Thursday, April 22, 2010

Running Uphill

Do you ever have one of those days when you lack total energy and focus, mostly because you're avoiding something you know you should do?

Today, I was avoiding many things, but chief among them was hills repeats.

For you non-runners, hill repeats are pretty much as awful as they sound.  Run up a hill and back down.  Repeat.  Again.  And again.  Until your quads are quivering and you curse yourself for choosing such a torturous hobby.

I love running, I truly do.  But I'm a fair weather friend.  I love running when it's 60 degrees and sunny; when the roads are flat and empty; when I've had 12 hours of sleep and just the right amout of fuel; when there's no pollen and my asthma isn't acting up; when it feels fun and free and easy.  Which pretty much means one day out of every 100.

In running, as in life, I bargain with myself.  Maybe I'll skip today's run.  Or maybe I'll just run two miles and skip the hills.  Or maybe I'll quit after the first hill.  Or maybe after the second.

When you're in baragaining mode, it's pretty easy to talk yourself out of most any and every commitment.  But what I've learned in running--and what I'm trying to apply to my entrepreneurial life--is that there IS no perfect day.  You'll never have enough time.  Or enough sleep.  Or enough money.  Or enough energy.  But you have to put one foot in front of the other.  It's the only way to get to the top of the hill.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive

I've written a lot lately about my need to get more aggressive with my business.  To stop giving things away for free, to be more assertive about selling, to commit to it 100 percent.  And in the past week, I've learned a very valuable lesson: just ask.

It's really that simple.  Set your intentions clearly.  Speak them aloud to the universe.  And then go forth and DO.  ASK.

You can't sit around and wait for opportunities to fall into your lap.  You have to create them.  You have to get out there and ask, sincerity, graciously, but without fear or apology.

You'll be amazed at the results.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When You Work for Free, We All Pay

So far this year, two blog posts have really inspired me and the way I think about business.

The first was Elizabeth Potts Weinstein's manifesto, "I'm Not Sorry About Selling," which contains my favorite words in the history of entrepreneurship: Dude. This is not a freaking non-profit.

The second was Nicole Jordan's brilliant "No. You Can't Pick My Brain," a phrase that me and my entrepreneurial friends invoke on an almost daily basis.

I think both women hit one of the issues that inhibits both the growth of our businesses as well as those of our fellow entrepenereurs: we give things away.  All. The. Time.

A huge chunk of time here, a string of free tips there, until we have nothing of value left to share or sell.  And it's bad enough that we're undervaluing our own worth, but we're also undercutting the value of others' products and services, because all of this "free advice" floating around out there creates the expectation that you can get anything and everything for free.  Which means no one gets paid. 

If you know anything about me, you know that I have a huge heart.  Probably too big.  I'm the first one to offer advice, a connection, an introduction--for childhood friends and new acquaintances alike.  I truly believe in the power of the loconomy, of relationships, of partnership and collaboration.

But there's a difference between a free food sample from your favorite restaurant at a local festival and sitting at the chef's table at that same restaurant for a six-course meal with wine pairings. 

Nibbling is great.  Nibbles turn into bites which turn into meals.

But you can't build a business on nibbles, and every time you give away a meal disguised as a sample, you might as well tack that "closed" sign on your door right now--and to that of every business around you.

We need each other, and we need to start valuing and supporting each others' work.  And sometimes, that means opening up your wallet and shelling out some cash.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin