I was visited by the ghost of past launches.
While I don't believe in resolutions so much, I do believe in hindsight.
Everything makes sense when you look back on it, and when you do, you gain the power to change your present, and future. Which is why I'm taking stock right now.
There's a movie called Failure to Launch, and it pretty much sums up last year for me. While I was doing OK for money and had stable clients, I knew nothing about products. And because I've always loved to create things, I decided it was time.
I put on my creator's cap and was all ready to get launching!
Little did I know, launching wasn't so simple...
I didn't know a thing about pricing and even what kind of product I "should" be creating, so I did what everybody else did (mistake #1): I consulted the experts.
The experts will tell you different things and chip on your soul a little.
You know, those guys. It's not their fault of course and I suppose we are all experts in our fields. But what I really needed to hear last Xmas was that we are all unique beings who do things differently. Even products and launching. That's something a rebel would have told me, if I had known to listen or follow. Instead, I erred on the side of safety.
It's just safer to take the road that everybody traipses all over, but what they don't tell you is that this kind of precaution doesn't really work for rebels.
I was following this particular superwoman who was killing it selling ecourses, and so I decided - hey, courses are the hype, so let's do that - which was mistake #2 because whatever the hype is, some things will just never fit you. Mistake #3 was to listen to her again and pre-sell my baby. A whole of 7 people bought it, which was impressive seeing as I didn't know what I was doing. Hats off to my faithful followers.
I don't care what the experts say. Never pre-sell something you haven't created before because if it turns out you hate it, there's no going back.
Or actually, there was going back because I had to reimburse everyone, and they were so amazing, I am even more grateful for my peeps right now. I explained - honestly - that I couldn't finish the product and that I'll be happy to refund them, and you know what? That's when the walrus got off my chest and I could breathe again.
Maybe if you're obsessed with money and the advice actually works, maybe then you'd be temporarily happy, until the next shiny things walks by. But if you're in this for the long haul and you seek more than money, when you seek fulfillment, then you can't afford to follow anyone's advice. You don't want your business to be their business, do you?
And I'm not saying I will never create a course, I'll just do it in a whole other way.
Just don't follow advice blindly, you know better.
I'm doing things differently this time.
I think 2016 was a recalibrating year for me (thanks, Caroline, for the excellent word). I spent it doing what I love - writing books and connecting to my peeps. And while internally I was very much freaking out - Will I be able to sustain this? What if the well runs dry? What if I can't come up with enough ideas? What if I wake up tomorrow and I want to be a chef? - I allowed myself to sit in my freak outs and learn from them. I allowed myself to evolve to a more authentic place, and it was that place that made all the difference.
Last year I launched something I would never had launched if I knew what launching was really about - commitment. This year I am planning to launch something I am happy to commit to. It sounds silly to admit something so silly, but there it is. When I was launching last Xmas, I wasn't thinking about the aftermath. Everyone online makes it look so sexy that you can sometimes forget that it's hard work and it helps to love doing it.
If you don't love the product you're launching, it will be near impossible to make it a true success. This time, I am not only loving the product I'm launching in January - on my 30th birthday - but I am also done with all the nitty-gritty. Mostly.
There will be no freakouts, no regrets, and no hindsight horror this time.
I hope that you love everything you do and that you don't listen to the experts too much. They're great when it comes to learning new skills, but if you need more, just listen to your gut and your own past experiences. They're the best teachers.
What I am most grateful for this year is the people I met, and the people I discovered. I've been "collecting" creative rebels and all of their words, projects, and unique styles have further convinced me that there is no other way to be, for me at least.
Join me in making 2017 more fulfilling.
My mission for 2017 is twofold: 1) make my own business more fulfilling for me and 2) make the Internet more authentic and thought-provoking for everyone.
I'll meet you at the Creative Rebel Academy - the abovementioned project - and if you have a rebel story to tell, email me. The Internet needs more authentic voices and more unique brands and projects. Without them, where would we be...
Talk to you next year, my friend. Rebel on.