The irresistible power of your flaws

Day 26

Kadee started her own yoga studio on the day she was fired from her fifth yoga job.

The other yoga teachers had been a bit leery of Kadee from the first day. They thought her red fingernails and Bettie Page hair weren’t really appropriate for the space they were creating. And she was loud. And she was opinionated. She didn’t fit in. So she had to go.

Kadee paid a cousin to rent a big space for cheap and decorated it. Leopard-print wallpaper on the walls, plastered with cheesecake 50s models and pictures of hot rods. She named it Rockabilly Yoga and felt very proud of herself.

Two months later, the numbers were… okay. And the customers kind of liked the place.

But they didn’t love it.

Discouraged and hurt, Kadee asked her friend Lola to see if she could figure out what was wrong.

Lola wandered around the studio, sat in on a couple of classes, and then took Kadee for a restorative Jack Daniels and some hard truths.

“Sweetie,” said Lola, “You’re really boring.”

“WHAAAAAT?” shrieked Kadee. She subtly indicated within the shriek that no boring person, ever, has made a noise like this in a public place.

“I don’t mean you you. I mean doing-yoga-you. I mean, you’re still wearing those same Lululemon tops and chanting the same “Downward-facing Dog, now Upward-facing Dog” boring crap. I closed my eyes for a bit there and I thought I was in every yoga place, like, ever. I mean, I remember you saying that you wanted this place to be for all the freaks who liked yoga but didn’t want to go all fucking kumbaya over it. And sweetie, this is still pretty fucking kumbaya.”

Kadee downed three shots of Jack Daniels and searched her soul.

The next day she talked to Lola again. “Okay. I get it. I’ve gotten stuck in doing stuff like everyone else because, you know, habit. But Lola sweetie, you know what I’m like. I cuss. I tell really dirty jokes. I clipped out that bit from my report card that says, “Kadee is wildly inappropriate” and turned it into a badge. Wouldn’t I go broke if I let that rip?”

“How many people do you know who are wildly inappropriate and would love to do yoga but never feel welcome there?”

“Oh, like a hundred or so, I think.”

“And you only need two dozen regular clients to pay the bills, right?”

“Right.” (This said in a slightly grumpy “Yes, you’re right and I hate you a little bit” tone.)

“And could you really give those people what they need – fun, freakin irreverent and rockin, turbo-charged yoga – by being all restrained and boring?”

Sigh. “Nooooo.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“I’m fucking terrified, alright? This is all the stuff that’s kind of embarassing about me. This is why my brother pretends we’re not related when we go bowling. This is… you know… history.”

Lola patted Kadee’s tattoos kindly.

“I get that, sweetie. But all the other wildly inappropriate freaks need somewhere to get fit and fabulous and feel welcome. They’re never going to fit in at the gym, right?” Cue ironic headshake. “And I know you want to look after them, sweetie. So you gotta be you, ugly and all, so they can be them. That’s the power of your flaws.”

“It’s still scary.”

“I know it is, sweetie. Now harden the fuck up and get going.”


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Creative Commons License photo credit: stephcarter

The Magical Pink Donkey Theory


You live in an old house and the plumbing is… interesting.

Translated: it needs repairs quite regularly.

A strange knocking noise has started coming from behind the kitchen wall; you sigh and call Steve the plumber. Steve comes on over later that morning, examines things under the kitchen sink and says, “Yeah, no worries. I’ll swibbulate the frillament and re-stickulate the bifrust and that should fix it.”

Your eyes glaze over and you say, “Great. Thanks.” You go read a magazine and do your best to ignore the sounds of swibbulation and re-stickulation coming from the kitchen. Whatever. Eventually, Steve is done, you pay him and thank him at the door. You forget about the transaction almost immediately.

Three weeks later the knocking noise has started up again, from the laundry. You roll your eyes and call Steve.

Again, he looks under the laundry sink and grunts, then he stands up and looks a bit awkward. “Look, I got a new thing and it’ll fix it better than the swibbulating. Can I go get it?”

“Sure, I guess,” you say. This is the first time anything interesting has occurred in your plumbing adventures; maybe it’ll be a shiny new doodad with buttons or something more noteworthy than a spanner and some spray that smells like concussion.

And Steve leads a glittery pink donkey into the laundry.

It’s… very pink.

Really glittery.

VERY… donkey.

You can’t look away.

Steve says, “I know it’s a bit weird, but it’s a magical pink donkey and it works really well and I thought…”

“Wow. Umm… wow. How does it work?”

“I dunno, really. He just touches stuff with his hoof and it fixes it.”

You’re too stunned to reply, and SteveĀ  – and the magical pink donkey – get started. The donkey sparkles over to the sink, touches one pink hoof to the pipes, then turns around awkwardly in the small space and leaves.

The pipes have stopped banging. You retrieve your cash with your mouth still open, dazedly pay Steve, then run off to call everyone you have ever met about the magical pink donkey.

The moral of the story

Most people do not care at all about how you do the work.

They care about the results.

Stop talking about swibbulating the frillament. We don’t care. We care about how great it’ll be once our pipes stop banging.

Unless your work features a magical pink donkey, of course.

So how DO you talk about your work if you don’t have a magical pink donkey? Tell us in the comments!

Creative Commons License photo credit: JanneM

Black Sabbath and the wrong reaction to disapproval


Santiago built the world’s loudest stereo.

It wasn’t just a loud stereo, though. It was also the stereo with the roundest tones, the most powerful heart-pounding bass, the most tear-inducing clarity on the high notes. This was a stereo to make the gods weep.

Santiago strode out to share his gift with the world. His heart was trip-hammering with excitement, anticipating the joy and appreciation of passersby as he serenaded them with selections from his favourite heavy metal band, Black Sabbath. They would throw bouquets, buy him a hot dog, get their names tattoo’ed across their ankle. Who wouldn’t want to hear War Pigs shaking the concrete with absolutely perfect clarity and menace?

Ah, Santiago, we all know this won’t go well.

The group waiting at the bus stop were profoundly unimpressed by the strains of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.

One man in a suit actually walked down the road to the next bus stop to get away.

Santiago was perplexed and hurt. Maybe it was a bit too loud? His mother had always told him that she didn’t like the way the bass shook the walls. So Santiago turned down the bass, losing the counterpoint of Paranoid. It sounded awful without the bass riff.

Perhaps knocking down the treble would help? Now the guitar solo was a muddy warble instead of a clear slicing, but the people weren’t looking as upset by the music.

Encouraged – there must be a way to make these people enjoy Sabbath, of course there must – Santiago played around with the settings. Eventually, all that came out of Santiago’s beautiful stereo was a low muttering. It didn’t sound like anything, let alone Black Sabbath.

This is not the end of the story. (Although often it is.)

Close to tears and feeling a great void inside, Santiago went to the town centre and said, “To hell with it.”

Every setting was cranked to its most glorious maximum, and Santiago ecstatically played air guitar as the stereo pumped music into the world.

Then a teenage girl with four piercings and a System of a Down t-shirt walked up and said, “Hey, isn’t that Snowblind?”

Santiago nodded so hard his head nearly came off. “Yes, how’d you know?”

“Oh, System of a Down covered this song. I have everything they’ve ever done.”

“Do you know Black Sabbath?”

“No. Is their stuff good?”

And it was.

Very few people like your best work.

(Or Black Sabbath.)

Every time you try to adapt, tone it down, make it palatable to most people… you get more and more boring.

The majority still don’t like your work, and the glorious few can’t connect with it. (If the industrial metal girl had heard the stereo with all the settings on low, would she have recognised it?)

Can you afford not to turn all your dials to eleven?

Are you ready to deliver your absolute best work and looking for help figuring out what it is? Goddamn Radiant is your dependable roadie, ready to hand you the bass guitar of destiny. Rock it out TODAY.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Marcus Vegas

If you’re sick of marketing…


Parveen decided to create a one-woman show.

On Parveen’s first day, she blurted her lines like a nervous eight-year-old in the school play.

On Parveen’s fifth day, she was more practiced and the words started to flow.

On Parveen’s eleventh day, she realised that she should be wearing an outfit that matched the theme.

On Parveen’s fourteenth day, she started adding gestures to her words.

On Parveen’s twentieth day, she added some lights so people could see her.

On Parveen’s twenty-fifth day, she assembled some chairs so people would stay in comfort.

On Parveen’s thirty-first day, she put out a sign in the street.

On Parveen’s thirty-ninth day, she brought in a couple of props.

On Parveen’s fortieth day, she revised her lines.

On Parveen’s forty-first day, she called a local newspaper about her show.

On Parveen’s forty-third day, she added a sign to the jar that said “Support Local Art”.

On Parveen’s forty-eighth day…

All of these tasks are marketing.

Marketing is communication, and communication is largely non-verbal.

Your colour scheme is a marketing decision.

So is how you package your services.

And how you deliver your work.

The tone of your emails.

What you decide to sell (and not to sell) is marketing.

So if you’re sick of marketing, of talking about what you do…

Stop talking and start doing.

Let the work speak for itself.

This does mean you’ll have to produce something worth talking about

Ready to start taking action about your business and building something worth talking about? DIY Magnificence is here to help you rock it out.

Creative Commons License photo credit: M Glasgow