March 11, 2013

A Method to the Madness

As a public relations/marketing professional and blogger, I think it's important to be committed to continued education. For me, this comes by way of signing up for free webinars, reading lots of articles  and following folks on social media to keep my finger on the pulse, so to speak. But sometimes this can be exhausting! From checking in with all the other bloggers I want to connect with to reading the vast number of articles and blog posts about the next great method to do _____________ (fill in the blank) in 5 easy steps, sometimes my brain feels like it's going to explode.

I'm definitely not against those types of tips and tricks for success, but sometimes I think we get so caught up in them that we forget what really matters: what's in our heart. This is probably the anti how-to post, but it's how I'm feeling so I wanted to share. 

In the past few weeks I've been bombarded with information about how to do my job better, how to reach more customers, how to engage with readers, you name it. There have been flow charts, lists of numerous so-called easy steps, and tricks of the trade. 

But I find that I am most successful when I follow what's in my heart...that unique music playing in my head that nobody else can hear. This is what tells me to take an entire afternoon to work in my container garden, instead of scanning Mashable for the next big thing in social media. My heart tells me to sleep a little later or drink a glass of wine while I enjoy a new magazine. It tells me to stop what I'm doing when a friend calls so I can really be present while we chat. These are the things that help me be my authentic self. Because after these moments of giving my mind a break, I am able to return to my work refreshed and rejuvenated. 

I'm not saying I don't work really hard, because I do. Working from home is a blessing, but it doesn't mean I wake up whenever I want and watch soap operas all day (are there even soap operas anymore?). I'd even say working from home takes more discipline because there are so many real-life distractions...dogs needing walked, dishes to wash, laundry piling up. 

If you are an entrepreneur or would like to be, I offer you this advice: Don't get caught up in chasing the methods for success. Be yourself. Follow what's in your heart, even if it seems sort of crazy. Take a nap in the afternoon. Eat that cupcake you're craving. There's something unique inside you that makes you different from every other person on the planet. And you owe that unique authenticity to the world. 

Whatever your occupation or vocation, let your real self start shining through. It will yield results...probably even better results than were promised by that webinar you just watched.