When I first started working for myself, I was like: OH HEY I HAVE ALL THESE HOURS! LOOK AT THEM IN ALL THEIR GLOWY DELIGHT! If the idea was to “be boed,” then great—I would be motherfau boed. (Get it? It’s the faux fuck, and it’s coming to a screen near you.) The surprise, of course, was that getting the work wasn’t the hard part: it was planning out the work. What I didn’t realize, then, is that time is
Overgiving Is a Really Cute But Seriously Unhelpful Epidemic
“Can I you a drink? How about a meatball sandwich? Here, just have some cheese and crackers. What about turkey? Do you like turkey? We could always order a pizza…” This was my mother’s way of inviting everyone into our home. From friends of mine, to boyfriends of mine, to the man who came with the propane truck once a month to fill up the tank out back. And mind you, my mother was shy. Like, painfully shy. But the
The Way You Make a Million Dollars is by Earning One Dollar, A Million Times
When I first started writing my business memoir, there was one thing I was terrible at: SCENE. Not because I didn’t understand the importance, but because it was holy fucking hard to remember what actually happened the eve of, say, April 17th, 1992, while so-and-so played a harmonica and Lucy Loo showed the boys her undies. WERE WE ALL WEARING BLUE? DID THE AIR SMELL OF DAISIES? HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO REMEMBER THIS AND WHY DO I FEEL LIKE
The Anti-Trump Bar: The Way You Stand Out is By Standing UP
There’s an AWESOME new creative cocktail lounge in New York City called Coup. All of the profits are being donated to organizations being threatened or defunded by the current administration. Tips are donated, too. Guest bartenders are flying in from all over the world, no charge, to donate their services. And guess what? There are s out the door every night. Political statement or not, there’s something to be said about taking a stand. If your business is suffering, it might be
Funerals Happen Every Day When You’re Expanding
I watched the movie AWOL last night, and the truth is, it was just an average movie. But I was fascinated by it. I was fascinated by it because the movie is set in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where I grew up, and everything from the trailer to working at the ice cream stand was the spitting image of a life I once knew so intimately. It was like stepping back in time—the junk yard pick up truck; the boozy men; the
How to Land Your Dream Job—Without Any Prior Experience, Connections, And/Or Bribing The Boss With Your Boobs
STOP WAITING. You don’t need to wait for someone else to “give you” the dream job, any. That one where you travel the world, sourcing big, funky oversized silver jewelry and re-selling it in your shop. That one where you photograph every luxury boutique hotel in the city and create your own guide. That one where you design your own of handbags, and start selling them in pop ups all over the United States. The one where you create
You Don’t Have to Be an Asshole to Be an Authority
There’s a conflict between authority and earnestness. You want to be viewed as an expert…but you also want to be down-to-earth. You want people to respect you…but you also want to be relatable. You want to command high fees…but you also want to be accessible. Most people flip flop back and forth between these two extremes. They’re either all business—but missing any real connection—or they’re all earnestness—but missing the respect. But this isn’t a zero sum game. You don’t need
Writing Problems Are Idea Problems In Disguise
When your idea isn’t clear, you know what you do? Cover it up with blabber. Adjectives. Flowery words that try to compensate for the fact that you don’t actually know what you’re talking about (yetttt). But good ideas stand on their own. If you’re having trouble writing about it, your writing may not be the problem. Go back to the idea, and start there. Because if you can’t say it in one sentence, you’ll never be able to say it
Knowing How You Spend Your Time Is Just as Important As Knowing How You Spend Your Money
I track every single minute of my time. I can tell you exactly how many hours I’ve been writing my new bo, exactly how many hours I write for this blog, exactly how many hours I dedicate to the Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends mastermind, even how many hours a word branding project takes me, start to finish, on the ightful occasion when I do these—including phone calls, e correspondence, and administrative tasks like sending contracts and invoices. I do this, not because
More Work Doesn’t Mean More Money. It Means More Work.
I like gel eggs. (WHO’S WITH ME ON THIS?) But I can never get the gel eggs just right, because they always turn out too dry, or undercoed. It’s hard to get that perfect precision. Then I bought a new pan. Made the gel eggs on the first try. The tools you use are as important as the work you put into it. Better outcome. Less cursing. That’s one reason why I’m switching these daily es to a new provider
Businesses Are Like Books: The Best Ones Actually SAY Something
The best bos are those that say something. That make a statement. Draw conclusions. Make connections. Contribute something new to the discussion. Otherwise, what’s the point in writing it? I think we can all agree that nobody wants to read bo after bo that regurgitates the same exact thing that they’ve read before. The same thing applies to business. If you lo at your business as a story, is it one worth reading?
When You Feel Like a Hot Mess Full of Walking Contradictions and WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT IS YOUR LIFE?
You don’t have to choose, you know. You can be intelligent…and sensual. Extroverted…and introverted. Complex…and simple. You…and someone who’s evolving into someone else. Sometimes, in an effort to finally define who the fuck we are, we start putting ourselves into the little boxes voluntarily—the same ones that we spent our earlier years trying to escape. It gives us relief, to be in a box. To have an identity. To know something with certainty. And to be able to say, with
You Wanna Be a Killer? Ask Yourself This Question Every Single Day
Alright, hotshot— so what are you going to do today to change it? *los you dead in the eye* *walks away*
The Top 10 Commandments of Becoming Unf*ckwithable
Thou shall not wait for an imaginary endorsement from The Committee of True and Actual Greatness to affirm that you’re good enough to put your work out there. The traditional meritocracy meant that you could work your way up the ladder—but you’d have to wait for some creep to give you permission to climb each rung. From promotions at work, to having your art featured, to getting your own magazine column, to speaking on the topic of Teletubbies (or, hey,
Self-Promotion Doesn’t Have to Turn You Into a Self-Absorbed A-Hole
It’s a funny thing, promoting yourself. I’m fairly certain most people would rather have a perfectly minty molar ripped violently from their mouth, using a rusty tool from the 1950’s, performed by a man named Jacque, than they would ever want to dare “sound like they are bragging.” Self-promotion is hard because nobody wants to be seen as self-absorbed—but there’s a difference, and it’s critical to your career. Why? Making your achievements known is the only way that other people
The Noodle Test: Is Your Business Idea Any Good?
When you’re weighing out your business ideas, do not cave to the pressure of having to do something new. You do not have to be the first—you just have to be the only. There’s a difference. If you think about it, there are plenty of restaurants using all the same ingredients. After all, there are only so many types of pasta. But new and upcoming restaurants don’t need to invent a brand new kind of noodle—they just have to take an existing
Let’s Get One Thing Straight: There’s Only One Way to Stand Out from the Sea of Sameness, and It’s Free
Everyone wants to stand out from the sea of sameness—a phrase I coined years ago, right here on this blog, when the Internet first started teetering toward “me, too!” syndrome. Ask most people how to stand out, and depending on their industry, they’ll tell you something different: Get a website! Learn how to write copy! Write an eBo! Get publicity! But those things, in and of themselves, do not help you stand out from the sea of sameness. They
Pleasure Doesn’t Need an Appointment
In the mornings, I let myself linger underneath the covers, twisting the full, fluffy comforter up and around my face, letting my feet dance in the cotton. It feels so good, to slide your soles through the cool material—almost sinful. When I shower, I surrender to the warmth of the water, letting it caress my skin from my shoulders to the top of my ass, and really feeling what that feels like, to be nude—and alive. When I sip my
Burnout Doesn’t Come From Your Business
At one point or another, you’ll question your work. You’ll question what you do, and whether you like doing it, and you’ll wonder if you’re on the right path, after all. At one point or another, you’ll be convinced that you hate your work. You’ll be disappointed by clients, discouraged by logistics, and burnt out from the routine of it all. And then you’ll remember. One client will remind you. One project will invigorate you. One spark will blow your
Prices Are Little Facts, My Dear: A Love Note to Anyone Having Trouble Charging What They’re Worth
Money is important, and you can’t run a business without it. BUT WE LOVE TO PRETEND LIKE THAT ISN’T TRUE. I had an incredible meeting with a new business owner yesterday except I was her client instead of the reverse. (And she’s a naturopath, you guys, can you believe this shit? I’m evolving.) When it came time to talk about money, however, she began with the very adorable (and totally normal), “Oh no, I’m not going to charge you, I’m
Sometimes, It’s Easier to Lie to Yourself, Than Do the Work
If you were overweight and believed that you simply didn’t have the “genetics” to be slender—do you think you’d ever try? The stories you tell yourself aren’t your truth—they’re your shackles. So, what other things are you lying about?
Trust The Shit Out of Yourself, Alright? You ARE the Exception.
“That’s the exception, not the rule,” is a tragic piece of advice. As any leader knows, “be the exception, not the rule,” is how leaders are born in the first place.
Sometimes “It Is What It Is” = Best Business Policy of All
Yesterday I stumbled across a website called—are you ready for this? Yoga For Bad People. Now, when you just read that, you either had one of two reactions: 1) Fucking it. 2) Not for me. And that is what the branding is meant to do—attract the people who will them, while actively repelling the people who won’t. Too often, we go to great lengths to attract, but not repel. We don’t like to tell anyone they don’t belong. (A knee
Working Yourself to DEATH: A Twisted Badge of Honor Reserved for The People Who Are Really Hurting
I remember when I was a little girl, I had a brilliant way of dealing with problems: Take one slice of American cheese. Fold it into fours. Pile two squares onto each cracker. Get as many crackers onto the plate as you could. They say that some people “stuff down their pain” with food, but I think it’s the opposite: You want your pain to be noticed by somebody else. It’s the only way you can show just how much
Perhaps This is What Entrepreneurship Has Given Me Most: It Has Taught Me How to Fight for Myself.
The men came with trucks. To the naked eye, they loed like movers. In and out they passed the length of the trailer, hurriedly, sweatily, carrying boxes upon boxes back and forth, like ants. “Can I get you an iced tea?” I asked. They gulped them down like dogs. I wanted them to like me. I didn’t know if they’d really be able to sell my mother’s pewter knickknacks at auction—nor her collection of John Grisham novels, her wooden end
How Do You Make People Care About Your Work—Even When Your Work Is Lofty, Intangible, and Abstract as F***?
I’m working with a client, right now, who wants to sell emotional intelligence. That’s the result you get when you work with her. EQ, instead of IQ. And emotional intelligence is actually really, really important. It’s one of the biggest predictors of success, believe it or not. She’s read the literature. I’ve read the literature. The pope’s read the sweet, sweet literature. So the question then becomes: How do we make other people care? The problem, of course, is that
There’s a Difference Between Being Proud of “The Work You Do” and Being Proud of Your Work
Floating through life, without ever thinking about much, is way too easy. You could plow through your to-do lists, keep your head down, busy yourself endlessly, and then wake up in twenty years and realize: I gave my life away, like a trinket to be bartered, and today I lo around me and realize: It was a bad deal. Here’s a soberingly serious question: Do you actually like what you do? Does it energize you, the way a trip to