Loss is not simply the sadness that radiates from the space someone leaves behind them when they're no longer there, it's the responsibility to keep on living deeply and joyfully in their absence. Because it is through living and celebrating each day, embracing every experience - the good, the bad, the mundane - that we do justice to the opportunity we have been given to be alive."
I wrote these words this morning after waking at 5am and remembering what day it was. 26 July. A day forever etched into my memory after an unimaginable family tragedy changed all of our lives forever 30 years ago.
I don't normally write about personal issues on this blog but I wanted to share these words here because I think they are so important to remember, regardless of whether you have suffered a loss or not.
Often when I work with clients we look at their values and beliefs. These often shape where they want to take their business. But I wonder how many of them know why they hold those values and beliefs. I've not really examined why I believe so strongly in freedom, honesty and adventure, for example. But on reading my own words back today, I realised that there is a part of me that wants to live fully to honour two people who can't. I want to be free to experience whatever comes my way, to say yes to new challenges and to live openly and honestly because I can.
It's the same reason I am self-critical and lack self-belief. Why I feel that I have never achieved enough. Because no matter how much I might try to do - even if I am unknowingly trying to do it to prove that I'm living a good life in their honour - nothing will ever be enough. Because I cannot make up for two missing lives. All I can do is live my own. And live it well.
Being successful or achieving great things so that you have a rich and fulfilling life is brilliant. But a more brilliant life is to be happy with the one you have. To accept every day, no matter what it brings, and be grateful for it.
The point of this post?
Simply to say that your life has made you who you are. You can't unmake it. You can simply continue the story. You have the ability to change the storyline anytime you like. You can make it as exciting or as mundane as you feel comfortable with. But whether you are writing an edge-of-your-seat blockbuster, or a repetitive, predictable plot, own it. It's your story. You are the author of your life.
If you're a parent, summer holidays have either started or will be soon. Even if you're not, summer is typically a quieter time for businesses as everyone heads off to the beach or drinks their bodyweight in Pimms while burning sausages on a bbq.
This quieter period is a brilliant time to catch up on the big projects you've been planning on doing but haven't had the chance to get to yet. Things like giving your website a makeover, or changing your business direction, plotting out new products or services, creating new marketing campaigns or comms plans for the rest of the year.
While others are sunbathing, you can be plotting out the rest of the year so that come September you are ready to roll!
Some ideas to use the quieter weeks well:
Here's how I can help you over this period:
Clarity - if you want to change your business in any way, whether that's new packages, new clients, an entirely new direction, new messages, I can help you get the clarity you need. I recently helped Juliet, a coach, restructure her packages. This is what she had to say:
"I just wanted to say that I've had time to go through the summary doc in detail and love all the ideas, the ones we discussed and the new ones. And the angles you've suggested for the copy. I'm now in the process of restructuring my services and creating new material. Argh so much to do, but it's fun too and am feeling a lot more positive about the future of the business."
Copy - if you need fresh copy for your website or any of your marketing materials - perhaps a job lot of blog posts or newsletter content for the next few months, I can write this for you. You can lie on the beach while I take care of the words you just can't seem to find. Return to a heap of new content all done for you. Here's how I helped a nutritionist, a new product and a life coach find the words they needed.
Communication - if you are finding it hard to come up with regular marketing updates, I can help you either with one-on-one coaching, or by spending an intensive day with you planning, brainstorming and training, or by writing you a communications plan that you can roll out. Here's what a producer of babywear said after I had a one-on-one strategy day and wrote her comms plan:
"I found the session very useful and feel like you managed to put into words what the brand stands for. I also think we nailed who the target consumer is. Thanks so much for the comms plan and for all your work – looks very comprehensive! I will start reading this evening – excited to get started with it!"
Publicity - a quiet period is also a good time to learn a new skill. So whether you want to spend just £49 and 75 minutes listening to my PR Masterclass on how to get in the press fast, or you want to get an in depth understanding of how to get in the media on an ongoing basis with my Publicity for Solopreneurs course, use the time wisely! I also have a PR Firestarter Kit that gives you the tools to get your story out to the press with minimal effort. Summer is quiet for media too and they are always on the hunt for good stories. Use the lull to get fabulous publicity.
I also have kids on holidays so will have less time available to me so get in touch ASAP if you want my help with any of this before I get booked up. Email me.