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Entrepreneurship: Embracing Change (Slowly)


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Entrepreneurship: Embracing Change (Slowly) | A Practical Wedding

On Tuesday, I spoke to a group of women at The CoLab Workshop who were in the very, very early stages of working to start a creative business. (The workshop was a collaboration by Emily Takes Photos, Hart & Sol West, and Jonas Seaman.) I talked a lot about the intersection of art and commerce (don’t let your art be overtaken by commerce, don’t let your common sense be overtaken by douchbaggery) though frankly, I probably should have just told everyone to read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From The Goon Squad, and have a nice long think, and left it at that. (Me = Overachiever.)

But the key part of my talk was about how hard it is to set up a creative business. Classy, right? “Welcome to my talk! Your lives are about to be really hard, if they are not already!” But you know what? I think that the truth sets us free. Or at least give us something to gulp out while we’re sobbing, “But! Meg! Did! Say! This! Would! Happen!” Which, whomever we’re sobbing to generally appreciates: “Yes, I’m sure whoever Meg is did say that dear, now have a tissue.” Besides, my real message was that creating a creative business would be hard but WORTH IT.

Also, my related message was that on top of things being hard, the serious downside to creative endeavors is that there are a crap-ton of people who simply won’t take you seriously. So, once you figure out who it is in your life that’s always trying to cut you down to size (“Oh, yes honey, I know you’re playing around with that blogging/wedding photography/painting little project of yours, but I was wondering when…”), they should be identified and then excluded from your immediate circle of creative confidence (because those voices get into your head). Plus, I pointed out that we build a circle of creative confidence by BEING creative confidence for others.

The amazing thing about The CoLab Workshop is that, while it was a brand new project with an intimate group of attendees, I could see that it was creating a circle of creative confidence and skill for the people in attendance. How do I know? Well, I have a friend who’s an illustrator (oh, nothing, she just designed the original APW header, and those happy and frazzled Meg-brides you see in the comment section), and I rather forcefully shoved her into attending the workshop (bossy Meg). By the end of the two days she was giving excellent advice to the 19-year-old super-talented young photographer who had flown in from Arkansas, and she was trading plans and favors with other attendees and teachers, and she was working on building a business (that stuff is like pure liquid joy for me to watch). Because anything that makes the hard part easier, and gets us past the dreaded first step, is great in my book.

But what I wanted to talk about today is the thing I didn’t have a chance to talk about at CoLab. I wanted to talk about what I’ve learned recently: Getting over The Hard Part than you’d think, and making real life changes involves even deeper digging than previously imagined.

In the course of moving and then unpacking my office over the past two weeks, I dug up a list of reasons why I wanted to work for myself, which I’d made as a reminder at my desk job in the month before I quit. (Interestingly enough I also made up a list of Risks and Fears about going full time on APW, none of which have come true. Not that it’s been easy, but the fears I had in advance never played out.) But back to the Reasons To Quit. My Reasons To Quit list was damn sensible. It included things like ability to set my own hours, ability to choose my work environment, ability to not be trapped at a desk all day if I don’t want to, and ability to stop working when there is nothing to do.

And here is where it gets interesting. I’ve now been working for myself for almost a year and a half (I know! I know!). And it’s taken me almost a year and a half meet the goals I set for myself before day one. When I first quit, regular (and excellent) commenter Class of 1980 (who, given that she graduated in my birth year is 18 years older than I am), told me to “Get a couch in your office.” She told me, “You’ll need naps, take them.” And guess what? I didn’t listen. “No, no! I said. That’s not how I work. I’m used to a really regular rigorous work schedule with no breaks, and I’m going to keep that up.”

Crazy pants. That’s me.

The thing is, I was used to a really regular rigorous work schedule that didn’t work for me. One that was destroying my soul. I’d worked in an investment bank (which, I’m not exactly knocking. In The CoLab Workshop someone asked me if I had business training and I said, “Yes, I worked at an investment bank and learned tons of business skills.” And also, “I buy a lot of For Dummies books.”) But I’d also worked in professional theatre. In Theatre I’d had far less rigorous hours, I’d gotten out of the office for meetings, I’d walked around the office barefoot a lot, and I’d spent a huge part of my professional life out seeing shows and drinking with friends discussing that art. All that (less the emotionally abusive bosses and low pay) really did work for me.

But, who am I kidding. When I set up work life for myself, who did I imitate? Obviously I imitated the bad-for-me investment bank, even though I knew that was exactly what I was escaping. And holy shit did I imitate the details. I mean, I would be anxious on Sunday nights, like clockwork. I would check my email way too often “to see if there was an emergency.” I most certainly did not take naps (or breaks). I worked crazy long hours. And worst of all? When I didn’t have something to do, or I just couldn’t focus on the work I had, I didn’t get up and walk away or go outside. Nope. I sat at the computer like I was trapped in a cubicle, mindlessly pushing buttons.

Recently, however, things have changed. And it’s been a little challenging trying to nail down what changed them. It wasn’t the book tour, interestingly enough. That shook up my life completely for a month, and (surprisingly) it mostly meant that I had to work non-stop. Plus, oddly, I’m still processing that experience. And it wasn’t coming home from the book tour and totally crashing at the same time I tried to catch up on a month’s worth of errands and work. Which means, then, that the change took place during the rather horrible period of gloom after that, where I felt almost entirely creatively blocked. The thing about that period is I was coming to terms with the fact that I had a more mature career. After years of rushing around trying to make APW happen, and then trying to get a book published, and then trying to learn how to write a book, and then touring to promote that book… suddenly I was left with a cohesive career to do with what I choose. I was writing and publishing online, I was speaking at events, and I had a lot of options on how to move forward that I had to figure out.

Of course, instead of taking this period to celebrate big accomplishments, the brain did what it is so wont to do: FREAKED OUT! ASKED A LOT OF QUESTIONS! QUESTIONED EVERYTHING! My internal monologue whirred along asking nasty little questions like, “Is this it?” and “Now that we’ve worked so hard to get it, do we even want it?” and “So we wrote a book. So what does that even mean now that it’s done?” Monster mind is very closely related to Gollum, possibly from not getting out into daylight enough.

But of course (though I would very much not like to live that period of gloom again) asking all of those questions was surprisingly good for the psyche because it allowed me the space to come up with answers. Besides, I spent that period alternating between angrily napping because I couldn’t cope and pondering what completely wasn’t working in my life, because I was smart enough to know that I had to get out of the gloom ASAP.

And what wasn’t working was the way I was working. I felt like I was punishing myself by not having an office and working at the kitchen table (where I had to clear everything away at the end of the day and had no whiteboard or files or anything). It wasn’t working to live in a place where I never saw the sun (hello Western San Francisco). It wasn’t working to be trapped in the house all day with no car. And also I needed nature. And less pressure to be trapped in front of the screen. And more naps.

So, as you now know, we moved. We moved to Oakland, where I have my own little office space, with files, and a white board… and lots of sun. And amazingly, my window overlooks the high branches of an oak tree, and I have to little squirrel co-workers, who run circles around the branches and squeak. Because of all that, I started getting up and walking away from the computer when things weren’t working (possibly because I could now go putter in the garden, or do laundry in the basement, or take a drive to a cafe). I stopped beating myself up about working an exact 9-5. Yesterday, for example, I got in an hour or more work before nine, then drove to the gym and swam laps for an hour, and then came home and kept working… WITH NO GUILT. And most of all, I started taking non-angry naps. Because you know what? Better off working a little later, after getting a bit of rest.

But really, I’m writing this post mostly for its non-entrepreneurship lessons. I’m writing this post because I think that so frequently, when we try to change, we re-create the very worst elements of our past. We leave the bad boyfriend, but we repeat all of his crappy commentary of us in our heads. We change jobs, but we take the bad habits with us. We move, but we don’t let go of the stuff that just was not working. We change, but we don’t let ourselves really change. Because real change is hard. Real change is forcing a paradigm shift on ourselves, rooting around deep inside to dig out the parts we really don’t like and get them out of there. Real change is believing. And the weird part is that it’s not just believing in what we’re capable of doing; it’s believing in what we’ve already done and in what skills we have in us right now.

Remember how I said I hadn’t really processed the book tour? Well, I came across this picture a few days ago, and I looked at it totally stunned. What? That was the crowd that came to hear me speak? I did that? WHAT DID THAT EVEN MEAN? And then I came up with a goal list I’d written up for Camp Mighty last year and saw that “Be interviewed on NPR” was on it. And after staring at it and blinking a few times, I realized I’d done that too. And I basically couldn’t believe it.

So to change, really change, we have to believe in the power of who we already are. And that shit is hard. So get cracking CoLab ladies. And the rest of you too. You’re already exactly who you need to be. Now you just need to believe it. (And dig around and force that change to happen, even in the midst of the gloom.)

** Note: If you’re interested in hearing more about The CoLab Workshop going forward, sign up for their newsletter here! (Highly recommended). Rumor has it they are considering New York City for their next event.**

Photo: Crazy amazing Instax of me taken by Jonas Seaman (APW Sponsor), at CoLab. He took it after I said I could never get Instax to look like anything but terrible. Proof of artistry right there.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.jeremyandkathleen.blogspot.com Kathleen

    YES. These posts are always like a combination of sucker punch to the gut and at the same time are oh-so familiar. You always have a way of articulating the exact same challenges and thoughts I’m processing.

    I love what you said about imitating old bad habits. When you’re a creative entrepreneur there is some comfort in recreating the old experiences (especially the bad habits, it seems) and I think it’s a way of hanging on to a false sense of security. We entrepreneurs need to be bold and brave enough to make our own decisions. To determine our own work hours. To embrace the change.

    Thanks for this post, Meg.

  • http://minnesota-chic.com PA

    Starting a creative endeavor not only helps identify the people who try to cut you down, it ALSO helps identify the people who are really pulling for you. You know, those friends from college that you kind of kept in touch with, but didn’t quite remember, until out of the blue they send some email about, “I saw this article about ______, and it made me think of you, and I hope that thing is still going well.”

    Which, in my case, was what shamed me into really Going For It.

    I love those people. Also, I love this post – and I am glad, so glad, that you’ve settled into a work schedule that gives back to you. I think maybe that’s the type of thing one has to learn to do!

  • Sarah E

    “Real change is believing. And the weird part is that it’s not just believing in what we’re capable of doing; it’s believing in what we’ve already done and in what skills we have in us right now.”

    This is so relevant to my life right now as I try to actually act like and believe I am a responsible, adult professional, rather than some kid just putzing around. Thanks for the sound advice, Meg. Especially coming off such a fresh experience, it means a lot.

  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    I feel like that about my day office job which is completely unrelated to what I was trained for but have applied like crazy (still doing) and I don’t really know how to get out of this, except I do feel like if I go on my soul will die…
    Also completely unrelated… regarding the book you cited,I had to check twice because this Monday I started reading Invisible Circus also by Jennifer Egan.

  • Gigi59

    “Monster mind is very closely related to Gollum, possibly from not getting out into daylight enough”…What a totally perfect analogy!

    Thank you for this today – as my wife and I discuss the lingering effects of major life changes and why we are having so much trouble adapting to the good ones. I’m sharing this post with everyone I know…

  • http://leahandmark.com Mark RoX Tioxon

    Yes. Naps. I take them at all times of the day, even at like 6pm. Because hey – I CAN.

  • http://livinglnf.blogspot.com Jo

    There is little need to add to this, because it is basically PERFECT (and apropos, and wise, etc.)… but my reflection on it is just about how in the last year I made one change very, very right. Before we moved across the country, I went through basically everything I owned and forced myself to only pack things I LOVE and things I NEED. And the rest I tossed/donated/sold. And it was an immensely freeing exercise. It set a tone for our very exciting, life changing, cross country move to follow our goals as a couple… a tone that we had what we needed mostly within us and we knew what we were about. And on that basis I could let go of many many random things I’d collected and received over the prior decade-plus. So we could squeeze what was left into a Uhaul trailer and get ourselves off to our next big step.

    If I’m smart, I’ll apply that lesson and practice to the rest of my life. Keep only what I love and need, because everything else is superfluous and distracting.

  • http://www.somervillebeat.com Lakelady

    YES!!!

    As someone who quit my office job in December and recently started my own creative project, yes to all of this! You nailed it so perfectly. Thank you.

  • http://www.beyondburgersandbratwurst.com Kerstin

    Thank you Meg for once more sharing what you’ve learned! I really needed to hear it today, since very shortly I’ll be following in a similar path (though in my own way). You’ve inspired me to make a list of things I don’t like about my current work to add to my list of dreams that I’ve already made, so that I can refer to both as I continue in the next few months and years. It sounds so obvious, but I’ve never thought of it before. Thank you!!

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    Wow, you’re reading my mind this week! You wrote this for me, didn’t you? ;)

    I’m taking away a lot of lessons from this post. I hope that, by you telling us how it can be, that I can avoid a lot of the angst that will come from a total 180 about-face of daily life.

    I also wanted to add, for the new creative professionals, that it’s easy to be angry. It’s easy to be annoyed that things are not going the way you want it to. That success is not growing fast enough, or that you feel hampered by the fact that no one knows who you are and that your work is seen by no one. It’s easy to pick fights with yourself and with other creatives who are doing better (and you can’t see how their success is happening while yours is not). To them I say, work your ass off. Stop fighting with yourself and just PUSH. Eventually something will give way.

    • http://www.christytylerphotographyblog.com Christy Tyler

      This Elissa is like night and day from a few months ago Elissa! I love it!!! <3 :)

      • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

        My mind was opened by Christy ;)

        • http://www.christytylerphotography.com Christy T

          haha… ;)

  • http://www.kyliewrites.com Kylie

    This is just beeeauuutiful. I’m reading this at the point where I’m two weeks away from my wedding, and about eight weeks from leaving my full-time job. And so all this change stuff rings very true for me, and is what I’m living now. As much as people would like to pretend, change is an enormous, swirling mass of stuff, and it doesn’t happen easily, or linearly. And sheesh, we need to acknowledge this more, and talk about this more, because otherwise nobody’s ever going to understand that it’s necessary to give ourselves so very much support and forgiveness and compassion and, yes, naps, through it all.

  • http://www.coliesplace.com Nicole

    I think I might tape this to my mirror:

    “So, once you figure out who it is in your life that’s always trying to cut you down to size (“Oh, yes honey, I know you’re playing around with that blogging/wedding photography/painting little project of yours, but I was wondering when…”) should be identified and then excluded from your immediate circle of creative confidence (because those voices get into your head).”

    Whether working to build a creative business or just running through life, I think that is just oh so right. Especially because those voices become those nasty gremlins in your head (or Gollum).

    • meg

      Yes. Totally. I think this applies to non-creative life too. The people who you realize are cutting you down (worse, I find, the ones who are pretending to lift you up while cutting you down) need to be identified. You can’t always cut them out of your life, but you can cut them out of your inner circle of trust. Once you’ve talked to supportive people and are a few baby steps into doing something, if that cut-you-down person comes along, it’s way easier to roll your eyes, instead of let it stop you in your tracks. And also look for the people who only cut you down now and then. They can be dangerous to your well being too…

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

    It was a very difficult thing to learn how to cut out those voices (“It’s great that you want to take pictures at weddings and all, but for now you need a ‘real job”….”I know you like making those comic book strips of yours and all, but are you ever going to actually make money from that? Do grown ups even read those?”).

    Crazy, crazy, crazy hard, to be frank. But it’s totally worth it. It doesn’t mean all those people are no longer in my life (though some are not). It does mean I don’t go to any of those people for any type of creative validation or collaboration. Although I’d much rather have all the people in my life be my entrepreneurship cheerleaders, that’s sadly not how it works. Some people don’t understand that creative drive, and they are annoyed and jealous of the time you spend chasing it. Their negativity can easily become your negativity, and things go downhill when you start to doubt. It was sad to make a big adjustment, but I’m much happier knowing exactly where to find those cheerleaders when I need them.

    Side note- NYC CoLab sounds like a FANTASTIC F*%CKING AMAZING IDEA!!!!!!!! I’d be there in a heartbeat!

    • meg

      TOTALLY. Some of these people will always be in your life (they love you! they are good at other things!) but knowing who they are versus who the real cheerleaders are helps you so effing much. Also, knowing that what they’re saying ISN’T REAL. It’s only real IN THEIR HEADS.

      • Denzi

        YES. Because it’s so easily for that kind of person to say “What you’re doing ISN’T REAL. It’s only real IN YOUR HEAD” to the point that you forget that that is ALSO TRUE FOR THEM, TAKE THAT!

  • http://www.emilywenzel.com Emily

    Holy crap YES! My only complaint is that you didn’t write this three months ago. But, three months ago, I might not have been low enough to listen. Keep trying, ignore the negative Nellies, and find what works for you. Love this SO much.

  • Class of 1980

    Now wait a minute. Aren’t I at least 20 years older than you? I’m 53 and will be 54 in August.

    I’m so glad you have a real office, complete with a window and a tree and squirrels and NAPS. What is the point of working at home without ENJOYING the flexibility?

    If the definition of being “Driven” is to work nonstop like a maniac, then I’m officially NOT driven. The more we eliminate any possibility of enjoying life, the more stressed out and resentful we will become.

    All I care about is whether I’m meeting my customer’s needs and making money … and contributing something good to the world. If I’m able to do those things with more down time and more naps, then it’s a win-win.

    Everything in my life was not supposed to be possible according to other people. I was not supposed to be able to take off to the mountains and make a living. I took a huge risk coming here without even a job. Miracles occurred.

    My windows look out onto mountains and a forest.

    • meg

      Well. That must be your COLLEGE graduation year then.

      • Class of 1980

        I graduated high school in the Bicentennial – 1976.

        Also, I miss the seventies. There was no one to harsh your mellow. ;) ;) ;)

        • Gigi59

          I need to “Exactly” this statement a billion times…..(I graduated the year after you!)

          • Class of 1980

            Ha!

            The most laid back decade EVER. I think 1970 took a quaalude and didn’t recover until 1980.

            I miss the sixties far worse though. So fun, so exciting, and fabulous music everywhere. I’m glad I was born in time for it.

            I wasn’t a child OF the sixties; I was a child IN the sixties. ;)

        • http://thecelebrationgirl.com Marcela

          I was born in 1976 ;)

          • Class of 1980

            You are but a mere child. ;)

    • http://thecelebrationgirl.com Marcela

      “Miracles occurred”. I like that. Miracles occurred in my life as well when I followed my heart :)

      • Class of 1980

        They’re either miracles or there sure are a lot of strange coincidences.

        You know how we found our business? My business partner was doing an online search, and a pop-up window kept getting in the way. No matter how many times he tried to “X” it out, it came back.

        After the third time, he clicked on the pop-up and read it. After reading the subject matter, it led to us realizing there was a market we could tap into. A year later, we could hardly keep up. That was ten years ago. The original business has morphed several times, and I expect it will continue to because nothing stays the same.

        • Sarah

          That’s the craziest start a business inspiration I’ve heard. Who knew pop-up ads were good for anything beyond getting viruses?

          • Class of 1980

            Ha! I know. And I still hate pop-ups … except for the ones that give you ideas. ;)

  • http://www.yourbestweddingsupplies.com Sharon Ferris

    Hey, Meg. Thank you so much for today’s thoughts. It really helps.

    Although I have been self-employed for blahblahblah years (probably since before you were born), I have always worked for clients. I travelled to the client and then worked at home and then went back to the client. Always had a deadline imposed by the client and I worked long hours. Always felt I had to be at the end of the phone or email from 8:30 to 5 or so. When I first started working at home, it wasn’t the cool thing to do. I was always trying to hide the fact that I wasn’t in the office – sometimes difficult with 2 yappy poodles!

    Now I am trying to reinvent myself by developing one or more websites and staying at home constantly. Because it is more creative and there are no deadlines (except by my Bank Manager and Credit Card companies), sometimes I am just not motivated. I continually felt tied to the computer even when not being productive. If I did something else I felt terribly quilty and depressed and tried to cover it up to friends wanting them to think that I worked business hours and wasn’t goofing off.

    Your article has made me realize that I don’t have to do that anymore. If I am not productive, I can take a nap or a walk and not feel quilty. I have often been up early to let the dog out and spent an hour on twitter or emails before going back to bed, and then at night as well. I never counted that as work time, but it really is.

    It may be painful to change and talk myself out of the quilt thing, especially when I have been at the work-at-home thing for so long, but your article really helped me to put things in perspective.

    Thanks again.

    • Class of 1980

      If your customers are happy and your bank account is happy, then that’s all that matters.

      • Anne

        Thanks, I think I needed that! I’ve been growing my business for the last two years. I’ve finally arrived at a place where I’m making a healthy amount and the business is starting to run smoothly (yay!).

        But, it’s so hard to step back. I feel like there’s this invisible person in my head always trying to whip me into working harder and longer. There’s always more money to make, more clients to work with, more to learn. This is a good reminder to stay plugged into the things that matter.

        • Class of 1980

          Well, can you continue to gradually work with more clients without having to do everything all at once right this minute?

          If so, then you’re golden.

  • http://useyourwordss.blogspot.com/ Michelle

    Hella inspirational, Meg. For a lady who’s done the job change and about to do the move, that third-to-last paragraph feels a bit like a mantra: change is internal, and change is trust.

    Congrats & thanks!

  • http://www.christytylerphotographyblog.com Christy Tyler

    Meg – I love love love this post. I had that period of gloom and doom very soon after going full-time. About 3 months in I had a complete meltdown because I was working constantly, never sleeping, never exercising, and only talking to James about THE BUSINESS. We were not doing well. I was not doing well. And dare I say – my business was not doing well because of it. Thankfully that was the reality check I needed to make changes – to force myself to not answer emails that come in after a certain time – to take breaks to walk my pup – or go to the gym – or SLEEP. And things are so much better because of it. But you’re right… forcing REAL change upon yourself is not easy at all. But the good thing is that once you’re make it to the other side it really is so much better (and sunnier too – if you move like we both did!) :) xo.

  • MC

    Squirrel co-workers are awesome, except when they eat your bicycle seats.

    In theory, we’re able to more creatively and effectively solve problems when we’re less stressed, so naps/outside/squirrels/breaks probably actually make good business sense. Do the same amount of work, more relaxed, in less time? Yes! :-)

  • http://www.jandrfoods.com Rachel

    These are my favorite posts and usually exactly what I need to hear. I wish I could have gone to the co-lab but we are living on one salary right now. Damnit.

  • Cleo

    Kind of (ok, very) off topic, but I just purchased “A Visit from the Goon Squad” as a result of you linking to it.

    Thanks for the post-“50 Shades of Grey” read (so I can get back to sanity and away from supposed adult heroines with the emotional maturity of someone who is decidedly not adult)!

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

    “I’m writing this post because I think that so frequently, when we try to change, we re-create the very worst elements of our past.”

    This hits me right in the gut. The hardest thing about change, especially the changes that I want to make for myself, is letting go of the really terrible elements of previous situations. It’s so hard to subconsiously carry those around and put yourself through them when getting away from them was part of the reason for change in the first place.

  • April

    *THIS*. Yes. Abso-f*ckin-lutely!!! I seriously finished reading your post today and wanted to stand on my office chair, holla at the top of my lungs, “YEAHHH!” along with an air fist-pump. And I would’ve…but I work with some very conservative types, so I just imagined myself doing all of that and smiled. :-)

    Oh, and this part: “…I think that so frequently, when we try to change, we re-create the very worst elements of our past. We leave the bad boyfriend, but we repeat all of his crappy commentary of us in our heads. We change jobs, but we take the bad habits with us. We move, but we don’t let go of the stuff that just was not working. We change, but we don’t let ourselves really change. Because real change is hard. Real change is forcing a paradigm shift on ourselves, rooting around deep inside to dig out the parts we really don’t like and get them out of there. Real change is believing. And the weird part is that it’s not just believing in what we’re capable of doing; it’s believing in what we’ve already done and in what skills we have in us right now.” [Meg – APW]

    BAM. Thank you for that. I LOVE that bit (well, I love all of what you wrote, but that paragraph just grabbed me and held on with both hands). So much so, I’m printing it out and putting it on my wall. F’realz. XO

  • http://theblogwhisperer.tumblr.com HeatherG

    “Paradigm shift”

    This is the second time I’ve heard this phrase today, so I think you (and the universe) are onto something. It was in the context of a grant writing “how-to.” They were saying successful grants usually inspire paradigm shifts and so on. I was saying (to myself), “Holy Sh*t! I don’t know if I can ever do this! I want to! But ohmygod, how will I?” And a lot of other self-doubting phrases that are leftover from the previous “job.”

    And now what I think I’ll be saying is:

    Real change is forcing a paradigm shift on ourselves, rooting around deep inside to dig out the parts we really don’t like and get them out of there. Real change is believing. And the weird part is that it’s not just believing in what we’re capable of doing; it’s believing in what we’ve already done and in what skills we have in us right now.” [Meg – APW]

    (also putting that on my wall!)

  • carrie

    “We change jobs, but we take the bad habits with us. We move, but we don’t let go of the stuff that just was not working. We change, but we don’t let ourselves really change. Because real change is hard.”

    This whole paragraph. but what’s really weird (and awesome) is I just said almost the same exact thing to my husband about an hour ago, and started to cry. I just got back from a fantastic business trip, and told him that I think I’m finally becoming MORE of the grown up I’ve always wanted to be at work. I felt like I hadn’t learned the things that made me leave my last two jobs, that I was still struggling with the old me after 10 years. But the puzzle pieces are finally fitting together. The article you posted from the wise blogger commenter about just saying yes at work helped me realize that I have been fighting for years with no benefit. Saying yes has helped me realize what you said and is helping me be more of the person I want to be at work.

    So…yeah. Thanks. As always.

  • http://fionalynne.com/blog/ fiona lynne

    “When I didn’t have something to do, or I just couldn’t focus on the work I had, I didn’t get up and walk away or go outside. Nope. I sat at the computer like I was trapped in a cubicle, mindlessly pushing buttons.”

    This jumped out of me like a mugger from a dark alley. Huh, I have been doing this a lot. I’ve been trying to legitimise the working from home to the voices that whisper I’m not really working, just being lazy, being a kept woman. So I force myself into this rhythm of work that doesn’t actually work for me, rather than embracing the way I know I work best and letting myself (and then probably my business) flourish…

    I always love your entrepreneur posts, they give me lots to think about and also lots of encouragement as I figure this thing out.

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  • http://riverdragonceramics.blogspot.com riverdragon

    Meg, you are awesome and have perfect timing. That is all I can say right now; I am suddenly motivated to go create.

  • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

    Congrats on the paradigm shift and the new work environment that fits with how you enjoy working. I think the idea that working from home doesn’t have to look like a more traditional 9-5 office job is freeing. I’ll have to think more about how to enjoy my non-traditional work schedule and find the way I work best…

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  • http://adesertfete.blogspot.com jamie

    ohmygooood i love this photo of you!

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