Headspace Is Like a Goddamn Unicorn

IN: Creativity, Productivity, Success


Even though it feels about as mythical as a goddamn unicorn, it’s a thing.

I know most of us would feel more comfortable using a keyboard full of hypodermic needles than, you know, actually relaxing, but in my experience over the last decade running my own business, there are few things I find more essential.

You are not a machine. You are not a slave. And you certainly didn’t start a business so you could sit inside a dimly lit room for 80 hours a week grunting in front of your laptop, microwaving Hot Pockets, and feeling guilty for doing anything else besides BEING PRODUCTIVE, PRODUCTIVE, PRODUCTIVE! Goodness, I hate that word.

Being too busy for yourself is a fool’s errand, and let me tell you what—you don’t ever “let up.”

You might think you’re just going through a busy period, or convince yourself you’ve just got to make it through to the other side, or that this is what hustle is all about *cue Gary Vaynerchuk video*, but if there was ever a phrase that rings true, it’s: We are what we repeatedly do. And you do not want to become a giant walking, talking Pepperoni Hot Pocket.

That said, having the discipline to relax is easier said than done, which is why I work hard to build in safeguards for myself to make sure that I’m not a naughty girl, overextending myself left and right and forward and backward and upside down and probably most definitely in the cowgirl position (which looks awkward when you’re riding your computer, you guys).

One of those safeguards includes periods of time when I gently refuse new client work. Push pause on projects. Say no to everything and everyone by default. (By the way, this is hard as hell but so, so, sexy.)

Do you know how liberating it is to wake up and know that the day is entirely yours? That you have every single one of those twenty-four hours to indulge in whatever your brain desires? That the only person’s agenda you’re on is yours? It’s life-changing. When your brain is constantly in go-go-go mode, it stops looking for creative solutions and starts looking for the quickest solution.

But when you give yourself the headspace to wander with your thoughts, you get your humanity back.

Right now, I’m coming out of one of these gorgeous safeguard periods (which sounds a little too much like a maxi pad for my liking) and am armed with at least 14 Moleskines full of scribbles, fresh ideas, and most importantly, things that get me excited. Because I’ve got news: If you are not excited about what you’re doing, get out now. Run fast. There is really no time to lose. Enthusiasm for your work is H20 for your sanity.

There are changes coming. Big things happening. New ideas blossoming. And many announcements to come.

I’ve got an arsenal of brand new gifts for you this year, and together, we’re going to take our businesses and our projects and our camaraderie to an all new, red hot level in 2016.

In the meantime, however, allow me to share a few things that are making me feel hot right now:

  1. Unf*ckwithable Girlfriends. That’s all I’m telling for now. Keep your eyes pried wide open with cute little cocktail umbrellas and/or toothpicks with stuffed olives for this one. It’s going to be Double D huge.
  2. Unf*ckwithable Miniclasses. Think 90 minutes. You and me. And a hilarious list of special topics that will make you wish all your mentors were this fun.
  3. We’re having a funeral for I Hate Monday. It was a fun experiment, but—dun, dun, dun—the column is being phased out to make room for bigger & beastier. I’m looking forward to bringing my writing chops to the blog in different ways this year. More real ways. More me ways.
  4. Time to clean house, ladies and gents. This is the last week to pick up the video version of my business class for writers course, Sentences & Money, before it comes off the shelves this Friday, February 5th. I will not be offering this course again, so if you wish you had me to mentor you through your writing business—branding yourself, pricing your services, getting your first clients, developing killer proposals, getting the YES, handling project management and more—this is my best advice, packaged into eight videos & cheat sheet cliff notes. It’s like having me walk you through it over your shoulder in your living room, except you don’t have to feed me wine. (Which is sort of convenient, but also sort of a bummer for me, obviously.)
  5. I’m hiring! On the hunt for a web designer hellcat. See the job description, grab some vino, and apply here. 🙂 You will hear back from me within the next week.
  6. After a fairly long hiatus, I’ve recently opened my calendar back up for interviews—and am having a blast doing them. Looking to have a conversation with me? Hit up Elizabeth by emailing ash {at} themiddlefingerproject {dot} org.
  7. Speaking of interviews, Nicole Antoinette—one of the most inspirational, come-hell-or-high-water people I know (and an original collaborator on my DIY design & copywriting course, Brandgasm 101!)—recently interviewed me on building a bold business and not taking crap from anyone. You know what this means, right? Nearly two full hours of down-to-earth, girlfriend-to-girlfriend real talk about stepping into yourself, taking risks, and being bold and ballsy in a world that rewards conformity. Pour the lunch wine and listen up.

Remember, business is about doing you, too. What are you hungry to make? Where’s your appetite leading you?

Having the headspace to think about what you want isn’t indulgent—it’s imperative.

Because sometimes the things that make the most business sense, aren’t about business at all.