the private email i just sent to my tribe…

the measure of a true friend.

It’s not often I’m at a loss for words. But I’ve been sitting here for a good 30 minutes, staring at the blank page, caught up in a web of awe, rendered speechless. And a little teary. I just launched a new program – Spark*Sisters – and the reaction is blowing me away. Actually, I haven’t even had a chance to truly launch it – and already, women are lining up.

Friends, my first live event just sold out in a day. A day!? A second event has been added. And the ecourse is filling up fast.

This morning, I sent a note to my intention circle – the small group of wonder women I’ve been meeting with for years, and the inspiration for this new undertaking. And as I sit here, trying to write a blog post that encapsulates how I’m feeling, I’m having a little epiphany. I think I should just share my email to them with you. Be totally transparent, so you can see the depth of our connection, and how this all came to be. So, here it is. I’m making this private email public, for all of my sisters out there…including you.

********************

I couldn’t wait till our next meeting to share this with you! Remember how, last year, I asked you if you’d be okay with me creating, someday, some kind of ecourse around how to build an intention circle, using our own circle as inspiration? It was only a nugget of an idea, but it kept flirting with my heart. And you said YES, of course…let it percolate. 

And then several months ago, I brought it back up and told you I wanted it to be a live event. And you said…quite resoundly…NO, not now, don’t rush in. You guys said I had too much on my plate already; I had just launched Project Light Year, was booking Firecracker Calls left and right, not to mention all the family/personal stuff begging for my attention. And because I trust you so much, and you know me so well, I didn’t even fight it. I felt a twinge of disappointment, but your advice has never led me astray. So I tucked it away for another time. 

 

You were so right (of course!). Right after we met, family needs escalated and I barely had time to focus on the work already in front of me. There’s no way I could have launched something new, especially my first solo event! So grateful you anticipated that and guided me to take it easy. 

 

Still, the idea would not let me go. I’ve frequently caught myself staring into space…planning the ecourse, envisioning the event. But instead of rushing in and launching it, I played with it. I meditated on it, connected with Spirit about it, came up with a dozen names and logos for it…but with no deadline or anything to make me stress about it. I knew it would be my next big thing, but something about it still didn’t feel quite right, so I let go of the when and how. 

 

And then one night, as I was having fun imagining it for the millionth time, it hit me like a lightning bolt. It felt like God organized all the moving pieces and inserted a complete vision for it in my head. It makes me cry, just writing about it, because that vision included a critical missing piece: sparks. You know how I’ve been trying to figure out a way to better incorporate my dad’s work into my work; how he wanted me to take sparks and do it “my way,” and how many conversations we had about my desire to help adults tap into the inner sparks they’d long forgotten or given up on. This crystallized vision included that – circles of women gathering to ignite their sparks, intentionally and intuitively. It gives me full-body chills, and I have felt (and heard) my dad with me so much in these final planning stages. Working together, in a new way.

 

Spark*Sisters - Find Your TribeSo the final result is an online intensive – Spark*Sisters. An 8 day deep-dive ecourse plus a database of participants’ locations & interests so they can find each other…find their tribes. And, as a powerful option for up to 20 women in the Twin Cities, I put together a morning event on July 19th (at the Arboretum!) where I’ll intuitively place each participant in her new tribe and they’ll begin to bond around their hopes, dreams and fears. 

 

Well, you guys…before I even officially launched the thing, the EVENT SOLD OUT. I simply sent two emails – one to my Project Light Year students and the other to newsletter subscribers – and women started signing up in droves for the ecourse and the event. So I’ve already added a second event, which is already selling before I’ve mentioned it anywhere! Can you believe it!? Holy wow. 

 

So. Sorry for rambling on, but I just wanted to share the good news and also thank you for encouraging me to wait…for the right time and for inspiration to strike. I so cherish you!

 

Love, 
Liv

 ***********************

Want to find your own circle? Find details on Spark*Sisters here.

And if you’re in Minnesota, sign up for the second Spark*Sisters LIVE event over here.

if you’re a multi-passionate, today’s a BIG deal

Rumi quote: Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.  (Shared in celebration of the Multi-Passionate Must Haves Sale...click for details)

(photo by carissa paige)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since I left my corporate life behind in pursuit of the dreams tugging at my heartstrings. I remember feeling like I had infinite possibilities before me, which gave me great energy…and major heart palpitations. I remember waking up the morning after I left and not knowing where in the world to begin. There were so many things I wanted to try, so many passions to flesh out, it was hard to know where and how to begin.

Complicating matters, I was hungry to learn from people who had been in my shoes – but my budget couldn’t handle the hundreds or thousands of dollars many online programs cost. I recall that when one super-successful entrepreneur held a pay-what-you-can day for her ebooks, it felt like a little miracle. Finally, I could afford some expert advice!

That’s multi-passionate must-havesone of the reasons I’m soooo psyched to be part of the Multi-Passionates Must-Haves Sale today through midnight Thursday. You can snatch up 30 ebooks, ecourses and resources worth over $2,000 for – get this – $97. Such an amazing deal for anyone who’s figuring out how to build or expand the ways they profit from their passions. For instance, one of the 30 available programs is my 300+ page ebook, How to Build a Blog You Truly Love, which normally costs $49. But now through Thursday at midnight, you can get that PLUS 29 other programs for just a little bit more money. See what I mean!? Ahhhhhmazing!

And the other part of this sale that I love? We get to band together to help really great causes. Yep, over 20% of your purchase will celebrate these charities:

  • First, $10 from every single purchase will support Michelle Ward’s team for the Avon 2-Day Breast Cancer Walk in NY. Michelle, who co-organized this event, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011 and declared cancer-free in June 2012. This will be the 3rd year she’ll be walking 39.3 miles with Avon over 2 days with her mother and bestest friends. 
  • Second, if you use my links to the sale, I’ll donate another $10 from your purchase to Courageous HeARTS, a Minnesota nonprofit started by brave heart Lindsay Walz that aims to help heal and empower youth through expressive arts, community building and leadership training.

So. Whether you’re figuring out or living out your passions, and looking for a way to learn about everything from Facebook marketing to how to say NO, be sure to check out the Multi-Passionates Must Haves sale before midnight on Thursday. I wish I’d had all of this at my fingertips seven years ago – and hope it gives you great fodder to help make your dreams come true!

running a business? 10 hot tips from a 10-year-old biz whiz

are you smarter than a 5th grader? 10 hot business tips from a 10-year-old kid. Totally cute, totally smart.

Okay, okay. So my 10 year old may not be a business expert quite yet. In fact, he’s only run a business for one day this year, hosting his own lemonade stand last week. But he did it so well ($33 in two and a half hours) and learned so much in the process, I invited Ryder to tag-team with me on this post, sharing his tips for all of us grown-ups who may sometimes forget the fundamentals of doing good business.

So, here are his 10 tips for running an awesome lemonade stand – with a little insight from his entrepreneur mama… (and p.s. if you leave a comment for him or like the post, it’d make his day I’m sure!).

lemonade stand kiddos

1. Make very good lemonade.  

“If they don’t like it,” Ryder says, “they might want their money back or tell other people that it’s gross and then they won’t buy it.” True with everything we make, right?

2. Make the price high.

I think what he means is don’t shortchange yourself. Ryder and his friend Elli priced their lemonade at 50 cents a cup. More than other neighborhood kids have charged – but customers were willing to pay it and the higher price helped them cover the costs of all the materials (cups, lemonade, new pitcher). Oftentimes, when pricing our goods, we entrepreneurs forget to consider all the costs of running a business, the quality of our products and the value of our time. What feels too high might actually be just right.

lemonade stand - little guy holding sign

3. Cuteness attracts people. 

Ha! I love this one. When Ryder and Elli’s little brothers begged to hang out at the lemonade stand, the big kids were less than pleased, worried the little guys would be annoying and distracting. But they quickly realized the opposite was true; the little ones were so enthusiastic, yelling (and never correctly pronouncing) “lemonade!!!” at passing cars, that Ryder and Elli realized they were actually an asset. And why? Because cute kids make people happy. Anytime we can do that in our work – make people happy through inspiration, creative marketing, or authentic sharing – we forge more than a business connection. We create a human connection.

4. Ask for help. 

Ryder says he wouldn’t have known how to have a lemonade stand had I not shown him the ropes when he was five. 🙂 He also appreciated a little marketing advice…like when I suggested they adjust their “buy 7, get one free” promotion, noting that not many cars will hold eight people! Asking for help doesn’t come easy for all entrepreneurs, especially after we’ve been in business for a while. Easy to convince ourselves we should know everything and common to have too much pride to be willing to show our weaknesses, right? And yet it’s often the smartest thing we can do for our own growth. Find good mentors, get good help.

principal visits lemonade stands

5. Be nice and customers will be nice back. 

These kids were all smiles, waving at cars, saying hi to people walking by. They engaged potential customers with kindness – and it worked. And a kindness role model – their amazing school principal Mr. Carpenter, who literally remembers the name of every kid (and parent!) he meets – stopped by on his bike! Now, they want to hold another lemonade stand with part of the proceeds going to their school. Nice. 

6. Give everybody something to do. 

Ahhhh, yes – the power of delegation. Ryder and Elli did a good job of giving each other and their little brothers jobs. Elli took people’s orders and collected money. Ryder poured the lemonade and counted the money (frequently). At one point, they decided Elli should leave her post to stand on the next street corner and wave cars in – and it actually worked. They made their brothers feel useful, too, with minimal micromanaging. I’ve mentored many small business leaders who were frustrated by the lack of motivation among their staff, only to realize that those employees had no job descriptions, clear boundaries or regular reviews to give them a sense of purpose. You can’t meet expectations if none have been given to you.

7. Share your money. 

I was proud of the way Ryder and Elli divided their earnings. They split their profits – but Ryder got one extra dollar for heading up the biz. And they each told their little brothers they’d purchase a toy for them as thanks for their efforts (Ryder got Tru a plane and was soooo proud to do so).

8. Teenagers are the best customers! 

Ryder has been telling everyone this and it’s true; we were amazed how many teens took the time to pull over and not only purchase lemonade, but give the kiddos hefty tips. One car of high school boys said they didn’t need any lemonade, but just wanted to contribute to the fund! When we mentioned this to our 17-year-old babysitter, she said, “Well, of course – because we all remember having our own lemonade stands not that long ago!” Ahhhhh, got it! Gathering up support from those who have stood in your shoes not so long ago is a brilliant strategy. No matter what our business is, we’re still walking in others’ footsteps and can learn from them, lean on them and then offer the same support to those that come after us. That’s good business.

9. Enjoy your own lemonade. 

Love this one, Ryder! So true. If you don’t actually like your own product or take time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, how can you expect anyone else to?

lemonade stand - ryder in shades

10. Have fun. 

Most important tip of all! No, running a business isn’t all fun. There are tons of tasks you won’t love (some that you can eventually delegate…see #6). But seeing your own vision come to life and making money from your own ideas or creations is an amazing adventure. If you’re not having fun a lot of the time, feeling purposeful and happy about your work, you know something’s up. Time to start turning lemons into lemonade – or take down your stand.

Thanks again, whiz kid, for the reminders! Now, we’re off to buy more lemonade (he’s been bit by the entrepreneurial spirit and can’t wait to host another stand – this time complete with bags of popcorn and Arnie Palmers!). 

 

Shedding Shame: Come See Who Floats My Boat

see who floats my boat (diving into affiliate programs)

Today, I’m guest posting over at one of my favorite sites, Kind Over Matter, for Amanda’s Kindness in Business series. I’m shedding a little light (and a lotta love) on a subject – a marketing strategy – that many online entrepreneurs use but don’t like to talk about. I’m hoping it opens up a conversation that needs to be had. Go over here to read it.

I figured the post might make you curious about whom and what I promote as an affiliate. Cool – I’m all for transparency! This entrepreneurial life is a joyful one, but a tricky one, too; there are definitely days I miss that regular paycheck! So, heartfelt THANKS to those who opt to click the links below and purchase from these beauties! If you do, I’ll get a small commission, which is one of the ways I stay afloat in these virtual waters. Here are a handful of peeps and programs I happily support and promote with affiliate marketing. Hope you wind up loving them as much as I do…

CHRISTINE KANE: I stand behind everything Christine Kane does as a “Mentor To Women Who Are Changing the World.” She used to be a frequent guest on my radio show and I lurve her.

FABIENNE FREDRICKSON: I had a great experience diving into a program with client attraction coach Fabienne Fredrickson last winter, so I’m happy to share her empowering work with others. P.S. Tomorrow, she’s hosting a free webinar about her Client Attraction System (yep, that’s an affiliate link…in case you decide to purchase something from her down the road).

KELLY RAE ROBERTS: Three years ago, Kelly Rae Roberts’ Flying Lessons class gave me the confidence I needed to call myself an artist. So I promote her Flying Lessons ebook to anyone looking to spread their creative wings.

AMANDA OAKS/KIND OVER MATTER: As mentioned in my guest post, I’ve been part of several ebooks created by Amanda and just love what this mama puts into the world.

DARREN ROWSE/PROBLOGGER: Even though I teach my own blogging ecourse, I really respect Darren Rowse and love so much of the content provided by his site, ProBlogger. He creates awesome resources for bloggers at all levels.

ANDREA SCHER/SUPERHERO LIFE: I have been part of Andrea’s amazing programs online and in-person. Her photography is gorgeous, her teaching is masterful and her heart is big. P.S. Loving the concept behind her new summer course, Start a Foolish Project!!

SPROUT: Amanda Fall creates a beautiful, soul-stirring online ‘zine each month called Sprout, with themes like Courage and Finding Your Roots plus tons of wonderful contributors. You can peruse the archives here. 

 

P.S. If you want to sign up to be one of my affiliates, please do! Just click here. 

stranger danger: a challenge for chatty entrepreneurs

chairs

I know some juicy secrets about a hair care company that’s tanking – fast. There are ticked off investors. Manufacturing meltdowns. Marketing failures. Makes my body tense up just thinking about it.

This small business has promised new products to retailers across the U.S., but they can’t deliver and the founders are panicking. Surely, they don’t want anyone to know what’s happening behind the scenes. And yet I know all these secrets – simply because I sat next to the founders at a coffee shop.

For a while, as I worked on my laptop, I tried to ignore their terse and a little-too-loud conversation. But when one guy got up and threatened to leave, I couldn’t help but notice…and eavesdrop. It was full-blown drama over lattes, with their products sitting out on the table.

Amazed they would talk so freely about their business woes out in public? People do it all the time, assuming intimate-feeling spaces, where they’re talking to one or two people, are safe zones: at coffee houses, on flights, on the subway, in restaurants. Lessons learned during my years as a journalist and publicist come rushing back whenever I overhear this kind of callous over-sharing. I have to resist the urge to jump up and cover their mouths!

Big companies make their employees sign contracts and confidentiality agreements to protect  in-house info, but entrepreneurs rarely consider the implications of letting their own business secrets fall into the wrong hands. Truth is, in the age of blogging and social media, everyone has the capacity to spread insider info.

I’m all for trusting people and expecting good in others. But I’m also all for seeing that your work is valuable, no matter how small your business – enough to protect it in obvious ways. Yes, be generous in sharing details that will help others but not compromise your work (like sharing your favorite resources, materials or tips). But if there’s information about your biz that you wouldn’t want a reporter, investor or competitor hearing and spreading, then be thoughtful about whom you share your info with and where you share it.

Treat your small business – even if its headquarters are in your living room – like it’s a big darn deal. Because it is.

Find out about Star Mapping!

3 networking no-no’s for nice people

networking no-no's for nice people

Yesterday, I had a great 20-minute call with a lawyer. She had helped me with my business years ago, and we reconnected at a recent eWomen Network meeting. She had questions about my offerings and I was curious about her current work, so I emailed her and we set up time to chat via phone. We talked about kids, travel, work projects, our businesses, and we both thought of ways we might work together or refer each other to our ideal clients (in fact, she already referred a Star Mapping client to me – awesome!). Genuine, purposeful, nice networking.

This is the way networking is supposed to be. But, frankly, some people seriously screw this up and give networking a bad name. If you want to be known for being authentic and compassionate in your work (and of course you do!), go through this quick list and make sure you’re playing nice.

1Never, ever, ever add someone to your newsletter list or blog feed just because you met in person. I’m so fed up with it happening that I tweeted about it yesterday – and got so many responses from people who are equally annoyed. Connect and follow new contacts via social media in hopes they reciprocate (it is social media, after all) – but consider people’s inboxes to be sacred space. If you didn’t get a chance to give them your card, you could send a brief, “loved-meeting-you” email with a link to your site (and then they can decide if and how they want to receive your content). But automatically adding someone to your list holds great potential for irritating a person who could have been a great connection or future client.

twoDon’t add someone to a Facebook group without their permission. I love connecting with certain communities on Facebook, but I’m intentional about the groups I join. So, it’s unnerving when new groups I know nothing about pop up in my sidebar. I used to approve everyone who “friended” me Facebook (nowadays, I’d much rather connect over here). I’m amazed how many of those so-called friends have added me to groups without my consent. I just checked – and I currently “belong” to 38 Facebook groups (what!?) – half of which I’ve never visited and now need to manually leave. Think someone would be a great addition to your group? Send them a Facebook message with an invitation. I recently received a totally warm-and-fuzzy, personalized note from a group of coaches who thought I’d add and find value in their Facebook community – and that prompted me to join. That’s the way to do it, peeps!

threeTake control of your settings. This one is a new learning for me, specifically about LinkedIn. I’ve tweaked my profile a bunch in recent weeks, and each time I made a slight change, I got a note from someone congratulating me on my new job. Huh?? Turns out, whenever you update your info, LinkedIn alerts your LinkedIn contacts, sometimes even encouraging them to congratulate you on your new job. Unless you really did make a major career move, that is confusing for your network! I tweeted about this issue, too – and someone at LinkedIn got right back to me. Guess what? You can change your LinkedIn settings here to make tweaks without announcing them to the world. Awesome.

See? Easy as 1-2-3 to be super-nice and more effective in your networking. Got tips or questions? Fire away, love…

9 experts’ tips for touting your talents

you are all sorts of awesome

A couple of weeks ago, I had a heartbreaking conversation with a relative who’s got a serious knack for decorating; her home is like a Pottery Barn catalog come to life. I wondered aloud if she’s considered decorating for a living – and it turns out she has. Dreams about it, in fact. Already has lists going in her head of suppliers and vendors she’d lean on to paint or fix-up other people’s houses. So, why doesn’t she take the leap and live the dream?

“I wouldn’t know how to market myself.”

That was her reason. First, she doesn’t know how to do it and, secondly, she’s afraid she’d come across like a slimy used car salesman. I get it – I really do. Even though I spent a decade promoting other companies’ products, once I started my own business, my tried and true tactics felt really hard. It’s uncomfortable and unnerving to tout our own talents; it’s easy to take every reaction so personally. It’s especially tough when you  have no confidence in how to market those skills. But I hate knowing how many women let that stand in the way of sharing their amazing skills with the world.

That’s why I’m committed to help shed some light on feel-good self-promotion this year. Luckily, I’ve got lots of friends to lean on – and they want to help, too. Next Monday, I kick off the second edition of my BuzzWorthy course – a loved-up crash course in PR, social media and promotion for solopreneurs. And I am so grateful for the wisdom being shared by our 14 expert contributors (that’s right – 14 experts in four weeks). These are serious, top-notch peeps with amazing credentials. Scroll down to the last graphic to be blown away by some of the things they’ve accomplished.

I thought it would be cool to share some of the wonderful wisdom they’re sharing in their ecourse interviews. It was sooooo hard to choose what to share, but here’s a well-rounded group of insights. (Pssst! They’re all individually “pin”-able, in case you want to hang on to certain words of wisdom)

Pitching your small biz to TV producers, via buzzworthybiz.comimportance of collaboration - quote from entrepreneur beth nichollsmotivational quote for solopreneurs from Erin Newkirk, CEO of Red Stamp

choosing a good business name - advice from expert bridget levin, via buzzworthybiz.comPR tips for solopreneurs, advice from publicist Carina Sammartino via buzzworthybiz.comInterviewing tips from Hollywood mover and shaker Jeffrey Abramson, via buzzworthybiz.com

marketing tips for solopreneurs, from The Rusted Chain's Beki Hastings via buzzworthybiz.comimportance of good #blogging quote from social media guru Mary Jakschknow your customer - quote from marketing expert Carla Vernon via buzzworthybiz.com
Such good nuggets, right? Well there’s more where that came from! If you want to know more about these 14 fabulous contributors, you can find their bios here – but check out the fun details in the graphic below, too! They’ll blow you away.

If you’re looking to expand that thing you do this year, whether it’s your own business or you rep a business you believe in, you’ve GOT to know how to promote yourself and your work. I’d love to have you join us starting next Monday – and you’ll get a PDF of the full course so you always have the info at your fingertips. It’s going to be a blast. (All the details are here.) 

expert entrepreneurs from buzzworthy ecourse

8 Great (Last-Minute!!) Gifts for the Entrepreneurs + Biz Owners On Your List

Anybody in the same boat as me – waaaaaay behind on gift shopping? I figured you might appreciate a few unique, thoughtful ideas for your favorite entrepreneurs. I shared a few of these on WCCO Radio earlier today and thought I’d share ’em with you, too – all available for purchase from the comfort of your living room! Happy shopping….

1) The Limelight Letters: Gotta plug my own project, of course! You can get a gift certificate to The Limelight Letters, a weekly, year-round email created to help entrepreneurs find the tools + courage they need to get the love + attention they deserve. We’ll email you a printable gift certificate with a unique access code within 24 hours of your order; roll it up, frame it or forward the email to a friend who needs more of the world to know what he or she does!

2) Magazine Subscriptions: Give a magazine tailored for solopreneurs and small business owners. Inc. currently has a deal going: for $10, get one subscription for you AND one for your friend. Meanwhile, Entrepreneur costs less than $12 for a year of magazines. Or try the brand new magazine Where Women Create in Business, a new title from publisher extraordinaire Jo Packham, which launches January 1st (can’t wait to see it).

3) Coffee Shop Gift Card. Every entrepreneur spends countless hours (and countless dollars!) in coffee shops on  laptops and in meetings. I’m always embarrassed come tax time when I have to add up all my coffee shop receipts – so a gift card is always welcome!

4) Tech Support. Every entrepreneur wishes for a computer angel to fix glitches and crashes at a moment’s notice. Give yours a support plan with GeekSquad. My plan just ran out and I’m kicking myself for not renewing – gotta do that!

5) Pampering. With tight budgets for our businesses, pampering usually winds up on the bottom of the list. A massage? A manicure? A facial? Sounds like heaven.

6) Cheer ‘Em On. Download and print this adorable RHYMING workbook from Michelle Ward, called Operation: Creative Career Cheer for $38. Bet you could even have it bound at Kinkos in a hurry!

7) Ebook for Mamapreneurs. I’m honored to be featured in this ebook, Zen & The Art of Being a Work-At-Home Mama by Amanda Oaks of Kind Over Matter. Once you order it, you’ll receive an email with download instructions that you can forward to your gift recipient. The suggested price is $25 – but you get to pay what you want for it. So great!

8) Spread the Word. One of the greatest gifts you can give an entrepreneur is tell others about their work. Purchase their art or services for friends. Post a link to their work on Facebook. Tell them how much you appreciate what they do and how they’re doing it. It means the world!

Got other ideas? Do tell! And thanks for supporting the creative, soulful, brave entrepreneurs in your midst!

 

the master plan: why this is such a huge day in my journey

Have you ever looked back on your life and suddenly understood why the pitted paths you took were oh-so-necessary? They might have been bumpy and unpredictable, but you gained some wisdom or perspective that came in handy later on, right? I’m just awestruck when I have those moments of clarity about my own journey, reminding me I’m always in the right place at the right time.

 

Today, friends, I’m having one of those moments. I am launching a brand new project and I have butterflies! It’s called The Limelight Letters – a year-round, weekly email service for entrepreneurs who want to build buzz for their brands – simply, cost-effectively and super-duper successfully. (If that sounds like you or someone you know, get details here.) Now, if you had told me five years ago that this is how I’d be spending my time today, I’d have laughed.

 

See, five years ago, when I left my comfy corporate job running a radio promotions company, I was totally burnt out. I worried I’d just wasted a whole decade of my life promoting and publicizing huge brands, most of which I didn’t care much about. But a funny thing happened as I became a full-time creative entrepreneur: I found myself frequently leaning on my marketing and PR skills – and fielding promotion questions from fellow entrepreneurs. How do you get buzz, they’d ask? How do you even find the courage to self-promote, they’d ask. It prompted me, earlier this year, to develop a new ecourse called BuzzWorthy – an intensive but fun media bootcamp for creatives.  It exceeded my hopes: the participants say they learned a ton (over a quarter of them are already signed up to take it again in January!) but I’m pretty sure I learned even more: it felt like validation for me – proof that those two decades working in communications had served a huge personal purpose, after all. I’m calling upon all of those skills and contacts now to help passionate entrepreneurs I adore get the attention they deserve.

So, that brings me back to today – launch day for The Limelight Letters. Squeeeeeal! I have an amazing team helping working behind the scenes (all entrepreneurs themselves) in order to offer content – rich and irreverent –  for 52 weeks starting January 7, 2013.  The team even includes my own brother Kai, who’s our creative director (it’s a little dream come true to be collaborating with him!).

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for you to visit the new site (so proud of it!!!) and share The Limelight Letters with any friends, family members or colleagues (yep! gift certificates available!) looking for ways to boost their businesses next year. We wanted it to be affordable, accessible and inspiring for all of you who feel ready to share more of your work with the world – and those you know who need a nudge, too. We cannot wait to get this party started. Heartfelt thanks in advance to those who sign up or share it – I’ll see you in the limelight!

P.S. My dear friend, artist Lori Portka, interviewed me for her What’s Real video series: you can watch our conversation below or skip over to her site to get her thoughts. We are total dorks, but I think you’ll have fun watching our talk!

What’s Real with Liv Lane from Lori Portka on Vimeo.

I Have a New Title

It’s hard to believe that five years ago this week, I began packing up my corporate office to set out on the adventure of working for myself. I did lots of prep work to launch my own small business – planning, paperwork, networking. But I forgot to create something important: a title.

Instead, I just called myself a bunch of titles, depending on what I was focusing on at the moment. There’s even a laundry list of roles on my current business card: artist, writer, speaker, mentor, mama.

It seemed easier that way, but it’s a mouthful whenever someone asks me what I do. And I did myself a disservice over the years, I believe, by avoiding the hard work it takes to zero in on what I’m all about.

I began really digging in a few months ago. Brainstorming. Scribbling. Doodling. Scratching out. Starting over. I held a magnifying glass up to how I was spending my time …compared to what I was most passionate about. I got so much closer – even re-branded my blog and web site, but I never did land on a succinct, all-encompassing title. I let myself get away with tucking that task away again.

That is, until my intention circle had a come-to-Jesus session with me, urging me to – once and for all – give myself the gift of definition. They were right {they’re always right!} and I dug back in to find a title that not only helps describe what I do, but offers room for growth. And then, it came to me. And I knew right away I’d landed on the one. Even so, I let it sink in for a while – just to make sure. And now? I’m sure, friends. Super-duper sure. My new title incorporates all that I do and all that I still want to be. So, at long last, I give you my new title…