My Facebook Sabbatical: Nourishing My Mind, Body, and Soul.

Last month, I decided to take a Facebook “sabbatical” for a month or so. (Actually a full social media break.) It’s an experiment to see how it would effect my focus, my energy, and my work in the world, similar to why one would go on a retreat — to rest and reboot. I’m still involved in the real world, available, and working, despite how it might appear to the Facebook world.

For some context, I was an active Facebook user for personal, professional, and cause-related connections, so it felt like a big decision to step away from it.

It’s now been over two weeks on the social media sabbatical, and wow, what a refreshing difference in my brain and my body, even starting from the first day. It feels great.

In this post, I’ll let you know:

  1. What was hard about the decision.
  2. The toll it was taking on me and how I came to taking a break.
  3. How I set things up to step away for a while.
  4. The benefits I’m already experiencing in my body, mind, and soul.
  5. The main thing I miss.
  6. Now what?

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From SOLOpreneur to SOULpreneur

You’ve probably heard the word solopreneur to describe a one-person business. But does the word inspire you? It certainly doesn’t inspire me. It’s feels so… lonely, lifeless, and businessy in a negative sense.

Now compare it to how you feel when you hear the word SOULpreneur. Are you starting to smile, or at least feel intrigued?

When I switched to seeing myself as a SOULpreneur, I felt inspired. For instance, it reminds me to let creative inspiration come from a deeper soulful place. Not just from an income-need place. And things work so much better from this angle, for my happiness and my wallet.

To give you a closer look into what I mean, here are my associations that can naturally arise with each word, and this seems to be true for many people:  Continue reading

Meet SOULpreneur Diana Chaplin

Let’s Meet Some SOULpreneurs

Most of the examples we have of successful entrepreneurs are focused on the external benchmarks like fame and fortune. But what about the inner measures like staying true to your heart? The SOULpreneur journey is about harmonizing the needs of your heart and your wallet.

It’s hard to stay the course on this counter-cultural SOULpreneur journey if we don’t have enough role models for it. But they are out there! So I’m going to feature them on my blog, starting today.

Because the most visible business models are of white extroverted men, I’m going to try to balance that out with having a preference for sharing stories from women, introverts, people of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds, and others who are underrepresented in the public eye.

I hope you’ll feel supported and inspired as we gain an inside view of the SOULpreneur journey. I’m asking them some juicy questions about the ups and downs and how they are making it work (including money stuff).

Meet SOULpreneur Diana Chaplin

The first SOULpreneur I’d like to introduce you to is Diana Chaplin who is based in Western Massachusetts (USA).

Diana-Chaplin

Diana is a Copywriter & Content Creator who I admire for bringing such a positive and thoughtful approach to everything she does, whether welcoming a new member to her coworking space, or providing warm and confident guidance to a copywriting client who is feeling overwhelmed by their website content.

I’m excited for you to get to know her and learn from her SOULpreneur journey. Her answers to my questions went deep!

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Your Inner Compass Is Better Than You Think

You know those success models you think you’re supposed to be following? Like from the loud guy on that marketing webinar that left you hyperventilating?

Consider the source for those models:
It is almost always from someone trying to sell you their course by using words like “This is THE way or you’re doomed.” Right?

Too many people are letting those salesy messages get under their skin, which makes them feel like a loser. I’ve had people come see me in tears after taking on those external expectations as gospel. With all the email and social media messages like that, it can be an onslaught of “You’re not enough.”

I’ve been there, comparing my messy side to those supposed success stories. And comparing my quiet style to those extroverted ways of selling. Their messages can be so compelling! And so paralyzing.

[Image: Your inner compass knows the way.]

Your inner compass knows the way.

When I naturally resisted doing it their “expert” way, because it just didn’t feel like me, I found things went much better! Wait, you mean my way, off the beaten path, can actually work for me? It was freaky to me when that first happened, and I didn’t believe it for a while, even after it kept on working.

I see in hindsight that doing it my way IS where the gold is! It’s not a fluke, it’s what works for me.

Ya gotta tune into your own instincts and your audience’s responses, not someone else’s prescription for you.

Your inner compass is better than you think. So much better than you think.

How Do You Hear It and Trust It?

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Is It Self-employment Induced ADD?

The most unexpected thing about becoming self-employed was how much trouble I had focusing once I was working alone. I wasn’t great at focus before, I admit, but it became a huge challenge without the structure and community of a workplace to go to.

I started thinking I was going crazy or that I’d suddenly gotten “self-employment induced ADD.” I would do housework when I needed to be working, to avoid facing that scattered mind, only to find that the head-spin would get worse and worse. Sound familiar? (C’mon, raise your hand. It’s so common.)

In our push-push culture, we think the cure for focus problems is to push ourselves harder, get more disciplined, learn better time management, etc. Right? But I believe a more effective cure is to get some co-workers… in a way that works for us. We need camaraderie to keep our minds sharp.

I know, introverts like me who love the peace and quiet of working alone will resist this idea, at first. Hear me out.

[Image: Humans are pack animals too.]

We are pack animals, just like wolves. The lone wolf success story is a myth. (Click image for source and Creative Commons license.)

It’s a big shift to go from working in a company with co-workers all around you, to working on your own. Even when you’re thrilled by the freedom, the shift away from the workplace community is stressful for anyone. I see it all the time with my clients after leaving a job, and I can honestly tell them and you: You are not alone in that stress.

I’ll explain how I have found my balance between people time and alone time, which has mostly cured my self-employment induced ADD. (I mean, I still need some other focusing tricks but the people connection has been the core solution for me.) Continue reading