Why do I exist? What is my purpose for being? Does any of it matter? Sometimes I wonder if existential angst is most prevalent in the blogosphere.
This morning, I got an email from blogger extraordinaire, Craig McBreen. He was talking about a conference he had attended and said this, “I’ll be honest, I went there looking for answers, but found none. It was a great experience, but hands-on business advice was sorely lacking.”
Not long ago, I said something similar about a conference I had just attended, so I smiled when I read Craig’s note and immediately clicked to his most recent post. In it, he articulated the importance of branding and how bloggers must think more like entrepreneurs.
Hmmm. I am an entrepreneur. I’ve been one for a long time and have been fortunate. The thing that made my success was being me. Not a brand, not a promise, just a person. Obviously, a quality product and some business sense didn’t hurt, but they are not the most important thing. People won’t buy anything from someone they don’t trust.
So I was wondering this morning about his advice and thought I would give a stab at defining what this blog is about and why anyone should read it.
Here goes: This blog is about choosing who we want to be and how we want to live. It is about going off platform, being honest, and celebrating our creativity, vitality, and passion. I don’t promise to solve your problems. You will, most likely, not rocket to success from anything you read here. Instead, you might find you like yourself a little more. You might discover that it is okay to be who you are. You might find kindred spirits who give you permission to do anything you want to do (within reason, of course) and support you while you do it.
I am not a brand. I am an artist, a businesswoman, a mother, and wife. I am a writer, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. Tomorrow, I might take up knitting (though I doubt it). Next year, I could bag it all and travel the world. Regardless of our means of expression, I think we’re here to live fully, authentically, and large.
That means that there is no right way to do anything, or one size fits all kind of advice. I am happy to share what I’ve gleaned along my journey for what it is worth. If you want to know how to sell your work, I am willing to tell you how I do. If you want to know what I’ve learned about marketing, social media, book design, or doing patinas, ask. If you want to hear about my many failures, I’m willing to talk about them. Then, when I’ve shared what I can, take what you will.
The thing that is most important is that each of us discovers what works for us. One of my favorite inspirational quotes is from Marianne Williamson’s Course in Miracles.
She says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant? Gorgeous? Talented? Fabulous? Actually who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
You can look up the rest of it. It is equally good. I believe that when we shine — and that means loving who we are, what we look like, and what we do — we create a life that is both inspiring and fulfilling. What else is there?
I welcome your comments. How do you shine? What makes you afraid? Who do you want to be and do you have a plan for how to get there? We’re in this together. Let’s build a community of permissions, celebration, and shared experiences.