5 Prompts for a Soulful Mid-Year Review for Creative Entrepreneurs

5 Prompts for a Soulful Mid-Year Review for Creative Entrepreneurs

Running a business is not just about money — it brings meaning and purpose to our lives.

To be #BusinessBrave means we pour our heart and soul into what we offer, how we offer it and who we serve — without apology.

And, while we must keep our business separate from our soul-selves, we must also recognize that the kind of energy WE bring to our business is the energy our clients and possible clients experience.

So, your business … it’s personal.

So invest in yourself, the CEO, the owner, the leader, the founder.

5 Prompts for a Soulful Mid-Year Review for Creative Entrepreneurs

  • How am I different right now compared to the beginning of the year? What is still the same? Is that OK with me?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how much risk-taking have I done? If I invested in being more courageous, what would change for my business?
  • Am I leading or being dragged?
  • What am I being called to create or make this year that hasn’t yet happened? What is stopping me from making this happen?
  • What goal can I let go of now because this isn’t the right season or timing?

This midway point in the year is a great time to make space to reflect and contemplate not just on the numbers of your business — which may be out of your control — and, instead, focus on who you want to be and how you want to lead.

Which question speaks to you the most? Share in comments.

Why You Shouldn’t Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway and What to Do Instead

Why You Shouldn’t Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway and What to Do Instead

In the weeks and months after I began a deep dive into my Personal Fear Story — and this was this was several years ago now — I was doing a lot of reading on how to be more courageous.

At the time, I had a really wonderful business that had six figures but then kind of plateaued and I wasn’t sure where to take things from there.

I knew that I needed to take some risks but I really was afraid to do what I knew I needed to do.

In fact, I laughed a lot because while I was so busy not changing a thing, my business mentor at the time — and somebody who has actually kind of opted out of the business world since — was literally pivoting every five minutes it felt like. Seriously, every year she was rebranding or changing up her business model here I was slogging along with the same old model.

And that’s where I stayed for 8 years.

In my comfort zone.

Listen to this podcast episode now.

In 2020, I reached a point where I was like OK I cannot keep doing this – in fact, I believe the words that came out of my mouth was “if I have to do this for another year I am literally going to lose my mind.” 

So when I threw the backpack over the wall in 2020 and burned down my first business, I am not being fully transparent. 

There was so much more to the story.

There was a spiritual component to that move and I was spiritually and emotionally ready. I had done the work. 

I’ve been doing a lot of work to get to that point before I burned down the old business and started my new one.

This idea of “feel the fear and do it anyway” was the most common advice that kept popping up as I was researching courage and bravery.

It kept coming up … fear the fear and do it anyway 

fear the fear do it anyway 

But I immediately knew that that was never going to work for me or my work or my clients it is rooted too much in toxic masculinity which I reject 1000%. I reject toxic masculinity, which promotes being tough powerful and hard on yourself.

How to Make Time for Social Justice Work and a Nap

How to Make Time for Social Justice Work and a Nap

If you struggle between wanting to lay down and take a nap or make an impact as a leader or as a creative soul — you are in the right place.

I’ll always look back on history and think of 2020 as the year a whole new generation of anti-racists were born.

Yes, there was a virus and a pandemic that made life really, really hard.

But there was huge progress in ways we hadn’t seen in our lifetimes in the area of racial justice because of the heart-breaking police murder of George Floyd.

And yet .. there is so more work to do to disrupt how white supremacy rules over our every system in society.

We simply cannot give up. We cannot quit. We cannot let our exhaustion stop us.

Because yes. We are exhausted. Tired to the bone.

The thing, though, is this is hard work because it’s a marathon not a sprint.

June 2020 was a sprint.

Now it’s time for the marathon, especially for white women like me.

Because we really do care and we need to prove it.

The world needs us to lean in — not out.

And this is the time we need to lean into our divine rage — before another urgent matter arises. 

As a life design coach AND a social justice warrior and anti-racist for nearly 20 years, I will be sharing some of my own well-being practices that help me stay strong, balanced and sane so that I can make a bigger impact without giving up in my upcoming Rise Stronger in 2021 7-Day Challenge. (Sign up here.)

The strategies we’ll be focusing on during that week-long challenge are a higher level of well-being than we’re used to implementing in our lives and that’s why they are so powerful.

However, until then … I really wanted to make sure I specifically address how to make sure you take time for that nap AND your social justice work.

RECONNECT WITH YOUR WHY

In my private coaching work, I talk about your Why Factor all the time. You have to know what you are working toward in order to really know where you are going. It’s far too easy to get sidetracked with shiny objects by the latest explosion in the internet anger machine. Rather than jump all over the place, reconnect with your values, your mission and your personal goals for working toward human rights and social justice issues. If you don’t know what your why is, that’s a great place to start.

PAUSE AND TAKE BREAKS FROM THE NEWS. LOTS OF THEM.

Only you know what your body needs and so sometimes what you need right now is not convenient for the news cycle. It’s OK to opt-out of reading or watching today’s big news story to focus on your needs. If you are experiencing anxiety or overwhelm, it’s time to stop and take a long break. Your brain and your body needs a lot of time to heal and recover, especially from traumatizing events. Pro Tip — It’s even better is to work in weekly — or daily — rests from the news rather than go full on digital escape. I personally try to take at least 60-90 minutes of unplugged time in my day.

GO BIG OR GO HOME

In order to make an impact in the world, we must make intentional actions that actually do good. So while screaming on social media how mad you are feels like you’re doing something, ask yourself what you can really do to make an impact. Instead of sharing on Facebook, can you call your representatives, write emails or call voters? Pro-Tip — Dedicate an hour or two a week solely to your social justice work so you can keep up your own consistency. I do this on Fridays thanks to a colleague who suggested it.

FIND YOUR PEOPLE

The best thing I ever did was start a local group of like-minded people in my community. We started as a small group of super upset and angry women in 2016 and now we are 2K strong with men and women with a variety of passions and life experiences. Having this group to lead, empower and stay connected with has been crucial to keeping me going and not giving up. This is not solitary work that we’re doing. It’s relational. It impacts people. And that’s why it’s really best done with a group to help grow your momentum and not feel so alone. To find your people, you may have to put yourself out there and use your voice. This is a Brave Yes move for sure.

STAY IN YOUR INTEGRITY

Since it’s so easy to get caught up in the collective anxiety or anger of the people on social media, it’s also vital that you keep your integrity about you and know what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. For instance, I don’t lead with anger. It’s just not my style of empowering people and disrupting. I am at my best when I am empowering others to use their voice, tend to themselves and leading them on how to stay in their integrity. My line of balance is about staying calm and impactful. You do you. Don’t worry about what others think. Being fully resourced in mind, body and spirit means you will have a greater capacity to serve. You simply won’t be effective if you are exhausted and overwhelmed. 

Ready to balance your passions for social justice and taking a nap? Join my Rise Stronger in 2021 FREE 7-Day Challenge. I’ll show you a set of 6 strategies that you can use to feel stronger, be calmer and have more resilience to bounce back from the daily stress of being human.

The world needs you to lean in — not out

The world needs you to lean in — not out

The world needs you to lean in, not out.

I know it’s tempting to look away, protecting yourself, protecting your family.

I know it feels so much better to stay comfortable and focus on what’s in front of you and ignore the rest. It’s tempting to ignore the fires of the world.

But the attitude of not my problem is exactly what got us here.

Honestly, sometimes I want to lean out, too.

But if we all keep looking away nothing’s going to change.

Yes, the world needs YOU to sit at the tables where key decisions are being made that affect real people like you and me.

The world needs to see your divine rage and your divine love show up and be a part of the conversations.

Yes, it will be uncomfortable.

There are solutions for that. You can flourish in the discomfort. You must.

You can’t keep looking away and pretending it doesn’t exist.

You must create an armor, a shield, a body vest of protection to walk into the fire.

I can give you the armor and the comfort AND the tools you need to use your voice and take up space and start to make a difference in YOUR way.

The world needs you to do the hard work of showing up because it’s going to take all of us collectively to change the systems that are broken and oppressing the vulnerable and the weakest.

Your voice is needed.

Your art is needed.

Your songs are needed.

Your poetry is needed.

Your brave leadership is needed.

YOU — the real, authentic you — is needed.

It will be uncomfortable, yes. Absolutely.

You will struggle with wanting to close the blinds of life and lay down and take a nap or get up and change the world.

You will struggle with losing people close to you.

You will struggle with whether you have the energy or not.

And I am here to tell you that we can do both.

We must do both — take really good care of ourselves and unearth the zone of genius we have to offer this world AND choose courage over comfort.

We have an earth to save. And children to release from cages and families to reunite. We have an entire race of people who are being killed by the state unapologetically. We have bullies in charge and not just in the White House. Everywhere. Bullies are everywhere.

We can’t let the bullies win.

Divine love must win.

And you must stand with us and make this happen.

The world is in YOUR hands.

Create a Revolution of Divine Love

Create a Revolution of Divine Love

“The aim of divine rage is not vengeance but to reorder the world.”

Valerie Kaur

What if we began to collectively as women use different language to define our anger?

And right now there is plenty of anger sparking flames within us.

Kaur’s quote above taps into that anger by calling it “divine rage.”

As it turns out, this divine rage comes directly from the Goddess Kali, the Dark Mother. She embodies rage to wipe out anything and everything that needs a fresh slate. We can embody Kali — or our inner rage — when we are ready to create light out of darkness.

I can think of no better time than right now to turn up the volume on our divine rage and let it rise up and begin to burn away the ropes and chains of oppression, of capitalism, of greed, of polarization.

What we would be left with then … is love.

Divine love.

It’s time to let your inner rage turn and toss into the darkness.

Create a revolution of love in its place.

How will we get through?

We’ll get through as we always do.
One long step at a time.
One heavy foot in front of the other.
One deep breath at a time.
One kind hand offered to someone who needs it.
One long day at a time followed by another and another.
One angry fight at a time.
We will follow the faint breadcrumbs of love along the long, long road to justice and victory.
And we will gather in our arms those who are willing and interested in this mission of compassion and bring them along with us.
One newly opened heart at a time.
Because systemic change isn’t overnight.
It’s waking up one tired, weary and scared soul at a time. And then another. And then another.
We’ll get through as we always have.
One tiny flutter of hope at a time.
 
Shawn Fink ©2020
 
 
 
 
A Simple Compass for Being More Mindful Today

A Simple Compass for Being More Mindful Today

  • “Be here now. Be somewhere else later. Is that so hard?” Jewish Zen Saying
  • Do the next right thing.
  • Then do the next right thing after that.
  • And so forth.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Shallow breath — shallow life. Deep breath. Deep life.
  • Repeat … only this. Only this. Only this.
  • And then listen.
  • Look up. Look up often.
  • Let the soft gaze of your inner world meet the outer world one tree branch, one bird, one cloud, one human being at a time.
  • Take stock of what is good.
  • There is always something good.
  • And then return again and again to this moment, this here and now.
  • Is that so hard?