What’s Your Brave Yes Kryptonite?

What’s Your Brave Yes Kryptonite?

That big dream of yours … it requires you to be what I call a courage maker.

Courage makers, though, are still just human beings, not superheroes.

Life circumstances will pop up out of nowhere.

Your life circumstances may be exactly what’s keeping you in place and feeling stagnant and there may be nothing you can do about that.

But here’s the thing.

There’s always something else at play in our lives as we are building something and dreaming up something new for ourselves and our work.

When we can, we must remove the kryptonite and shove it out of our way.

What’s Your Brave Yes Kryptonite? That’s what this week’s podcast episode is all about. Listen here.

Inside this episode:

  • I tell a personal story about teaching students how to create business plans and learn a valuable lesson.
  • The importance of knowing our obstacles, our kryptonite when it comes to our Brave Yeses.
  • Life Circumstances vs. Kryptonite
  • What to do if we can’t remove the obstacles
  • Permission to explore your kryptonite
  • Join my Brave Yes Action Hours — FREE coworking for your YES project. REGISTER HERE

A Single YES Can Change Everything

A Single YES Can Change Everything

I think back to the times in my life when I said YES to myself, to something that called me and I can’t think of a time I regret.

Every YES was a game changer.

From writing a book and self-publishing, to launching a free email course to traveling across the country solo to attend an amazing conference and put my feet in the freezing Pacific Ocean for the first time.

I haven’t found one yes to lead me astray.

Think back to the times in your life when you said Yes — and by YES I am talking about the Brave Yeses, the kinda scary but liberating and exciting ones.

Not just any yes but the yeses that were meaningful, purposeful and expansive to your life and work.

As busy female founders and creatives, it’s easy to say no to ourselves.

We like our noes.

But I have learned that saying yes can change everything.

And by that I don’t mean to other people’s yeses.

I mean to the deep desires that live inside of us.

When we give ourselves permission to explore our own brave yeses and say yes to ourselves, we’re opening the door to our own higher purpose, our own meaningful lives.

Listen to this podcast now or keep reading below.

Why YES?

As female creatives, founders and entrepreneurs we are carrying so much more than our businesses and our creative work.

We’re holding a load of responsibilities and stress.

So if you’ve been hard on yourself for not being farther along … it’s not you. It’s the system.

That’s why I’m on a mission with my Brave Yes Coaching Programming to help you offload some of YOUR stress by helping you rediscover your passion and your spark for life, for work, for art, for whatever brings you alive!

I believe working toward a YES is the single most important antidote to a lot of things: burnout, stress, the Land of Bitter and Sour, exhaustion, languishing, boredom etc.

Yeses come in all sizes, shapes and colors, which is what makes them so beautiful.

I also know that most female creatives sit on their true Brave Yeses for far too long and don’t take action.

Let’s change that for YOU.

What is a Brave Yes?

A Brave Yes can mean many things but ultimately it is a powerful action you want to take to become more alive, more aligned and more authentic in your way of being in this world.

These kinds of yeses are courageous and lead us often to a more impactful life or identity as well as bringing us a sense of meaning and purpose.

A Brave Yes may take years or months or weeks. It’s often not an overnight decision though it certainly can be at times, depending on the yes.

I have a client who was burned out by her business model and the hustle and grind and she ultimately decided that her first Brave Yes — we’re still working on others for her — was going to be to get a full-time job and run her business on the side.

This YES liberated her from the pressure of earning money so could get back to loving the creative work she loved. Her job pays her bills. Her business gives her meaning and purpose.

What is a Yes Project?

A Yes Project is a goal, a task, a project, a habit that you want to say YES to because it makes you happy, it lights you up, it brings you joy — or it should.

It’s easy to have a long list of projects laying around in our notebooks and planners, especially as CEOs and entrepreneurs. Sometimes these projects, though, are shoulds.

And Should Projects aren’t the same as YES projects.

Yes Projects often take time. They also aren’t done overnight and do require clarity, capacity and courage.

I have another client who loves to write and makes a living writing. So naturally she started a YES project that ultimately became added stress and pressure for her. Her first Brave Yes was letting that project go …

And what opened up to her was the space to think, dream and think about what she really wanted to do with her time. It opened up an opportunity for her a truly huge Yes Project — to write a novel.

I host bi-weekly Brave Yes Action Hour sessions for the members of my Brave Yes Slack Community and our whole intention is to create space for our YES projects.

It’s time to Make an Offering to Yourself

We simply cannot keep crumbling to the pressures of the day and not make meaningful progress toward those things that bring us alive, or more wealth, more connection, more change that this world needs right now.

This is why last month I focused on capacity — and will continue to do so.

But we also need to have the courage to fight for what we know this world needs, what people need and how to lead and serve in a bigger, bolder way.

This is where your YES comes in.

Let’s build a YES movement.

I’m calling in right now a movement of action toward A Million YES Projects, founded by female creatives, entrepreneurs and visionaries unfolding in the next 10 years.

Yes, 1 Million in 10 years.

And I’m here to do my part, to help usher in these 1 Million YES Projects.

Because you have the vision to be the change this world needs, you have art this world needs, you have words the world needs, you have offerings the world needs.

An Invitation

Even if you’re tired, even if you’re exhausted — especially if you are burned out — I invite you to say yes to yourself and find a YES to light your path ahead.

I encourage you to create space in your calendar for your YES to start taking action on your YES.

Join me for Brave Yes Action Hours. Link to join my FREE community.

When You’re Holding More Than a Business as a Founder and CEO

When You’re Holding More Than a Business as a Founder and CEO

It’s NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to make a Brave Yes business move — a change, a pivot, creating a YES offer, or implementing the Brave Yes mindset — when you are bogged down by stress, burnout and overwhelm.

Running a business often means a non-stop to-do list. We never reach the end. There’s always more. More to do. More to dream up. More to make happen. More to build.

At the center of all that, is you — the CEO and founder, the visionary behind the business.

And your energy, your capacity and your needs.

The idea of Work-Life Balance seems kind of simple compared to the tangled up threads running through a CEO and her business.

Add to that the possibility of living through a pandemic while also caring for yourself, pets, a house and a family.

In other words, if you’re exhausted, it’s no wonder.

This week, on the Brave Yes CEO Show, I”m talking about what it means to hold more than our business — what happens as a result and why it’s important to honor where we are and build a business from that space.

Listen here or keep reading below.

As founders, we’re not just juggling business and life. There are so many nuances running deep and leaving ruts in our days.

Among my own clients, here’s what they have been juggling beyond their own business:

— Covid mitigation

— Covid recovery

— Health scares and crisis

— Home Repair issues and fiascos

— Health care bills

— Mental Health matters among spouses and children

— Aging, ailing parents

— Job loss

— Inflation

— Loneliness

— Virtual Learning Days

As we are juggling all of that, we’re also juggling the cleaning, the meals, the laundry and scheduling all the appointments, filling out all the paperwork, making sure all the Is are dotted and Ts are crossed.

And, in the back of our mind is this … how are we going to bring in the income next month?

And my clients aren’t alone.

Last August, I was gleefully looking forward to FINALLY, FINALLY having 5 full weekdays to do my creative work and serve clients.

And maybe also take time for myself.

But the week my kids returned to school — a school that we quickly learned was not right for them — my husband had a heart attack, toppling everything we knew to be true. Shock. Despair. Fear.

And while I still ran my business, I think I made it look too easy. I was tired of being strong. I needed help. So I got help.

I didn’t share that I made a few changes in my life to make it through. Thankfully my business was doing well enough I could re-hire my house cleaner. I shored up my own foundation a bit by taking on an additional bigger client with more consistency and predictability — which was a very good move for me generally. I learned to lean on people.

Until then I was going it alone. Carrying the burdens quietly.

This is not how we create an environment for Braver Business moves. In my Braver CEO framework, I focus a lot on what it means to empowering yourself to do the hard things.

But that all must start with a foundation of wellbeing … A foundation of YES, I have the energy to do this now.

I’m rejecting the idea that we need to be stronger, push harder and keep trying to get where we want to be — without first acknowledging that this is hard, hard, hard stuff we’re doing and making sure that capacity planning — which takes into account where we are, who we are and what our life circumstances are — as we plan out the future of our businesses.

Your business needs to serve you and your whole life.

You are holding so much more than a business as the CEO of your little Queendom. This notion that all you have to juggle is life and work over simplifies it all. I reject themes of hustling, of showing up no matter what because frankly, you are holding so much more than a marketing plan in your head.

No wonder you forget what you need to do on a Monday. The weekend was filled with chaos.

Take a moment to hold space for yourself, for the many parts of your life that are weighing you down, holding you back, keeping you stalled. Honor that this is your life right now. You are where you are. It is what it is.

To invest in your capacity and planning a business that honors where you are and who you are right now and that you may not have the full on support, the thriving environment, the team, the capabilities you need right now to BE the business you want to have in the future. You are growing through the gap and going through your own expansion slowly, on your own terms. There’s power in that.

Let’s focus on building your capacity AND a plan that honors your capacity. There are so many creative ways to do business. You don’t have to be locked into one vision. It’s far easier to create a vision that is doable than it is to create a vision that deflates your passion and your desire for change.

Creative flow will not show up if you are feeling zapped emotionally or energetically.

This is the biggest obstacle I see with my clients who struggle with accessing creative flow consistently.

Let’s hop on a ZOOM call and discuss the ways in which you can both build your capacity and confidence this year to see your Brave Yes dream through to the finale. Schedule here.

Stop Hustling: 6 Ways to Experience Creative Flow

Stop Hustling: 6 Ways to Experience Creative Flow

When I work with highly creative visionaries and thought leaders on being more visible and taking up more space in their industry, I stress the importance of embodying creative flow vs. forcing and striving to reach big goals.

Here’s what I mean + 6 Ways to Experience Creative Flow

Forcing and Striving is all about a mindset that says don’t quit, don’t rest or other people will win and you will lose.

Striving feeds and breeds on fear of missing out.

Striving feeds on hustle.

The idea of striving — without stopping — is common advice for new creators and those in startups — as if it’s the only way to be successful.

But, there are many beautiful ways to getting things done, achieving your dreams and being who you want to be.

I am proof you can have a successful, creative online business without hustle.

I’ve worked hard. I’ve put in the time.

But I’ve also put family, self and rest first — by focusing on creative flow over forcing and striving.

Striving is a constant state of being on alert, scanning the world for more opportunities, more pushing, more inserting yourself into the plot of your life.

And it’s exhausting and relentless.

Striving is all about self-optimization. You aren’t enough, you aren’t doing enough, you must improve, constantly.

It’s a “Can’t stop, won’t stop” mentality that is not built for humans.

Flow, however, feeds on mindfulness, just-right intentions and Divine timing.

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke

Flow says this is my best moment to shine, this is my time to get things done, this is my time to create.

When we choose to work in Flow, we allow moments of rest, time to recover and heal and practice self-acceptance of being human not superhuman.

Flow means being fully immersed in an activity that brings you immense pleasure and interest — > you lose yourself and all sense of time disappears.

Flow happens in the sweet spot between the ideal conditions of satisfaction, effort and energy.

Choosing flow over forcing and striving requires what I call Sovereign Self-Trust.

You must be able to draw on your own inner wisdom of what is necessary and true for you and what’s possible with your life circumstances.

When we trust ourselves to access flow states, we give ourselves permission to just be, to rest, to enjoy life.

So, how can you experience more creative flow in your days?

6 Ways to Experience More Creative Flow:

Accept that you can’t hack it

While you can train yourself to experience creative flow more often, it can’t be forced.

You can’t just say, OK, “Going into creative flow state right now.”

Prioritize YES projects, not shoulds.

A Yes project is challenging enough to keep your attention — and brings you delight.

When I’m working on a YES Project, I access creative flow quickly and easily, always.

The work gets done effortlessly.

NEED A YES PROJECT? –> I offer a hybrid audio + coaching program to help you find your YES project here:

Be all in.

It’s nearly impossible to enter a creative flow state if you are multitasking.

Hide your phone, shut down all the tabs on your computer — and in your brain — and go all in on your YES project of the moment.

Diversify your flow states.

It’s beautiful to get into flow in non-work activities. Gardening. Cooking. Baking. Organizing.

These give you energy for your work projects.

What’s a non-work YES you’d like to make time for today?

“Flow can be found in so many things: Teaching, carving, exploring. Healing, writing, making right. Unearthing, interpreting, speaking truth. What is common between them is an exhilaration in the engagement, the challenge, and no guarantee of success.”

― Heather E. Heying

Address your Energy and Emotions

Creative flow will not show up if you are feeling zapped emotionally or energetically.

This is the biggest obstacle I see with my clients who struggle with accessing creative flow consistently.

Stop letting life zap your creativity by …

:: Cultivating strong wellbeing practices.
:: Develop resilience for life’s circumstances
:: Learn to bounce forward in hard times

Be honest about what you need to do to balance your mind, body and spirit better.

Slow Down.

Creative flow thrives with S P A C E … give yourself plenty of time without conditions or expectations.

In other words, put away the striving goals and to-do lists.

And just flow. 🙂

Does flowing vs. hacking, striving and forcing resonate with you? Follow me @Shawn_BraveYes for more anti-hustle approaches to making dreams happen in your life and business.

For Those Who are Growing Through The Gap

For Those Who are Growing Through The Gap

I don’t care how long you’ve been in business, you’re in the gap.

Sometimes that gap is feels like an ocean.

Sometimes that gap is more like a little creek.

Either way, you have to go through the mess to get to the other side.

That’s what I’m talking about this week on The Brave Yes CEO Show.

Listen to this episode now or keep reading below …

What is the gap?

The gap is that learning space of where you are and where you want to be. You are standing on the cusp of a field of change and you have no idea how to get to the other side. That is the gap.

There’s a problem in your business, and you need to solve it.

What is the messy middle?

The messy middle is where you try and test and experiment to get narrow the gap, to get closer and closer to the other side.

Are you in the Messy Middle?

How to know if you are in the messy middle

What is the Sacred Middle?

First, let me share a few lines from a poem by Jeff Foster:

Don’t hold on. Don’t let go. Stay right in the middle.

When sorrow visits. When melancholy erupts. When loneliness and disappointment burn.

Stay right in the middle. Don’t hold on. Don’t let go.

The middle is the place where alchemy happens.

How do Growing Pains Show Up in a Business?

As we are moving through the gap, that’s when we encounter all of our growing pains.

Growing pains are necessary evils that are required of us when we are in expansion mode.

What are some of the growing pains — aka messy middles — of a business?

— overwhelm

— bored

— burn out

The thing about the messy middle is this: it often takes a Breakdown to make a change big enough to get through it.

Often, the breakdown leads to a breakthrough.

That happens to me over and over again. I hit the messy middle. I breakdown. The breakthrough happens. I keep going.

The part of this that I am most passionate about is helping you through the messy middle of change. Any change.

  • Simplifying your business is a change that can be just as overwhelming because editing out what needs to go is hard, hard work.
  • Changing your business model is change and hard to do because you’re afraid of leaving people behind — or things not working out.
  • Building something new while keeping something going is challenging terrain that is best done with support, motivation and inspiration rather than doing it yourself. I’ve been there. The discomfort of investing in support is better than the discomfort of ending up down the wrong path and having to reroute.

I know, I’ve been there. I’ve crawled through the trenches and traveled through the weedy terrain of the messy middle of change many times.

How to get through the messy middle to the other side?

When I had reached burn out with my first business, I had a few levels of messy middle to travel through.

First there was the messy middle of knowing a change was needed but not sure how to go about it.

Then there was the messy middle of making that change.

And then, finally, there was the messy middle of moving into my next thing and feeling strong in it. In this case, I’m talking about my Brave Yes Coaching program.

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about growing the gap that I share with my clients who are doing the same thing.

For example, Let’s say you have a business model that isn’t working for you and you want to make some big changes.

3 Tips for Growing through the Gap:

  1. Make sure you know where you are going. Having a blueprint — not just for your business – but for your life is essential. Even if you don’t know where you want to be in retirement, know how you want to be living a year from now before you step out on your path. This helps you find the best path to the change you want to make. Taking any path will take you to anyone’s dream. Your goal should be to do what feels right for you.
  2. Know what it’s going to take to get to the desired change. Not just the steps but the inner work that you need to do to get you through the challenging moments. The steps need to be clear and precise but also offer room for flexibility.
  3. Connect with your Brave Yes Mindset. A big part of the work I do with my clients is on being steady with a growth mindset. The gap is large but not impossible. The gap is uncertain but not out of reach. The gap is scary but not a horror movie.

Are you growing through the gap right now? Let’s talk about your Brave Yes Life & Business Goals. I love to hop on clarity calls with potential clients and walk you through a series of questions to help understand where you are and where you want to grow and go. Learn more and sign up here.