Falling in Love is for Idiots

You know when you’re starting a small business and suddenly, it gets hard? We’ve all been through it – the intense excitement, telling everyone about your idea, looking into the market, doing a ton of planning – and then coming up against roadblock after roadblock. Enter polyamory. In polyamorous relationships, they have this term: NRE. New Relationship Energy. It’s that excitement you feel when you meet someone new, and it’s a thing that a lot of people seem to chase (polyamorous or not). NRE wearing off is the cause of a lot of breakups, both poly and monogamous. Suddenly you’re Read more…

Finding and Researching your Target Market

The phrase “market research” is one that business-y people toss around easily, without feeling the need to define it for the less business literate. So, for everyone else: Market research is the simple act of getting to know your market. When we start a business, we start with a pain point and solve it with an idea – a service or product that addresses the need in the best way possible. Then we figure out who our customer is, getting really granular with it. Think about their demographics as well as the particular quirks of the population you’re going after. Read more…

Exercise: overcoming obstacles

What do you feel you absolutely cannot do, despite a desire to? Get an index card and write your obstacle on one side, like this: “I can’t __________.” “_______ is impossible for me to attain right now.” “I don’t have enough time to __________.” “I’ve always wanted to ___________, but life gets in the way.” “_________ couldn’t happen.” “I can’t afford ________.” Now flip it over and invert the statement, like this: “I will _________.” “I will attain ___________, starting today.” “I have enough time to ________.” “I’ve always wanted to _____________ and from now on I will prioritize this Read more…

The Professional Devaluer

(Warning: strong feelings; strong language. Check your delicate sensibilities.)   Hey, quick question: What are you worth? Chances are, that gets your irrational brain going into a tailspin – especially if you’re a freelancer, creative, or some other small business owner who is doing tricky work that involves selling a piece of their heart every day. Are you overcharging?  Are your clients judging you?  What about your friends – are you the running joke in your group?  “He thinks he can bill clients $100 an hour for that?  Give me a break…” You already know what I’m going to say. Fuck your Read more…

Who is your anchor?

You have friends in similar boats all around you.  Maybe you’re moored at the yacht club, maybe you’ve dropped anchor in a pirate bay, but whatever port you choose reflects on you. “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn Chances are, they’re similar to you in politics, religious beliefs, socioeconomic class, risk-taking behavior, etc.  You even have one or a few people you view as anchors – that friend who ‘keeps you grounded.’ Now, anchors are great – sometimes we all need a dose of reality.  But that ‘reality check’ Read more…

Pain as GPS

Short post, hard message: what’s your largest source of avoidance or anxiety within your business today? Setting boundaries with clients? Raising your rates, then sticking to it? Doing your taxes? I don’t care what it is.  Get after it. That thing that pains you the most – that thing you’ve been avoiding – that’s the thing you need to address right now.  Pain is your internal GPS.  Physical pain points us to issues in our body that need attention.  An appendix doesn’t hurt unless it’s about to burst.  A torn muscle tells you all about it – because it needs Read more…

Shame: Your New Best Friend

Last week I posted this on Facebook: “First person to comment on this gets $20 if I don’t do 100 kettlebell swings at 5:30 tomorrow morning.” Of course, one of my wonderful friends volunteered (because who wouldn’t?!). I told him not to expect the $20; he told me not to expect him to be awake at 5:30, and we had a deal.  If it’s not obvious, the next morning I followed through. Why, though?  Because for two days I’d been sleeping an extra thirty minutes instead of attacking my kettlebell and the rest of my workout with the ferocity of Read more…