Monday, July 22, 2013

Recap: Embracing Your Fears and Other Takeaways from Alt Summit SF

Do you let your fears get in the way of your living a full life? I do sometimes. (I think we all do at one time or another if we're honest with ourselves.)
An underlying theme that surfaced in many of the sessions at ALT Summit SF last week touched on this. More than one speaker encouraged us to embrace our fears and not overlook small signs of success.
Monday Maxims: Embrace Your Fears
  • Good things just happen when you face your fears.
    - Aaron de Simone, I Heart Luxe
  • Don't be afraid to show your personality.
    - Cathie Toshach, Bing
  • Step out of your day-to-day.
    - Rene Tom, Makeshift Society

I've worked with and for many entrepreneurs. At some start ups, we tackled our fears head on; we recognized there were naysayers and we plunged on ahead anyway. At other start ups, we got mired in self doubt and succumbed to a whirlpool of indecision and restarts.
What are your fears?
Are they rational or irrational?

Out of the six plus start ups I've worked for, none have avoided failure. Those who realized not every endeavor would succeed, went for it; looked for success--any success big or small; tried again with additional insight; and in the end, reached the Holy Grail (aka going public or being acquired).
  • There are only two options. Go for it or forget it. There is no try.
    - Mariam Naficy, Minted, paraphrased
    This reminded me of Melanie Beihle's frank talk about how you'll become a success once you define what success means to you on her blog earlier this summer. Whatever your definition of success. Whatever you decide, part-time or full-time blogging, put all of your energies into it. If you don't really want it, walk away and do something else.
  • Be thoughtful about where you spend your time.
    - a Business of Blogging panel member
    Do you know how you spend your time? Richard Sakanashi of the Toronto Business Development Centre offers tips on how to find out.
  • Don't be afraid to stay part-time. As you become full-time, your scope changes. When you're part-time, there's less pressure, you can be more honest with your audience, and you can go at a pace you're comfortable with.
    - Alix Taylor, Modern Kiddo
    Why do you want to go full time? Will going full time make those goals possible? Can you achieve those goals another way?


Reintroducing a Blog Feature as an Instagram Series

You might have noticed that I've been posting a little less frequently than three times a week. I no longer have a daily three hour plus roundtrip commute by train in which to research, draft, and edit posts. I'm still creating daily but not necessarily in prose.
When I first started this blog, I shared a few photos a week from my neighborhood and my travels, my popular Seen Today series. I loved the challenge of seeking out an overlooked detail along a path I'd walked dozens of times.
Follow me on Instagram for daily photos.
With my more limited free time, I've decided to revive this project Monday through Friday on Instagram with the hashtag #thescenetoday. Join me there for my take on San Francisco. I challenge myself to shoot a given subject three ways. So far, I've shot "red," "through: glass," "through: fences," and more.

Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

As you know, I'm a contributor to Find Your Voice workshop. One of the goals of the workshop is for storytellers to step outside of their comfort zones and work in new media. Of three creative call-to-actions, writing, crafting, or photographing, I've challenged myself to work with physical objects in collage and scrapbooking. Because I don't craft on a regular basis the projects are taking more time than if I simply wrote a blog post or story in my journal.
Participate in the Find Your Voice Workshop
Want to explore your fears and how they affect your story? Participate in a free, self-paced 8-week Find Your Voice workshop; there's currently over 500 people in our non-judgemental community. In this workshop, you'll definitely step out of your day-to-day. Some of the projects I've done outside my go to mediums are: a project binder for Week 1: Introduction; a vintage skirt hanger repurposed as a mood board for Week 2: Who Are You?; and a photo memoir box for Week 4: What is Your Storytelling Style.
Ciao Bella!
P.S. Don't feel like commenting? Strike up a conversation with me elsewhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life. Find Your Voice graphic designed by Kristin Tweedale of Rukristin Papercrafts and used with permission.