Tag Archives: Kick in the Knickers

Mar 25 2015

10 Things You’ll Need to Accept to Have a Successful Creative Business


10 things you'll need to accept to have a successful creative biz

This is a long-ass post, and I really don’t think it needs more of an introduction other than

HERE ARE 10 THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO ACCEPT TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE BIZ.

{And for serious – if you accept this stuff sooner rather than later, you’ll become successful sooner rather than later. So get on it, yo!}

1. You’ll have to want to trade one type of stress for another. When it comes down to my clients deciding whether they wanna be entrepreneurs, there’s usually never a clear-cut answer. On one hand, they have to deal with someone’s else rules and do work that’s not aligned with what’s meaningful for them and feel inauthentic for 40+ hours a week…but then there’s the steady paycheck and the benefits package and a simple answer to The Dreaded Question. On the other hand, there’s creating a business that’s based around the type of work that’s important to them and the people they wanna work with…that is also totally dependent on them bringing in the money and bearing the weight of insurance, retirement plans, etc.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Mar 11 2015

5 Widely Held – and Totally False! – Career Beliefs


5 widely held - and totally false! - career beliefs

I wanted to build on last week’s post about one of my biggest false beliefs, and do some more expectation-busting.

Humor me while I step on my soapbox and reveal the truth around 5 widely-held career beliefs:

What everyone thinks: That your career will be a linear path.
What the reality is: Ohgoodgodlordylord, that is never the case. Never! OK, maybe not never, but I’ve yet to talk to anyone who has that story – and let’s be honest, I talk to everyone. So if you expect to not have your own dips, twists, and wrong turns, you’re gonna be super disappointed. Instead, view your career as an experiment and act as the detective. That way, nothing is a failure and everything is a learning experience!

What everyone thinks: That nobody’s hiring.
What the reality is: CNN reported that 257K jobs were added in the States this January, and last year was the best year for job growth since 1999.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 7 Comments


Feb 25 2015

Stop looking for a savior.


Stop looking for a savior.

Spoiler alert: The secret of your success and the foundation of a passionate and lucrative business lies within YOU.

You might want it to be the online business guru. Or the marketing guru. Or the PR guru. The one who touts a six or seven-figure business and holds retreats throughout the globe.

You might hope it lies in the Virtual Assistant, the copywriter, and/or the designer that’s bound to make you an organized, professional, jealousy-inducing brand.

You might wish it’s in your next offering or product, the “perfect” combination of what you think your target client might need, want, and be willing to spend.

You might seek it in a popular online course, or high-cost mastermind, or expensive life coach.

But really? If you get on the train before you’re sure that you really wanna be on it when it leaves the station, you’re wasting your time and money.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 1 Comment


Feb 18 2015

The only thing that matters right now…


The only thing that matters right now...

The only thing that matters right now is that we’re finalizing our daughter’s adoption today.

I thought about the different posts I could write, but none of them were met with any kind of enthusiasm or focus. So, I’m pushing them out a week to tell you the things that’re in my head.

I have to tell you that you can find yourself saying aloud, “I really think that Insert-Dream-Here is never going to happen”, and the next day you could get a phone call that changes your life.

I have to let you know that having a career you love is important, but a life you love filled with people you love is what matters most.

I have to say that the ache you have in your heart right now for whatever is missing in your life can be filled.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 31 Comments


Jan 21 2015

It’s your choice.


On Friday, December 26th, I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon.

I’m not sure what was in the air that made me do it.

I’ve only ever run a 5K, and did it barely and slowly. And that was 8 months ago! Since then I’ve walked tons (for the Avon 2 Day Walk I now do annually), but have only gone on runs super sporadically.

Wish me luck! #1st5K #dontdie #gorgeousday

A photo posted by Michelle Ward (@whenigrowupcoach) on

On the day I signed up, I knew I could only run 2 miles without stopping. I also knew that, without being a member of a gym (or wanting to be), I’d have to train in the cold NYC winters (which I’m a total wimp about).

But I also knew that, without something to train for, my exercising had gone by the wayside – and the best way to hold myself accountable and get my butt moving was to have an external commitment.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 8 Comments


Jan 13 2015

Dear Future Me (2015)


Dear Future Me (the 2015 edition)

New glasses (that I’m planning to wear in public often, which I’ve never really done before – and I’ve had glasses since 1987!) + new haircut + unstraightened hair (which I also haven’t done regularly since ’87 or so!) = the 2015 me!

This is the fifth time I’ve written a Dear Future Me letter. You can read the others here and here and here and here (and why I didn’t write one in 2013 here), and the idea behind the Dear Future Me letter from the amazeballs woman I stole it from (hi Jess Lively!) right here. Like past years, I decided to keep some things private…but this is about 95% of the letter below. 

Dear Future Michelle,

This has been your year.

Everything has really “clicked”, and it’s because – after 5 years of being a Woman of the World (aka full-time entrepreneur), of the things you’ve gone through, the lessons you’ve learned, as well as your successes – you feel really, truly, ready to Play Big and step into the spotlight.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 12 Comments


Dec 17 2014

What happens when you live for your retirement?


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My Dad is in his mid-60s. He and his wife recently moved out of their condo and into a retirement community an hour or two away from where they were living.

They made the move earlier than they planned, but are enjoying the “semi-retired” life that’s spent doing a bit of work and a lot of leisure.

In late October, my Dad came to visit from Florida. He was here for a family celebration, and was in my apartment with his wife, my mother-in-law, myself and the baby.

I walked into a conversation that my Dad was having with my mother-in-law, and it’s stuck with me since.

He was explaining to her how much they love their new home and lifestyle, and how devastated they were to hear that a close friend of theirs was newly diagnosed with terminal cancer.

A man in his 60s, he was given just months to live.

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
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Dec 16 2014

10 Things to Do Besides Complain About Your Job


design (9)

I know – your job sucks.

It might just be sucky enough that you’re bored, or checked out, or exasperated with your responsibilities or work environment…

…or it might be so sucky that it’s leaving you feeling ill – physically and/or emotionally…

…or it might be somewhere in between, falling on the scale between “soul-crushing” and “barely tolerating.”

If you find yourself complaining about your job, here’s 10 things to do instead:

1. Write down what you enjoy about your job. Thinking about it in your head ain’t enough – get it out on paper! What was it that made you interested in the job in the first place, and are those things still resonating? When have you felt useful or helpful at work? What is it about the culture, company mission, and/or people that you like?

2. Write down what you’ve enjoyed about past jobs. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 6 Comments


Oct 08 2014

9 Main Reasons You’re Not Discovering – or Pursuing! – Your Dream Career


9 reason you're not discovering - or achieving! - your passionate career

I have almost 1,000 coaching hours under my belt with almost 300 clients, and I’ve heard some things.

Actually, I’ve heard all the things.

A big realization I had teaching my CreativeLive course is that there was nothing I hadn’t heard before when it comes to a creative, multi-passionate woman discovering, igniting, or achieving her dream career. And you are no exception.

{I mean that in the best way possible.}

Here are the 9 main reasons you’re not discovering – or pursuing! – your dream career, in no particular order:

1. You’re feeling Resistance! The War of Art classifies everything that’s keeping you from following through on your creative pursuits as Resistance. Resistance only exists to stop us, and the longer we don’t do what we’re supposed to – what’s calling to us – the stronger Resistance gets. Our only way to fight Resistance for the day (because Resistance comes back daily, no matter what)?

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 11 Comments


Sep 10 2014

What a Creative Career Doesn’t (& Does!) Care About


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I Donut Care by Wood with Pictures

I’ve been The When I Grow Up Coach for the past 6 years, working with creative women to help them out of their soul-sucking jobs and into work that feels like play.

And in that time – and because of the type of work I do – I’ve come across all the excuses for a freelancer to not be ready to launch their business or commit to their work.

It makes me weep, especially since the things we tell ourselves that matter when it comes to having a successful creative career are usually, um, the things that don’t matter.

Click here to hop over to the Freelancers Union blog & read all about what a creative career doesn’t (& does!) care about.

This starts tomorrow! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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