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Articles filed in: Worldview

It’s All Been Done Before

This is what I call ‘the pioneer’s lament’. It’s been my personal lament many a day.

It goes something like this…

You have a great idea. It could be for a product, service, a book, blog post, or a new kind of dog food. You start planning, taking notes, visualising the impact of said thing on the world, then the research kicks in and you discover it’s been done before.

Bubble popped.

The bad news is it’s all been done before. The good news is it doesn’t matter, because it hasn’t been done by you.

7,012 books (and counting) have been written about ‘startups’, that didn’t stop Eric Ries having a bestseller, also dubbed as the idea of 2011.

What makes anything you do unique is your voice. The story that only you can tell, from a perspective that nobody else can have. There is more than one way to say something important that needs to be said and a million ways to bring ideas that matter to the world. Or maybe just 350,000.

I’d love to know how you stop yourself from popping your bubble mid blow.
What do you do to stop research killing off your idea too early? Tools or tactics?

Image by Noukka Signe.

You Are Whoever You Believe You Are

While working with people on crafting stories about their brands, businesses, products and services I’ve stumbled across this under-acknowledged fact. Yes it is a fact, with a capital ‘F’ not simply a theory.

You are whoever you believe you are

Some of the most important stories you tell are the ones you tell yourself. The people who really believe in their heart of hearts that they can do anything, are the ones who do. You know this and you know them too. You watch them every day just doing it. Sometimes your heart sinks a little lower in your chest, because you want to believe that you really are, really will and really can too.

You have a responsibility to step into your story. To play the starring role in the epic that you are scripting. Because this is your life. And because the best of everything will be created by the people who can fill the biggest shoes they were meant to fill.

The world needs you to believe in the power of your dreams enough to give them direction.

Go, practice telling yourself an amazing story and then make it come true.

Image by ho hocus.

21 Ways To Nurture Your Ideas

Your mountain is waiting.
So… Get on your way. ~ Dr Suess

1. Create an idea saving system.
Find tools that work for you, Moleskine or Evernote anyone?

2. Be ready to capture ideas anywhere.
J.K. Rowling tells the story of how Harry Potter “fell into her head” on a train journey.

3. Step away from the computer.
Pick up a pen, doodle, mindmap, take photos. Use both sides of your brain.

4. Understand your creative process.

Be aware of what drives you. Reflect on how you make things happen.

5. Use tools that inspire you.
Leather journals, coloured pens, scrapbooks, green ink….

6. Be on a mission.

Why does the idea excite you? Why this idea, why now? What difference will it make in the world?

7. Begin with the end in mind.
Visualise the end product, the colour of the book cover, the texture of the paper, the graphics on the packaging.

8. Stand in the shoes of the people you want to impact.
Now create the thing that makes the biggest difference to them.

9. Set goals.
Have milestones you can reach. A launch date. Write them down, then stick to them.

10. Don’t set goals.
Just go.

11. Follow hunches.
Trust your gut. Act on your wildest dreams.

12. Find quiet space.

Meditation, walks, getting closer to nature, time to journal. What works for you?

13. Plan meticulously.

Map out desired outcomes, skill sets, milestones, resources.

14. Work quickly.
Start to finish in a day.

15. Practice blue sky thinking.
Ask what if.

16. Resource and outsource.
Play to your strengths. Learn the skills you need to execute and get help when you need it.

17. Try and fail.
Today’s mistakes are the foundation for tomorrow’s successes.

18. Focus.
Limit distractions.

19. Do the work.
Hit publish, press send, hang the picture or launch the website. An idea without execution is just an idea, it has no impact on the world.

20. Do what it feels good to do.

Ideas that get you up early and keep you up late are the ones that live.

21. Remember that You Are The Map Maker.

Don’t let fear stop you from doing the things that matter.

How do you nurture your ideas? Over to you in the comments.

Image by Bethan.

What Does Success Look Like?

Is it starting or finishing?
Getting there in a hurry?
Or stopping to take in the view on the way?
Is success the elimination of failure or growing with every experience?
Big deals?
Or a series of tiny impacts?
Is success really a destination or more of a journey?
One big blinding flash of brilliance?
Or a thousand of sparks wisdom?
Empire or legacy?
All or nothing?

Success could be viewed from 336,000 different perspectives.

True success though, is creating your own definition, then living that.

Image by Paojus Alquiza.

Embrace Your Singularity : An Anthem To You

The secret of the most successful brands and similarly the most fulfilled people in the world, is that they know what they’ve got and they are not afraid to show it. They embrace their uniqueness and singular ideas, then tell the best story they can to the right people. Do you?

That’s how I started this post about brand story. I changed the title six times. As I wrote on, it became so much more. It morphed into an anthem to my clients, my dear friends and you.

For years I carried around the legacy of a convent education that taught me if I wasn’t a round peg, then I wasn’t good enough for university. My square peg story was my greatest asset and I didn’t even know it. My eventual epiphany? That degree I once mourned would have smoothed out my edges, given me information, not the knowledge that would serve my growth or my legacy. In the short term it might have made it easier for me to tell my story. Over time it would have made me lazy instead of self directed. Not having that piece of paper set me free. It forced me to trust my gut, to listen harder and made me embrace my singularity.

“I am always doing things I can’t do, that’s how I get to do them” ~ Pablo Picasso

Don’t be afraid to go out there and live your singular life. Be aware of what only you can do. Know that your singularity is your friend and embrace it. Allow it to embrace you. Shout it from the roof tops. Tell the world the truth you see when you look deep into your eyes in the bathroom mirror.

You really are one of a kind. Stop pretending you’re not. You are genius with a capital ‘G’. A sparkler of dreams. A muse. Gifted. The evidence is there for all the world to see. So stop being afraid to taste what those words feel like on your tongue, spit them out. Articulate your dreams, then go live them. Step into the story you were meant to live. The world so wants you to do that…. me too.

Image by Amarit Opassetthakul.

You Really Are The Heroine Of Your Own Story

Yes it’s December alright. You know this because your to do list just got longer in all the craziness and extra obligation that is this time of year, (*truth*—however much you love holiday season). You feel it in the tightness across your shoulders and you make room for it, with less sleep every night.

Imagine then, how I was stopped in my tracks, before a single vinyasa, outside my new yoga class this week by a sign that read;

I create my calm

Now I’m a girl who is used to creating opportunity from nothing, somehow though, the thought of having the power to create my own calm, in that moment, hit me like a crosswind and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. Here’s the thing, you actually have the keys to your entire kingdom, not just one room in the castle. You are directing your life, one tiny frame followed by another.

We are all living parallel stories,
but we each get to script our own ending

You are free in each moment to be aware, to process, to decide and to take action on every single thing that happens today. You don’t simply create intentions and results. You really and truly are the director and heroine of your own story.

Image by Mojoey.

If : A Love Note To Entrepreneurs

If you’re doing your best work.
If you touched one person.
If it makes a difference to a handful.
If you’re building a legacy, not just an empire.
If your values are front and centre.
If you’re launching ideas from the heart.
If you understand why you’re doing this.
If it doesn’t have to matter to everyone.
If you care.
If you can see the world as it isn’t.
If passion is your master.
If possibility feeds your soul.
If meaning is your currency.
If you embrace failure alongside success.
If permission doesn’t get in your way.
If understanding the problem to solve matters.
If people are your inspiration.
If you could change one thing.
If you know the questions to ask and aren’t afraid of the answers.
If you could ask for anything today, would ‘this’ be it?
If not this, then what?

Image by Tram Painter.

What Makes Ideas Matter?

Ideas are formed in the mind, but triumph in the heart.

Your fabulous, worthy, well thought out ideas might have logical foundations. Logic though is not what will convince people to rally to your cause or click the ‘Buy Now’ button.

So begin everything from where your audience is. Set out to deliver to them the feelings they want to feel. Your idea must matter to them, not just to you.

Image by Madridmobs.

Building A Currency Of Trust

It’s tempting when selling your product, service or idea just to focus on what it takes to make a particular transaction happen. That transaction might make a dent in the balance sheet in the short term, but it’s important not to lose sight of what will make a long term difference to your business and to focus on the legacy of the interaction.

The purpose of each interaction is not to sell your idea
or your answer.
It is to foster the next interaction,
to build a currency of trust.

Now more than ever as our networks expand and we operate in the global village, far beyond our neighbourhoods, legacies are built on tiny transactions and leaps of faith.

Trust is built over time. Bit by bit. Interaction by interaction. Doesn’t matter whether that’s in your cafe, your studio, or on your Facebook page.

So how do you focus on building the legacy of every interaction?

Image by Meredith Farmer.

Doing Legacy Work

Legacy work is intentional. Legacy work is what made you get just three hours sleep last night. Legacy work is risky and doesn’t come with cast iron guarantees. Legacy work is the thing that will have meaning when you’re gone. Legacy work has no respect for time or circumstance.

Legacy work shoves ego aside; it is, by definition, something that is not for you. Legacy work comes from a place of abundance, not scarcity. Legacy work catalyses ten, twenty, or a thousand other legacies. Maybe even a million, or perhaps just one.

Legacy work creates a billion distant ripples you will never even know about. Legacy work involves softly closing countless doors, in order to allow the right ones to swing wide open.

Legacy work is what you are here to do, and you know it.

Legacy work is a choice. That knowledge, those choices, that weren’t open to your mother just half a century ago scare the living daylights out of you.

If you choose to do the things that truly scare you today, chances are you are building your legacy.

Image by Storm Crypt.