Package Your Genius Personal Branding Podcast
PYG 111: What’s keeping you from making a change?

PYG 111: What’s keeping you from making a change?

July 12, 2019

Change is hard, especially if you like tradition, routine, or growing accustomed to the way things are.

Change can also be hard when it's public-facing. You have all those prying eyes to consider. What will people think? How will this change their perception of me?

But what I've learned from experience is this: when you make a big change - say your hair color, or even your job - it may register briefly to outside world, but after that, humans do what humans do.

Adapt.

While you're fretting on and on about that big change you're afraid of making, once you make it, most people will barely notice. And if they do notice, the decision you lost sleep over will likely only register for an instant.

The new you will become the current you.

And the past you will be all but forgotten.

So if the changes we're stressing ourselves out over only register for a brief moment in time, why are we putting our lives on hold, failing to make the changes that could add more fulfillment and happiness to our days?

Is there something big you're ready to change? A relationship? A job? A service?

Your life is not set in stone. You can change all of it, with one swift decision.

The world will go on.

What's keeping you from moving forward?

PYG 110: Is your lane already saturated?

PYG 110: Is your lane already saturated?

July 3, 2019
I've seen a few posts recently about saturation - one post about there being too many courses. Another post about there being too many coaches. Both posts discouraging people who'd never coached or created courses to even try.
 
Because saturation.
 
But saturation doesn't matter when it comes to having a better solution. A more convenient solution. A more you solution.
 
When you think about coaches and courses simply as education, it makes me wonder why no one ever asks why there are so many schools?
 
We have public neighborhood schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, Montessori schools, private independent schools. Co-ed schools, single sex schools. PK-12 schools. Middle school only schools. High school only schools. And let's not even get started on college options - from community, to state university to small liberal college to prestigious Ivy League.
 
No one blinks at education options when we think of children. It's considered an unspoken truth and fact of life that children must be educated, so an overwhelming list of options is what we've come to accept.
 
And when it's time to choose an educational model for our kids, we buckle down and look at what makes the most sense for our children and our family situation.
 
Can we afford private or is public more our speed? What type of programs do they have for STEM? What's the art instruction like, my kid's super creative. We appreciate options when we look at them from the vantage point of giving our kids the best because we understand each child and each family is unique and has different needs.
 
Children grow up to be adults, and their education needs evolve but don't disappear.
 
And if you're a lifelong learner you already know that.
 
That's why new books come out every day: there are constantly new ways to explain old problems, more modern methods, more up to date approaches.
 
Which is why there are so many courses and coaches on the market. Since the economy is dynamic and changing, we need more people lighting the way not less. More styles of instruction, not fewer. More diverse voices and content, not the same old same old.
 
In Todd Rose's book Dark Horse: Achieving Success Through the Pursuit of Fulfillment, he talks about among other things what he calls the Standardization Convenant. He shares that after the Industrial Revolution, we reached peak standardization - everything had to be uniform. But now we're entering a new era - the age of personalization.
 
 
One of the premises in the book is that in the era of personalization, education and work will be personalized - which we are already seeing with the advent of different types of schools and for adults, courses and coaches.
 
The proliferation of coaches and courses then, is a natural response to this new Wild Wild West of personalization: people who have been educated in the standardized way have to relearn how to listen to themselves and uncover what they're good at.
 
People are more and more interested in investigating what unique difference they can make with their lives - not how they can fit into a role that was designed for just anyone with a certain set of skills to fill.
 
So the next time someone sows seeds of doubt around your new course or coaching venture - and even if you're the one doing the sowing, remember that as our economy and society shifts from standardization to personalization, the need will likely grow for good coaches and course creators and guides - if you don't like the term expert - who can light the way.
 
If that is you and you have a message to share, don't miss the wave.
 

***

I break down a 5 step process for personal branding in Package Your Genius: 5 Steps to Build Your Most Powerful Personal Brand that starts with brand clarity. If you haven't ordered your copy, grab the book and companion workbook to get clarity on your personalized career path.

If you're ready for PR results, and want a PR team that won't be happy until your face is splashed all over tv screens and newspaper pages, apply to join us in the Maximum Exposure Mastermind.

PYG 109: Feel behind on your goals? You can turn this year around

PYG 109: Feel behind on your goals? You can turn this year around

July 1, 2019

Today is the first day of July, the first day of Q3, and the official halfway point of the year.

Since we only have six months left in 2019, if you've had time to reflect on the six months that have passed, you may be lamenting on how far you are from the goals you set in January.
 
(Or you may have crushed your goals completely, to which I say, yay you!)
 
But if you are nowhere near where you thought you'd be, consider this your pep talk - it's time to get back in the game.
 
I'm here to let you know, all is not lost.
 
Even if you were asleep from January - June, you can make up the difference with the months we have left. You simply need to revisit your goals, tweak your strategy, and decide what you're going to do differently.
 
But first, realize you're not alone. According to U.S. News & World Report, the failure rate for New Year's resolutions is said to be about 80 percent, and most lose their resolve by mid-February.
 
I for one am guilty of hopping off the consistency train. At the end of May, I looked at my annual goals and felt a little demoralized; I simply was not on track with many of the goals I'd set.
 
But in true Amanda fashion, I had some surprise "sleeper" wins that helped me close out the month, the quarter, and the first half of the year in spectacular fashion.
 
Here's what's been going on:
One of my goals for the year? More international travel.
But for whatever reason when I set the goal in January, I failed to book any tickets or plan any trips. Fast forward to May: a friend asked if I could join her in Italy on the heels of a big conference she was attending for work. I said yes, spent an epic week in Italy in June, and just like that, my travel and adventure goals are back on track for the year.
 
Another goal? Double my podcast downloads in 2019. As June approached, I could see I wasn't on track to meet that goal. I had exceeded last year's numbers up to this point, but doubled them?
 
Not quite.
 
Then by chance I went looking for parenting podcasts to help me navigate a few issues with my kids as puberty is setting in, we're switching schools in the fall, and I need a more effective way to communicate with my soon to be teenaged son. I randomly met a parenting podcaster at a media event in mid-May. She's doing a challenge to record an episode every day this year, which inspired me to challenge myself to publish an ambitious 30 episodes in 30 days.
 
While I set out to do the challenge because I was inspired by the parenting podcast, I inadvertently boosted my podcast downloads due to the sheer volume of new episodes. And just like that, we're back on track and back on schedule to reach the 2x goal for the year.
 
Sidebar: I learned a lot about epic productivity, motivation, and building habits during that challenge and will share the lessons in a future missive, but for now, here are a few of my favorite episodes:
 
PYG 99 - Muscle Memory
 
Another big goal? Land media exposure.
 
June was an exceptional month for our PR clients in Maximum Exposure.
After two months of crafting ideas and pitching, I was honestly getting a little worried that we hadn't had more media wins. So at the beginning of June, I decided to further examine our process to figure out what might have been missing.
 
We focused more on breaking news, increased our time spent on research, and changed the order of the weekly program touch points.
The result? Our changes worked like magic.
 
In the month of June alone, our students were interviewed or featured by Fast Company, the Washington Post, the Washington Post Express, ABC Milwaukee, V100.7 FM in Milwaukee, ABC 7 DC and Let's Talk Live.

While media exposure wasn't tied to a specific goal I set at the beginning of the year, it was tied to a goal I set when we opened our doors to the program in April.
 
And it was a great example of how sometimes you may plan for a trickle of sustained success over time, but end up with a flood of it all at once - if you can hone in on the right new strategy.
 
At the end of the day - by trickle or by flood - you can still reach your 2019 goals.
 
It may not happen out of the gate, but when you're honest about what isn't working and you decide to win, success can come at you fast.
 
If you're looking at July 1 with a side-eye because you are nowhere near where you thought you'd be by now, remember, you can change your results if you change your strategy.
 
You can make big things happen fast.
 
You can make up the difference in the months we have left.
 
You simply need to revisit your goals, tweak your strategy, and decide what you're going to do differently.
 
If your incremental strategy hasn't worked so far, maybe it's time to do something absurdly different so you can get absurdly different results.
 
Even if you're not blown away by what you've accomplished in the months behind us, get excited.
 
You can turn this year around!
 
***
 
We have one more spot to join us next month in Maximum Exposure. This is a high touch group PR program designed to get you media exposure - interviews, segments and features to pontificate about what you know best.
 
If you're ready for PR results, and want a PR team that won't be happy until your face is splashed all over tv screens and newspaper pages, apply here.

 

PYG 108: You have to sell it

PYG 108: You have to sell it

June 30, 2019

Making yourself visible means nothing if you're not willing to close the deal.

And yet, I see so often high achievers who are willing to teach others what they know, but unwilling to let people know how to take the next step and pay them.

But if you want to grow your brand, increase your salary and add commas to your business revenue, you have to sell yourself.

You have to sell yourself in meetings and mid-year reviews.

You have to sell yourself to your network and potential customers.

You have to sell yourself to the viewing audience of the tv segment you're on.

You have to sell yourself from the stage.

Here are 6 things to keep in mind as you set out to sell yourself:

Decide on what you want, quantify it, write it down.

I've said before, there's power in writing your goals down. I don't know what the science is, but I can tell you that it works.

Go after what you want.

If you want 4 new clients, make a list of 10 people who may be interested in what you're doing and call them up. Speak up and let people in your network know what you're looking for.

See the opportunity.

So many people look at company conference calls and meetings as a chore. But you should see them as an opportunity to get in front of new people with what you can do. Don't shrink from the opportunity to be seen and heard at work and at networking events.

Activate your network.

Talk to the people who already now you and ant you to win. Let them know hat you're doing now and how they can be helpful. Talk to your former clients and ask them who they know.

Take advantage of the spotlight.

If you have speaking engagements built around your coaching or book, don't forget to tell the audience how they can engage you more.

Be bold.

On my recent trip to Italy, I encountered an extremely confident waiter who proclaimed his cafe's coffee was not the best in Rome, but instead it was the best in all of Italy. That's the kind of bold confidence I want you to bring to your brand. That confidence helps others believe in you and what you have to offer. But it starts with you.

 

***

Get the book - I just shared step 5 - Sell Yourself - in the 5 step process I detail in Package Your Genius: 5 Steps to Build Your Most Powerful Personal Brand. If you haven't ordered your copy, you've got to get it - it's amazing!

Get Maximum Exposure - We have one teeny tiny spot left in my group mastermind Maximum Exposure for July. Do you want to land media exposure for your personal brand in a small group setting with other high achievers? If so, submit your application so we can find out if you're a good fit for what we're doing.

PYG 107: Make your visibility a PRIORITY

PYG 107: Make your visibility a PRIORITY

June 29, 2019

Visibility is important, but I don't believe in visibility for visibility's sake. 

Media interviews, speaking engagements and social media content have been my method of creating inbound opportunities - opportunities that come to me. 

In the last few months, visibility has yielded the following:

  • a bulk book order from a Fortune 100 company's subsidiary
  • a semi-conductor company invited me to develop a personal branding talk, and ordered a bulk order of the book
  • a devoted listener of the PYG podcast referred her mentor who joined the PYG Academy
  • countless coaching clients have said "I saw you in Forbes..." or "I heard you on Sirius XM...."
  • A client who saw me speak at a conference in 2015 has been a client everyday since

It's worth it. Visibility helps you avoid feast or famine so your client pipeline never dries up.

To get started with your visibility efforts, follow these three steps:

  • Think about the audience that buys what you're selling. What do they watch? What do they read? What events do they attend?
  • Make a shortlist of opportunities you want to go after - which events would you like to speak at? Which media would you like to appear on? Remember - these should be where your audience is going.
  • Craft a compelling pitch  with a timely message, a seasonal hook, and the takeaways the audience will get from your segment or talk. Why does this particular audience need this information right now? Include that in your pitch.

 

***

I just shared step 4 - Make Yourself Visible - in the 5 step process I detail in Package Your Genius: 5 Steps to Build Your Most Powerful Personal Brand. If you haven't ordered your copy, um...what are you doing? Get your life and get this book - it's amazing!

PYG 106: How to find and define your BIG ideas

PYG 106: How to find and define your BIG ideas

June 28, 2019

We all know we should say something to be seen and heard, but...what?

How to find your thought leadership ideas is a topic I'm extremely passionate about, as most people are so close to their brilliance that it's hard for them to see how they can package it for other people.

Here are a few ways to know what you have to say if you're "too close" to your genius"

AGGRAVATION. Look at what irritates you or aggravates you - this could be the basis for a powerful Op ed.

SOLUTIONS. Look at the problems you solve. How can you create tactical content to help others?

CONTENT. Look at your existing content: if you speak, can you turn your deck into the basis for a book? If you write articles, can you turn them into a talk?

YOUR INSPIRATION. Look at when you first started doing what you do - what inspired you? What stories do you remember from that time?

YOUR AUDIENCE. What audience do you serve? Who was the first person representative of that audience that you remember helping?

When you're clear on a starting point for a big idea you want to explore, you can:

  • Make a list of your frequently asked questions
  • Make a list of the best and most timeless advice you typically give
  • Make a list of people you'd love to interview - how can they serve as protagonists that illustrate the points you want to make?
  • Make a list of your best results - let the case studies form your chapters or episodes

***

Define Your Big Ideas is the third step in the five step process of Package Your Genius. If you're interested in learning more about defining your big ideas, as well as the other four steps to building your most powerful personal brand, check out the book Package Your Genius: 5 Steps to Build Your Most Powerful Personal Brand, available on Amazon.

PYG 105: What you can learn from what comes easy to you

PYG 105: What you can learn from what comes easy to you

June 27, 2019
I've said it before - and I stand by the statement. You have to make the case for what you've done in order to get what you want now.
 
Simply having the epiphany that you want to use your skills differently is not enough - you need receipts to back up your claims if you want people to pay you.
 
But where I see most people getting stuck is they fail to look at the evidence and results they're closest to.
 
The unpaid work, the help you lended a friend, that time you totally helped a family member regroup, save money, or plan the vacation of a lifetime.
 
Most people think that if their results aren't tied to paid work, they don't count.Or if they're not tied to formal training, they don't count.
 
But all you need to have evidence that you can do what you're telling people you can do is a repeated pattern of success.
 
Whether you trained for it or came by it naturally, if people keep showing up to get a solution from you and you keep delivering, this is work you're capable of being compensated for.
 
When you look over the evidence, what is your life telling you?
What is your work telling you?
What are your results telling you?
 
Now look closely at the support you give people who may not compensate you. Notice I didn't say the work you do for people who don't compensate you, because often times the genius we share in those moments almost feels accidental; it's not difficult, it requires such little effort from us that if it weren't for the praise others give us, we wouldn't even realize the impact we've made.
 
And it can be a tough thing to think about building a business around something that feels effortless, because work is supposed to require effort, right? Work is supposed to be hard!
 
If I were to go out on a limb, I'd bet you that day after day, month after month, the people with immediate access to you are benefitting from your most purposeful work - the work that doesn't require you to be anything other than who you are naturally at your core.
 
And you are probably leaving some impact on the table if you're not open to widening the circle of people who have the opportunity to experience your most natural gifts.
 
Whatever form those gifts take.
 
Even if you already have a successful business or career, more often than not, there's some gem you're leaving on the table if you can find your effortless evidence.
 
Even if you're happy with what you're doing now, that thing you do so easily could be the key to the next service you offer, the next level of growth, or your next professional pivot.
 
Here's an exercise - let's underthink our results. Let's under think our evidence.
 
Let's look for the evidence that it doesn't even feel right to claim because the work didn't feel like work, and the task was so easy.
 
It is there in that effortless evidence our true purpose can be found.
PYG 104: How to uncover your genius offer

PYG 104: How to uncover your genius offer

June 26, 2019
In my book Package Your Genius, I break a successful personal branding process down into 5 steps - get clear on your genius, make the case for what you bring to the table, define your big ideas, make yourself visible, and last sell yourself.
 
Today I want to dive a little more into that first step - getting clear.
 
In terms of getting clear on your genius, I've talked a lot about following your energy and assessing what information your energy is giving you. Typically, the work we find energizing is linked to our most purposeful work - this is the internal way we can assess which path to take. The other way is looking at external factors, or what the world is mirroring back to you in the questions you hear most often or the requests for help you regularly receive.
 
But lately I've been thinking about two other questions you can use to zero in on what you're meant to do, or at least what you can package and make money from right now.
 
The first thing is to think about what you've been able to successfully do that most people haven't. And this is not to say that no one has ever done it before, but at least the majority of people you interact with can't claim to have done the same thing.
 
I don't know if you do this, but I pay close attention to any marketing that speaks to me and encourages me to pull out my credit card. I'm on a lot of different email lists, so whenever someone is able to break through the noise, I try to dissect what made their offer so appealing to me. I got an email today that made me think twice about signing up on the spot, and I've also recently participated in a workshop series that I wouldn't have expected me to buy, if I were on the other side marketing to me, so what gives.
 
This morning, I got an email from Dorie Clark about landing your book deal. I was intrigued because I'm obsessed with the publishing industry right now, and Dorie is a well-respected author and thinker in the personal branding space. She's published a number of books through Portfolio Penguin, and she's putting together a workshop to talk through the book proposal process as well as how to land an agent. She's even invited her editor at Penguin to attend and is hosting a VIP dinner with a book agent.
 
For anyone who has aspirations of playing in that world - or even to understand the process from the vantage point of someone who has successfully navigated it - this event is very attractive. I didn't pull my credit card out immediately, but I thought it over because Portfolio Penguin has published a number of my favorite authors including Shane Snow, Ryan Holiday and Jenny Blake. Their authors seem to have this fraternity - they regularly invite one another on each other's platforms, interview one another for podcasts, mention each other in their newsletters, etc. It's definitely a circle worthy of tapping into if you like the type of books they write.
 
But I'm also interested in the pull back the curtain aspect of the book proposals. Dorie mentioned she'd share her failed proposals as well as the ones that won her the deal, introduce participants to her editor at Penguin and set up a VIP dinner with a literary agent. If ever there were a fact-finding mission for the publishing process, this is it!
 
So for you, the first follow up question to help you get even more clear on the genius you have access to right now is - What process have you successfully navigated? Can you pull back the curtain on your steps?
 
 
A second event I went to recently was hosted by Farnoosh Torabi and Susie Moore. They did a PR workshop where they invited about 12 or so NYC journalists to speak to attendees and break down what they're looking for in their pitches.
 
Even though I sell PR and do it successfully, I was interested in this event for two reasons: first, I struggle brainstorming my own PR ideas and ways to package what I do for the media. It's like the dentist who can't clean his own teeth or the cobbler with no shoes - sometimes it's hard to do what you do for others for yourself. So the chance to have other people brainstorm angles for me was exciting.
 
Secondly, I wasn't familiar with any of the journalists who were scheduled to attend. And while I'm in DC, New York is the center of media and you never can make too many media contacts. With the format of the event as it was, I knew we'd get a chance to rub shoulders and get to know them in an informal setting, which we did.
 
Most people including me would not have pegged me - a PR person - for a potential attendee for this workshop. But the way the event was packaged spoke to me - the idea of working on my pitches, hearing feedback and adding 10-12 new contacts to my list was exciting. The opportunity to meet these new journalists though was the closer.
 
Which brings me to my second focusing question - What hard to get to people do you have access to? Who might want to know them, and how can you create an opportunity for them to connect?
 
An interesting thing about both of these potential events - they found something the've already successfully done, and the promised to walk you through a process. Then they brought in hard to access people - national media journalists, book agents, book editors - so you can hear straight from the horse's mouth and possibly make a connection.
 
A lot of people get hung up on what track record they need to have in order to be credible to others. But the results are all the credibility you need.
 
The book workshop isn't about writing a New York Times Bestseller. It's simply about writing a book proposal and landing a book deal with a mainstream publisher.
 
The PR event isn't promising you a spot on the Today Show, but it does lay out the steps someone took to do that, and gives you the access to potentially make that happen.
 
What process are you looking over in your day to day work? What major feat have you accomplished the others may want to learn?
 
It could be as simple as losing a certain amount of weight in 90 days, or getting a baby to sleep through the night by the time they're 8 weeks old.
 
We're all sitting on genius processes that others would pay handsomely for. So think through your past results and your current network and let me know what you come up with.
 
 
 

 

PYG 103: The power of writing it down

PYG 103: The power of writing it down

June 25, 2019
Yesterday I talked about the power of speaking your dreams into existence, and how IF you've verbalized your desires, your mind subconsciously sets you on a path to achieve the things you want to do, even if you've lost your nerve or don't feel confident.
 
Well looking over my written goals for 2019 has given me a window into how powerful writing your goals down can be even if you don't set out with an intentional plan.
 
I didn't realize it before reviewing the goals, but I'm on track to reach them.
 
I won't go through them all, but a few of the goals I wrote down at the beginning of the year were
1. To double my revenue
2. Take 4 vacations - 2 domestic, 2 international
3. Double my podcast downloads from last year
4. Quadruple my book sales from last year
 
At the halfway mark, I just happened to look at my full list of annual goals and realized that I've already accomplished a few of them in some way. The most interesting thing though was that I didn't reach the goals in the way I'd originally planned to reach them.
 
So for example, my husband took another job that increased our household income and that wasn't how I thought our household earnings would grow when I made out that list. I am on track to double my annual revenue, but I thought it was mainly going to be through my group programs. Instead, I've had a number of unexpected corporate invitations come up that have helped close that gap.
 
In terms of the vacations, I wanted to take two domestic and two international trips some solo and some with my family. For some of my goals I see them through the lens of my household, so at this point I've already taken two international trips, my husband went on a delegation to Mexico, and we traveled domestically with the boys for spring break. We're planning one more summer trip with them before school starts back. But two of the international trips came out of the blue. He was invited to be a part of the delegation 10 days before the trip. The Italy trip as I've mentioned before happened because a friend was coming here for a conference and asked me on a whim if I just happened to be available.
 
Another goal was to double my podcast downloads from last year. Originally I divided that annual number by 12 to get an idea of how many downloads I needed to get each month, then I divided that number by 4 to see how many downloads I'd need to reach with each weekly episode. Around March, I realized I was consistently falling short by a few thousand downloads each month. My initial strategy was to show up consistently every week, switch podcast hosts and get the podcast up on Spotify and Google Play. Those definitely helped, but I hadn't quite hit the number I wanted, so I was thinking about stepping up the marketing, maybe doing ads. Then I met Heather Chauvin and heard about her daily podcast challenge and thought it would be a fun thing to try for a month. I had no thoughts on how doing the challenge would effect my downloads - I honestly didn't even consider what would happen, but to my surprise, doing this daily challenge has essentially caught me up so to speak in terms of where I should be at the halfway point of the year. So I've already hit last year's numbers 6 months in - but it's only because of the podcast challenge, that only occurred to me at the end of May.
 
For my goal of increasing book sales, I assumed I would initiate social media ads to begin driving traffic to the book. But I didn't anticipate bulk book orders from companies I had no prior relationship with getting me to that goal. So I'm on track with the book sales too, but again not in the way I originally expected to be.
 
I thought that was interesting to note how all of these goals are in play even though I couldn't see it happening. So since it looks like what I'm doing is working, I have four tips for you to use as you set out to reach your goals.
 
1. Write down your goals. I don't know what the science is, but it works. Even if you don't think through your plan to reach your goals write them down. Put them out there. They're now in your brain even when you're not thinking about them intentionally.
 
2. Don't get discouraged if you haven't reached your goal on an incremental timeline. Especially if your goal involves a quantity like my doubled revenue, doubled podcast downloads and 4 trips. You may need only one client to double your revenue. You could have one influencer share your podcast and allow you to meet that goal in one week. You could take a month off and get your four trips in. Being rigid in your thinking can make you blind to what's actually happening.
 
3. Be open to meeting your goal in a way you didn't expect. It won't always look like how you imagine it. There are many streets that lead to the same place. Just because I am not going to double my revenue through my group programs doesn't mean I'm not going to double my revenue at all. There are corporate sources that have shown up unexpectedly that are helping me close that goal gap. I had no idea any of those would pan out 6 months ago. Don't limit yourself with what you know - we don't know everything.
 
4. Review the goals periodically. Stay acquainted with them. Bring your intentional brain to the goals. My next level is going to be envisioning myself reaching my goals each day so I can get them out of that subconscious part of my brain and in the forefront so I can use them.
 
What about you? How are you doing with your goals for the year? Are you on track to reach them? Do you need to play around with a new strategy if you're not on track? Did you have any goals for the year? I'd be curious to know how the year is shaping up for you.
PYG 102: Say yes to the opportunity

PYG 102: Say yes to the opportunity

June 24, 2019
If you've been listening to the podcast, you know I've been in Italy for the past week or so, and it's been an amazing trip, I've had a great time. But I was reflecting on the fact that I almost didn't come. About six weeks ago,a friend asked me to join her in Italy since she'd be traveling here for a conference. I did something I normally don't do - I didn't hesitate. I said yes.
 
I've been thinking about ways to get more adventure into my routine, because I've been head down grinding on behalf of my family, and my academy programs for the past two years.
 
Taking a vacation or traveling anywhere internationally used to be on my mind all the time, but in this new season, it has been completely off the radar for me. And funny enough, I've written the words adventure and travel in my journal and on my vision board, but haven't made the time to create any intentional plans.
 
So when my friend asked me if I'd like to meet her in Italy I just said yes. I had to make sure my husband would be in town to cover the kids, that I wouldn't be out of town speaking, and that I wouldn't miss anything major. But I remember saying "count me in" as I hung up the phone with her, checked my calendar, checked in with my husband, and looked into the price of flights.
 
I said yes because the opportunity resonated so deeply with me, and spoke directly to what I'd already verbalized. When the opportunity to have an adventure and get some travel in presented itself it spoke to me on a soul level.
 
Now reflecting back on the week that just passed, I'm in awe of the opportunity to step away from my routine and get refocused and re-energized on the opportunity that is my life. While seeing some of the places I've always wanted to see, and experiencing Europe as a person of means (not a broke college student) has been powerful, it has also made me reflect on why I don't say yes more often.
 
I love the process of travel because it allows you to get some distance from your day to day. When you're not in the thick of things, you can get the perspective that you're too close to observe when you're in the weeds of your life and business. My friend and I were reflecting on the year that has passed, and while I'm so proud of the things I've been able to make happen in the last 12 months, I had to call myself out on not tackling one big specific goal.
 
About a year and a half ago, I helped my son publish his first book, and he's gone on to publish two other titles. The process of helping him allowed me to see very clearly where I was falling short on my own goal to write and publish a book, so in packaging his genius I got a clear confirmation that it was time for me to finally write Package Your Genius and get it out into the world. I poured my heart and soul into the project and spent the first half of the year writing and editing the book and published it in early fall. I promoted it on social media and did a moderate amount of press, but nothing crazy. I put it out there, got a good response and felt good about checking that book off the list. Because if you know anything about me, you know I have about 3 other books currently in the queue. So this was just the first.
 
But something started tugging at my heart shortly after I published the book. And that was this bigger vision of publishing other people's books - not ghost writing the books and assisting them with the process. But being a full on publisher focused on amplifying marginalized voices, especially women of color who want to write non-fiction books tied to their professional expertise. So I had this big insight, then I did nothing.
 
I did what we do when we're staring our big dream in the face. I talked myself out of it. I told myself that to do what I really want to do - launch a boutique publishing imprint - would be impossible. Who would I publish? How would the process work? How would the marketing and distribution work? Where would I find authors? What about all of the parts of the process that aren't my expertise - the legal, creative, artwork? How would royalties work? What about author advances? Would people pay for this process, like a coaching program? Or would I take on their projects for a slice of the future revenue potential?
 
So many questions hit me and I got bogged down in the details. Paralysis settled in. I didn't move. Instead I mentally pushed this dream to the back of my dream drawer, and locked it tight.
 
But the funny thing about an opportunity when it is YOUR opportunity? It will come back and find you - haunt you even - when you're least expecting it. It will find its way out of that locked drawer and back to the forefront of your mind, because once you think it, verbalize, and let's not even think about what happens when you write it down - it's in the ether.
 
Like me writing the words adventure and travel down on my vision board, but taking no intentional steps to book a trip, and then a friend proposing the perfect remedy to my rut, the same thing happened with my kernel of an idea around publishing.
 
No less than a month after I verbalized wanting to publish others, a friend mentioned how she'd love to write a book, but had no idea where to start. Then a client mentioned how having a book would be a great way to build more leverage at her speaking engagements, but she needed to sit down and think through how to make it work. Then while in Florida speaking at a conference, I randomly ran into an alum of PYGA. She mentioned that ever since her cohort wrapped up she's been thinking about how she can make her book happen, but she knows she can't do it alone.
 
Three separate confirmations from three separate people showing me a pathway to do what I already said I wanted to do.
 
And would you believe I still wasn't convinced? That's what I've been exploring this week in Italy.
 
Why am I fighting against what I already claimed?
It It just about fear?
Not believing it can work?
It could totally not work.
But it totally COULD work.
 
When you think about traditional publishers - Random House and Penguin all started somewhere, likely with one person or a small team of people that had a vision. They had to start somewhere. Maybe where I am right now is where it starts.
 
If this trip has taught me nothing else, it is that I can't lose when I say yes to the opportunity I already put out there. Why can't my publishing imprint be my next thing?
 
But whether it is my next thing or not, I'm not willing to waste any more time languishing in indecision. What about you? How much more time will you spend overthinking? How many more times will you pass on the opportunity to do what we truly want?
 
When confirmation presents itself, just say yes. And see what happens. You never know, it just might work.