody rules.

Five “rules” for writing for the web

 When you’re trying to follow typical internet writing conventions, you make sure that every web page or blog post is:

  • Focused - Devote yourself to one central question or theme. Go deep rather than broad and realize that most of your big ideas are actually the foundation of dozens of different articles.
  • Brief - This isn’t just about word count since important, “substantial” posts of 1500 - 3000 words can be highly successful. Be sure to break ideas into bite sized pieces so that the distracted reader can digest what you’re trying to say.
  • Clear -  Even if the goal is to raise questions for the reader rather than simply dole out a bunch of overly simplistic “shoulds,” don’t muddy the waters with your own ambivalence.
  • Actionable - Every post should be the beginning of something - an ongoing relationship because the reader signed up for your list or the first step in the buying journey. You’re missing a huge opportunity if you don’t invite your reader to take a next step when they reach the end of the piece. 
  • Fascinating - Well, at least be interesting... The previous four rules are pretty irrelevant if you're boring the reader.

You and I will ignore those writing for the web rules (is that ok?)

Rules are made to be broken, of course, and you can point to a zillion successful articles that annihilate these conventions. Such posts compel you and even go viral because  they’re aimed right at the collective sense of concern, outrage, or “awwww, so cute!”

One thing about those rule-breaking posts though? Readers may comment and share them, but they probably aren’t spending any money based on the content they've just consumed.  It’s hard to invest in a writer or a company who rambles about their own confused state of affairs....

It’s important to remember - the “be focused, brief, clear, and actionable” aren’t just guidelines that exist “because the internet.” They’re just good business sense.

If “the confused mind does not buy,” then the confused entrepreneur does not attract buyers.

But what if you don’t feel focused and clear in your writing (or in your thinking)?

As I said, I kinda hate the advice I gave about using your personal stories to frame a bit of useful business information - but I believe in it enough to do it again (and again).

Telling you about my ambivalent, nuanced relationship with the blending of personal storytelling and forwarding a brand doesn’t make for focused, brief, clear, actionable prose. So, most of the time, I keep the existential angst to myself.

I tell part of my story about storytelling, hit publish and feel just good enough that I offered my readers something authentic and worthy of their time.

But then I stew. For days.

I fill a couple dozen journal pages, questioning the role of entrepreneurship and storytelling in my life. I analyze my place in the entire capitalist venture. I long to abandon business and blogging and all the well-meant advice so I can hole up with a word processor and a dream of being a novelist.

Ok, so I don’t do this every week (I’d end up in alone, likely  in a van down by the river), but when I do get myself into this state, I write headlines like:

For I Will Go Mad If I Write Only for the Marketplace

I long to spool out meandering paragraphs that go on for pages, expecting the reader to stick with my muddled quest for clarity simply because she loves being along for the artist’s journey…

Invariably, I swing the other direction, glad that I’ve given up dead poets and all that opaque academic writing for the vibrant, immediate world of the creative entrepreneur.

I trust that there’s room in my life for the personal writing, the fiction writing, and the business writing.

I hate tangling my creativity in business goals and online writing rules. (Except when I don’t hate it.) 

This, my friend, is not the stuff you blithely toss on the blog and share to LinkedIn with the expectation that new clients will start tying up the phone lines.

Why am I revealing all this anguish? Anguish I cooked up by publishing my own useful, business-focused blog posts? Because I think you’re going through something similar.

This writing-for-your-business stuff doesn’t always feel good. What’s the source of the pain?

Your writing process is often a burden or an unanswered "should." Let’s be honest about why all this blogging and guest posting and website content creation is hard - or even painful.

Here are 5 reasons that the creative entrepreneur resists the writing-for-your-business process (at least some of the time). 

  1. Creativity doesn’t like serving a single-minded master - particularly when that master is concerned with doing what’s necessary to sustain a viable business
  2. Storytelling is an art in and of itself, and sometimes it feels like you’re selling out when you use your own stories to sell a product or service
  3. There’s only so much creative juice in your glass, and when you drain it for something as ephemeral as a blog post, you resent how the “real” creative projects suffer
  4. Certainty isn’t part of the creative journey - and you don’t want it to be… asserting your in-process vision as fact because the skimming online reader doesn’t see shades of gray feels reckless
  5. You want to believe that stories matter because they matter, not because they’re a means to an end

Some of these are pulled right from my own fevered journaling sessions. Others come from conversations I’ve had with creatives who struggle with their online writing chores. All of them resonate with me, but I think, collectively, we could go even deeper.

Please share your reasons for resisting or resenting the writing-for-your-business process in the comments or on your favorite social media post (please do tag me and share this post!)

Why wallow in "writing is hard!"?

We're not throwing a "woe is me, the connected creative with a business and a following and a commitment to my art" pity party here. Instead, we're owning up to our resistance and our periodic crises of faith in the whole endeavor of building an online platform.

In a world where ambivalence or being "in process" is seen as a weakness, we must take a stand for the very real state of "becoming" and embrace the clarity as well as the mess.

Dare to follow the rules of writing for the web - sometimes. Put out posts that are focused, brief, clear, actionable and tell enough of the story to meet your own Sovereign Standard.

Other days, allow yourself to defy those conventions and just write into "fascinating." Write what you must write, not what the marketplace seems to demand.

But, do me a favor - breathe deep and pause before hitting publish. Some ideas must be allowed to marinate in the mind and in the journal for a while... even if you are dedicated to making this whole online writing thing work.

Let's make this writing-for-your-business work easier... I'd love to support you as your writing coach. Have a look at what I offer and we'll set up a free 15 minutes chat about how I can help you.

Why Writing Means So Much to the Creative Entrepreneur

Why Writing Means So Much to creative entrepreneursWhat becomes possible when you own “creative”? Use it as a noun or an adjective. Use it as a title. Use it as a source of inspiration. Let it express your very reason for being.

What happens to your work, your process, and your own view of yourself when you dare to declare yourself a source of new stories and solutions?

Not that you asked, but I can tell you that claiming “creative” changed everything for me.

If You Want to Be a Writer, Write. If You Want to Be Creative, Create.

The secret to owning “creative” is in the act of creating, of course. (If only it were that simple!)

My husband nearly threw himself into the Atlantic the morning of our wedding because he found writing his vows so frustrating. (We blame fear of writing, not cold feet!) He’s the last guy to give writing advice. But it’s the non-writer who can put it most plainly: If you want to write, write!

He suggested that when I was a bored hourly employee and when I was stifled at my salaried management job.

Later, he might have said something about “just write” when I was forcing myself through various marketing and website design biz ventures, but I couldn’t hear him over the pounding of my scared, success-starved heart.

How “Just Do It” Really Works for Creatives

“Just do it” fits nicely on a tee shirt, but it’s not advice that will change your life until you’re ready to hear it. And do it.

When my second child arrived, I saw how ragged my dreams and my reality had become thanks to a four-year-long entrepreneurial experiment. I’d learned too much to force myself into momtrepreneurship times two kids without making fundamental changes to my approach.

That’s when I realized I had to source my entrepreneurship in something other than “I have to make money for my family and be available to them at the same time” (the fundamental drive of the mom entrepreneur).

I had to devote myself to work that satisfied more than my need to be the super mom who makes the dinner and pays for it too (even though both those things still had to happen).

And so, even as my mothering responsibilities increased, I traded the identity of mom entrepreneur for “creative entrepreneur.”

Suddenly the professional title I gave myself didn’t indicate that I was an over-scheduled, under-rested woman who negotiated contracts during diaper changes. What I called myself was inspiring and invigorating rather than draining.

How Will You Connect the “Entrepreneur” and “Creative” Dots?

Yes, my daughter's birth made me realize that I wanted to leave the mom entreprepreneurs’ playground and find a place in the creatives’ studio, but realizing and doing are two different things.

Finally, I was able to listen to that wise husband of mine.

I wanted to write, I always had. I was going to write my way into the creatives’ circle. Enough with thinking they'd never admit a fraud like me who had the hopes but not the word count to prove she wanted to be Diana Gabaldon someday.

But what about you?

Writing isn’t the only way to step into the “I create things” arena, but it’s the way that is most immediately useful to the entrepreneur.

We know that creating content is essential for marketing your business and that words and stories are still the most important way to do that.

By learning how to write your book - even if it’s not the sort of trade non-fiction aimed directly at your current clients - you’re gaining skills related to story architecture, idea sculpting, and platform building that are indispensable for the entrepreneur.

Enter Sovereign Reality, Enter Tracking Wonder

Last summer when I was juggling client work and trips to the beach with the kids (it was supposed to be a vacation), I somehow stole an hour for a webinar for anyone writing & publishing a book led by Jeffrey Davis of Tracking Wonder. I'd known Jeffrey as an esteemed colleague and as a dad from the preschool and knew I loved his work, but this experience was somehow different.

Marisa Goudy Jeffrey Davis Your Brave New Story Authors Intensive

I still felt like a fraud as I tuned in, there amongst the "real" creatives doing the work to become "real" authors. But over the next hour, I was filling my journal not only with Jeffrey's practical advice, but with scraps of plot and character names and ideas about the bigger themes that my novel needed to explore.

Sovereign Reality, the trilogy of novels, became real to me. And the entire concept of “sovereignty” began to take shape as the backbone of my professional work.

On that summer afternoon, I stepped on to the path. I had a work in progress. I was going to be an author. I had a new perspective on my dreams and what I had to offer to my business.

 I really was a creative entrepreneur.

Making the Commitment to Creativity, Story, and the Book that Matters

By October of 2014,  I found myself surrounded by a select tribe of Jeffrey’s dedicated writers at the Your Brave New Story Authors’ Intensive at Mohonk Mountain House. Immersed in my story and the importance of my compatriots’ books, I felt every bit as alive and fearless as I did in those blissful moments after childbirth - even though I was only at the very beginning of my fiction writing journey. 

That's the thing - writing a book is a journey and you need a tribe and you need a guide to support you. Jeffrey offers that all year long through various programs and consultancy options, but especially with the Your Captivating Book mentoring program.

If this really intrigues you, email me - act by April 30 and I can get you a special discount and maybe even a free initial consult with The Book Papa himself.

One final reason to think about writing that book that has been holed up inside you and to do it with Jeffrey's help: he's about more than just books and authors... He is distinguishing himself as a major voice for doing business as UNusual and speaks directly to the needs of the business artist, AKA, the creative entrepreneur.

 

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Honoring Writing Deadlines - Even During Spring Break

The Sovereign Standard, Issue 9MG_newsletter400x86

Sometimes you have the luxury of staring at a blank page. An endless desert of time stretches before you but you can’t think of a single useful thing to say.

For the creative entrepreneur, the opposite is often true: so many ideas, so little time.

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Honoring writing deadlines even during spring break

Business owning parents in particular know this uncomfortable phenomenon during school breaks - those trying periods when life stops for the kids but everyone else in the professional world is still pushing full speed ahead.

I’m writing this on a coffee table on Cape Cod, relying on the patience of grandparents who’ll play one more game of Candy Land while mama just finishes another paragraph.

The Entrepreneur’s Survival Tools: Writing. Balance. Reciprocity. Self Care.

The Entrepreneur’s Survival Tools Writing. Balance. Reciprocity. Self Care.

It’s in the mix of these powerful, sustaining habits that I’ve found my way through this week of delightful disruption and business as unusual.

Writing, balance, reciprocity, and self care overlap and feed one another. I believe that if you honor each in their turn, you have a fighting chance of meeting the end of each day with a sense of “I am enough.”

Writing

Remember, your writing practice is meant to give back to you.

You’ll only sustain the practice and imbue your words with meaning if you’re motivated by something deeper than the dictates of the editorial calendar and the need to churn out one more blog post.

Writing is an opportunity for personal and professional growth. The practice will support you when the world seems to be falling apart due to personal crisis - or simply because the children are hanging about, using the dreaded “b” word. (Is “bored” a four letter word to you too?)

For me, writing is a refuge.

If  I didn’t have my writing deadlines, would I carve out any time for myself? Between the great processions to the beach (dressing for the wind takes more time than we actually spend by the water) and the endless task of keeping the toys off my folks’ stairs, it seems impossible even on "vacation."

Truth is, I almost always need “work” as an excuse to step away from my parenting responsibilities. I value self care, but often as an unattainable grail.

Self Care

The goal is to practice self care rather than just celebrate it. I'm still a work in progress in the implementation, but I am great at the research. That’s why I’ve been immersing myself in Koren Motekaitis’s series of podcasts with Jen Louden. I highly recommended a binge listen if you’ve got some long distance driving coming up!

For a quick dose of Jen’s medicine, watch this video on the self care paradox. I love how she describes the need to cultivate a relationship between “savoring and service.”

Because really, as important as the writing and all the other work commitments are, this is a special moment in your family’s life - or it could be. And taking care of work at the cost of your happiness as a mom means you're breaking a fundamental rule of self care.

We still reminisce about that April vacation in Washington DC in 1987. There’s no way my daughter will remember “the spring break mom sat at the computer” since that looks a lot like every other week of her life.

Whenever you feel most stressed and overextended, you’re likely giving more than you’re receiving.

Balance & Reciprocity

Many say that work-life balance is a myth. If your expectation is that you’ll give exactly the same amount of time and energy to business and family and that this will keep everyone happy, it is a myth.

But the goal isn’t making everything 50/50 all the time. The goal is to give and receive in equal measure across the entire continuum of your life.

Lany Sullivan and I explore what reciprocity can really mean in your life and work in a recent Reach Connec Uplift Women interview. So much more than “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” transactions, it is about relationships and self care and connecting based on mutual recognition of worth. 

During that conversation we also refer to “ayni,” the Andean concept of sacred reciprocity. Eleanora Amendolara describes ayni in depth so you can embody this profound sense of equilibrium - internally, in relationships, and with the earth itself.

Good Medicine: Writing, Self Care, Reciprocity... and Support

My stepmom kindly recommended I take off my coat and get some work done while she took the kids for a walk.

Clearly I was exuding deadline stress, and I risked infecting everyone around me.

How could I be surprised that I couldn't get clear on my writing and I felt choked with "bad mom" guilt? I wasn't asking for the dedicated creative time I needed and so I was spreading myself too thin as I tried (and failed) to dot it all. 

I felt like a fraud, offering advice from and “I’ve got this” pulpit when I was actually just being a terrible, distracted house guest with a couple of needy dependents.

Gratefully, I took that gift of thirty minutes free of mom responsibilities to check back in with my real message, my lived experience, my own imbalance.

I think I found a story worth telling and I drafted a new container to tell it. And then I discovered the space to walk to the beach with my girls - twice.

3 Ways to Honor Your Writing Commitments & Other Deadlines During Times of Delightful Disruption (The Practical Guide) 

  1. Take the pressure off by featuring a guest post on your blog 3 Ways to Honor Your Writing Commitments & Other Deadlines During Times of Delightful Disruption The Practical Guide I’m honored to feature Karen Brody’s Exhaustion: It’s Time to Tell a New Story this week.
  2. Go back to the well: rework and repurpose past posts Because I’ve written posts on reciprocity and self care recently, I worried about insulting you with rehashes of the same topics. Thing is, I didn’t remember exactly what I had written, so how could you? In writing this today I realized how writing, balance, reciprocity, and self care are my signature topics and these explorations are just the beginning. What can you learn about your own work by examining and amplifying material from your archives?
  3. Keep it simple: think in lists, not in prose This is “do as I say, not as I do” advice today. What was meant to be a quick list of how to keep writing even with kids underfoot ended up becoming much more personal and involved than I had expected. But, if you can enter your next disrupted work week with a perspective on how you’ll integrate writing, self care, balance, and reciprocity, maybe you’ll be able to give yourself permission to write something quick, dirty, and helpful to your readers. After all - if you’re busy with kids underfoot, isn’t there a good chance they’re in the same boat and are also short on reading time?

Bonus Tip for Honoring Your Writing Commitments

Call on your writing coach for extra support. As a writing coach, I’m not a ghost writer who’ll put together a post for you, but I can help you plan your editorial calendar so you’re not working during your vacation. I can also help you implement the ideas in this post so you can develop a writing practice that truly serves you and your business.

Learn more about my writing coaching services.

 

What You'll Gain From a Business Writing Practice (Besides Blog Posts)

If you’re only creating content for content’s sake, you’re missing something important. Yes, every internet savvy creative entrepreneur is supposed to produce regular content for the blog and other online outposts, but there’s more to the writing process than sales pitches and knowledge transmission.

The internet beast is insatiable, and if your only reason for writing a blog post or producing a newsletter is to check another chore off your list, you’ll always be stressed about keeping up.

When your heart isn’t in the words you produce, you’ll never connect to your readers the way you hope. You’ll start to believe that this whole content marketing thing is a racket and that writing on behalf of your business is just a waste of time.

To remain true to your creative business vision and to keep your personal equilibrium, you must get more out of the writing-for-your-business process than “I got it done.”

Expect Your Writing to Give Back to You

Cheer up! You can expect your writing to give back to you.Good, consistent content supported by a smart, sustained online sharing strategy will build your business because that’s plain good marketing. But, if you expect more from your writing practice, you’ll receive even more in return.

5 Unexpected Benefits of a Writing-For-Your-Business Practice

  1. The writing process reconnects you with your “why” and helps you go deeper into the mission of your company and the meaning of your work. There’s no better way to stay true to the entrepreneurial adventure than through the personal exploration and public declarations that are inherent to this new art of online writing.
  2. If your mission is at the core of your business, writing also helps you explore the outer edges of the work. Drafting into “what if…?” style questions will reveal new possibilities and directions.
  3. 5 Unexpected Benefits of a Writing-For-Your-Business PracticeYou are able to speak more fluently about your work and what you have to offer in any setting - at an in-person networking event or in an online exchange where it’s appropriate to talk about how your company can help solve a problem
  4. For all that you may identify as a “creative” it can be easy to lose track of your creator’s mojo due to the demands of entrepreneurship. Writing is your chance to stoke the fires of your creativity while still remaining engaged in your business.
  5. When you start telling your business’s stories you’ll find yourself uncovering new aspects of your own story. Even if you don’t reveal everything in the public narrative, this sort of personal insight is invaluable and the essence of true success.

But Sometimes, the Writing is Still a Struggle

This post ended up being a killer to write.

I have a long term business project on my mind, my schedule is thrown off due to the snow, and life just wants my attention to be elsewhere.

Writing about how wonderful it is to write for your business seemed disingenuous as I had just peeled a crying baby from around my neck, thrust her into my husband’s arms, and growled “please, I just have to get these damn ideas on paper and then I will make dinner!”

This post ended up being the greatest test of my authenticity and my alignment to my own mission.

After a few false starts, I scrapped my original idea and wrote into the pain and frustration of having to write in the first place. I railed a bit against the content creation imperative and my own self-imposed editorial calendar. I ranted about how hard all this was and how thankless it all felt.

Most of what I wrote was garbage and only a few phrases will appear here in the final draft, but in that for-my-eyes-only scribbling, I caught a glimpse of why I’m doing all this.

As much as I kept saying I felt guilty for abandoning my teething babe and for admitting that I didn’t want to hear my kindergartener practice whistling any more, I needed the break. Only the “mama just has to get some writing done” announcement would secure me passage to the quiet oasis on the other side of my office door.

The writing practice is a demanding one, but it's all the sweeter for the sweat it occasionally demands. I see the greater worth in the process and only by walking through its fires can I emerge on the other side, honestly able to tell you that you can stand the heat and you will create something important.

Is Your Business Sustainable? Your Writing Practice May Reveal the Truth

I wrote myself out of my fevered angst and ended up feeling better when I took my own medicine, but what if writing for your business never seems to get easier or offers up the fringe benefits I describe above?

You deserve (and need!) a business that you can maintain. It may not all be effortless, but, ideally, your work only requires the smallest degree of push and strain. Content marketing (ie. blog writing, podcast production, YouTubing) is key for anyone who wants to drum up business online and it will take up a portion of your workweek when you’re taking it seriously.

If you feel like writing for your business is a constant “<sigh>, if I must,” something is wrong. This sort of resigned martyrdom will come through what you write and you’ll never get the results you hope for.

I’d love to help you through this struggle. Contact me and we’ll set up a brief chat to clear away some of your writer’s blocks and come up with a few solutions so you get more than just a blog post out of your next writing session.

 

What Your Creative Entrepreneur's Autobiography Reveals

The Prologue to Your Creative Entrepreneur's Story

What your creative entrepreneur's autobiography revealsIt’s not enough to dedicate your working hours to support someone else’s commercial dream.

Following the rules as they’ve been set out, and even doing the work you’ve been trained to do won't always sustain you. Not if it’s not yours. Not if it doesn’t have meaning.

You need to make things - a sculpture that will endure; a dinner that will linger, even if only in memory; a poem that describes a perfect moment in time. This creative process is usually more fulfilling than thankless, so you keep on reaching to find the true expression of your vision.

Soon, your private creative process resists being confined to the edges of your day.  You feel restless, empty of purpose even as you're full of inspiration, and you're unable to conform to that workaday reality you tried to accept as "normal."

Like the creative imperative, once “I am an entrepreneur” lodges in your heart, you never quite escape it.

And so, you leap. Or you tiptoe. Or you stretch until you realize you’re prepared to open a business based on your passions, your art, and your calling to make something that matters.

Become Sovereign In Your Own Reality

Long before I had the courage to say “I quit!” and declare I had to design and control my own work life, I had my brushes with sovereignty.

I’d found myself in a rather un-magical world - newly married, working, spinning my wheels on a spiritual quest when I really wanted to fly to some other dimension. As I tried sort out how I was going to lead a meaningful life, I made my way to a place where I could dance with the unknown.

When my teacher and mentor declared the point of everything was to “become sovereign in your own reality,” I knew I’d found it.

The seed was planted, but then I kind of forgot about the epiphany. Since it didn't offer an immediate escape from the day job, I kept searching.

Though starved for attention, that seed survived. It nourished me through the start of motherhood, the death of my own mother, and the sudden freefall into entrepreneurship. It rooted me through the subsequent years of self-discovery as I dealt with all three of those events occurring in the span of a few months.

Your Creative Entrepreneur's Autobiography is Your Sovereignty Story

BIt just may reveal the heart of your work - your sovereign story - in a way you've never understood it before.

It's going to be a story of hopeful meandering and dead ends, of running full speed in the wrong direction. You'll likely describe collecting blossoms of inspiration and losing sight of your creative dreams when immersed in busywork. There will be breathless successes, long pauses, and soul shaking defeats. You'll talk a lot about seeking, finding, and planting the seeds that you pray will deliver a good harvest.

Wandering is actually the most direct route to Sovereignty.

Whatever truths are illuminated in your creative entrepreneur's autobiography, recognize that there is a story to be explored and told, an historical map that needs to be drawn. This indispensable map will guide your next steps.

In looking to your own past, collecting the experiences and lessons and "ah ha!" moments, you gain perspective on where you truly stand today. With such an understanding you'll be ready to articulate the vision and craft the message that will take your work into a future that glows brighter thanks to your contributions.

It's possible to build a nice business without diving this deep into your history, your vision, and your reason for braving entrepreneurship. But didn't you leave that secure, "normal" world because you hated the way personal, creative expression and earning a livelihood were always held at arm's length?

Isn't it worth going deeper and going further?

Beyond Unique, Beyond Engaging, Be Sovereignbeyond unique. beyond engaging.

Be Sovereign.

As a creative entrepreneur, you do more than just run a business…

You dare to make a livelihood in service to your passions.

You speak your truth to a select tribe that yearns for a life more beautiful or bearable or bold.

You’re confident that your work has both value and magic... both describing it and getting it out there is a sacred mission.

So, how do you move from being a business owner who makes a nice living to standing sovereign -  in your life and in the marketplace of ideas and products?

You find your stories. You write your stories.

You share the stories that generate a special, signature energy that sustains both you and the community that invests in your work.

Is there a specific formula for sovereignty?

The fullness of what it means for a creative entrepreneur to "be sovereign" is still revealing itself.

I discover something new every time I write into “what is sovereignty and what does it mean to me and the people I am meant to serve?” (I'm taking option #1 when it comes to deciding what to publish when I'm writing the bigger story and sharing what I can as the bigger ideas coalesce.)

If you have any stories about how sovereignty shows up in your life, please share in the comments. sovereignty is about consciously standing in your own story, but that's only possible when you're connected to other trees in your shared forest.

Meanwhile, follow along with my #365StrongStories project. Get the weekly digest full of inspiration for storytellers, entrepreneurs, and seekers of sovereignty.

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