FYII woke up early and wrote this post – I am still not feeling any “steam” for the daily journaling videos but I will post about that when I know more about what I am going to do next with that. I still want to do journaling videos, just probably not every day. 

More thoughts on the sleaze of online business colliding with the good people of the creative/self-help/life-coaching world

I’ve been getting a lot of feedback about my blog post about feeling conflicted about the creative/life coaching industry.

I think there is a lot more to be said.

I mean I am relieved for all the people who wrote to me to say “Oh no the pyramid-scheme types do not throw shade on you and your work – people can feel authenticity when they encounter it.”

And I believe that – to an extent.

It’s just that I too have fallen prey to buying coaching and classes from people whose sales and marketing skills far outweighed their coaching/helping skills.

And yes there were great lessons involved all around!

But it left me feeling a bit more suspicious of the whole thing.

For a while it even made me wonder – are people either good at coaching or good at business? Or are there people who are good at both – is that even possible?

And I have heard from friends who hired “very successful coaches” who told them to project an image of their ideal life so that people will buy that image – including pretending to be more successful than you are so people will buy your creative business coaching packages. Ugh.

This was when I was very new to all of this.

A few bad experiences when you’re new can be enough to put a person off the whole thing altogether.

But luckily a few bad experiences did not put me off.

And I have since met so many wonderful people doing wonderful work who have build solid businesses to support that work. And I see now in my own life that it’s true.

But I am very heartfelt about dreams and the possibility of making positive change in your life.

So when I see people take advantage of it to sell pyramid schemes or offer coaching packages that don’t actually help – it’s disheartening.

I hate for anyone to have a bad experience while genuinely trying to make a positive change in their lives – but charlatans are only a very small percentage of the people out there. And that’s not really who I’m talking about.

I mean – I am not talking about specific people at all, I am talking about the marketing and sales practices that we’re adopting as an industry.

I mean I think it’s obvious most people go into creativity coaching and life coaching because they want to make a difference. They’re good people with good intentions.

But sometimes people can rush to want to help others before they’ve taken the time to develop their skills – often before they’re even really able to help themselves.

Which is not terrible.

But it’s better to do a lot of work on your own stuff, clearing those kinds of patterns and beliefs, before attempting to help others with theirs.

Because your own stuff becomes very tangled up in your business otherwise. And sometimes those tangles will make it hard or even impossible to truly serve your client’s needs.

I have experienced that kind of coaching as well, where the coach talks mostly about themselves and don’t really pay attention to me or the thing I asked them for help with. And the kinds of coaches who need you to get something out of their work so that they can boost their own esteem.

That is one reason why it’s GOOD to grow a coaching business slowly.

Follow that genuine wish in your heart to be a force for good and that will lead you through working through the stuff you need to work through in order to be the best coach you can be.

I mean you cannot help people do something you haven’t done.

So if you feel tangled up self-worth or self-doubt or procrastination or fear or whatever…. untangle yourself before attempting to untangle others.

Learning to get and stay untangled (for me this means incorporating un-tangling work into my daily practices it does not mean I go around claiming to never get stuck) will teach you so much about the process healing and transformation and your clients will benefit from that.

And really learning that can be a long process.

In the meantime you can take some online business classes, implement everything exactly how they say to – and have this successful business.

Your business can grow beyond your skills, which sets you up to not serve your clients in the way you could if you took the time to grow your skills before your grow your business.

It diminishes your gifts. It diminishes your clients’ experiences.

And with enough people out there doing it, it can diminish people’s perspectives of the whole industry.

So – it can put people off of the whole idea of changing their lives before they ever get a chance to try it.

I think the big problem here is the culture that is being created.

So as I wrote last week – seven years ago the online creative entrepreneurship/life coaching space felt more genuine and exciting.

For people who had attempted or succeeded at building creative careers as self-employed people out in the “real world” – the way the internet was evolving was like a gold mine of possibilities.

Suddenly simple, do-able ways opened up to connect with the audience for your work – that did not exist before.

Now we kind of take for granted that anyone can “build an audience” but this is a very new thing.

And we can create this culture as a space where we honour this amazing opportunity by treating our audience with respect.

I mean it’s pretty simple, right?

We don’t have to hold back from selling – just be respectful and honest.

I mean for example I have a coaching call recording available on Launching Your Creative Projects Out Into The World for just $25 – it’s 2 hours of information and ideas for non-sleazy and truly genuine ways to get your work out there. You can find out more about that here.

And I’m doing a coaching call on procrastination tomorrow and I’ll include a little blurb on that at the bottom of this.

Yeah I know I could sell more spaces in my classes if I used more hype-y type selling tactics.

But then I’d have classes full of people who had been hyped into being there.

I LOVE my classes – there is a sense of magic in the air BECAUSE everyone who is there is ready to be there. That atmosphere is just not possible when people have been pressured to be there.

I don’t want to work with people who are feeling pressured to be there. I want to work with people who are excited and inspired to make their dreams come true.

This respects me and my work and the people who choose to engage with it – both me and the participants have a better time in my classes because everyone who is there really wants to be there.

But back to what I was saying about creating the culture.

Right now we have a LOT of good hearted, genuine, amazing people who are putting their work out there.

And we have to be conscientious about what kinds of sales and marketing tactics we choose to normalize in our industry.

I think we need to make some big changes to traditional marketing and sales tactics in order for them to suit this kind of work – it just doesn’t make sense for life coaches to be pushy!

I mean changing your life is hard enough – you have to at least WANT to do the work. If you were manipulated into it how is the coaching going to help you?

No.

And when I say “change them to better suit our work” I mean literally change them.

Don’t just change the words.

Because there is a trend in feminine focused business stuff out there right now to use those exact same old school selling tactics and just using different words – but not actually changing the tactics.

Like a sales seminar becomes a goddess circle.

And the people doing it do not mean to be manipulative! I am sure of this!

But they make people feel safe with their language, draw them in – and then pull out those same aggressive sales tactics that are used in other industries.

It just doesn’t create the right kind of atmosphere for doing transformative work.

And it creates a really weird vibe.

I think we need to talk about this stuff because this is a fairly new industry and we still have the power to shape it.

I know I am overly idealistic but I see us being able to create this industry as a light and a beacon for other industries.

To set a higher standard for how we do business.

And THAT is why I have been feeling conflicted, because I see a bigger possibility here.

I hope you’re not procrastinating about signing up for the procrastination call I am doing tomorrow!

I mean it’s pretty cliche I know… procrastinating about dealing with your procrastination and then joking about it.

Except it’s not really funny.

Procrastination is painful. We make it into a joke so we can avoid feeling how it actually feels to not be doing what we want to be doing.

And there is another option. A better one.

You can work through the pain, shame and discomfort around your procrastination tendencies which then softens your tendency to procrastinate.

Which gives you new options. Breathing room. Space to make a different choice.

It’s pretty simple – you take charge or your procrastination or else your procrastination is in charge of you.

What is it that you really want to be doing?

Writing your book or starting a blog? Sewing a dress or going out for a walk?

Do you want to do that more than you want to avoid dealing with your procrastination?

If yes – consider coming to my group coaching call on procrastination. It’s happening live online tomorrow but it will be recorded if you can’t be there live.

Find out more and reserve your spot here.

When I started doing the Daily Dream Journal videos (three weeks ago) I was following my intuition and creative inspiration. I felt pretty unsure about my capacity to keep doing them, but I wanted to follow the flow to see where it leads to.

This is what dream-growing is all about.

Today it’s led to this – I just ran out of steam.

I don’t know if I just need a break or to stop doing them completely or to start doing them once a week or sporadically or… I don’t know.

It’s ok to not know.

If you always stay with what you know then there’s no space for anything to change. So being in the discomfort of not knowing means you are living with more possibilities and I like that.

But I have an inkling as to why I was pushed to start doing the daily videos.  I have been working on a class on Creative Ritual, Magic and Daily Practice for Growing Your Dreams, Your Self and Your Whole Life for over a year and it’s just not coming together.

As I started doing the daily videos and was getting feedback – especially from people in the Creative Dream Circle who were feeling more supported in their own daily dream-growing practice through watching mine – I started to see that a daily video format would actually bring all the pieces together for that class.

So I’ll explore that.

And I’ll explore how/if/when to continue with the videos here on my blog. What it feels like right now is that a more creative and human approach would be to do videos when I have something to say and feel inspired/ready to say it, instead of keeping up with a daily schedule.

Like doing the daily videos these past weeks put me into a new relationship with making videos about my journaling practice. And now I’m ready to take the next step in that relationship.

But, as I said, I don’t know right now.

The creative process is full of twists and turns.

Just like the healing/transformation/empowerment process of making your dreams real and creating a life that feels like a real fit for you – is VERY messy sometimes.

We try things. It feels great. Then it stops feeling great.

We need to follow our feelings and not keep doing things just because we said we’re going to do them, or because other people like that we’re doing them.

I mean we want to keep our word. I deliberately didn’t promise how long I’d do the videos for because I didn’t know. 

And we want to grant ourselves the freedom and space to follow our creative instinct.

ps: I’m doing a coaching call on Procrastination on Tuesday – come join me!

 

Spending time with my journal, even when I’m a bit frustrated or unsure – always brings me back to my truth.  This buoys me on my path.

ps: I’m doing a coaching call on Procrastination on Tuesday – come join me!

 

The Creative Dream Incubator has been my full time job for 6.5 years. It’s been my biggest dream for over 20 years.

It means a lot to me, I have worked hard to be where I am because I believe in what I’m doing.

I believe in our ability to transform the world through the transformation of consciousness, and that this happens one person at a time.

And that we – those of us who are ready and willing to do this work – are a growing minority.

I’m looking at the long game.

Six and a half years ago when I left my job – things were different.

The worldwide political climate was different.  And the online creative entrepreneurship space was different.

I mean back then I remember Chris Guillebeau writing a blog post about being excited about making $50,000 the previous year in his online writing business.  He pointed to a graph that showed that this was the average income in his part of the world. He was excited to make an average income doing what he loved and while having creative freedom.

It was heartfelt and genuine.

I was so excited to be a part of it.

I don’t see that kind of stuff anymore. The online space is too crowded with the “Must Make Six Figures To Be Happy” crowd.

For months now every time I see an online business coach offering an “Easy 6 Figure System” I select “hide all ads from this person”.  And like three more of them jump in to take their place.

It’s not that I don’t want people to make the money they want to make. I do want that for everyone.

Also I have a LOT to say about how creative people to need to learn how to put their work out there and market themselves to be able to support themselves with their creative dreams.

I mean for some of us it can be inauthentic to not be a full time creative so we need to do the work to make that happen. And seven years ago it feels like the internet was opening up as a possibility for making that easier.

But making more and more just to prove your worth – well that’s just not interesting to me and that’s the vibe I get from these people.

I mean that’s the kind of bullshit I left behind when I quit my job to do this work full time.

But like – the life coach who can’t get their own shit together but wants to fix your life or the yoga teacher who “curates” all of the real out of their life for their instagram feed or the self-proclaimed hippy-dippy-love-machine who teaches us that we hippies need to focus more on the dollars.

Or the business coaches who have only ever run one business – the one where they make money telling you how to make money online.

These people have gotten really good at getting attention online.

And it feels like all of that heartfelt genuine stuff is gone.

I mean I know it’s not gone. It’s actually bigger and stronger than ever it’s just the other stuff is so much louder.

And you know what? I feel embarrassed to work in this space a lot of the time.

I mean I am genuine to an awkward degree and, as a sensitive introverted person that can be embarrassing but I mean I am embarrassed at what I see happening in the “create your dream life” online space and embarrassed to be a part of it.

I want to distance myself from it somehow.

But how? When a lot of the 6 Figure Cult are out there claiming themselves as heart-based and authentic and intuitive and genuine?

I mean we’re using the same words. Where is the space for the people who do need to make a living but aren’t in it primarily for the money?  Who don’t see financial growth as their #1 measurement of success? Who are happy to stop when they have enough and simply enjoy their creative life?

And then all of this collides with the current political climate.

It feels like intense racism and sexism and homophobia and other-phobia are making their last stand, all around the world.

I mean I hope it’s the last stand.

It’s a big, ugly, loud stand.

But to have the predominantly white life coaching industry acting like nothing is happening.

I mean I know even I wrote a blog post right after the US election asking you to not let the drama of the election de-rail you from your dreams.

I wrote that before hate crimes in the US took a sharp rise.

And I didn’t mean ignore what is wrong with the world. I mean don’t let it derail you because your dream is a part of the solution.

I mean all of my work is about being present where you are now – in the muck of fears and limiting beliefs and doubt – and using that as a fuel that moves you forward.

We have to do the same on a global scale. Be with what is, bring light and love and truth to what is happening in the world.

Presence is a healing force.

When you see mass injustice and don’t speak up then you are a part of the problem. Your silence helps to hold the whole system in place.

And the system is rigged. It’s rigged against non-whites and non-males and non-cis people and non-straight and non-wealthy people.

As a straight, white woman it’s rigged a bit against me, but I have been able to use my privilege as a white person to overcome that.  What about those with no privilege?  ( I mean let’s not even start with the white feminism)

I am not saying to give up your dreams and give everything you have to those in need and put your own self into jeopardy.

We have to be able to find a balance. Being true to ourselves and lending our real, tangible support to making the world a better place.

Prayers and sending love are not enough right now.

How do we do that? I don’t know.

Except I do know that we won’t figure it out by doing and saying nothing.

So, coming back to the 6 figure people. Of course they would say that by we-the-hippies- creating 6, 7, and 8 figure businesses we can begin to disrupt the system.

Maybe.

But I think more likely they have’t looked too deeply at the roots and effects of the capitalist system.

And just like I don’t see violence as a possible cure for violence I don’t see capitalism being the cure for capitalism.

I mean really – more people getting better at “winning” at capitalism – that will solve this? No I don’t see it.

I mean we have to be responsible for the impact of our businesses.

This great post about looking at the supply chains in your own business by Kelly Diels who is thoroughly addressing this issue in The Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand is something we all need to think about.

No one’s perfect at this stuff.  Even the most well-meaning people can build businesses that have some less-than-stellar impacts on the world.

Including me – it’s something we need to keep examining in ourselves.

But more people getting better at listening to their hearts and living from the wisdom of their hearts? Yes I can see that as a solution.

And how about people learning how to live joyfully with less? Oh fuck yes I can see that helping!

(Which I think is a side effect of getting better at listening to your heart – your heart doesn’t want more stuff)

So ultimately, even though I feel uncomfortable, I also want to keep doing what I’m doing.

I think we, the new generation of online creative entrepreneurs, can be a force for good. We just have to work at it and figure it out.

And right now I don’t have any answers.

I just feel uncomfortable. And I don’t really know what to say but I didn’t want to say nothing.

You build the path to your dream out of the obstacles you face.

Find out more about my magical Un-Sticking Station here.

ps: I’m doing a coaching call on Procrastination on Tuesday – come join me!

One of those prompts that I find kind of scary – but it’s also super good for me.

Yes – today’s prompt and dreamcatcher are from the Year of Dreams Dream Planner, Guided Journal + Coloring Book – come play with this with me!

I’m working on my weekly planner page in my Dream Journal and feeling so buoyed up with the positive affirmations from the Year of Dreams Journaling Kit which is wonderful but also reminded me of how it’s possible to go over-board with this stuff.

Yes, there is a such thing as too much positivity – not making space for your actual feelings is toxic.

 

So that’s what I am talking about today:

 

Doubt does not have to stop you from doing what you want to be doing!

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