Over the past month, I have done something I’ve never done before—started taking mid-morning walks around my neighborhood to intentionally remove myself from my computer and the busyness of the Internet.
I’ve used this time to listen to podcasts, hoping the distraction-free environment of the woods would provide a blank canvas for me to consume creative content rather than trying to create it.
Because I don’t know everything, there is so much we can learn from fellow creatives. Thus, I seek knowledge and wisdom from those who came before me.
Lessons from Jewel
Back in 1998, one of my favorite musicians was Jewel. She had just released Spirit, a brilliant coffee shop album, and reflected much of what she was going through at the time.
I didn’t know it then, but I resonated with so much of her writing because I had, and was about to go through, similar life experiences. So, in short, she inspired me like no other.
Her music and books continue to speak to me, which is an unbreakable bond. So when I came across a podcast interview she did with James Altucher, I was thrilled—and after listening, it did not disappoint.
In that interview, Jewel said something that struck me—something I resonate with more than I care to admit:
“Fame is a path that many people lose their footing on.”
She goes onto explain:
“I don’t think fame changes you; I think it exaggerates. It just puts fuel on whatever little fire you have smoldering. So if you’re insecure, you’re going to get more insecure. So being aware of that, I tried to set up my career in a particular way, where I led with my flaws.”
What I love about her, aside from her desire to truly live an authentic life, is that she embraces her imperfections—much like I try to. She talks about her art and how she uses it to establish a relatable story:
“I never tried to use art as propaganda—to make myself seem more perfect than I was. These are my downfalls, and these are my dreams—I’m a real human. And that gave me room to grow, change, and adapt in real-time, and it also allowed me to sort of have this dialogue with my fans online and through the Internet of talking about it all.”
Lately, I have met several talented creators and small business owners who feel like they’ve hit a wall and are unsure where to turn. It has inspired me to consider how best I can serve.
I want to help people build a different approach—to help them craft a brilliant brand and grow their online business by sharing what I know and what has worked for me.
As Jewel was touring in her early days, she had the fortune of spending time with some legendary musicians. I’m sure that was an invaluable experience, especially when receiving sage wisdom from the legendary duo of Bob Dylan and Neil Young who said:
“Don’t you dare conform. You stay like you are, and you keep doing it.”
That sounds like some pretty ingenious (albeit daunting) advice.
Doubling Down on YOU
Imagine if your life—and your business, for that matter—was made up of you being you. Facades taken down, honesty being spoken, surrounded by those who don’t pass judgment. Imagine how less exhausting that would be.
There is so much undiscovered art in this world, and we have fear to blame for that. I think we all seek approval—that we base our value on how others perceive us—rather than how we perceive ourselves.
I also believe that Ruthie Lindsey, a Nashville-based designer, nailed it when she said:
“All of us long for connection and authenticity, and what we believe will repel people does the exact opposite.”
I don’t take risks nearly as often as I should, but the few times I’ve taken a giant leap of faith by doing something I thought would repel people, it turned out—as she says—quite the opposite.
I continually try new things. But, as Robert Frost suggests, I take the road less traveled when I do. He said it made all the difference, and I’m planting my flag there.
Marie Forleo inspires creative entrepreneurs to live their life to the fullest. I’ll leave you with these words of encouragement from her:
“Don’t worry about what other people have or do. Know your strengths and go *ALL* in with them! Double down on what you’re best at.”
I challenge you to focus on embracing your inner YOU and how you can channel any self-doubt into creating some beautiful art.
Let’s heed her advice and crush it. We got this!