“There are few things more powerful than a life lived with passionate clarity.”
I heard this line in a book I’m reading, (or should I say listening to, as Audible currently has a premium on my book “reading” time).
“Edit the dialog for clarity.”
It jumped out at me and hung there in the air on the stage of my brain, inviting me in to explore deeper. Am I being clear enough internally with what I want and where I want to be in my life?
How we communicate internally matters. We have 12,000–60,000 thoughts a day, 80% of which are negative, and 95% are the same repetitive thoughts we had the day before according to the findings in a study published by National Science Foundation. Yikes!
Meaning we are all playing a broken record in our minds day in and day out.
According to Lao Tzu,
“Watch your thoughts,
If our thoughts lead directly to action, habits, our character, and ultimately, our destiny, how can we transform them from negative to positive?
Obliterating Anxious or Negative Thoughts
Mindfullness is the first step. Acknowledgement.
If the thought is negative, and you continue having it over and over and over again, it is helpful to apply this three-part decision-making process to the thought. You create three columns:
And then fill them out for each negative thought.
For example, say that you are worried about going live on social media for the first time to promote your business. What are some things that could go wrong?
The tech could fail. Maybe no one will show up to watch. You could have spinach in your teeth. You could completely blank out about what you are going to say.
How can you minimize the likelihood of these happening?
You could do a test run at a time you know most people are not online. I have done this before and just said “hey everyone, I’m doing a test run!”
You could email your supportive friends and family members and your email list to alert them to the time you are going live for a better chance of people showing up. And an email 5–10 minutes before works wonders.
Do a quick check in the mirror before going live to makes sure there is no greenery where you don’t want it.
And finally, write out a bulleted list to have in front of you off-camera so if you forget what you wanted to say you have a reminder. I also like to write out the full first sentence and memorize/practice it as a confidence booster. Hitting “Go Live” can be scary!
Now, say one of the above worries does materialize. You went live but were muted. Exactly zero people showed up. There was hidden mango in your teeth. Or halfway through you went silent for a full minute.
To get back to where you were before: if you were muted, just go live again. The second time might even go better because you got a dress rehearsal.
If no one showed up, promote the recording after the fact. And what a relief, maybe it was easier talking if no one was listening live!
If there was mango in your teeth, was it very noticeable? If so, feel free to delete the live and move on.
If you went silent, feel free to also delete the live. The important piece is that you did it, and the next time it will be easier.
Breathing TrickIf I am having thoughts that are particularly stressful in the moment, I also use what is called square breathing that a friend in college taught me. Here is how it works:
As long as you need to. I have heard they teach this trick in the military, so I can fully say this is a tried and tested method.
Finding Clarity to Fast-Track the Realization of Goals
When it comes to our BIG GOALS and dreams in life, which make our hearts sing and provide purpose, there is a way to fast-track making them come true.
And the first part of that is making sure that our inner dialog is in alignment. Instead of worrying about how hard it will be to get where you would like, instead create SMART goals.
I know, I’m groaning too. I learned about SMART goals a lifetime ago and they just seem like so much work!
For those new to SMART goals, they are simply goals that are
This basically breaks down to Who | What | Why | Where | When | How, which is a bit easier to dissect.
For example, one of my goals is to be able to feed my family more nutritious food. It’s a great goal, but not very specific.
Instead, I am going to focus on sending my kids to school each day with more nutritious snacks.
Broken down, I can make it more specific and clarify:
My two children
Send them to school with more nutritious snacks such as dried apples, popcorn, grapes, home grown carrots and cherry tomatoes, and homemade granola bars
It is one of the best ways to fight off disease and keep them healthy
I will either purchase healthier items at the store or grow/ harvest/ process foods at home
I go grocery shopping on Thursdays and harvest/cook on nights and weekends
I will create a list on Sunday of the five snacks I would like to be available the next week and make sure I have them
By creating this very specific “map” of not only your end goal, but the “why” and “how” you’re going to get there, you have a much greater chance of meeting that goal.
I honestly still fall back some days on chips and cookies, but for the most part, my kids get healthier snacks in general than before I created the specifics around attaining this goal.
Applying this Concept to Your Business and Life GoalsNow when I think about having 12,000–60,000 thoughts a day, which is a lot of energy to be putting out into the universe, it is important to make sure that the thoughts regarding our futures and where we’re going are just as clear.
If we keep repeating the same thoughts over and over, and those thoughts ultimately become our destiny, I think it’s pretty important that we edit those thoughts for clarity!!
Instead of thinking something along the lines of, “I want to run my own business and have full freedom over my time and income,” try editing this dialog for clarity and making it much more specific.
What about, “I have noticed that people ask me for advice around xyz, and I could turn this subject into a business that could both solve their problems and scale via abc.”
This specificity should start the process of getting your mind going in a more focused direction that could actually lead to running your own business vs. just thinking about it.
Now, starting a business is a process, and is full of baby steps.
But once you start editing your internal dialog to be more clear, there is no holding your mind back from figuring out the next step and then the next.
The same works for your life goals. Maybe you have dreamt of swimming the English Channel or going on an African safari. Well, put together a Who/What/Why/Where/When/How analysis and give your brain some specifics. See how long it takes you to be able to check those off your list!
Achieving great things is not something you can do sitting in your cozy chair curled up watching Netflix. If it was, everyone would be achieving great things on a daily basis. It takes the combination of mental clarity and action.
If you can put those together, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.
I would love to know, what is something that you obsessively repeat in your mind every day that you will try to work through using the three-step process listed here? And what is one of your big goals that just needs some clarity to get started? Share a post on Collinson Creative on Facebook!
What do you do for work? Do you have a day job with an employer or do you work for yourself? Might you have a side hustle, which you are either content to keep it a side hustle or you hope to one day expand it into a full time gig?
According to a 2021 survey from Side Hustle Nation.com 45% of working Americans have a side hustle (about 70 million people!).
In this week's Sisters Talk Shop podcast Lisa and I dive deep into side hustles.
What are the most popular side hustles of 2021?
Who is earning the most money from their side hustles?
How much time are people devoting to their side hustles, and what are some of their biggest struggles?
We look at the survey data and offer insights into starting a side hustle with advice from both present-day thought leaders and our own experiences.
This is a must-listen for any aspiring female who is ready to create a business from her passion!
🎧 Listen Here
Glorious Webpage Finds
I can't get enough of the websites that Interactive Schools produce. They are striking, imaginative, and memorable. My favorite is the one they designed for Alleyn Court Preparatory School and for which they won a design award, which is how I discovered them years ago. This is a screenshot of the old homepage hero image:
And here is the current homepage:
What I love about this site:
The PERSONALITY! It communicates the magic of youth through the color palette and creative visuals outlined below pulled from Group 1/Spring:
Illustration - The Alice in Wonderland ink drawings in the background continue the story of magic and curiosity. They playfully bring you down the page.
Photography - What makes the photography stand out is the superimposing of magical elements to show not the way the world is, but how children see the world. Thank you Photoshop!
Fonts - The playful Cantoni heading typeface clearly expresses youth and fun. The paragraph typeface Belleza nicely continues that feeling bringing both easy readability along with some youthful character.
Patterns - there are nice subtle watercolor paint strokes both in the background and used as highlights that lend to the lightness and playfullness of the site.
Navigation - I love how there is one central pale coral line that leads you down the entire homepage, ending on the map of where the school is located. Brilliant UI.
Nice work Interactive Schools!
Starting an Etsy Shop
As a creator, I have always loved Etsy. A big fan of orange, I love their logo and branding. I love that they provide a popular platform for small creators to compete with larger ones. And I love being able to heart things and then look at all the things I love on one screen, similar to Pinterest.
Which is why I was so excited when my sister Lisa told me she had an interview lined up for us with an Etsy creator for one of our Sisters Talk Shop episodes.
Have you ever day dreamed about starting your own Etsy shop? I can't wait for you to listen to this episode and discover how Catlyn Toth took a passion for doodling and turned it into this fabulous Etsy sticker shop!
In the midst of the pandemic, Catlyn, who is a 3rd grade teacher, needed a creative outlet. Since she was young, drawing and art had been in her blood. Her great grandmother was an amazing artist.
She was watching Star Wars one night with her partner and was doodling little Star Wars-inspired stickers on her Ipad. She gave some out to her family, which turned into her friends, which turned into her colleagues. And they couldn't get enough of them! Her optimistic and colorful doodles began inspiring others, and Direction by Design was born.
Join us as we travel through Catt’s journey to e-commerce success and learn how she cultivates community through her artwork.
Her “Kinda a Big Dill” pickle sticker is one of Lisa and my favorites!
🎧 Listen Here
Glorious Webpage Finds
I can't leave you without a favorite website to share:
How do you strike a balance between looking high-end but also being friendly?
I came across the website for a company called High Value Strategic Advisorsand they have done just that.
High End + Approachability - They achieve this spectacular balance with the simplicity of the layout - look at all that white space with not even any navigation items to clutter it - along with hand drawn friendly illustrations and a serifed Abhaya Libre heading font that not only has lots of substance, it does not take itself too seriously. And of course it is paired with my go-to Group 3 Roboto font for the paragraphs.
Illustration - Not only is it hand drawn, it is also the ONLY illustration on the site that is repeated throughout. And it mirrors the homepage hero photograph.
Photography - You get the brazen, stark, wintry road that is the photographic equivalent of the logo graphic, paired with city offices, families, and some close-ups of laptops and people's work. All photos have a darker, authentic Group 3 style.
While this website is only one page, they put a lot of thought and effort into making it communicate the high-end value of the service with the friendliness and approachability of the consultant.
Would you like to be featured on a future episode of Sisters Talk Shop? Do you have a favorite website to share? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and let's chat!
Brand stylist, colorist, graphic designer, web developer, marketer & mom, dedicated to making the world a more harmonious place