Well, what do you think?
If this is your first time to MarleeWard.com – WELCOME! I hope you like what you see.
But if you’re stopping by for the first time since my last post you probably noticed something very different – didn’t ya?
Make sure you leave me a comment, and let me know your thoughts on my new look.
How This Whole New Look Came To Be
About two months ago I made a conscious decision to “lay low” online. Being self-employed and having an online business is an incredible blessing because of the immense freedom that comes with it. Yet at the same time, e-mail, social media, and managing a blog can become virtual weights that hold you down. Processing info, living in production mode, and having to fend off “shiny object syndrome” (at least for me) can become the norm.
But being “plugged in” so much can get exhausting. I was getting to a point where all the noise surrounding my online activities was actually clouding my ability to see my own vision clearly. It was making it hard for me to hear my inner voice as it related to my work. Eventually, it started to impact my ability to focus on who I was really serving in my business. It started to distract me from the purpose of my business. What I was doing started to become more important than why I was doing it. Read my article on Time Management Apps For Even the Most Undisciplined Solopreneur.
When I first started MarleeWard.com, I called the site Metamorphoself. This weird, hard to remember, and awkward to say word was meant to symbolize how we transform as individuals when we become entrepreneurs. The concept was surprisingly popular with people who got it. But for those who didn’t, it was utterly confusing.
Naming the site Metamorphoself was like stating a self-fulfilling prophesy. Because as the site grew, my business started to change, and over time the interior of my business was no longer well reflected by its exterior appearance.
I guess you could liken it to those first stages of puberty where your legs grow faster than your torso, and your head doesn’t really match your body—or maybe that was just me. Nevertheless, I had entered a growing period in my business, and with it came growing pains.
When Listening To Your Emotions and Intuition in Business Matters
As I entered into this growing phase I noticed a lot of ugly emotions popping up. Self-doubt, frustration, confusion, and feelings of surrender to something I didn’t fully understand. Basically, I felt crappy.
For awhile I just pushed through it. That’s my nature. I’m an athlete, and fitness freak, so pushing through pain is an automatic reflex. But deep down, I wanted to cry foul.
So I prayed for some direction and decided to get coaching, which proved to help get to crux of what was plaguing me. And my suggested path was to “get quiet.” It’s so funny how hard it can be for us to see things that are too close to us. I help people in their businesses every day, but I was at a point where I couldn’t help myself in my own. This is why I firmly believe anyone who is serious about performing at their best needs a coach – period.
So I took my coaches advice like a good client does, and shut out all of the noise in my world. I unsubscribed from all newsletters, blogs, and updates. I only used Twitter to answer DMs or specific @ replies. I didn’t login to Facebook, except to welcome new members to the KAT crew. And, I went on what I called “social media sabbatical.”
Simply put, it was freakin’ incredible!
Cutting Out the Noise = Clarity, Creativity, and Comebacks!
During this “down” time the fog that so heavily engulfed my senses started to lift. I was able to see how off-track I had gotten. I could see what I was doing that was serving my objectives, and what wasn’t. After a few days of asking myself important questions, talking candidly with clients, and focusing on feeding my spiritual self—I was struck with absolute clarity.
And once I could see things clearly, I had incredible bursts of creativity. I was experiencing so much enthusiasm for what I was doing, that I could hardly sleep at night because my mind was racing with ideas about how I could do even more for my clients – and future clients.
The inside of my business started changing rapidly, and the natural extension of that change, is this exterior change you see today.
The Gift of Clarity
So why did I tell you all this? Well for one, I want you to recognize how incredibly vital clarity is to the growth of your business. If you are not clear on who you serve, and how you serve them, you are going to struggle.
In Steven Pressfield’s manifesto, Do the Work!, Pressfield suggests the following formula for getting clear on whatever you’re pursuing:
Figure out where you want to go; then work backwards from there.
Naturally, the question becomes, “Well, how do I figure out where you want to go?” And Pressfield suggests you answer the question, “What is this project about?”
Ultimately this boils down to having clarity about your work. And “surface” clarity won’t suffice. You’ve got to have “intense” clarity. You’ve got to have “concise” clarity, because confusion stunts your growth.
Secondly, I want you to know that having these “growing pains” in your business is totally normal. It’s how you handle them that matters. If you are struggling with finding clarity in your business, find out what is causing you confusion, and eliminate it. Get back to basics. Give yourself time to figure out why it hurts, but don’t give up.
How to Find This Clarity Thing – A Real Life Clarity Session
Sal is a wordsmith who helps businesses craft compelling stories so that their marketing materials kick-butt.
These 20 minute mini-biz makeover sessions are challenging. Getting an engaging session going when you’re on a 20 minute time limit is just not possible.
So what you’ll hear is me tearing up Sal’s name – I’m two for two on that in these mini biz makeovers, and a rapid-fire run down of the how Sal can get more clarity in his own business.
Side note: I think I may have had too much coffee that day because I’m talkin’ REALLY fast. Can we say thank goodness for transcripts?!
Nevertheless, here’s what you’ll get out of this mini biz makeover session:
- Why you have to be careful of “failing” at your own expertise when it comes to your own business
- Why having a ton of services actually detracts from your ability to attract your ideal customer
- Why your website must instantly communicate what you do and how you do it
- Why your navigation bar can make or break your ability to generate leads
- The importance of making it easy for people to buy what you’re selling
- How transparency = trust, and why good pictures matter
- The 2 keys to picking the right people to serve in your business
- How to pair profitability with social responsibility so everyone wins
Sal Vilardo’s Mini Biz Makeover
Read the Transcript
Click here to view transcript
If you would like some more direction on how to gain clarity in your business, make sure you sign up to get Kick-A$$ Tips. This month’s issue contains exercises designed to help you clear the fog in your business, and it goes out tomorrow, so click here to sign up today!
And if you missed the first mini-biz makeover in this series, which gives you a clear cut guide for making your marketing happen, you can check it out here.
Thanks for being here!