Cancel Everything + Listen: How to Bounce Back

The ambulance finally shows up and wheels your gurney in the back while in excruciating pain with a friendly EMT asking question after question about allergies + things you can't concentrate on because of the pain. He has the most soothing voice as he jabs the biggest fucking needle you have ever seen in your arm so that now you can't move it. You just left your car in the parking lot of someplace that you don't even know where it is. And as they wheel you into the emergency room you realize that you left the TV in your hotel room on and all your shit scattered all over the place. At this rate you might not see it again because it hits you you're not getting out of this place any time soon.

That's what I was doing exactly a year ago.

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Intuition: Does it Make us Moola?

That's the real question. You know that weird tingly sensation you get in your stomach that sets off all the alarm bells off when you come across something that is perfect for your company? That's your intuition telling you that you should do it! But will that idea or product or service or next social media app actually make you money in the long run? Ehhh! That’s a little harder to tell. As entrepreneurs, we take risks every day with our amazing ideas + products + services + apps. In order for things to work in our favor, we need to do a little research or if you don’t want to do it then you pay for it 😉 {depending on which tax bracket you are in}.

Data can show you what your intuition can't

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My web developer loves me, does yours love you?

Everyone loves a gorgeous, well designed, thought out website. If it wasn't then no one would be able to navigate it. And a jacked-upped website is a pain in the ass. Website design, even restructuring one, is a huge undertaking {but I love it... it's my nerddom}. I get to see all the puzzle pieces fall together {data + research + edit copy + graphics} it's pretty fucking amazing, if I say so myself.

Web developers love knowing your ideal customer 

This is where being a stalker comes in handy. A while ago I had to revamp a website that was awkward, at best, to navigate and a little dated. The gauntlet had been thrown and I needed to do some research... ASAP.

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Creeper: Learn About Your Tribe's Culture

I have this pretty funny story to tell y'all {a glass of bubbly may or may not have been involved.} But before I get to that let's be serious for a second on indulging your inner stalker. We all people watch. It has turned into a global pastime. Photographers people watch + take photos for their work. Anthropologists people watch to gain further insight into cultures. Just admit that it is fun to sit back + figure out people's stories or pick up on their idiosyncrasies {that's a big word for this blog}. We people watch when we go out, whether it's at the grocery store, the mall, driving around, or at sporting events + check out what food they are purchasing, type of clothes they set down on the check out counter, what type of stickers or stick families they have on the back of their car {stick families drive me crazy}, or what team they are rooting for. It's all in the name of curiosity.
 

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Keeping Your Eye on Your Target

We all have our quirks… admit it. I happen to really like research {trust me most people don’t} and seeing all these data points that create a larger picture about people. But understanding people’s quirks can be the difference in you selling your thing to them. Data begins by looking inside, follow me for a second, look inside your business first, your team and/or employees, your customers, your mission + vision, and any other internal reference points. This gives you a baseline for your hypothesis {that’s a big word for me}. You have this fuzzy picture of who you can help + work with. You make that picture clearer by searching externally to confirm the facts. Ta Da! Keeping your eye on the target isn't too hard after all. It's not Big Brother-ish at all, when it's in the name of research.

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Getting Hot + Heavy with Resolutions

I’ve been seeing people's New Year’s resolutions all over social media. We’ve seen them all from loose weight to be more grateful. Allen even made a resolution this year! Like, that’s a Christmas miracle in and of itself. He is striving to be more positive this year. The other morning before he left for work he said to me, ‘I know I’m supposed to be more positive, but this day is gonna suck.’ You gotta start somewhere.

We all make hot + heavy New Years resolutions and after a few weeks those resolutions fizzle out like your high school summer romance. Although some of us are committed enough to keep going, because you know what they say? {cue the cliché} What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. 

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Out With the Old + in With the New. A Year in Review + What’s up for 2017

I don’t know about you but 2016 has been heavy. Heavy in emotion, heavy in energy, heavy to carry. In that heaviness, I’ve kinda been a terrible friend. It feels like I’ve been in hibernation + have neglected my friends {that’s you}. If you have been with me at all you know that I was sick for pretty much the whole first half of the year + ended up in the hospital for 14 days with a ruptured appendix. What you may not know is that I’ve been to more funerals this year than I have in my entire adult life. I now have a dedicated funeral dress + that sucks. But… it is what it is. But in all of that, I’ve just kinda been going through the motions of writing blogs + sending emails because that’s what one is supposed to do. I’ve been a terrible friend to you for that. That’s not helping you or me. I’m not going to go into all the gory details about the year but to sum it up… it’s been heavy.

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You're fucking amazing + I'm taking time off

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about work + life balance? Yea? Well here's a perfect example of it. I'm working this week with a few clients, going to the office Christmas party Thursday night and then taking time off. You want to know why? Because I have earned it and I'm the boss. I've also finished most of my Christmas shopping + sent all my client gifts. Go me!

I hope that you remember that you are fucking amaze balls + deserve time off too!

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Let me see you pivot!

That sounds like the chorus to a hip hop song, doesn’t it? Being able to pivot with your work or life is a challenge for anybody. I mean, I just spent 2 days working on a project and now the client wants to change direction {it happens more than you know but that's a-okay because it makes me stronger, queue Kelly Clarkson song}. But fear not, all is not lost. I promise. This is when I pivot… because, dammit, I'm not losing two days worth of work. The best thing is I recognize the direction + idea + creation isn't the right path anymore but the time + energy I have put in can still be salvaged. The foundation has been laid but I need to change the small details that were used to build the original idea.

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Following Your Passion: I Call Bullshit

I know this is a controversial statement I just made because we are taught to be encouraging + find our passion to be happy. BUT, hear me out before you tar + feather me over this. There are all these cliches about passion; lack of passion is fatal, follow your passion, do what you love + you’ll never work a day in your life, etc. I’m not disputing these are not true but research has proven that passion alone does not make you happy {or make you money}. I think that when we are chasing the "follow your passion" dream what we really are looking for is happiness + fulfillment. I’m very passionate about looking through the dollar bins at Target for their cute pens {which, everyone seems to be snatching these days} but that’s not providing me an income + most of the time not really making me happy.

I’m proposing a new way of thinking about passion + happiness: do what you excel at.

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