“Give me three things positive about life in general lately,” he asked. It’s the same question I’ve heard almost every three weeks for a year and a half now. I twizzled my hair and staired aimlessly around the room, maybe trying to find something my eyes could land on that would suffice as an answer, instead of having to come up with something on my own. The uber-organized office of our marriage counselor, turned family counselor, turned my life coach was awfully full of interesting things to stare at: piles of books, watercolor paintings, the sign on the front of the desk listing his pricing in all caps.
“Well, there’s one, but it’s kind of a negative,” I started. “He’s finally stressed about money, instead of me stressing about it. It’s actually a refreshing break,” I explained. Counselor chuckled and asked for two more. I can’t remember what I cited for the second thing, but for the third I said, “Well, I found some new software that seems like it will do some pretty cool stuff. I’m excited about that.” (If that was a tweet, it would have #computernerd behind it). He laughed again, said it sounded cool.
Then we launched into the accountability update on my latest project, my book. I’m seven chapters in. Slow and steady wins the race. He’s actually published quite a few books, and has lots of experience. I’m gratefully accepting the gift, happy to be learning something new–one of my favorite things to be doing. Practicing an art, refining a skill, sharpening a strength. It takes discipline, but it feels good. In fact, it feels like progress.
Progress, however, is frustrating on a morning like today. I spent the morning upstairs, sorting through hand-me-downs (what a blessing!), but also realizing that everything about my kids’ rooms is disastrously disorganized. It’s not that there is too much stuff, it’s just that everything is in transition. Kiddo’s room needs to be painted, his bed needs to be taken down, twin beds need to be put up. Bubba’s crib needs to be painted, furniture needs to be rearranged. There are so many decisions in-between, too: do we move Bubba to a big bed or leave him in his crib? Do we put both boys in the same room and give Charley the nursery? Or does Charley keep the guest room. If so, where do guests go?
At about that point, I hit overwhelm. I know I need to break it down into actionable steps, but I can’t figure out how I even want it to end up. Actionable steps without a vision make life pretty challenging. Unfortunately, my kids rooms can wait. It takes a deep breath to admit that, especially when Pinterest is always there, mocking you with the cutest before and afters and nurseries you’ve ever seen. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re on a quest to get out of debt, and spending money on kids rooms doesn’t exactly put us closer to that goal.
What does put us closer to that goal is me working. I mentioned in a video blog a couple of weeks back that I was starting a new business, and that I’d keep ya’ll updated, so here’s an update!
First off, I’m officially starting a newsletter! It will be delivered once a week, mostly on Tuesdays, and will be a total behind-the-scenes update on what I’ve got going on. In marketing speak, that’s called exclusive content. In Whitney speak, that’s called SCOOP. Big time scoop, ya’ll. The newsletter is going to be written like I’m writing a letter to a friend, so it’s going to be pretty transparent and frank. In other words, if I’m having a bad day, I’m going to say so. On the other hand, if I’m super excited about a victory, milestone, or accomplishment, I’m going to share it with my newsletter crew first–ya’ll will be the first to know! The newsletter will encompass what I’m learning, what tools I’m using, what resources I’ve found, and tons of other information that might be helpful to other creative entrepreneurs. If you’re interested, sign up! I’m including a sign-up form below, and in the coming days, you’ll see one appear in the sidebar as well.
The next thing I’m working on is a book club. I don’t have an official name for it yet, but I’m already super excited about it. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love to read. What makes reading all the more enjoyable is having someone to talk with about the subjects being read. For me, book clubs are challenging because I have to go hunt down a book, either online or in-store. Also challenging, is that in the past, I’ve found that the book club concept can sometimes be disappointing. If it’s not priority, sometimes there isn’t a lot of committment. I’m hoping to develop a format that changes that. I’ve picked a series of books applicable to creativity and entrepreneurship, and I’m making arrangements to have these all pre-shipped to the book club members. I want this to be super-convenient, something that’s easy to commit to, and engaging to all involved. If you want more details, sign up for the newsletter above. Hooray for book clubs AND scoop, right?
Ya’ll, this one has me uber-excited! I’m headed to Nashville on April 17th for a full day, in-person, Authenticate workshop. There are some pretty incredible other people attending as well. It’s going to be a day full of uncovering your purpose, realizing your strengths, and doing some hard core alignment with values and goals. If you’d like to join us, please do! Absolutely anyone is welcome!
My dear friend Amber Housley encouraged (pushed?) me to start Authenticate as a workshop, and I’m so grateful to her. The first concept behind Authenticate was to make it a traveling intensive, where I’d hop from city to city. SO many people have reached out and offered to host the workshop in their city, but as I’ve worked through the details on the Nashville workshop, I’ve realized that it just isn’t in my ability to travel that much this summer.
So, in lieu of a traveling workshop, I’ve decided to offer Authenticate as an e-course! It will be a 12 week, 12 step course choc full of tips, stories, worksheets and coaching, all focused on a central principle: live authentically. Sign ups at an early bird rate will be available next week at a reduced rate of $550! (The actual cost of the 12 week course, with coaching calls, is $900, so $550 is an incredible value!) If you want to hear more details, tune back into the blog on Monday or Tuesday when I hope to launch final details and open up registration! The course will start June 1, so mark your calendars!
Big Idea Binder!
Last but not least, I’m delighted to announce that (finally!) I’m hours away from launching the little Big Idea Binder. The Big Idea Binder is a system that grew out of my personal need to quarantine and organize ideas. After a ton of research, I’ve learned that the creative process is actually pretty simple, but it’s rarely something that creatives use to their full advantage, just out of lack of knowledge. The Big Idea Binder comes with instruction sheets and suggested creative exercises for capturing, documenting, and executing ideas, all from one tidy central location. You can also purchase additional note pads for cataloging and documenting. I use my binder in conjunction with my Day Designer, and the two together form a perfect project management system.
Wrapping It Up
I still get intimidated every time I press publish on a blog post. What if someone doesn’t like it? What if someone leaves a nasty comment? What if I tick someone off? I have to stop and remind myself that I don’t write this blog for “someone”, I write it for the people it helps. I have to remind myself to ignore the one or two nasty (and cowardly, and anonymous comments), and focus on the people who tell me I’m bringing value and clarity and perspective to their lives. (And for those that do, THANK YOU–it means more than you’ll ever know!) Hooray for progress and hooray for positives, right?
Have a beautiful day, friends!