Last night was the July installment of The SpitFire Circle, a monthly meeting of small business owners who come together to share their experiences and learn from one another while being challenged to get to the root of their blocks to success. Every month the dynamic is slightly different with a shift in industries represented, from makers to photographers to writers to travel consultants, but one thing has remained true for the last six months, people hate selling!
It seems that everyone on Instagram is an Entrepreneur or CEO. What used to be a high risk and scary choice, has now been glamorized into fast money, luxurious lifestyles, and ready-set-go businesses.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but the stories behind the glossy pictures are anything but fancy. I know the true stories of self-doubt, self-sabotage, and business burnout.
Over the years I’ve seen the same 13 challenges and entrepreneurial pitfalls in myself, my clients, and other entrepreneurs.
If you’re reading this, you may have stumbled upon my 100-Day Blog Challenge. I’m over a third of the way through and have been loving the process of pumping out content. I’m sure there are other aspects of my life that I could be spending time in, but I’ll just write about it instead.
I’ve heard from a number of people who were stunned that I was able to do The 30-Day Blog Challenge. They were perplexed where I found the time and came up with the ideas, so I thought I’d dedicate this post to my process of creating content and hopefully one or some of you will be inspired to create your own content!
1. Release the Judgment – Before you get started, I want you to do one very important thing. Do this for you. Your writing is a product of you and if you decide to keep it to yourself or post it for the world to see, it is 100% your decision. So write like no one is reading it. This is your gift to yourself. Fuck what anyone else thinks.
2. Make a List of Topics the Get You Excited – My list included small business lessons learned, relationships, time management, communication styles, creativity, my dog, etc. Pretty general to start.
3. Have Conversations with Interesting People and Capture the Themes – When I’m not writing, I’m gabbing away with anyone who will tolerate it. From the concierge in my building to the Uber driver, I am fascinated by people’s stories and what I learn in the process. When the conversation is over, I write down the main points in the notes section of my phone to recall the important parts when I’m ready to write.
4. Go for a Long Walk – My best ideas come during my long walks in DC – usually when I’m coming or going from a client session. When you move, the creativity starts to flow and you can link together patterns and themes.
5. Listen to Podcasts – Get inspired by other people’s inspirations. I love expanding on topics I hear. Whether you agree or disagree with what’s being said, there is a gold mine of content right in between your ears that gets sparked with other content you’re listening to.
6. Be Still – Close your eyes and be silent. Let your brain do all the work. When your body is still, your brain goes into hyper drive until you can fully quiet it, so use it. Get your mental butterfly net out and capture your ideas.
7. Make Time and Write - Once you have your ideas and inspiration, schedule your time to write – preferably on a daily basis to create a solid habit. I find that first thing in the morning after I’ve walked the dog is the best time. My apartment is filled with natural light and everything is still around me. At my max, I’ve cranked out four posts in one morning, but pace yourself as needed.
I hope this inspires you to create your content. This was very writing-centric, but can be applied to making videos or any other creative composition. If you want to learn more about unleashing your creativity, I highly suggest “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. It changed my life!