Choose you. Then go HARD.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

"If you don't do something for yourself this Spring and Summer, I'm going to be very pissed at you."

That's what my mother said as we were having a good time together sometime this week. Of course, my response was something like:

"I'll do whatever I want, thank you. In fact, I won't spend a penny on myself because of what you said. Why? Because I can. Hahahahaha!"

Conversations like this are a dime a dozen in my home. In one scene, my mom is trying to get me to invest in an anti-aging serum or cream that would shave 10 years off my life as I prepare to unknowingly attract a mysterious, rich, and intelligent young man. And my response is, "Thank you, I'll try it later."

In another scene, my mom takes a long meaningful look at my winter jacket and goes, "I saw a cute jacket at ___ the other day. Would you like me to get it for you?" I'd smile at my mother's new approach, tug at my 5-year old jacket I'm convinced is in mint condition, and respond: "How much is it? $50? Hmm...this one is still nice. I'll manage."

Of course. Talk about being stubborn.

Yes. And this is beginning of the problem.

When it comes to making decisions, human beings will always think of themselves first. This is no accident. It is the way we are wired. Humans would rather choose to buy an extra bowl of noodles than give a dollar away for free. It's not because they're mean, rather, it's because these things have to be consciously thought about. Often.

Meaning when you're on a plane ready for takeoff and the instructions are being read, you will be required to save your own life first before attempting to save others.

So imagine the horror on my face when my mom suggested treating myself to good things and I responded I wouldn't.

I couldn't.

I'm too busy.

Actually, I promise to do that later...but not today.

My refusal to invest in activities that would put a little shine on my physical appearance might be indicative of my somewhat stubborn personality. But it's also a symptom of a larger disorder that so many creatives have, a disorder I have named Halfass-itis.

Aka the condition of always half-assing anything you do; not fully investing yourself in your decisions; not staying committed to your goals; and not willing to up the ante when time's up.

A condition of choosing to live the writer's life, always wishing to be an author yet unwilling to put in the time to do the writing.

A condition of always watching your peers succeed at doing what they love and getting paid for it...yet content with living a lie and choosing to ignore the call to be more.

A condition of always starting something yet quitting once the embers of excitement and novelty have cooled...

So, as a creative, are you choosing to do the things that would move you forward?

Are you...

  • Electing to binge on Netflix...when you should be writing or finishing your next book?
  • Ordering more fitness gears off Amazon in hopes that they would "help" you lose weight....instead of dusting your pretty expensive shoes and taking yourself to walk?
  • Investing in more coaching and online courses to help you make money...instead of implementing the strategies you've learned from the courses you've collected thus far?

How many of us, creatives, are choosing to make yearly resolutions only to slack off EVERY time the said goals call for a change in behavior?

Then it is time to choose yourself and stay committed to the decisions you've made.

Choose you. Then go HARD.

Because half-assing everything you do is not going to make you profitable.

Because not finishing what you start is going to leave you depressed and broke.

Because whether you're a consultant, coach, writer, painter, any kind of artist who chooses to be known as a creative, the main thing is to stay connected to your work.

And I get it. Sometimes, it's hard to unplug from your creative work and be totally unavailable to distractions in form of life and family. Sometimes it's all about the need to have a plan B so that you won't be seen as a failure. Often times, it's because we crave connection and we know that going hard in our creative journey might alienate us.

Yet, choose YOU. Then go HARD.

You don't have to do it all at once. You could pick a project you see yourself completing in 21 days and set a daily time to accomplish it.

You could choose to get out of debt by paying off your credit card balance(s) in six months. You could choose to launch an online program that brings you additional side that you have the financial security to focus on the things that matter most to you.

All the've got to choose YOU. Then go HARD.

Here's how to choose a goal and stay committed to it (aka Choose you. Then go HARD)

1) Focus on changing only 10 percent.

Yes, that's right. 10 percent of the real change you want is where you want to start from. When we began 2018, my goal was to live a life of creative freedom, meaning I could do whatever I wanted or sell whatever I wanted. But I had to write and pitch every week. This has led to opportunities like getting on Thought Catalog and TEDxLincolnSquare

This isn't where I want to stop. But I know that the weekly practice of sending pitches is vital to getting into my dream publications. I know that I need to write to members on my email list frequently if I want to sell anything or "make 6 figures." So I started with the very first step: writing and hitting 'send.'

2) Get help.

It's not a lie; you can't do it or get there alone. If there's anything I did differently this year, it's choosing to get mentors in areas I need the most: writing, marketing, and my mindset.

My writing mentor has been helpful in making sure I show up every day in some way or form. My thought transformation coach has boldly proclaimed that 2018 is for the takers...and I don't want to left behind. I'm learning to love my art, my work, my presence in this lovely online space. And I'm also learning to sell in a very authentic and effective way.

3) Get in a community. Then commit to being visible.

It's sorta hard to not make any dent on your goals if you're visible in spaces where your voice is needed most. It's very hard not to write a book if you've boldly told your community that you will launch a new book this year.

Get in a community and commit to being visible. Immerse yourself in the project of your choosing. If you want, get help finishing this project. I have a course on called 21 days to creative freedom that helps creative entrepreneurs start a creative idea and launch it with courage. Yep, shameless plug. But it's okay, the value is priceless.

In conclusion, here's what it means for you and your creative business.

  • Make a goal. Then stay committed to it.
  • The best way to finish something is to start it. 
  • Immersing yourself in your project is the only way to finish what you start.

Over to you. What creative projects would you like to immerse yourself in in the next 21 days?

I write about the intersection of creativity, passion, and profit. I also share my own process towards doing my other creative endeavors via email. So, yup, you might wanna sign up to be my email buddy to know when the next post drops! 

Why now is the best time to launch your dream as a creative entrepreneur

Why now is the best time to launch your dream as a creative entrepreneur.png

This post might speak more to those who have part-time gigs outside of the online business world. But it is geared towards everyone who doesn't see online business as just one thing. Read on!

I have a dream to build a philanthropic movement that grows beyond my profession as a nurse. This will require the ability to generate funds to accomplish goals like building community hospitals, making sure that public health in poor countries becomes a household topic, and supporting other worthy causes (like volunteering as a racial justice facilitator to create safe spaces for people to talk about current events in our nation).

But I soon learned that I can’t finance my dreams with just my bi-weekly wages. I am no longer a college student who receives grants from the government. I now have loans that must be paid no matter how pitiful the job market looks. I also have personal goals I want to accomplish, goals like traveling to many countries and eating lots of delicious food. These cost money and miles. And trust me, it will cost relationships as well.

Now, I don’t hate my job. My profession as a nurse isn’t just a bridge to living life out of the suitcase. It’s not because I want to leave my 11-to-7:30, rather, I want to be so dedicated to my career without getting crushed by financial woes.

So, I did the only thing that made sense: I turned my writing skills into for online entrepreneurs. Although I hung my copywriting boots in July, being an online entrepreneur allowed me to exchange my skills for money. It’s also one of the only legitimate jobs where your earning potential is limitless as you scale your systems and processes.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider launching a dream as an creative entrepreneur:

1) You don’t have to work full-time if you don’t want to.

I love my job as a nurse and don’t think I could ever walk away from it. Yet.

But I read many depressing stories about nurses getting burned out by the profession. Or how many of them get injured before they could reap the benefits of being a nurse. There are also other stories about how families have been broken because one partner is a great employee but a lousy husband or wife.

See, life doesn’t have to be so hard. There is no need to for you pick up extra hours at work to pay for a concert ticket because revenue from your creative business can foot the bill. There will be no need for you to take time off work to avoid Mr. Iron, your toxic co-worker. Because you don’t work from Thursday to Sunday.

The interesting thing here is that you can redefine what it means to work full-time. And you can love it too because it doesn’t mean you must be tethered to one employer.

2) You have time to discover what matters most to you.

If you graduated from college and suddenly discovered that working 12-hour shifts sniffles the life out of your soul, and you’d rather spend your weeknights sampling red wine, all you need to do is redefine what matters to you.

If you're a current business owner who loves writing but poops at the idea of daily FB lives, you don't have to dance out of tune.

I get it, it’s challenging. So, how do you attempt to discover what matters to you when you’re busy trying to survive?

By purposefully creating extra time to work on discovering what your creative genius is. Yes, it might involve cutting back on your hours. But it’s worth it, and the beauty here is that you have the permission to pivot to do work that matters most to you.

3) You don’t have to work overtime to support causes that matter to you

About 4 years ago, I offered to sponsor a child. Then I graduated from college and found myself with no job offers.

I tried to hold on for a while but eventually had to choose between my survival and supporting my sponsored child. Unfortunately, I made the painful decision to stop the support.

Your financial health has a mighty influence on how you display or exercise your values. If you care about an honest but struggling cause and want to see it around for years, your tweet or shares can’t save it alone. It needs money. Ever wonder where these monies come from? They come from people like you and me, people who have transformed their lives enough to allow guiltless giving.

Giving without guilt. Yes, if you own your own business, you can set the value of your donations and touch lives worldwide without depleting your bank account.

4) You’ll kick debt out of your life without sacrificing your ideal lifestyle.

Ever read stories about successful online business owners who enjoy 5-and 6-figure launches and post pictures of themselves sipping margaritas on the beach and get envious?

I don’t because they’re living a life that they have designed for themselves. No one tells them when to go to the beach and what time to be back. They might even bring their whole family along if they so desire.

My ideal lifestyle starts with me dressed in sweatpants and ends with me in my sweatpants (with occasional scrub outfits #nurselife). It involves me living the writer’s life with multiple trips to the cafe (I personally love coffee shops) and sitting beside a window while reading my favorite works of fiction.

Of course, I’ve got bills to pay and I bet you do too. I don’t know what your ideal lifestyle is but I’m sure it doesn’t involve working 50+ hours/week at a job that doesn’t cover your monthly expenses.

5) Your personal brand and network grows beyond your company (or bedroom) walls

Think about how many people you’d meet if you attended 2 conferences every year. The epic collaborations that could result if only you opened your world to invite brilliant, creative minds who provide solutions beyond what you could imagine at your day (or night) job.

As you begin to gain publicity for your skills, your business will grow and attract thought leaders who want to be a part of your network.

To recap:

  • Having a creative business doesn't mean you should quit your day job.
  • You get to define and design your creative business lifestyle.
  • With a thriving creative business, you can support socially conscious causes and movements.
  • Your network grows beyond your bedroom and company walls.

I write about the intersection of creativity, passion, and profit. I also share my own process towards doing my other creative endeavors via email. So, yup, you might wanna sign up to be my email buddy to know when the next post drops! 

Why great work always gets found & how to find success as a creative entrepreneur

Why great work always gets found (& how to find success as a creative entrepreneur).png

July 1st marked my “official” exit from copywriting and "online marketing."

Ever since my decision to quit copywriting, I’ve noticed several changes in me. I sleep more, eat more, and have more time for myself than I know what to do with.

I’ve also become a lot more curious about not just what’s next for me…but what to show up with. Yes, it’s not just about how you show up. It’s also what you show up with. My creative thinking sense is heightened, I tell ya. I have more questions now and these questions have changed the way I think.

In more ways than one, I’ve decided to borrow a term I once despised in order to help me understand this flutters I feel in my stomach when I think about ‘creativity’: ambition.

You see, this ambition to do great work has nothing to do with the conditioning I’ve received from years of being an online marketing junkie but more to do with my search for great work. We ALL want to do great work. Whether you’re a staunch advocate of the 4-hr work week or the 9-to-5, we all want to be associated with work that is meaningful, impactful, and inspiring.

So…I decided to do something, to normalize this ambition I can’t shake off. I decided to start my quest for great work.

Before I go in-depth (later) into how this transition from copywriting is going to pan out, I’d like to emphatically state that I’m not against the online industry.

In fact, as much as I think I was blinded by the carrots dangled in front of me, I also grew and became financially aware of how much I need to make in order to make my dreams come true.

Back to getting great work found.

I believe in the power of platforms, engaged audience members, email lists, and owning a powerful personal brand. But one thing that has sparked a tiny flame in me is the idea of “doing great work,” and the question of how much different it has to be to start a movement.

In other words, what is great work, and how do you stand out so your great work gets found?

First, this is how you know you’re doing great work.

Great work starts when you say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

You don’t have to be a politician. You don’t have to be a Bill Gates or Tim Ferris. You don’t have to be an angel investor ready to shell out precious dough on the next hair dryer.

Enough is Enough means all you need is a true desire to end something undesirable. To replace something uncomfortable with laughter. To make a nightmarish process as easy as drinking water from a fountain.

Great work starts with a healthy balance between self-assurance and self-criticism.

When I started my writing journey, I didn’t want to be a bestselling author. I was fueled by anger, by the injustices I perceived in the educational sector and the hardships I suffered as a new graduate with no job offers…which was why I wrote my first ebook on transitioning from college to corporate (2nd edition on the way, ya’ll!).

However, I had to realize that I wasn’t perfect. It took a lot of introspection and humility to realize that I might have been felt entitled to having a job ready while overstating my suffering.

But because learning is an on-going process, I also had to get better without killing my potential to get even better.

Great work feels like pain, and often times, the work is hidden.

I’m sorry, but you don’t get discovered overnight. You might not be the typical rags to riches kinda gal or boy. In fact, it might be tough to cut through the noise in “online marketing” because there are so many gurus, strategies, and proven formulas thrown around.

Still…you want to do great work without getting distracted by laurels flaunted by 6-figure achievers. How do you do this?

Here’s what bestselling author, Jeff Goins, suggests:

  • Name the problem
  • Take responsibility
  • Show up
  • Work harder, not smarter

Enjoy the obscurity now. Build your thing quietly. Limit self-promotion, there is a time and season for that, I promise.

Just. do. the. work.

Finally, the 3 things that will guarantee that your great work gets found

1) Consistency

Call it grit, perseverance, or endurance. Great work requires that you don’t give up because the heat got turned up. You need to show up consistently if you want to get a break and get noticed.

2) Conviction

Call it mindset mastery, faith, or confidence. I can’t — no one, can do this for you. You need to believe the world needs what you have. You need to believe that your gifts, talents, and passion are valid whether or not someone else validates you.

3) Collaboration

Call it publicity, guest blogging, or list building. You need people who know people to get their people to care. As cringy as this sounds, you can’t swim alone in this modern day of promoting your creative work. Influencers aren’t just there to advertise sponsored cool aids and fitness products. Befriend them! Make a list of people you love and admire, and start following their work.

Get on their radar, develop a true relationship with them, promote their work(s) to your community, and start a conversation with their community members.

I am currently on the mission to find my own great work. And while I may not have a fancy marketing title right now, I’m happy and satisfied to explore this journey with you.

Next step:

I write about the intersection of creativity, passion, and profit. I also share my own process towards doing my other creative endeavors via email. So, yup, you might wanna sign up to be my email buddy to know when the next post drops! 


Why resistance is good and what it means to creative entrepreneurs

Why -resistance- is good and what it means for creative entrepreneurs.png

It’s been a while since I sat down to write a decent post. Rather than blame it on some writer’s block or other excuses, I’ve decided to call it what it is: resistance to create.

Mental block or inability to think creatively. It is what it is. I’ve been in a slump where all I do is observe the happenings in the online business world and in the world at large. Strangely, it all seems like the wave of change has hit the entrepreneurial space faster than I anticipated.

Facebook groups are closing. Business models are being revamped. Some offerings have closed. Others are evolving and scaling their business with experiments and faith.

However, at the center of all this, there is something we all know very deeply: It’s the human ability to shrink when on the cusp of something great. It’s the feeling of surrender to something greater even if this call to greater heights is wrapped in a mysterious shroud called resistance.

This has led to the discovery of 3 uncomfortable truths that I would love to share with you today.

1) Positive resistance is great. Embrace it.

If you operate in faith and are in tune with your alignment, there is always resistance to create shitty work and this needs to be respected.

When all you feel like doing is going on a rant about how someone else’s business isn’t authentic enough and pass it off as business advice, listen to that still voice within you that stops you from hitting publish.

When all you feel like doing is chronicle someone else’s success markers and use them as benchmarks for your own personal and professional development, listen to that nudging in your belly to stay in bed for just one more day.

When all you feel like doing is watch TV all day long without regard to whether you’ve made the best use of your day, listen to that pressure you feel on your back and get your butt off the bed.

Because at the end of the day, even though we have questions about where we’re going and how we will be received, we all want to feel at peace about the things we do and people we impact.

2) Great work needs to be refined.

I’ve fallen in love with quotes these days and here’s one of my favorites:

“Try not to fall in love with the first idea but give yourself time to fall in love with it.” Mark Frauenfelder.

If you’re creating meaningful, impactful, and mind blowing work, there is always going to be an uphill battle. You can’t escape this. But most importantly, your best work isn’t always at the surface level.

You see it in movies. Before the becoming of the hero, there is a tragedy. There is some sort of unfavorable coming of age event before those innate superpowers can be awoken and put to good use. And before this hero takes the flight to save the city, he’s practiced getting hit a thousand times by his mentor and enemies alike.

You don’t wake up in the morning full of insights after a good night sleep and automatically birth your masterpiece. Yes, insights are amazing. You should start with insights.

However, your masterpiece is something that takes a great deal of time, reflection, research, and refinement.

3) Creativity is not elusive. It only requires courage to be discovered and cultivated.

No one is born with a super creative gene while others grapple with the reality of a “recessive” one. It’s all in the ability to discover and cultivate this creativity. There are moments of personal discovery and identity crises strewn along the path to being called a “creative.” But ultimately, we have to spend a huge amount of time trying to understand why we do what we do.

This requires that we be brave enough to stand back from consuming what is readily available and retreat into ourselves. It requires that we question the system that has sustained thousands who have lived before us and led successful lives. To finally be a creative genius, there is a question of “what if.” And this too needs to be respected and enabled.

Then, there is the issue of resistance.

You will experience resistance before you break any barriers to change. And you don’t even have to be in law enforcement or an activist.

If that is the case, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I on the cusp of something new and exciting?
  • How do I feel about what I’m doing and the impact it’s going to make?
  • Where do I see myself with this project in the future?

Great. If these questions seem more challenging than you thought, awesome! If we’re being truthful about this, this should take a couple of days before real clarity about your purpose can emerge.

And that’s the issue with resistance and creativity. Your ability to unleash your true creativity depends on the truth you tell yourself.

When you experience resistance about the work you create, there are probably several layers of “lies” that need to be peeled away from the work you’re presenting. It could be in form of pricing that doesn’t sit well with you. Or maybe you don’t really want to do webinars because that isn’t your style.

The whole point of this article is this: resistance to creating good work can be great. Listen to it and unleash your best work with insights gained.

What are you experiencing resistance against right now? Hit reply! I wanna know! :)

To recap:

  • It's okay to hold pause on doing work that you don't feel at peace with.
  • You don't suddenly wake up and automatically birth your masterpiece. Your masterpiece is something that takes a great deal of time, reflection, research, and refinement.
  • It's okay to be brave enough to stand back from consuming what is readily available and retreat into ourselves.
  • You will experience resistance before you break any barriers to change.

Next step:

I write about the intersection of creativity, passion, and profit. I also share my own process towards doing my other creative endeavors via email. So, yup, you might wanna sign up to be my email buddy to know when the next post drops! 

How to write copy for your sales page (EVEN if you don't know what words to use)

How to write copy for your sales page (EVEN if you don't know what words to use)

Most bloggers dream of getting paid for what they know. I know I do.

You've spent the time to grow your traffic and audience. You crank out quality posts on a consistent basis. You might have created an online course that is open for enrollment. Yet when it comes to writing sales pages, you freeze. You stare at your blank screen and the blinking cursor.

I know the feeling too well, trust me!

But what makes writing sales pages hard? Is it because they're lengthy? Or is it because you are afraid you'll run out of words to fill the page needed to convince your ideal customer?

Why people won't buy a drill but will buy a hole instead.

Why people won't buy a drill but will buy a hole instead.

Before you launch your coaching programs or services please read this post till the end. Sticky. stories. are. the. bomb!

You know how certain TV characters just stay with you even after the series is over? How you can’t shake off the sadness that your favorite character didn’t 

Skilled scriptwriters have mastered the art of building likeable, charismatic characters. One word. One move. One smile….and you have fallen hopelessly in love with a fictional character.

5 mindset habits to cultivate to grow a successful business on your own terms

5 mindset habits to cultivate to grow a successful business on your own terms

I subscribe to several newsletters from entrepreneurs, speakers, and coaches as a way for me to glean from their mistakes and wisdom. But never has the idea of redefining success in my own way turned me on like it has in the last three days. To be honest, sometimes I get envious when I read big income reports and see people I admire and respect in the online business industry do JV (joint venture) webinars, promoting their courses and services.

I have questions: what if that were me? If I only put out more content, could I possibly attract the attention of these big wigs? Would they introduce me to their circle?

How to delight your clients with a high touch customer service approach

How to delight your clients with a high touch customer service approach

Customer service is the art of leaving you better than I found you. “You. Yes, you. Get outta here! I want the pale face in here” a client told me.

And with that, she pointed at the light-skinned lady in front of me and almost dragged her into the room, totally ignoring my presence. I opened my mouth to remind her that I should be the one helping her but nothing came out.

Yet I smiled and said, “That’s okay. I’ll see you later.”

Maybe her comment was rude. Of course I flinched when she requested for a pale face. But I was grateful for the distraction it provided. I needed that time to ponder over how best I could meet her needs. I also need that time to know how affected I was by her statement. And if I should be affected at all.

Building a legit business is a long-term relationship thing. Not a quickie.

Building a legit business is a long-term relationship thing. Not a quickie.

Have you ever wondered why people rush into intimacy? I don’t get it. No judgement here, but my issue lies with people who try to “hook” up with you or with others before you’re ready.

A case scenario

I was chilling in my room on a cloudy Sunday afternoon watching my favorite Korean show. In one of the scenes, the guy grabs the girl by the arm and pressures her to say “yes” to his love confession. She wrestles free from his grip and instead folds her arms across her chest. Wearing a worrisome look on her face, she fixes her gaze on his appearance.