Rolling with the punches

I haven't been in a creative tornado like this for a long, long time. I've never put so much time into something with so little knowledge of how it would pan out. I've never worked on so many projects simultaneously (by necessity) and been able to keep everything straight in my head. I've never been so willing to roll with the punches. And I've never been so ruthless about following my intuition.

Here are some of the major changes that have been happening over here:

1. I am no longer pursuing an e-book for the debut of my skincare book. I'm going to self-publish via Amazon, then get it into the Kindle store in November or December.

2. Foxhazel who? Yeah, this was a big one. As I designed my new website, I could not seem to shake the gnawing feeling that something was wrong. My beautiful, forest-themed name for the business suddenly didn't seem to fit the direction I was heading in. It works for my skincare products (which are no longer the focus of the business) and for the herbal projects I want to do, but in the long run, I see myself writing more books, venturing into the world of monthly publications and working more directly with people via coaching, courses and (gulp) public speaking. Some of this is in the far future, yet I couldn't shake the feeling that I need to keep my eye on that horizon.

The truth is, I don't know exactly where I'm headed. I have the next six months mapped out, but beyond that, it's a little foggy. I see words: Help. Motivation. Passion. Inspiration. Guidance. Love. Change. Light. Brilliance. Achievement. I know I want (I need) to rocket to the next level in my own life, having hung out in Haven't Met My Potential-ville on Lacked Belief in Myself Street for far, far too long. And I know I want to take everyone like me on the journey, right by my side.

Foxhazel seems more of a part of my business than the whole. And every potential name I think of has the same issue - another part of me or my business dreams. (What can I say, I have a lot of interests and goals!) As I reach the home stretch here and am trying to prevent having to re-brand myself yet again in the near future, I'm seriously considering just using my name: It seems crazy to me, for some reason (like naming a website after yourself is only possible after you have published dozens of books and/or been in business for ten years), but it's who I am and I know that will never change. It might get a new look from time to time, but wouldn't ever need a re-branding (well, mostly).

No regrets, right? No doubts, no sentimentality. I already bought the domain name and set up the Foxhazel emails. Oh well. Goodbye. I already spent weeks designing the logo and artwork. Oh well. Goodbye. Or not? I still don't know. But...roll with the punches.

3. Goodbye deadlines. On August 31st, coming home from a nice, rare dinner out on the town, I suddenly realized that the next day was September 1st...and my deadlines for releasing the book, the coaching seminars and the website in thirty days were impossible to reach. It had seemed so logical in my head that it would all work just fine, but I had forgotten one important point: shipping. There was not enough time to create and ship some of the products that are available with certain coaching packages. I was distraught, as the only other window I had beyond October was all the way in January. (I remain certain that it wouldn't be wise to launch a 30-day coaching seminar in November or December with the holiday madness going on.) What would happen? Would anyone care by then?

And two days later, I dusted myself off and realized that this was the best possible timeline. It would give me ample time to prepare and give my best to my clients. I still plan on releasing the book by October 1st (fingers crossed) and opening the website no later than that date, so there will be plenty to offer my customers and plenty of time to make some extra treats for you all (I'll reveal that soon!).

4. Title 1. Title 2. Title 3. The name of my book has changed so many times, it's almost ridiculous. I think my sister is going to stop answering my text messages asking if she likes this title or that title better. I think - maybe - I have the right title now. But then, I've thought that before and hated it a week later. However, I don't have a week to spare anymore. This is IT. I'm giving myself a few hours and then it's time to plunge ahead.

This process has been super hard and super scary - and amazing. I find it a weird space in time. I have so many people in my life who are so excited about what I'm doing. And just as many, if not more, who don't seem to give a rat's patoot. I didn't expect to encounter very many naysayers - and certainly none in my inner circle - and yet, there they are. Whatever fear I'm facing, it's like these people know and they make comments that seem to directly feed that fear. People - sometimes people you love - will imply (or directly tell you) that you aren't good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to succeed. That you can't build a successful business. That you aren't worth being paid decent wages. The temptation to believe them - since they're just confirming you own fears, anyway - is so strong.

You could just say, "Walk away from that! Those people aren't your friends or family!" And it's true, that you should never put up with verbal abuse, and never let yourself succumb to the tearing claws of critics. But I see so much more to it. How do they know? How do they know exactly what to say to freak you out the most? It's all about the mirrors. We recognize similarities in each other - we bond with our light and we attack with our darkness. People know. You can't hide your fears from those who experience the same fears. Maybe it's a good thing for them to provoke that fear beast within you. It gives you a chance to face it and overcome it. And if you're lucky, you can recognize the same fear in the other person. You can recognize the suffering within them that made them pounce on your fear. A little perseverance in your path and a little prayer for the critic might go a long way in healing you both.

So this is it. The home stretch. A few more weeks (maybe less) and I'll be up and running. It's insanely scary. But also one of the most exciting things I've done in a long time. Thanks for sticking around to see it all happen! I wouldn't be here without you all.