August 12th, 2013

Even Rockstars Have Bad Days

I had an unexpected outpouring of support after my last post “Today is different”. 

I thought I was writing about the optimism I feel after a seemingly bad day.

Those days that challenge you and cause you to question everything. Those moments that tease you with the idea of giving up.

Apparently, it was surprising that I might ever have bad days. Which in turn surprises me, I have bad days all the time.

How we deal with the bad days is what defines us.

Sometimes the bad days do knock us back. Sometimes the bad days extend into bad weeks. When the #squigglyline seems to be delivering mostly backwards and sideways, what then? Stop. Not long enough to lose momentum but long enough to create a little time and space to absorb the pushback you are getting.

Some bad days will require you to grit your teeth, dig in, work harder. They bring out my inner street fighter, I double down. I think they call it pushing boulders uphill for a reason. Those are the days I work late, I clear my to do list, I get shit done and I create momentum by doing.

But often it’s about working smarter. There are times when the squiggles are signs that we need to slow down. My husband is a sculptor and he has taught me that, when making art, it’s more often about standing back and observing than it is about doing. Those are the days I get out and hike, do yoga or bake bread. Any activity really that takes me out of my head and allow my intuition to take over.

So, I have learned to relish the bad days. I have learned to appreciate the information they give me. That, and the knowledge that it takes the backwards and sideways to know that you are truly on the #squigglyline.

August 8th, 2013
I want to get more comfortable being uncomfortable. I want to get more confident being uncertain. I don’t want to shrink back just because something isn’t easy. I want to push back, and make more room in the area between I can’t and I can.
Kristin Armstrong (via wordsthat-speak)
Reblogged from My mind, it wanders
July 19th, 2013
Today is different
Yesterday was hard. I thought I had finally broken through a problem with my increasingly squiggly business. Not quite a eureka but close. I confidently strode to my meeting only to be completely beaten up by a potential investor. “I hope I didn’t beat you up too much” he says smiling. Yeah, you did. I replied. “But it’s cool, apparently we are not where we need to be yet.”
I walked home. Pissed off, frustrated, angry, deflated. I said angry right? Eventually, after giving myself a good talking to, I figured out how I was going to figure everything out.
And today, anything is possible. Even the impossible. Especially the impossible.
Because today is different. Today, anything could happen.

Today is different

Yesterday was hard. I thought I had finally broken through a problem with my increasingly squiggly business. Not quite a eureka but close. I confidently strode to my meeting only to be completely beaten up by a potential investor. “I hope I didn’t beat you up too much” he says smiling. Yeah, you did. I replied. “But it’s cool, apparently we are not where we need to be yet.”

I walked home. Pissed off, frustrated, angry, deflated. I said angry right? Eventually, after giving myself a good talking to, I figured out how I was going to figure everything out.

And today, anything is possible. Even the impossible. Especially the impossible.

Because today is different. Today, anything could happen.

July 10th, 2013

Anxiety

This Kierkegaard quote means a lot to me. Especially on those exceptionally squiggly days. Those days where a low-level of nausea seems to follow me wherever I go. Anxiety. I now take comfort from that feeling. It’s anxiety that is fueling me, keeping me on my edge, pushing me beyond the status quo. So now those (frequent) days of epic discomfort tell me I am on the right track. I am on the squiggly line.

June 24th, 2013

It’s been squiggly

image

In February this year I spoke at Ignite Boulder. I talked about my experience as an entrepreneur. I talked about the very squiggly line, or path, that it feels one is walking (sometimes running) as an entrepreneur.

You can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQnOS_sMjv8

It has been humbling to see this concept resonate with viewers. It seems that naming the slippery, chaotic, ever-tumultuous life of the entrepreneur has been cathartic.

Because the reality of the entrepreneurial path is that you NEVER really know if it will all work out. If your big, brave, bold plan will take flight. Or if you will fail.

And no matter how much we embrace failure, it still stinks.

So the life of the entrepreneur is a devil of a slippery path. We spend more time going backwards or sideways. Some days we just don’t know if we can make it come together; other days we think we might just have the next big thing.

This is my world and I am oddly addicted to it. So I am going to write more about my journey in the hope that it might clarify the crazy decisions I make. So I hope you will join me, stiletto clad, as I once again navigate the squiggles.

August 22nd, 2012

Book Review: The Gifts of Imperfection

Brene Brown is not afraid to talk about vulnerability. And she has found a very receptive audience. In her Ted talk (5.6 million views and climbing) she gives us all permission to be a little less bulletproof. And a lot more honest. 

So with that in mind, I will say that I found the Ted talk more inspiring than the book. The book was a little too self-help for me (admittedly I have a low threshold) but I don’t regret reading it.

The book is chook full of very entertaining annecdotes and is well written. If the Ted talk resonates with you, I wouldn’t feel shy about downloading a copy for a read. Especially if you fall in the “people-pleasing” camp or need a little poke in the direction of standing up for yourself. Which I think many of us do from time to time. I certainly know I do.

August 13th, 2012

Speaking of shoes.

On more than one occasion, the question of “office appropriate” shoes stumps me. Having started out in a law firm (tres professional) then migrating into the video game space (tres casual) and finally the advertising industry (tres fabulous) - my own rules have evolved. So when it came to my most recent acquisition, pictured, I really struggled with the collision of two of my rules: no open toe and never too high.

Let’s start by establishing that these rules have flexibility. Also, given that I am 5.11 barefoot, the height rule does adjust based on your own ummm stature. But, that aside, what is the right filter?

The best approach I can advise is twofold: WWAD (what would Anna Wintour do) cross-referenced with WCWW (would a construction worker feel the need to whistle/catcall/etc). Anna would wear open toe but she would keep the heel low and otherwise dress somewhat demurely (but insanely well). And if you think you look HOT (vs. fabulous) keep the shoes for evening.

The heel on these shoes makes them a little more conservative but, ultimately there are some offices/meetings where I will revert to my base rules. But rest assured, these bad boys will be worn. 

August 9th, 2012

But it’s still spam…

One of my pet peeves (and I’m generally a pretty positive person) is getting irrelevant, clearly mass-intended, emails from companies I love. Because if I don’t love you I’ve already unsubscribed.

So why does my beloved Bergdorf Goodman, creator of the wonderous Shoe Salon app, decide that it’s ok to get email marketing so wrong. No BG - these are not shoes I am interested in (maybe the McQueen but no, not in Olive) and, seriously BG, they are not even my size.

You’ve worked hard to get your consumers to tune into your messaging. So don’t undo it all with sloppy communication. We will turn you off in a digital moment.

August 7th, 2012

Authenticity

Anyone that spends any time with me is aware of my obsession with the amazing Garance Dore. Not only is she a shining example of a digital star, Garance is 100% authentic. She makes no overtures to be someone she is not. She is fabulous and she is honest. I just adore this picture from Harper’s Australia - a rarity where she is in front of the camera. But look behind the picture and she’ll tell you how impractical this look really is and how “it took four people to get this scarf on my head”. No pretention, no bullshit - just Garance.

Loading tweets...

@ClaudiaBatten

})