What if…

Summer road trip : day4 : Salem

What if you decided that you weren’t going to settle for the standard life: do tasks that make cash then do tasks that make joy.

What if you decided that everything you did in your business had to produce both cash AND joy?


You would have to stop delivering every offering that you didn’t love.

You would have to ditch every client who make you grit your teeth – or yawn.

You would have to end your relationship with every supplier who left you bored, frustrated or angry.

You would have to stop dicking around on social media and just reading everyone else’s links – unless they were links that increased your chances of making cash and joy.

You would have to write enjoyable sales pages for offerings that you’re giddy to sell.

You would have to only write articles that improved your chances of making money and were a pleasure to write.

You would have to become very efficient.

You would have to say no to 90% of the requests in your inbox.

You would have to conduct experiments.

You would have to schedule in breaks to walk in the garden and play Dragon Age 2.

You would have to be surrounded by peers who valued both cash and joy, and not one or the other.

You would have to build your capacity to care.

You would have to put your prices up, probably.

You would have to adapt the living hell out of most marketing frameworks. (Not mine, she says smugly.)

You would have to stop giving your work away to people who won’t value it.

You would have to deliver stunningly amazing and remarkable work.

You would have to stop censoring yourself.

You would have to love your inbox and your to-do list.

You would have to fall in love with meaningful metrics.

You would have to commit intensely.

You would have to ignore most of the advice of all of your mentors.

You would have to have constant reminders to stay on target. (Use the Force, Luke.)

You would have to be very fussy about who you work with.

You would have to think before you implement.

You would have to know when to take days off.

You would have to abandon half a hundred sexy future plans.

You would have to focus on rocking the hell out of just a few.

You would have to lead.

You would have to be imperially confident in your teeny tiny empire.

You would have to alienate a thousand people and madly fling all your love at a hundred.

You would have to turn the volume up to 11.

You would have to get lots of sleep.

You would have to endure conversations about how you’re, like, way too intense.

You would have to resist the comforting womb of inertia. All day.

Sound exhausting?

Sound life-changing?

Sound the trumpets!

Ready to start shining? Goddamn Radiant is here to help.

Creative Commons License photo credit: pfala

38 thoughts on “What if…

  1. Many…many of your very timely points hit home for me. My business is finally getting some real consistent traction and what do I discover? A dollar IS NOT a dollar IS NOT a dollar.

    There are some people whose projects I LOVE TO WORK on and could tweak to kingdom come to delight them and make them squeal with joy and shower me with adoration…LOL!

    There are also people who are draining and whose projects, although well paying, I am loathe to work on much less muster enough energy to make them awesome.

    This is surprising to me because I thought, sewing is sewing is sewing, but there are VERY definitely,yes, I know ly indicates very, but there are VERY DEFINITELY projects and people I like to work with and those I do not.

    So now I am the point where I have to, once again, muster up the courage to even more tightly define what I want to do, curtail the scope of my services and ramp up my pursuit of and fine tune my marketing to, that smaller, self selected group of customers.

    The voice in my head is saying,…”waaaaaa…we FINALLY have a steady flow of work coming in and NOW you want to go and “mess it up?”……waaaaaaa. I can COAST for goodness sake after all that struggle and SACRIFICE!! SACRIFICE I SAY!!”

    Yes, my inner voice is quite the drama queen.

    You would think that after getting over the fear of leaving a steady job, getting over the fear of telling people my entrepreneurial aspirations, getting over the fear of marketing and then the fear of pricing and, and, and….

    Apparently the “fear” never goes away entirely, but at each step of the way is replaced with more and more confidence. And you know what? That is just fine by me.

    Thank you for putting these points together in a salient, easily digestible post.

    1. Your inner voice sounds a lot like mine. Does she do grand arm-waving gestures, too?

      And double-plus agreement points on your thoughts about fear. My fears grow larger at every step, but so do my fear-climbing stilts!

  2. Yup…that sounds about right.
    I love it. Talk about a formula for being remarkable. Give your all or don’t even try. Go big or go home. I feel like this is the next era of business. As the path of the entrepreneur becomes the norm (because the path if the corporate ladder dead ends), people have an important decision to make when it comes to their professional image. Being yourself, and offering what YOU love, as opposed to the other way around appears to be a scary, new concept. As we see more and more people making money LOVING what they do with little worry of what others think of them, I think it will be clear that this path is the more fulfilling one.

  3. Absolutely love it!

    Just before I saw this on Twitter , I was having a conversation with my wife about my business and how I was not messing (cleaned up version) around anymore.

    I’m so ready.

    Thanks Catherine for stoking the already burning fire!

  4. “You would have to endure conversations about how you’re, like, way too intense” just realizing I was subconsciously avoiding this. Allowing fear monster to throw their doubt bombs.
    I shall continue the fight against that lively inertia womb
    Thanks Catherine!

  5. Catherine. I love your posts. But I have a problem. I can’t read the damn things all the way through without having to write down all my blippety-blippin thoughts. But yes, this one, and your “Not quite right people” one has been on my mind a lot today. Viva la revolucion!

  6. Rad! I’m giggling I’m so happy. Thanks for the sunshine.

    “You would have to endure conversations about how you’re, like, way too intense.” -could you explain a little more on this one? xxoo

    1. I think it’s a few issues rolled into one complaint.

      – You’re uncompromising in your dedication to ze cash and joy, so you intimidate people who have an uneasy relationship with one or the other.
      – You get loads and loads done. More than the run-to-the-money-then-chill-for-the-joy folks.
      – You have much more emotional energy to spend since you’re constantly refilling your tanks with all that joy.
      – Jealousy.

      More things too, but those are the easy ones to think of.

  7. This is such a fantastic post–it’s everything I love about what you write. I want to print it out and hang it everywhere. It’s a kick in the pants that isn’t just about how I *think* about my business–it’s also about what I’m going to DO.

    1. That’s an EXCELLENT first step (and thankee!). If you’ve been reading for a while you know I like to start big projects with small steps so you can get some momentum going.

      Of course, you still need to take a *second* step, but I’m sure you shall. πŸ™‚

      1. Totally! More changes are in the works, some of them huge, and I’m currently trying to shape them into little manageable steps. I’ve made a schedule for gradually raising my hourly rate (which figures into how I price my jewelry) over the course of the next year and a half, aiming towards a wage that would actually be sustainable, and I’m currently plotting ways to make my products worth that. It’s going to mean doing most of the things in this post. Eek, that’ll mean change and, like, effort–but I’m thrilled and in love with the idea of rising to meet that challenge!

  8. Do go on, Catherine! You saying I would have to be “imperially confident in my teeny tiny empire” immediately drew a picture of my teeny tiny empire in(to) my head in a way that “empire” on its own wouldn’t have.

    So funny to me that with your choice of words, you made my empire loom huuuuge in my mind. And I know that’s just where you want it to be for all of us, because it’s got to get fixed in there good before the ruling can commence.

    Get in the way! I’m madly flinging love at you.

  9. Love this post! So timely for me. I’ve just committed to revamping my business model to focus primarily on what I’m TRULY passionate about and not just the thing I know how to make money doing. It’s still a part of the big picture, but it’s not the primary focus. Love it, love it, LOVE IT!

  10. HOW did I miss this the first time around?

    Shit, woman. This is IT. I am including this on the curated collection of content from around the web I give to my clients after our work together. Everybody needs to see this.

  11. Thank you for an excellent reminder that I am on the right track with my little business. I may not be very big (yet), I may not be making a profit (yet) but I’m doing what I love in a way I love and don’t want to change that or lose that. I really believe that is what is going to keep my little empire going when others fall away!

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