My word for 2019: grow

I can’t quite believe it’s mid-March and I’m only just writing about my word for the year! That’s how 2019 has been so far… A bit of a whirlwind.

Just in case you haven’t followed along with the concept of word of the year before, it’s a ritual of choosing a guiding word for the year, brought to popularity by Ali Edwards in 2006.

For some, it’s an alternative to resolutions. For others, it’s a summary of intention, a set of values and meanings swirled into a memorable guiding word.

For me, it’s somewhere between the two. And words are a big deal for me, so I enjoy the process of uncovering a word each year that speaks to my energy and intention.

Like many things, I usually aim for a word that is as applicable to my personal life and journey as it is to my business goals and intentions. Which can be a bit of an art! But this year, it really hits the nail on the head.

Last year: light

In 2018, I had just re-structured my business, especially Copper Boom Studio, and I was still finding my feet given all the big changes that had brought. My word for the year – light – reflected the antidote I craved: fewer heavy decisions and responsibilities, more lightness and fun to my days, a lighter to do list.

And it also spoke to the idea of shining my own light into the world. Helping others (always), creating a sense of hope, even in the dark places.

2018 became a year where I got more comfortable with shining a light on my own darkness, seeing things I hadn’t seen before about my beliefs and habits, and learning to look for the light once again.

It was exactly what I needed!

Deciding on 2019 and a little magical intervention…

I find that a word starts whispering to me in around November, and usually I play with it, not fully committing, but secretly knowing what the new year will bring.

When I found out in early November that I’m growing a tiny human, the word grow started talking to me…

Initially, I wasn’t sure. Setting an intention to grow, especially from a business point of view, when I knew I’d be taking time off, felt counter-intuitive. In fact, part of my ever-so-logical business brain told me I was crazy. How could I possibly grow the business, while growing a human and taking significant time off?

But grow felt so right on a deeper level. My body would grow. We’re growing our family. My heart was already expanding to make infinite room for a tiny person.

So I journalled it out, thought about a few other options and ultimately decided to redefine what business growth meant to me.

In fact, this year, my business is growing. Financially, yes, but also growing in strength and clarity. My courage is growing, the courage to talk about the things I really believe in and know to be true. My voice is growing, my reach is growing. It’s small, it’s slow, but it’s true.

And I know many people reading this have already balanced business and maternity leave, so I’ll say this as an homage to them as well as encouragement to myself: for the business to support me in this next phase, the business model has to look a little different.

I won’t be coaching as many people one-on-one this year. In fact, I’ve already limited my coaching calendar, but increased the accessibility to my group coaching course.

I’m also stepping back from copywriting in a huge way, but planning to fill that gap with a copywriting course to launch later in the year.

Growth doesn’t just mean doing more. It means doing what’s important with confidence, commitment, and clarity. I’m growing in tenacity, resilience and determination. I’m also growing in heart, soul, and community.

Feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth

Ultimately, two things tipped me over the edge to choose grow. I knew grow was right for me when I read the above line by Gretchen Rubin. I was re-reading her Happiness Project for maybe the fifth time, and this wise concept really stood out to me.

The idea of an atmosphere of growth really struck a chord. An environment and phase where we’re all making wonky but positive progress. Acknowledging the good and bad, and working towards what feels right. That speaks to me in all sorts of ways.

Because growth isn’t linear – as we all know. And it’s not all leaps and bounds (though taking a leap seems to be important to me, too). It’s small progress. Micro decisions. Proactive actions.

The second thing was at my January retreat. The lovely Betsy Benn made our retreat stars this year (a tradition that the retreats centre around). While I had asked her to make enough words for everyone to choose, she had sneakily added in an extra star, with no input from me. It was engraved with a word intended just for me.

You know what it is, right?

So I’m growing in 2019

My commitment to this year is to grow, in the right direction for me, and through personal, family and business development. I’m trusting that my heart will continue to grow, that my capacity to help others will increase, and that my sense of success will increase over the year, too.

So far, 2019 has been wonderful and challenging. Which feels a lot like how growth works! My January retreat kicked things off beautifully, and I already have plans for the next retreat weekend in March 2020, plus a whole load of confidence in my unique brand of creative business work.

The challenges have been on my time, especially balancing family life. While pregnancy so far (touch wood) has been pretty lovely, my husband has a pretty significant knee injury, requiring extra care and time from me. Good practice for the months to come!

How’s your year (and word) going?

Do you choose a word for the year? I realise that you may already have shared it, and possibly allowed it to fade a little now that it’s March.

But I’d love to hear how it’s going for you. Maybe you’d like to recommit? Maybe you’re ready to adjust? Maybe you haven’t chosen a word, but fancy picking one now?

Wherever you are, I hope that your intentions and plans are feeling right for you.

You may not want to hear this…

As someone who believes in integrity and tries to practice it daily, I often bump up against a conundrum: how to tell people the truth as I see it without putting them off working with me.

That sounds kind of awesome, doesn’t it?

What I mean is that a lot of my beliefs and experience of business aren’t sexy or even conventional wisdom. I don’t believe in hustle. I don’t believe in 10 quick steps to very much. And yet these are the things that a lot of people want and find attractive, or at least worth reading and trying.

It seems to me that the most valuable lesson, AND the one we resist learning, is that authentic business success – the type we feel in our bones – requires time, strength, courage and integrity.

So here’s what you’re not going to want to hear:

To get more done and get closer to where you want to be, you’re going to have to slow down and get more intentional.

It seems counter-intuitive, especially at this time of year. But when we take an afternoon, an hour or even 10 minutes to reconnect with our values and our intentions, it actually helps us stay more focused, get less distracted, and become more productive.

But if you try to skip this step of reflection, realignment and wise planning? You stay on the hamster wheel, working hard but not really getting anywhere.

It’s not all bad news.

Taking a little time out to get wiser and more intentional can:

  • help you identify deeper wisdom
  • lead to better business decisions
  • reduce stress, anxiety and fear
  • allow you to create content and offerings that really resonate
  • cultivate better connection with customers
  • improve your sense of success and wellbeing
  • let the whispers of what you really want get louder

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

So let’s do more of it. I’m hosting a live video chat on Friday at 2pm to talk about why we need more time out of orders, emails, and fire-fighting so that we can get further ahead.

Join me for this free session.

I promise: no quick fixes, no false lists, and lots of authentic encouragement.

Yours un-sexily,
Jenny x

Do you feel lucky?

We live at number 13.

I was opening an account with a company recently and on giving them my address, the representative said, “Oooh, unlucky!” Never one to miss an opportunity to share a different way of thinking, I replied, “Not for me.”

What kind of life would I be living to believe that the very home I live in – the one I work hard to create and maintain, the one that supports my family and my business – is unlucky?

That life would be one in which I sit and sulk, hear spooky noises around every corner, jump at the post coming through the letterbox, and generally whine and moan about how things are.

Unlucky could become the story I tell myself, the one I play out from day to day, whether it’s that the milk’s gone off, or that my Instagram post hasn’t reached enough people.

It’s just me. I’m just unlucky.

That’s not I life I lead, though it is one whose shadow has dimmed the light a few times. I’m no stranger to that feeling that nothing’s quite going to plan, that I’m not quite winning. What I’ve learned and come to know is that luck has very little to do with it.

What is luck anyway?

For me, luck is:

(opportunity + visibility) x courage

Especially true in business, there is no magic formula for success, though we know the factors involved. When we create things (products, services) people want and need, when we share them, and when we exchange money for value, business is born.

But the laws of the universe mean that step one and step two don’t always lead to three. We have to get “lucky”.

And that means seeing an opportunity (o + v) and having the courage to act accordingly (x c).

It’s seeing an enquiry pop into your emails and picking up the phone straight away, because this looks like a good one.

It’s telling a story, having that story spotted by a journalist, and saying yes when they ask you for more.

It’s making a space for your creations (or products or services), and knowing that when someone asks you to fulfil an order, you can.

We make our own luck. We plan, and create, and stategise, yes. But we also build belief in ourselves and our creations.

Here’s something true: you can work as hard as you like, sacrifice everything, but if the work isn’t aligned with what you and your customers want and need, or if you don’t believe in the luck equation, you’re not going to get lucky. Not this time.

There’s a whole other post for another day on believing in yourself, and I do believe that’s the courage part of the equation, but just for today, let’s focus on building a lucky mindset.

What do I mean by a lucky mindset? Well, it’s the opportunity and visibility part of the equation. If you’re in your own equivalent of living at number 13, and therefore feeling cursed or unlucky, it becomes incredibly hard to see the opportunities and luck available to us.

And let me say here that your “number 13” story could be anything. I use my example because I hope that you can see that living at number 13 isn’t inherently unlucky. It’s a house number! Well, ditto many of the stories we tell ourselves.

Maybe your story is that you didn’t go to university, or that you’re dyslexic, or that you’re just plain stupid. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not creative enough, or not “business minded” enough – these are all versions of your very own “number 13” stories.

The lucky mindset is telling a different story – one that lets us see possibility, meaning, purpose, and truth. And, crucially, a story that allows us to know that we can create our own luck. We can do great things despite no university, being dyslexic, or being told that we’re stupid.

If we create our own luck, one of the things we need to know is what “lucky” means to us. If we’re going to spot opportunities, we need to know what we want them to look like.

Here are some questions for you:

  • How would lucky feel to you, tomorrow? If you woke up and had the luckiest day of your life, what would it look like? How would it feel?
  • When was the last time you felt lucky? What was it like? How did you get lucky?
  • What makes you feel unlucky? Do you often tell yourself that you’re unlucky, doomed, or fundamentally flawed? How ready are you to let go of your “number 13” story, whatever it may be?

My dream for you is that you start to feel lucky – not in a fairy godmother way, but because you are wise and talented and worthy of building your business. And because you’ve learned how to see opportunity, and how to have the courage to take it forward.

So start by answering the questions. Dig into them. Talk to a mentor or coach or friend about them. Write them down. Jot your answers in the comments or email me. Let’s figure out what lucky is for you so that you can spot it when it’s knocking at your door.

My door’s number 13. Lucky for all.

optin-cup

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