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Here’s Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Adopt the Abundance Mindset

Here’s the thing: being an entrepreneur gets lonely.

While it might seem wonderful to be doing everything by yourself and holding the reins at first, especially if you’re finally free from an obnoxious, overbearing corporate world, that solitude kicks in quick. If you’re not careful, you’re left hunched over your computer in a dark corner of your room wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday, forgetting to eat, and wondering whatever happened to Roseanne (dude, that shit got cancelled!)

In order to make it through these sometimes dark and absolutely turbulent times, you have to have people around you. And, more than just warm bodies, you have to have people that get you and what being an entrepreneur is all about. After all, entrepreneurs are a rare breed and very few people will a) understand why you left your cozy little corner office, b) forgive you for blowing them off 22 times because Russell Brunson just launched a new webinar and it’s dope, and c) believe you can actually achieve what you are setting out to do.

But, as badly as we need people around us who get all of this, entrepreneurs are the first to set up walls, especially when we’re under the impression that there’s not enough to go around. Competition, while healthy, can oftentimes undermine what you’re trying to accomplish simply because those people you’re competing with are the ones that can help you the most.

The solution?

A not-so-little thing called abundance.

When you think with an abundance-oriented mindset, you no longer fear competition. You realize that there is more than enough to go around. Suddenly, those secrets you were coveting are conversation-starters. Those webinars you were watching are now topics for your next blog. That girl you wrote off because she’s doing “what you’re doing” can finally answer all of your questions and, maybe, even become a new go-getter friend. (If Richard Branson and Marie Forleo can chill on an island, why can’t you two?)

When you shift your mindset to accept the reality of abundance, you actually want to help others succeed. It feels good! And, in doing so, you help yourself, your business, and your ambitions get to the next level too. So, pull up another chair at the table (and put on some real clothes!) – it’s time to think (really) big.

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Blog Brand Storytelling Julie Schoen Website Content

Why Your Brand’s Movement Needs Content

Few businesses are in the market of trying to blend in.

For the majority, standing out, being innovative, and finding a way to truly fascinate is the name of the game. And, why would you blame them? One look at the best start-ups and most successful brands and you immediately see that they’re setting the bar higher or, even better, they’re building a brand new bar and asking their competition to jump.

The only issue with this type of innovation is that it can be difficult to build a following. Because you’re doing something new, your audience also needs time to catch up. They need to understand why this new way is better – they need to be educated. Skip this part and your fascinating idea suddenly becomes a joke, gliding under the radar until it’s completely forgotten and abandoned.

The good news is that there is something you can do.

According to Beth Comstock, GE’s CMO, “The really good innovations need to be explained before they’re accepted.” For GE, who’s in the business of generating new idea after another thanks to their mindshare model, that means “becoming a content factory — telling stories across media and methods from data to videos to social media.”

Yep, the thing standing in between your innovative idea and either huge success or utter failure is content. And, specifically, content that tells stories.

An article that tells the facts, weighing the pros and cons, might be looked at a few times. But a story crafted to take your audience through a transformative journey and deliver them straight to the doorstep of your innovative idea, that’s something that will be shared hundreds of times.

Humans are built for storytelling. We lean in when we know one is about to begin. We listen attentively, getting attached to characters and plots. And, then, when it’s all said and done, we hunt hungrily for someone to share it with.

If you want your brand’s movement to gain traction, if you want it to generate thousands of followers, if you want to see your idea come to life and then take on a life of its own, then crafting content around it (and doing it over and over) isn’t just a good idea – it’s the only way to take your business from zero to hero.

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A Case for NOT Doing What You Love

A Case for NOT Doing What You Love | Julie Schoen CopywriterFollow your dreams! Do what you love!

Yep, I’m sure you’ve heard it before. And, if you’re anywhere near the entrepreneurial or self-help world, you’ve probably heard it at least once already today. But, I’m here to argue a different case:

Doing what you love is a recipe for disaster.

Actually, let me rephrase that, trying to turn what you love into a money-making, successful business is a recipe for disaster. I know because I’ve been there. And I’ve also heard a lot of smart people (a la Tai Lopez and Elizabeth Gilbert) echo the same not-always-well-received sentiment.

A few years ago I decided to “follow your dreams” and “do what you love,” taking my passion for yoga and sharing its teachings and turning it into an online business. I’ll admit it was fun. I had a blast filming hundreds of videos and DVDs, sourcing products and writing about it constantly (to the tune of 20 something books), but I also got burnt out super fast.

Why?

Because I was doing what I loved, I had a hard time taking a break from it. And, when I did break away from it, I found myself no longer able to relax and unwind because the thing that helped me do that (yoga) had turned into my business. Rather than just enjoying my practice, I constantly felt like I was working.

My trying to monetize doing what I love made me fall out of love with it. It was too personal.

No longer enjoying what I thought would be my “dream business,” I stopped teaching and sold the business, stepping back to decide what was next. While planning our next move, my husband and I got some interesting advice: Rather than trying to think about what you want, think about what others need. Or, in other words, don’t try to cage your passion and squeeze money out of it.

We made a list of problems we’ve encountered both personally and professionally over the years and started to look for business opportunities – and that’s exactly how Buzzy Blogs was born.

A striking difference from the yoga business, Buzzy Blogs was born out of a desire to help others in business. I enjoy working on it as much as I enjoy writing and creating content for each and every one of our clients, but I’ve never confused it for L.O.V.E.

I LOVE my family. I LOVE my kids. I LOVE my quiet moments in meditation. I LOVE baking for others. I LOVE walking into Anthropologie and thumbing my way through a favorite book.

LIKE creating content for awesome business owners. (Okay, I LIKE, like it – but it’s still business.)

Writing for others isn’t intensely personal. It’s not something I turn to when I’m having a bad day or in need of inspiration or support. It’s creative and fun and fulfilling, but it allows me to keep it professional and separate from my life, which is exactly why I can come back to it every day without feeling completely overwhelmed or drained.

When you do what you like, not what you love, you create clear boundaries, containers that allow you to know when they’ve been filled – so that you can get home and fill up your own.

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Blog Julie Schoen

Reclaiming Your Productivity: A Reminder Everyone Needs to Hear Right Now

Reclaiming Your Productivity | Julie Schoen CopywriterTake a moment and think about your definition of “productivity.” What does the word bring to mind? How does the idea of being “productive” make you feel? Chances are you have a love/hate relationship with it. Yes, we all want to be more productive because we’re taught that it’s the secret to success and, even more importantly, it’s how our value is determined in society. But we also get caught up “in the grind” chasing productivity, using lists, numbers, charts, and apps to track tasks and to-dos.

Productivity has become synonymous with making money and being busy, albeit an effective kind of busy.

 A quick Google of the word and you’ll see how it has evolved over time. Today, the definition, which aligns with how most of us perceive the word, is roughly, “the effectiveness of productive effort as measured in terms of the rate of output per unit of input.” But, when you dig a little bit deeper into the word’s past, you find this definition too, “the state or quality of producing something.”

Suddenly, the word, having lost terms like “effort” and “measured” and “input/output” seems much less intimidating. In fact, this definition makes you want to be productive, rather than feeling obligated to do so. Being productive really has nothing to do with making money, although sometimes that is the byproduct. Being productive really is all about creation and creativity.

And, gosh, couldn’t the world use a lot more people who have time to do just that?

I was listening to a Madame Gandhi song yesterday in which she says something along the lines of “being productive like ovaries.” I found this analogy so soothing that I actually wrote it down on a page of my open journal on my desk and thus began my contemplation of the word “productive.”

What if we considered it “being productive” every time we created something that made us joyful? What if productivity wasn’t measured by money earned or “input or output” at work, but instead was measured by overall happiness and satisfaction in life? What if as a society we valued being productive as a parent, a family, a friend, a spouse, a neighbor more than we did an employee or a peg for a hole? Imagine how your day would change if you gave equal weight to creativity, inspiration, and exploration rather than just focusing on what you’re taught to believe needs to get done – and urgently at that.

The other evening my husband asked me a simple question: “How many people do you know personally that are truly happy?” I couldn’t even fill one hand.

It’s clear that things have gotten out of balance and so much so that it’s not just destroying our lives, but our society as a whole. From depression and drug abuse to stress and a whole gamut of self-destruction, we’re falling apart. And while it at times seems like it will take something radical to start mending, I think many of the remedies are actually quite simple – and right in front of us.

Words are powerful. They have energy. They have the ability to create and destroy. I truly believe that by redefining and reclaiming the way we define productivity, we can begin to free ourselves from the belief that our value comes only from the work we put in behind a desk (whether standing, sitting or on a beach). And, from the moment we make this shift, we allow ourselves to become human beings again, not just drones programmed to work and die.

So, the next time you think about how you can increase your productivity, remind yourself of what the real definition of productivity is: What can you do that creates value for the world? What can you do that makes you feel happy? And then, rather than measuring with spreadsheets and time cards, just start doing it!

Yes, let’s all be more productive – just like our ovaries…