`

Psst... You're good enough already

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me."
-- Stuart Smalley, SNL

You have ninety billion (approximation) unfinished projects.

You've even finished a few.

But you're afraid to talk about them.

You're proud of writing the article, winning the award, finishing the degree, graduating the class.

"Oh, it's no big deal." You say. You don't want the extra attention.

Besides, your colleague did it faster than you. Oh, and she did it while wearing a flawless face, making it to yoga class 12 times in one week, and serving up home-cooked, organic, locally-raised, harvested under the perfect moon conditions... every single mother-loving day.

Well, shit. No wonder it's so hard to actually finish something when we're neck deep in the comparison game.

You're already enough. 

I know, it's so easy to read. And when you read those three words, for a split second, you believe it. You exhale, "I AM enough damn it."

You turn away from these three little words and are ready to tackle your next project. Maybe you'll even pick up a paint brush, or a pencil, or a hammer, or a chainsaw.

Maybe you can drop the armor, and send out that email that you've been slaving over for two weeks. 

Maybe you'll sign up for the race, even though you didn't set a personal record last time. 

Maybe you'll be able to hear your gut talking (not the kind it does after burritos you guys) and take the leap, sign the check, start the business, close the business. 

Why now?

What's changed?

Because you've finally fully accepted that you are enough. 

I'm going to leave you with a quote, in hopes that you see that you're already enough. No more unhealthy striving, no more obsessive thoughts and unattainable goals.

As my friend Amanda says in her upcoming book, Becoming Enough (I read the manuscript, and if you struggle with the fuss of being perfect, get on the list to find out when it drops).

"The enough-ness in me honors the enough-ness in you."

 

Now get your ass out there and go be enough. The world needs more of your enough-ness and less of your thoughts of inadequacy. 

 

What if you died right after your last Facebook post?

Is that the legacy you want to leave?

Maybe it is. 

You'll never hear me complaining online. 

Why?

Well, I mostly save my bitching and moaning for wine-filled evenings with my hubby Ryan (lucky dude, right?)

I keep it positive (online) because there's enough negativity in this world. 

I've taken some flack for taking this stance. Some people say I'm not a realist, and I'm being deceptive by only talking about the good things. You know, like I'm trying to make my life appear better than it really is on social media. 

I'm all for real life and keeping it real. 

Yes, sh!t is hard sometimes. I get it. 

I see your point. As my friend and author of the book #Untrending (which I named!) Vicki McLeod says, 

"What if every post you made was a forever-post?"

Forever.

And ever. 

To infinity and beyond.

Think about that. Every social media post you write will live forever on the internet. And, well, actually - it kind of does. 

It just gets pushed down with other updates. 

What if you DIE right after your last post?

What would it say?

Would you be posting about your less than stellar customer service experience at the bank? Would you be whining about how tired you are? Complaining about paying taxes? Or would you be sharing a video of a myotonic goat? Or helpful information, like how to keep your guacamole green (I know the secret you guys, and it's not lime juice). 

Or sharing something great that you witnessed today.

You have a choice every time you start typing in that little pandora's box, "What are you up to?"

You have a choice to spread joy. Share things that make you happy. Consider the ripple effect you could have on your social (and real life network) if we got more intentional with the words we use online. 

Your next Facebook post/Tweet/Instagram picture might be your last.

How will you handle these words? 

Will you choose to communicate mindfully?

 

 

 

What to do when your brain tells you that you suck

You know the voice in your head I'm talking about, the one that says:

"You suck."

"You're going to fail at this, why even bother?"

"You're faking it and everyone is going to know."

"You should just quit now."

"So and so is way better at this than you, let her do it."

"You're never going to get anywhere."

"They're going to hate it."

"Why is abbreviated such a long word?"

I might be the only one thinking that about the last one. 

If the voice in your head DOESN'T say these things to you, then please tell us your secrets. It doesn't matter how long you've been doing what you're doing. Even if you're a master or a demi-god who is so good at your craft that people pay you all the dollars and you have a waiting list as long as a vineyard - this voice is still there. 

It get's smaller and quieter over time as you learn to tell it to take a walk. I'm not sure we can ever squash the self-doubt monster. 

There are some things you can do to turn the volume down on that voice in your head so that a Whisper 2000 can barely detect it. 

  1. Have a cancel process. When you say something stupid or out of line, you can say, "Wait! I take that back!" Do the same with your thinking. Say it out loud if you like. But when I thought creeps up that dulls your shine, say something in your head like, "Cancel, cancel, cancel," or, "delete, delete, delete," or "Shut the f*ck up!" Stop that little turd of a thought in its tracks. 
  2. Tell a better story. Newsflash: YOU are in charge of your thoughts. You can change them whenever you like. Hear a load of crap in your ear? Stop that thought and tell yourself another one. You don't have to be all woo about it and tell yourself that you're a sparkly rainbow of goodness, use words you'd use with friends, like, "Dude, that's totally not true."
  3. Create a thank bank.  A thank bank is a visual reminder of how rad you really are. I keep mine in Evernote. Every time I get a gushing email, or a small note of thanks or praise, I take a copy and store it in my thank bank. On days when my thoughts are running wild, and maybe I actually DO suck at something, I read through my thank bank and feel so much better. 
  4. Write a thank you note. Write it to yourself if you like, but sharing a few words of thanks to someone else will get you out of your own head. You're also giving someone material to add to their thank bank while you turn off the uninvited guest in your head. 

Feeling particular sucky lately? I'd be happy to share a virtual high-five with you. Just email me at hi@jacquelinefisch.com and tell me what's up. It's really me, and I'll respond with thank bank material. No woo, I promise.

I quit my corporate job to dive face first into writing

With sweaty palms and my stomach doing backflips, I’m beyond thrilled to tell you I’m turning the page on another chapter of my life.

You see, I grew up with the mindset that you should find a good company, do a good job, and keep climbing the ladder. I got really good at this.

I have always loved work. I loved contributing to something in a meaningful way and feeling like I was part of something bigger. I’m also not afraid to say I love money. It certainly doesn’t solve all your problems, but if you spend it on things that make you happy – it sure as heck can make you feel good.

After I had each of my two kids, I was both anxious to get back to work to flex my brain in a different way, talk to grown-ups, and keep growing.

I wanted to be an example for my kids. I wanted to show them that moms can be successful out in the world and still have a healthy meal and a happy mom to come home to. Shit, I felt so passionate about being a working mom and not apologizing for it that even wrote a book about it. I woke up every morning at 5am, spent countless hours inhaling lattes at Starbucks, and stayed up way too late for months to get it done in time for my 35th birthday, and I did it.

Then something changed. I was doing so many things and I was sucking at all of them. I was doing the minimum at work, rushing around all the time to get to the next thing – work, hockey practice, horseback riding, dinner, rinse, and repeat—oops, forgot to shower! I was too stressed and scattered to spend more than a minute saying goodnight to my kids.

Something was broke. I was doing it wrong.

I feel like an ass telling you this because these are all the things I preached about in my book, and I wasn’t even listening to my own advice. I got lost somewhere along the way.

I felt like I was having an emergency. I needed a change—and I needed it so urgently that I dove in face first.

It was time to create a life I looked forward to living.

Last year, having been a few years into blogging, and writing internal communications as a side project at work—I realized that doing that kind of work lit me up inside. I wanted to do it all the time. I craved more. My corporate job gave me a lot of creative freedom with some of my work—and I learned to find my voice.

I wanted to help more people with their writing, so I reached out to some of my friends and former colleagues with an offer. I told them I’d give them a few hours of my time to write or edit anything they needed help with in return for some candid feedback and a testimonial.

A few people took a chance on me—and I was able to give them things they could share with the world that they’d been holding onto for ages – a LinkedIn blog post that made magazines pick up the phone, bios that make photographers confident to share their website, proposals that make clients say, “F*CK YA!”, and even a job description that got someone a big fat promotion.

I was onto something. I updated my website, told a few more friends, threw up a price list and carried on. I didn’t do any advertising, I didn’t pimp my services to everyone I knew, and something magical happened—people found me, and hired me. Every evening, I’d write and edit my ass off for my new clients. I received rave reviews and they’d pass my name along to someone else, and someone else, and someone else. Before I knew it, I had so much extra work in addition to my day job that I had to start turning it down.

I explained to my kids, that for the next few months mommy would be really busy with work. I told them, it might seem like I’m working all the time—and really, I was. I’m doing this extra work now, so that I can be around more for you later. I hope they understand someday, or that I’ll make it up to them in the coming years.

I told them I’d be able to get them from school at the end of the school day, I wouldn’t need to drop them off at 6:30am anymore so I could catch the early train or beat traffic. I’d come on field trips, we wouldn’t need to eat breakfast in the car anymore.

This week, I close a chapter that has been so familiar to me – 12 years to be exact. I officially resigned at my corporate job and am diving into this new life full time. With the support of my husband, kids, and former colleagues, I get to work wherever I can have an internet connection.

But first, coffee.

 

PS – I could not have done this without the support of my husband. Last year he asked me to “prove it” – that I could be successful at this. Well, I accepted the challenge and I did. Now I can’t wait to make you proud… and stop nuking frozen veggies because that’s all I have time for.

5 common mistakes you're making in your online writing

You write your own stuff all the time.

Even your first website, LinkedIn bio or Facebook Business page.

You know good writing when you see it, and the words come out pretty naturally to you. You might even find it fun – it’s a break from the work you normally do – rock on!

If you’re not a natural, don’t worry. Writing good copy is a learned skill.

Here are 5 of the mistake you’re probably making right now.

 

1) Talking about yourself

Well, WTF Jacq LaRue? How am I supposed to sell myself and my services if I don’t talk about how awesome I am and where I went to school and how many years I’ve been slaving away at this one thing?

Guess what? Your potential clients don’t care.

Do you know what they DO care about? How you’re going to make their lives easier, better, more efficient, how you’ll make them more money and make them drop a jeans size.

Answer this simple question,

“How will my life be better after I work with you?”

Tell me about THAT, and I’ll give you all my dollars.

 

2) You talk too much – stop the verbal diarrhea

You could be using too many words. Especially if you’re writing your website or an email. Be as brief as possible while getting your point across.

Editing is an art, so is making the call to delete what you wrote. Cut out all your extra words, then review your copy three more times and keep cutting. If you have more on the cutting room floor than in your final piece of copy, you’re doing it right.

 

3) No one knows what you’re talking about

Are you using industry jargon that you’d use when talking to other people in your profession? Your prospects don’t speak that language.

When you use words that your client doesn’t, they’ll click away from your website, forever. Leaving sad, confused, and will drown their sorrows in a pint of coconut mint chocolate chip ice cream. This is so sad, don’t do this to people.

What are the words your prospects use? These should also be your words. Speak their language. To do this requires one important skill on your part – listening. Listen to what your prospects say – online, in blog comments, on Facebook, and on LinkedIn.

 

4) Starting a conversation assuming they’ve read everything you ever wrote, even your 5th-grade essay on how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

Everything you write should start a brand new conversation. If I land on your About Page, I don’t remember what you said in a Facebook group that landed me here. Assume your readers don’t know anything about you.

 

5) You’re talking all about what you’re going to give them, and NOT what they get

This is key. Yes, you might provide your clients with 30 hours of training, worksheets, 10 logo design options or a bug-free piece of software.

That’s cool and all, but what do I get?

Tell me WHY I should work with you. How will you make my life better?

Include the specific benefits clients get after working with you. More confidence, ability to quit their day job, being able to do 10 chin-ups or a handstand.

As you’re writing, keep asking yourself, “so what?” And answer that question until you can’t answer it anymore.