New You for a New Year :: Day 5

New You for a New Year by Marketing Creativity

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Here we are on Day 5! I’m having such a great time on my end, and I hope you’re enjoying the series just as much. If you’re just finding us, it’s not too late to jump in. Here’s what we’ve covered so far …

:: Day 1       :: Day 2     :: Day 3     :: Day 4

Today, I’m talking more with the amazing Leonie Dawson. She’s a soul-centered creative business owner from Australia, and she’s turned her message and artwork (which she shares via her blog) into a company that earns half-a-million dollars per year. Read her incredible journey in the free e-book she offers on her website, Biz & Blog Star Workshop.

In this interview, Leonie joins us to discuss all things New Year’s related. She’s getting a lot done on her side of the world, and I thought she’d be the perfect person to ask for productivity advice! The interview (in its entirety) is embedded just below.

{If it doesn’t appear for you, please refresh the page or visit the link: Leonie Dawson Interview}

Leonie Dawson Interview from Lisa Jacobs on Vimeo.

Here’s the second half of the interview (from the 16-minute mark) transcribed for you:

Okay! So, in keeping fluid, (I can’t wait to hear your answer to this next question) when you are on purpose and everything’s aligned, you’re doing every day what you love and what feels true to you and people are responding, unimaginable things start to happen. Don’t they? Dreams come true that you never even knew [you wanted], but when they arrive, it’s almost like you’ve been asking for them your entire Life. It was there, and you didn’t even know you wanted it. Have you been blown away by how in sync it all is?

Absolutely, and I also want to add a caveat to that from my own experience. When I was first starting out many years ago, I was creating and putting [myself] out there, but things didn’t seem to have traction in the business sense, receiving income for it, and being able to give up my office job to Live this Life every day.

I realized in that moment that I had really developed my creative and spiritual muscles. I’d spent a long time honing them because they were what most brought me joy. I realized that in order to take this gift into the world and help as many people as possible, I also needed to develop business muscles and marketing muscles in order to be able to share this in a bigger way.

I felt it was like building a ship around my offerings, one that was so strong and large, it could take it to many places and many people. When you build your business muscles, that’s what you’re doing, you’re building a very strong vessel around your gifts in order to be able to offer them into the world.

I want you to know that business and marketing isn’t something that you’re born with. I am the most numbers-phobic hippy that was ever born under the sun. People would be like, “You’d be really good at accounting or business and marketing” and I’d [laugh out loud].

So, I want you to know that business and marketing are a learnable skill. They’re 100% learnable and they are 100% doable. You aren’t born a business person. Some people have that entrepreneurial spirit and they go around and make little jobs for themselves and income even as a kid, and I think, man, that’s amazing! For me that was never the case. I was too busy scratching my nose and riding horses and painting paintings. That was my childhood.

It was a very conscious decision for me to be able to develop those muscles, and it’s not that difficult. It’s all learnable. It’s just like adding wheels to your business. You don’t have to reinvent wheels, you just gotta find out how wheels are made, stick them on your business and it goes so much quicker and so much faster.

Currently, we’re a half-a-million-dollar a year company, and I would never ever have expected that to be the case! I would be like, “[laughs out loud] See if that’s going to happen to this hippy! As if I’m going to be a CEO of a company like that! [laughs out loud]” But, it’s learnable. It’s doable. And what’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice your soul, your happiness, or your lifestyle in order to do it.

I have always had those values of having a joyful, really balanced life. I’m a mom now to a three-year old, so I will only work two hours a day. To so many people, that’s outside the realm of their understanding like, how can you run such a large and abundant company on so few hours a day? And that happens when you get so focused on the things that you want to create and how you’re going to share it with the world, that nothing else distracts you.

And when it does distract you, you just get yourself back aligned. If it’s happening again, get off the internet, get strategic, know what is really powerful for you and your business and do it. Do it! 

That is excellent advice! This is great, it leads us right into the next question. For anybody who might not know, would you please explain the “Ride the Wild Donkey Technique”? 

(Laughs) I love Ride the Wild Donkey! I am not a person who chips away at tasks, who goes, “Okay, I’m going to write a book. I will take the next two years to write that book, and each day I will write 500 words for that book. And every single day I will do that.” I have a British accent when I think those thoughts.

That does not work for this soul. This soul needs to get in, get shit done, get it finished, get it out in the world; that’s the only way. An idea shows up in your paddock, it’s a wild donkey, you’re only job is to ride that wild donkey until it is done. Then, you release him from your paddock. That’s your whole purpose.

I’ve written two books. The first was written in a month; the second one was written in about two months. It was just supreme dedication to getting it finished. When I talk to business clients who are wanting to start a book, I’m like, “Cool. I want you to go and tonight, I want you to publish your website. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be done, and it needs to be out there in the world.”

That’s when momentum starts. Momentum breeds momentum. The more you start doing things, the more you get yourself in the habit of taking steps closer toward your goals. It is life-changing and dream-changing, and that’s what gets shit done! Ride the wild donkeys!

Excellent advice. So now, I’m going to have to take you back to a metaphor you used earlier where you said some people get creative constipation, and they need an enema. I would call myself someone who gets creative diarrhea. I start half-finished projects everywhere. 

I’m trying to adopt that [wild donkey] habit, and I’m struggling to adopt it, because recently I’ve been working a project through to its end. I found that, yes, more things have happened in the last month since I’ve done that than in my entire creative career. 

What I want to know is for somebody like me, who has little half-started projects everywhere and is trying to adopt the Ride the Wild Donkey technique, what advice would you give to help get it done?

Awesome. Yes, here you’ve got to know about the energy cycles of projects. So, when an idea comes to you and you’re like, “Holy Shit! Yes! This is so exciting! Get it done! Get it done! Get it done!” And then about the 40-80% mark, you start to say, “Ew, gawd. The energy’s slowing down. It’s a bit harder, like I don’t really want to finish this. I actually have to put some effort in.”

When you break through that point wherever you meet that resistance, usually between the 40-80% mark for people, it feels like you can’t get past that point. That’s the point where you usually just drop off, and it becomes a project that falls into “Mount Unfinished,” that’s what I call that pile of projects that never get finished. It’s Mount Unfinished, it’s a big mountain on the side of your desk.

So instead, when you hit that barrier, you just go, “I know this is resistance right now. I know that when I get this thing finished, I will feel another burst of energy.” So you push, push, push, push, push until it’s out. And as soon as it’s out, it’s a beautiful point where this new energy flows to you and you will feel fulfilled, you will feel momentum. More good things happen in your business once it’s finished and out in the world doing the thing that it’s supposed to do.

I would highly recommend looking over Mount Unfinished and seeing what projects still need to be finished. You’ve got two options here: You either (1.) Decide that you want to finish them, and take them forth. Or you (2.) hold a ceremony for them, and you let them go. They’re finished, they’re done, and they’re not going to be out into the world. [You tell yourself,] “That’s as far as I’m going with this. It was useful for creative exploration, but it no longer serves me to put it out in the world.”

That was excellent advice. I know that there’s a lot of people that that’s exactly what they need to hear right now. Especially going into the New Year, what do I do with all this half-started stuff? That’s exactly what you need to hear, and actually what I’m trying to do right now: clear half of it, get rid of the other half, and start with a clean, fresh piece of clay for 2013. I know that’s going to be excellent advice for a lot of people. Thank you.

That’s beautiful. I love that, yes, the fresh piece of clay.

Alright. I’m going to take another page from your workbook, and one of the questions is, “What would you like to stop doing?” Could you give us some tips on identifying those things? I always take that a little deeper. I know that can be a light question like, “I’m going to stop procrastinating.” It can come off-the-top. 

But, I always like to go deep with that. Really, what do I need [to get rid of]? What debris is in my Life, and how can I clear it? Because I like a clean channel. Can you give some tips on identifying those things that are not supporting are spirit and need to be surrendered? Big things, that you might not even know are there.

I want you to look back over the last year, and look at what things held you up. What things put a burr in your side? What things weren’t congruent with the dream that you’re creating now? And I want you to look at whether you can change them or you can say “no” to them.

For example, some of the things that I had on my “no” and “stop” list over the last year was that I no longer wanted to seek approval anymore. I no longer wanted to constantly be checking in with my parents or my family to make sure that I was on the right path.

I wanted it to be something that was deeply centered [within me], so that I knew I was on my own right path, and that I was now an adult who was carving her own path and her own family. So, I needed to stop doing that really old pattern, and I knew I had to stop doing it because every time I did it, it felt icky. It felt like it wasn’t the right thing for me anymore.

I want you to look over [the year] and see the parts that didn’t feel right, that didn’t feel like they were helping you to shine your biggest, brightest light in the world.

That’s a great example. Yes, I love that. It’s a good example of something you might not even realize you’re doing because you’ve been doing it since you can remember. I have the same thing with my family where I talk too much; I over-explain. [I always think,] I don’t know why I’m doing that! Why am I seeking their approval? I’m going in my own direction now! But, I totally agree. 

And so if I might ask, do you know what you will stop doing in the coming year?

Yes. One of the big shifts over the last year was that we left the little cottage we used to own. I never had an office, so I was always in up in the tree, at the park, or in a local coffee shop and I never had access to the internet. It was great! It was uber-productive time. Yes, I was a little bit of a nomad, but the only thing I could do when I was out for that two hours was work on my business.

Now we have this really beautiful house that comes with its own offices. It’s perfect and wonderful, and yet one of the things I’ve realized is that I’m not as focused because I have permanent internet access. (Laughs.)

What works for me is that I’ll do a 45-minute stint of full-powered work with the wireless off, and then I’ll give myself 5-10 minutes of play-around time. As soon as that next hour is up, I’m like, “Alright, let’s go! Let’s do some really focused work.”

I’m ready to let go of distraction.

Nice, I like that. This has been such a wonderful call. It’s been really productive. We have taken it from what’s out there for you all the way down to actionable goals to what you’re going to stop doing. 

This is excellent, it’s going to be exactly what some people need to hear. Would you like to leave us with any parting advice?

Most of all, I just want you to know that you’re here for a reason, and that your energy is needed in this world. You have all these different gifts and ways of working and living and thinking that other people are going to be inspired by. It doesn’t have to be every person on the planet. My hippy-style isn’t what some people need to hear, but others do need to hear it. What’s more is those numbers are way more than you’d ever expect them to be.

The way to start helping them is to start sharing. Start creating. Start putting it out into the world. That’s where momentum happens. You’re going to feel so much more fulfilled when you get that momentum happening. Because what happens when you get momentum going is, when things aren’t going in the direction you want them to go, you just tweak. Shift them into a new level. You decide, okay I need to create a bigger vessel to share this with the world, so you invest in business and marketing and education that’s going to help you take that further.  

I really want you to know that you have a gift, and you can create a beautiful Life and a beautiful business around that. It’s going to be completely congruent with who you are, and it’s just going to be wonderful.

I love that, and Leonie, I love your success. I love the way you celebrate the abundance in your Life. I love everything that you have going on there. It’s been such a pleasure to get to talk to you. It’s been a great interview and an absolute delight to meet you, and I want to thank you for giving me your time today. It’s been a real honor.

Aawwww, you’re a joy, Lisa. Thank you. It’s been awesome to speak with you and to share with all your gorgeous listeners.

Thank you so much! And thank you all for enjoying this amazing interview with me! Again, I want to encourage you to read Leonie’s inspirational start-up story by signing up for her free e-book, Biz & Blog Star Workshop. It will remind you of the infinite potential waiting for you in the New Year.

Moving into 2013

These posts have been filled to the brim! I LOVE it! But now it’s New Year’s Eve, and it’s time to start thinking about resolutions for 2013. Ready? Set. Here we go!

  • What are your intentions for the New Year?
  • What are you going to stop doing?
  • What goals do you want to accomplish toward those intentions?
  • How will you begin?
  • How will you follow through?

When you choose a goal, be sure to ask yourself, Will this make me feel good? You will want your goals to make you feel inspired and hopeful.

Tomorrow in Day 6, I’m blogging my entire list of New Year’s resolutions, and I’ll cross them off as I achieve them throughout the year. Please feel free to link up or join me in your journal. Here’s wishing you a New Year filled to the brim with joy, growth, comfort, safety, health, and wealth! All the best ♥

Continue on to :: Day 6

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