Muse: The Blog

Why it’s beautiful, not batsh*t, that writing your website makes you cry

You’ll never shine by someone else’s light.
You’ll never magnetize others by trying to please them.
You can’t sound authentic the way she does.
The only path to extraordinary … is your own.

Clients cry in my copywriting consults.

Not all of them. But significantly more than you might imagine if you think all copywriting is, is smart words.

See, creative entrepreneurship packs a transformative wallop. And welcoming someone else into that crucible with you? Is an incredibly intimate proposition.

I get this. Tears don’t faze me. I cry often enough, I exclusively buy waterproof mascara. No joke. (Current fave: this Dior matte black is killer-diller, especially when combined with the primer. #swoonworthy.)

But why does branding bring up so much? Aren’t we just talking about effective sales pages and well-placed calls to action and finely honed elevator pitches?

Uh. No.

Branding is building a bridge between you and your Right People.

This requires, at minimum, three things:

1. Understanding yourself.
2. Understanding your Right People.
3. Understanding what connects you.

That’s it.
But that’s a helluva lot.

1. Understanding yourself is the journey of a lifetime. Getting out of your own way. Recognizing your beauty and superpowers — and all the ways you deceive yourself and get in your own way, dimming your magic.

2. Understanding your Right People isn’t just about customer avatars and demographics. It’s about honing in on what really makes your folks tick. This takes agile perspective leaping and deep empathy. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. But it is essential.

3. Understanding what connects you and your Right People ~ No, I’m not talking about poking their “pain points.” I’m talking about truly understanding: how do you serve? What Truth (capital “T”) do you unlock in people? What head-and-heart-space should they be in to best receive your work?

When your branding falls flat, it’s often because one of these three things — your self-awareness, your understanding of your Right People, or the bridge between them is weak, undefined, or obscured.

Figuring all of this out — especially as it changes over time — adds up to the ever-unfolding pursuit of self-awareness, empathy, and effective, authentic self-expression.

Some days, this takes everything we’ve got. (Hence that waterproof mascara.) It can make creative entrepreneurship feel like boiling in a crone’s cauldron of challenges.

Money shit. (Ooof.)
Being visible. (Holy shit.)
Assessing your own value.
Speaking truth.
Rejecting the deeply grooved, socially acceptable paths of cubicle nation and what Cosmo says is sexy and doing what others tell us because “that’s just the way it is.”
Saying “fuck off” to the structures … and then instead of succumbing to chaos, creating our own.

This isn’t just self-expression. It’s self-creation.

I work with creative entrepreneurs in pain and pleasure every single day.
I watch their cycles of self-deception, self-realization, self-expression, and renewed self-limitation.

Sure: sometimes, they simply need a gifted wordsmith to write for them.

But often enough, they think they have a branding problem … when really it’s something entirely different.

It’s a being visible problem.
It’s a holding-onto-grief-because-they-can’t-feel-it-enough-to-let-it-go problem.
It’s a being-fuzzy-on-their-own-perspective-because-that-wasn’t-ever-allowed problem.
It’s a placing-their-authority-out-there-instead-of-inside-themselves problem.

These are beautiful problems.

Because they lead us right back to ourselves.
Back to the real reason we started this business, in the first place.
Back to our wholeness.
Back to What We’re Here To Do.

What’s limiting you, today?
What beliefs — that’s just how it is-es — have you bought into?
I have to do that icky telesummit because I have to build my list because that’s just what you do.
What limiting self-talk have you drunk and become sloppy on?
I can’t launch this until it’s perfect.

Is it possible all of this feels icky … because it’s simply untrue?

Take a moment.

Feel the angst.
(No, I mean really feel it.)
Mix it with space.
Give it the gift of your steady presence.
Stop scrambling for the answer.
Just listen.
Let it come.
Receive it.
Trust it.
Then act.

I believe in you.

xo
angela

P.S. If you *get* that business is a self-awareness crucible …
If you *dig* the transformational path your branding can become …
If you’re on the verge of some breakthroughs and need a loving nudge …
I’d be honored to help.

For the first time ever, I’m offering unabashedly transformational coaching.

Our portal: branding and all things online biz.
Our tools: The Enneagram, somatics, deep listening, irreverence, and sexy self-expression.
Our goal: Your authenticity, unshackled.

After years of personal study, professional workshops, and quietly harnessing this powerful system in every aspect of my writing and biz, I’m a few steps away from being a certified Enneagram Practitioner in the Narrative Tradition.

As part of my internship process, I’m offering 2-3 deeeeeeply discounted Enneagram coaching packages (including a Typing Interview, if you’re not sure about your Enneagram type).

If you want to connect more deeply with your audience, yourself, and the whole Divine Enchilada … I’d be thrilled to offer you my intuitive listening, compassionate confusion-unravelling, and heartfelt beckoning ever deeper into yourself and your path.

Reach out right here and we’ll chat details.

Befriending the Gargoyle of Destruction

He lies deep within.
Cold-blooded.
Reptilian.
A predator.
(Or so it seemed.)

He’s been with me for ages.
Taunting. Clawing. Whispering,
“You haven’t suffered enough yet.
Kill. Die. I hate you.”

Unlike other unfriendly voices within, he scared me too much to pour him that cuppa.
I knew he’d take me over.
Harm friends.
Mame for the maniacal fun of it.

But finally, we arrived at an impasse.
And I gathered every last drop of courage and asked him,
“Who are you? What do you do? What do you want?”

It took a moment to get a response.
For he is from a time before words.
Ancient as cells. Primordial as teeth. Read More…

What’s Your Blogging “Win Condition”?

 


Lola* was distraught.

She had just completed a 3-week writing challenge and successfully cranked out a blog a day for her new biz. But her pride took a nosedive when she shared her drafts with a high-level marketing consultant. His response was … less than glowing:

  • These don’t establish you as a leading expert in your field.
  • Your blog is too much about you, not enough about the reader.
  • Your writing isn’t high-quality enough to promote your services.

Ouch!

Lola was crushed. When we spoke several weeks later, she confided in me: I haven’t written a word, since.

Now, Lola’s consultant wasn’t entirely wrong. Her blogs did need work. And his feedback was given with the most loving of intentions: he genuinely wants her to succeed. But his suggestions, however smart, did more harm than good.

Not only did Awesome Consultant’s suggestions bruise Lola’s ego, they pointed to a deeper problem: she didn’t know why she was blogging, in the first place. Worse, yet? Neither did her consultant. Read More…

Phenomenal Woman: A Tribute to Maya Angelou

Curved Diagonals by YanivG, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  YanivG 

My chubby, wobbly thighs carried me to the stage.

They were preceded by my frizzy hair and goody-two-shoes reputation. All I could feel, though, were that desert in my mouth, that sickly butterfly soup churning in my stomach, and the eyes of the entire school upon me. But that day, something greater than all this propelled me forward.

I stepped up to the microphone, knowing the words I was about to say came not from me but from a wellspring of truth somewhere deep in the earth, vast as the cosmos. I had practiced them for weeks, letting them sink into my soul. The words I was about to say had been carried along the backs of woman after woman after woman: a lineage of suffering and pride, hard-won wisdom and effortless grace.

The words I was about to recite were “Phenomenal Woman” by the great poetess, Maya Angelou. Today, she died. But on that day in my sixth grade, Read More…

9 Interview Tips From My First Time

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo by niseag03 /CC BY-ND 2.0

I knew this day would come, as an online entrepreneur.  I fantasized about it.  I dreaded it.  I journaled and doodled and dreamt up names for it.

My First Interview.  Even as a writer, I couldn’t hide behind my pen (or Google Docs) forever.  (And why would I want to?!)

Here it is, friends!  In all its imperfect, heartfelt, sexy, savvy glory: my first interview!

Bridging Authenticity and Persuasion.  Click here to hear the interview.  Hear, hear! 

Listen to the full interview to hear me discuss copywriting for soulful ‘preneurs with my dear friend (and go-to expert on all things entrepreneurial, techno-babble, and Tibetan), Ryan Oelke.

We get serious, smart, and a tad silly about stuff very close to my heart.  Namely: the importance of keeping your web copy authentic. 

I’m convinced that being 100% you is the only way to write truly persuasive web copy.  Hear my professional whys and practical hows — all clarified and guided by the entrepreneurial epicure himself, Mr. Ryan Oelke.

And like salmon with Oregon pinot noir … like Chopin with a rose-petaled bubble bath … a perfect pairing to accompany my interview debut …

9 Interview Tips from My First Time.

1. Do it with someone you love.  I wouldn’t have my first time with anyone else. Read More…

Melancholic Gratitude:There’s a Word for That

Portland Japanese Garden

Alone at my writing desk on Thanksgiving Eve, a subtler, somewhat sadder kind of gratitude has crept in like a sacred fog. Confronted by the bombastic exuberance of #gratitude! posts buzzing in my Facebook newsfeed, I’m should-ing myself to feel a livelier, louder sense of abundance.

Yet there’s beauty here, too.

In this soft, tender-aching kind of love, a richer — perhaps darker, perhaps deeper — kind of gratitude expands my heart and de-cobwebs my mind.

Not surprisingly, there’s a word for that.

I recall this passage in Jane Hirshfield’s stunning collection of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry:

Read More…