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.*
- 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.
* 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.
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.
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.
Every time I read one of your posts, I think “ok, *this* is the best most timely post ever”.
This time you have topped the top. Wonderful. With a fox. In a box. With some lox!
Watched that Dateline NBC special last night, and it was set in the immediate area I live in, so tons of buttons were pushed. Going to work on some soft with my money issues. Thank you for giving me the tools to better do so.
Okay – that is the best poem I have read in a long time. Yay Monday.
All these are helpful suggestions and this is a great post. Yet all I can think right now is, meter! It matters! Gah!
Sorry. I was trained in verse as part of my secret Russian spy training, I can’t help it. Carry on.
Also, to anyone thinking about buying the monster manual: do. It rocks.
I’m fond of quoting Merlin Mann saying “awareness is the hack” – but its close second could easily be “experimentation is the hack.”
Oh, and a million points for that poem. 🙂 C
.-= Cairene´s last post … Refinement vs Perfectionism =-.
This is just what I needed to read this Monday morning! Love the fun poem.
Thank you! I’m now off to abduct a clown. 🙂
.-= Patty K´s last post … Getting lost- examining dependency and finding my way home =-.
Your list of trying stuff in the hard was just what I needed this morning.
.-= Bridget´s last post … How to be Moneylicious- Pt 1- Play with your Transaction Anxiety =-.
Rhyme, meter and brilliance, all in one post! 🙂
Thanks, Havi. Our world becomes more fully itself each time any of us meets it in the spirit of play, curiosity, and trying things.
.-= Hiro Boga´s last post … Going Away =-.
Thank you so much for this post. I really needed the reminder that this can be hard and that that’s okay- there are things in my control, that i can try.
.-= Rose´s last post … Monsters at the Launch Party =-.
I love love love this post! I know how easy it is to become complacent with your business… and even easier to do it with your life /sigh
“Try things” is deceptively simple advice, but so incredibly powerful. Thank you!
.-= Heidi´s last post … Are you doing the work that you love – Part 3- Decision time =-.
I’m about to try lots of things. You know how slow I am, how long it takes me to process stuff and get to the doing part, so I guess you get how big it is that I can say today that I’m about to try things. I am *this* close to going and asking for help, which also means that I’ve played with a lot of things in the soft and that I am *this* close to going ahead and try things in the hard. For real. Scary! Exciting! And did I say scary? And that I’m pretty excited? I am. 🙂
I think you just explained the awesome power of The Fluent Self way in a poem! Like, the whole thing!
Saving this to link to anytime I need to explain why I love Havi and read everything she ever writes.
.-= Tara´s last post … Who You Know – Tara’s story =-.
I must admit that it’s been a while since i visited your brilliant home online, and today, i am so glad that i did. Cause, well, just want to say that you are amazing.
As a creativity coach, i am often telling people to try things, but sometimes i forget about doing it myself. My bad, i know. But lately, as i prepare for baby, i want to try and get some things into place before my world is thrown topsy turvy into diapers, cuteness and the biggest love in the littlest package.
And so today, is all about trying new things. Getting my Etsy shop filled with things that are already made. Letting people know more about it. About finding some new creativity clients. And simply looking things with new glasses.
You are brilliant, just thought that i would let you know that…again.
.-= Lisa Pijuan-Nomura´s last post … The Friday Shine featuring Writer Sarah Selecky =-.
Hey you guys!
@Lisa Pijjjjjjj — my darling. I miss you so much. It is silly being in Taos without you. I protest! KISS.
@Tara – Thanks, hon.
@Josiane – excitements! That is marvelous. So happy for you.
@Heidi – whoooo!
@Hiro – oh what a perfect way to put it. You just summed up everything I wanted to say, only without using 1200 words. I love it.
@Bridget + Patty – Clown Abduction FTW! (Is that just one guys?
@Cairene — ooh, awareness hack. Hilarious. Love.
@Willie – hooray for spy training!
You’ll have to take up the rest with Mrs. Peppercorn, though. She of the brilliant and infamous “All through the house / Twas the night before Christmas / Not a creature there was stirring / Neither Mr. nor Miss Mouse”.
But if you do speak to her about it, I beg you, do NOT mention the Rooshians because then she will refuse to speak with you. Fair warning!
@Wormy – WORMY! Hey sweetpea.
@Andi – thanks, my dear. Glad.
I like the rhyming. It makes me smile. 🙂
Thanks for the clarification. It’s amazing how hard it can be to retain perspective for yourself. Having someone like you to lay it out is really immensely helpful.
.-= Amber´s last post … Crying Like a Baby =-.
It’s only been a few days and I’ve already incorporated your word ‘Biggify’ into my vocabulary (a couple of other people at my church started using the word themselves, too!), and I’ve been doing healing work over the weekend on allowing myself to biggify and now also sharing it with my people on my blog:
Thank you, Havi!
.-= Elisa´s last post … Lets Biggify! =-.
Reading this post was the VERY BEST part of my day so far. And I’ve had a pretty good day. I love that poem SO MUCH! Literally printing it out and taping it to the wall.
.-= Kelly´s last post … What is Headline Jeopardy- please =-.
OMG! I needed this post today and my people need this post even more. Sharing at the Twitter bar!! Brilliant!
.-= Susan´s last post … Social Media Summer Camp for Therapists! =-.
This post was just yummy! I ate it all up!
I’ve got to join the chorus of those saying this was quite possibly my favorite of your posts. Geez, girl. You really nailed it.
And your poem is such an anthem, really, it should be set to music. I can visualize your people (myself among them should I be so lucky) singing it en masse (with patriotic zeal!) at the start of one of your live events. Perhaps the Rally?
So hilariously corny it broke the AWFUL barrier and entered into the ENLIGHTENMENT zone. Oh dear, I have a crush.
.-= Rupa´s last post … The Myth of Balance =-.
This post delights me all the way down to my toes. First, it answers a question I didn’t even know I was asking by presenting a bulleted list of concrete things to try. Second, it completely sums up everything I forgot that I knew (a lot more than I thought I knew!). And third, there is unexpected Seussian poetry! Which on a blog is the equivalent of dancing in the streets! And all these exclamation points will have to be my commenter equivalent of dancing in this little text box! Havi, rock on.
.-= Tracy´s last post … A postcard of the ocean =-.
When tackling things both big and small,
Using humor is the best of all!!
Brilliant post dear Havi! My whole body is smiling. Just delightful!
I suspect that this is a post that I will re-visit often. I’m tempted to make parts of it into a deck of cards, put it in a box labeled Try Stuff!, add ideas of my own, and play with it whenever I need to. Yay, a game!
.-= Kathleen Avins´s last post … The trouble with “middle vision” =-.
I had a therapist who told me something I try to remember. Keep trying things until something works. I think I will make a list of things I might try in a book of me. Thank you!