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    Coming out of the magical closet with Emma Smallbone // Brand Camp
    Have you ever thought telling someone a big, deep, dark secret would implode your whole life? Have you ever freaked out because you’re SO different that NO ONE could POSSIBLY understand, and then shared your weird anyway?

    Yah. You need to meet Emma Smallbone.

    She came out as a medium and empath after establishing a photography business that was kicking it hard in Canada. (Say WHUT.) Her story is the subject of the latest That’s What She Said, and her insights will surprise you.

    ***If you’re sensitive to the S word — Spirit — or the God word, or the Universe word, or the…all the words that are often co-opted by religious institutions and then wielded poorly on Facebook, you might want to skip this episode. Otherwise, have at it!

    P.S. The next level in your business doesn’t exist.

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    You have a business and sure, you’d like to be seen a little.

    But not like…BE SEEN be seen.

    You want peeps to give you money, but that doesn’t mean you want to actually be vulnerable in any capacity! Can’t people just see THE REAL YOU without your having to go through the exquisite torture of actually showing them who you actually are…!!??

    I feel you. Here are the most common ways I call people out when I find ‘em hiding — all of which I’ve tried to do, and failed. Instead of phrasing these as negatives, I made ‘em actionable and positive and shit, but that’s only to make them seem less scary. This shit is terrifying.

    29 ways to stop hiding in your business

    + Accept compliments.
    + Don’t lead with price.
    + Throw out those clothes you bought because they’re practical but in no way reflect who you really are, but they were on sale at Target that one time. Matching cardigan sets, I’m looking at you.
    + Admit that you believe in magic. Big Magic, even.
    + No, really. Accept compliments.
    + Give up on reaching the “next level” and do exactly what you want. At this level. ;)
    + Let your peeps know you love ‘em. Out loud and in writing and as often as possible.
    + Tell everyone you’re an empath.
    + Reclaim your energy.
    + Create offers you would personally jump to purchase, even though they make no ‘sense’ to your peers.
    + Let out your weird.
    + Add your face to your bio.
    + Add your face to your not-bio, but somewhere else on your website.
    + Get paid, dammit.
    + Color your hair that crazy color.
    + Pause taking any more free, unpaid, or volunteer work until your business pays your bills.
    + Make up a ritual and use it. Then tell someone about it.
    + Share clients’ kind words and testimonials in three different spots on your website.
    + Tell a story that makes you cry.
    + Not even kidding. Compliments, friend. Let ‘em in.
    + Tell the truth about when you feel like an outsider.
    + Share your creative process.
    + Ask your peeps if they wanna hang out.
    + Stop giving a fuck.
    + Be brave enough to do it all wrong.
    + Delete all the classes, freebies, or info products that are irrelevant to where you are right now.
    + Show us what a day in your life looks like.
    + Expand.
    + Put your hood down, take your hat off, and/or wear the sparkly shoes. They were never fooling anyone, anyway.

    Oh, and.  Bookmark/pin/save this post for the next time you catch yourself hiding.  When you’re feeling brave, give another one or two or twelve a whirl!

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    Money blocks aren

    Once, a few years ago, I took one of those Heal Your Money Blocks classes because I was sure that I was pretty much money-broken. Later, I found out that my business had made more money in the previous year than the teacher’s had when she penned one of those tell-all, trendy-to-be-transparent essays about her income.

    So um…I guess my money wasn’t blocked? Because I was making more than the teacher? But I didn’t FEEL like I had enough, ever…?

    Money stuff — issues, blocks, concerns, patterns — isn’t as simple as when you ask someone to be your friend via a handwritten note in third grade: Do you want to be my money block? Circle yes or no.

    It’s actually a really tricky, sometimes sticky situation. (That’s what she said.)

    …and we humans really want simple solutions to tricky situations.

    Like when you have a sore throat, but really you have the flu, but really you have the flu because you’ve been sleeping for five hours a week for the last three weeks. Cough drops are a simple solution, sure, but the bigger deep down why-are-you-only-sleeping-for-five-hours-a-week stuff isn’t so simple.

    Treating a money block is like treating a cough. Cough drops will take care of the symptom, but no mantra or affirmation is going to take the place of doing the work covered in today’s podcast.

    Where you don’t allow money into your life, there are eight other things I’ll bet you don’t let into your life fully, and the implications of those elements go way further than whether or not you get paid fairly for your work.

    If you wanna hear more about this topic or you’ve got questions, talk to me! And if you dig it, you can listen to all the other That’s What She Said episodes right here, friend! ::mwah::

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    Like you, I get tons of e-mails every day. When I’m paying attention, those e-mails provide writing material like this: “OK, I need to think on this and get back to you. My desire is an unstoppable force and my butbutbuts are an immovable object.”

    We ALL face excuses in our lives, and we’re all privy to our own inner dialogues that make those excuses seem 100% legit. Only most of the time, excuses are a bunch of horseshit. They’re little lies our minds tells us to keep us stuck, scared, trapped, immobile, paralyzed, or comfortable. I’m not immune to a single one of these, so if it seems like I’m speaking from experience, I am. ::cough::

    I’m going to use a specific thing as the catalyst for all these excuses, since that’s easier than coming up with ten examples for each of the ten excuses we’re talking about. I’m going to use the catalyst of a new education experience as the catalyst.

    So, there’s this class you really want to take.  (It’s called Introverts at Work.)  Your heart finds it and goes PINGPINGPINGPINGPING like you’re on a spaceship and you’ve just found your home planet — your whole body lights up with “YES!” — and the dashboard goes apeshit.  You want to work one-on-one with me AND overhaul your website copy AND let yourself stop hiding and start showing who you really are to your clients.


    You’ve learned to override those feelings — amazing though they are — because your brain is an asshole.

    Your brain is an asshole.  // Brand Camp

    Your brain is designed to keep you safe, which generally means staying in one place for as long as possible, and stable — which means doing the same thing day after day, because your brain LOVES predictability. From an evolutionary standpoint, this means you’ll be able to spot lions prowling the plain at further and further distances. This means you’ll keep your place in the tribal standing without rocking the boat. This means you’ll keep a nice, steady income for your people as you work a job for decades.

    Stability is important, and safety is a totally legit concern. Only your brain is ALSO an asshole. It regularly overrides the callings of your heart because of its ancient instincts.

    Let’s talk about the excuses your brain is throwing at you to keep you not only safe and stable, but possibly stagnant.

    Big excuse #1: Business is sloooow. Maybe later.

    You know what you want to do next, and your brain is going to kick this one up right away. Taking a business class or being held accountable for achieving business goals could actually help you out when you’re having a slump, but your brain is going to say “maybe next month” or “maybe next year.”

    A new class or workshop or program or audio set or spirited dance — whatever it is you want to conquer — could mean you try new stuff, kung-fu the daily drudge work that you know has to be done to keep orders coming in, and you even resume showering daily because you’re feeling a little better about your life.

    But your brain will throw “maybe later” at you because it’s a perfectly logical thing to say. We’ve all had diets that were going to start tomorrow, and resolutions that were going to happen next week, and relationships that were going to be fixed next month.

    In other words, later. Only later isn’t a definite time frame, and so it never comes.

    What have you been putting off until “later”? What are you currently pushing to “later” that needs to happen soon?

    Big excuse #2: I feel all alone and I don’t know what to do.

    If you truly don’t know what to do — if you’re at your wit’s end — then it’s time for a nap and a break. If you’re at that point, you’re tired. Let yourself be tired.

    There’s power in having not a clue about what to do and not fighting it. Let your brain stop trying to come up with solutions.

    Feel what you’re feeling and give yourself a break.

    Once you’ve had a rest, know this: the being-in-business game isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s easy to slip into feeling absolutely alone. Don’t let yourself do that.

    Whether you have to make community, join community, or just plain buy into community (some of my favorite groups are those I’ve paid to be a part of) — do it.

    Also: perhaps business is slow because you’re at a loss. You’re spinning your wheels, you don’t know what to do next, and so you avoid business tasks altogether. Then business gets slower. And slower. And…you guessed it, slower, because you’re putting less and less effort into doing the work you’re meant to do through your business.

    So ask yourself: would my business grow as a result of doing this thing that sings to my heart? Would being healthier, more productive, or more knowledgeable help to grow my business, despite the short-term issues standing in my way?

    If the answer is yes, find a freaking way.

    My guess is that you aren’t lazy or useless or slow, you’re just a bit scared. You’ve been putting that thing off for a while now. So long as you’re scared, your brain is happy to keep you in a cage of fear and worry instead of letting you out to figure out just how NOT scary that thing is…it will keep poking you with perfectly reasonable excuses for years and years. You’ve got to choose to do the thing.

    And then, do the worst thing you’ll ever have to do: ask for help. You’re not alone, but you do have to ask for help from those nearest and dearest to you.

    It’s your job to make sure you’ve got the support you need, so ask.

    Ask your mom to babysit the kids. Ask your significant other to vacuum because you’re exhausted. Ask a friend to take the dog overnight so you don’t have to pick up poop and take seven walks around the block in the next 24 hours. Ask a delivery man to bring you pizza. Pay these people as necessary — but ask.

    Learning to get the support you need is absolutely crucial to your success as an entrepreneur, and the sooner you do it — the better.

    Want to hear the other eight big huge excuses your brain uses to keep you stuck?  KABLAM IT’S A PODCAST EPISODE.  (Here are all the other podcast episodes, too!)

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    I don’t want to serve you.

    Serving implies that I fall at your feet, obey your every wish, and succumb to your every whim without question. Serving means I’m the woman who scrubs your feet during a pedicure, or the waitress who doesn’t make eye contact while bringing your food to the table, or the clerk at the store who rings out your purchases without comment.

    Serving energy is heavy energy.

    I want to play with you.

    I don

    I want to see what happens when we get together and go exploring, much like reuniting Calvin and Hobbes with their trusty wagon before sending them off for an afternoon in the forest. I’ll take a look at everything you don’t want me to know, then have scary ideas that add up to exactly what you’ve always dreamed of but have never told anyone out loud. I’ll pounce on you with utter delight when I see you coming down the sidewalk after a long day of Adulting, and you’ll trust me like you trust no one else even though it makes no logical sense to those watching.

    Because when you meet a Hobbes, you have to Calvin. (The laws of physics are clear, here.)

    We’ll go exploring together in your business, and we’ll fall down and biff and also get up and laugh and enjoy the whole process, even though sometimes it’s a real mess and we ended up breaking the wagon but don’t tell anyone, it still works alright if you don’t steer to the right too fast.

    What we’ll find together is a more joyful business experience. (Quite often that means you make more money and rekindle your love for your work while we’re together. It always means revealing more of yourself to the world around you.)

    I don’t want to serve you.

    I want to act as midwife for your ideas and creations, with the added bonus of never having to see your nether regions or blow up a birthing pool in your living room.

    I want to find new cliffs to push you off of because hey, you don’t know it, but I attached a jetpack to your shoulders when you weren’t looking and you’re gonna be fine. (You’ll figure this out halfway down, right after your life has flashed before your eyes and you see how much you have to be grateful for.)

    I want to see you.

    All the way, deep down, see you, which is why selling scalable and endlessly profitable programs involving thousands of people are not my jam. I want to know your name and remember your face and frankly, hold your energetic imprint in my heart. (LOOK I’M A FUZZY FREAKING STUFFED TIGER IN THIS METAPHOR, DON’T GIVE ME THE DOUBTING WOO-WOO FACE.)

    Random e-mails full of kind words from strangers are nice, but it’s so much better when I know you enough to see and feel how you’ve changed over time.

    Growth is my currency.

    Kind words are my currency.

    Romps are my most adored currency.

    Dollars are a form of currency, and I’ll take them in order to pay bills and handle the assorted muggle aspects of my life, but they’re not my primary form of currency.

    Money is nice. What money can get me is nice. But given only money and no kind words or growth or contact with my peeps, my insides ended up emptier than a corn husk in a snowy December field.

    I want to deeply know MY people.

    I only have so much energy, and I’d rather not waste it on a person who’s busy judging me as childish or not prestige-y enough.

    If you need perfection porn, I’m not your girl.

    If you can’t handle a few rough edges and a ton of cursing, again: so not your girl.

    If you want to make six figures, great! I’ve done that!

    If you only want the magical six-figure making formula and aren’t willing to do any of the Calvin-ing that comes with my Hobbes-ing, you’ll only end up hating me.

    I want to be the Hobbes to your Calvin.

    As you write, because deep down you feel called to

    As you business. (Hey, that’s a verb, whatever.)

    As you live.

    I don’t want to fucking serve you. Please, don’t ask me to keep our relationship so one-sided or so fucking HEAVY.

    I want to play with you and love you open and then see what happens next.

    So, Calvin. Nice to meet you.

    Who do you wanna be today?

    …also I got a Calvin and Hobbes tattoo at age 21, before tramp stamps had an official title, so no you can’t see it but trust me, my Hobbes-ing goes way back and only gets more pronounced with time. This is what is on my back, only drawn by Bill Watterson instead of traced by a dude in Indiana, Pennsylvania.


    You can play with me and get ever so joyfully not-served in Paris to get some business strategery and adventuring happening, you can write your book with me, or you can work with me 1-on-1 because dammit, it’s time to hop on the wagon and roll down the hill, isn’t it?

    If you wanna talk and you’re afraid or you ‘don’t want to bother me’ or you’ve been circling around for a while but haven’t reached out…PLEASE FREAKING FILL OUT THIS FORM.


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