Stronger Content Creates a Stronger Self

You know how you can hear something that you know is true, but it just doesn’t sink in? It’s like you’re just not ready for that message.

But then one day, you hear it again—maybe from a different person, maybe when flipping through some old notes, or maybe even from deep in the recesses of your brain. And suddenly it has all the meaning in the world.

It can be a weird sensation—you feel like you’ve discovered something new, something exciting and fresh, and then you realize that you’ve heard it before, or thought it before, and that it’s only now making sense to you.

Last year, around this time, I worked with the ever-wonderful team over at Braid Creative. I hired them to help me with my branding, but also to get their perspective on how to talk about what I do. I had done the work—dug deep, been honest with myself, figured lots of things out—but I just couldn’t make the connections myself. (I have this theory that a lot of times, when we’re hiring someone, we’re really looking for someone to make connections we can’t make ourselves—but we’ll talk about that another time.)

And as we worked together, make connections they did. They took the jumbled-up ideas I was sharing and pulled the threads together into something that felt cohesive and whole.

But while everything they presented to me resonated, there was one idea I just wasn’t ready to grapple with—an idea that I knew was unquestionably true, but whose depths I just wasn’t prepared for yet.

That idea: Stronger content creates a stronger self.

So I set the idea aside for a while and kept on moving forward. I knew that its true meaning would unfold over time, and somehow (this is most unlike me), I was at peace just letting it simmer.

Then, these past few months, I started daydreaming about creating a new site. I passionately believe in the power of self-exploration and self-awareness, and I’m an avid supporter of lifetime learning and growth, and I realized I wanted a place to dig into these ideas more deeply. It felt like something that would happen a while in the future—after all, I had to concentrate on my current work.

But not too long ago, it hit me. I’ve already started doing this work.

I’ve been encouraging you to listen to yourself, to explore what you know, to deal with your fear, to do what works for you. All of those things will help you create stronger content, yes, but the very act of paying attention, of listening to yourself, of doing what works for you will also create a stronger, more capable and confident self.

It was that same message I had already heard, but I was only now truly hearing it.

So I dove eagerly into the place where strong content and a strong self connect. I know I’ve only scratched the surface, but it’s already changing so much about what I do, what I share, and how I help. (So much of what I talked about last week was inspired by this truth.)

But the thing is, if I hadn’t been sharing content anyway—even though I hadn’t figured out that idea that I felt in my bones would be a big one—I wouldn’t have gotten here. If I had held back, spent my time trying to understand everything fully, I wouldn’t have been able to see how it all fit together.

So you can read a bit more about this idea over on my new about page—but before you jump over there, I want to leave you with this thought:

If there’s a nagging idea that just won’t leave you alone, but you also can’t figure out where it fits in, give it some breathing room.

Write it on a piece of paper and tape it up by your desk, or put it on the next monthly page of your planner—so you’ll be reminded of it eventually, but won’t have to grapple with it daily. Give it some space, and be at peace knowing that it may just need a little time.

And then keep on sharing. Because your own content may just lead you to the very answers you’ve been looking for.

What's on the Horizon

On Monday, I posted something on Instagram that, apparently, many of you can relate to. In case you missed it, here’s what I wrote:

I’ve realized lately that I spend a lot of time talking about being in transition, about making shifts. When someone asks what I do, my instinct is to say, “Well, I’m making some changes, but…” and then explain where I am now…and where I know I’m heading.

I’ve spent plenty of time making myself feel bad about this. Plenty of time comparing myself (ugh) to other people who are seemingly so certain.

But the thing I’m realizing lately is that I don’t think in black and white (I never have). And that if I would feel stifled and claustrophobic and stuck if I weren’t growing, changing, shifting, transitioning. And that my work—the work I love doing—has grown out of my need to create a foundation of sorts, one that can stand up to lots of shifting ideas, so that I can feel grounded even as what I know about who I am and what I do changes constantly.

So much of life is figuring out who you are and how you approach things…and then being okay with it.

So here’s the truth: I’m in transition today, I will be in transition tomorrow, and I fully expect to be in transition fifty years from now. And I’m proud of it.

Like many of my Instagram posts, this one came from me paying attention to my thoughts and asking myself things like, Okay, what does that really mean for me right now? Is it true or is it just a story I’m telling myself? Does it hold meaning for me and for where I am? How does it fit into what I already know about myself and my life and my work?

And I’ve been realizing lately that a lot of my work is about helping you pay attention to your thoughts and ideas and inner wisdom—and then shape what you know now into exactly what I said in my post: a foundation of sorts, one that can stand up to lots of shifting ideas, so that you can feel grounded even as what you know about who you are and what you do changes constantly.

Once that clarity is in place, we then take that foundation and create content from it—content that has meaning for you and your audience, content that genuinely connects with the people you know you can help. And intentionally creating and sharing that content will bring even more growth and change and new ideas, all of which you can fold into that beautiful, flexible foundation you’ve created.

I’ve been incorporating these realizations into my work, and today (as promised in the P.S. of that Instagram post!), I’m sharing a bit more about the changes I’ve been hinting at, along with when I plan to release each of these updates. (A big old caveat: I believe in getting things done and honoring commitments, but I also believe in a life and sleep and white space. I’ve mapped out these dates as best I can, but if something changes, I may push them a bit. I’m okay with this, and hope you are as well! I’ll keep you posted if anything changes.)

So here we go!
 

I’m updating my website.

I’m not changing the look of the website. Instead, I am changing the fundamental way I talk about what I do on the website. Here’s a hint: It involves learning to listen to yourself first (instead of always seeking answers in what everyone else is doing) and the idea that stronger content creates a stronger business—but also a stronger self. I’ll be talking more about those ideas in the next couple of weeks as I continue to work behind the scenes on all of these things!


I’m changing what I send to my email subscribers.

I’m working on a starter kit for creating meaningful content and will be pulling Consume Mindfully off the virtual shelves soon (don’t worry, it’ll make a reappearance, but when it does, it will no longer be free!). I’ll also be writing more letters like the one I shared last week—most of my blog posts are about things I’ve learned and advice I have to give, but I want to find a way to incorporate more about things I’m learning and advice I need / that hasn’t sunk in yet. I want to share an open, honest look at where I am, what I’m grappling with, and what I’m thinking about—while helping you at the same time. Every time I’m really honest, I connect with you in a more meaningful way, and that’s exactly what I want to do. So just know it’s all in the works.

I plan to unveil the updated site, the starter kit, and the new email plan at the end of August.

 

I’m changing the way I blog.

This is a big one and I’m so excited about it. For a while, I’ve been daydreaming about an entirely separate blog / website, one where I talk about things like listening to yourself and making space for what’s important and paying attention to what’s happening all around you—essentially, deeper self-trust and self-awareness. It’s been that thing I daydream about when I’m doing something boring (like finances or organizing files), but it’s always felt really intangible or off in the future.

So imagine my joy when I realized I’m already doing that work and I don’t need a separate site! Like I mentioned above, I believe that stronger content creates a stronger business—but it also creates a stronger self. And starting in September, I’ll be exploring ideas that relate to both stronger content and a stronger self—things like perspective, confidence, permission, resistance, and scarcity—the big things I sort of hint around at but haven’t tackled full on. Each month, I’ll pick a different theme and talk about it from several angles—and I hope you’ll join in on the conversation. We all have so much to learn from each other.

I plan to start the first monthly theme the first or second week of September.

 

I'm updating content coaching!

I really believe in the work I do, but I haven’t always had the right words to explain the power I believe it has. But over the past few months, so much has become clear to me, so I’ve been working hard to make this process even more meaningful and intentional—and to explain to you why that’s so.

If we work together one on one, we’ll dig deep into who you are, what you know, how you can help, who you can help, and more—shaping it into that solid foundation I talked about earlier. Then from that place of clarity, we’ll create plans for content that feels meaningful for both you and your audience. And finally, I’ll give you a wealth of tools you can use to create consistency, capability, and confidence as you shape and share your own content going forward.

The process is evolving beautifully, and I’m excited to open just a few spots for you to join me on this journey in what remains of 2015.


I’m also creating a self-paced version of my process.

This self-paced guide follows the same process I’ll be using in one-on-one content coaching engagements. The difference between working with me one on one and working through the guide yourself is in making connections. When we work together one on one, I sort through all of your ideas and wisdom and truths and look for patterns, connections, and ways to combine it all into something meaningful. When you work through the self-paced guide, you’ll look for those patterns and make connections on your own (with thoughtful guidance, how-to’s, and ideas to help you as you go). The rest of the process—the consistency, capability, and confidence piece—is the same!

So if you’re keen to do the clarity work on your own, if you want a head start before we work together one on one, or if your budget is a barrier, this guide will be wonderful for you.


And finally, I’m adding in the option for individual coaching calls (but only for people who buy the self-paced guide).

I know how tough it can be to do deep work on your own. After you work through the guide, if you still find yourself feeling stuck in some way, one option is to hire me for the full content coaching experience. But if that’s not in your budget, or if you just want to ask a few questions, a coaching call is a great option.

But remember, these calls will only be available to those who work through the self-paced guide—so if you’re interested in just a bit of time with me, this is the way to go.

I plan to release the spaces to work with me in content coaching as well as the self-paced guide early in September.

At the same time, I will release a few seats for consulting calls, and then I’ll open a few more spots about a month later (to give you time to work through the self-paced guide and see if you need help). Beyond that, I’m not sure if I’ll keep offering the consulting calls—this is a trial run of sorts—so if you’re interested, don’t wait!

 

And now, I think I need to take a nap.

Whew! That’s a lot going on. But I’m so, so, so excited for all of it!

If you have any questions or already know you’re interested in working with me one on one, I’d love to hear from you!

And if you'd like to stay in the know, sign up below. You'll geta free copy of Consume Mindfully, my guide to overcoming information overwhelm (while it's around!), plus weekly blog posts in your inbox. You can read more about what to expect here and check out my privacy policy here!