Category Archives: projects

The Project You Want to Do vs. the Project That Needs Doing

Sometimes when you’re evaluating your project ideas for which one you’ll do next, something unexpected can happen.

You think that Project A is the “right” one.

Maybe you even start working on the project. But then you keep bumping up against obstacles.

And you begin to suspect that the easiest way to remove the obstacles is to work on Project B.

Cue Resistance!

But but but!

The problem is that Project B isn’t what you wanted to work on.

Imagine this scenario:

Project A involves tackling something big and important that will bring you accolades and ease to the people you work with once it’s done. Like creating or improving a system that your entire team will use.

Project B, on the other hand, is something like organizing your office and sorting through the waist-high piles of papers you haven’t had time to deal with for months.

Why we fight against working on Project B instead of Project A

Okay, even besides the fact that Project A might be a lot more appealing than Project B, there can be other stuff that gets in our way.

Maybe we think that Project B doesn’t “count.” I mean, especially if you’re a creative person, it feels good to wind up with a finished product you can say ta-daaa about. So Project B can feel like it’s not even a project…and certainly not as meaningful.

It’s easy to end up thinking that the only valid way to spend our time is to work solely on the big, important projects.

Time for a reframe

Something I have to remind myself of at least once a day: We are each responsible for creating a work-life that fulfills us and makes our hearts sing.

Yes, it can feel as though Project B is forcing itself on you and taking over your brainspace, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Next time you’re struggling with choosing to work on Project B (the one that needs to happen) instead of your Project A (the one you thought was next), try the following:

Remember that anything can be a project

Even if you’re working on something as mundane as just sorting through junk-mail, by virtue of the fact that you’ll eventually reach the end of the pile, that’s a project.

And it’s legitimate.

Look for ways to infuse your project with meaning and pleasure

How do you infuse a project with meaning? One way is to create a system to make the process more efficient in the future. For example, instead of just sorting through your papers, look for ways to make it easier to stay organized going forward.

I imagine you already have a pretty good idea of what I mean by infusing the project with pleasure, but some go-to ways for me are to play music, brew yummy tea, and plan a reward at the end.

Imagine how great it will feel to finish Project B

Whenever I’ve got one of those Project Bs I’ve been avoiding – especially if there’s some form of organizing involved – I worry I’m going to find something important that I should have dealt with long ago.

If I can get to the point of being willing to face it, I always feel a beautiful sense of lightness once I’m done. (Okay, okay, I usually beat myself up for a few minutes for not dealing with the project sooner, but once the initial sting subsides, I’m glad I took care of it.)

Remind yourself why you’re working on Project B instead of A

You’re working on Project B now so that it’s easier to work on Project A later. And who knows? Maybe Project B will help make Project C easier, too.

When the project you don’t want to do starts crowding your thoughts and creating anxiety for you, ignoring it won’t work.

Either say no to the project or get clear on why you’re going to do it. And then do it.

And if you’re having trouble getting clear, get some support.

We’re so quick to dismiss our Project Bs as poor uses of our time, but anything that helps to create spaciousness and peace in our work is worthwhile.

How about you?

Do you have a Project B that’s getting in the way of your Project A?

What’s one way you’ll infuse your Project B with meaning so that it feels like it’s a part of your work, and not a postponement of it?

Real-Life Business: What to Do When You Misjudge Your Capacity

Image: Cup Overflowing

One of the key principles I teach in Project Prowess is that you have to have enough Capacity if you want to enjoy your creative process and complete your projects consistently.

(A quick refresher: Capacity is the time and energy you have available to do whatever it is you’re working on.)

Here’s a little story about what happens when you try to work beyond your capacity.

As you may know, I’m an Instigator for A Year With Myself. And I was completely honored when C. A. Kobu invited me to participate.

My module was due on February 16, and Project Prowess was (originally) set to start on February 23.

I thought I could submit excellent content to C. A., while still keeping up with spreading the word and preparing for Project Prowess.

Turns out I was completely wrong.

The pace I’d set myself was just not sustainable, and I let that manic energy of “I must do one more thing for my business…” take priority over rest and nourishment.

I had started to dread the fact that Project Prowess was about to start. And I was quietly cursing myself for agreeing to contribute to a different project at the same time.

When I found myself avoiding the things I love doing, I thought I was entering a season of Oh shit I have to tear down my entire business and start from scratch because oh my god I was wrong and what I thought was my passion isn’t my passion!

When you work beyond your capacity, you will pay the price sooner or later with fatigue, anxiety and even resentment.

It can change how you feel about your entire business and sap you of all motivation.

Here’s how I got myself out of the over-capacity mess:

1. Notice that something isn’t working

Your symptoms will be unique to you, but if you feel like you’re running from task to task (unsuccessfully) and you’re feeling tired, frustrated, resentful and needy (like you want someone else to fix everything for you – ahem!), chances are good that you are working from a state of depletion.

2. Ask yourself what can shift

Rarely is everything in your life unchangeable.

In my case, I couldn’t change my due date for A Year With Myself. That was a project with an external deadline, and lots of moving parts dependent on my contribution.

So I had to look for other places to open up some spaciousness.

The most obvious choice was to postpone Project Prowess, even though it felt like a really big deal to do that.

3. If you’re having trouble finding any wiggle-room, for each commitment you’ve made, ask what would happen if you postponed or cancelled it

As I said above, rarely is everything unchangeable.

If you’re sensitive and conscientious, chances are you tend to overestimate the impact a change will have on the other people involved. And that means you’ll be reluctant to back out of or shift a commitment you’ve already made.

Plus, if you were on the receiving end of messages about “quitting” being A Bad Thing, it’s easy for this kind of situation to trigger feelings of having failed.

Commitment is a necessary ingredient for creating what you want to create, but you have to look at your own commitment patterns to determine if keeping the commitment or changing it is the right choice for you.

What became clear to me is that if I didn’t postpone the start date, I would not be at my best for the lovely projectizers who had already signed up. And that was definitely not okay.

4. Whatever you decide to do, take responsibility for your choice

The resentment I was feeling toward my business a few weeks ago? Totally of my own doing.

I felt resentful because I perceived myself as powerless to change or fix things to work for me. I was defaulting to a victim mentality, when in reality, I am a business owner. I get to decide what’s best for me and my business.

Once I took control over my schedule again and decided to postpone my course, a lot of the anxiety dissolved.

That said, it was still pretty terrifying to tell people that I was changing the start date, especially since it was due to my own flub (i.e., not realizing sooner that I had a conflict). Would they get angry? Would they ask for a refund? Would they secretly think I was a flake but not say so?

All I could do at that point was to send honest emails to the projectizers and let them know what was happening and why.

5. Let go of the outcome

I didn’t know how the people who’d signed up would respond, but I’d made my decision. I knew I’d done my best to minimize inconvenience and disappointment, but I wasn’t in control of the outcome.

Part of how you keep that victim mentality from creeping in is by remembering that you made a specific choice, and why you made it.

I had to accept that maybe someone would get upset, but I was postponing the course to preserve my health and make sure I could offer a high-quality program for my people.

As it happened, nobody got upset. Not even slightly. In fact, several people said that the new start date worked better than the original.

6. Reflect on what needs to change for next time

This part is challenging because there are an infinite number of ways you can wind up working outside your capacity. That’s why part of what I teach in Project Prowess is to review every project for ways to improve and better understand your creative process.

In this particular case, here’s what I learned:

Promoting a course takes a lot of time and energy (at least for me, for now), so if I get an additional opportunity that’s too good to pass up, I’ll do a better job of negotiating my deadlines and changing them when necessary.

Mistakes will happen, and they are almost never the catastrophe my inner perfectionist believes them to be.

Ignoring the signs and symptoms of depletion does nothing to address the problem.

I’ve gathered more evidence that doing what’s best for myself is very often what’s best for others, so it doesn’t make sense to punish my health for a deadline that can be changed.

How about you?

What has you over-capacity right now?
What gets in the way of creating more spaciousness for yourself?


Psst! If you missed this session of Project Prowess, sign up here to be notified when the program is starting again!

Image credit: karpacious

Case Study: Honoring Your Capacity Is Essential to Get Projects Done

In Project Prowess, I talk a lot about Capacity – the time and energy we have available for everything we do.

In our go-go-go culture, it’s easy to overestimate how much capacity we have for our projects (and underestimate the amount of self-care and rest we need).

If you try to work on a project when you don’t have the capacity for it, it’s going to be hard to get it done.

One of the lovely projectizers from the first group who attended Project Prowess is Paulita Pranschke. Understanding her own capacity and getting clear about what she needs to feel nourished was vital to completing her project.

I asked her to share some of her experience with you, so you could get a taste of what the program is like.

Did you have any concerns when you signed up for Project Prowess?

Uncertainty that I was really going to work on my chosen project, that I was really committed to working through my resistance so I could make progress. I mean, why spend money if I wasn’t committed to engaging with the process?

I went ahead and signed up, though, because I really, really deep-down wanted to make progress on my project (a dream I’d had for the embarrassingly long time of over 2 years).

Plus I knew I needed support. AND, I took Victoria’s Thing-Finding class last summer and was floored by how much I learned about myself. Victoria and my fellow-classmates really provided the kind of encouragement and support I needed. I wanted to work with Victoria again!

What were you most hoping to learn during the course?

I really wanted to learn in my bones how to meet myself where I am, find out what I need and then give it to myself. Especially when I feel anxious or scared, which is usually under the procrastination.

What project did you choose to work on during the program?

I wanted to put up a website and blog that would support me in my still-gestating business.

How was that process for you?

I discovered my commitment was not solid but for good reasons.

I had legitimate fears about visibility.

But I also had not so good reasons like thinking it needed to be perfect. One of the things that really helped was when one of the other participants was stuck on a sales page and Victoria told her to create a “shitty first draft.” Applying that idea to my website freed me up to move forward.

What did you like most about the course?

I love the tool “council of selves” and using it as a way to address procrastination and resistance by listening and making space for the entirety of me.

I also appreciated the camaraderie of the Facebook page and the live, individual coaching on the group calls. Most of all, I appreciated Victoria’s encouragement, support, and resourcefulness at helping me gently unlock the stuck.

What surprised you during the program?

The information about capacity was vital for me. I was so stunned at how little time I have during the week and how much I was pushing myself to “make” things happen, which doesn’t work with tiny, sweet things. Even my weekend time is finite.

It became very clear that self-care is essential for me to move forward with this project and future projects, which is not what I expected. I always think I will need to work harder, rather than be kinder to myself.

Would you recommend this course to others? If so, why?

I would recommend this course to anyone looking for gentle accountability and creative ways to unlock the stuck, in a context that deeply values your whole self.

What was the outcome of Project Prowess for you?

I got my self-hosted blog launched! Huzzah!

Anything else you’d like to add?

Victoria’s style of offering support for both the rational side and emotional side works beautifully for me.

My logical brain can focus on the planning and structure she offers while my emotional side can listen to my 12 & 13 year old selves who strangely enough wanted more broccoli and kale in my life.

You never know what helpfulness may come from who-knows-where and Victoria’s methods are a sure-fire way to access the help that’s all around us.

I felt like she really cared about me first and foremost, and was helping me learn how to use radical self-care as a springboard for creating the things I want in the world.

Find out more about Paulita and her sweet, new blog at paulitapranschke.com. Say hi and congratulate her on taking such a big step forward!

I know that no two situations are alike. If you’re ready to dig in to your project with a process that will work for you, check out Project Prowess.

The price goes up Monday night, and the Premium Option, which includes four additional sessions focused on working on your project, is nearly half full! I hope you’ll join us!

Feeling Nervous? You’re Not Alone!

I got an email the other day from one of the lovely people who joined Project Prowess and she let me know that she was feeling nervous about the course.

And immediately I realized that if one person was feeling unsure and a little anxious about the course, there would be others. Because that’s the nature of things…we are never alone in how we feel (we just think we are because sometimes it’s hard to talk about emotions).

Here’s the email:

I signed up! And for the Premium Option even though I’m terrified!

I’m totally unfamiliar with the call in format (I’ve never done a conference call!), and nervous about sending my work to you to review and comment on, and terrified about actually embarking on this project that has been delayed for so long and afraid that I will end up angry with myself for not getting started before.

I hate the thought that there might be a simple solution to something that has long plagued me, and that I may kick myself for not sorting it earlier.

Let’s tackle the non-technical stuff, first.

The most important thing to know

It’s completely normal to feel this way.

Whenever we take a step toward the things we want, there will be a mix of emotions that bubble to the surface. Some of them will be excitement, but some of them will be more like fear, anxiety, dread or terror.

This does not mean you have made a wrong step or a bad choice! Again, it’s the nature of things.

You are one of my Right People, and we are complex, sensitive flowers. We often (if not always) feel conflicting emotions about the stuff we do.

Feeling angry about waiting so long to figure this out

Oh boy, have I been there.

I don’t know this for sure, but I think it’s part of how our brains are wired. We learn something, and once we see that it’s not so mysterious, we instantly chide ourselves for not knowing it already.

Here’s the thing:

You only know what you know.

And you’re only ready to know what you’re ready to know.

Yes, you might feel anger or regret that you didn’t learn these skills sooner. That’s the part of you who was ready and wanted you to move ahead.

Thank her for pushing you to learn new stuff, and let her know that you’ll try to listen to her sooner next time. (In fact, during the program you will learn a tool to calm the parts that feel scared about moving ahead, so it will be easier to listen the parts that are ready.)

And then? Celebrate that you’re making progress on the project that has been waiting so patiently for you.

The Project Plan Check-Ins

When you sign up for the Premium Option, it includes a “Project Plan Check-In” with me.

I will not be grading you. There will be no red pen.

The purpose of the check-in is to make sure YOU feel comfortable with your project plan, because often when you’re doing something for the first time, it’s easy to wonder if you’re doing it “right.”

Once you have a good start on your project plan, you’ll send it to me and I’ll take a look at it during one of the Lab Sessions.

I’ll ask you how you feel about the plan and you’ll tell me if there’s anything that doesn’t feel right to you.

I’ll take a look at your task estimates and your deadlines and make sure everything seems reasonable.

Then I’ll offer lots of reassurance, and, if needed, make a couple of gentle suggestions so the plan will work better for you.

Again…no grading. No judging. Just reassurance and a second pair of eyes on your plan to make sure it will support you.

The call-in format

Here’s how this works.

For the four classes:

When you sign up, a day or two before our first call, you’ll receive a phone number and passcode from me.

At the time of the call, you dial that number however you want. You can use your land line, cell, or you can use Skype. You’ll be calling a U.S. phone number, so depending on where you’re calling from and your phone plan, you may or may not have a per minute charge. You may need Skype credit or a subscription.

Then you’ll hear a recorded voice prompting you to enter the passcode. Once you enter it, you’ll be added to the group call and I’ll be there. You’ll probably hear some chit chat happening and we can say hi before class starts.

Then, I’ll start the class by muting the lines so the recording is clear, and I’ll talk about projectizing, with lots of breaks where you can ask whatever questions you want. You’ll be able to unmute yourself by pressing *6, and then I’ll hear you if you have a question.

If you feel uncomfortable asking a question live on the call, you can ask by posting it on the Facebook group page, which I always check frequently.

During the Lab Sessions:

Before the first Lab Session, I’ll send you a worksheet to help you get clear on what you want to accomplish during the session. You’ll spend a little time beforehand filling that out for yourself.

You’ll dial in to a phone number just like for the Core classes.

Then I’ll guide you through a brief meditation-y exercise to help you focus on what you want to work on. (You do not need to have meditation experience for this! It will be easy and will make you feel calm and centered, I promise!)

If, after that exercise, you know what you want to work on, you’ll be able to hang up for 45 minutes and work on the tasks you chose.

But! If you’re feeling at all stuck, you’ll be able to stay on the line and ask me about it. I’ll help you get unstuck.

Or, if you hung up to start your focused work session, and then got stuck, you can dial back in and I’ll be there to help you get back on track.

At the end of the 45 minutes, you dial back in and check-in with the group and we celebrate what we all accomplished. (Yay! Progress!)

Regardless, I will stay on the line the whole time, there for you if you need me.

How about you?

Have questions about Project Prowess? Ask in the comments and I’ll answer them lickety-split!

Have you entered the contest, yet?

In case you missed it, I’m giving away two seats in Project Prowess.

This four-week program to help you finish a project to grow your business starts March 8!

To get all the details about how to enter the giveaway, check out this post. The contest ends on March 2!

But, if you want to make sure you get a spot (especially since seats in the Premium Option are getting snapped up), you can register now.

Thing-Finding and Projectizing

I used to talk all the time about finding your Thing – the Thing you love to do, are good at and that will support you financially.

Lately I’ve been talking a lot more about projectizing.

Back when I didn’t know what my Thing was, I always felt like I had to leave most of my Self at home or in the parking lot to fit in at my job.

But even once you know what your Thing is and it’s time to start projectizing around it, you still need to make sure what you’re choosing to work on and how you’re working on it fit all of who you are.

Both Thing-Finding and Projectizing have very similar processes…you need things like Safety and Desire and Commitment. And a big willingness to experiment.

Really, they’re very closely related. Fundamentally they both serve the same purpose:

To help you shape your work around yourself, rather than shaping yourself around your work.

So when C. A. Kobu asked me to contribute to the Discover Your True Passion module for her amazing 52-week self-study program, A Year With Myself, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to share more about Thing-Finding. And this week it’s been published!

I wanted to do a little something fun to celebrate, so I’ve got something special for you whether you consider yourself a Thing-Finder or a Projectizer!

For Thing-Finders (in other words, if you’re still not sure what your Thing is)

I’m excited because I think you’ll get lots out of the journaling prompt that’s available for no cost whatsoever, but if you want even more, purchase the full 52-module kit using my link between now and March 15 and I’ll send you a gift copy of the full Shmorian Thing-Finding Kit, and an invitation to a live Q&A call in late March (exact date TBD) where we can talk about all your Thing-Finding questions.

On top of getting all 52 AYWM modules as they’re released, you’ll get the Thing-Finding Kit and a call with me!

If you think you could be a Projectizer (in other words, you’re ready to start bringing your Thing-related creations into the world)

Purchase the full kit using my link between now and March 7 and I’ll send you a coupon code for 50% off your registration in Project Prowess.

Which means you’ll get the full A Year With Myself experience (52 modules!) and you’ll get my hands-on support in creating something to help you start or grow your business.

Note that the deadline is different for this option, because Project Prowess starts March 8!

Easy peasy

Simply purchase A Year With Myself, and then email me your receipt (my email addy is right on my Contact page) and let me know whether you’d like the Project Prowess discount or the Thing-Finding Kit and call. I’ll get your goodies to you within 24 hours (probably a lot sooner).

I’m really proud of the module I shared for A Year With Myself. I hope you enjoy it. :)

What to Do When Your Project Isn’t Working – Tip #2

In case you missed Tip #1, I shared a starting place for figuring out what needs to change in a project that’s gone off the rails.

For today’s tip, I talk a bit about Desire.

Desire is one of the five essential ingredients for successful projectizing that I talk about in Project Prowess.

(If you’re reading this in your email or via RSS, you may need to click through to watch the video.)

The video is less than five minutes long, but here’s what you need to know:

It takes a lot of energy to go from Idea to Finished Creation, so if you don’t truly want to do the project you’re working on, it will be challenging to complete it. There’s no such thing as a completely smooth project, so Desire is what helps you keep going even if things get rough.

There are two big aspects of Desire (as it relates to a project) that I talk about in the video: the What and the How.

It’s possible that you’re not that excited about What you’re working on…maybe it’s not meaningful to you, or simply doesn’t light your fire. This can happen if you decide to work on something you’re good at, but you don’t feel passionate about.

Or, if you’re working in ways that don’t fit who you are, maybe the How is the problem. For example, if you need isolation but your project requires too much group collaboration. (Ugh…that just gave me a flashback to all those group projects I absolutely dreaded when I was in school…clearly, I like to work in isolation!)

Is your stuck project missing Desire? Or does it feel like something else is causing the stuckness? Tell me about it in the comments!

Pssst! Project Prowess starts on March 8! In this four-week program, learn simple projectizing tools that will help you create with more ease and enjoyment. Get the details here.

What to Do When Your Project Isn’t Working – Tip #1

As you can imagine, with Project Prowess starting in two weeks, I’ve got projects on the brain!

And I’ve been getting some questions about what to do if you’re already in the middle of a project that you had high hopes for, but are finding that it’s gotten way off track somehow.

Here’s a little video about where to start when your project is bumming you out or keeping you awake at night.

(If you’re reading this in your email or via RSS, you may need to click through to watch the video.)

Here’s what I share in today’s (under 5-minute) video:

  • A big dose of reassurance…projects go wrong from time to time – it happens to the best of us!
  • The first two steps to take if you find yourself dreading or avoiding your project because it’s not going well

Got a project that’s gotten bogged down? Tell me about it in the comments. I’ll share ideas for how to get moving again here or in the next video!

If you found this video helpful, I hope you’ll join us for Project Prowess, where you will learn how to go from Idea to Finished Creation with more joy and ease. Starts Mar 8!

Creating without a Framework Is Like Jogging without a Bra

Image: Women Marathoners
Projects are like boobs.

They need support. And what gives your project support is a framework. But it has to be a framework that fits you, in the same way a bra only works if it’s the right size.

Try to create anything for your business – ebooks, workshops, you name it – without a framework, and it’s a lot like going running without a bra.

1. It’s painful

The elastic nature of boobs only goes so far. Too much bouncing will hurt.

And the amount of pain – let’s face it – is directly proportional to the size of said boobs.

Granted, I don’t know what the projectizing equivalent of “bouncing” is, but if you’re trying to create something, and you don’t have a framework for getting from Idea to Finished Creation, it will be painful.

And the bigger the project, the more painful it will be.

A simple, supportive framework helps you to know you’re focusing on the right idea. And it helps you know where you are in the process.

Knowing where you are is key to getting you unstuck. Because different flavors of stuckness require different kinds of fixes.

2. It’s frustrating

You want to enjoy your run without having to worry about the girls the whole time.

But it doesn’t matter that you want them to stop bouncing, because you haven’t given them what they actually need to stay put. Boobs without a bra bounce when you run. It’s what they do.

Similarly, you want to finish your project. But as important as Desire is, you and your project are still all over the place, because you don’t have the structure you need.

A structure that works for you is what will help you make progress even when you’re busy.

3. It’s anxiety-inducing

The minute you realize your bounce-factor is a bit high for public consumption, it’s all you can think about. You become self-conscious.

And the running-without-bouncing thing totally doesn’t work – you just wind up looking like a bizarre robot. (Come on, surely I’m not the only one who’s tried that technique!)

Creating something that you plan to offer your people is a vulnerable process at the best of times – by definition, you’ll be attracting attention. Without a framework and support for your creative process, though, it can feel like your bra strap broke in the middle of gym class in front of everyone.

A good framework that is designed for all of who you are helps you stay connected with yourself and your project, which helps you stay calm. Or calm-er, at least. (It’s a process, remember?)

4. Chances of finishing are slim

If your planned jog causes pain, anxiety and frustration, it’s understandable that you’d head home without going the full distance.

It’s the same with anything you want to create. Creating something you care about takes lots of energy, and it will trigger resistance. It’s simply part of the transformational process that’s involved in going from Idea to Finished Creation.

So, you need structure and support to ease that process and deal with the resistance.

Project Prowess: The perfect bra for your perky projects

I learned the hard way that a good project framework is not just spreadsheets and deadlines.

Yes, the tools I’ll be sharing include the actual planning, setting of deadlines and scheduling of work.

But Project Prowess goes way beyond that.

The framework will support you by helping you get clear on what you want to create, how you want to create it, and what kind of plan makes sense for the way your life and business work right now, in the real world.

And you’ll have the added support of learning along side a group of like-minded people…we (the other participants and I) will be there to offer support, ideas and advice all along the way.

Project Prowess will help you get your project done, with less bouncing! I’d love for you to join us.

Image credit: RVWithTito

How to Go from Idea to Finished Creation Enjoyably and Sustainably

I’m thrilled to announce that Project Prowess is available again and registration is open!

I first launched this program last October with the intention of providing a safe space for you to learn how to create products and services for your people while also learning how to deal with the fear and anxiety that are part of the creative process.

The first group of projectizers made beautiful, amazing progress – much more than I expected.

Here’s some of what they accomplished in just four weeks:

  • One woman went from “going in circles” to outlining content and creating a sales page for her very first workshop
  • Another woman developed a successful holiday offer
  • Another woman thought she had no more than five pages of content for an ebook and wound up creating 20 pages of helpfulness
  • Another woman began creating her website, while learning how to honor what her body needs in terms of rest and relaxation

If you’ve been wanting to write an ebook, create a class or e-course, or even build a new web home for your biz, now’s the time.

I’ve gathered the best tools I know for both the inner work of dealing with the emotions that come up when we create something that matters to us, as well as the outer work of laying out a compatible-with-real-life project plan and getting the work done.

What’s different this time

There are two options this time around.

The Core Program

The Core Program includes four weeks of interactive calls together. (With recordings and a workbook, of course!)

Each week I’ll share a bit of theory and a practical tool or two (along with how-tos and examples), and then the rest of the time will be spent digging into your projects.

If you’ve got too many ideas, I’ll help you figure out which will be the best project for you and your biz right now – and you’ll feel confident that you’ve made the right choice.

If you’re having trouble getting started, I’ll get in there with you so you can see what needs to happen first, second and third.

If the project isn’t going as you expected, we can work on transforming it into something energizing and nourishing.

There’s also a private Facebook group page, just for you, me and the rest of the folks in the program. That way, you’ll have lots of support, even between our calls.

The Premium Option

The Premium Option is designed to help you integrate and implement. I didn’t want this to be another teleclass where you sit back and watch.

The Premium Option includes four Lab Sessions (where you and the rest of the group can work on your projects while I stand at the ready in case you get stuck – just like experiments in science class). It also includes a project plan review by me so that you will know your plan is manageable and doable.

To make sure I’m available to give plenty of additional attention, there are only 15 premium spots available.

This option is priced ridiculously low right now (several people told me it was too low), because I wanted it to be an absolute No-Brainer for you to say yes to extra support, and to have the experience of getting a project DONE.

Going from Idea to Finished Creation might feel mysterious to you. Or maybe it even feels as though there’s no rhyme nor reason as to why some projects go well and others don’t.

What I’ve learned after struggling with creating my own products and services is that completing projects successfully is a set of skills that can be learned. And the best way to learn is by practicing your skills with a real project.

Let’s take your idea and turn it into something amazing to offer your people. I know you can do it!

You can get all the details for Project Prowess right here. I hope to see you there!

3 Ways You’re Suffocating Your Project

image: piles of papers on floor

How many ideas do you have in your “idea file” that you’ve either never started, or started but never finished?

I’ve got well over 15, and that’s just the ideas that wound up in my designated idea folder on my computer. Who knows how many ideas are buried in the pages of various journals or even on scraps of paper that are in one of the piles laying around my office.

Of course, sometimes the idea turns out to be not-so-wonderful once you spend a little time with it (before or even after it turns into a project). And lord knows, if you don’t really, really want to do a project, you should either turn it into something you do want to do or scrap it.

But for those ideas that you truly want to create, here are three ways you might be suffocating the project before you can finish it (or even start it):

1. You’re worrying about how you’ll complete it before you’re completely clear on what it is

A client of mine wanted to create a new service for her business. She was excited about it, but almost immediately, it became clear this project would require lots of stuff she’d either need to learn or hire help to do.

I heard the enthusiasm drain from her voice in the span of three minutes.

It’s understandable…projects take a lot of energy to complete under the best of circumstances, so when you realize there’s some aspect of it that you’ve never done before, it can feel like you just hit a wall.

But when you’re in those very early stages of exploring an idea, your project needs nurturing and protecting.

Worrying too early about how to make a project happen is a surefire way to talk yourself out of it.

What to do instead:

Give yourself permission to explore the idea without worrying about the parts you don’t know how to do. Try to create a safe space from which to explore, where you simply note the hard parts of a project and come back to them later.

Not easy to do, but once you’re clear about the essence of your idea, you may find that there are less scary ways to make it happen.

2. You keep asking, “Will anyone even want this thing?”

This is another one I hear all the time (from clients and from myself).

If you truly want to create something, that desire is there for a reason. Even if nobody buys it or tweets about it or says yes.

By obsessing about what will happen after you complete your creation, you stifle the flow of your creative energy.

And there are so many reasons to create something that have nothing to do with what other people think or how they respond to what you’ve made. (Creating is inherently valuable, remember?)

What to do instead:

Shift your focus from “what others will think” to “what you’re learning and experiencing.” Brainstorm a list of what you’ll gain through the process of completing this project…all the stuff that doesn’t have to do with those outcomes we can’t control.

Work on building trust that you wanted to create this thing for a reason.

Believe me, I know this one is frakking difficult to do. I’ve put several things out there to hear only crickets, and it’s painful. Yet now, looking back, it’s easier to see what I learned through the process.

3. You’re focusing solely on what’s in it for you

It’s easy to get caught up in what a project will do for your internet fame or your bottom line.

And then what you’re creating becomes a transaction. I sell you this thing and you pay me.

If you’re anything like me, it won’t be long before that icky “internet marketer” feeling sets in. And don’t forget the bonus benefit of setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment by being attached to a particular outcome (see #2 above).

What to do instead:

Shift your focus to the people whose lives you want to improve by creating this thing.

Again, not always easy. Here’s a question that helps me:

If I didn’t need the money, what would I want this project to do for people, and how would I want it to change the world?

When you focus on how your project will improve the lives of your people, the creation process is about service.

How about you?

What are the ways you tend to sabotage your projects? Is there a particular stage in the process the sabotaging happens?

Psst! Project Prowess is almost here…

Creating stuff for your business is a set of skills you can learn, and the best way to learn is by doing.

Next month, I’ll be leading a small group coaching program to help you choose, plan and get to work on a project for your biz (and showing you how to enjoy the process along the way). Be the first to hear when registration opens by signing up for my advance discount list.

Image credit: LizMarie_AK