2014 – A celebration of major change!

A few weeks ago I was driving home from Sydney when I decided to take a detour through Rylstone to visit an astrologer who had been recommended to me for a reading.

I’ve always loved astrology so when I recently found myself feeling slightly directionless and wondering what I should do next in my life – a friend suggested a road trip to Rylstone for a reading and I jumped at the chance.

In numerology, it is believed that each person goes through a nine-year cycle continuously. Each cycle lasts a year and as one nine-year cycle is completed a new one begins.

I discovered through my reading that in my 27th year I am currently in the fifth year of my nine-year cycle which is apparently a year of major change, where horizons are expanded and growth is less impeded.

The year brings excitement and adventure and a good deal more freedom then experienced in recent years. The fifth year is a time for feeling loose and free; from moving away from old routines and seeking out new directions.

Or as my astrologer put it…a year of naughty behaviour designed to break routine, break patterns and wake me up from my stupor.

While I still have four months left before I move into the sixth-year of my numerological cycle, as the calendar year draws to a close it presents an opportune time to reflect on the major change, the success and the key learnings achieved in my life during 2014.

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Self-Acceptance

Around one-month into my fifth year of big life change and upheaval I had a serious relationship in my life come to an end. This sparked one of the major themes of 2014 >>> SELF-ACCEPTANCE. For the past seven months I dove into learning how to be unapologetically me, how to be successfully single and how to ROCK my life - accepting it wholeheartedly as is. It’s an ongoing journey but each month continues to bring victories…in enforcing boundaries, taking care of myself, ditching unhealthy habits and breaking down old beliefs.

Creativity

In March 2014 after taking a break from writing for close to a year, I launched a shiny new blog called Natural Bloom. This blog became the creative catalyst that saw me enrol at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy to become a life coach (which I graduated from in November BIG YAYS), launch a coaching business and rebrand my blog to the platform it is today – aimeecroxon.com. Embracing my creativity and putting myself out there has been a big lesson in self-acceptance, but it’s reaped amazing rewards and opportunities particularly in self-expression, new friendships and connections.

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Relationships

This year has been an opportune time for both existing and new friendships. I made amazing new connections through blogging and through studying at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. I coached a gorgeous woman on how to bring more ease and grace into her life and made some fantastic friends who are also bloggers and entrepreneurs, both near and far. It was also a wonderful time for nourishing existing connections. This year I got to be maid of honour for my soul sister and partner in crime at her wedding in November. Until 2014 we had lived apart for many years and it was fantastic to have her so close by and to be such a big part of the preparation for the wedding.

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Career

At the end of 2013 I was asked to step into a contract role for a 12-month maternity leave position The role literally SCARED the bejesus out of me…I didn’t think I could handle it and I was seriously questioning my abilities. Despite being terrified about the challenge ahead I said YES and spent 11-months this year (and one month last year) rising to the challenge in what was an amazing opportunity that stretched me and grew me both professionally and personally.

The Year Ahead

I still have four months left of my fifth-year before I turn 28 and embark on the sixth-year in the cycle – I’m curious to see what other major life changes occur for the first four months of 2015!

Last week I started a new job in Promotions and Events and I also recently booked flights to Paris for a five-week Europe trip in July, which has been a dream of mine for YEARS – BRING ON 2015!

Comment below and tell me what achievements from 2014 you are celebrating? Toot your own horn and share your successes with me? xx

How to beat procrastination and get stuff done

Have you ever sat motionless at your desk in front of your computer screen watching the cursor blink on a blank word document?

Beat procrastination and get stuff done

You know you need to get your fingers tapping on the keyboard so you can pump out that blog post but you have no idea what to write, you’re tired from working all day and you kind of just want to go to bed…sound familiar?

You’re not alone – every blogger suffers from procrastination and blocks at one time or another. A simple slip in routine or an enticing TV series can see you completely lose your focus and motivation.

The inspiration for this very blog post came out of my own procrastination last week that saw me sitting in Sydney after a six hour drive, feeling exhausted and trying desperately to write a blog post the evening before I was due to hit publish.

Needless to say the urge to drink a glass of wine and get an early night’s sleep won out over the need to write, which meant my blogging tribe went without a written post or a newsletter update last week.

While it’s totally understandable to miss a blog post once in a blue moon – consistent writing requires committed work and if you sit around waiting for motivation and inspiration to strike what you’ll really be doing is allowing the habit of procrastination to stick.

With a little forward thinking and a strategy in place to tackle blocks as they arise, a once in a blue moon slip will see you quickly recover your motivation and power forward to creative fulfillment.

Below are my top tips to get back on track and rediscover your drive:

1. Enlist a buddy to keep you accountable – If you know that you’re going to sit at home, binge watching American Horror Story when you’re actually scheduled to write – it’s time to enlist another blogger to keep you accountable. Mastermind and writers groups are ideal for amping up the productivity factor. There’s nothing like setting the timer and dedicating 30 minutes to consistent writing with a creative friend to get the juices flowing.

2. Get organised – The majority of procrastination stems from a lack of organisation. When blogging is just one element of an already busy life alongside work, family, friends and more it’s easy to push it to the wayside. By getting organised and dedicating a full day every couple of months to generating content in large batches or even a couple of hours every fortnight, you can make sure you have posts scheduled for weeks in advance.

3. Wake up early and do something everyday – Wake up one hour or even half an hour earlier each day and dedicate that time to creating content for your blog in advance. Early mornings are perfect for grabbing a coffee and writing without distractions. It’s a beautiful slice in time when you’re unlikely to receive calls, texts or notifications because everyone else in your world is either still asleep or only just beginning to wake up.

4. Move your body – if it’s down to crunch time, you need to put pen to paper and you can literally feel the waves of frustration rising it’s time to take a step back and move your body. Go for a walk for 10 minutes, dance around the room and shake your ass to your favourite feel good cheesy song or do some housework – but put a timer on it. Once the ten minutes are up, it’s time to get back to writing with a clear head and a renewed focus.

5. JUST DO IT – Most writers don’t do it because it’s an enjoyable activity. Writing is legitimately hard work sometimes, it can bring up all kinds of angst and emotion, however the reward and the creative fulfillment generated from the finished product is worth the effort. Sometimes you just need to suck it up and DO IT. Not every blog post you write will be a critically-acclaimed piece of literature…just jot down that first sentence see where it goes.

What are your top tips to beat procrastination? Comment below and share with me your experiences? xx

 

Is your blog ruling your life? How to set boundaries and regain control

Desk FlowersLaunching a blog is like the start of a fresh new relationship. When you first hit the launch button it’s passionate, intoxicating and all-consuming but much like a love affair – the initial spark will eventually fade and if you’re not careful you’ll find yourself whipped and headed to the land of co-dependency.

While the initial high generated from your exciting new blog will never fully wear off (unless it’s just not meant to be). As any seasoned dater will tell you – boundaries are key and if you don’t establish them sooner rather then later your blog will rule your life and quickly see you neglecting your friends, family and heading for burn out.

I learnt this lesson the hard way – with a tendency to over commit, in the past I’ve allowed my blog and my coaching business to totally control my life.

At my worst point I was waking up in the middle of the night to read emails and blog comments, writing on my laptop before I’d even had breakfast, spending my lunch break compiling newsletters and my attention span was downright goldfish like.

I’d commit to ‘relaxing’ and decide to watch a movie but within minutes I would be checking emails, scrolling through Facebook and reading other bloggers posts. I had zero separation between my social life, my day job, my blog and my personal time and I was pretty unproductive.

As an introvert who usually needs lengthy periods of time alone, not doing anything to recuperate from social interaction – this quickly saw me spiraling towards burn out and ready to give up on my online dreams IF ONLY so I could get some freaking peace and quiet.

A straight-talking conversation with my gorgeous coaching buddy Tanya Mah quickly saw me pulling out my calendar and implementing some boundaries that gave me the space and the time to actually enjoy my blog and my life.

That’s the beauty of having a coach or a support network – when you are literally about ready to tear your hair out from stress and overwhelm – they are the missing link that pulls you back to sanity.

Is your blog totally ruling your life? Are you guilty of neglecting your friends, family and yourself? It’s time to regain control baby!

1. Set online free hours of the day – Put your phone on flight mode one hour before you go to bed and don’t turn it off until one hour after you get up. This will allow you to wake up to NOTHING. No notifications to check, no emails, no text messages. You can meditate, shower, get ready and enjoy the first hour of the day in absolute peace.

2. Complete your work in blocks – Pull out your calendar and schedule in time either once a week or once a fortnight to write all your blog posts, schedule your social media posts, write your newsletters and basically get all your shit done for the next week or two. This way all you need to do on a daily basis is check and respond to comments and emails, rather then trying to write posts after work for the next day.

3. Book in your non-negotiables – For me this is a gym session three times a week, family dinners, a night out once a week and lots of coffee with friends. For you it might be family time, running everyday or ten minutes to meditate before you go to work. Figure out exactly what you need and lock it in your calendar.

4. Ditch the need for perfectionism – Are you staying up late and losing sleep over something that is totally fine as it is? It may not be PERFECT but is it good enough? DONE is always better then perfect. Release your grip a little and just let go…better yet if you’ve got the cash hire a Virtual Assistant and get them to do it for you.

5. Celebrate your successes – As a society we are all guilty of brushing our achievements off, forgetting all the awesome things we’ve done and rushing forwards to achieve the next great thing. As you achieve a new success take the time to pop a bottle of bubbly, treat yourself to a mani and celebrate your general amazingness. Stop, pause and acknowledge how far you’ve come before freaking out that you have to achieve the next big thing.

What are your top tips to regain control in your blogging life? Do you agree with me…is launching a blog like starting a brand new relationship? Comment below xx

If you need support to establish boundaries in your life so you can get that blog off the ground and running contact me now for a complimentary consultation by clicking here.

Top five tips to start promoting your blog

BloggingWhen I launched my first blog Words By Aimee two years ago, I was seeking a side project where I could use my writing abilities and have full creative control over a project.

At the time I was working in a soul-sucking day job, which honestly bored me senseless, and I just felt like I needed to feel excited and passionate about something that I could have full ownership over.

I wanted to expend my energy on a project where my ideas were my own and where no one was going to take my work and morph it into something unrecognizable that had no resemblance to what I’d originally put forward.

When I hit the launch button and began to build my blog, I was so excited and invested in my newfound creative outlet that I wanted to spend hours generating and writing content for my blog.

At the same time though I was absolutely terrified to promote my blog and so scared about what my friends, family, colleagues and even acquaintances would say.

I wondered if I was actually a good writer or not, if my story ideas were stupid, if people were going to think I was severely self-centered to assume anyone would want to read my musings.

As Melissa Ambrosini would say, my inner mean girl was running rampant and she seriously held me back BIG TIME in the beginning from promoting and building my blog.

It was around this point I decided to get a fan page happening on Facebook and I had around 80 likes (all friends and family) yet this absolutely terrified me.

Every time I would post a status update I would question it relentlessly to the point where I actually unpublished my page several times so no one could see it – DON’T DO THIS!

When I unpublished my fan page I would think to myself “I’ll republish it when I feel confident in my work and what I’m putting out there.” However as I mentioned on my webinar (get a free copy here) waiting until you feel confident before you do something or launch something to the world is the biggest mistake you can make as either a blogger or an entrepreneur.

We all feel insecure and question our abilities, but what you need to do is get comfortable with feeling the fear and make a conscious choice to ignore that inner mean girl and hit the LAUNCH button anyway.

Once you can get comfortable with that fear and learn to shut out the relentless questioning you can really start to ramp up your promotional efforts for your blog. Below are some of my top tips to promote your blog and increase your profile:

1. Feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY – get comfortable with the feeling of fear, learn to shut out your inner biatch and consciously choose to be brave and do it anyway. Beyond our comfort zone is ALWAYS where the magic happens.

2. Get a mailing list happening from day one – while I totally advocate building your social media following as a way to generate traffic, the only thing you really own is your list. They’re your tribe, your followers, your community and when you decide to monetize your blog they’re the people who will be most likely to buy. Create an enticing free gift (eBook, printables, webinar) to encourage sign ups and then start sending out a newsletter weekly.

3. Choose a social media network you love and focus solely on that – if you’re juggling blogging with full time work, family and your social life, I would choose just one social media network to focus my efforts on, for me this is Facebook. In my opinion this is much more effective then having a presence across multiple networks and not having the time, energy or inclination to do it right.

4. Don’t just use your Facebook fan page – the new algorithm means that only 5% of your followers will organically see each of your posts. Savvy Facebook users are utilising the network beyond their fan page by promoting their blog and building a profile in relevant Facebook groups within their niche and through networking with other bloggers and their readers through their personal profile.

5. Encourage engagement – end every single blog post with a question to encourage your readers to comment and when they do, make sure to write a thoughtful response. This goes for social media as well; whenever someone takes the time to comment on a post you have shared, make sure to acknowledge this with a response. I would also encourage you to routinely go and comment on other blogs – the bloggers and their readers will notice and appreciate your comments and will eventually return the favour by coming to check out your blog.

What do you think are the best ways to promote a new blog and start to build an engaged tribe? Comment below xx

If you are seeking further help with launching and promoting your blog to the world click here to book in for a 20-minute complimentary discovery session (obligation free) to brainstorm the next steps forward to successfully begin to build your blog.

Risk – the true path to growth and freedom

Speaking in front of 30 women on Saturday

Speaking in front of 30 women on Saturday

I’ve always been a risk taker. It’s not that I perform death-defying stunts, think I’m invincible or am looking to chase some kind of adrenaline-fueled high.

It’s more that I take myself outside the ordinary, the stable and the secure and stretch myself in the hopes that by electing to take on a risky endeavor or two, I’ll get that to that elusive and exciting place I ultimately want to end up.

In the past year I’ve launched a blog – revealing my vulnerabilities and insecurities through my writing and potentially opening myself up to criticism and ridicule.

I’ve invested my own money in studying a non-traditional career path and launching my business when everyone around me is buying houses and settling for security.

I’ve elected to end a long-term relationship and be single by choice as I’m nearing 30 and watching my closest friends get married and have babies.

Just this past week – I hosted a webinar that went for over an hour and then later in the week got up in front of 30 women I’d never met before to share details about my life and my coaching journey.

Writing out some of the risks I’ve taken and casting my mind to some that are yet to come, I have the Hilltop Hoods, Chase That Feeling roaring through my mind. In my opinion though, the ability to take risks and to look fear in the face and choose to do it anyway is one of the most undervalued and underrated skills of today.

There’s a quote that I absolutely love that sums it up beautifully:

“If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.” – Annie Dillard

Sometimes you have to take risks in order to succeed and while some risks won’t pay off, some certainly do.

Celebrating after not making a fool of myself when I spoke

Celebrating after not making a fool of myself when I spoke

One way I like to consider whether I should take a risk or not is to think about whether I’ll regret NOT taking the risk in 20-years time when I’m nearing 50? Will I regret not having started a business? Saying I love you? Following my dreams? If the answer is YES then I do it…no matter how scary, crazy and outside the norm it may seem.

And that feeling when you do take the risk and it ultimately pays off and you come out the other side a success? Well that is one of the most liberating, exciting and inspiring feelings.

The feeling I had after I successfully hosted my webinar and after I managed to get up and speak about my life and journey to 30 women without making a fool of myself? It’s lightness and expansion…taking a risk, facing your fears and choosing to listen exclusively to what your core and your heart actually desires is what true living and growth is really all about.

What can you say yes to today? Are you ready to really start living? Are you ready to start writing? Do you want to launch a blog? Can you say yes to that speaking gig?

Share with me in the comments what crazy risk is scaring you senseless right now but what you’re committing to doing anyway? xx

Top seven lessons I learnt from hosting my first webinar

On Tuesday evening after work I bit the bullet and hosted my first ever webinar, teaming up with Tanya Mah from www.tanyamah.com to share Launch Lessons – Shortcut your blogging success and avoid the top five mistakes plaguing all newbie bloggers.

I’ve signed up for and attended many webinars in the past and as a listener they are always a great opportunity to directly connect with coaches and online professionals to discover more about exactly who they are and what they’re all about.

The idea of hosting a webinar was initially posed to me by my business coach who believed I was ready. I had to admit I found it a daunting but exciting new challenge I was keen to take on.

Having emerged from a recent slump in motivation (read more about that here) I felt like a webinar was just what I needed to get reinvigorated, reinspired and excited about my coaching business.

If I booked in a webinar and SOON, I could set myself a new challenge I needed to strive to achieve and I could take the opportunity to really own my previous experiences and share them with others.

I could put the value of my journey out there into the world in a real and responsive way in the hope that it may inspire someone else to think ‘hey I can achieve that, I can launch a blog to and make that shit happen.’

So if you’re a fellow coach or blogger and you’re considering hosting a webinar I can wholeheartedly say DO IT.

Taking the opportunity to spend an hour sharing your knowledge about a particular topic to an engaged group of listeners is an amazing way to create value for your audience and provide quality content – which is really what it’s all about.

In the spirit of Launch Lessons below are my top tips for anyone toying with the idea of hosting a webinar or live podcast:

1. Do not wait until you feel confident, you will never do it. You need to own your fear, feel the nerves and make the conscious choice to do it anyway. If you need help overcoming fear and self-doubt check some of Marie Forleo’s amazing videos by clicking here.

2. Preparation is absolutely key. I had one week to prepare and promote my webinar and it can totally be done but more time is obviously better unless you really thrive under pressure. Write an outline of exactly what you want to cover and then write dot points to speak off. Reading out word for word notes of what you want to say will come across as unnatural and inauthentic. I only chose to read one part of my webinar word for word that I specifically needed to get right; the rest came naturally.

3. If you’re scared to go it alone for your first time, collaborate with someone you admire. Tanya is my coaching partner from the Beautiful You Coaching Academy, I absolutely adore her blog and her journey is a particularly interesting one. I knew we’d have fun on the call together, it was honestly a total no brainer. Who can you invite to join you for your webinar?

4. Choose a topic you are utterly passionate about and that you can confidently speak on for an hour. I chose blogging because writing is my one true love and through my personal experience launching two blogs and going through a rebrand and my professional experience coaching website administrators and social media users – this was a topic I felt confident to speak on and it turns I had so much to say we went 15 minutes overtime.

5. Manage your expectations and know that the majority of people who sign up for your webinar will not jump on the call live. This is honestly just a sign of the times we live in and I have to say I’m as guilty of this as anyone else. I very rarely jump on study calls live; I much prefer to catch up on my podcasts while I’m cleaning and doing housework.

6. Check your technology ahead of time and use a good quality microphone and speakers. Make sure you’re not running other internet programs in the background as this can affect the quality of the call.

7. HAVE FUN – this is the number one name of the game. I expected to feel totally nervous and terrified and that the experience would be completely unenjoyable. I was so wrong – I was nervous initially but I was passionate about the topic, I loved my collaborator and I actually really enjoyed the whole experience. This definitely will not be my only webinar.

Have you ever hosted a webinar or a podcast? What are your top tips? If you haven’t hosted one yet, what’s holding you back? xx

Want to check out Launch Lessons – Shortcut your blogging success and avoid the top five mistakes all newbie bloggers make for yourself? Get instant access by >>>CLICKING HERE

A small victory…the secret ingredient to cultivate grit and determination

Can you live the laptop life?

Can you live the laptop life?

They say that if you want to experience rapid personal growth in your life become an entrepreneur. Everyday working for yourself, hustling and trying to make shit happen in your business is a combination of fleetingly beautiful highs and crushing lows.

As Winston Churchill once aptly said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going” but how do you muster the grit strength and the dogged determination to keep busting your guts on a project that quite honestly at that moment in time might literally feel like HELL and the idea of giving up on your dreams seems so tantalisingly easy and simple?

The answer is irritatingly straightforward and to use yet another ‘inspirational’ quote from Steve Case the founder of AOL – “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.”

Easier said then done right? I recently went through a crisis of faith myself. For about four weeks straight I ruminated, analysed and fixated on how I was ‘failing’ in my business, how I wasn’t cut out to be a coach, how I was never going to get clients and how I pretty much just couldn’t do this. I was ready to give up and go back to working 9-5 and occasionally pumping out a blog post on the side.

I masked my crisis of faith and lack of belief in myself as ‘being burnt out and needing to take a step back’ but what I really needed to do was address the ‘failure’ mentality I had let myself so easily and unknowingly become susceptible to.

It took a call with my straight-talking business coach to wake me up from my self-induced pessimistic stupor where she reminded me what a critical juncture I was currently sitting at. I was at a turning point in my life and in my business. I could take the easy route and give up or I could pull my socks up, find the determination and the grit that was lurking somewhere deep down inside and keep going, keep trying and keep working my ass off for the life I truly want. A life I get to live on my terms!

That is the beauty of coaching…you need someone to call you on your shit, especially if, like me, you tend to get mired in your own negativity and dark thoughts from time to time. All it took was one 45-minute call and I had managed to pull myself out of my ‘failure’ mentality and I had a new plan I was energised and excited about.

Not an easy plan by any means but I had an inkling deep down inside that I could do it – that I could make this happen. All I needed was the reignited belief and a small confirmation of my mental prowess. Call it my stubborn and skeptical Taurean nature but I needed physical proof that if I want to manifest something, I can ACTUALLY make it happen by pure belief in my abilities and myself.

Pre-run selfie in the Office

So how could I prove to myself that I could do this? That I could keep going in the face of adversity and hard times? All I needed was a small victory…a small win and I got it in a very random and surprising form.

Every Friday after work a couple of my colleagues go to a social running club where they run a 3km circuit in the park across the road from our office before heading to a nearby bowling club for a BBQ.

While it is a social event, every week it is timed, personal bests are acknowledged and the participants take part in triathlons, marathons and other serious athletic events for fun…these people are FIT.

All my adult life I’ve told myself the same story…”running is hard, I’m not a runner, I can run for a little while and then I need to walk”. I once trained for weeks for a 5km race and despite being fit enough, I let my mind take over and ended up walking some of the race, completely unnecessarily.

I’d gone to the social running club once before and again had walked some of the 3km but this time…this time was different. As I started off on the easiest handicap I told myself “if you can run this whole 3km without stopping to walk, you can be an entrepreneur and a coach and you can be successful…you CAN make this happen” and what do you know? I ran the whole 3km without stopping.

I literally felt so happy and proud of myself; I felt like I was walking on air after that run and last night after weeks of interrupted poor sleep – I slept the BEST I have in ages.

It sounds like such a simple thing…yet it’s a really powerful example of how pure belief in yourself and your abilities can override years of negative conditioning and silly stories we tell ourselves.

Are you struggling in an area of your life? What small victory can you give yourself to PROVE you can do it? Comment below xx

Be brave, be you – vulnerability, the birthplace of creativity

d198a2de1078db94f9322f6db243a350Knowing where to start is the hardest part of any creative project. Before putting pen to paper, brush to canvas, hand to mouse, or whichever tool to medium you’re working with, you could spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking about the final product, considering the response from your audience, and worrying that a piece of you is going to be on show. I know I do.

Even now, I’m thinking, “Is this what the reader is going to want to hear? Is the intro catchy enough? Do I have a ‘story’ to tell to justify my insight?” The thing about creativity is that it is subjective. So, as a creative, you have to have the ability and willingness to reveal a little of yourself. A friend once directed me to this interview with Brene Brown, and it really resonated with me.

There’s something very settling about seeing someone’s vulnerable side. It’s a relief in many ways; knowing that we’re not alone in feeling a little inadequate at times. In other ways it’s uplifting; seeing the transformation of a person who pushes past that first door and rearranges the furniture before they inevitably move to open the next door. Essentially, people simply want to be able to connect; to have a bond; to feel like they’re not alone. The beauty of this is that everyone’s experiences, views, and interpretations are unique. Yet, often we can draw similarities – or differences – and that too creates new meaning.

In the creative field, it is important to be OK with being vulnerable. If you’re not, how is anyone going to connect with you if the can’t get a feel for you? Whenever I’m feeling skeptical about being myself and questioning my authority, I listen to Brave by Sarah Bereilles – it makes me think, “Yeah! I can do this! Who knows what being me will prove?”

When I open up, like in the book I’m writing I often receive a far better (more engaged) response than when I write something based on what I think people want to hear. And I believe you will too. You can apply this principle to any creative project. Just get started and see what happens; see what comes out. Leave it for a day and revisit it. You may be surprised by what you think of your work. But the important thing is not to think – just feel for what you need to say, write, draw, paint, create. Get started, and then feel. As Ernest Hemingway famously said, “It is easy to write. Just sit in front of your typewriter and bleed.” Even if, at first, you think you’re trying to help other people, you may discover some significant insights about yourself.

Are you scared to open up and be vulnerable to your audience? What kind of reaction do you get when you allow a little bit of vulnerability to shine through in your posts? Comment below xx

Kate Wright is the holistic health coach and writer behind Inspired Mood, an online space dedicating to discovering a healthier happier life. Kate works in City Development, has a background in journalism and public relations and a passion for health and wellness. Kate studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. To find out more about her you can visit www.inspiredmood.com.

Four tips to build your blogging tribe

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Image found here

Blogging can be a lonely business… the act of sitting on your laptop, tapping out your thoughts and then hitting that publish button. You’re essentially laying your self-bare for the world to see and while it can bring about some divine moments of connection with your readers and your tribe, it can also be alienating and downright scary at times.

When I first started blogging around eighteen months ago, out of a deep sense of frustration with my job at the time and the way my life was going– I didn’t know anyone else in my day-to-day world that was blogging or writing. While I could share my new found passion with my friends and family and while they were (and still are) some of my biggest cheerleaders, I felt a yearning to connect with other people who were doing the same thing as me.

I wanted to talk WordPress vs. Blogger, inspired ideas for opt-ins and if I needed a newsletter pop-up on my blog or if a sign up form in my side bar would do. Basically I wanted to shoot the shit and discuss the mundane intricacies of having a blog with someone who would get it and not feel totally bored after five minutes by my complete and utter word nerd status. Basically I needed blogger buddies and to find a sense of community in this new online world I was venturing into.

I soon learnt in my quest for community that being located out in the sticks was not exactly doing me any favors and so I promptly booked a ticket to my first networking event for bloggers in Sydney – Live Aspire Blog – run at the time (May 2013) by my current business coach Jessica and Ursula from The Aspirer.

As networking events go, it was pretty amazing and I’d happily say the best I’ve ever been to. Christina from Hair Romance and Meredith from Young The Label (my now favorite handbag label) were the two guest speakers. I got to chat with Caz from YTravelBlog, who I found out later was one half of the amazingly successful duo, Katherine from the Beauty of Life, Olivia from Don’t Tell Summer and some other truly amazing bloggers – it was utterly fantastic to be in the same room, soaking up the knowledge, the conversations and the connections – here was my tribe, these were my people.

From that fleeting afternoon spent at Live Aspire Blog, I’ve continued to crave meaningful connections with other bloggers. As a side project goes blogging can be incredibly isolating and lonely, with a brief slump in motivation easily extending to months of inactivity if you’re not careful and you don’t have anyone to keep you on track.

If you’re keen to create a community around your passion project and connect with other brilliant babes, below are the top tips that worked for me:

  1. Attend networking events – Be selective and do your research on this one as networking events can be expensive and a waste of time if you don’t attend the right one and approach it with the right attitude. I was lucky as photos and event recaps from the recent Live Aspire Blog events had been widely written about by previously attending bloggers. I knew what I was in store for and it didn’t disappoint.
  2. Join Facebook groups – While I understood the concept of Facebook groups and had even participated in a group or two from time to time, it took a word from my business coach before I actively joined and participated in groups with other like-minded individuals. Jump in on the conversation and join Creative Hub for Brilliant Babes if you’re looking to connect with other like-minded ladies or search for your interest under groups – blogging, jewelry, craft etc.
  3. Make the most of eCourses – Are you taking an eCourse at the moment or have you previously? Anything from Marie Forleo’s Bschool to Connie Chapman’s 90-Day Transformation Project, have entire online communities filled with fellow students who you clearly share a passion with. Through my study at the Beautiful You Life Coaching Academy I’ve met some amazing women, particularly my gorgeous coaching partner Tanya from Love Tmah.
  4. Take advantage of real life connections – As I mentioned above when I first started blogging I didn’t know anyone in my networks who was writing or blogging. About three months after I launched my blog I landed a great new day-job and within my direct team were two other bloggers. Kate from Inspired Mood and Emma from Emmy and Mouse. I made the most of my real life connections and now I routinely have blog dates with Kate where we get together to bounce ideas around, while encouraging and supporting one another.

What are your top tips to connect with other brilliant babes and create a community of like-minded ladies? I’d love to hear, comment below xx

Perfectionism…The Death of Creative Success

Creative CoachingSometimes you just have to start before you’re ready…otherwise you will never get your butt off the couch, stop addictively streaming Orange is the New Black and launch that creative endeavor to the world…and yes I am that binge watching example.

Three weeks ago I had a session with my business coach where we brainstormed ideas as to why my life coaching business was not taking off in the way we had hoped. It all felt like a struggle, it wasn’t right, I didn’t feel confident and like I could own it…basically it wasn’t me.

I was trying to appeal to this 20-35 year old woman who wanted to ditch the drudgery and create this radical audacious version of her own life, yet somehow it didn’t quite ring true. I didn’t feel like I could actually coach someone on that because while of course I’m trying to live the best version of my own life, if I’m being brutally honest here…it just all felt a bit fraudulent.

After a bit of brainstorming we came up with a new direction for my business and a new program – Creative Coaching for Brilliant Babes.

Now here was something I could coach people on, I didn’t feel like I needed to have this AMAZING I’ve-got-all-my-shit together life to help people with this. I’m a writer, I work in PR, I blog and have an online business – this is what I do…I’m GOOD at this!

I feel so thrilled and excited to help clients who are feeling unsatisfied in their day job to create their own passion project, launch it and successfully market it to an excited and engaged audience so they can feel creatively fulfilled and even potentially make a side income from it.

However as I’m sure many of the perfectionists out there would know, once you get a brilliant idea in your mind and you just feel in your gut that it’s going to work, come launch day you want EVERYTHING to be perfect.

I had a list as long as my arm of everything that needed to be reworked on my website, including my Work With Me page and my About Me page. I needed a new blog-series ready to go, I needed my Facebook group up and running, I needed some amazing new images, I needed all my auto-responders to be reworked, I needed to update my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages and I NEEDED all of this stuff ready to go on my launch day.

Was this honestly a realistic expectation of myself? No way, I’d just come back from holidays and had done nothing on my business while I was away as I was desperate for a break and reaching burn out prior to the break. Since arriving home I had less then 24 hours before I had to jump back into full time work, study and coaching and did I have the time to do all of this is under five days before launching last Friday? HELL NO!

Was not having every single thing on my list ready and perfect going to affect the quality of my business and doom me to forever being mediocre and getting no clients? No and logically I knew this was not the case…but I just wanted everything to be pretty and perfect and gosh old habits really do die-hard.

Ultimately I just had to accept that I could press launch with the bare bones of what I did have on Friday and put it out there into the world – before spending a more leisurely weekend, in a better head space to finish what I didn’t have ready by Friday.

Now while I got tonnes shit done for my business over the weekend everything still isn’t perfect, pristine and pretty but will it ever be up the ridiculous standards I set for myself? That’s not really reality! Nothing is ever perfect and there’s always something we can improve on, however if you don’t at least start before your ready, take a leap and grow wings on the way down…as a perfectionist you may never get out of that of that creatively stalled and stuck space.

Are you allowing the fear of not being seen as perfect, pristine or pretty stop you from pressing the LAUNCH button in an area of your life? Do you have a blog post that’s dying to be written but nowhere to publish it because your fear of not having the most gorgeous online space stops you from trying at all? Are you scared to write that book in case someone judges your less then amazing grammar skills?

Comment below and let me know where you’re allowing perfectionism to stall your creativity.

If you’re interested in how I can help you overcome fear and perfectionism to successfully launch that creative project to an excited and engaged audience check out my work with me page and contact me today for a complimentary 20-minute consultation.