Well, perhaps a little premature to say that, but yesterday I was sooo stuck. I’m about to relaunch my entire business (hmm, I never seem to do things by half). Why? well because everything I’ve been learning, dreaming of, planning and experimenting with over the last 13 years has been coming together into what feels like one cohesive, wonderful business, that I’m VERY excited about. 4 new ‘products’, one beautiful brand, work that I love doing and I’m proud of, is meaningful and has impact. Moderately scaleable, sustainable, congruent, aligned.
I know EXACTLY what I want to to – I just need to build it out and launch. And in the process I plan to bust some old beliefs that I’m great at ideas and vision, but cr@p at execution. I no longer believe that story…but I do know I’m slow because I see all the connections, implications and complexity. And this is my business, on my terms, my way – I want my arms around it all – to understand it inside and out. So I’m up to my ears in tech stuff just now – building out products in MemberVault, building new landing pages on my WordPress website, connecting to Thrivecart, integrating with ActiveCampaign so the right people get the right emails at the right time.
The products are already created (that bit I find easy), but building the means for people to learn about them, pay for them, access them and get real value and impact from them without me having to hand-crank it all is what I’m learning and building.
It’s like a massive interconnected jigsaw; the picture on the box in my head is simply beautiful, elegant, meaningful – but it’s all still in pieces.
I may be doing it myself – but I’m not alone. I learned THAT lesson a long time ago. For example, my design skills are minimal, and I want it to be gorgeous, so the wonderful Jess Lynn is helping me with the design and branding. The simply awe-inspiring Vicky Etherington IS the Website mentor, cheerleading me, giving me the belief and technical know-how and generous hand-on support to help me get over my fear of WordPress (seriously, she is one of the most awe-inspiring women I know, and she has no idea how fabulous she is). Jo Rogers is helping me with the legal aspects and T’s & C’s. Jo is making legal expertise accessible and affordable to small businesses and I applaud her for what she’s doing with Navistar Legal. And Matt Thomas has been my mentor, creative sparring partner and is just an all round good guy. There’s no way this would have come together as far as it has without him. I’ve made more progress on my business in the 10 months I’ve been in his IN Crowd, than I have in the last 13 years. And of course I’ve some wonderful clients, who have been willing guinea-pigs, testing out the concepts, and really doing the work (you know who you are!). So I’m definitely not alone, I’m well supported – but there’s still SO much to learn and do.
So, yesterday I hit a brick wall; I felt stuck, frustrated, tearful, overwhelmed, exhausted. It was too hard, I was losing hours I didn’t have trying and failing to create what I wanted in the back end of my website. I’d lost sight of what it was I was trying to do (the “picture on the box”); I was too enmeshed in the small stuff and it felt like one of those dreams when you just..can’t…get…to…where..you…want… over and over. I’d slept TERRIBLY the night before, waking at 2pam, then 4am, eventually giving up and starting work at 5 (yes, I know – those who know me well will be astonished as sleep is normally one of my superpowers).
By last night I just felt like giving up. So I surrendered. Shut down the laptop, abandoned my office, let go and went to bed early….and slept like a log.
This morning I woke late, but PING! Wide awake, seeing it all clearly.
DOH! I had the answer all along. Right under my nose. I’d even been writing and sharing about it just this very week!
I’d said it myself – it feels like a jigsaw. I love difficult jigsaws. And what do I do when I get stuck doing a beautiful difficult jigsaw? I step back, take a break, regroup, study the picture again, then start working on a different part of the jigsaw, because the more other pieces fall into places, the easier it is to find what’s missing. It works every time. It’s only ever stubbornness and misplaced pride that keeps me agonising over why I can’t find how to put the pieces together on an obscure section.
Yes, of course, I needed a metaphor to help me see the answer (face slap)! Working with metaphor is a key aspect of one of my beautiful new personal development programmes “What’s Inside?”. Doh, walk the talk Rachel!
So today I’m full of energy, revitalised, and back in flow working on other parts of the mammoth list of tasks for me to do…I’ll come back to what I’m stuck on another day, when it will no longer feel overwhelming or impossible.
So maybe, just maybe, a jigsaw will have saved my launch! Watch this space to see if it has…