Two things happened this week that opened my eyes in a big way to a pattern that I didn’t see before now.

The first was the launch of a new endeavor.

It’s called Do It Yourself Designer and it’s all about sharing my art and design side and helping people get in touch with theirs as well.

The second was the rewrite of a couple of pages on this site, which I ended up doing twice…

Because the pattern that I saw after launching the new DIY site is apparently a sticky one and I needed a second dose of eye-opener in order to really see it.

I’m slow like that.

Anyway, here’s what happened…

I created a new website and rolled it out.

And shortly after I did, I started to get a familiar feeling in the pit of my stomach.

This feeling is not a good feeling.

It’s a sick feeling.

It’s the feeling that usually serves as an indication that I just made a terrible mistake.

This feeling has caused me to turn tail and run more times than I care to admit.

It’s what has led me to do an about face and promptly exit the pool, after jumping into the deep end with both feet, on more than one occasion.

It’s what has been the precursor to more abandoned projects, products and jobs than I can shake a stick at.

You get the picture, right?

And while I have just recently read a book about the nature of my propensity to switch directions, which went A LONG way in helping me understand and accept said propensity as a gift rather than a character flaw, the sick feeling doesn’t feel like part of that gift.

It feels like fear or Resistance or a wake-up call.

And so, rather than doing what I always do (as listed above), I decided to do something different.

I decided to stay and see what came up.

I decided to breathe through the sick feeling and the panic.

I decided to ask, “What is this?”

And when I did all those things, I got my answer.

The sick feeling is the pressure I feel when I try to turn something I love doing into a way to make money.

Because the minute I do that, I start thinking differently.

And the minute I start thinking differently, I start acting differently.

I start trying to serve my customers in a way that’ll make them buy what I’m selling.

I take my eyes off of what I want to create and start focusing on what I think they want me to create for them.

And when I do that, I lose my taste for the whole thing.

Because it’s no longer a creative expression.

It’s a Business.

And businesses are supposed to be about serving the customer, right?

Yes.

But I have to find my customers first… or rather, I have to let my customers find me.

I’m not starting a need-based business.

I didn’t do a bunch of market research, identify a need or a gap in service and then design a business around that.

I decided to offer expressions of my own creativity for sale.

There’s a difference.

A big difference.

One works from the inside out, the other works from the outside in.

And if I want to be successful (which for now means actually sticking with it long enough to make a go of it), I realized that I have to take money out of the equation.

That doesn’t mean not charging for my products or services.

It means keeping the creative process and the money separate.

It means being intentional with my motives and my mindset when I’m creating.

It means being completely dedicated to my own authenticity.

It means letting go of serving my customers, at least long enough to actually attract some customers to serve.

And the minute I saw all of that for what it was, the sick feeling went away…

Until yesterday.

Yesterday, I went about the business of cleaning up and streamlining my coaching site.

This is all part of my plan to expand my professional efforts from just coaching to doing several things that I’ve wanted to do for a while now – including the art and design thing, as well as a completely different venture that I’ll be launching in the next few weeks.

In order to expand into new areas, I felt I needed to focus in a bit with my coaching.

So, I’m trying to get crystal clear on what I most want to do in that regard.

Part of that focusing in was to write a new sales page and a new about page.

So I did.

I sat down and wrote both of them from… you guessed it… my customers’ perspective.

And the minute I published them, that old sick feeling reared its ugly head again.

So, I got up this morning and rewrote them.

Only this time I wrote them from the perspective of what I really wanted people to know about me and what I really believe I can do well for them.

It’s really all about being honest… honest about who I am, what I can do for people, what I’m willing to do for people.

Otherwise, I sell myself out and everyone else short.

And that doesn’t serve anybody.

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