Escaping the Career Waiting Trap

I've noticed lately that many of us fall victim to the waiting trap. This is especially common among us ‘go with the flow,’ ‘take life as it comes,’ ‘laid back’ types. We pride ourselves on being very thoughtful and reflective and not impulsive or overzealous when it comes to making a decision, especially the life-changing ones. But could our passive approach to life be one of the main things that hold us back from having what we want? How many times have we strongly desired change in our lives; a new job, more money, to start a business, to take a class, to get more clients, only to find that months or even years later, we’re stuck in the same problem?What gives?

Goals we never meet

Someone many years ago once told me that the reason I didn’t have what I wanted is because I hadn’t fully committed to it. I was still on the fence, still “figuring things out,” waiting for something to change while not actively going after it. Even when I did take action, my level of commitment was not consistent and I eventually fell back into old patterns. Does this sound familiar?

With the start of a new year, I know many of you set new goals, new intentions, and new promises for yourselves. But the truth is, a year from now, many of us will find ourselves in the same situation. Even with good intentions for change, only a fraction (just 8%!) will actually achieve what we set out to do this year.

What is really going on here?

Fighting change by waiting

Here’s the thing. When it comes to making change, deep down we fear it. We fear that if we take control and become active in pursuing what we want, we might actually get it. And that scares us to death. As humans, we are frightened by the idea of change. We crave comfort and predictability in our routine and environment, so daring to make changes rings the alarm of discomfort and risk.

Most of us avoid making change by entering the waiting trap. Waiting is passive. It keeps us stagnant, stale, and locked into a holding pattern that looks a lot like our comfort zones. Our tendency to wait things out is oftentimes fueled by fear.

Waiting can show up as:

  • Indecision

  • Procrastination

  • Uncertainty

  • Hesitation

  • Wait-and-See

Waiting can rob us of joy, happiness and fulfillment. But it often manifests itself in sneaky ways. Beth Grant coined the term the Passive Yes as something we use to stay in Waiting. This is when you pretend to take action but you’re not really all-in. An example can be that someone claims they want to grow a new skillset, signs up for a seminar or workshop but doesn’t show up or do the exercises. Another example is when that same aspiring professional claims they don’t have the time or money to work on their goals. We can be really effective at keeping ourselves busy with other things that we claim are important or necessary but really just serve as distractions from what we truly want.

This mind trick can keep us in a perpetual state of Waiting. We search for answers and evidence but become overwhelmed with the possibilities before ever making a decision or taking action.

So what is the alternative?

Steps to take to escape waiting

It’s important to recognize what Waiting truly is: a manifestation of fear. Sometimes all it takes is acknowledging that when you find yourself procrastinating or locked in indecision. Ask yourself what’s really going on and you may find your fear of what could happen if you make this change is dictating your life.

Listen to your fear, and understand where it is coming from. The thing we most fear, that worst case scenario, rarely manifests the way we think it would. Even unlikely worst case scenarios can teach us important lessons.

Once you recognize this, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What would happen if you stayed stuck waiting for something to change?

  2. How would you feel if it was a year from now and nothing has changed?

  3. What are you willing to risk and explore in order to keep going forward, and what do you have to gain?

Enlist help and support as you work through this. Partner with someone who will not hold you back and commiserate with you but will empower and hold you accountable to take action.

When you take action, and this is very important, make sure it is an action that gets you out of your comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be a super huge action that terrifies you. But it will make you feel a little uncomfortable. If it does, that’s a good sign that it’s a move that will help you grow.

Now it’s you’re turn. Ready to get out of Waiting?

Two sacred routines you must set up to get organized in your business

Two sacred routines you must set up to get organized in your business

How are you spending time on your business? Two hours each week is often all you need to make a huge leap.

Friday and Sunday are two of my favorite days of the week. For me, they are sacred days where I devote my attention to check in on the progress and growth of my business. When I skip or flake on these weekly appointments in my business, it just doesn’t work as well.

Today, I’m sharing my two sacred routines that I do in my business and how I use it to bring more structure and organization in my work.

Read More

How to Deal With Fear of Putting Yourself Out There

How to Deal With Fear of Putting Yourself Out There

As social creatures, we constantly crave validation and to feel that what we do matters. We want to be socially accepted and feel that we belong. It’s a human need and no one is immune to criticism no matter how thick your skin is. We are hardwired to blend in. It’s the reason why marketing is so hard for a lot of us because it requires bringing a level of visibility to you and your work that oftentimes makes us uncomfortable.

The way out is through 4 ways of willingness.

Read More

If She Can Do It: Client Case Study Series with Lauren Harvey

If She Can Do It: Client Case Study Series with Lauren Harvey

I was thrilled to work with Lauren Harvey as she navigated a truly toxic work situation and get the creative courage and inspiration to build and grow a thriving graphic design business where she gets to work with innovative, thought leading brands doing what she loves. Read on to learn how she did it and her best advice for those wanting to take the leap and create a thriving business. Enjoy!

Read More

Should You Write Newsletters? Yes. And Here's How.

First off, what is a newsletter?

A newsletter is a marketing tool businesses use to engage their customers. It involves sending out informational newsletters to interested parties. There are two different kinds of newsletters: those that are sent through traditional mail and those sent digitally via email. As you probably already know (because you’re not an idiot), email is a cheaper, faster way to send communications. It gives you instant and easy access to data that can be studied so that you can learn over time about your audience and readers.

What is typically in a newsletter?

Newsletters can contain a range of topics. It can include industry news, promotions, and articles most relevant to your audience. They can serve a variety of purposes such as increasing sales, raising awareness, educating the reader or disseminating information like announcements updates about your business or company. The possibilities are endless.

Why are  newsletters the perfect way for entrepreneurs to brand and market themselves?

If you’re an entrepreneur or someone who is building a personal brand, you are in the perfect position to humanize your work. You have an advantage over big name companies to create a core connection with your audience and make them the center of your story. This allows you to give value by creating customized tailored content that leaves an impact and impression with your readers. When it comes time to make the sale, you will have already established trust and connection with your audience through your newsletter. Who doesn’t want that?

While we’re on the topic, I’m not in love with the word ‘newsletter’. To me, it feels outdated, corporate jargon-y, and super spammy.  Would you click on a generic call-to-action link that reads: “Sign up to our newsletter to receive free updates and announcements!” Probs not.

I like sexier words like: Insider, Publication, Editorial, Happenings, or Guide.

I’ve written 284 “Guides” to date and there are a few things I have learned.

Decide on what you want to call your newsletters. Are they: newsletters, eMagazines, journals, etc. Decide on a name and stay true to it.

Content is key: Being clear on what your readers expect from you is essential. Decide what you want your newsletter to do. Remember it is just a vehicle for communicating with your audience. Do you want to inspire them, promote to them, teach them, update them...? Themes of your newsletter could be personal stories, industry news, blog post teaser, updates/announcements,

Keep it simple: When I work with clients to help them build their newsletters, my motto is always the same: Simplicity. From the overall design of the email, subject field,  to actual content. No more than two colors otherwise it becomes busy. Keep consistent fonts sizes and colors. If you’re hitting your 5th & 6th paragraph in your email, you’re on your way to creating a cluttered newsletter. If there is that much text  in your email, turn it into a blog.

Write in your authentic brand voice: If you are the face of your brand, be sure the text in your newsletter  captures your personality. In other words, write how you talk. If your newsletter is written on behalf of your company, you’ll need to clarify the essence words or personality type of your company and write from that perspective i.e. hip, trendy, informative, snarky, sarcastic, friendly, helpful etc.

Don’t just sell: Never ever ever use your newsletter to just sell to people. It’s gross and people can smell it a mile away. If your newsletter is purely promotional it will send people  away. I always follow the 80/20 rule; 80% content that is high value and relevant with no strings attached. This can be a personal story, case study, industry news, updates, quick tips/advice, etc. And 20% promotional copy, sales, etc.

Always leave a CTA (call-to-action): You always want to leave your reader with a next step, an action that flows seamlessly from the content they just read.  This can be an invitation to work with you, a link to read more on your blog, a link to company website to learn more, or some other resource. Again, simplicity is key so just a one or two liner invitation works fine.

Other things to note: Figure out how often you want to send out your newsletter. Weekly is popular but I’ve seen monthly, quarterly, and even daily newsletters as well. Figure out what works for you. Be realistic in what you can produce. Pick the right email provider platform suitable for your needs.  Mailchimp and Constant Contact are the most popular go-to providers. Stay consistent. Do this by creating an editorial calendar to keep you on track. I use my own home grown spreadsheet to track my newsletters but other options like Trello are also useful.

So off you go to build your own newsletter chock full of amazing content. Remember, personalization trumps all; there is another human on the other side who will be reading your newsletter so keep it people-centered and you can’t go wrong.

If you’re looking to grow your personal brand this year and need guidance that is both inspirational and practical, The Brand Revamp may be for you! Visit here to learn more about the program!