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Wait, Wait! Don’t Wait…

How often have you said to yourself, “Oh, that will take too long”?

“Unused creativity is not benign. It lives within us until it’s expressed, neglected to death, or suffocated by resentment and fear.” (Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection)

Yeah, that one socked me in the gut, too. Unused creativity is not benign. It festers. Bottom line:  there is no way for a creative person to be truly happy without expressing her creativity.

“OK,” you say, “but I need to eat. And eating takes moolah.”

I get it. But let me ask you this:

Aren’t you tired of people talking about your cute vanity project/hobby like they’re patting you on the head?

Just think about how you could make them eat those words if you took the effort you’re currently putting into feeling guilty about even thinking you could be a successful creative entrepreneur and put it towards actually BEING a successful creative entrepreneur. Being creative feeds your soul; it can and should feed your belly too.

Do you have a nagging feeling about your creative work? Does it call to you in the middle of the night—or in the middle of your umpteenth boring meeting of the day? Well, you’d better listen to it, because IT’S NEVER GOING TO SHUT UP.

Still thinking it would take too long? Well, I’ve said that plenty of times. Spending 2-3 years to start my ideal business? That would have taken too long. Five years after I said that I looked back:  “Crap. If I had started that biz back then, I’d be up and running and totally rocking it by now.”

I don’t want that to be you.

I just developed the 7-Day Confidence Boost to kickstart replacing your fear with confidence. You’ll get a short email (I call them Booster Shots) every day, with a 5-minute activity to help you build your confidence muscle, and links to special pages where you can share your successes and challenges with other creative entrepreneurs. I’ll also share my own results from the Booster Shots with you. Just fill out the form below, and the first Booster Shot will be zipping its way to your inbox!

Yes! I Want a 7-Day Confidence Boost

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Your All-Star Team

YourAllStarTeamNext week is Major League Baseball’s All-Star game. Which got me thinking about who I’d have on my own personal all-star team. My players all support me in some way, and make my life easier. I couldn’t do business without any of them. And now, my starting lineup…

1. Family: My family leads off, because I would be nowhere without them. The unwavering support of my husband, my mom’s unconditional love and my daughter’s ridiculous sense of humor keep me going when nothing else can.

2. UpTo: I’ve found this free calendar app so easy to use on my computer, iPhone, wherever. You can coordinate multiple personal calendars, plus you can easily follow other calendars–I follow stuff like Game of Thrones and New York Football Giants–and add those events to your calendar.

3. iCloud: I store files, photos and other stuff here. If you are not a Mac user, something like Dropbox works, but is not as seamless.

4. Hootsuite: This groovy app lets you post to multiple social media accounts at once. Easy peasy!

5. MailChimp: I have tried a bunch of email/list managers, and MailChimp’s my fave. I am a visual girl, and MailChimp’s graphic interface is terrific. I also dig their quick and easy form creation process.

6. Evernote: I am new to the Evernote fan club, and I kick myself for not joining up sooner. I have a bunch of notebooks going, and they are always with me (on my iPhone, computer, web, wherever!). Bonus: you can write directly on stuff!!!

7. Canva: I cannot say enough about Canva. A web-based graphic design service, with tons (and I mean tons) of free resources, fabulous tutorials, and amazing user interface. You will be creating beautiful graphics in no time–everything from logos to presentation templates.

8. Accountability Partners: These people keep me honest, on track and believing in myself. They are smart, funny and kind. We brainstorm ideas, celebrate successes and support each other through challenges. I consider them the BFFs of my biz.

9. Fun: All work and no play makes Babs a dull girl. When I want to make something (which is very often), I turn to Ravelry (an online community for knitters and crocheters–patterns, advice, etc.). I am also addicted to Kindle on my iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air (yes, I am an Apple freak).

I hope you give some of my all-stars a try. More importantly, who/what is on your all-star team? Drop your roster in the comments below!

Are You Afraid of Success?

Are you afraid of success?

What the heck? Who would be afraid of success? Of course I’m not afraid of success!

Well then, have you ever done any of the following?

  • Backed out of an important speaking engagement at the last minute
  • Missed an article deadline
  • Left a high-profile potential client hanging because you couldn’t figure out the right way to respond
  • Didn’t even apply for/ask about an incredible opportunity because you probably wouldn’t get it anyway

If you said “yes” to any of the items above, then you just might be afraid of success. But, you ask again, why would anyone be afraid of success? Here are the reasons I’ve heard and seen most often:

  • “I couldn’t handle a job that big.” So what? Hire some help.
  • “So-and-so deserves it more.” Really? Who deserves success more than you?
  • “My business is too new. I haven’t been doing this long enough.” Well, if you’re on to a great idea, then be prepared for folks to want it.
  • “I couldn’t possibly hold my own with {Name Your Favorite Expert/Role Model} on the same stage.” Oh honey, I bet you can.

Notice that all of these reasons have to do with your own perception of the situation, not with external factors impacting your ability to deliver. Most of the time you simply don’t realize you are sabotaging your own success before you even give it a chance. How do you get over yourself?

Starting seeing yourself as a leader.

Yep, it’s as simple as that. Starting seeing yourself as a leader, and you’ll start acting like one. Which includes no longer being afraid of success. If you need a kickstart, grab a copy of my 10 Ways to Visualize Yourself as a Leader. It’s totally free, and you can start abolishing your fear of success today.

Grab Your Copy of “10 Ways to Visualize Yourself as a Leader”

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Go for it! Pick one of these, or try several at the same time. Leave a comment below let me know what you’re going to try first.



I’m Finally Going to B-School

I am finally going to b-school. Yes, you read that right. It’s been several years since I’ve been a student, but I’ve decided to ask for what I want–an incredibly focused and successful business. So I’ve signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-School. I’ve followed Marie for many years, and love her attitude, focus and generosity. Plus she’s wicked smart.

For the next eight weeks I’ll be honing my skills and getting ready for a big shift in what I offer you here at How To Ask For Money. Stay tuned…

Do You Know What You’re Asking For?

Or, “What are you asking for?” Now, those of you that know me well may have read that last question with a New Yawk accent, and a slightly obnoxious attitude. Like, “Whaddya askin’ for?” And expecting it to be followed closely by, “Who wants to know?” You would be wrong.

I simply mean to get you to think about exactly what you are asking for. Especially when you’re asking for money.

Pile of dollar bills

There are lots of words for money. Here in the US, we sometimes call it “moolah”, “Benjamins”, “bucks”, and “greenbacks”. We also know that when we hear those words, the speaker is referring to a pile of paper legal tender. Too often, we are way less clear when we are actually asking for some of the stuff.

We ask for “support”. We ask for “resources”. We ask for “assistance”. If we’re being slightly less nebulous, we ask for “funding”. Or we ask for “investment”. When was the last time you actually used the word “money” when you were asking for money?

Much of this obliqueness (is that even a word?) comes from our fears and discomfort around money. We’re not supposed to talk about money. We’re not supposed to ask other people about their money. We’re not supposed to volunteer how much money we make or have in our bank accounts. Why do we have these fears? Too many hypotheses to put into this post. Suffice it to say that most of us have some fear or discomfort around talking about money.

Well, here’s a new hypothesis for you. How about asking for exactly what you want?

I just heard all of you gasp.

What, you don’t want to ask that investor to actually write a check? You don’t want to tell the potential donor you need her to give you money? You’re uncomfortable asking a client to pay you dollars commensurate with the value you provide?

Pile of old computers
How do you feel when you ask for MONEY and you get stuff like this?

Look at the flip side. Should you be frustrated when the investor wants to trade stock in her company for stock in yours? Would you happy if the potential donor gave you her nasty old office furniture instead of cash? Does your work suffer if you’re secretly thinking, “they aren’t paying me enough”?

Be clear about what you want. It makes it much easier for people to give it to you.

If you’re still uncomfortable using words like money, cash, dollars, income, revenue and profit, you might want to check out my special report: 10 Biggest Fears Professional Women Have Around Asking for Money…and How to Conquer Them! You can get it by filling out the form on the right.

Or, get yourself the  How to Ask for Money Quickstart Program. Three powerful tools to help you overcome your fears, embrace your leadership qualities and ask for—and get—the money you deserve.

Bringing Home the Bacon AND a Tip for Today

Briefcase with bacon
How can you bring it home if you don't ask for it?

Here in San Francisco, there is an awesome food truck called Bacon Bacon. I have been obsessed lately, as those of you who are my Facebook friends can attest. Bacon grilled cheese, bacon jam, bacon log of bacon bacon…which got me thinking about bringing home bacon…

How can you bring it home if you can’t/don’t/won’t ask for it?

We’re coming up on the end of the year, and I’m wondering if you’ve gotten everything you’ve asked for. Did you move that courage-cranking needle at all? There’s still time to get those year-end asks in, as well as to get ready to make 2012 your most courageous year yet. And to give you a little nudge, here’s a tip for today:

Practice on yourself.

I don’t care how you do it. In a mirror, on paper, into a tape/digital recorder, whatever. Ask yourself for something and see what happens. Did you immediately say “no way”? Probably not. Did you waffle over saying “yes”? Possibly. If so, practice convincing yourself. Did you reply with a resounding “YES!”? Well done.

I’ll bet that if you practice asking yourself, you’ll get a little more courageous asking others. Which will make it easier to bring home more bacon.