If you have something to say

If you have something to say, just SAY IT!

I need you to know this.

There are no new ideas. There are no new things to say. There is nothing to say that hasn’t been said before. If you’re waiting to have something NEW to say, you’re shit outta luck.

I can’t even tell you how many people I talk to who haven’t written that book yet, or want to blog, or something, but they say they haven’t got anything new to say.

So here’s what I want you to know

NO ONE, not anyone on the planet, has your unique combination of experience, education, history, character, personality, values, filters, psychology, even chemistry.

Not anyone else.

You might be able to group yourself in with other Virgos, or ENTJs, or air monkeys, or ambiverts, or youngest children, or divorced widows, or ANYTHING, but no other individuals in those groups have the exact same makeup as you.

It’s impossible.

And?

That means:

  • no one else will look at things quite like you.
  • no one else will express your ideas quite like you.
  • no one else can say the things you want to say, in just the same way.

So if you have something to say, for the love of all that is good and interesting and worth being said,

JUST SAY IT.

We want to hear from you.

(Love you!)

PS: Oprah’s right! #noceilingsallowed

Whose permission do you need?

Being permissive

My 40s have been an exercise in being permissive.

I was calling it an exercise in removing restrictions and barriers until I realised that then I was giving power to any remaining restrictions and barriers.

Well, fuck that.

The power is mine.

I claim the power to give myself permission

The emancipation of Shelly

I don’t think that’s unusual – for a woman in her 40s to become more powerful in her own world. But being typical doesn’t make my experience any less incredible to me living it.

It has been nothing less than emancipatory – realising I didn’t need anyone’s permission but mine.

I needed to give myself permission to live the life I wanted to live. I needed to give myself permission to speak the words I wanted to speak. To wear the clothes I wanted to wear. To present myself to the world the way I wanted to be seen.

Removing barriers

This post is the result of me giving myself permission.

I wanted to write a post every day for 40 days.

And, what made that not only possible but REALLY EASY was removing any restrictions about what and how I wrote.

I gave myself permission to write ANYTHING. Not just about writing. Not just about branding. Not just about the things I’m known for, but anything.

I removed a barrier.

I gave myself permission.

It seems like such a tiny thing.

But it’s everything.

Business cards like a badass – designed by another badass

What do YOU need to give yourself permission to do?

How to get better at writing

Practice.

The end.

OK fine, I’ll say more.

But that is one of the biggest things if you want to improve your writing. It’s a muscle that needs to be strengthened. You get better at it the more you do.

I didn’t know it, but I was refining my skills

I’ve always said that one of the reasons I’m a good writer is that when I was 15, I kept a journal. For a good couple of years, I wrote a full page every day, religiously. I wrote whatever I wanted. There was a lot of teenage angst, a lot of hormonal ups and downs, plenty of sulking, and a good share of falling in and out of love. I’m sure now, in my 40s, most of it would seem ridiculous.

But the point isn’t what I wrote.

It’s THAT I wrote.

My brain got good at articulating thoughts and translating them into words and sentences. Connections were built. The pathways between my brain and my fingertips got strengthened.

Write Purposefully

In the last (nearly) decade of running my business, I’ve developed a refined skillset – one specifically around purposeful writing. Writing that sets out to achieve a certain purpose with a certain audience.

When I sit with a client who needs help with a document and we come up with the answers in minutes, they’re astounded. They can’t believe how good I am at it. How easy I made it look.  They think I’m some kind of magician.

I maintain it’s just because of the years of practice.

Refine your process

I’ve refined my practice down to starting with some very specific pieces of information.

Once I know those, it’s easy to get clarity about a document, make some key decisions about how to approach it, and create a quick plan. All of a sudden that document isn’t an elephant you have to eat. It’s a map to follow on the way to arriving at a destination you know have made clear.

As I use that process EVERY DAY, for years now, it’s become very easy. I’ve become very good at it.

It’s not that I’m some document-whisperer. I’m just very well-practiced.

No amount of writing training will wave a magic wand and make writing suddenly easy.

It can help you take some leaps and bounds towards that, raise your confidence, and give you tools to use.

Those things are all incredibly helpful.

And, you have to practice.

You can’t get better at writing without writing. #SorryNotSorry

Heeey superwoman! How’s your cape?

I did the best I could.

I tried my hardest.

I couldn’t have done more.

I used to feel guilty every time I thought or said any one of those statements. I thought they were lies.

The superwoman days

You see, I have these days every now and then that I call my superwoman days.

On those days, I get up ridiculously early, stay up ridiculously late, and accomplish a super-human amount of stuff. I go and go and go and push and push and push.

I produce, I meet milestones and deadlines and demands, all in between client meetings and calls, maybe travelling between cities, and all while wearing heels and makeup. And maybe cooking dinner and hugging a child or two.

Fuck. I’m tired even thinking about it.

Beware the lies we tell ourselves

But here’s where the lying comes in: Since I do have superwoman days, I saw those as me being my best, trying my hardest, and only those days.

Every other day I counted as me being less than. Less than my best. Less than trying my hardest.

So on difficult days, on days when I was feeling low or everything turned to shit, or all the cats didn’t get herded, or clients got let down or my feet were just too fucking sore for heels, and I tried to be kind to myself and say, I did the best I could, I didn’t believe it. I thought I could do better.

I mean, I can be superwoman! I have proof! And on this day I hadn’t. So I clearly hadn’t done my best.

I lived this way for a long, long time (hello, antidepressants).

Mindset makeover required

Until I realised that my superwoman days were just that: SUPERHUMAN.

More than my best. They were anomalies. Exceptions to the norm. Really fucking impressive and exciting, but exceptions nevertheless.

I had to acknowledge that no one can be superwoman every day. That’s not my best! It’s BEYOND MY BEST.

What I do every other day, every day when I get up and am kind to people and get shit done, and get dressed or don’t, and work or don’t, and cry or don’t, that is me doing my best. That is me trying my hardest.

Because we all fucking do the best we can, every fucking day.

Put the cape away.

Really.

Put it away.

Pull it out on special occasions.

But recognise that it’s not everyday-wear.

You’re NOT actually superwoman.