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I love bad reviews

I love bad reviews

I love good reviews more, of course.

But I love ALL reviews.

Anytime someone cares enough about what I’m doing to take the time to comment, I’m deeply honored.

Whether they love it or hate it or are just “meh” about it is none of my business. People are allowed to think and feel however they like, and it really has nothing to do with me.

Are you having a hard time digesting that?
Think of it this way: you know that none of their other opinions have to do with you, right?
I mean, if someone said, “Oh, I just loathe peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!” you wouldn’t take that personally, would you? You know that their feeling about PB&J isn’t about you, yes? Right. So just because the opinion under discussion happens to be “you” or “your work” does not make it any more or less about you. It’s all about them.
The moment someone starts to talk about likes and dislikes, or about “better” and “best,” they have stopped talking about the thing itself and they have started talking about themselves. (Thanks to Carolyn Bremer for the origin of this pithy phrasing.)
Here’s why I bring this up:

I was getting ready for another drive into LA, which takes about 90 minutes, and I was thinking that maybe instead of listening to a podcast, I might download a new audio book.
While cruising Audible books and reviews, I realized that I had never once looked up my own books to see their reviews.

Durrrrr….

So I look them up and…

They are just lovely!

People say the most wonderful things about my writing and about my narration and I’m just beaming over here.
And the one negative review cracked me up so much my ego forgot to even wince.
(Laughter almost always defeats ego. Try it.)
Take a look at the screenshots below and you can see for yourself.
And if you’re looking for something nice to listen to, please consider

“Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day” or use this aff link: http://amzn.to/2vKEK6s

OR

“Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Can Make a Big Difference for Overwhelmed Procrastinators, Frustrated Overachievers and Recovering Perfectionists” or use this aff link: http://amzn.to/2eP4R8x

And for what’s it worth, I think your work is fabulous.

I also love PB&J.

Yours,
Sam

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Ok, that’s it!

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Clearly, this has all gone too far.

The news has made me weep almost hourly and I am done with feeling outraged, feeling powerless and feeling frightened.

It’s time to reclaim our creative power and become a relentless force for kindness.

And when I say “time” I mean right now. This very minute.

We creatives have been OK with taking a back seat for too long.

The time for change is now. This very minute.

If you want to live in a world in which creativity matters, then you must act like creativity matters.

Yours first.

And then everyone else’s.

If you want to live in a world of compassion and tolerance, then you must behave compassionately and tolerantly.

Starting with yourself.

Then everyone else.

This means:

No name-calling.
No blaming.
No eye-rolling.
No over-dramatizing.
And most of all: no quitting.

This means:

You don’t get to call yourself, “lazy” or “a failure” or “not good with money” anymore.

You don’t get to point the finger at the family, the teachers, the economy or the media and blame them for your lack.

You don’t get to stand on the sidelines and pretend like the world economy doesn’t have anything to do with you.

You don’t get to huff around making loud noises about moving to Canada when there is a whole world of people out here who need your art, your stories and your voice more than ever before.

I know it’s hard.

I know it’s hard to not let the state of the world turn your mood dark.

But our weapon is the light.

Our weapon is politeness, good humor, firm resolve without violence and most of all, of creativity.

The time to find unusual solutions and out-of-the-box ideas is now.

We’ve let those other guys be in charge for too long, and it’s time we reclaimed our rightful place as the shamans, jesters, prophets, documentarians, dancers, poets, potters, teachers, healers, music-makers, magic-makers and makers-of-things.

Our work brings people together.

Our work reminds people of our shared humanity.

After all – we all want the same things.

We all want to eat good food and love somebody special.

We all want to feel like our work matters.

We all want to laugh at good jokes and be with our friends, especially when times are especially good or especially hard.

All of us.

Every person of every stripe throughout all time has wanted these things.

So if you want to bring people together, do it around the things that you have in common.

I’ve heard that marriage equality progressed faster than anyone thought it could thanks to “Will and Grace.”

And I know for a fact that “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” helped end slavery.

Matthew Bourne’s “Swan Lake” changed our ideas about masculinity, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson is now regularly on my old friend Stephen Colbert’s Late Show, making astrophysics cool again.

And wasn’t it teeny-bopper-Tweeter turned pop-culture-goddess-superstar Taylor Swift taking the stand against sexual harassment this week?

Art matters.

Artists matter.

You matter.

So do not allow yourself to sink into despair.

Rather: allow yourself to sink into the work that has been calling your name.

You don’t know how much your novel, your sexual empowerment workshop, your yoga, your paint (or paint-by-numbers) might change the world.

So don’t let anyone (not even the voices in your head) tell you that your work is foolish, is selfish, is unnecessary or should be put off until tomorrow.

It is time to be a relentless force for creativity, kindness and joy. This very minute.

Pass it on.

Yours,
Sam

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Quitting

Quitting

At Crossfit on Saturday, I was really challenged by one of the exercises.

(To be fair, I’m challenged by nearly ALL the exercises at Crossfit. Crossfit is no joke.)

I was sweating and panting and red-faced and getting lapped by everyone else in the group. I felt weak and frustrated and left behind. I felt like a failure. I wanted to cry. I did cry. I was mad and exhausted and my arms and legs were shaking. My only thought was, “Just don’t quit. Just don’t quit. Just don’t quit. You can suck at this, you can go slow, you can hate it but you CANNOT quit.”

All the while, I was seriously considering quitting.

Just then, the instructor came over to me and asked, “Does it hurt? Or is it just hard?”
I looked her in the eye.
“It’s just hard,” I said.
She said, “OK. Good.”
And she walked away.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot: some things are just hard. But as long as no one’s getting hurt, it’s worth it to keep going.

#dontquit #crossfitbadass #ibuprophenplease #thehardiswhatmakesitgreat

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Personal Branding for Creatives (the Easy Way!)

 

My Heroes

Confused about personal branding? Not sure how to describe you or your work in a way that doesn’t feel weird?

You’re not alone. Personal branding is complicated for everyone.

The problem in creating a personal brand is that we are on the inside of our own heads, having an interior experience of ourselves. We have never been on the receiving end of our own energy. We have never flirted with us. We have never seen us from the side, or from across the room.

At the same time, everyone else on the planet is having an exterior experience of us. They don’t share our perspective and they can’t hear the voices in our heads : )

So we need to come up with a vocabulary that describes us truthfully. One that captures both our internal experience of ourselves as well as everyone else’s exterior experience of us.

Luckily, we can do that pretty quickly, because you’ve been being you for some time now. We just have to find the right words.

Experiment with this quick 20-minute video. I bet you’ll be delighted with what you discover. Leave a comment and let me know, OK?

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Even the Stars Fall

Even the Stars Fall

Here’s a short reflection on life’s ups and downs written during a bit of a low point this past fall. I find it oddly comforting.

Even the stars fall.

Ascension is not better.

Descending is not worse.

Depth is good.

And the ride down is a breeze

As soon as you stop telling yourself that it’s not.

The ride up can be breezy, too

As soon as you drop the story about

The ladder and the struggle.

In fact, maybe it’s you who is

Standing still

with the Universe orbiting your perfect self.

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Do you want to write 10k measures of music?
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Yours,

Sam.

P.S. Are you wondering how much it is? I’m not trying to be cagey about it…but I do want you to DREAM for a minute before you dismiss the idea out of hand.

Because let’s face it – if it it’s not the right program for you, then it doesn’t matter how expensive it is or isn’t. And if it IS the right program, well, then it will always be 100% worth it, right?

So….I’m curious –

– What would it be worth to you to be supported in taking daily steps toward your dream?

– What might you be able to accomplish if you were talking with me every week?

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OK – now you can click HERE to fill out this super-quick application, and then we’ll have a brief chat, and if we both feel it’s right, I’ll be happy to welcome you in to this new, transformational program. – S.

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Results! from the Evergreen Retreat

In January, 2017, a small group of brave entrepreneurs came together for an unusual experiment:

GOAL: to create an evergreen traffic/sales system in just 3 days

Our results were outstanding.

Please enjoy these unedited testimonial videos.

Mellissa Seaman


Beatrice Briggs


Jaime Lyerly


Melissa McFarlane


Scott Desgrosseilliers


Leonore Tjia


 

Will you join us for the next retreat in September, 2017?

Email Sam at Sam@TheOrganizedArtistCompany.com for more info.

 

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Dwell in Discomfort

You’ve asked me the same questions over and over and over again.

And mostly they have to do with discomfort.

  • “I’m not sure my work is good enough.”
  • “I’m an introvert so I never go to events or conferences.”
  • “I clam up when it’s time to state my prices.”
  • “I feel like everyone’s going to know that I’m a fraud.”
  • “I’m totally tech-phobic.”

And you let these persistent thoughts keep you stuck in the dim grey of not-doing.

And the world spins on.

You don’t start your business.
You don’t write your book.
You don’t make enough money.
You don’t make friends with powerful people.
You don’t fulfill your creative promise.

And the world spins on.

Waiting for your work.
Waiting for you to be bold.
Waiting for you to share your heart with us.

It’s like we’re in some odd stand-off: the world is waiting for your art, and you are waiting to feel comfortable.

This is totally backwards.

You will never feel comfortable BEFORE you take a risk.

You only feel comfortable afterwards.

(And, to be frank, sometimes not even then.)

So you dwell in a twilight of discomfort.

No crashing failures.
No exhilarating leaps of faith.

Just the slow drip of
“I’m not ready,”
“I’m not sure,” and
“Now’s not a good time.”

And the world spins on.

But honey – now is the ONLY time there is.

All of us – we only have today.

Tomorrow is promised to no one.

So please –

Grab your discomfort by the nape of the neck and drag it along with your art into the clear light of day.

And I promise – if you smile while you do it, we will be so dazzled by your bravery that we won’t notice if you wobble a bit.

Smiling and wobbling our way into the future, together we can make this world a better place.

Sam.

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When is it too Late?

That person who expressed interest in your work, but you never followed up with them…and now you think that too much time has passed, so you don’t reach out to them.

The friend who was having a tough time, and you wanted to call or write, but you got busy and now it feels weird.

The thank you note you didn’t send.

The invitation you never made.

The opportunity that passed you by.

It’s a TERRIBLE feeling, isn’t it?

Guess what?

It feels terrible because it’s FALSE.

It’s not too late.

It’s never too late.

As long as you have breath in your body, it is never, ever, ever too late.

If you are still thinking about it, then the possiblity is still alive.
The fact that it is still on your mind means that it is NOT TOO LATE.

But there is a challenge here:

You are going to have to change.

You are going to have to sacrifice

– your perfectionism
– your embarrassment
– your discomfort
– your misplaced pride
– your big idea that you know how long something is supposed to take

and GIVE IN to the DESIRE you have to take action.

It’s time to put on your Big Girl Panties.

And I know — you think about reaching out to that person, or pursuing that opportunity, and you cringe.

It feels scary.

But trust me: you would not still be thinking about it if it weren’t the right thing.

And who knows? Maybe NOW is an even better time than before!

Maybe now is the perfect time.

So here….to make it easier for you, I’ll give you a little script to use:

“Hello X,

I find myself still thinking about you and XYZ today, so I wanted to follow my intuition and reach out.

If it feels right, I’d love to connect. Are you available to talk on DAY at SPECIFIC TIME or OTHER DAY, OTHER TIME?

If not, no worries – but I’d be remiss if I didn’t even ask.

I hope this finds you well.

Yours,
Me”

Take a chance.
Turn that regret into action.
Open yourself up to some new information.

Let me know how it goes, OK?

Yours,
Sam.

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7 of 7: Your Top 7

Imagine yourself having just finished leading a successful workshop…

There were wonderful, engaged participants who are eager to recommend you to others…and who want to work with you again…

You gained a deeper, more delicious understanding of your own work…

And you made a nice profit.

Sounds great, right?

And you know that Turn Your Wisdom Into Workshops (which starts TOMORROW) will give you all the tools, insights and straight-from-the-trenches information to succeed, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced pro.

So what’s holding you back?

(I tried to write this in such a way as to be useful to you whether you’re consider my class or not. Let me know what you think. Is it fun? Meaningful? Annoying? Too woo? Helpful?)

1) You feel like now’s not a good time. You wish this were happening in a few months.

Practical Answer: Yes. Opportunity is often inconvenient. But if you get into it and decide it’s really not working, just let me know within 30 days and I’ll cheerfully refund your tuition. No worries.

Spiritual Growth Answer: This opportunity has presented itself to you now because now is the right moment for you. You don’t have to feel ready. You don’t have to feel confident. You don’t even have to know where all this is going. I have faith in you. The Divine Spirit has faith in you. Your future students have faith in you. The moment to step out in faith is now.

Try This Perspective: I answer the call, knowing that everything is unfolding in perfect time.


2) You don’t feel like you’re really an “expert.”

Practical Answer: Actually, I bet you kind of are. I’ve been leading workshops of all sizes & shapes for over 30 years, and in my experience, most of what makes a great teacher great is life experience, empathy and a unique perspective on the material.

Spiritual Growth Answer: You don’t need to a special certification to be able to help people. And you never have to pretend you know more than you do. You know what you know. That’s sufficient: you know what you know.

Try This Perspective: I know what I know, and I’m learning more every day.

3) You kind of hate the idea of promoting yourself.

Practical Answer: Oh, honey, we all do – especially at the beginning. But it gets a lot easier and more joyful with the support and simple guidelines provided in the class.

Spiritual Growth Answer: You may feel like it’s not really safe for you to be VISIBLE. Or that you already take up too much space. Or that you mustn’t impose on people. But you are ready to move past the point where you let old stories and fear make the decisions for you. Self-promotion may be uncomfortable at first, but if you really want to help people, it’s well worth it.

Try This Perspective: I am ready to stand tall in my truth and share my voice with the people who need to hear it.

4) You really don’t know how much to charge.

Practical Answer: It’s tricky, right? Charge too much and you might turn people off, charge too little and it’s not worth your time. I’ll give you some great suggestions and formulas for figuring out the perfect price point.

Spiritual Growth Answer: Remember that buying and selling is a sacred exchange of energy. Just like other sacred exchanges of energy (a hug, for example, or sex) it requires strong intention, mutual respect and an honoring of the other. As a teacher, you have an opportunity to re-shape your relationship with money. Nothing overcomes an old story like a new experience.

Try This Perspective: Creativity is abundant, clients are abundant, money is abundant. I rejoice in the easy flow of money, energy and time.

5) You’re not sure exactly what you’d teach…or if anyone would be interested in it.

Practical Answer: We cover that in the class, so you’ll have total clarity and focus.

Spiritual Growth Answer: Staying in the “I don’t know” or “I’m still figuring it out” stage for too long is a form of hiding out. It also shows traces of insidious perfectionism.

Try This Perspective: I open up to new information and to my intuition, knowing I am on the right path.

6) I don’t know if I should teach online or in person.

Practical Answer: Both are good. You might want to teach in person if you live in a big city, like being up in front of a group, and if you’re teaching something where you need hands-on access to their physical bodies. You might want to consider teaching online if you want to reach a global community, if you like the “green” aspect of no one having to drive anywhere, and you are OK learning some tech stuff. And certainly you can do both. (I do.) Either way, you’ll get total clarity on this during the class.

Spiritual Answer: Allowing yourself to stay in a state of indecision is keeping your foot on the neck of your talent.

Try This Perspective: It’s safe for me to decide. I can always choose again.

7) I don’t have the money.

Practical Answer: You can get started for just $187. That’s six bucks a day. If you can learn enough to get 10 people to pay you $49 for a one-day workshop, you’ve earned back your investment. And you can do that over and over again.

Spiritual Answer: You always have the money you need to do the things that are truly important to you. And in my experience, the minute you take action, the resources appear. (You’ve had that, too, right? You decide to do something that you really want and then almost immediately, the exact amount you need shows up. Happens all the time.)

Try This Perspective: I take inspired action and welcome in the miracles.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you feel clean, clear and fabulous about it.

Yours,
Sam

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