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New on Instagram: #storytellersaturdays

Who are your favorite online storytellers? Share on Instagram every Saturday using the hashtag #storytellersaturdays!

If we're friends over on Instagram, you may have noticed something new showing up in my feed lately. Several weekends ago, I decided to get a little creative with how I shared the feeds of those I admire and decided to launch a hashtag project called #storytellersaturdays.

There are so many creative and inspiring folks out there who share their business stories, life stories and every day adventures via social media. My goal is to highlight those who share their journeys in an interesting way and since Instagram has quickly become my favorite community, that's where this little project is going to live.

Want to know the best part? Anyone can join in! 

Here's how it works:

  1. Pick a creative person or business whose Instagram feed offers inspiration. These can be makers, designers, people behind causes you believe in, travelers, writers, artists, singers—you get the idea—anything goes! If you know of a great Instagram storyteller, share away!
  2. Get creative by taking a photo that helps illustrate your appreciation for the person or business you'd like to share.
  3. Write a brief (or lengthy—whatever works for you) caption about why you're sharing this particular feed.
  4. Tag the person or business in the caption and the photo.
  5. Be sure to also add the hashtag #storytellersaturdays in the caption so we can all follow along!

That's it! If you're familiar with other hashtag projects, this one is very similar. Just be sure to take your own photo for the project since reposting is (as it turns out) against the Instagram terms of use and it can be tricky to do it correctly.

I hope you'll join me this Saturday (and every Saturday, if you're up for it!) by highlighting one of your favorite Instagram feeds as well. I'll be checking the #storytellersaturdays feed regularly to see all of your inspiring posts!



Big Dreams Take Time

Big dreams take time.

Well, it's November and I haven't made as much progress on my book as I had hoped.

How's that for honesty?

The good news? The why behind my apparent lack of progress isn't that much of a mystery.

I was listening to Jess Lively's podcast interview with Corbett Barr the other day and around 44:30 he mentions the difference between being a CEO and being a worker bee. His explanation really hit home for me, specifically when he noted the trouble solo entrepreneurs have with this concept. As someone who works primarily on her own, I completely understand the difference between the time I spend on big ideas and the time I spend actually getting the work done

Who else is with me on this one? It's way too hard to do both simultaneously and I'm trying to get better at creating pockets of time to think big and pockets of time to hammer out the smaller bits of work that will make up the whole. But I haven't perfected that balance.

In October, I really focused on wrangling the big ideas swirling around in my head. In hindsight, it was good to focus on those things. I don't regret the time spent doing it. Yet, I'm now staring at a manuscript with a word count in the low thousands. To be completely transparent: it's not where I wanted it to be.

So, I'm reminding myself that books don't get written, researched, edited, rewritten, edited again, published, marketed and distributed in a day or a month or even a year. I just have to put one foot in front of the other. I need to let the words flow whenever possible and I need to assess the big picture when I've got important choices to make. 

Because big dreams take time, right? Yes. Big dreams take time.



Not Everything Comes Easily to Everyone: 3 Ways (and Reasons) to Replace the Word "Easy"

Not Everything Comes Easily to Everyone: 3 Ways (and Reasons) to Replace the Word "Easy"

I've been noticing a trend as of late that revolves around the word "easy." Have you seen it too? That word: easy. It's showing up in blog posts and article titles and is thrown around in a way that can only be categorized as careless.

I try to be pretty careful with my own use of the word—especially when it comes to describing a craft, skill, hobby or process. Certain things do come easily(ish) to me, but I know that my comfort level may have come with practice or predisposition. And others have strengths in areas that are completely foreign to me. What comes easily to them, I may never master.

Because the term can oftentimes do more harm than good, I've come up with a few ways to avoid it all together:

Simply replace the word "easy" with the word "simple."
While the two are synonymous, the word "simple" conveys a lack of difficulty without sounding presumptuous. This particularly comes into play when describing a project. A "simple" project might consist of very few steps or necessary materials. We all have different skill sets and abilities, right? Therefore, I'm not sure any project is really "easy" for everyone out there.

Work to demystify a process or skill.
Some skills or hobbies might take a lot of practice or research, yet I still see the word "easy" applied to them all the time. If something has more than three steps, I'm not sure it really qualifies as easy. This can be remedied by clarifying the language surrounding the process you're trying to demystify for others. You can oftentimes take what you've learned and simplify it for whatever audience or group you're trying to reach. And they'll thank you for it!

Find solace in others who have walked the same path.
They say that misery loves company, but I've found that shared experiences are simply more powerful much of the time. Be real with those around you about whatever experience you're trying to describe. If it wasn't easy for you, it probably wasn't easy for others. Additionally, those who might walk a similar path in the future will probably find comfort knowing that it wasn't easy for you at first, either.


So, can we all agree to take it easy with "easy?" I feel like we all owe each other a softer, kinder, gentler take on life's journeys, but I'd love to know your thoughts on the matter.



Giving Yourself A Little Grace

Can we all agree to be a little less harsh... with ourselves?

Friends, let me tell you: I tend to be the worst offender on this front. I give so many of those around me the benefit of the doubt. I offer up support to those who have been there for me over the years. I do my best to give love sans judgment or expectation.

Okay, sometimes I fail at that last one. But I'm trying.

And when it comes to giving myself a little grace and some extra room to breathe? That's where I really fall down on the job. Why is it so difficult to cut ourselves some slack when we need it the most? I'm constantly reminding myself (and have others to remind me, thank goodness) that I will never be everything to everyone.

Logically, I know this to be true. We are all just human beings trying to figure things out as we go along, after all. How could I possibly expect myself to live up to such standards?

In the midst of my book project, the podcast, client work and other side projects, I'm attempting to process all the good and the bad coming my way and it hasn't been easy. I'm rather grateful for the good, mind you. Friends and family members are getting engaged, starting families and celebrating victories both large and small. It's all so great. Simultaneously, it seems as though bad news is delivered just as regularly online, on the news and over the phone. To be really honest, some of that bad news is hitting far too close to home at the moment. I often find myself wanting to dive in. To process information. To help. To love. To support. To comfort. To enable. To do whatever I can to make someone else's day just a tiny bit easier. And thus, I tend to set my own life and work (and life's work) aside to do so. 

Then the guilt sets in. Those of you who run a business understand, yes?

Here's what I'm trying to keep in mind: It's okay. It's okay to give myself time to process the good and the bad. It's okay to offer up support even when saying yes to someone's joyous occasion or painful moment means temporarily saying no to my own priorities.

It's okay to give myself a little grace.

p.s. When you're forced to slow down + the longest to-do list...



The Importance of Pressing Send

The Importance of Pressing Send // Real-Time Lessons Learned While Writing a Book

Well, here we are.

This is the first official update on my 90-day experiment to channel more of my energy into this book project. While I've been busy building an outline to better organize my thoughts, notes and random bits of writing, I've also been sharing my book idea—the full, unedited, BIG idea—with people I hope to collaborate with along the way.

In short, it's been slightly terrifying.

Several months ago, I penned a piece for Clementine Daily about getting over the fear of hearing 'no.' Yet, I still have to constantly remind myself to take my own advice. 

It doesn't seem to matter how often I put myself out there and click the send button, I still get that fluttery feeling in my tummy every time. It's one part excitement, for sure, but there's also the unmistakable feelings of fear and self-doubt.

You've been there, right? Have you felt that simultaneous flood of both elation (Read: Eek! I. Just. Did. That.) and dread (read: What if they say no?!)? 

I know in my head (and my heart) that it means I'm moving in the right direction and the fear and doubt creep in anyway. So, how am I handling it? Well, I've been tackling the feelings by pressing send anyway. That's the only way I know how to silence the little voice in the back of my mind telling me that this project is much too big, far too outlandish and completely unattainable. 

I just keep pressing send.


p.s. More about the book project.