Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Can we have a little chat?

                                            Source: via Jane on Pinterest

Hello my gorgeous friends. It being Wednesday, I had planned to write my usual weekly 'Down the rabbithole' post. But today the Universe had other plans for me, it seems. I've had such a stimulating past 24 hours. And I'd like to chat to you about it, to take you into my confidence, if you'll have me. You might want to grab a hot drink ☺.

So what's been going on?

Part 1

Well, it started last night when I read Kelly's fascinating post here called 'The gentle art of self-sabotage' over at her blog, A life less frantic. Oh, my stars! Sometimes you read someone's post and want to ask them how they could read your mind. Or be standing in your shoes. This was one of them.

Read it - I implore you (it's quite short). 

Why? Because not only does Kelly share her very personal recent struggles of being trapped in the cycle of over-doing everything and the diabolical results for her, she also refers to her older post stunningly called 'Epiphany'.

And by clicking on that post link, sweet Planetarians, you'll fall down one of Alice's most fantastic rabbitholes. Promise.
Penelope Trunk
There, Kelly links to an extraordinary podcast of a blogger interviewing the influential US blogger, Penelope Trunk. He asked her for some career advice. He saw himself as being trapped in a dead-end job but really wanted to be at home with his children. He wanted her to give him the answer.

And boy, did she give it to him! The podcast link in Kelly's post doesn't work so please click here to hear it. It goes for about 30 minutes so you might want to come back to it later. It's worth the time investment, believe me.

  1. If you’re looking at someone else’s life and wishing you have the stuff they have, ask yourself whether you’re willing to do what they did to get that stuff. More often than not, the people in the world with craploads of money who fly first class also work 18 hour days and spend a heap of time away from their families. Do you want to do that?
  2. Unless you’re independently wealthy, everyone has to work 8 hours a day. Whether it is being a stay-at-home-parent or a banker or an artist or a tradesman or the greatest online marketer in the world, everyone has to ‘work’. Forget the BS of ‘find something you love doing and you’ll never work another day in your life’. Whether you love what you do or not, it’s still ‘work’!
  3. Once you’ve got that sorted in your head, then you ask yourself: “What do I want to spend my 8 hours a day doing?”.
And that question led Kelly to her epiphany. She decided she wanted to design and write. Her response?
So no more! As of now, there are no more side projects, no more multiple blogs, no more pressure to feel like I have to take up every opportunity offered to me, no more hard-core ‘networking’ on social media, no more turning over of a thousand ideas in my head and feeling pressured and stressed because I can’t do everything!
She then worked out her life dream.

And started doing something about it.

Tomorrow she'll post about how she's going in her quest to follow that dream. I am captivated.

As for me, I feel like Alice in the photo above.

But I have to know where I want to go. It does matter.

So my brain has tuned right in. My ears are listening acutely to the whisperings of my heart:
Trust in yourself, trust in yourself...
My brain is abuzz and thoughts and dreams are a-whirring.

Part 2
Then this morning I attended a fascinating free seminar run by PayPal called 'Driving business online'. You can read about it here. I'd only heard about it yesterday afternoon, completely by chance on the radio. I turned up to find about 100 Hobartians who were keen to learn how to run their businesses online.

Over the next 2 hours, I was rivetted to my seat. Truly.

A PayPal man spoke at length about:
  • the extraordinary growth of online shopping in Australia (currently at 11% annually); 
  • the need for sellers to be accessible online 24/7;
  • the need to ensure your products look good on a tablet (last year, more tablets were sold in Australia than computers); and
  • how only 29% of small businesses in Australia have a web presence and only 21% take online orders.  
With thoughts of how to launch my Etsy shop swirling in my head, I hung off every word. Knowledge is power, my friends! And I was receiving it gratis.
Then the brilliant Robert Gerrish from Flying Solo, an online forum for 'Australia's micro-business community', gave us his '5 tips to online success'. 

They are:

  • Stand-out (through your delivery, innovation, branding, graphics, business name and personal service);

  • Target your message (don't try to be all things for all people);

  • Direct the traffic (observe how people interact with us and change our systems to adapt to them);

  • Monitor behaviour and adapt (Google Analytics is a key tool to use); and 

  • Be reliable and consistent.

  • So where am I now?

    Now I am exhausted. I've stayed up way too late writing this.

    But I needed to.

    I need to put words to the thoughts swirling in my head.

    I wanted to synthesise my two different experiences over the past 24 hours. Because there is a definite link, don't you think?

    Then I'll be able to properly answer “What do I want to spend my 8 hours a day doing?”. 

    And that, my friends, is a story for tomorrow. Will you be tuning in to see where my thoughts have wandered? And do tell us if you've read Kelly's posts and/or the podcast - a penny for your thoughts!
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