straight from my notebook

Below you’ll see words that demanded to fly out of my fingertips after journaling this morning, so I thought I’d share them with you today. Imperfections likely present. (Not so ironically, these words came freely after I did some work on healing my inner-perfectionist).

Often, the root work we need to do is put in front of us. But if we’re not willing to do the work, if it’s uncomfortable or we don’t see why it’s important, then we don’t do it.

We end up with a vault of information that we’ve absorbed but haven’t implemented. And we increasingly become more and more like a saturated sponge.

I’ve been guilty of this. Downloading a PDF only to ignore all of the questions in it. Thinking, “oh I already know this.” Buying a course and listening to the lectures or modules, but not actually doing the suggested homework.

In that moment we have a choice. We can blame the person we looked to to give us the answer. Or we can look at ourselves.

We can judge ourselves for still being in the same spot or we can have compassion and recognize that there’s possibly a part of ourselves that doesn’t want us to stop playing small and be seen because we may face rejection.

That part of us is terrified of anything that may expose its ways.

When you work with a coach, you have to take the coaching. One of my mentors, Karl, says this all the time, “take the coaching, Alyssa.”

It’s a decision I have to make. He can’t make me do it.

Similarly, I can’t force clients into taking the coaching—as much as I wish I could sometimes.

If you’re not ready to take the coaching, we will not work well together.

Taking the coaching means committing to go all in no matter what it takes. Even if it doesn’t make sense yet, even when it’s uncomfortable. Especially, when it’s uncomfortable. There’s always a buildup before a breakthrough.

When I was in therapy for OCD, my therapist told me to rub a shoe I had worn in downtown Austin the day before, all over my face, my pillow, and the plate I would later eat off of. And then to make the matter all the more uncomfortable he asked me to rub the shoe on the plate my boyfriend at the time was going to eat off of, too.

Following through on that task was excruciating for me. But I did it. And it changed my life.

As painful as it was, I took the coaching.

If I hadn’t, I would have known *intellectually* that the exposure helps break the cycle of obsessive and compulsive thoughts, but without actually being exposed and doing it, I would have remain stuck in the same endless cycle of panic.

There’s a difference between intellectually knowing something and experientially knowing it.

How many times do you pick up a book and skip all of the suggested exercises?

I’ve done this too (a lot). 🙋🏼‍♀️

I’m all for the efficiency of skipping over what you don’t need, but sometimes a part of us that doesn’t want us to grow sabotages us and says, “you don’t need that.” When really, it’s exactly what you need.

If you’re working with a coach and not taking the coaching, you’re doing yourself and them a disservice.

Your coach doesn’t make your goals happen for you. They’re not a superhuman with the exact answers you’re looking for. And if you’re making it their job to convince you every call that what they’re suggesting is actually of use, are you really allowing yourself to expand and be coached? Or is the part of you that is trying to protect you really the one coaching you in disguise?

You hire a coach to see things you can’t see. But if you’re only willing to do what you understand, are you actually committing to the process of transformation and expansion?

Expansive understanding comes from doing, playing, discovering.

The answers you’re looking for are already inside you, but more often than not we have to be guided back to where they’re stored. They’re often buried underneath years of programs put on us by others.

The point of coaching is to guide you back to yourself over and over so *you* can make your goals happen. So you can collect evidence of your true power hidden beneath layers of critics and stories you’ve been told your whole life.

But if there’s a part of you that really doesn’t want those goals to happen because it’s afraid of how big you may become, then it’s going to sabotage you and probably lead to you hating your coach. Because them pushing you to that place seems like a direct threat to the part of you that’s trying to protect you.

Our inner critics are strong forces but they don’t have to be our leading voices.

If you’re ready to unleash your magic, transform your thinking, and shed the programs and habits no longer serving you so you can shine...

And if you’re ready to take the coaching...

I’m putting my tools for transformation into a LIVE virtual transformational experience March 25th and 26th. Details dropping next week but if you want to be there first to know and get a discount in the process, get on the waitlist here.

More of your true self, more fun, and more joy awaits.

Xx,
Alyssa

P.S. I’m reading an amazing book on healing our inner critics. If you want the name of it, comment below and I’ll send you the title and share some insights it’s given me this week.


Purple Potato Water

The water turned purple, and everything dissolved.

That's what happened when I tried to make sweet potato gnocchi.

After 45 minutes of baking, kneading, rolling, and cutting the dough into the perfect bite-sized pieces. I dumped the freshly formed gnocchi into the boiling water and watched them dissolve one by one.

For the record, that's not supposed to happen. They're supposed to start floating after 2-3 minutes, at which point you take them out and serve them with a delicious sauce.

I had the slotted spoon and the sauce at the ready.

But when it came time to pull them out, there was nothingーno floating gnocchi. In fact, no gnocchi at all. All my work dissolved, gone in less than a minute only to be left with purple potato water.

I still have no idea what happened.

Since I was hungry and wasn't about to let a good sauce go to waste, I threw on another pot of water and made pasta (the gluten-free pasta made with brown rice is my favorite).

I don't feel defeated in the kitchen often. Not to toot my own horn, but I love to cook and make pretty damn delicious meals.

As I result, I feel confident exploring in the kitchen. I'm not afraid of failing because I've proven to myself repeatedly that I can still concoct a meal when something goes haywire.

I want to feel like this in every area of my life. Complete confidence in knowing there is no failure, only feedback. The security to venture beyond my comfort zone because I trust myself to adapt. A willingness to leap and try and create knowing that sometimes the meal turns out great and sometimes I have to adjust. Most importantly, the ability to bounce back with ease.

And yet, it’s not always as easy for me in other areas of my life as it is in the kitchen. So in the moments where I find myself treading water in doubt, I call on Chef Alyssa. By doing so, I’m consciously bringing more of her energy to the situation so that I can experiment more, get curious about solutions, and problem-solve with the confidence I have in the kitchen.

Just like we can model other people, we can model parts of ourselves. That’s why I love giving different parts of myself names so that I can recognize their strengths and challenges and call on them when I need them or tell them to take the backseat when they’re not serving me.

For example, my inner-child is named Alice. She’s great to call on when I need more wonder in my life, but I also have to remind her that we are safe and I’m capable of taking care of us, so she needn’t be so scared.

And then there’s my inner-critic who is named Axil. She is a force to be reckoned with, and by naming her, I can better recognize when her destructive parts and dialogue are taking the reins.

It gives me the language to have more awareness so that I can better choose my response.

I use this as a strategy with clients, too. Parts parties are an effective tool to shake up perspective and the stories we tell ourselves. When I can talk to specific parts of them, we’re better able to get to the root of what’s going on for them.

So, I’m curious. Do you do this? Do you have any parts of yourself you’ve named already? What are you going to call your inner-critic? If you feel so inclined, hit reply and share it with me. I’d love to know!

With so much love,

xx

Alyssa

P.S. Want to receive inspiration like this via email? Subscribe here.


How to Manage Uncertainty With Ease

As business owners, we’re faced with uncertainty a lot.

(Not to mention 2020 seems to be giving dose after dose of uncertainty in general).

But as the owner of your business...

You're the one making all the decisions.
You're the one coming up with the next idea.
You’re the one executing (oftentimes solo).

Which means you’re also the one determining, finding, and attracting where that next payment will come from.

It’s a mindf*ck at times.

Which is why being able to tolerate uncertainty is one of the top skills to cultivate as a business owner.

When you can tolerate uncertainty, your resilience increases.

Resilience is magic because the need to pivot is pretty much guaranteed in business owner life.

What did you think of when you read the word pivot?

I hear it getting lumped into a negativity sandwich all the time.

“Oh, that idea failed, I guess we need to pivot!” In cases like this it’s merging a sense of failure with the need to pivot.

So often people make it seem like you only pivot when you’re not successful. In the above scenarios, the choice to pivot is reactive.

But what about pivoting when you’re successful? What about the proactive pivot?

The moments when you’re comfortable, almost too comfortable so walking away seems silly. But at the same time you kind of hate what you’re doing and are starting to resent the type of work you take on…

Pivoting in these moments where you’re monetarily satisfied but emotionally drained is less talked about.

But it’s these pivots that are THE BEST.

If I had pivoted before getting to burn out, I would have saved myself countless hours of stress and thousands of dollars.

That’s why I love working with women who are ready to pivot to feeling fan-fucking-tastic in their life and business.

And while pivoting can be rife with uncertainty, it can also lead to the biggest transformations.

Not to mention, dropping those offers that are no longer serving you is incredibly freeing.

Here’s how you can start to design your life to handle uncertainty effortlessly and pivot like the priestess you are.

1. Reframe the illusion of certainty

First things first, as my OCD therapist so elegantly told me once, “the only thing that’s certain is uncertainty. So get comfortable with it.”

2. Create a routine

Routines, schedules, and habits help anchor your mind to the present and reduce the need to think of all the crazy what-ifs that can be so easy to cling to.

💭 Who do you need to become for this type of pivot to go beautifully? What habits, schedules, routines can you put in place?

For the past two weeks, I’ve been visiting a friend and the routine we have in place has led to me writing with more ease and flow than I’ve experienced in the past 4 months. Environment + habit = a magical combination for calming the chaos.

3. Schedule it out.

Because pivots often come with the pressure of it feeling like a gigantic moment in life, we tend to think about them on a macro level.

Chunking it down, planning it out, and creating a schedule for yourself can help.

Plus, that means you’ll be taking action and racking up small wins which are the exact evidence you need to reinforce the powerful beliefs that you can indeed pivot.

💭 How can you break down what you want to do even smaller so you can rack up some easy wins?

4. Create a Checklist

Once you chunk down, create a checklist.

Surgeons use checklists to decrease death and infection rates in hospitals. Construction teams use massive, highly detailed checklists to keep the building schedule on track.

Checklists free up mental real estate.

I personally love using a To-Done list. You can snag mine here if you want. As a team, we use Click-Up to manage our checklists.

5. Plan in rewards

We often blow right past our goals or major milestones. Taking the time to notice what we’ve accomplished is important.

💭 How are you going to celebrate the small wins? What rewards can you build into your pivot plan?

I’ve put a virtual party on the calendar for when applications to The Unshakeable Inner Circle close. I love presupposing success in this way and having things to look forward to.

6. Go for a walk

There’s a running joke with a few of my friends that if I haven’t been walked by 3:00, I start to fade. It’s like hanger but from deprivation of fresh air.

Plus, exercise has a way of reminding us that we do have the ability to move around in this world and avoid staying stuck.

7. Assess your emotions

“What emotion am I feeling right now?” is a great question to check in with yourself. Pivoting can bring up many WTF moments and that hamster running on the wheel inside your head doesn’t always label emotions correctly.

Ask yourself, “What emotion am I feeling right now?” to help regulate and see patterns that keep deciding to show up.

Pivoting in your business can be the most freedom-inducing experience. If you’re ready to make a change and finally start trusting yourself so you can make it happen, get in on the FREE Poised to Pivot masterclass. We'll work together to create your pivot plan. (When you click the link you’ll be automagically registered and more details will be sent your way).


How to Use Constraints to Find Clarity

If you ask me, “What do you want for dinner?” my brain melts.

It doesn’t work.

However, if you ask me, “Do you want spaghetti or shrimp bowls?” I can function.

My decision-making abilities return to me. Because clarity needs constraints. (So does creativity).

When we give ourselves constraints, we expand.

And yet, we often find ourselves resisting them.

Take niches for example.

Almost every single client I’ve worked with has been frustrated with their niche at one point or another.

Thanks to the concept of loss aversion, we’re hardwired to focus on what we’ll miss out on by saying “no” instead of focusing on what we have to gain by doing so.

Similarly, niching down can feel like torture because it can feel like we’re saying no to everyone.

But niching down is merely a constraint. It’s a chance for us to get creative with how we best serve a specific group of people.

I HATED the thought of choosing a niche for years...

Being a proud generalist in many regards, the thought of choosing a niche made me want to give up before I started.

It made me feel claustrophobic in my business.

But without a niche, focus becomes increasingly difficult and channeling our creative energy starts to feel impossible.

Constraints can be shortcuts to kickass results.

Here are 3 quick, constraint-filled exercises you can do right now to help you get clear.

Constraint to Clarity Exercises

1). Ask what do I want instead?

Committing to choosing a niche without some constraints feels paralyzing. But remember, we just determined having a niche is great.

So, to get there, do this. (But really, while this email is long these exercises are quick and will leave you feeling like you took aligned action so I highly recommend actually doing them instead of passively skimming them).

Start by asking yourself what you don’t want. We’ve all encountered someone who realllyyyy pushes all of our buttons. That’s likely not the type of person you want to attract so write down some characteristics.

For example, maybe you don’t love working with people who don’t appreciate a well-placed swear word.

Try to make a list of 5-10 things that you know you don’t want. It could be an industry you no longer want to serve, a type of customer, certain traits, etc...

Now, ask yourself, “What do I want instead?” (and write down your answers)

“Instead” is the critical word of constraint here.

For example…

Doesn’t want: A client who doesn’t appreciate swearing → Wants instead: A client who doesn’t shy away from authentic self-expression, who shows her quirks and appreciates mine.

2. Bravo for Brevity

An artist who constrains herself to paint on a 3X5 index card is no less creative than an artist who paints murals.

They chose different constraints.

In our case, getting creative with brevity can induce clarity.

Grab a sheet of paper and write the numbers 1-10 down the left side. Now that you know what you want instead, we’re going to refine your niche even more. Describe the type of client you want to attract 10 different ways. But here’s the constraint to keep your creativity focused... each line has to be 5 words or less.

I tested this exercise this morning as I was working on fine-tuning details for my upcoming group coaching program.

Here’s what came up for me:

  1. Women tired of self-study courses.
  2. Tired, overworked service-based providers.
  3. Multi-passionate, smart, & ready to shine.
  4. From behind-the-scenes to owning it.
  5. Smart badasses desiring self-expression.​

You can get creative with when to break the rules. Hyphens were my best friend in that department.

3. Set a timer.

This isn’t an exercise so much as a practice. When we feel like we have to infinity and beyond to complete something, we tend to procrastinate. All of a sudden, we’ve relinquished our creative thinking space to Netflix, Spotify, and research rabbit holes.

Setting a timer is an easy constraint that fosters momentum. I set timers when I’m reading and when I’m about to start writing.


3 Sentences on Success

What we’re taught to think: “To be successful I need to learn more, make more, do more.”

A different way to think about about success:
Success is a journey of unlearning and then piecing together the insights from what you’ve unlearned into a new way of existing in the world. Success can be experienced daily, it’s not something you have to wait for.

What do you think? Do you agree? Leave a reply and let me know what comes up for you.

xx,

Alyssa


3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Investing in a Course

I’m writing from the couch next to the fireplace in our Whistler hotel as snow falls out the window.

It's peaceful and serene and probably the exact opposite of your inbox right now.

Because it's digital course launch season.

The time of year when all your favorites in the online coaching/creative/marketing world start sharing their favorite programs with you and therefore your inbox may begin to avalanche into disarray.

To be clear, this isn't one of those emails.

This is an email to help you know how to digest those emails.

Because choosing how to spend your time, energy, and money in your business is a perpetual struggle. Speaking from experience over here. 🙋‍♀️

You see, I've bought at least 15 online courses over the past 6 years. When I told my therapist about this, she not-so-delicately told me I use courses as a reassurance seeking behavior.

And she was right.

For years, I bought almost every course someone emailed me about.

Some of those purchases happened at the right moment in my business...

Others were a total distraction because I kept telling myself I needed more knowledge to gain confidence, when really what I needed was experience.

And it's not that I regret any of the purchases--investing in yourself always leads to greater awareness and the courses were all high-quality.

But on the other side of spending upwards of $40,000 on courses, programs, coaching, and trainings, I've learned a thing or two about deciding where and when to invest your money and energy when it comes to learning.

So, to help you avoid staying stuck in overwhelm here are three things to consider before you buy any digital courses this season (or whenever you're feeling the tingling sensation to hit "buy" that only great copy can give you).

1). Where's your mindset at right now?

Are you feeling particularly confused because you haven't been making the time to create your own work?

Or, are you totally rocking consistent action but still feel like you need some support.

  • Our thoughts and mood influence our perception and behavior. If you haven't been making the time to create your own work, do one thing for your business before you make your final decision. Write an email to your list, DM an ideal client, make a small update to your website. Do something. Clarity comes from action.

2). Is this the kind of support I need right now?

  • In certain seasons of business we need different kinds of support. Sometimes we have the capacity for self-study courses and other times what we really need is a community of support or 1:1 guidance to move forward. Here are two more questions to help you decide...
  • Is committing to carving out time weekly (without someone waiting on the other end of the line) your jam? Or, do you need to know people are counting on you to show up in order to show up for yourself right now? Be honest with yourself. There's no wrong answer.

3). If I muted everyone promoting [insert course/program name here] for the next two weeks, would I still be searching for something to help me solve this problem?

  • If yes, then investing in the course may be a wise investment at this time because it sounds like you're intimately aware of the problem you need to solve. You're looking for results, not more reasons and you're likely ready to do the coursework and apply it in your business.
  • If no, then maybe the promo copy is tapping into an insecurity more than a need. Take 15 min and free-write to consider what's really holding you back.

I will never tell someone not to invest in developing their skills as a business owner but I will always tell you to examine your mindset, thoughts, and emotions when doing so because they can be sneaky, snarky, or spectacular at any given moment.

Sometimes you need to pay to learn from someone else's creation and sometimes developing your skills means you have to practice what you've already learned.

And in case you need this reminder (because I need it often), there is never one answer or one course that will give you the magic pill of certainty you're looking for.

The only secret is getting comfortable trusting yourself even when you're uncertain.

Use the 3 questions above as part of your decision-making process this digital course season so that you're making decisions from the magical and empowering place that is trusting yourself.

With so much love,

xx

Alyssa

​P.S. To call out the gorgeous elephant in the room, the course that kicks off digital course launch season is B-School by Marie Forleo and her glorious hair. It's not quite open for enrollment yet, but the emails about her free (insanely high-quality) video are starting to roll in.

If you've answered the questions above and you're thinking, "Hell yes, B-School is exactly what I need right now!" then I'm elated for you and recommend signing up throughLaura Belgray, the beautiful brain behind Talking Shrimp. Again, not an affiliate.

I've gotten a sneak peak at her bonuses and they're the highest-quality companion to get you doing the actual work while you're going through B-School.

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Alyssa sitting on a fence

Learning to say what you want

Which is easier for you? Saying what you don't want or saying what you want?

If you're like most people I know, saying what you want is infinitely harder than saying what you don't want.

Case in point, when your significant other asks, "What do you want for lunch?" Do you say, "I don't know" and then wait for a list to choose from or do you say, "Let's go get Thai food."

In general, saying what you don't want is easier than saying what you want because "I don't want" is a direct answer to one thing instead of picking from limitless options of what you could want.

But going around saying everything you don't want isn't doing anything to help yourself (or your significant other who just wants help picking where to go to lunch).

When you go around clearly articulating everything you don't want, you're giving all your focus and power to those things. You're being specific in the wrong direction.

>>Focusing on what you don't want doesn't help the universe (who is on your side by the way), bring you a fat dose of what you DO want.

Except knowing what you want, especially when you're so used to putting other people first, is d.i.f.f.i.c.u.l.t. I know. AND... I also know that you having wants, dreams, and desires ISN'T SELFISH.

Your wants are just as important as everyone else's you find time to prioritize. ❕

It's time to unleash your juiciest, dreamiest wants.

I believe deep, deep, deeeeeeep down you know exactly what you want. You've just practiced people-pleasing for so long, that your "I want" muscle hasn't been flexed in a reallyyyyy long time.

So, here's how to start flexing that beauty again...

Whenever you hear yourself saying, I don't want to...(insert thing you don't want to do), flip it on its head and ask yourself, "what do I want instead?"

I don't want Mexican food ➡️I want Thai instead.

I don't want to work here anymore ➡️I want to work somewhere where I feel challenged and can be creative.

I don't want to feel like this anymore ➡️I want to wake up with something to look forward to on my calendar every day.

That little word, "instead" is where the magic is. You don't have to know exactly what you want for all of eternity, you just have to know a small piece of what you want *instead.*

I've been using this for the past few weeks and I've already felt a difference. It's becoming easier and easier to say what I want, without all the panic, from the get-go.

A little note for my fellow recovering over-thinkers...

Don't worry about how it's going to happen just yet. This isn't the time to draw on the part of yourself that loves to overthink. Give her a name (mine's "In her head Hayden"), and tell her she's not needed right now. When we overthink before we articulate what we want, what we want morphs into something that feels safe, instead of something that could absolutely be possible.

Try it out today. I believe in the power of this and in you. What you want is important. This life is yours to shape however you like.

With so much love,

xx, Alyssa

P.S. I want us to help keep each other accountable. 👯‍♀️Think of something you know you don't want, ask yourself, "What do I want instead?" and then drop it in the comments and let me (and thereby the universe) know what it is.

 

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Be like Portland. Neon sign that says Portland Oregon.

be like Portland not Newark

I hit the jackpot flying back to Austin last night.

I not only had the extra roomy exit row, I had the extra roomy exit row all to myself.

I was about to "sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight" as the flight intendant instructed, but instead, I whipped out my phone to write you a quick email.

I've been traveling quite a bit lately. Some for work and some for play. (More on that later).

I've been in and out of the Portland, Detroit, Newark, and Austin airports. And Houston, Dallas, LAX, and Chicago-Midway due to layovers.

Out of all of these, Newark is an exceptionally terrible airport.

(To be fair, Terminal C seems okay after a recent upgrade, but Terminal A, where I had the pleasure of hanging out is crap).

The only food options are a consistently slammed Mexican restaurant (due to demand, not deliciousness), a Ben and Jerry's, and a deli.

There's nowhere to sit, it's dirty, and you can't get a decent drink because the Mexican restaurant's bar is constantly full of people trying to distract themselves from how terrible it is with a less-than-natural margarita.

The Detroit airport isn't much better.

It's heavy on chain restaurants and is far from gluten free friendly. But it's spacious, has a few bars for a pre-flight Moscow Mule, and is seemingly cleaner than Newark, so it gets a few extra points in my book.

If it were a hotel, I'd give it 2.5 stars.

The Austin and Portland airports, on the other hand, are noticeably different.

They're filled with airport versions of popular local restaurants, adapted versions of bars people actually frequent while in the city, shops that house more than touristy keychains, and they have live music.

Patrick and I went to the Austin airport 3 hours ahead of our flight because we knew we could get delicious BBQ and hang at Saxon Pub listening to music instead of having to get our kitchen dirty before leaving.

Here's the difference.

PDX and ATX have managed to make the airport feel like an experience, not a chore.

I mean, check out this fantastic copy I spotted on a sign for a bathroom remodel in Portland.

Make people feel something. A sign with amazing copy spotted at the Portland airport

It's way more creative than the typical, "Bathroom closed for remodeling." It made me stop and take a picture (and not just because I'm a copywriter who is paid to appreciate words in abnormal ways).

It made me *feel* something unexpected.

In this case, it made me chuckle and feel like they cared about my experience as a visitor.

Your work can make people feel something too.

It all comes down to intentional details.

>>You can be like Newark, which is really like my grandma running into Walgreens to buy reading glasses that she knows won't work, but it's a last-ditch attempt because she forgot hers at home.

She doesn't want to buy them there, but she's desperate, so she regrettably forks over her hard-earned cash.

>>You can be like the Detroit airport, which is more like the traditional professional (read: stuffy) business that you know you can trust, but most interactions with them are just plain boring.

It's like going into a LensCrafters where they say things like, "See your best every day with a comprehensive eye exam at LensCrafters." Blah.

>>Or, you can be like Portland. The business with personality, like Warby Parker.

The one that makes people happy to hang around and talk about you because you make them feel something unexpected.

"Good things await you." is the messaging on the box that Warby Parker delivers to your *house*, so that you can try on multiple pairs for more than five minutes and ask all your friend's opinions before choosing the perfect pair. They know what's up.

So, moral of the story... Don't be like Newark's airport (ever). And don't be like Detroit's if you want to stand out.

Instead, be a Portland. Or an Austin. Make people feel something, intentionally.

With so much love,

xx, Alyssa

P.S. Need some help infusing more personality? I'm here for you.

 

Want to make this inbox official? Pop your name and email into the form below. xx

 


Alyssa writing in notebook on couch

This writing trick is as good as peanut butter cups

Consistency can be hard am I right?

I'm great at doing some things consistently... like eating Justin's Peanut Butter Cups.

I eat two of those dark chocolate masterpieces a day. And as a tribute to my adulthood, I eat them before dinner.

I'm not so great at being consistent with working out, remembering to switch my laundry from the washer to the dryer, or taking the Vitamin D my doctor keeps telling me I need to take.

When building online businesses though, consistency is where the magic lies.

That means writing emails, blogs, and generally being prolific--offering up value for your ideal clients all over the place.

But if you aren't clear on who you're talking to or what you're talking about being prolific can feel impossible.

Maybe you've felt like this...

You have a great idea you can't wait to share but the second you sit down to write, all your thoughts vanish and you don't know where to start so you stare at the screen and wait for inspiration. And then all of a sudden cleaning the toilet seems more appealing than trying to write. 🚽

Fortunately, there's a trick (for writing, not for cleaning your toilet).

Pretend like you're writing to a single person.

Preferably a friend or ideal client, someone you feel like you can be yourself with and who isn't going to judge you when you tell them you eat peanut butter cups 7 days a week.

Of course you're going to want to reach more than one person, but the best messages are focused messages and nothing helps with focus more than clearly writing to one specific person.

When you sit down to write, especially if you haven't flexed the muscle in a while, it can feel overwhelming. But if you imagine you're writing to your BFF or that dream client you met last week, it can feel fun and freeing instead of like a chore.

And once you know who you're writing to it becomes much easier to whip up a focused outline.

So, sit down, open up a doc, and do these 4 things to get going (before your brain even goes to the cleaning toilets space).

(**Or because I love making your life easier, snag the template I made for you here. 😉)

  1. Pick one person you want to write to today and type their name at the top of the doc.
  2. Write down the topic you know they need to hear about or want to share with them.
  3. Write your intention for the email/post. Do you want to entertain her, educate her on something, inform her, or inspire her? A combination?
  4. Then write "feel", "know", "do" and ask yourself these three questions: What do you want her to feel after reading this? What do you want her to know? What do you want her to do? Type your answers in the doc.

✨Voila! Now you have yourself an outline and know what to focus on.

Here's what that outline looked like when I sat down to write this email:

  • The topic: a simple way to avoid overwhelm when it comes to writing
  • I wanted you to feel entertained. It's Friday after all.
  • I wanted you to know that you're not alone if you find writing consistently to be challenging and give you a tip to get a dose of clarity and move into action
  • And I want you to do this: Feel more in control of your writing process so you can take a step towards being prolific.

Follow these 4 steps as consistently as I eat peanut butter cups and you'll have created more raving fans in no time.

With so much love,

xx Alyssa

P.S. People's grocery store habits fascinate me. What people eat says a lot about them. So, I'm curious, what kind of shopper are you? The weekly or daily type? Hit reply and let me know.

P.P.S. Don't let overwhelm keep you from sharing your ideas. Your voice matters. Snag this template and get creating!


sitting on the porch

Can you sit?

I was leaning over the counter eating artichoke hearts out of the can when my friend Kerason texted me mid-bite. She was asking if I knew what I was going to write yet since it's 5:06 on Tuesday—the day I promised myself I'd send you love notes.

I didn't have a complete idea formulated yet, but apparently, I'm inspired by food because I instantly recalled something I overheard last night that I had wanted to tell you about.

Cue to last night...

As I hopped off my bike in front of the restaurant, I heard a woman say, "Sit. Sit. Can you sit?" She sounded frustrated.

Her dog, who was clearly ignoring her, had no intention of sitting right then and there.

But as I was locking my bike to the "No Parking" sign, her last question struck me as odd.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that it's something I've said to Jake (my dog) a thousand times when he isn't listening.

But it was in this moment that I realized there may be no such thing as a dumb question, but there are certainly meaningless questions, and this is one of them.

Can you sit?

I couldn't help but imagine the dog as an animated cartoon with a thought bubble over its head saying, "I CAN sit but I don't feel like it, and you can't hear me talking back to you, so I'm not going to."

A more meaningful question to pique the rebel retrievers interest would have been, "Do you want a treat?" Then telling him to sit.

While exchanging treats for commands isn't great dog parenting, it works—and it highlights an important point.

If you want better answers, you have to ask better questions.

The questions you ask are a direct reflection of how much energy you want the other person to put into a response. Meaningless questions get meaningless answers and leave people in a connectionless loop of social scripts.

It's like when the guy at the checkout counter asks, "How are you?"

Do you tell him you didn't get much sleep and you're hungry, but overall it was a good day? No. You say "Fine" and wait for your receipt.

Asking better questions is a really easy way to show people that you care. It's also a really easy way to be a better human.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, right? So when we put more energy into the questions we ask, we're leaving the space for an authentic answer.

If you want to get meaningful information from someone (your boyfriend, your daughter, your client, that complete stranger who is a total hottie sitting near you at the coffee shop) you have to ask meaningful questions.

But since that's easier said than done, I thought I'd give you a few tips on how to do just that.

Here are 3 ways to ask better, high-energy questions:

1). Keep them open-ended.
One of the easiest ways to ask more meaningful questions is to keep them open-ended. Yes/no questions can often feel like an interrogation...which is exactly how I felt when my dad used to ask me "did you do your homework?" (The irony here is that my dad routinely talks about asking better questions with his clients).

2). Add some context.
The problem with broad, overly open-ended questions can be that they're so broad they induce analysis paralysis. Like when Patrick asks where I want to go to dinner tomorrow night... He'd be doing me a huge favor and getting us closer to an answer if he added a little context.

"I'd like to take you to dinner tomorrow night at a Mexican place, which one sounds good to you?"

Adding some context goes a long way so that it's easier for the person to come up with an answer that's going to be useful to you.

3). Understand why you're asking the question. 
This is the most important.

If you're just asking a question to break the silence, chances are you won't spark a worthwhile one--and you're likely to annoy the other person.

Know why you're asking the question and adjust what you ask accordingly.

For example, if you're trying to understand which social media platform is your audiences favorite so that you can show up there more often, you don't just want to ask, "which social media platform is your favorite?" Asking this way won't help you know if it's their favorite to post on or their favorite platform for connecting with family.

Instead, it'd be better to ask, "Which social media platform is your favorite for business inspiration?" Then, you'd actually know where to focus your efforts to connect.

Engagement, connection, and ultimately, success comes from asking meaningful questions. Investing in how you say things is the best thing you can do to enhance your relationships—with clients, friends, lovers, and your family.

Not to mention, deep conversations are significantly more fun, and you can only go deep when you get meaningful.

With so much love,

Xx
Alyssa

P.S. Want to start asking clarity inducing questions in your business? I can help with that.

P.P.S Is it just me or do you eat strange things tucked in the back of your cabinets when you're home alone too? Please let me know I'm not alone in this.

P.P.P.S. Know a friend who can relate? Forward it to them. Or ya know, if you need a slightly passive aggressive way to let someone know they need to ask better questions...it's good for that too.

Want to make this inbox official?

It’ll be like talking to your BFF about authenticity, gratitude, mindset, and kicking ass in your business. Drop your name & email below. With so much gratitude, Alyssa