Ideas Without Implementation Are Dead

Okay, I admit it. I'm an idea girl. But I'm also a get-it-done girl. Which means when it comes to getting somewhere I want to go, I'm 2 for 3. 

Because inbewteen ideas and execution is this little annoying thing called planning. Planning is not my strong suit. Mapping things out is not something I enjoy. I find it tedious and quite difficult to break down my vision into bite sized, actionable pieces. 

Know your weakness? Check.

Anne Lamott wrote this amazing book called Bird by Bird. It's about writing (and life) and the title comes from an experience she had growing up in school. She had been assigned a project on birds and was overwhelmed. Her dad told her to take it "bird by bird" and when she did that, it changed everything. 

It's like they say, "when eating an elephant, take one bite ate a time". 

Inhabit Your Song

 my color by anatol knotek

my color by anatol knotek

I read an article this morning on HBR about Bruce Springsteen. I know. HBR is not my normal morning read, nor am I a big Springsteen fan. His music calls to mind being a kid in the back of my Mother's VW vanagon on the way to the dentist. Not exactly a great memory association.

But I've long believed in artists as leaders, so the title, "Bruce Springsteen, Artful Leadership, and what Rock Star Bosses Do" sucked me right in. Actually "Artful Leadership" sucked me right in.

A solid read, the article offers a definition of leadership I really like: "imagination on others' behalf." This is so much of what an artist does, using empathy to understand others and the world around her. Putting that feeling into words, design, music, products.

This:

 via  HBR  

via HBR 

In my work as a freelance consultant, I've had the opportunity to work with diverse people and companies. Some of those I've worked with had a very strong sense of self. Others were struggling to find, or rather embrace, their identity.

It's absolutely no coincidence that the work I produced for the clients with a clear mission was far more inspired and, simply put, better. A clear vision inspires. 

A couple years back, on my own ever-unfolding journey of self-discovery, Laurie Ruettimann, a colleague I very much respect and admire, told me:

"You know yourself. Make your business plan. If not now, when? I think now is the only time."

This took me by surprise at the time. I know myself? I didn't feel like I did. I felt like I was trying to figure this out! But she was right--I did know myself. And so do you. Don't overcomplicate this "mission" stuff. Your mission is already in you. Look closely. It's in what you hope for and what you've already brought into this world.

It's in the song you sing.

Inspire yourself

to-inspire-others-you-must-first-inspire-yourself.jpg

A long time ago, a very wise woman said "Be your own Beyonce." Okay. That woman was me. I like to quote myself. Not really.

But it's true. There is literally no one on the planet better positioned to bring out the best in you than--you. How do I know? 

I've started 300 blogs. 

Okay maybe not 300, but a lot. When I'm having a life crises, which can occur anywhere from 3 times a year to every 3 years, I put up a new blog. I "revamp" and "relaunch" my website. I used to announce it and make a deal over it, but it's so common place now it would be like announcing I was brushing my teeth. 

What does this have to do with anything? 

I'm launching a new blog today. 

I've also said for a long time that spaces inspire, that things should be an experience. Some of us need a change of scenery more than others. *Points to self* And maybe it's not the best "branding" move, but here's what I say: do what you have to do to keep the juices flowing. If you need a new space to create, create that. I literally know of nothing more sane. Wipe that slate clean, kid. This is me giving you permission if you need it.

And that brings me back to what I began this post saying. Beyonce. Look, she's impressive, but her life has literally nothing to do with mine. I could flip my hair around like she does but it would mean nothing. Cause a girl like me, well, I have a short hair for starters. And also I'm kinda shy. I don't get off on parading around in front of people. 

But I do get off on blogging, as the case may be. And today, before I revamped this site, I revisited my OG (original gangster) blog from eight years back which I will certainly not link to here. It's embarrassing. But it's also inspiring. Why? Because it motivated me to learn to code. Because what I was writing about back then was brave, it mattered to me, and it still matters to me! It's me reading me and I find myself thinking, "Hey! I like that girl!"

And, honestly, I don't have that thought enough. 

See, Seth Godin can inspire me. Lynda Barry, Anne Lamott--don't get me started on those two. Even total hacks can inspire me at times. But the inspiration I need, the stuff that really matters, is the stuff that comes from me. It's when I remember who I am and create from that place for no one else and for no other reason than this: it brings me joy. 

And guys, our joy is so important.

If you're a creator like me and you don't yet have an archive of work, start now. Take notes, journal, blog. Do this because you need inspiration and you are the best person to inspire you. Make things, write things, set them aside. Look at them a year from now, two years from now and feel all the feels. 

Do this for me? Please? 

Now go be great!

On high energy

The words "high energy" are in lot in job descriptions. 

This word could be used interchangeably with "passion" or "enthusiasm" and yet, many passionate and enthusiastic people would never be described as "high energy".

Those people aren't getting the job, either. 

To love something, to be passionate about it, does not always express itself as high energy. High energy people will express high energy.

What about gentle energy? Soft energy? What about wisdom, thoughtfulness, observation, attention, intention? Do these express themselves through "high energy"? Can these even be witnessed in the body, over the course of an hour long interview? 

High energy is easy to identify. Isn't it also discriminatory?