by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia
"...They say I'm hopeless, as a penny wit a hole in it
Penny wit a, penny wit a hole in it, yeah, yeah, yeah
They say I'm no less, no less, no less, no less, no less
Than up to my head in it..."
Uber-songstress Dionne Farris sings a song called Hopeless. It's a melancholy jam from the movie Love Jones. I fell in love with the song, the moment I heard it and it's been a self-introspection-over-a-cup-of-tea favorite since. This song is where the above lyrics originate.
But, the lyrics from this song that strike me the most , especially as I think back on 2009, are these:
"...Hello yesterday, I sure need you now
Goodbye yesterday, I just can't stay around..."
I guess it's my turn to say something about 2009, eh?
As many of you know, due to various circumstances, I've been off the grid for weeks and am now just getting back to "business". It is said that as long as it's still January, you can say "Happy New Year", and after that, it's no longer the New Year (trumpets and horns), it's just the new year. Feel me? Well, I happen to know that the Feng Shui New Year doesn't start until Feb 4th, so I feel perfectly comfortable treating Feb 1st as my personal calendar New Year (my personal New Year starts at another time during the year). Gosh, I just LOVE how I make up my own rules as I go along - no wonder that hasn't gotten me into more trouble over the years.
So, before I start my personal New Year, I wanted to share what I learned in 2009 in hopes that it will save you some time, energy, money and heartache, because 2009 certainly taxed me all the way around.
- Tell people you love that you love them. You hear this all the time. Just f'ing do it finally, ok? Life is funny. One minute you're talking to someone on the phone and then next minute they're in ICU breathing through a tube. Even if you think they won't say it back, all that matters is YOU said it. This will be a comfort to you when life's eventualities occur.
- Self-publish or find a publisher and agent that won't treat you like author #853709. You don't have to prove to anyone that you can get a "traditional publishing" deal. For most of 2009, I thought this to be true and I preached it from the mountaintops. I was WRONG. And, the definition of "traditional" is changing so what does it really mean? You know what DOES matter? That you can SELL books. Period. Build your tribe. Offer good, helpful content from your soul. And, then sell. You can do it.
- Charge what you're worth starting right now. You don't have to have more/bigger clients, know more about your area of expertise, have more media attention, more unique visitors to your blog, etc. Raise your rates today, you deserve it and chances are, you're seriously under-charging.
- Take a chance on hiring yet another assistant. Yes, again. Put your heart on the line again. Suck it up and do it. In 2009, I went through four assistants and then hired the best assistant of my life and she has been very instrumental in helping me prepare to take my business to the next level. (I never miss a chance to tell or show her this, by the way. ) I say "prepare" because it's taken almost a year of her help to get me in the right frame of mind. I'm not saying it will take you that long, but you do want to get started on this right now.
- Stop running from your seat of power. This is a new decade - literally. Claim yourself - the good, the bad, the indifferent -- and especially claim the parts that need work, that's where the j-u-ice is. Know thyself. Take the time to figure out who you are and sit with her for a minute. Once you know who YOU are, you can clearly see who other people are (invaluable when figuring people out). And, more importantly, knowing the seat of your power helps you to see where they end and you begin. This is critical.
- Invest in self-care. Majorly. If you don't know how to do this, start here. I did. Budget for it. Add it to your monthly living expenses. There's absolutely no glory in looking and feeling like sh*t.
Did 2009 teach you something profound? Do tell.
See you in the New Year.