I have a question for you. It’s an important one…
If your business page was deleted off of Facebook tomorrow, would anyone miss you?
Would they even notice that you disappeared?
I want you to think long and hard about this.
When we first voiced our decision to go into business together, we got a lot of looks. “You’re brave,” people would say. “How will you separate life from work?”
I don’t think there is any perfect answer to that question.
Have there been hard times? No Doubt. Have there been times where we were at each other’s throats? Sure. But has it been the most rewarding experience professionally, and personally, that we have had together? You betcha.
Just over a year ago I joined Web of Words, and my wife, Carly, on this journey that she started exactly one year before that. Though we had long talks leading up to me joining the fight, nothing can actually prepare you for the real thing. Waking up next to the same person you work with every day? Admittedly, it does not—and will not—work for some people.
They say year two is one of the hardest years to survive as an entrepreneur. This past year has certainly presented its share of obstacles. It’s not easy when your work is so entrenched in your personal lives. It’s not easy drawing the line between being business partners and husband & wife.
But if you find a way to do it effectively, we believe there is no greater force to build a business with. Web of Words is truly designed with love.
It’s created from a desire for creativity. A passion for the hustle. A hunt for the freedom to shape our own lives.
But most importantly, it’s created by YOU. Our clients. Our followers. Our supporters. Our friends and family.
You are the ones who have made year two one we will look back on with pride. You are the ones who have made our dreams possible.
Thanks to you, we made it.
And you better believe we’re only going to get better and stronger from here.
‘Tis the season… Consumerism is at its strongest force and suddenly we all forget the real meaning of Christmas.
Instead, we’re stealing parking spots from one another and waiting in lineups in below freezing temperatures just to scoop up some door crashing prize we don’t really have a use for.
Or, if you’re like me, you’re procrastinating the day away, watching horrifying YouTube videos of Americans throwing punches in Target because someone grabbed the last Robotic Dog named CHiP.
You better believe I’ll be the farthest distance from a shopping mall on Black Friday. (Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration because I will likely be working from home and there is, in fact, a mall in this town).
Still, I’m tempted to turn out the lights and just hibernate in my own little world this time of year. Of course, it isn’t going to work that way… at least if I want to pay the credit card bill come January.
And while we’re left sifting through the latest promotions in our inboxes and dodging online ads like it’s nobody’s business, the question all entrepreneurs are asking right now is this:
This post is written by Luke Ottaway.
A year ago this week I decided to ‘take the plunge’ and join the crazy world of self-employment. This could be a blog about the risk of giving up a guaranteed paycheque, or about saying goodbye to my 9-to-5. Instead this blog will be something very different than that. This blog is a thank you.
I’m an editor. This means I delete, modify and replace words and thoughts for a living, in efforts to create a polished product intended to drive specific results.
Depending on the platform, these objectives will differ. From a journalistic perspective, the ultimate goal is to share the truth.
But as a storyteller and content marketer, the intentions are slightly skewed…
And yet, when it comes to determining what to share in the online world, I am often preaching a life unedited; a life unfiltered.
It’s a difficult balance. I, too, edit the posts I share on my online profiles. In fact, sometimes I have to force myself to stop editing. It’s the perfectionist within me.
Every time I post something real, something vulnerable, I have a moment (or two) of panic, fearing the consequences of hitting the all-too-familiar “publish” button. I dread the judgments—from followers, colleagues and complete strangers— that play over and over again in my head. What’s interesting is, those anxiety-ridden posts are also the ones that inspire the most meaningful responses. There’s nothing more rewarding than when a subscriber sends me an email saying my blog post was exactly what he needed to read that day, or a colleague mentions a Facebook post over coffee, saying it helped her navigate a difficult decision.
I have a confession to make.
I’ve spent the last two months questioning my business: Why am I doing this? What value am I bringing my clients? Where do I want to go from here?
I’ve gotten rather intimate with these thoughts in my head. Sometimes, I struggled to find any answers at all. Those were the days the self-doubt came creeping in. The days I questioned my worth, my direction, my ability to reach my goals.
Some days, I found myself lacking motivation. I was just going through the motions, hitting deadlines, checking items off the to-do list. But my heart wasn’t in it. And this was scary to me.
You see: I’m a builder. A creator. I love watching a new client website or email campaign come to life. I love getting my hands dirty, digging in to an entrepreneur’s story and helping them recognize how far they’ve come, and what it took for them to get to where they are now. I love helping them connect the dots, showing them how every step along the way served its purpose.
And as I continued to peel back the layers on other people’s stories, I forgot to appreciate my own.
I received one of the greatest compliments a copywriter can get this past month: an author hired me to write the About page on her website.
Yes, even writers have a hard time writing their bio. It’s hard for us to talk about ourselves. Sometimes, we all need a little external perspective to help us see our lives, our businesses, our accomplishments, in a new light.
Fortunately, this is where Web of Words comes in.
I love working with other creatives, but there’s something extra special about working with other writers. It’s a new challenge every time. And yet I can’t help but notice how, no matter the situation, I still question my abilities when taking on a project with a writer. I ask myself:
Am I good enough?
What if she hates it?
What if he re-writes the entire thing?
These are the kinds of thoughts that go through my head. But each time, I seem to get a little better at turning them off. I refocus my mind. I tell myself:
I can do this.
This will be fun!
She hired me for a reason.
And guess what? I wrote it. She loved it. And I’ll even go out on a limb and say I think I’ve become a better writer because of it.
Sometimes, you have to take a chance. You have to give yourself permission to say yes before you know how you’re going to make it work. You have to believe you’ll figure it out along the way.
They say when someone copies you, that you should take it as a sign of success. Like you’ve been building your career only to let it be judged by the emulation of others.
It doesn’t make the fact any easier to accept.
As an artist, as an entrepreneur, your ideas, your words, your creations are what make you who you are. You feel this burning desire to share them with the world, because you’re told that is the only way to make them real. But who stops them from being stolen?
Of course, it’s 2016. Is there such a thing as an original thought any longer? Of all the billion ideas circling the planet every day, who’s to say which ones belong to me?
The truth is, imitation is unavoidable.
And yes, they say you should be flattered, but it’s also frustrating as hell. When the painting you created with your own two hands is sold under someone else’s name. When the lyrics you sing are claimed by someone else’s voice.
When the words you read on another website sound just like your own.
I am an artist. Words are my currency. I definitely didn’t invent the English language, but I like to think I have my own way of stringing the letters of the alphabet together. I have a “voice,” shaped by my perspectives, my experiences. My beliefs about the world.
If I were a season, I think I would be spring.
I admire her strength – how after a few failed attempts at battling winter’s harsh wind and grey skies, she always finds a way to pull through. I love the way she brightens the day; even for those who see the world differently than she does.
I appreciate her vulnerability – how she’s not afraid to put herself out there. I enjoy watching her blossom under the touch of the sun. I love that she’s not afraid to get messy, realizing sometimes the most beautiful moments are only discovered after the mud has cleared away.
I’ve spent the last few weeks reflecting on the past year (my first one as an entrepreneur). I’ve reviewed what milestones were reached; what went well; what I could have done differently.
And for a while there, I was feeling a little underwhelmed at the results.
I kept hearing this voice in my head, telling me: It’s not enough. You can do better. You can do more…
Make more money…
Sign on more clients…
Reach more goals…
I started to realize my perspective was skewed. It was all in my head – the negative self-talk, the “busy” trap I kept surrendering my days to, the lack of focus and clarity.