Author Archives: Susan Lucibello

4 Creative Blocks (and Your Brand)

 

Today, I wanted to share something that I am planning on sharing with my mastermind group soon…

The topic: creativity and, specifically, the blocks we might experience as creative women…as humans. As we all know or have experienced, certain seasons in life sometimes bring back a less-than-helpful closed mindset, a tenativeness/timidness or a worry that we just aren’t good enough…that it’s just not going to happen for us…

But, as creative women, this just isn’t true…we can create out of this downward spiral and we can remember that that life is like a spiral staircase and though we might run into the same or similar situation or thought at times, we are now higher up on the staircase…wiser, able to bring in a new aspect of the woman we are today, to help us through this particular situation.

As creative women, what we also know or eventually realize is that any “creative block” we might experience (anything that stops the flow of us being who we naturally are, or, in other words, who we are as solution (soulution)-oriented people), is also likely a block to our success. We’ve all felt it…when we feel blocked creatively, we feel blocked, period.

Creativity = moving from problem to ecstatic or electric solution (isn’t that what it feels like getting a new and rather AMAZING idea in the shower or in yoga? Ecstatic! Like an electric shock just hit you?).

In order to keep on with that particular and amazing life force flowing through us, coming up with innovative and soulful ways to support our clients (and our families), we want to, not only recognize the blocks that might start to make themselves into our psyche, but commit to, most of all, being known for our solutions (soulutions) rather than our problems.  If we can commit to being this, we can BE anything we want in this life…CEO, Speaker, Thought Leader, Activist, Author, and the list goes on…

I trust the share below will help you reflect. Are you currently experiencing any of these blocks? Have you allowed them to make you feel blocked? And, if so, how you can shift your thinking to continue being the brand of woman who leads and loves and, as a result, is stepping into a greater version of herself every day, hour and minute by committing to being the solution in everything she says, does and shows to the world…

Together, let’s take the blocks below and make them the blocks we stand on to reach higher levels of success. This is your true nature –> to create and continue creat-ing, knowing her greatest strategy to success will have been that she kept going…

The Four Creative Blocks that Double as Success Blocks — How to Think Differently 

What happens when we’re feeling blocked? When we’re not feeling creative or when no ideas, nada, zero, zilch are coming (or, maybe they’re coming but the ideas don’t feel aligned or like the spark they usually feel like — what do we do then? Or, is the better question how might those blocks present themselves in our daily lives (what do they look like?) and, in being more aware of them, can we manage to simply nod in acknowledgement of them and continue moving forward to the realization of our dreams anyway?

Block #1: Believing Only Some People Are Creative or Have the Ability to be Supremely Successful.

If you’ve ever thought you were born with the creative, success or solution gene missing, the good news is you’re wrong. :-) In those more tender moments, it’s potentially and simply that you haven’t accepted creativity as a process yet (just like success, creativity is a process and your ability to channel your inner Creative Heroine, knowing you always have the power to move from problem to solution, will see you through).

The great thing about finally accepting your creative nature and practice as a process (truly accepting it as your new consciousness, not just saying you do) is that you’ll allow greater joy and physical wealth into your life. Any time you accept or surrender to your nature (your flow)  –  flow and abundance you will receive!

In other words, by accepting that creativity, as with success, is a process, you’ll be creating space in your life (read: in order to let the magic of the universe IN, more money and just MORE into your life, your mind and life can’t be already chalk full of a family of doubts, worries or fears).

Acceptance and the act of surrender releases those and makes room for what, also naturally wants to come in…

And that’s exactly the point — your heightened joy and abundance is mainly due to the fact that the majority of your precious time will not be spent beating yourself up because something didn’t work out, that you didn’t reach a goal or because only two people liked your latest heartfelt post on Facebook, but instead on the many other things that are working well and growing.

Focus on the many things that are working and growing and you’ll be doing the work of accepting your creativity (and success) as a process!

Here’s another way to look at it — when more or most of your creative time is spent focusing on creating, on what lights you up or focusing on the practices, people or experiences that are allowing you to express even more of your true yourself, you become not only a more content person, but hopefully a more grateful person. It’s in this space of gratitude where the magic happens. The more gratitude we feel for what is working and growing in our lives, the more that continues to work and grow!

As the success graphic above shows, it is your nature and it is natural to zig and zag. That’s just it. Let’s love up our zigging and zagging, it’s part of our creative and entrepreneurial spirit

“Creativity is like washing a pig. It’s messy. It has no rules.
No clear beginning, middle or end. It’s kind of a pain in the ass
and when you’re done, you’re not sure if the pig is really clean
or even why you were washing a pig in the first place.”
~ Luke Sullivan

Block #2: “I have to be professional” or “This isn’t professional.” 

The killer of all brand personality, therefore creativity and therefore success, is using the “is this professional?” filter vs. the meaning or on-brand filter (these are two filters I had shared with my group a few weeks ago — if you want to see them, email me and let me know). Having had my own experience with this for a number of years early on about 12-15 or so years ago (and knowing it does little to bring us the happiness in business and expression we most want), I can say that for me and the clients I’ve worked with, it’s definitely a block to our flow…to the expression of who we naturally are.

In my relationship with this, I overthought what and how I shared. I was able to keep the multi-passionate and multi-dimensional Michelle going when I was with clients, however, in marketing myself, I kept the fullness of me and of who I really was at a five out of 10 (note: being entrepreneurs we need to allow ourselves to shine a 10+ out of 10 — to show our true selves).

Moving from what’s professional to what’s personal and understanding that what your potential clients and tribe want from you IS the personal, or, in other words, the real you  –  the full you  –  is how to tackle this particular block.

Over the years, I’ve seen this be true time and time again. In fact, one of the things that I can attribute the last two or three bumps in monetary success to, is to exactly this: being exactly who I am, without overthinking and, definitely, without asking myself if something is what I should be sharing or not. I share what I truly believe, to the tune of a 10+, on all topics (basically whatever I am thinking about any topic) and I do it over and over again every day.

For example, for a time, I thought I could only share my thoughts on branding as that had been my specialization over the years. False. Or, maybe some of you have thought that you can’t share too much about your personal life because it will affect your business negatively or that people won’t care. Also false. They do care and you, as the (thought) leader you are, can share your thoughts on anything (people want to hear your stories, thoughts and beliefs about a variety of topics. Why? Because before they invest with you, they want to make sure that more of all of you, is in alignment with more of all of them).

With soulmate clients, or, in other words, with the ideal clients who will be growing with your business-turned-movement, you can never say the wrong thing, remember that.

You can’t say the wrong thing to the right person
nor the right thing to the wrong person.

Be professional in your work with clients, yes…show up on time, over deliver and deliver when you say you’re supposed to, give impeccable customer service, AND, when speaking about your creative ideas and expressing who you really are to the world, don’t be professional, just be you!

Block #3: Copying People vs. Copying Principles.

Every time we even think about copying someone else, we give away our soul’s (creative) power. In other words, copying others, or even thinking about doing so, is a creative block because it gives a very clear signal energetically to the natural abilities that run through us that our particular force is not as good, valuable or as powerful as someone else’s. Living in that long enough starts to make it feel like fact, when, of course, nothing could be further from the truth.

The key: resist the urge to look at what people are doing so much and, instead, ask yourself why they are doing it. In other words, be inspired by others! But instead of only looking only as far as what they are doing (say, you see them launching that program or traveling the world doing their events, as just two examples, and you feel “I want that…I want to DO that”), don’t stop there…ask and stay longer in the reviewing why they are launching that program (what is it allowing them to do with their business model or how does this support them in potential revenue or joy goals?) and why they are traveling the world doing their events (how is this helping them grow the portable part of their business, when push comes to shove, why might or might NOT this be what we actually want for our lives with young children?).

It is wonderful to be inspired by someone and knowing how to use that inspiration is what can either add or detract to our own creative power.

Your ideas, those that come without ever having to look at what someone else is doing, are valuable. Follow those ideas and potentially mix in some of the answers you receive when you do your deeper review of why someone else might be doing something and why it might fit with their life, but, not yours…

Block #4: “But it’s all already been done before.” 

The killer of big ideas, maybe even the biggest idea you’ve ever had in business is believing that it’s all already been done before.

It hasn’t.

Resist the urge to allow that little or loud voice to deter you from the very creativity that will see an idea, whether similar to someone else’s or not, through in a unique and powerful way. You are you and only you will be able to deliver this particular program, service or produce this product in the way that you can.

There may not be any “new” ideas, but there IS a way to make new connections between old or existing ideas. Ahem, welcome to the world of online and offline business, a world full of people taking what’s previously existed and creating a subtle remix of what’s needed or wanted in the marketplace!

Do YOU, allow that creativity to flow and infuse your particular knowledge, stories and truth into everything you do and you’ll feel that you will always be creating something new…

Be the ecstatic or electric solution (soulution) every day. Remember that this is your brand and that this is who you truly are.

You are not blocked. In fact, the door to success is wide open for you!

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life, Creative Heroine!

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. If you want the meaning and brand filters I discussed above, let me know. Sending you love from L.A!

Back to the THESE “Basics”

During confusing or hard moments, in anything or with any relationship, go back to the basics (which is not too far back):

Kindness,
mutual respect,
dignity and
civility. . .
white to black,
black to white,
man to woman,
woman to man,
boy to girl,
girl to boy,
grown up to child,
child to grown up,
able-bodied to disabled,
disabled to able-bodied,
**anyone to anything you are not**
kindness, mutual respect, dignity and civility are always en vogue.

T h e s e  are the empowering and loving times I believe we live in.

And this is why we ladies, the mama bears of the earth, the ones who need to make sure the family sticks together (seriously, this is one of our tippity-top purposes), this is why we care, this is why we coach, and this is why we are more active in the world, then maybe we’ve ever been.

Enjoy your business and enjoy your life, Creative Heroine + Mama Bear!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

 

 

p.s. Register HERE for MGI’s first complimentary training, Design Your Couture Comeback: Soul, Strategy & Brand Honesty in 2017. The training happens Thursday, February 9th, at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern/7pm London/8pm Amsterdam time. The training lasts two hours. I’ll be sharing how you can create your most successful “comeback” from a business hiatus, heartbreak, loss or (fill in your blank). In many ways, we will go back to the basics and will cover off on the strategy and practical support needed within four categories: Business (Revenue), Brand, Relationships and Self. Would love to “see” you there, Creative Heroine!

“Habit Health” (3 questions to ask today!)


This is my client Dianna…her “habit health” is on point.  :)

Gut health.
Emotional health.
Heart health.
Habit health. 
It’s also totally a thing.
How’s your habit health?

Take a few moments and jot down your answers to the following questions:

1. If you were the very best in the world at what you did, how would what you do in the morning, afternoon and evening change?

2. On a practical level, what top two (2) habits and top two (2) actions must become part of your everyday muscle memory to get to where you say you want to be in your business?

3. As the thought leader and CEO of your purposeful and inspiring brand, what relationship-building activities do you need to build on each week?

Once you have your most honest and powerful answers down, take a breath and another moment to check in with the mindset and schedule you currently are working with.

Here’s a bonus question for you ~

4. How will you need to shift or accommodate both your mindset and weekly schedule in order to get where you want to be?

I hope this supports you today, Creative Heroine.

Enjoy your business and enjoy your life!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 

 

 

p.s. Have you registered yet for the {no-cost} training coming up on Thursday, February 9th at 11am Pacific/2pm Eastern/7pm London/8pm Amsterdam: Design Your Couture Comeback: Soul, Strategy & Brand Honesty in 2017. We’ll be covering your 90-day plan with the habits and focus your need in four areas — business, brand, relationships and self. Don’t miss the goodness. Don’t miss the goods. Register HERE.

Walked from SF to D.C.! (STORY)

Imagine walking from San Francisco to Washington D.C. in support of something you strongly believe in?

Over the last few months, in meditation and beyond, I’ve asked that I be shown, in no uncertain terms, where I need to be and what I need to do in service of greater peace, equality and in love and protection of those who need it most in the world right now.

That voice or voices, you can call it many things, one of them being intuition, guided me to Greece to help where I could at the refugee camp, guided me to begin creating the model for action support groups that we’ll host in LA at our home, it’s what moved Josh and I both, as creatives, to begin speaking at colleges (first talk together will be this March back East) all around creating your own career path (being in charge of your own success — no glass ceilings) and, lastly, generally, this connection or trust — you can call it my own surrender experiment — also guided me to get more involved at the local level with causes that align with my values. I spoke to the ACLU last night and they will be in attendance for Josh’s and my first group here.

I share tonight because it’s incredible what happens, and in such a short amount of time, when we are committed and devoted to doing all it takes, no matter what, in support of what we believe.

As most magical things come these days, in an email last week I received a message from hospice, where I volunteer as a companion, telling me that they had found my first ongoing hospice assignment (they place you with whomever lives in closest driving distance to you).

I hadn’t been placed with one person yet last year, but instead, had been bouncing around visiting different families who needed someone, who lived about an hour or so away. All wonderful. Again, when you go where you’re needed, you’re promised many xxl heart opening experiences, as a result.

Going where I’m being asked to go “in no uncertain terms” and, hands down, every time this last year, in service work, family, friendship or my brand and coaching business, it’s exactly where I’ve needed to be. In no uncertain terms, yet as simple as a smile, maybe my Mom’s name, or with the flash of a number eight, I’ve gotten that confirmation.

I continued to read about my first official assignment tonight, all about the woman I have the privilege to befriend for the remaining days of her life and I couldn’t believe my eyes (well, I could because magical things happen all the time, why? Because I expect them to, I’m eagerly waiting for them)…

She’s a goddess, a 96-year-old woman who raised seven children as a single mom, worked in civil rights and walked from S.F. to D.C. to take a stand against nuclear war.

It said she *was* a writer (once a writer, *always* a writer — it’s not always about being able to put pen to paper, but about a way of looking at, and continuing to feel the world).

The note from the director at hospice also mentioned she was eager to talk about her life and loved, loved, loved engaging in stimulating conversation.

{my phone rang as I was typing this post, here’s what just happened…}

It was my new friend’s daughter. We spoke for 20 minutes all about her beautiful mom and my first visit tomorrow, about her fun and playful personality, what to expect, what she might like etc.

Her daughter said she was a very funny lady (too smart for her own good), loves poetry, wants to listen to Ted Talks or podcasts with me and that an easy in tomorrow might be dogs (easy, I told her, I have photos of Holland at the ready).

I asked her if there was anything I could bring her tomorrow and, another intuitive hunch gone right…tomorrow is her BIRTHDAY, her daughter said, so maybe something colorful like balloons?

She loves her birthday, she continued. Ok, we will talk about that tomorrow, I said, I also love birthdays and I love my birthday.

Her daughter told me she had written “97” on the cover of her January calendar when she first got it. It had been the only thing she wrote on it.

I shared with her that she might not believe it, but that when I first contacted her to set up a day for me to come, something in me said, ask if you can come Thursday, so I mentioned Thursday. (I knew that I could have probably said next week, but I felt I needed to go sooner than that, Thursday, specifically, even though it would not be the easiest for me, necessarily).

We laughed at first at the serendipity (life magic) and then, I could hear her holding back tears. It’s a lot to handle losing someone. That’s what I was thinking and feeling inside, but all I said was, I know, I know…

Once she spoke again, she said, one thing I wanted to do with her before the stroke, which she was excited about, was color…maybe you can color with her? I have an empty coloring book, I told her, we will fill up as much as she wants and has energy for.

Great, that’s wonderful, she said.

I will color with her, my kindred spirit, I thought to myself…

And, I’ll show up and up and up, like her balloons.

And just like that, from one moment to the next, I get to create and be a part of a birthday party tomorrow for a friend (who almost shares a birthday with my own Mom — by three days) and who had it written in her stars, too, that we’d meet, a woman who believed strongly in something, in seven children and in a cause called peace, in humor and in words that move people to love and feel light…

I get to sit in for her daughter tomorrow. I get to love a mom, as if she were my mom. And do it week, after week…

Here’s the thing. What we believe we will receive, we receive…

And what we support, supports us.

This assignment — life — is so beautiful and interesting and filled with opportunities to seize the day that some nights I feel I could fall over in observance of it all.

I really think I might tonight, but before I do, I have a mini birthday party to plan!

Happy birthday and thank you, beauty, all 97 years young of you. I can’t wait to meet you on the day you were born, it is, in no uncertain terms, exaaaactly where I need to be tomorrow.

Enjoy your business, enjoy your life!

Life is good,

michelle-black-sig-md-light

 
 
 
 

p.s. If you’re craving to get more involved and go where you’re most needed, let me know…I want to help you!