Notes from the BOOK is a weeklyish peek into how the BOOK is taking shape. Lessons learned, moments of bing, and excerpts.
Last week I wrote this for the book:
“Get clear on YOUR strengths and your product's unique awesomeness before you start thinking about your customers. If you do it the other way around, you'll create something bland and not-you. Your you-ness is the main selling point when you make something by hand, so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we don't dilute it.”
And then I got stuck.
I couldn't write another word.
I outlined my next few points, the rest of the chapter…but I couldn't seem to turn my outline into coherent sentences (even the above sentences are a little murky for me, they're sure to go through a rigorous editing before they end up in the book).
A few days later (3 days of no writing! The world was caving in around me!), I recognized something else lurking, some un-book-related stuckness. I've been feeling a bit drifty about what I want to do next (I know, I know, the BOOK should be project enough). This sense of unease seeped into every other aspect of my work.
I didn't feel like my Work has a Mission. It seemed random, piece-meal and unfocused.
So I went in search of a Mission.
Many journal pages, and days, later I talked to Jay about it.
His first, uncluttered response: Isn't your Mission to Be Tara?
I spent another few days trying to figure out what this meant for my business.
Obviously, it's not a business model. It's not a marketing plan. It might be my personal mission, but how could it lead the business?
Uh, what did I write up there?
The first job, when you're selling something so very YOU, is to get clear on what that YOU is and then make all decisions from that. Your strengths, your vision, your you-ness guides everything (in fact, my whole BOOK is about HOW you make smart marketing decisions based on your you-ness).
The drifty, unfocused feeling came because I lost sight of that.
I've been making decisions based on what I thought I should be doing.
On other people's definitions of my business.
And other people kept thinking I was a consultant.
So I had to set up my site like a consultant.
I had to market and make offers and products like a Consultant.
Except I'm NOT a consultant. I'm not a person-who-knows-better.
And I'm so totally not a coach (unless it's napping. I could totally be a napping coach).
(my own Tara, not other people's versions of Tara)
A big-sister (a smidge more experienced, a little bossy, mostly goofy).
I share that here.
I create tools and spaces for you to do YOUR OWN exploring.
In those tools and spaces, I'm a silly, friendly, encouraging fellow traveler. I share my path and help you figure out yours, all while protecting and respecting YOUR experience.
Knowing that, respecting that and paying attention to that Tara-ness IS a mission.
It is a business model.
It is a marketing plan.
It guides my decisions.
It helps me focus.
It keeps everything coherent and heading the right direction.
And back to the BOOK…
The last week of not-writing, it was my own good sense trying to fight through the what-everyone-else-says clutter to assert itself in my life. To bring me and this place and everything I do in alignment with what I was writing.
(why yes, it is a little frustrating that I didn't recognize it before spending a week gnashing my teeth)