Ask HaviNote: it is almost impossible to get on the Ask Havi list. This person got in by a. being one of my clients or students, b. flattering the hell out of my duck, and c. making life easy on me by being clear about what the question was and what details I could use.

Oh boy.

This delightfully incoherent question that I may have completely misunderstood totally made my day.

I like this person. You will too:

I kind of want to be you. I mean, I don’t want to be you (though a duck compatriot would be pretty awesome) — but I want a lot of your life.

You somehow manage to be completely insane (in a good way) and make money and everyone knows about you. But without actually like, doing all the marketing stuff that everyone else says there’s no getting out of.

I guess saying “what’s up with that” isn’t really a useful question.

But do you have some Wise And Helpful Things for someone starting out? Not motivational stuff. Most of the time I’m pretty sure I can do this. But where do I start?

Okay. I don’t know how to answer this yet. But some words of wisdom that could pass as business advice?

I’ll give it a shot.

10 possibly helpful things when you’re working on mindful biggification.

And no, I don’t always remember to do these myself. This is all wisdom gained the hard way, yes?

1. Work on your stuff.

And not just occasionally but as the main thing you do. Because:

There is no biggification without destuckification.

Well, there is but it isn’t much fun.

The biggest thing that helps you in business is a willingness to work on your stuff.

And the biggest impediment in business is internal resistance.

If you can work with the what-ifs, the doubt, the second-guessing, and the monsters, everything happens faster.

And when it does, you’ll be way better equipped to deal with it.

2. Be in your body.

Staying connected to your body makes everything easier.

You want your body to be your friend while you’re working.

Sometimes this doesn’t happen. So you come back to it again. And each time you apologize and bring it flowers and eventually it forgives you.

Yoga. Shiva Nata. Going for a walk. Legs up on the wall and breathing.

Massaging your feet. Rolling around on the floor. Putting on music and doing some Dork Dancing. Even for just a few minutes.

But movement. And stillness. With your body.

3. Learn about your patterns.

How they work. How you work when you’re in them.

The best way, in my experience, to learn about patterns and how to take them apart and build better ones is Dance of Shiva. It changes everything.

It’s also how I accidentally became a business savant. If you skip everything else on the list, do this.

4. Be as you as you can stand.

Let the wild rumpus of Deshouldifying begin!

Seriously. I know there’s crazy pressure out there to be “authentic” and “yourself” and other annoying things.

You don’t have to force anything. You don’t have to drag yourself kicking and screaming into the light.

But bring as much you-ness as you can safely handle. And take some excursions to the edge of that boundary to learn about how and when it moves.

Your people will come for the zany or for the quiet or for whatever it is that exists in your you-ness. Because they need it.

5. Trust in your Right People.

Even if you can’t see them yet, they exist.

And they will love it if you let them peek at the things you think.

Which means you don’t have to do stuff that makes you want to throw up.

Because your people, by definition, won’t like that stuff anyway. Speaking of which …

6. Don’t do stuff that feels crappy.

As a matter of principle.

Have a Dammit List. And keep adding to it.


I will never say anything motivational on Twitter, dammit. Not my style. So I don’t have to.

Makes everything easier.

7. Document the process.

Keep adding everything you learn to that big Book of You.

8. Know what your boundaries are. Even though they’ll change.

It’s a matter of being able to say: right now, in this moment, this is what I feel comfortable with.

9. Avoid being obnoxious to people who can help you.

I don’t mean that you have to suck up to anyone. Because you don’t.

It’s fine to completely avoid biggified people or colleagues who might otherwise be good connections if they don’t feel like your right people.

Just don’t be a jerk. If I have the power to tell thousands of smart, interesting people about how amazing your work is, don’t mess that up by actively convincing me that you’re someone whose work I don’t want to promote.

This should be fairly obvious, but you would not believe how often people screw this one up. Ask Sonia. Or Naomi. Build your own tower instead of trying to knock ours down.

Not that you would do that. Because you are lovely.

10. Let your people in on what’s going on behind the curtain.

In my case, this involves things like:

That’s all I’ve got for now.

The things that have helped me most in business are — weirdly — mostly the ones that seemed like really bad ideas at the time.

Like dumping the noozletter because I didn’t like writing it.

Like going on email sabbatical.

Or turning down opportunities to work with super famous people because I just didn’t want to.

So I guess the real advice is more about the value of developing a sense of trust that what you need is important.

And even though you’re not always going to get things right, you’re learning about what it means to bring your you-ness into the world so that surprising, unlikely, wonderful things can happen.

Whoops. Sorry. Got motivational there for a second. Sometimes you kind of have to.

Comment zen for today.

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.

People vary. So use what you can and discard the rest. Try things.

And my wish for you is this:

May your tiny, sweet thing receive all the love and support it needs. And may you break all the rules, do some damage, laugh your head off and dance, dance, dance!

The Fluent Self