We’re always saying it.

Try things. Try things.

And by try things, I mean: approaching everything you do with flexibility, receptivity, genuine curiosity and the willingness to be surprised.

But then a lot of people wonder, what things?! How do you just try things? How do you even know what things to try?

So I guess this is a long-overdue partial response to that question which comes up whenever I talk about exiting the middle and the fox who designed video games.

We can try things when it comes to habits and patterns, we can try things when it comes to business. Let’s play with work stuff for now.

Let’s say you have a store where you sell smoothies. Or an Etsy shop where you sell handmade scarves. Or any other kind of place, physical or virtual, where business-ey things happen.

You don’t have to do any of these things, but here’s some of what “trying stuff” could be:

Trying stuff in the hard.

  • Walking across the street and look at your sign. Visible? Readable? Intriguing?
  • Pretending that you have no idea what your shop is. Can you tell what it is (and what it feels like) from the entrance?
  • How easy is it for me to give you money if I want to? Is it clear how much things cost and how I can pay you?
  • What if I want to buy something from you, but not right this second: How do I stay in touch with you? How can I be part of your world without buying something … yet?
  • If your business is on social media, do you talk about stuff that’s not business-related? Good. Keep that up!
  • Do you have a knitting circle? Who is your support team? Who are your resources? If, as Barbara says, “isolation is the dream-killer”, who and what help you stay connected to yourself and what you need?
  • Making one sentence on your contact page sound slightly more like “Hi, I’m an actual human being! Whooo!”
  • Going to a meet-up. Or: be like me and avoid humanity altogether, but tell people that so that they can connect with you.
  • Is your store or website a place where you would enjoy hanging out? What would make it more cheery and fun for you?
  • Your right people include anyone who would like you and what you do. What kinds of things would you like them to appreciate about what you do? How do they find out about those things?
  • How much do people know about you? Enough to get a sense of why they like you? Enough to know whether or not they’d like being in your world?
  • Do you have multiple circles? Are you offering stuff that’s low-end and stuff that’s high-end? Experiment!

Thinking about stuff like this is what we mean when we say TRY THINGS.

Trying stuff in the soft.

And — of course — you don’t have to try any of these. They’re possibilities. Loving suggestions. Nothing more.

  • Talking to your walls and your monsters. A lot.*
  • * Obviously I’m biased, but I am a fan of my useful monster manual (it comes with a coloring book!) and my badass Emergency Calm Techniques.

  • Are you having fun? Are you getting enough sleep? This stuff is important. It’s investing in your business. The urgency monsters are very emphatic about how this is not a priority. But actually? It’s the thing that turns everything else around.
  • Practicing Very Interior Design: finding out everything you can about the ecology of your relationship to money, to business, to “being successful”, whatever that means to you.
  • Changing your vocabulary so that you use words that excite you instead of depressing you. Calling upon Metaphor Mouse if necessary.
  • Oh, and speaking of words, if you catch yourself saying “shameless self-promotion” (whether out loud or in your head), find out what needs to happen so that you can stop saying it.
  • Resting. Replenishing. Receiving.
  • Examining your internal boundaries and limits. Who put them there? What’s true?
  • Looking for patterns without judging yourself for having patterns. Patterns aren’t bad. They’re just information to use.

Taking care of yourself and learning about your stuff is also what we mean when we say TRY THINGS.

And the really terrible Green Eggs and Ham version!

This was inspired by Mrs. Peppercorn, the worst most enthusiastic poet of all time and my absolute favorite character in any book ever.

You can try things in the soft.
You can use a spray that wafts.

You can try things in the hard.
Costumes, wands, a leotard.

You can try things every day.
Exit the middle. Back to Wu Wei.

You can try things upside down.
Use the video game. Abduct a clown.

Try things here. Or try things there.
Do it with Naomi — it’s more fun if you swear!

What happens when you wear that crown?
Call metaphor mouse. Write a new collective noun.

Try to do it with reverse-engineering.
Try to do it once more with feeling.

Or better yet, once more with flailing.
And on that pirate ship you’re sailing.

Try it with style. Sing the milk song.
Go ahead and intentionally do it wrong.

Try in on Friday. Try it with chicken.
Talk to your monsters and ask for permission.

Try asking iguanas and talking to walls.
Ringing the bells and listening to calls.

You’ll never run out of good things to try.
There’s always more time, more ways to ask why.

If nothing is working the way that it ought
Switch gears and become a cosmonaut.

Try stuff try stuff try stuff try stuff
You have what you need, and you are enough.

That’s it. Try stuff.

Ahem.

I do apologize for inflicting rhyming crimes against humanity on you.

But seriously, I don’t know how to challenge people to think creatively other than a) modeling it in my business, b) teaching tools for destuckification, c) talking about why it’s so important that you challenge yourself and d) encouraging a culture of playfulness, curiosity and experimentation.

So that’s what I’ve got.

I hope it’s helpful.

And comment zen for today …

We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff. This can get pretty uncomfortable/touchy when it comes to business and biggification.

Especially when there’s urgency and stress and pain. And pressure to pay the rent. It sucks.

So I sincerely apologize if anything here stepped on your stuff. I definitely don’t mean to imply that any of this is easy, because it isn’t.

Love to all the commenter mice, the Beloved Lurkers and anyone who reads.