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An Entrepreneur's Secret Weapon

11722466_722667254526354_7125672049141954737_oWhat woke you in the middle of the night last night? Not a bad dream. Not a fear. An idea. It yanked you awake, as if the world were going to end if you didn't write it down. (What? You're an entrepreneur who doesn't sleep with paper and pen(cil) by your head? Then you're doing it wrong.) As someone who's blood courses with ideas and tangents that you need to spread, then you owe it to yourself to arm your business with the tools to make it happen. And the greatest tool at your disposal: The acknowledgement of your obsession with your business.

Give yourself fucking PERMISSION to own who you are, without apology to any Tom or Dick that doesn't understand. You have the world to conquer and without an obsession to fuel it, IT. WON'T. HAPPEN.

When you look at the great entrepreneurs: Jobs, Cuban, Branson, Disney, and so many more...you see a pattern. A pattern of insane drive, an obsession, if you will.

They didn't let anything stand between them and their ideas. Not even OTHER ideas. Sure, they had them. We all suffer with Shiny Object Syndrome, but they were obsessed enough to build out the ones their guts told them were gold.

Are you? Am I?

I've been out of the saddle for two months. TWO MONTHS. Do NOT do this shit. Do NOT let life slap you and put you face down on the concrete. I'm not naive enough to think that you or I can't be slapped or feel the sting of said slaps. But I am here to suggest that if your obsession is deep enough, if it is great enough, that slap won't keep you down for long.

A lot of women say, "I want this. I want that." Blah, blah, blah. I say, "I NEED this. I NEED that. If I don't get it, I will die." Period. We all know that's shit. BUT, the point is it has to become your oxygen. It has to become the thing that gets you out of bed every. goddamn. day. Because if it's not, you'll let that slap keep you down too long.

Your revenue suffers. Your visibility suffers. Your mental state suffers.

Entrepreneur Ownership

Take your head out of your ass. Plant your eyes squarely on your goal again. And obsess over it. Make it your everything. Dream about it at night. Dream about it in the day. Breathe it. Think about it when you're alone. Think about it when you're not alone. Strategize in the shower (It's the only thing that gets me unstuck). Draw pictures of the thing you want most in this life before you sleep. Write about it before you start your day. Feel it coursing through your veins as though it were the only thing sustaining you.

Success is INEVITABLE when you obsess. Full Fucking Stop.

Are you playing? Or is your business your obsession??

If your strategy isn't working to grow and feed your obsession, let's connect and see how I can best support you and help you make it happen. It could be a simple solution that just needs a little push. 

The Pain of Entrepreneurship

Pain of Entrepreneurship | Tania DakkaYou want it. But do you want it bad enough? What did you do to make it happen? This year is over. Your chance to make it matter is gone. Did you take it?

So many people didn’t take theirs. And they’re now running around, planning for next year and trying to get focused (you know, because January 1 is a magical date and the New Year Fairy is going to give you the will and drive you need to carry you through the next 365).

Showing Up – Through the Pain

At the start of this year, almost 200 people donned their CAPEs and faced a Brave New Year. We worked hard building our confidence, acceptance, permission, and execution skills. Let me tell you, without that CAPE, you really can’t do anything. Anything.

So, we did the work. We showed up to the Grind. Everyday.

Some days were so much harder than others. Life just wants to get in your way and see you fail, sometimes. We all had our struggles over the course of this Brave year, but many of us made it. Others of us didn’t.

They fell prey to the shit life threw at them: Death. Divorce. Broken relationships. Lost jobs. Insanity.

Not their fault. It’s hard to focus when your brain and your heart are cloudy. I know. Death and brokenness leaves you hollow and empty. A shell of an entrepreneur.

But you shine your light through the fog and you make something. Anything.

The Target Practice Party? A direct result of me not wanting to work. Of my escape from the clouds – and pain – I was in. Was it easy? No. Could it have been better? SHOULD it have been better? Absolutely. But it was shipped and it had great content to help others that were struggling – and that’s what mattered.

Okay…I digress.

The point is: Instead of letting the fog shut you down, instead of sitting idly by, WISHING you had done something, push through. Put on your CAPE. Do the work. Period.

So What do YOU Want?

Being an entrepreneur hurts sometimes, but it's also what drives us. [Tweet?] The chance to make something that is truly your own is gold, so you have to take it. Or spend your life in regret.

Do not sit on your hands next year and let it pass you by.

I want you to get your ideas out there. I want you to fail. I want you to learn from that failure because your next success will be the honey after the bitter medicine.

But it doesn’t matter what I want.

What matters is what YOU want. So ask yourself, “Do I want it bad enough to push through the pain? Do I want it bad enough to work the Grind everyday? Do I want it bad enough to not stop, no matter what?”

If you said “yes”, take the next step: Focus your goal and your vision. Then make it happen.

Happy new year. Happy new you.

If this piece resonated with you at all, I'd be honored if you'd click the share buttons at the bottom. Thanks!! :D Kick ass this week!

Tania

An Entrepreneur's 5 Routes to Better Writing (And Online Success)

Show me the money! Isn't that why you're in biz? To earn money?

People come to your site to see your "goods", to hear what you have to say, and to decide if they want to give you their money.

Without writing that captures their hearts, you won't capture their wallets. Period.

Content, content, content

You've heard the Content Marketing buzz, you may have even soaked up some tips from our Content Marketing Mindslam, but the basis of content marketing is what? Say it with me now. Words. Words done right.

Making a living online is possible. Chris Brogan does it. James Chartrand does it. Corbett Barr does it. Glen Allsopp does it. And the list goes on and on and on. The one thing that makes it possible are the words they choose to use. The content they create. Their combinations of words and emotions are what make them successful.

They know how to write well. They know how to craft their messages so their readers want and need to consume them. They don't have super powers. They just have knowledge.

And you can have that same knowledge, too.

There are lots of ways to become a better writer.

tijmen van dobbenburgh

An Entrepreneur's 5 Routes to Better Writing

1. Read. Read. Read. Up your writing ante by reading fiction that speaks to the heart and the soul. There are loads of writers out there with beautiful minds and gorgeous words. Absorb the ways they each title reaches your heart as you read:

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Yesterday's Gone by Sean Platt (You could pull anything off his shelf and be good to go - he's an Imagery Wizard!)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Stranger in a Strange Land by  Robert Heinlein

Poems on the Top 500 Poems List on PoemHunter.com

2. Read blogs. Flipping from site to site or sifting through your Newsify app for the latest trends is great. For wasting time. Trust me.

I spent a year digging through the web trying to find the keys to great writing. They are there. But finding them is hard, then knowing if you're using them well is harder. You can become a better writer fishing through blogs looking for nuggets. But that won't make you a great writer.

And great writers make the money.

3. Take a course. The fastest route to great writing is education. Taking the Damn Fine Words course subtracted years of self-study and added 10 weeks of powerful value, that I earn a return on everyday. And that's the very reason I (and many, many others) return to James to take her other courses – because she's there to give us one-on-one feedback on our assignments, she's there to interact with us everyday during the course, and we walk away smarter, savvier, and damn fine writers.

But, I have taken courses from the wrong teachers before, too, so you have to be careful who you choose out there.

4. Get a one-on-one mentor. Pay a little more and have one-on-one sessions with the leader of your choice. James does coaching. Demian Farnworth does, too. (He's another I'd love to learn from because he's magical with a keyboard.) Find out if your favorite writer coaches and approach them. It's likely they'll say "yes" if you have a good relationship with them and are willing to shell out the moula to make it happen.

5. Do the work. Never stop writing. No matter what excuses you can come up with to not write, ignore them and do it anyway. Every day, life has a habit of stepping between us and success. But if you don't let it, and you write anyway, you'll beat it at its own game.

Write for the sake of winning.

Would your prospective clients and customers say you're a good writer? Where do you think they'll tell you you could improve?

 If you got anything out of this post, I'd be honored if you'd use the social buttons below and share it with your networks! Thanks!

photo credit: tijmen van dobbenburgh via stock.xchng

Entrepreneur Overwhelm: Accept it - with a machete

Entrepreneur Overwhelm KillerThere you sit - again - staring at your screen, willing yourself to send an email or trying to convince yourself that you will finish your post for content marketing eventually. And there goes your mind - off to Oz instead. As entrepreneurs we deal with a loads of to-dos. There's market study to be done. There's content marketing to carry out - everyday. There's perfecting our craft, too. And much more.

Where does it end?? Simple. It doesn't.

And when you listen to the kids in behind you screaming while you work, or your family calling because they don't believe you keep office hours - after all, you're not REALLY working, right?  It's enough to make you leave your pillow a drenched mess at night when you finally do pull yourself away from your screen to cry yourself to sleep. I'm not the only one, right? RIGHT? Help me here. :)

So what do you do?

Give up? NEVER!! You're and Entrefiend filled with passion and it flows through you - you could never give up your precious baby that you're working SO hard on.

Hopefully, family's not going anywhere. Unless, you know...nevermind.

So what's left? What can you do to change things?

Accept and sever

Accept where you are. Accept that right now, things are not different. You are where you should be and you'll come out a better person for it (this acceptance thing isn't mine - I stole it from Chris Brogan's Brave - sorry, Chris!). And before you think that it means you have to give up...it's the opposite. You accept it, but you work to change it. In the Brave group, we work together every day to accept where we are, but work to make it to where we want to be. And it's helped each of us to make powerful shifts and transformations.

You're short. Accept it. (Ok, that won't change.) You're an entrepreneur with a less than ideal working environment. Accept it. Now fix it. BINGO!

Then, hack the hell out of the crap that's in your way. No blaming the in-laws for not respecting your work hours - turn the damn phone off! See? That's how it works. You OWN what you have and OWN what you have to do to get where  you want to be.

Once you've accepted, put your Standard Operating Procedures into motion.

You ARE a business, right? You've got to have a system that works in place.

What does work?

Learning to take naps? Maybe. Walking everyday? Probably. Eating right? No freakin comment, but yeah. Beating even the sun up to get your stuff done in the still of the morning?  Usually. Shred your current habits to bits until you find every hint of Success Obstruction and take a machete to it!

Ideas with blades

Rich Lamendola, of our Google+ community, EntreFiends is working on creating to-do lists every night instead of flying blindly through his day. Maybe you make to-dos, too, but do you go back and re-read them each morning or before you sit down to your Mac? (Don't laugh. I didn't used to read them after I wrote them.)

I'm testing a schedule where each day of the week is dedicated to a particular area that needs study, reading, etc. This week, I designated Marketing Monday, Writer Wednesday, and Fiction Friday. This may or may not work, but I'm slicing what doesn't and moving on to what does.

You could also break your day into chunks, if that works for you. Keep them 90 minutes or less, with breaks. Dedicate that time to what you need to improve, study, write, edit, clean...whatever. How many 90 minute chunks can you fit in in a day? Minus 4 hours for sleep, of course. WHAT? You need more?? Baby.

Are you outsourcing crap you're not proficient at? (Just tell me how many days you wasted plugging and tweaking your new website theme and how many hours you spent in the forums trying to get help!) You've done it before. Hated to shell out the cash, but ultimately you did it in the end anyway because, well, you weren't working on earning money, you were playing your website. Nuff said.

The point is, if you're like the rest of us, overwhelmed...Take a breath. Make your acceptance speech. And start swinging your machete.

It's YOUR business, now go OWN it.

 

Thanks for reading (this was originally an email, then I realized it went from flash fiction to War and Peace:) Good decision? I hate sending long emails because I know you're busy and won't have a chance to read it. :) How sweet. LOL

That said, you should totally sign up in the little black box up there for two reasons: 1) Laughter - cause hey, we all need some and 2) tools, tips and tricks for entrepreneurs - kind of like this one, but about a quarter of the length - promise!

So after you leave a comment (pretty please with your fave treat  on top) about your own solutions to overwhelm, pop your name in the black box at the top - and I'll see you on the other side!

Have a ROCKIN week <3!

 

Photo credit: bschwehn via Stock.xchg

Waiting for the Right Voice = Fail

Tania Dakka | Copy FiendI failed. So far, this year, I’ve dropped the ball on every fitness goal I’d set for myself.

Mostly because I've been waiting. Waiting for a voice to say, “Tania, you CAN do this.” Or “Tania, let me help you do this.”

I was waiting for a hand-holder, a cheerleader. Only I didn't realize it – until I had been asked what I was waiting for in Chris Brogan's newsletter this morning. (If you don't get it, don't. Unless you like reading that prompts action. All gold.)

One of the reasons we fail was just painted on the wall in bright red lipstick. And as much as I love red lipstick, seeing my failure for what it was wasn't so pleasant.

It's all in the voice

We give a lot of credence to the voices around us. Too much, maybe.

And we've been lucky enough to have some amazing voices in our Brave group to help push us farther, faster. Because of the voices heard in that community everyday, we're pushed to action. Because of them, we do and we achieve. We hold each others’ hands and cheer.

Accomplishing was easy. We listened to the voices. Did the work. Got the results.

But I listened only with my business goals. Not my fitness goals.

Have you ever failed?

Have you ever set goals and watched yourself fail because you didn’t see them through?

It’s embarrassing.

Were you waiting on a voice to tell you that you could or should do something? Were you waiting to hear a chorus of “Yes!” and “That’s a great idea!”

When we have cheerleaders, it's easy to be Brave. When we’re alone, it’s a different story. The tones become more ominous and prominent. Our challenges get bigger.

Maybe bigger than we think we are.

But those nasty voices telling us, “There’s no use” or “Don’t try. It’s already been done” are the most hideous voices of all – our own.

What if...?

What if you stop waiting for the right voice? What if you stop waiting for your cheerleader, consultant or whoever to tell you you can?

Would you sit still – paralyzed and unsure of what you're next move should be?

I bet not. The flames of your dreams would still lap at the inside of your belly making sitting still not really an option. Not for you. You burn to succeed. You can taste it every day.

So that means you have to stop waiting for the right voice.

And write your own cheers. Ones that say, "Yes, I can." And, "Yes, I will." That say, "Forget how hard it looks, you got this." That "You are the man!"

This isn’t going to be so easy because you’ve likely spent many years telling yourself you shouldn’t listen to you or your own ideas. That they aren’t really that good. Or that you’re not CopyBlogger or Jon Morrow, so don't try.

The truth is you’re not those guys. You’re you. And there’s a whole sea of people waiting to hear what you have to say.

Repeat after me: “I can do this.”

Now, put your head down and push through the voices that tell you otherwise.

 

Thanks for hanging with me today, I appreciate your time. Now, jump in the comments and tell me what you're going to do to start listening to your own voice.

 

Photo Credit: [auro] via Compfight cc

Stress of being an Entrepreneur Pulling You Down?

Escaping the stress of being an entrepreneur“Escaping the zoo! How do you escape the stress of being an entrepreneur and a parent?” Those words resonated with a lot of people on Instagram the other day.

Because we’re all working so hard and trying to make the most of the new entrepreneurial scene, because all want to be the best we can be, because we are driven to make more and be more, we hyper-focus. And it’s usually our relationships that suffer the most.

We work until we hit the wall – getting up at ungodly hours of the morning to hone and work our craft, staying up until all hours of the night, scrambling to make the most of every blessed moment of silence – and we can’t take anymore.

Stress of performing

Our minds are constantly on our next project and our families feel it. They know we’re into something, but they don’t quite understand how big it is for us. And it often causes headaches and heartaches.

They have a different idea of what life should be like than we do. They’re still holding on to the old life. The old way of doing things. They expect things to stay the way they were. And they should.

Sort of.

They expect us to be the people we were before. Laughing, loving, having fun. That’s all. They don’t expect us to give up your dreams of internet success and making lives for them that they love.

They just expect us to do it without disrupting their lives and their dreams of being with us.

Whether “disrupting their lives” means not going out on Saturday when the whole family is together or it means having clean clothes put in their right places, mostly our families want us to keep things as normal as possible.

And while it seems easy enough, it isn’t.

Chaos and stress

As our business wings begin to flutter and flap, the need to do more rises in us, yet so does our family’s needs for us to stay grounded swell, as well.

So we’re torn. Between what they want, our need to satisfy their wants, and our own needs.

And that tear creates chaos. Chaos breeds stress.

Psychologically, we all need order. Balance. And our own chaos disrupts the order of those around us. And their ensued chaos bounces off our chaos. Until we’re all beating against each other in a frenzy of disarray. Disharmony. Discord.

But that wasn’t the goal of becoming an entrepreneur.

The goal was happiness. Order. Peace. For all.

So how can we bring the balance that we’re looking for while still satisfying our urges to build, grow, and soar?

5 Ways to manage the chaos and stress of being an entrepreneur – so you can love what you do again

1. Get support. One of the ways we fall down is trying to do everything ourselves. It’s just impossible. No one person can manage a family, a household, and a business alone. With family comes built-in support (hopefully). If you’re alone, reach out to a friend or two who you could offer support to in return for their supporting you.

??Action you can take right now:

*Set up a time to get your family together and discuss your vision for your family and how you plan to make that dream a reality. Don’t dictate, though, make sure everyone has a chance to be heard.

*Outline the steps you may need to take to get there so they understand what you’re doing is for the good of the family. Refer to it every time someone asks you to do something and you cannot possibly walk away from what you’re doing.

*Use the right language when someone needs something from you: “I do want to do this with you. And I want you to have the attention you deserve, so in one hour, I’ll be able to give you the undivided attention you should have” lets them know you have their best interests at heart and will follow through, as soon as you’re able.

2. Get out. Hyper-focusing means we probably don’t get out like we should. It means we put off what isn’t going to directly effect our bottom line until the right time (which, incidentally, never comes). Staying on lock down drains you mentally and physically. Stop.

Action you can take right now:

*Schedule time outside every day. The fresh air helps you to revive your creative juices so you’ll be more productive when you go back to work.

*Make your time outside family time. This one’s really cool because then you get to spend time reconnecting with them and refueling your own creativity.

3. Close your eyes. Most of us need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep every night. But, we try to skate by on five or six (unless you’re Chris Brogan, who sleeps with the chickens and is up with the roosters – which could be the reason he’s able to create so much content). Seven is the magic number for most people and not only boosts creativity, but brings clarity of thought, too. Have you ever tried to focus on a meeting after only a few hours of sleep?

Action you can take right now:

*Set yourself on a reasonable schedule. Allow time in your day to craft, time to be with family, and time to rest. Then, stick to it.

*Make sleep a business priority – not a luxury. When you set appointments, you keep them, or you don’t keep clients. Your bed is your client.

4. Learn to be present. If you’re working on a project, give your project your full attention. Don’t think about what you need to do later or what you should be doing right now for the house. Multitasking is good for draining your mental batteries and wearing you out. Stop.

Action you can take right now:??

*Learn to give your full attention to what you’re doing. When you find your mind wandering, pull yourself back to the project in front of you with a reminder like, “There’ll be time to think about this later”. And return your focus to your work.

*If you’re with your family, make sure you are focused on them and what you can do to make your time together happy and relaxed. When you find yourself wandering mentally, use your reminder to pull yourself back to focus.

5. Become friends with paper and pencil again. Writing things down gets them off your mind. Less on your mind is less stress on your shoulders. Learn to write down everything as soon as it comes to you.

Action you can take right now:??

*Designate a small notebook to carry with you at all times (or if you prefer, organize notebooks in Evernote, whatever) and have lists for: groceries, house to-dos, reminders, inspiration, emails to send, content to create, things to say to your significant other, phone calls to make, work to-dos. And use them. Don’t just write it and forget it. Refer to it often.

*Journal again. Journalling is a great way to unwind and get the stress onto your paper and off of your mind. ??*Keep your goals at your finger tips and always refer to them before you start work. The more productive your work time is, the less you worry about when you’re not working.

Being an entrepreneur and a parent is never going to be easy. But the more steps we take to make it bearable, the better all our lives and our families lives will be.

Share your favorite ways to beat stress are and how often you engage in them in the comments below!