I have a confession to make. Although I am an avid reader (most mornings I wake up with my kindle tucked under my pillow where I fell asleep reading), I avoid business self-help books like the plague. When I worked for Kimberly-Clark, a Fortune 500 consumer goods company and one of the featured businesses in the book Good To Great, I'm fairly sure I was the only employee who hadn't read that widely referenced book. When it was quoted, I would smile and nod in agreement. Today, when I attend conferences or meetings and a "good business book" is mentioned I enthusiastically jot down the title in my notes and really DO intend to read it. However, when it comes down to it I just love my historical fiction too much to give up. For me, reading is a treasured escape into a story, and if I am forced to plow through a non-fiction (unless it's Jon Krakauer), the whole time I am judging if it's worth it to continue or should I give up and re-read Game of Thrones.
Therefore, you may be surprised that now I am going to quote one such book. I can explain. Big Magic was written by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love. I loved that earlier book of hers so much that when I attended Kami Guildner's Extraordinary Women Ignite conference in Golden, CO and this book was mentioned, I wrote down the title, and DID indeed read it. In Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear, "[Gilbert] asks us to embrace our curiosity...She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear. She discusses the attitudes, approaches and habits we need in order to live our most creative lives. Balancing between soulful spirituality and cheerful pragmatism, Gilbert encourages us to uncover the 'strange jewels' that are hidden within each of us."
As a creative soul myself who strives to cultivate the jewel treasures within my clients and their businesses, this I had to read.
Many parts of this book spoke to me, but the part I want to share with you are her ideas around Entitlement. This word has such negative connotations, doesn't it? I urge you to enter 2020 embracing the definition of the word as Gilbert describes it.
She urges that "In order to live free to create, free to explore - you must posses a fierce sense of personal entitlement...
you will never be able to create anything interesting out of your life if you don't believe that you're entitled to at least try.
Creative entitlement doesn't mean behaving like a princess, or acting as though the world owes you anything whatsoever.
No, creative entitlement simply means believing that you are allowed to be here, and that- merely by being here -
you are allowed to have a voice and a vision of your own."
WOW. This brought to mind so many experiences I've had with clients as well as myself. Specifically around how to raise up your voice and vision, and equally around self-doubt. When you promote yourself and your business, no matter what stage of business you are in, there is often a voice in the back of your head that throws in thoughts in like "Who do you think you are?" "Do you even know what you're talking about?" "Won't people think you're charging too much?" "Look at all this competition...why will people care what you have to say?"
Gilbert calls the sense of creative entitlement "The arrogance of belonging" and considers it vital to cultivate if you wish to interact move vividly with life, and I would add, your business.
"[It's] not about egotism or self-absorption. In a strange way, it's the opposite;
it is a divine force that will actually take you out of yourself and allow you to engage more fully with life.
Because often what keeps you from creative living is your self-absorption (your self-doubt, your self-disgust, your self-judgement...)
The arrogance of belonging pulls you out of the darkest depths of self-hatred - not by saying 'I am the greatest!' but merely by saying 'I am here!"
My photography is about getting at the inner light of you. Empowering yourself through personal entitlement as we've described above can help you get clear on your message, raise up your voice to say "I'm here" as Gilbert urges, and allows me to bring out the essence of who you are. I would love to help you connect you with your ideal clients through photography and video. Click the link below if you'd like to walk this road with me.