Chasing Sunsets

I had coffeee this week with a guy I haven’t caught up with for a while.
He’s a photographer and videographer who does really great work.

When I asked him how he’d been going, how business was ticking along, he surprised my by saying ‘just ok”… and then he qualified it by saying that it was probably because he’d been busy chasing sunsets.

I thought ‘chasing sunsets’ was a metaphor, you know, for being distracted by shiny things like most entrepreneurs are. But no, he’d LITERALLY been off chasing sunsets, with his camera, trying to get the perfect shot!

I laughed at the fact that my brain went straight to the metaphoric reference. But he’s a dude and dudes are mostly  very literal creatures. So I dug a little deeper. What I found out was that he’d been spending over an hour every night for over a week trying to get the perfect sunset shot….just for his own amusement, oh, and to dish up some Instagram gratification. Really? Yup.  To get likes.

And yet he had been moaning about the fact that he wasn’t charging what he was worth, that people were taking advantage of his generous nature, that he was spending the most time with the clients paying the least, that he hadn’t increased his database for ages….

Had he spent those 10 hours getting his podcast out there to grow his audience….
Had he spent those 10 hours creating that free video series optin to grow his database….
Had he spent those 10 hours refining his packages and communicating those….

…he may have felt a little differently about his business. A little bit better than ‘just ok’.

Chasing sunsets is absolutely delightful. I get it. And at the moment, they are stunning where we live. It’s great for the soul. It may also be great for getting likes on Instagram. But is it what you do FIRST, when the other stuff is undone?

Prioritising business growth activities is often a struggle for creative business owners, especially if they’re not things you love to do. BUT, your business won’t flourish by chasing sunsets.

What sunsets have you been chasing lately?

Losing your voice – literally or metaphorically

I’ve lost my voice. My actual voice, not my writer’s voice, has just disappeared.

Well, truth be told, the word ‘just’ is incorrect. I knew it was coming for 3 days. There was that telltale tickle, the waves of heat, the loss of strength, the lack of energy. And this morning it was gone. No sound. Nada.

I’ve been using my voice a lot lately, more than usual and more fiercely. Coaching, speaking gigs, presentations, networking, parenting, daughtering. And I’ve been speaking for so many other people too: voicing their fears, propping them up, going in to bat, celebrating them, fighting for them. A change in domestic circumstance has meant I’ve had to tell the story over and over again, and I think I’ve literally run out of words.  I’ve exhausted myself by prioritising everyone else’s emotions and interests; my own have slipped by the wayside.

And so I instinctively knew that my voice was bound to give way at some point. It’s my body’s way of saying “ssshhhhhhh…” It’s time to listen. Continue reading