A Manifesto for Growing Your Work
1. Get narrow. Let your expertise and values shape your work.
Get clear by asking the hard questions: What do I want? What do I need? What do I value? What do I naturally well? What makes me excited at a gut level? What do I dream about doing in 5 years? Use these answers to shape your core mission; let this statement lead your long-term plan, collaborations, and intentional actions. Remember that your work isn’t for everyone, but it is for someone.
2. Connect to your body.
Struggling to get clear about what you want and need, or feeling stuck? Rest your brain and get into your body. Walk, move, go analog, and make space away from the noise. Work from your intuition.
3. Share as you go. Lean into your humanity.
The world needs real, imperfect, authentic humans over slick, perfect brands. Vulnerability can be your friend. Share your work while it's in-process; share YOU; share the 'why' that drives what you do. Make work that supports and cares for people.
4. Acknowledge your emotional gunk.
Are you getting in your own way? Unresolved emotional crap and old patterns keep us in a pattern of stuck-ness.
5. Partner and collaborate.
You don't need to work alone. Collaboration with like-minded people and organizations organically gives us additional momentum and impact.
6. Take care of yourself.
What do you need to feel cared for and sane? Do this. Keep your eyes on your own paper (aka "Comparison is the thief of joy!"), and remember that your work is meant to serve you and your own goals. Remember that the best things take time, and set realistic expectations. Work intentionally, and know when to stop.
7. Frame it as an experiment.
Treating the work as an experiment gives us freedom to try new things and take the results less personally. Are the results different than you expected? Adjust your course accordingly. Zoom out every now and then to notice where you're stuck and what's going well.
8. Pleasure measures.
Are you having fun? Is your work giving more than it's taking from you? Make adjustments as needed.