So how’m I doing in my quest to re-invent my life, follow my evolving Blisses and create the life I really, really want?
The email started like this:
One year ago, we began a journey together. You signed up for the Empire Building Kit and joined the longest email follow-up sequence in history.
By doing so, you self-identified as a dreamer and a doer. Now as we come to the close of the formal series, I’m wondering… How has the journey been thus far? Compared to one year ago, how is your business now?
It landed in my inbox yesterday, exactly one year – 365 days to the day – after I bought Chris Guillebeau’s Empire Building Kit (affiliate link), affectionately known as the EBK. The final email in Chris’s 365-day autoresponder series.
A month into the EBK I wrote a review, giving it 4 7/8 out of 5 stars (not a full 5 only because the emails didn’t all exactly match up to my expectations that every single dispatch would include a specific step to take). If anything I only think more highly of it now.
A year later, thanks to the EBK I sit at the helm of my multi-million dollar internet empire.
Kidding. Oh, so kidding.
If I stop looking forward, at where I want to be, and take a moment to look back at what I have achieved in the past 365 days, the truth is it’s a lot. I’m proud and pleased. And yes, the EBK has been a significant element. Not the only one, by any means, but a resource I will definitely return to again and again. One with real-world practical tips and inspiration that actually translate (or will, when I’m at the appropriate stage to implement each particular one) into a better bottom line. And a “lifestyle business” doing what I love.
And that is nothing to sneeze at.
The EBK was one of my major inspirations (along with Question the Rules and Engaging E-Courses [affiliate links], to name but two) to create my own online course, the Thriving Artists Project. And “traveling” along with Chris for a year was a tremendous value in itself. He unknowingly inspired me to start this blog, and continues to be a huge inspiration. A personal hero.
I’m going to miss seeing him in my inbox every day.
Growth and change
But I’m in a different place now than I was when I bought the EBK, with a clearer vision and a straighter path. I’ve figured out a number of pretty important things in the past year:
- One of the primary pillars of my happiness comes from expressing myself creatively, preferably on a daily basis
- Another comes from helping others, especially helping others to express themselves creatively
- Being multi-passionate is hard-wired into my being, and while I acknowledge the challenges this creates, I also embrace the wonderfulness it brings me
- The more in alignment I get with my true gifts, the more easily everything flows
- My path is different from anyone else’s, and just as valid, no matter how impatient I might be for it to move more quickly
- Love doesn’t always happen by falling; sometimes it creeps up on you
How far I’ve come
A year ago I sobbed into the phone during a 1/2 hour consultation with the brilliant Sinclair (still one of my heroes). I felt lost, unclear, vaguely desperate. I wanted to have what she had: clarity, direction, a thriving business making a difference for other people by using her true gifts.
After years of making a living from my art, but almost never creating any new art (except at my heavenly annual retreat with my calligraphy guild), I’m now in the practice of playing in the Creative Sandbox for at least 15 minutes every day. I’m more prolific than I’ve ever been, and I’m getting my art out into the world where others can enjoy it, both here in my online art galleries, and in my not-quite Daily ArtFix newsletter.
I’ve built a growing following by sharing myself here at Living A Creative Life (I love you, my not-so-imaginary-any-more readers!), and I’ve expanded my network even further with my other blog, 365 Days of Genius, where I have the great pleasure of featuring the work of other writers. (And have discovered yet another gift: who knew I was a good editor? Turns out I really enjoy it! Interested in guest posting? I’d love to have you! Read this.)
Miles to go before I sleep
There’s still so much more I have yet to accomplish. We won’t dwell on the fact that my studio is only slightly less cluttered than it was 365 days ago. Or that I haven’t managed to cure myself of the tendency to stay up waaaaaaaaay too late and take on waaaaaaaay too much. Or that my mountain of debt is still mountainous.
Ah, well. It’s like traveling somewhere far away. There’s never enough time to see everything you want to, but then that gives you a reason to go back.
If we stick with that metaphor (which I grant you is a little awkward here, but bear with me), it’s a good thing I’m a member of Chris Guillebeau’s latest stroke of brilliance, the Travel Hacking Cartel (affiliate link), because I’m gonna have to buy a whole lotta return tickets to get where I want to go, so I can use all the frequent flyer miles I can get! (Okay, still an awkward metaphor. Oh, well.)
The moving target
12 years ago, in the middle of my divorce, my goal was just to make enough money to get by. I’ve since busted the glass ceiling that made me think that was all that was within my reach.
Turns out I’m an ambitious one after all.
The internet empire I sit at the helm of may not be a multi-million dollar one… yet. But you never know. I have no doubt that it will grow a helluva lot bigger than it is right now.
And in the meantime, I’m sure as hell enjoying the ride.
PS – I’ll be at Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination Summit in Portland the first weekend in June. Will you be there? If so, let’s meet up!