I have been avoiding my homework.
And yeah, that’s not something you generally want to hear from a procrastination expert.
I have a sort-of excuse. Two sort-of excuses. For one thing, I didn’t realize it was “homework”, and for another, I didn’t realize I was avoiding it. Hear me out.
What’s happening is that tomorrow is this cool Biznik event.
And for the record, if you don’t Biznik, you should. It combines online networking (bonus tagline: “business networking that doesn’t suck”) with offline (i.e. real live human beings!) events.
And it’s pretty much the only online networking thing where you aren’t going to get lost among a bunch of suits. God, I just used the N-word three times. I’ll do it again. Networking.
Anyway, this particular event tomorrow is full of awesomeness. Seriously. It is very exclamation point worthy:
It’s in a park! Park! There will be crayons! Crayons! My twitter-pals @sparkyfirepants and @cheekyboots are going to be there! Friends!
And it’s Portland, so even though it’s a “networking event”, I can still be barefoot and stuff.
So I’m going. Plus, my duck loves outings.
Here’s where it gets all weird and annoying.
Thing is, this event is a follow-up to another event that happened while I was teaching in Germany. Hence, the homework to bring me up to speed.
The exercise is as follows: you ask yourself, “What do I need to make my business explode in the next half of the year?”
Then you break out the crayons and come up with some kind of interpretive drawing which shows what that might look like.
I haven’t felt like doing this, and just this weekend figured out that a. it’s more than just “not being in the mood” or “busy busy busy as usual” and b. I know why this is happening.
This exercise is bringing up lots of stuff for me.
My weird issue #1
I have pretty strong feelings about the power of words. You’ll recall my issue with Michael Port’s Book Yourself Solid system (hint: I don’t want to be booked solid — I want to have freedom and spaciousness in my business).
When I think about my business exploding … well, it’s not attractive. Not appealing.
This might, admittedly, be the Israeli thing.
After all, back when I worked as a bartender in Tel Aviv, the business across the street did explode one Saturday night.
And my memories of that pretty much all involve bodies and glass and worrying about my boyfriend who had been driving down the street looking for parking. He was fine, thank you.
Also, is explode really, truly the right verb? I get how sales can explode or the number of subscribers can explode, but my business, well … should I want it to?
My weird issue #2
Even when I get over the taking-things-way-too-literally thing … I still don’t like it.
The reason I can’t do the stupid drawing is because the subject matter depresses me. The images that are coming up are awful.
Phone ringing off the hook. All my time sucked away. Having to hire a big pile of new assistants. Blech.
What I really need to be able to do is think about ways that my business could be reaching and helping more of the right people, while bringing in big piles of the monies, so that I can spend more happy afternoons in the park, recharging my batteries and playing with crayons.
I’m pretty sure that’s what they actually mean, too, so I’m trying to focus on that.
And yes, I’m cool with being even more successful in my incredibly great helper-mouse job — it’s just that I don’t want to be more busy than I already am, and now it’s time to focus on separating those two things.
You know: allowing huge success while moving away from the (warning: coach-ey word coming up) limiting belief that all that business = busy-ness.
What I did to get the heck over it.
Once I realized why I was resisting the whole thing … well, it was a huge relief. Sometimes it takes a minute for: “Hey wait a second! I’m totally procrastinating on this thing!” to sink in.
Right away I broke out some of my Dissolve Procrastination techniques from the Procrastination Dissolve-o-matic.
Which is the whole damn point of having techniques. You get calm and focused and you know what to do next.
Here’s what I knew I had to do. Wait, let me just let the voice in my head do the talking:
Enter Havi’s inner voice, stage left. Inner voice coughs politely.
Yeah, so I thought: okay, it’s clear now what I want. What I want is time. Time and a feeling of spaciousness.
The homework exercise is also intended to help me figure out what I want, but it’s stressing me out. I need to separate the “allowing myself to want” from the stress of imagining things going the way I think I’m supposed to want them.
What if … instead of asking how my business can explode, how about if I ask how my business can give me more time and spaciousness?
And then I can explore options that will help my business grow exponentially (see, that sounds way better than explode) in ways that give me more of that yummy goodness.
So I did some visualizing, and some thinking and some writing and came up with some pretty good stuff.
This is my image
My image is a big bed waiting for me to take a nap in it.
That’s what exploded business looks like to me.
More naptime, baby. More yoga. More acupuncture. More long walks. Taking that spaciousness and breathing it in, so that I can bring it into my work with clients and they get to soak it up too.
I also brainstormed some ideas about the how part of this — in fact just did some more thinking around ideas I was already working on. Dusted off some old ones too. Played with my
marketing plan biggification plan.
It was surprisingly fun. I’ll tell you more about it as things unfold, but the main points that I’m taking from this whole thing are:
1. When something scares you and/or gets on your nerves, pay attention to it, because there’s useful information in there.
2. If a certain word is pressing all your buttons, change the word. Change the energy. Call it something else.
3. Homework sucks. Crayons are fun.
That’s it for now. I gotta go find some shoes.
p.s. wanna see my drawing?
The thing with the flowers is supposed to be a lamp.