How to get your dream on the road when you don’t have enough experience, time, or likes. A simple how to list of 4 tips to get you on track for 2017.
I feel very chuffed to have been invited to join this circle of creative Empresses. Thank you Bridget!
So for my first solo post… I gather the idea is to find a seed of inspiration from the last Empress’ post, which was not hard at all – fellow mama Amber has published a children’s book!
As a new stay-at-home-mum, determined to still do my ‘thang’, but struggling every single day to juggle it all, I am always looking to mamas-that-are-rocking-it for inspiration.
One such mama is writer/activist/love-warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton. In this ‘Magic Lessons podcast’ (hosted by the incredible Elizabeth Gilbert and a MUST for anyone who wants to live a more magical life), Glennon tells us how she went from being a drunken bulimic and drug addict to writing New York Times Bestsellers and hanging out with Oprah. All while raising 3 little rascals.
If you can spare your ears for an hour, please do listen to this wonderful podcast. If not, I’ve distilled the conversation into 4 seemingly counterintuitive tips on how to finally get your ‘thang’ going in 2017, even when you don’t have enough experience, time or ‘likes’:
1. START BEFORE YOU’RE READY
The Catch-22 that keeps so many dreams stuck on square one is that we think we can’t start unless we’re ‘good’ at it, but we don’t get good at it unless we start…
Despite feeling like the ‘worst candidate for motherhood on earth’, a positive pregnancy test became Glennon’s invitation to get up off the bathroom floor and start showing up for life. ‘We’re always holding some kind of invitation from the universe’ she says, and we are arguing with the invitation. We’re saying I’m not ready, I’m not good enough, I need to lose 10 pounds, I need to do more research, I need to be more like her… We are deeming ourselves unworthy of invitations instead of just trusting the inviter’.
I love the bit in the interview where she recalls sharing a painfully revealing ’25 things you didn’t know about me’ Facebook post (that resulted in an inbox jam-packed with ‘me too!’ emails), and telling her husband that she’d figured out her thing in life is to be a ‘shameless truth-teller’. To which he replies, ‘Dammit! Do you have any other marketable skills?!’
Nope. She says. This is all I got. And so, with no experience, no marketable skills, and not enough time, Glennon used the one thing she had, her soul-baring honesty, to begin what has now become the wildly popular blog, Momastery.
2. LOCK YOURSELF IN A CLOSET. CONSISTENTLY.
As a mother of 3 young kids, Glennon wasn’t exactly twiddling her thumbs when she started her blog. She MADE time by giving up every mother’s sacred pleasure, TV at night (I am shedding a silent tear right now), waking up every morning at 4.30am, locking herself in her closet (or ‘cloffice’, as she calls it!) and writing for an hour. ‘I didn’t have a room of my own, but I had an hour of my own.’
The fact is that very few of us have the luxury of giving up our day jobs or being responsible for nobody but ourselves. We think we’ll finally find the time when we’ve saved up enough money, or work is less crazy, or the kids have grown up, but I have a feeling that’s not really how life works…
Don’t find the time, MAKE the time, says Elizabeth.
Even if you have to steal it or barricade it or double-lock it in a closet. Be a big, bad-ass bouncer to your sacred creation (‘sacreation’!) time.
3. THINK SMALL
Hold on, hold on! Aren’t we supposed to dream big?! YES. But we can’t stay zoomed out on satellite view all the time. We have to zoom back in as well so that we don’t miss what’s right under our noses.
Glennon says that one of the most frequent (and frustrating) questions she gets asked at book signings is, ‘How do I get to where you are? How can I grow my audience?’ While that’s a perfectly valid question for anyone who wants to make a bigger impact, we can sometimes get so caught up in getting the attention of those who aren’t following us yet (and the shortcuts and shenanigans involved), that we forget about those who already are.
‘You get a bigger platform by serving the platform you already have,’ says Liz, even if it’s just our 5 students or 2 clients or 10 readers. Because ‘it is such an honour’, says Glennon, to have the opportunity to ‘shape their consciousness for that day’.
So serve your peeps with all the love and light you can muster, and they will grow your tribe for you.
4. DON’T INSIST ON BEING SPECIAL
Another stumbling block for many of us is that we think what we have to offer has to be original, or unique, or super special. And then we look around and see that a million other people are doing it, annoyingly well, and we think, well, there’s no point then.
Think again, say Liz and Glennon. Even if EVERYONE is saying the same thing, we all have a different voice, and each of our voices move different people for different reasons.
I find that I’ve developed selective hearing, I tune a lot of noise out. I skim, I scroll, I ‘swipe left’ as it were, and I’m forever unsubscribing.
But the voices that I do hear above all that white noise, the ones that I keep tuning back into, are the authentic ones. Not the expert voices or the pitch perfect voices or the loudest voices, but the ones that just sound real and honest. They’re the ones I connect with, that I want to get to know, that I ‘swipe right’ on.
The only way we can be unique is to be ourselves. So let’s all just start there.
2017: Ready or not, here we come!