Starting is easy. Continuing takes courage.

“In moments of sheer panic, when everything is in question, I wonder if all this insecurity and frustration is worth the cost of losing what I left. Couldn’t I just go back? Back to a steady job, one that paid the bills and let me off the hook for creating art? Couldn’t I just blend back in to the status quo?” - Jeff Goins – Today, I Want to Quit

“Instinctively resourceful and at ease.” Michael Carroll, author of Fearless at Work, defines this as the “kind of confidence that remains fearlessly unshaken in the face of life’s often terrifying paradoxes.”

In the past 4+ years of not walking into an office, not working for someone else, not having a guaranteed paycheck or sick days or PTO, I’ve learned more about myself than I could ever be able to define here for you. But perhaps more than anything I’ve learned that fear is real and you face it every single day.

What Do You Want to Do?

We have to move away from a culture of “have-to” and pivot, dramatically, toward a culture of “want to”.

This is the message I’m sharing with my team at Proof as we start the new year. It’s not about preaching resolutions, but rather, motivation to see our work through a different lens.

The question, then, is undoubtedly, “What do I want to do?” As we think about the idea of doing what you love and pursuing your passions – it’s easy to get hung up on the ambiguity of what exactly that passion – that burning fire – is. But it’s actually a lot simpler to tap into than you think.

The question you have to answer is: What do I want to do? 

Whether You Think You Can or Think You Can’t, You’re Right

I don’t have a lot of big goals/resolutions for 2014. No crazy amount of money I need to make – no marathons I have to run – no huge milestones to cross off the bucket list. I don’t have an epic “10 things you must do to make 2014 the best year ever” article for you to read.

Resolutions are ideas we throw up to drive us forward toward accomplishing and DOING more. But I don’t want to sacrifice my happiness and the happiness of those closest to me in pursuit of DOING more. My grand vision – my mission for the year ahead is simply to live more fully, do great work, and focus on enjoying the journey along the way.

Maybe you have a bucket list for the year ahead. Maybe you’re reading this with a massive hangover with no motivation to accomplish a damn thing. Take advantage of this moment, and the next, and the next, and the next. All those small somethings – those little moments – create opportunity, evoke change, and develop memories you’ll never forget.

It’s not about saying you can – or telling yourself that you can’t. As Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Believe it, my friends, and you’ll find all the resolutions, audacious goals, and incredible dreams you have for yourself are but a moment away from becoming reality.

Are You Ready to Launch in 2014?!

This time of year undoubtedly leaves you thinking, “How will I make next year the best year ever?!”

We spend time over the holidays planning, mind-mapping, strategizing, and forecasting. With your sights set on what has been and what could be – I want to (with the help of my awesome team) give you everything you need to turn your big idea – your dream – into a reality in 2014!

For the next week (and for one week ONLY) – we have opened applications for Launch, an all-inclusive branding package for those ready to take one giant leap toward making their dreams a reality.

Launch includes: In-person brand strategy workshop (travel + accommodation included for those of you in the US). Identity/logo design. Website design/development. Print design. 12-month launch plan (including 1 free hour of consultation each month in 2014!)

Launch is for aspiring entrepreneurs, hustlers, writers, nonprofit organizers, and startups. Launch is for passionate people with a dream. Launch is for those willing to do whatever it takes. Launch is for anyone fed up with the way things “have been” and is ready for everything that could be.

With your awesome idea and my team of creative bad-asses, there’s literally nothing we can’t do. Our process is kid-tested, mother-approved and 90% of the time, it works every time.

All of this awesomeness comes at the all-inclusive investment of $8,000. We understand $8,000 isn’t chump-change, but this is HEAVILY discounted from Proof’s regular rates – and it’s just that, an investment that will no doubt pay dividends (because we do it right and because, well, you’re awesome).

YOU MUST APPLY by January 3, 2014 at midnight! Our team will review the applications and will select ONLY FIVE (5) for our class of 2014.

Now is the time, my friends. If you’ve ever wanted to want to work with yours truly – if you’ve ever wanted to pay a visit to good ol’ Nashville, Tennessee – and more importantly, if you’ve ever wanted to take your brilliant idea to the next level, there’s no better time than now.

You’ve got ONE WEEK to apply! Consider this your countdown…

[button url=”” color=”grey” size=”large” type=”square” icon=”rocket” target=”_blank”] APPLY NOW! [/button]

The Wheels Are Spinning

The wheels are spinning. That was my first thought as I opened my eyes around 4:30am today. A Sunday. The Sunday before Christmas. A time that I told myself would be about rest and relaxation – and yet, I find myself compelled to do something – to be productive – to get “ahead of the game”.

Getting “ahead of the game” is something I’ve been working toward for years now. And sure, while you can be more prepared for what’s ahead – while you can feel better about the direction you’re headed, you’ll never, ever truly be “ahead of the game”. So while this idea plagues me – keeps me up at night and waking early in the morning, I’m self-aware that no amount of productivity and hustle will ever pave a road without obstacle.

Instead of fighting the wheels from spinning – instead of closing my eyes and going back to bed for another hour of rest, I inevitably always find myself waking up. But it’s not the waking up that I have a problem with – it’s what I’m doing with those few early waking moments that concerns me.

As a business owner – I immediately result to a “what needs to get done” kind of attitude. My early mornings are often spent sending off emails. Catching up on projects. Writing proposals. You get the idea.

I’ve lost track of what I’d really love to spent the first part of my day doing: Reading, writing, running…simply allowing myself a little (head)space to think and find solace in creating. This is because to often I (and we) ask ourselves, “What’s the point?” – and allow the answer to stifle the wheels from spinning.

What’s the point if anyone reads this? It’s not going to make me a bestselling author. What’s the point if I run right now? I’m still going to complain about the shape I’m in tomorrow. What’s the point of reading? Is it really going to make me any smarter or more creative?

The point is – there isn’t always a clear point. The point is that there’s something about the act of simply doing – of writing, reading, creating, exercising, breathing, that inherently has an effect on everything else in your life. Your level of stress – your ability to problem-solve, your confidence…

This morning I woke up and as the wheels began to spin I found myself thinking about all the work I needed to get done over the holiday break. All the emails – all the planning – all the thank you notes to write. It took literally 30 seconds for my heart to speed up and my tension level to rise. Then I grabbed my computer and a copy of Simon Sinek’s Start With Why - a book I’ve skimmed the past several months but haven’t had the chance (ahem, made the chance) to dive into. I wrote this and when I’m done I’ll enjoy a little coffee and read 100 pages. I haven’t and I’m not going to open my email, check Twitter, Instagram, or any of my other typical morning routines.

Of course, my brain is already asking, “What about tomorrow? Can you keep this routine up? What’s the point? Are you SURE there’s not something better you can do with your time?!”

Tomorrow will no doubt be a struggle to make time for what matters – just like today – just like this very moment as I write these words. Today, though, I’m not going to focus on getting ahead – I’m not going to focus on what I COULD be doing.

Today I’ll take one small step toward the bolder leap of what I know I should be.

[featurearea title=”” icon=”mail”] If you like what you just read, subscribe to my newsletter and join over 4,000 folks who receive regular wisdom and insight from yours truly. I think you’ll dig it. [/featurearea]