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The Happier Creative
19 minutes | May 15, 2020
This Is What It Feels Like To Radically Reinvent Yourself Post Trauma
Season 2: Episode 4 For the best experience I’d recommend listening, but if you prefer to read the automated podcast please see below: this is an automated transcript using Otter so please don’t take the spellings/grammar too seriously! Welcome to episode 4 of this season of The Happier Creative podcast. I’m your host Ruth Hoskins, thank you so much for tuning in. The Happier Creative is a podcast that’s part memoir, part a collection of essays on creative life, to help you think about and explore your own creativity and artistry as well as if you’re growing, or thinking of growing a business based around something you love to do. I’m here to help you explore how you live and work creatively as we navigate lockdown and beyond. I believe that creativity is a tool to help reduce anxiety and help us live and work better, whether we work full-time as a creative or have a creative business or we want to bring more creativity into our lives for a simpler, more joyful life. In today’s episode I’m looking at the time-old art of radically rebirthing your life and why now is the time. I’ve seen lots of people talk about how to do this, but I’m not going to give you any kind of blueprint today – I don’t believe in blueprints no matter what people say – but I’m going to share how I’ve done this time and time again, post really shitty times and talk about how it’s made me feel. For me, the scarier life gets the stronger the F**k it moment is! So, if you’re into baby steps this might not be the podcast episode for you. I’m sharing my experiences of jumping in head first and showing you how have some of the greatest gifts have come to me in this way. Of feeling compelled to take huge leaps of faith even when it feels as scary as hell. To put it in some context; the world has changed. You know, I know, we all know. And I don’t want to reinvent the wheel on that story, it’s being told to us in a myriad of ways every day. Instead I wanna touch on the aftermath, the future, to help you get a glimpse of possibility. In my first episode of this series you might remember that I talked about how I’d found hope and courage to look ahead to the next chapter, well, today I kinda want to expand on that by looking back at all the times I’ve done it before. And I know from the many conversations I’m having, people are actively seeking more simplicity, more travel, more flexibility once we can all move again, so radical rebirth feels pertinent and never more important however it might look like for you. For me, I kinda have cancer to thank – quite honestly – for giving me some of the richest, and most rewarding experiences of my life. When I look back at it now it’s mad in lots of ways, but at the time, sitting through endless chemotherapy sessions, re-starting life again without my parents, which felt especially sad having being born into an orphanage and with no siblings to share this grief with. I can clearly remember the deep-rooted traumatic experience of being with my mum as she died and having to go straight into the chemotherapy ward for my own treatment knowing she’d gone, wondering how far behind her I’d be. But this isn’t a sad story, I’m painting the picture so you can imagine my state of mind and it might be something you can relate to right now: sad, traumatised, confused, anxious, unsure, frightened. Whatever you’ve been through these feelings are all entirely natural when we’re living in such a scary time. For me, I can describe it as looking over the face of a kind of cliff, realising I could properly just lose my shit or I could say FUCK it and take extreme action. Big trauma for me required big action, that’s what my instinct told me. Baby steps wouldn’t be enough. I think being absorbed so wholly in that world of scans and treatment and stats gave me a new normal, and when you get a sense of new-normal your desire to cling on to your life that was wanes somewhat. Because these traumatic experience changed me so wholly as a person. I can still be the same person inside, the foundations are there, but I’ve grown, and in growing, I’ve outgrown the life that was, if that makes sense. I remember sitting in that beeping treatment ward, with the Red Cross lady offering hand massages, people eating huge vats of sweets – whatever gets you through I guess – and just thinking how much I’d evolved in the eighteen months or so. So when Tony held my hand, and spoke to my heart suggesting we move away for a while, to take a family sabbatical, it galvanised me into taking action to make it happen as soon as possible. It was the biggest F**k is moment of my life! Just the act of making that decision felt liberating. We were getting ourselves out of this new normal. There were fears and “what if’s” about the cancer coming back, I had no idea if the treatment had worked, BUT that was the kick up the butt we needed to grab life with both hands. We’d be sitting in the ward, planning our adventures, laughing like mad as we chalked up some darkly hilarious scenes, stored into my memory bank for a future screenplay. The repressed and socially awkward nurse who must have a juicy back story; the effervescent enthusiasm of the red cross nurses trying to persuade me to eat a plastic-wrapped sandwich – if you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I hate to have a bad meal in any setting. I’d be there, just like my food-mad dad would, with a roasted veg tart and a green juice. So, yeah. How you feel. There are times you mourn the life you had for sure, although they didn’t really come to me until we were settled in Spain. I think I can compare it to going through a break up with someone you love. You know it’s right, you know you can’t go back deep down but you still have to go through a period of deep grief and a phase of releasing before you can make way for the good stuff. I also believe that when you’re on the other side of trauma, you need a practical and inspiring project to work on. Something to see you going; and for me that was daydreaming about living a life filled with sunshine and the sea and the outdoor life, close to mountains and costa’s and landscapes far removed from North Yorkshire. A bit like coming out of a coma (I’ve been there) and seeing life with fresh eyes, that’s how it feels. Bright, so bright that you need sunglasses but more vivid and colourful than before – the extreme brightness of a robin’s chest, the scent of early summers blossom, the crackle of a fire. This is what the rebirth feels like. This feels like it’s so relevant right now. We’re all feeling different, right? We’ve all grown and evolved through the last couple of months. It’s a bit like when you leave college or uni and know there’s a whole new life waiting to unfurl itself, but you have no clue how that’s going to manifest itself. And it really is a good thing. The hurt, the sadness, especially if you’re been personally affected or lost someone through this, you’ll know deep down that you will evolve through this, those sunbeams are still there. The thing with radical rebirthing your life is that it’s a compulsion. It’s tuning into yourself, to forget all the external influences and just be. Be with your memories, be with your truth so you can feel your way to the future vision. It’s how we evolve and grow into being more compassionate, to actually live out the stories we’re eventually going to pass on. This is the making of a legacy. Plus, If you think about the concept of radical rebirth in the context of creating, or art, it’s always been there. Artists express their truth as the landscape of their lives is enriched and painted with the experiences they have. Look at Madonna or Bowie and how they’ve reinvented themselves. Or the radical reinvention of art in the Cubism era for example, you can see how by making dramatic changes you can push creative and cultural boundaries and create something new, something progressive; a legacy. This evolution in storytelling is playing out at it’s highest level. And as well as liberating it feels really, um, true. Because, each time I’ve radically shifted, I’ve become more of the person I think I was meant to be! It is all quite a paradox when you explore it; one the one hand I’m saying you feel brand new, like a whole new person, and on the other hand I’m saying I’m becoming more me, I get that. But there are multiple ways of looking at it. At the core, post trauma you have the same values, the same belief system, that’s unlikely to change so significantly. BUT, the experiences give us a whole new perspective. And that’s the galvanising factor that inspires us to change wholly, and not bit by bit. When you get a glimpse of your truth it feels so good. Nourishing to say the least; partly because often we forget who we are, or we put ourselves in a different narrative context because of what other people have bestowed on us. It’s so exciting to unlock the truth, it feels kind of raw and risky, but it is absolutely compelling too. Baby steps are good when you want to work towards something over time; a new career, or to find a new relationship or whatever; when you have a goal. But a big, traumatic experience is likely to warrant big, radical changes. I think that’s what I’m trying to say. It’s not really driven by goals, more of a FUCK IT I HAVE TO DO THIS KINDA FEELING. To put it in the context of our two year sabbatical to Spain. If I’d have said “oh in two years’ time our plan is to move to Spain” I can’t be sure it would have happened. I was way too compelled for that. The anticipation of healing, listening to our intuition about what we needed, the realisation and then acceptance that we needed to make some big shifts was way too galvanising to take a baby step. We made it happen in the shortest time possible. And honestly, hand on heart, it was the most and best investment in our time and money we could have ever made. Those two years gave me space to heal yes but it’s way more than that, the radical change in environment makes you just have to go to the core of who you are, to reach into the oceanic depths of your infinite human potential. To feel like a beginner again. Those might sound like big words, but the reality is simpler. Just trying to figure out how to call up a local restaurant to order a paella, or navigating the healthcare system when Jemima got pneumonia just two weeks after being there. Of rolling around laughing as we learned to love feeling like beginners in life again. Fumbling around trying to buy our campervan, or getting the papers sorted we needed in the council offices, working out the queuing system as you’re listening to daily lives playing out in the rich Catalan language. I’ll save my memories of the experience we had in Barcelona for another podcast episode, because I believe everyone should have the experience of taking a sabbatical, no matter where you are in life. It’s the single most enriching and rewarding experience ever. Being – and feeling like – a beginner is powerful stuff and I’ve always loved it – our wedding song was Bowie’s Absolute Beginners and I think it’s the best state of mind to be in – curious, learning, eyes and heart open. You don’t have your comforts around you; your home, your routine and rhythm, the everyday signposts and familiar boundaries to live within. When those things are removed you just feel, well naked. It’s you, your intuition, your survival mechanisms and mostly, if I’m honest, your sense of humour! You start to expect things to go wrong; to predict the obstacles that might happen that day; to observe the day-to-day lives of people and the cultural differences and make the unfamiliar feel more familiar. It’s like learning on speed! Dialled up, to the max. Feeling that naked, losing all your comforts is opening the way for huge shifts personally. You’re releasing the shit that doesn’t matter and staring at a more enlightened, and expansive version of you than you could ever imagine. I don’t think for a second this is only relevant to travel experiences either. Because maybe the idea of a family sabbatical to you isn’t as much of a calling as it is to me. It could be anything – quitting your job to write a book; taking your kids out of school to permanently home school them; selling your house to free up money to move to a remote Scottish island; Anything at all. We spend our lives collecting learnings, qualifications, job titles, experience in the things we’re good at. Making a radical reinvention is like unlearning all that in a big huge leap of faith. And I really hope that lockdown has given you this gift in some way – a desire to live differently, to think FUCK it and be more you, to worry less about possessions and titles and results and go back to having a beginners mindset. I really hope today has helped you get a glimpse of how you could feel if you’re sitting there thinking you want to change something in your life. I’d love to know how this has impacted you, and what it is you’re feeling compelled to do, post lockdown. Please do get involved and share with me on #thehappiercreative as I’d love to see and support and share with you. And to wrap up, I’d like to say a massive thanks to you for listening. I really am grateful for any shares, reviews or ratings, if you’ve enjoyed the show. If you’d like to connect further with me you can find me on Instagram on @ruthie_hoskins so I hope we can hang out there a bit more. Thank you so much again and sending you love, sunbeams and beginner vibes your way. The post PODCAST: This Is How It Feels Like to Radically Reinvent Yourself Post-Trauma appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
17 minutes | Apr 30, 2020
The Surprising Perks Of Being Born With The Gift of ADHD
Season 2, Episode 3: For the best experience I’d recommend listening, but if you prefer to read the automated podcast please see below: this is an automated transcript using Otter so please don’t take the spellings/grammar too seriously! In this episode, I’m sharing: -My messy experience growing up with ADHD and the impact it had on me -The Hunter / Farmer Theory and how neuroscience explains this -All the blessings that brings and how it’s strongly linked to creativity – The Drummer and The Great Mountain podcast –Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as Hunter In a Farmer’s World. The transcript Welcome to episode 1 of this season of The Happier Creative podcast. I’m your host Ruth Hoskins, thank you so much for tuning in. The Happier Creative is a podcast that’s part memoir, part an essay on creative life and part guide to help you upgrade your life through allowing more creativity into it. I’m here to help you explore how you live and work creatively as we navigate lockdown and beyond. I believe that creativity is a tool to help reduce anxiety and help us live and work better, whether we work full-time as a creative or have a creative business or we want to bring more creativity into our lives for a simpler, more joyful life. In today’s episode I’m going to share my messy, expansive and well, eye-opening journey with ADHD. Firstly, I’d like to say a MASSIVE thanks to you for listening. I’ve never really talked about this online, being ADHD has so-far been a private exploration, but over the last few years I’ve come to a place of real self-acceptance over it all. Since investing this time in research and reflection and reading all the books, so much has been clearer, my self understanding is deeper and better than ever before, and now, so much fog has cleared, so I wanted to share this as I know so many people working in the creative world or running a creative business will identify with my stories around this. ADHD is classed as a disorder but the reality is much more complex, multi-layered and linked to the basic ways of humanity. I wanna explore the perks it really has brought into my life as I’ve gone from outsider to be able to show myself some radical self-love. I can’t go back and offer comfort to the 15 year old me who was struggling to understand the depths of emotions, why conformity was expected, let alone a good thing, or being able to give some explanation for feeling like an outsider. But I can share my story if you’ve ever felt this too you’ll know exactly what I mean. Back in school – most noticeable in secondary school where it really manifested itself, I found it really hard to pay attention to teachers who had a bland teaching style, but I loved learning with the teachers who were fun and energetic. I remember feeling a deep sense of distrust for the teachers who just weren’t nice people or boring and I learned to rebel. Learning to whistle with my fingers in my mouth to annoy teachers, wrapping my arm in the whole classes watches when I got told not to ask the time, starting trends not aligned with uniform – mis-matched laces was my favourite. I was made to feel like a wild rebel; when I stood outside the headteachers room yet again for walking out of a class because it was too boring and my impulsion intuitively told me it wasn’t a good setting for my curious and creative brain to learn in. Sitting in a classroom was really hard and not at all natural and I’m still a big believer of this as we’re looking at some alternative ways of secondary schooling for our kids right now. For me, it would take just a few bitchy words from one of my primary school enemies in an after school cookery club to compel me to empty a bag of flour over her, which sounds excessive and radical, but that was part of who I was as a child. I was excessively kind and compassionate, but if someone wronged me in some way I couldn’t control how I felt. These large-scale emotional meltdowns after someone had treated me unfairly were on the regs, for sure until I learned to better handle my emotions in my late 20s and early 30s. Even my own mum described me as “the kind of girl who never puts the top on the toothpaste” and my friends have always laughed out and about with me as I struggle to find my keys, purse, debit cards on the daily. I’m that person in the airport who can never find her passport and scrabbles around with my bag to find tickets that I had just a second ago. But yet, in the simultaneous dichotomy and synchronicity that ADHD lavishes us with, when I get washed over with these super-powered periods of hyper-focused, I’m so clear and organised about what needs doing. It’s a constant question why I can work with such clarity but I find getting out of the house and going to the super-market really complicated. I dunno about you, but watching films about outsiders really helped me develop a sense of self as a teen; a time when it’s hard to figure out your identity. I watched Heathers – and in fact any Christian Slater movie – on repeat. It took me away from the normality of life to glimpse hope and confidence that develop a belief that I could live a life less ordinary. I only really found those when I went to study A Levels independently – yep – us ADHD people are often really autodidactic who love to self-learn, not really something that fits with this archaic school system we live in. So when I quit sixth form, got a job in Gap and started doing my A Levels at night school, I finally felt like I was choosing who and what I wanted to learn more about and I can still remember now how liberating that first taste of independence was. I loved it. Art and film and culture and music were my passions. Going to gigs, reading up on film theories and writing scripts filled me with joy; the joy of expression I guess and I knew the more I indulged those things, well the happier I felt. And in that quest for doing more of what made me happy, rather than what I “should” do compelled me to study film and the arts. You might already be aware of this, but so many well-known creative people, artists and entrepreneurs are ADHD. Many theories point to Picasso, Van Gogh and Da Vinci all displaying signs. There’s a well-known phrase that “all of Hollywood” is ADHD and there are countless artists So instead of focusing on the negative, I’ve reframed how I see ADHD. It’s a label that I can wear proudly. It gives me empathy – because when you feel like an outsider, you learn to listen and watch and understand how people feel. In a recent podcast episode I talked about my 5 principles to live by, and they are: adventure, art, freedom, expression and curiosity, and they’re so relevant in the context of ADHD. To put this in context, there are two books that I’ve found really useful that you might have heard about: One is a book by Them Hartmann from 1993 called Attention Deficit Disorder – A Different Perception Where he introduces the hunter-farmer theory. Using human evolution as a context he talks about how the world has shifted. Humans have gone from having a hunter mentality to a farmers mentality. If you haven’t heard of it, I’ll link to it in the show notes. A hunter had to be hyper-focused for short periods, followed by relaxation to top back up. We were highly sensitive to the surrounding environment – aware of dangers, movements and so forth (this goes a long way to explain ADHD anxiety). We’re wired to think in the moment, not days or weeks ahead. We’re super visual beings, a trait that explains why so many people with ADHD end up being creative. Support from this can be seen: Kids between 7 and 16 from the Amazon rainforest had higher levels of ADHD traits, and the same within other indigenous tribes. Today, our landscape has shifted to a farmers world. A place where people can sit still for long periods of time, to work repetitively, to make longer-term goals, to have the focus required to grow crops. Without regurgitating the book on here – the perks I see are very real. When you start to reframe this “disorder” to being a character it feels different. Even more appealing in terms of the language to me is that of an explorer versus a settler, as used by Doctor of Psychology Perpetua Neo. I find this really interesting as it partly attributes itself with my need to travel and explore. She says: “The settlers are those who stay in a place and make it good, and keep the stability, but explorers are those who conquer new land and new opportunities. The world needs both. It’s a variation of human needs.” The world we live in wants to see it as a disorder, to throw medicine at it, but when you think about it a hunter ate healthily and today’s people eat all kinds of junk food, wrapped in plastic and with artificial flavour. I know as a child my parents controlled the sugar and additives, all known to affect it. I’ve never taken any medication for it, and don’t plan to. ADHD is who I am and I want to celebrate all the perks that it brings into my life and feel good about my brain working in this way. Firstly, ADHD people are really good at solving problems because they think creatively. Sometimes Tony will just look at me when he’s doing something very logical and I just step in and say “why don’t you just do it like this?” because I don’t have those boundaries. Secondly when we keep it simple we can achieve anything. This is a real biggie for me. I don’t enjoy having a diary that’s “crammed” for months in advance. The more simple my life is, the more I can create. I just took six weeks off Instagram and it was partly this need to cut the consumption, to release any self-pressure to “show up” and to turn inside and just be. It felt good. And it’s why this lockdown comes quite Thirdly, Self-soothing comes quite naturally. I can be in the middle of huge and crippling anxiety, but I’ve learned to build a toolbag that works for me pretty quick – soothing sounds especially – my Spotify is full of classical music, meditational stuff and my go-to for sleepless periods are my headphones to put on sleep state waves. Self-soothing comes from exploring my artistic side often – sketching, gardening, watching the birds go about the daily routine outside. Also, we love to love. And forgive. We love deeply. Showering people withe affection is a trait of ADHD. We’ve got a head for business I knew from primary I’d have my own business. I remember vividly saying it in the hall of my primary school to my friend Morag when I was probably 10 or 11. This head for business is an absolute super-power for people who want to run a business. You can take risk, you can spot predators a mile off, you can Your intuition is off the scale mate! I hope if you know, or you are, or might be ADHD that it’s possible to live really-well, medicine free by eating well, by leaning into your passions and all these crazy awesome characteristics you have. It’s going to stand you well. I’ll link to the book I mentioned and also a great podcast called The Drummer and The Great Mountain which has loads of inspiring episodes if you’d like to dive further into exploring this. I’ll be back soon and as ever, I’d love to hear from you. If you’d like me to cover anything to do with the pursuit of a happier, more enriched life creatively, please drop me an email on hi@ruthhoskins. I hope you’ve enjoyed this. If you have please do leave a review, subscribe or rating. Plus, I’m so grateful for any shares. If you’d like to connect with me over on Instagram I’m on @ruthie_hoskins – although I’ve been taking a break from social or read the show notes over on my website ruthhoskins.com. With lots of love and sunbeams from me, Ruth The post PODCAST: The Surprising Perks Of Being Born With The Gift Of ADHD appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
19 minutes | Apr 30, 2020
Who Even Am I? Figuring It Out Through The Lense Of Childhood
Season 2, Episode 2: For the best experience I’d recommend listening, but if you prefer to read the automated podcast please see below: this is an automated transcript using Otter so please don’t take the spellings/grammar too seriously! In this episode, I’m sharing: -Why my memory bank is so important -What it is that’s make me question my sense of self right now? -The values + beliefs that help me navigate my life The transcript Welcome to episode 2 of The Happier Creative podcast. I’m your host Ruth Hoskins, thank you so much for tuning in. The Happier Creative is a podcast that’s part memoir, part an essay on creative life and part guide to help you upgrade your life through allowing more creativity into it. I’m here to help you explore how you live and work creatively as we navigate lockdown and beyond. I believe that creativity is a tool to help reduce anxiety and help us live and work better, whether we work full-time as a creative or have a creative business or we want to bring more creativity into our lives for a simpler, more joyful life. In today’s episode I’m searching for the answer of self identity. Because, right now, do we even know who we are anymore? It’s something to explore if you’re nodding along thinking about this time we’re living in and trying to navigate our crazy lives together. Firstly, I hope you’re safe and well. Dunno how you’re managing this school / work / life juggle. I’m broadcasting this from my new writing space – my bedroom! I’ve set up a desk looking onto the garden, it’s really sunny in the mornings and it’s nice to look out at the grass, trees and flowers. And I just love watching our garden birds. I fully appreciate not everyone has outside space; this is our first proper garden and I’m feeling thankful for the space every day. My husband Tony has set up himself on the front drive in our yellow campervan Annie. So we’re now both set up with spaces we can retreat to once we’ve done the home schooling activities. I’ll share some photos in the show notes if you’re like me and love to know what people’s homes look like! As I’m broadcasting this from my bedroom too and hoping the kids won’t come in and distract me. They just seem to have that knack of knowing exactly the worst time don’t they? I don’t know about you but I’ve felt really reflective, wanting to find the right words to articulate how I’m feeling in the hope it might soothe some of you. I’ve spent a few weeks asking myself, who they hell even am I? It started off in my work but really it applies to life. And as I so often do, without my parents alive to help remind me of who I am, I’ve dug into my greatest possession to get some comfort and make sense of everything and that is my memory bank. The first memory in my bank is this. It’s 1986. I’m 10. I’m soaking up a French food market in a village by the Atlantic Ocean – a real happy place for me; I’m holding my dad’s hand as I take in the exotic rainbow of produce, the foreign, heat-splattered sounds feel exciting to me; the opulent displays of jams, marmalades, honey. Uh. Amazing. My dad’s shirt is unbuttoned, his large moobs protruding but he doesn’t care because, well, he’s like that! He stops to smack his lips at almost every stall as we sample as we go, using his (extraordinarily embarrassing) French. I sit on a crate of prickly pairs and have a splintered bottom. We stop at an Oyster Hut; for 1 franc we buy a dozen oysters with a small glass of white wine to share. I feel so grown up as I sip the wine and let the oysters slide down inside laced with shallots and lemon juice, the omnipresent ocean roaring behind us as the salty molluscs awaken my taste buds. Later that day we buy a rotisserie chicken and sauté potatoes on an open fire. It’s my first memory of forging a bond over food with my dad; a magnificent, enthusiastic if excessive, kinda cook. He was delighted that I loved them, and even more delighted to share a glass of wine with me, my dad believing in all the good things in life. When I think back to this day, it encapsulates so succinctly who I am and what’s important to me. At this crazy strange time, I’ve been able to re-evaluate who I am and who I’m not and it’s helped me feel clearer, I guess, in all this kinda confusion about the future. These guiding values are still the ones I come back to: Adventure, Art, Freedom, Expression + Curiosity. So today I’m going to talk about each of them cos I believe – and will go further into this in a future episode – that expressing who we really are is one of the most important things we can do to build bonds with people. This matters both in our private lives as well as when we’re communicating to the world – through social media or at events or on Zoom – a bit more relevant to us all today. OK< firstly I’m going to start with adventure, one of my favourite ways to live life. This is one of my foundational needs and it spills over into all kinds of areas of my life. For me, there is no greater joy that turning up somewhere new, showing my kids the world, learning how other people live, eat and love. My earliest memories of adventure again were gifted to me by my parents, who lived every day in a kind of world of slightly eccentric marvel. Even a car picnic near York was elevated. We’d look for places to pull up, park our red VW Beetle Pluto and find a shady tree to roll out the picnic blanket. There were never any plastic wrapped cheese sandwiches in our family. Dad would have spent the previous day making caramelised onion tarts, anchovy toasts or mushroom vol-au-vents, maybe a green bean and wild garlic salad with sun-dried tomatoes and we’d have my mum’s home-made elderflower cordial to drink. It wasn’t just my dad who loved adventure, my mum and aunty back-packed their way around India and South East Asia in their late 60s. I always connected and inspired by their stories as they painted a picture as bright and vivid and intense as those countries are. One Christmas we travelled to Kerala, and as we arrived at our quirky hotel, watching the dawn rise over the river is a movie in my mind that I revisit time and time again. Still a crystal clear luxury to me are the sounds of morning chanting flowing across from the other side of the river as we watch kingfishers fly by with our wintery toes gently thawing out in the soft, warm sand. This call to adventure has never left me, it just shines brighter inside me. And even through some really shitty times, I’ve used this as a moral compass of sorts; how can I turn sitting in a chemotherapy session with my husband or friends into an event, or date? And now, how can we have a summer adventure in our back garden as we navigate lockdown? I’m sure you can relate to this, to finding a sense of purpose and adventure wherever you are. And I’m really not telling you this to sound smug. God knows, like anyone, there’s been massive lows. The reality of losing both my parents at a relatively young age means I revisit my memory bank to feel happy, despite the overwhelming grief that washes over you like a tidal wave when you’re least expecting it. This But having this connection with the childhood version of you is an important part of working out who you really are. And secondly, art is really important to me , although I have a mixed relationship with the word. I’ve always identified with the word creative but never dared myself to call myself an artist. But art is very important in my life; I love to explore theories and the contextual themes. And as I’m trying to live more courageously, I’m stepping into art as a value. It’s a happy place. Two years ago I had a dodgy mammogram on my remaining boob. I had to wait a few weeks to fly back to the UK and get re scanned. In that time, art was my saviour. I spent hours in Barcelona, visiting the Picasso museum, the design museum, the Fundacio Joan Miro, I just gravitated there almost to remind myself than I’m a small human and my body, my temporary vessel is small in comparison to the world around us. And now, how I want to show up in my life and work is to paint pictures with words; to leave a legacy so my kids know who I am, to learn to write and create across different mediums; screenwriting for example. To play around and not feel guilty about that. My third compass dial points to freedom. Ah I love to feel free. I think partly being ADHD I find rules and rigidity difficult and life feels different when I’m constrained. Some mini routines work well for me – writing every morning, meditating, moving for example – but I have to keep periods free for spontaneity. The feeling of freedom as I walked from my grandparents house into the village centre on hot sunny days, or of riding along with my friend Hester as we trotted around the villages surrounding York unaccompanied by an adult. The freedom of leaving school and knowing I could do whatever felt good. The blissful freedom of running into the pounding Atlantic surf and of my first solo trip without my parents to Amsterdam and days spent dreaming in Vondel Park. And more recently, the freedom of exploring in our campervan, with just the open road and no real plan. My favourite kinda feeling. If you’re nodding along, I know it’s a bit hard to imagine this freedom right now. We’re constrained to save lives which is so vital instead I’m reliving adventures in my head, writing them down, looking through photos of all our travels with the kids and keeping the hope alive for more freedom soon. My fourth guiding pillar, if you like, is expression. It’s a word that carries many nuances in terms of it’s meaning, but one thing is clear: neuroscience believes self-expression is the main way we connect, grow and navigate. It’s a way to empathise, to touch people’s hearts and minds through speaking our own truths. I take great comfort in this. When you’re a teenager riddled with hormonal changes and a narrative that people at school start to influence you with, being able to express yourself, to feel heard, is wildly under-estimated. And it can take any form – I remember the feeling of writing my head thoughts into my sacred diary, or maybe you love to play the piano or sing or dance. Maybe you’re like me and your words are your influence, or maybe you’re a photographer or artist and your pictures tell a relatable and aspirational story. Again, linking this back to food, my literal obsession with never having a dull meal is really a representation of me expressing who I am through the sensory experience of cooking. A bright beetroot slaw, a fiery Korean dipping sauce, the unami – one of my all-time favourite words – taste of licking a spoonful of miso paste. It all brings me connected to my parents; my shared love of reading food books like Anthony Bourdain and Nigel Slater. I still have my dad’s copy of his book Real Fast Food. We always inscribed books in our family and I love reading them now. It says: To an imaginative, robust chef! All my love, Anne in my mum’s signature curly, creative and neat handwriting. A momentary capture that transports me back to that Christmas Day in 1993 when we opened presents together before heading round to our neighbours’ for stale nuts, cheap wine and olives that had seen better days. Warm, fuzzy memories to focus on when the world feels hard. OK, finally, curiosity is my final compass point. It’s such a gift to yourself to stay curious, to ask questions, to learn more and to grow in more ways than you can think. Curiosity triggers empathy; a great gift especially in a communications landscape. I remember driving back from Scotland as a child only on the back roads, something in us seeking adventure at every turn as the beetled roared it’s distinctive call as we drove round hairpin bends to get the best views. And how good is it to ask people questions, to make them feel heard and listened too? To sit with an older person and try and understand the social and emotional landscape of their lives and the impact of that on them. To indulge people in their memories. I almost feel like passing these stories on is a really big and important piece of work. To curate people’s lives to help us on our own understanding of the world, and ourselves. it’s soothing. It’s like having your own north star that you can use as a bullshit filter when you’re talking to people. This is where you know – and like yourself. Wow. If you’ve made it this far, thank you SO much for listening. I really am grateful for any shares, reviews or ratings.I really would love to know what’s important to you, to feel like you can keep the truth of who you are, what makes you so uniquely you. As well as being nourishing now, it’s also a really good way to present who you are, whether you have a creative business or work life or you just want to have more creativity in your life. Transcribed by https://otter.ai The post PODCAST: Who Even Am I? Figuring It Out Through The Lense Of Childhood Memories appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
15 minutes | Apr 30, 2020
Searching For Sunbeams + The Hope I'm Finding During Lockdown
Season 2, episode 1: For best results listen, but if you prefer to read the automated podcast please see blow: if so, this is an automated transcript using Otter so please don’t take spellings/grammar too seriously! In this episode I’m talking about: -Searching for sunbeams -Moving past a big creative block by finding hope again -Feeling guilty because I have a nice life -Anxiety during this time and how I’ve dealt with it -The science of hope -Reimagining our future post lockdown I refer to an article I wrote: Oxytocin: The Cure For Anxiety + Immunity I refer to Julia Cameron’s Book. The Artists Way from 1992. Welcome to Episode One of this season of the happier creative Podcast. I am your host, Ruth Hoskins. Thank you so much for tuning in. The happier creative is a kind of evolution of first season of my podcast. It’s part memoir, part an essay on creative life and part, I guess a bit of a guide to help you upgrade your life and allow more creativity into it. I’m here to help you explore how you live and work creatively, especially as we’re on this kind of lockdown situation right now and beyond. I believe that creativity is a tool that can massively help reduce anxiety help us live and work better, whether we work full time as a creative or we have a creative business or we want to just bring more creativity into our lives. And now for those of you who listen to my earlier season of this podcast, it was called the happy creative. You might I’ve noticed that I’ve tweaked the title a little bit. I’ll come on to why a bit later on. But I’m so happy to be back in your ears in this very revolutionary and strange time. And I want to share stories with you because I believe we have to look to the future, to talk about how we feel and to make sense of everything that’s happening right through to get through it together. So in this episode, I’m sharing what’s been a pretty short 12 months for me from a creative point of view, personally, and how this weird lockdown experience has actually helped me to go back inside myself feel a bit clearer and what I guess just to find a bit of hope, when I least expected it. So thank you very, very much for joining me. If you like these Audio Stories, I’d be really grateful for any subscribes, reviews or shares. Right now more than ever, we’ve got to spread love more kindness, positivity and share more stories that help us get our feelings out of our head and into the world. And that’s exactly why I’ve created this season of the podcast. Man, you know life is shitty right now so shitty. I’ve no doubt that we all agree on that front. My heart is breaking for everybody affected and yeah huge love and hugs all around that I mean the world feels dark and gloomy. It is dark and gloomy right now but you know, we have each other’s backs and talking is good. One of my life mottos that I want to talk about today is should the sun beams. And it also always makes me think of the quote the line in the twits by Roald Dahl, one of my favourite children’s books. That line; if you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like some beans and you will always look lovely. And it just floods me with the good energy every time and I think it is is so true. But to be really open and honest with you, I struggled with a massive creative block over the last 12 months. I felt fine thinking about my incredible clients businesses and supporting them but when it comes to my own creative life, I think just felt totally out of sorts. It’s been really frustrating as it hasn’t really happened to me before. And I’ve always used creation as a way to help me deal with what’s going on in my life. But this time, the creation just wasn’t happening and it was eating me up a little bit inside and my creativity dried up. It’s like old loose tea bags that you find at the back of the cupboard, so frustrating. And, actually, as soon as lockdown happened, I was feeling mega anxious as I’m sure you were to, I decided that I was kind of losing my ability to think and that had to take some really radical action to step back and look after my own emotional needs. But I still couldn’t put my finger on why, why I was feeling like this because I’d had like much greater times of personal trauma five years ago and I was dealing with the grief of losing my mum at the same time is facing my own mortality as I navigated breast cancer, which was a really Strange and humbling experience. So, back then, despite the sadness, I felt hopeful still, I felt protected. It was like a soft golden light wrapped around me. And I remember thinking at the time it was my mum’s angel wings enveloping me in love when she couldn’t be there physically it did get me through. And right now I have a nice life a healthy family and my work is good and purposeful. And I kind of felt shame that my life wasn’t feeling as extraordinary as I wanted it to feel but that I shouldn’t be feeling like it wasn’t enough that I should be grateful for what I have and I am but I just had this kind of like empty feeling somewhere inside. You know, like when you get to a point where you’re like enough now. very strangely, the prospect of lockdown brought this to me it alleviated my off the scale anxiety partly triggered by memories of spending weeks of my life. on a ventilator when I was 21, I decided to get my shit together and create a bit of a toolkit to get me through. And I want to share these things that I did with you. Now, of course, they might be different for everybody, we’re all different. But I did these three things. And they really helped me get some some clarity in what is a very dark and frightening time in lots of ways. And so the first thing over the course of a few weeks, I started writing it out every day, because that’s how I work best. And I’ve gotten out of the habit of doing that. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of the book, The artists way by Julia Cameron, was written back in the early 90s. I’ll link to in the show notes. But the basic basic premise is to write three longhand pages every morning, as soon as you wake up. So she calls it like morning pages. But what I wrote was a stream of consciousness, just writing from the heart asking myself what I needed. And that’s been a really good practice to Get back into I found it really, really helpful. So the second thing I started doing was was meditating more like three or four times a day, even just for five minutes. And maybe, for you meditation doesn’t come very easily. And I get that because it didn’t used to come easily to me. But over the years, I’ve really worked on kind of giving myself that time there like brain brain breaks, if you like. And it really, really is powerful and it has had the ability to just turn me around every time. And I think that kind of having your own spirituality is a daily juice. It’s just like having a daily green juice that we need to keep healthy and to keep our our brains as clear as possible. And thirdly, I took an extended break from social media, specifically Instagram, I just knew that I had to reduce the noise I guess for a while to help me find my creativity again. And I just believe it’s healthy today. take a little break to figure out where we’re at and it has given me some mental extra mental space which I kind of needed I think when you get so fulfilled full up with your energy levels having an especially in really scary and stressful times and situations you have less so for me, I just knew that I had an intuition that I had to cut out some noise and actually, it was been very, very helpful and all this felt really powerful. It’s been a really positive experience for me, despite the obvious anxiety around the situation of Coronavirus, but it felt really powerful because when you get those ah thoughts you feel really kind of well empowered to go a little bit deeper, and within just a few days I felt totally different. I realised pretty quickly that I had allowed myself to be guided by external influence. Rather than looking within and that’s a massive mistake for me for for anybody I guess. But looking everywhere for advice when the truth is I’m the master of my own life. I’ve built a really successful business before. I don’t really need any more how to knowledge instead, I need to trust myself for the answers, I realised that I’d allowed myself to be guided by external influences rather than looking within and trusting my intuition. And that’s been a really big mistake actually looking everywhere for advice, but the truth is, I’m the master of my own life. The world you know, is full of people gurus, experts giving answers which is great if you’re starting out or you’re looking to learn about a new topic or a new a new area of the world. It’s It’s incredible, but for me, I was looking within to find my next chapter, but I was looking within in all the wrong places outside and what I realised is that I had parked Kind of parked hope at bay. We had walked away from our best life our two year family sabbatical in Spain. And I had let myself go from the the mindset that, you know, we had walked away from our best life rather than helping myself have the mindset that the best is yet to come. And that was a really big realisation. How about you what makes you feel kind of wildly excited if you dare to dream a little bit and to reimagine your future to feel really excited, feel ease, and uncomfortable but not alarmed by that glimpse of our future. I know for me and for us as a family, we’re using this period to make sure we’ve got some solid foundations built ready for living more freely next year. Obviously, the other main issues around wanting to be healthy like everybody else, and that that is absolutely the priority. But after that, you know, it’s to build strong foundations. It’s to really set ourselves up so that we can and will work from anywhere with good streams of income to support that. So we’re looking at online schooling, for example, because we know we want to be able to travel for longer periods of time than the school holidays allowed me to show the kids the world without being tied to a structure. And this lockdown is giving me the hope that we can live travel school and work together for chunks of time each year. So like for us to do a long Europe trip in the summer. And then a further afield winter trip for a few months of the winter. And I’m using this lockdown to daydream about that, how we can do it in a sustainable and filling way, fulfilling way to kind of really be architecting and designing that out for us as a family. And I really believe that daydreaming has never been so important. So I can hope you can allow yourself the luxury of letting go a bit of letting the most incredible things come to life inside your, inside your mind in this way. And I’m sharing all this because if you’re listening and you’re starting to explore how you might want to live in the future, then this is the time to really imagine what might be next for you. So maybe you’re employed and you would like more certainty in your life. And maybe now you think it’s the time to back yourself. If you’d like to use this to sort of shed some skin and step further and deeper into what matters most to you, then again, there’s no better time. This period is about cherishing the anticipation, pretty powerful stuff right now. And also, if you’re keen on just having a simpler life filled with more creativity and less stuff, then hope can also help move you towards your dreams there. And it’s at that place where you can see those some beams that you’ll feel filled and flooded with high And that’s not just me. I know psychologists and scientists believe that hope is a trait that predicts resilience and recovery in anxiety disorders. That’s a study I think, according to Gallagher in a book called behavioural therapy, and those that can practice hope are more likely to make a recovery, which I love. And I know like in science as well, the group of scientists Lopez, back in 2013 found that there are actually four pillars of belief and they are that the future will be better than the presence that you have a say in how your life and falls that there are multiple pathways to achieving personal or professional goals. And finally, that there is deep acceptance that there will be obstacles that you will face hurdles along the way. And the other link between immune kind of Yeah, immune boosting stop Start. Also you’ll be doing your immune system, a massive favour because anxiety produces cortisol and hope produces oxytocin and serotonin, the happy hormones. And for those of you who know how interested I am in that kind of human chemistry, oxytocin and serotonin are so important to us. And so today I’m going to leave you with this quote from Desmond Tutu that I hope can give you a little bit of comfort. It is hope it’s being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Oh, I love that. Thank you for listening today. I really do appreciate it. And I hope you feel motivated to go and find some some beams too, as well as keep looking inside yourself. Ask and trust your intuition because that’s the place where the real and important answers lie. I’ll be back next week. I’ve been recording these episodes from my bedroom window. And I’d love to hear from you. If you have a question that you’d like me to explore, or you relate to in some way, please feel free to drop me an email over on Hi, every Hoskins calm. I’m going to be talking about all kinds of things coming up in this series which is about everything including the beauty that lies within ADHD to talking with Tony about working and living together 24 seven language lessons my eccentric dad taught me and loads more. So I hope you’ve enjoyed this. If you have, please please I’m so grateful if you could leave a review or subscribe or rating, and also, I’m eternally grateful for any shares too. If you’d like to connect with me further over on Instagram, I’m on at Ruthie underscore Hoskins, although I have been taking a break from social recently but I will be going back on it or you can read the show notes and get any links to anything that I’ve talked about over on my website, Ruth hoskins.com. And you can go there and Look for podcasts but thank you very much until then lots of love and sunbeams coming your way. Bye. Transcribed by https://otter.ai The post PODCAST: Searching For Sunbeams + The Hope I’m Finding During Lockdown appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
11 minutes | Feb 27, 2019
Staying Small, Shining Bright: Marketing For Maximum Impact
IN THIS EPISODE I COVER: Why I believe in staying small Shining bright like a lighthouse Impact The three C’s you need LINKS + RESOURCES I MENTION: Seth Godin, First Ten Marie Forleo, B School Episode 3 of The Happy Creative podcast: Creating Better, Faster, More Purposeful Content + Pro Writing Tips. READ THE EPISODE HERE: In this episode I’m going to flip the script on what we know about marketing and make it relevant to small creative businesses, take inspiration from “marketing” experts who shape my thinking and talk about why it’s so great for businesses to stay small, shine bright and have an impact on their world. Just before we start, I wanted to let you know that I’m offering two-hour highly focused coaching sessions via Skype (or in person depending on where you are). This one-off deep dive into your business is called FOCUS and we’re going to explore your project or idea in more detail. We can also use the session to go deeper into an area I can help you with, like marketing or selling or content or adding in a new revenue streams. You can find out more and click to book over on ruth hoskins.com I’m so excited to talk about this today because I’ve worked in what was known as “content marketing” for what feels like forever and I have got to admit, I could never understand why people got in the habit of complicating what I think is essentially a simple, human connection and transaction. I studied a post-grad in marketing in my 20s and I felt like the only person in the class who didn’t really get the complicated charts and Venn diagrams. It almost felt more like a science than anything creative and at that point the word marketing lost all clarity and purpose for me. Where was the human element? Why didn’t this feel good? What was I doing there? After that, things like sales funnels and pushy “this is me” marketing took it even further away from it’s ultimate nucleus, people making an impact and sharing their gift with the world. So, years down the line, when I discovered people like Seth Godin and Marie Forleo I was literally like doing a happy dance, because finally people were talking in common sense terms about marketing a business. These two people weren’t “icky”. They spoke in human language and most of all, the buyer was at the heart of everything they were saying. This was marketing with meaning. In my last business (a social media agency that evolved to a content marketing agency) I used content as a way of attracting the brands we wanted to work with and it worked, it felt good too. But the one thing missing was the one part of my soul that craved personal connection. Whether that’s when I worked in a bar, sold Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as a student or the way I work with people today, I wanted to look people in the eyes, share experiences and make a connection. And you don’t always get that connection when there’s a big business behind the person you’re working with. Then I listen to Paul Jarvis talk about his book Company of One and it really resonated. We don’t need BIG! Imagine if we all focused on making our businesses better rather than bigger and prioritised a rich life over more traditional “success”? I love this concept. The world has enough BIG! As humans, have we had enough of MASS and crave MICRO connections that have meaning. So here are some ways I think we can approach marketing in a way that feels really good, has synergy with us on a human level and shines brightly so our dream clients find their way to us. 1. Believe in small Seth Godin says this in his new book, This Is Marketing. “We need the smallest viable audience…if you want to reach everyone you’ve denied the person their humanity.” It’s amazing what thinking on this micro level can have. Often when I talk to clients about their dream clients, I can tell by the look on their face that they just get overwhelmed. But instead, what if we followed this old but amazing blog post Seth wrote, First Ten. what if we just focused on finding ten people to share our work with. We all know ten people, right? And if those ten people love it, they will each share it. And there you have bridged the gap from zero clients to an infinite amount. I’m going to link to this post in the show notes over on ruthhoskins.com So if you are in the process of building a business (and life) you love, remember it’s OK to think small, go find the ten people that you can share your work with and take joy from the fact that small can be powerful and profitable too. 2. Shine bright like a lighthouse I saw this quote the other day in Instagram and loved it! It’s by the American author Anne Lamott and I just had to share it with you. “Lighthouses don’t go running all over the island looking for boats to save. They just stand there shining.” This is really in line with my own approach to marketing, which is to focus on creating awesome things for my community to read/listen to. We don’t need to rush around pushing our way into our dream clients lives. If we can produce quality work that we’re proud of then we are going to shine and people will want to work with us. What we put out there is everything, and it’s another area that it’s easy to get lost in. So, as service based business owners, we can focus on quality over quantity (coming back to the staying small thing) and put out there less, but more amazing, in terms of our brand, our service and the content we release to the world. I’d like you to consider how you can make your business shine like a lighthouse. What can you do to improve what you put out there, how can you shine bright? Does that look like streamlining and focusing on a fewer things and making them great. How are you going to go about turning your light on? Could you be more visible, is your light switched onto full? 3. Crystal clear clarity on the impact you have How obvious do you make it who your product or service is for? I love that true marketing solves problems, it changes people’s lives in some way and it creates impact. That really is the ultimate goal, so it makes sense that we need to have absolute clarity of who we are serving and what little thing we are doing to change their life. Then the act of “marketing” is to get that message out to people, to be able to say, “what if I could help you solve this problem”. A little example that has come from the Marie Forleo’s B School is to write down these three things: My service is for……. I will serve people who want…… I promise I can help you achieve…. For me, my service is for people who want to bridge the gap between where they are now and where they want to be. I serve people who want to build a business and a life that they love, and that my promise is to help them to break down the barriers to achieving what they want to achieve. When we have this clarity, this client centred approach to our business, we have a single and meaningful point to start to build content, connections and community, which is what I’m coming onto now. 4. The three Cs These, for me, are the three pillars of my own “marketing” strategy and I’m going to break them down for you because I really think it’s a feel-good approach to marketing. Community is all about giving. Serving your future clients, helping them to trust you, solving their problems without expecting anything else in return. Imagine how engaged people would be if we spent 80% of our time giving and only 20% selling. Helping others, sharing your own unique gift with them is a heart-centred way of building a business that your client love. This is also a route to feel-good selling, because if you’ve given a lot to your community you don’t feel as bad when you finally share a promotion or offer or new package you’re offering. Connection & Content. Until you meet them in real life, the internet offers so much potential to reach your dream clients, and the channel to do that is through content. Now I know that so many people struggle with getting into a content creation mindset but the good news is, anyone can learn the skill. And the other piece of good news is, you don’t have to write loads of long-form content (unless you want to!). You can pick one or two channels and focus on them. So, maybe you’re totally cool with the idea of being on video and talking to camera, but hit a wall writing a blog post. That’s fine, you can vlog or use stories. Maybe, like me, you love the power of audio because it can be consumed on the go, or maybe you just want to write short but on-point emails and social posts. I promise you, anything goes! If you want to check out episode 3 of this podcast: Creating Better, Faster, More Purposeful Content + Pro Writing Tips. I’m linking to that and everything else I referenced over in the show notes. You could have the best, most amazing product or service in the world, but there’s no point if you don’t put your lights on and tell people about it. And you have to keep on, keeping on doing that. Because one thing I know is this: The difference in people who “make” it and those that don’t is that the people who achieve what they want, keep on showing up. They do the work required to bring their vision to life, they put their big girl pants on and make connections and they put themselves out there online. 5. Why I will never outsource my marketing OK, as someone who has been the outsourcer on many an occasion, I’ve got to say this: Our marketing has to feel like us. Our messaging has to come from within. And I don’t think it matters if we don’t feel like we were born to write, as long as we being true to ourselves when we put ourselves out there. So I will never outsource my marketing, content or social media to anyone else. Because my voice is my brand and I’m not willing to dilute that. The busier I get the more I realise I need to outsource some elements, the admin and diary management and collaboration requests to a VA, the finance to an accountant, but what I put out there online is always going to be me. My advice to people (especially if your brand is just you) is learn the skills you need, invest the time, collaborate with people, but if you are going to outsource any part of your business, don’t outsource your marketing! I used to see lots of people paying for cheap copywriters to create SEO fodder, but all that did is block up the internet with crap and make people feel like they were being spammed over. And that’s NOT a nice feeling! So I think here, be you over anything else. Progress towards being a skilled content creator or social media user. To wrap up today’s episode, I really hope that you can believe in the power of one, of you, and that you can start to rethink marketing. That it can be a positive change you have on the people you serve, that you can make it really personal, and that you can start to find your First Ten. I’d just like to remind you that you can find more detail about my coaching programmes over on ruthhoskins.com Special Launch Price Get the Chemistry Classroom relationship marketing course at the special launch price of £250, this price ends Monday 24th June. [learndash_payment_buttons course_id=”2736″] Special Launch Price Get the Chemistry Classroom relationship marketing course at the special launch price of £250, this price ends Monday 24th June. [learndash_payment_buttons course_id=”2736″] The post Episode 8: Staying Small, Shining Bright: Marketing For Maximum Impact appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
13 minutes | Feb 21, 2019
Nuggets of Advice If You Want To Quit Your Job And Build A Business You Love
IN THIS EPISODE I COVER: 9 nuggets of advice if you’re thinking of leaving your 9-5 and building a creative business Why you are already enough That Seth Godin believes the time is now! Visioning out the best and worst case scenarios The formula you need to know LINKS + RESOURCES I MENTION: The Marie Forleo TV interview with Seth Godin on Why Seth Godin Thinks You Should Stop Waiting For The Right Moment READ THE EPISODE HERE: Is building a business and a life full of purpose and passion and reward the ultimate dream for you but it seems out of reach? Are you sitting in your 9-5 dreaming of more but not knowing where to start? Do you have the fear about how you’ll pay the bills, attract the clients or taking the steps you need to towards making it all happen? If so, today’s episode is just for you. My intention is to uncover some of the common barriers we face when we’re about to take a big leap and also to offer you some support and encouragement as you start to think about how you can start to transform your life from working for someone else to honouring that creative dream that’s growing deeper and deeper inside you. Today I’m going to share the formula you need to see results! The coping mechanisms you need to get in plan, the no 1 rule to grow your business from the start and some of the other ways that will help you. So before we get into today’s episode, I just wanted to say that I’m offering a three month coaching + accountability package, CLARITY, where we spend an hour working through your business on a Skype workshop to dive into your ideas and figure out where you want to be and what you need to do to get there. I will then check in with you via email every week to keep you on track and we’ll have a follow up one-hour Skype towards the end of the twelve weeks to review how you’re doing. I’ll also be available by email during that whole period so you can run things by me and I’ll share all the resources and things I’m working on that will help you too. If you’d like to learn more, head over to ruthhoskins.com. Ok, let’s jump in: You are ALREADY enough This is a message of support if you have a deep-rooted fear of quitting. Because I know that it takes big-hearted courage and determination, but I want to tell you this. You already have something unique to share with the world, it’s just a case of working through a process to figure out how you can make an impact. Sometimes we just need a bit of help in uncovering our super-powers, sometimes we just need to take the time to ask ourselves those big questions, to dive deep into what we really want, what our future life looks like. Maybe you are a natural connector, and that’s your thing. Or maybe you have trained as something in your spare time that you want to do full-time, whether that’s painting or writing or coaching people in different ways. What I know is that you have evolved over years, if you write down all the things you are already good at, I think you might surprise yourself. What I want to do with my content is to help you bridge that gap and give you the business knowledge you need to make it all happen. But my biggest message here is that what you bring to the table is AMAZING + FOR REALZ. I believe (and so does Seth Godin) that the time is now! Do you keep putting your creative dream back in a box, carry on with what you’re doing and another year slips by? This is so common, but one thing I truly believe is that we only regret the things we didn’t do and seldom the things we did do. And Seth Godin agrees. I listened to him on Marie Forleo TV, the episode’s called Seth Godin Thinks You Should Stop Waiting For The Right Moment and I’m linking to it on the show notes. He said: “We are wasting the chance of a lifetime…this is our revolution. We live in this moment of time where anyone with 100 bucks can connect to a billion and a half people around the world anytime they want to…we have this opportunity to leverage, we have this platform. An internally, if not this moment, when?….we wait for things to calm down, we wait for it to be the right moment, but this is the right moment. If we look back a year from now, five years from now we rarely say I’m disappointed that I spoke up, I’m disappointed that I did my art, I’m disappointed I made that connection. What we regret is not doing that.” Vision the best case scenario For me, working on my own terms is my dream. Travelling whenever and wherever, always being there for the school run, collaborating with crazy-awesome creatives who I admire SO much is the ultimate reward. Working when I want and with who I want. Earning what I want. Although I’m not saying working for yourself is easy but it brings so much in terms of richness of life that I couldn’t imagine going back into a job. The number one thing you need to ask yourself is what life do you want? What looks so cool to you that it makes your spine tingle and puts fire in your belly? This is the most important thing to know and it’s so good to have that visually represented so you can look at it as you go through the process to remind you of what you want. I like to create a board on Pinterest but you can do this in whatever way feels right for you. So mine is filled with experiences (I’m the kind of person who ALWAYS chooses to travel over a handbag) like trips I wanna go on, the type of house we’re looking for, retro VWs and van life stuff but everybody is different. Maybe you’d love to go on a creative retreat, or to send your kids to private school or buy a horse, or a posh poodle! Whatever really, you can pin it on the fridge, on your phone or wherever and look at it every day to keep you motivated. Acknowledge the worst case scenario I really dislike the word failure, because I believe everything we do puts us on the path to where we are meant to be. But it’s a good way to face our fears to acknowledge what the worst case scenario looks like. Maybe money is tight right now or you have big outgoings or you are really scared of failure. Acknowledging the worst case scenario can help you to face it. What I do know is that if you learn the art business and do the work you need to do it is unlikely that it will fail. Businesses fail when they take on too many people, or have big outgoings but the beauty of having a small creative business is that we can stay small, we can keep our costs down really low and we can minimise the risk of failure. Set the date, make a plan Would you mark the date for your wedding or birthday party in your diary? Of course! Even if you want to take a slow approach to this, that’s A OK. But I’d encourage you to find your diary and mark a date that you want to start working full-time on your new business. Maybe it’s a year in advance, or maybe it’s just a few weeks away. I’m going to go into detail on creating a plan in an episode very soon but the things you should start to think about are: A spreadsheet with all your outgoings. Whatever your service or product is, how many do you need to sell to cover your costs? Then set a stretch figure to outline what extra you’d like to make and add it into your plans. Design your products and packages or programmes. What do your revenue streams look like? How many are there, do you have entry points for each? Be clear on the number of your service or product you need to sell to achieve this and how that can fit into your working week, allowing for time to market and sell what you do too, as well as any other boundaries you want to set, like time to explore other projects or for family commitments. Who your clients are, what your service helps them with and how you impact on their lives for the better Where your future dream clients are hanging out and how you plan on finding them and building connections there’s a feel-good business plan template for creatives, freelancers and bloggers over on my website. You can access it over on ruthhoskins.com/freebies Remember, this is your big dream, my friend! You have to show it all the love you can! Pick your crew You know, like with everything, it takes a village! So you need to pick a crew who are going to go with you on this journey. They can be anyone at all but definitely you need to go seek out some business mates, people in a similar position or on the same path as you (and maybe at different stages to you too). They are people you can share your bad days with, your hopes and your fears and learn from each other. Maybe you can find someone to act as a mentor, or maybe you want a coach on your crew to keep you accountable all the way through. I’ve joined the Mothers Meetings as a member because I know that having creative mums on the same wavelength as much as me and I’m lucky to have lots of creative friends that I can run stuff by or turn to for support. As you start to build your community (and all this can be done whilst still in your job), you’ll naturally make friends and gravitate towards certain people. You’ll find real friendships develop that you can take offline and support each other as you grow. Don’t underestimate the power of community. The formula you need to know! Nope, I’m no Einstein (cue some geeky music), but this is the formula that I know works. Clarity + Consistency = Results I’m going to repeat that again because I want it to go in your brain. Clarity + Consistency = Results Whether your a planner or a fly-by-the-seat of your pants, you have to have clarity. Clarity about where you are going, what you stand for, of who you are, and what are the magical elements that make your business amazing and unique. I really do find this is something that a) happens as you go through the process of writing a plan and b) evolves over time. Perhaps these things come clearly to you, or perhaps you need to spend time working through all this, depending on where on the path you are, but either way this is a big, positive and exciting step to take. And when you have clarity, it’s a case of showing up and doing the work you need to do. There’s no magic formula and this sounds a lot easier than it is (more on that later) but the bravest and boldest move you can make is to turn up every day and be you. If you have these things, I don’t think you’re going to go wrong. Learn the art of “business” This is absolutely the #1 thing you need to be doing. One of the biggest things I’ve taken from investing in myself through both being coached, taking free courses and immersing myself in online content that helps me get to where I want to be is this: It’s always worthwhile to learn the art of business, and don’t be put off by the word business, it’s not too complicated if you have a good teacher, it’s really a structure that you will learn to play with, learn from, and maybe even have fun with! Even if you don’t go to a physical business “school”, the more skilled up you are the better. The best way I found was to do that through my own business coach 1-2-1 because I know that the best chance of “success” was through having an accountability partner, and someone that I admire greatly. But, if that’s out of your budget right now there is so much stuff out there to help. From podcasts to free content there is a huge amount of resources. What I would say is that there are lots of different styles of coaches and online business cheerleaders out there so I suggest researching them online, on Instagram or giving their podcasts a listen and figuring out who resonates with you the most. Build your own channel My final nugget of advice is this: Whatever work you are doing, whoever you want to attract, think about what your dream online presence is going to be. Social media is always rented space, it’s great for driving traffic and engagement but you need to have your own home, a place to host and excite and spark a connection with your clients. Even if you’ve no experience of building a website, it’s much easier now with so many pre-packaged templates to help you create something that looks slick and professional even if you don’t have web building expertise. Of course, Wordpress offers the most functionality but can overwhelm lots of people I know, so I would say if you want to start simple look at something like Squarespace which is much lighter and user-friendly. I hope, from this that you’re feel inspired to work towards building the business and life you want, that you know you’re already most of the way there, that you can start to plan out your future business, the impact it will have on the world and to consider what you need to do next on this journey. I, for one, am so excited for you! I’m going to go into more detail soon on things like heart-centred business planning and building an on-point online presence that attracts the people you want to work with. I hope you’ll join me there. Special Launch Price Get the Chemistry Classroom relationship marketing course at the special launch price of £250, this price ends Monday 24th June. [learndash_payment_buttons course_id=”2736″] Special Launch Price Get the Chemistry Classroom relationship marketing course at the special launch price of £250, this price ends Monday 24th June. [learndash_payment_buttons course_id=”2736″] The post Episode 7: Nuggets of Advice If You Want To Quit Your Job and Build A Business appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
12 minutes | Feb 13, 2019
Are Gremlins Stealing Your Potential?
IN THIS EPISODE I COVER What to do when you feel misaligned in your business or your stuck in a rut The importance of acknowledging what feels wrong so we can move forwards. Taking a birds eye view and analysing our business, our numbers and our stats. Sharing what’s holding us back with people we know or hiring professional help. Why action is the thing that’s going to make a difference. LINKS AND RESOURCES I MENTION Mothers Meetings – get togethers for mums in London Lioness Life Coaching Yorkinstameet My coaching programmes READ THE EPISODE HERE Full disclosure, I love to spend my downtime watching 80s movies with my favourite people. Did you see the gremlins movie? I remember watching it. I was 8 with some older friends and I loved and hated it in equal measures. Those pesky, cute and disruptive little monsters that caused mayhem! I think we all have gremlins in our creative businesses! Are you fed up with not attracting the clients you really want to work with, or feel that you’re not achieving your full potential, or are you just unable to shake the bleurgh feeling? I’m so excited to bring you this episode because I have met so many creatives who have built a business doing what they loved but over time have become misaligned or gotten into a rut. It can happen to us all, and I always think of my business as a little bit like a marriage that needs constant love, attention and focus to help it bloom. Because just like a marriage too, nobody ever said this was going to be easy. There are so many ways we can feel like we’re growing apart from our business, so today I want to help you fall back a little bit in love with what you do, or to motivate you to change it up and make it work better for you. We all have infinite potential, absolutely. I always like to go back to Beyonce, but she’s such a great example of someone who didn’t just get lucky. She takes control, she takes action and she works her butt off to keep reaching higher and higher and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t all be a bit more Beyonce. So today I’m going to share an approach that I hope will resonate and help you see the steps you can take towards feeling more YEAH about what you do. But first, if you’re not aware already, my podcasts are all supported by my 1-2-1 coaching programmes. My signature programme is called BLOOM and it’s a 10 session focus to support you in a big creative project like launching a new business, or product or to pivot a blog or business you already have. It’s my mission to help you through freely available content like this podcast but if you want to go deeper into your business and bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be. I also offer other coaching programmes. CLARITY is a 12 week programme where we have two calls together then I check in every week via email to keep you accountable. Also I’m offering bespoke day workshops, tailored to you where we can work together and you can invite a few friends to make it more cost-effective. Finally, I am so happy to offer an individual 2-hour Skype session, FOCUS where we explore where you’re at and where you want to be and you leave with more clarity about how you can make it all happen. If you’re interested in working with me, head over to my website ruthhoskins.com So to dive back into today’s episode, I want to share an approach that we can all use whatever the reason we are feeling misaligned. Step number 1 : Acknowledge + analyse The very first thing I would do is to dive into your original business plan or idea and figure out if it represents who you are now. Going back over our why and asking ourselves what your business means to you as a person is always a healthy thing to do. What is the reason you feel like this? Maybe you are so busy delivering work to your clients that you’re stuck in a time v money thing and you can’t see a way to scale? Or perhaps you feel like you’re not achieving your full potential or you just feel unmotivated and unsure in which direction you want to go in, or that you’re not earning what you need or would like to be earning. All of these are classic ways we can fall out of alignment. If this was me, I would take some time to really analyse my business versus my problem. So if it’s about money I would really analyse my numbers. Am I selling my service at the right price to the right people? Am I worth more? Can I improve my website so I attract more high-end clients? Are you communicating your pricing clearly and helping people to understand exactly what they are going to buy and the benefits and impact is has on their lives? Are you actually selling? Is your shop out there loud and proud? If your problem is about attracting the right type of clients I think I would look as objectively as possible at my brand, my messaging and my content. Is it aligned with the people I wanna serve? Is it all about them? Is it clear and consistent across all my online channels and is what I’m putting out there really me? The number one way I would say about building a brand is BE MORE YOU! I see so many people trying to sound “professional” and of course we wanna be professional to some level, but as small creative businesses we also need to be ourselves cos ultimately it’s us that people are going to buy from. Just imagine if we used the same language as our clients, if we made our content for just one person so we could connect in a powerful way, ad if we could make our brand be the combination of them, you and the impact you have on them. Maybe you’re stuck on growth, whether that’s in your numbers, your email list, your Insta or whatever. Here, I would ask myself, what growth do I want for my business? What type of growth is going to equate to more sales or clients? Do you want to grow a blog or Instagram so you can work with brands? Or maybe you want to grow as a creative and you wanna learn some new skills? Acknowledging the cause of our misalignment is such an important step because we can’t move forward unless we’ve figured out whats holding us back. Step number 2: Talk and get help A problem shared is a problem halved, remember? Don’t hide it away! Don’t brush it off and say “oh, it’s nothing, I’ll be fine” when you half admit to someone over a coffee that you’re not feeling it. But it does matter. You matter. You’ve got to build a team, your crew, around you and you can do that in whatever way feels right for you, because I’m telling ya the power of community is real. Maybe you’ve got a few creative friends you can chat with on WhatsApp, or if you like being in a group then push yourself to go because even if you meet one person who you connect with it might be worth it. I remember feeling so closed up in my last business because I wasn’t very happy working for big brands, and I felt I should be cos I was winning some majorly amazing work. So I hid it and did the whole keep calm and carry on thing, and it was only after being really sick that I felt a bit more “I need more” and so through moving abroad and dragging my kids around in a campervan I learned to open my heart in a way I never had! Committing to being more open-hearted has been transformational for me. Saying yes instead of no, not being afraid to be me rather than embarrassed to be me, to reach out to new people, to put myself out there. You’re best friends will always be your best friends but it’s also SO important to have a crew who are going through the same journey as you, so if you haven’t reached out, I’m hoping after this podcast you can find a few people to reach out to and make friends, people who get your vibe, or who you admire. It’s so easy to get lost behind our screens but the main power of social media is in the friendships that can spill over into real life. I recently went to a fab life coaching session with @lionesslifecoaching at a Mothers Meeting event at Shoreditch House and she talked a lot about finding your crew, picking out those people (real and imaginary who you take on your journey). The other avenue is to get pro help. So maybe when you analysed your business and you worked out your problem was growth, you know you need someone to help you take that up a level. If Instagram growth is the right path for your business, then taking an online course or retreat is a positive first step. Or maybe you need a mentor, someone who can guide you through the next phase. Or a coach to help you uncover the business and life that you really want. Step number 3: ACTION! This is the final but MOST IMPORTANT step you can take because it’s the small steps we take that lead us down our path. I know this can be really hard when you are totally unmotivated and feeling a massive lack of direction but my message is don’t sweat about the big steps, the gap, just focus on doing one or two small things and see where it takes you because procrastination isn’t going to get you anywhere, anytime. So a friend of mine (I’ll call her M) was stuck in her business, delivering amazing work for a great portfolio of clients but she had an idea during away at the back of her head. An idea for something a little bit more “passive” because her rut was spending all her time delivering work for her clients she just couldn’t take the time to work on her idea. She knew she wanted to scale it, because being busy made nobody a millionaire. But M felt the gap was too far and that overwhelmed her. So another year passed and she was in the same place. But when we started to explore this, she redefined her working week as well as looked at her client profiles, putting herself in control and carved out the time to spend two hours a week when she would have been working for a client that wasn’t a good fit (or very profitable) so she could work on her new idea. She felt bad about letting her client go, but felt good after having an open conversation with them and ended up passing the work on to someone who she thought was a better fit. So the small action of analysing her client profile ended up resulting in a happy client, a happy her and she used that time to write an online course that ended up give her the opportunity to cut down on client work and earn more and do less. Ka-ching! So I’m going to set you a little bit of homework (I love homework!). If this has all resonated with you, I’d like for you to write down 5 things that you are going to do to take action. A few things you could include are: Read a business book that inspires you (or listen to some podcasts) and motivates you Write out what your ideal working week would look like Imagine out your perfect future and go create a Pinterest board that represents it Review your website and check it’s on-point for your dream clients Have a mini business analysis session by yourself or team up with a creative friend Go tell a friend how you’re feeling Get yourself to a local meet-up of creatives (in Yorkshire where I am) I’ll put a link in the show notes to the Yorksinstameet group who are creating a beautiful and supportive community and also the Mothers Meetings group who put on completely inspiring events with loads of your favourite people to follow online) Review your clients and see what it looks like compared to your dream clients Do 1 thing every morning that makes you feel good before you open your laptop If you’ve been through any of these things and would like to share your story to help other creative business owners, please reach out to me on email@example.com and I’d love to talk to you for a future episode. The post Episode 6: Are Gremlins Stealing Your Potential? appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
14 minutes | Jan 31, 2019
Big Pants, Being You + The Power Of Community: Putting Yourself Out There
IN THIS EPISODE I COVER: Why we need to be visible online How everybody has to start somewhere Getting rid of fear Why being you is the most important thing Embracing community Putting big girl pants on and being brave! LINKS AND REFERENCES I TALK ABOUT The Happy Creative podcast episode 2: Uncover your business story Mothers Meetings – just the best experience for creative mums. Jenny Scott on Instagram Junie-Poonie on Instagram (check out her beautiful stationery). READ THE EPISODE HERE: Does the idea of putting yourself OUT THERE, whether that’s on Instagram or in real life freak you out more than if Frankenstein was crossed with Freddie Kruger? I get it. I’ve been there and so has almost every creative business owner I’ve ever met! Period. It’s like looking over a cliff edge and diving into a void, right? A big, unchartered star spangled universe. But there’s a couple of big reasons why we need to work through this, starting today, right now and get you out there! Firstly, if you have a big creative dream and you want to work for yourself, whether that’s because you want to work at home all day in your pyjamas, or make the school run every day, or travel the world or cos you just want to be free then you’ve got to be visible to people and your have to put yourself out there both online and irl. Secondly, once you start putting yourself out there this will probably happen: You’ll love it and want to give yourself ultimate high-5s. You’re going to feel epic. You’re going to realise that you are infinitely more capable than you ever thought you were. And that’s powerful because it means you can reach higher and higher and dream bigger and bigger. So, in the last episode I talked about bridging the gap between where you are now and where you wanna be and this fear of putting yourself out there is a big part of that gap. I know it’s a big deal to you. So, if you’re thinking how this is relevant to you, I want to share some things that people have said to me.”: “I feel like I can only be successful if I show up on Stories or Facebook Lives.” “I really want to start a freelance writing business but the pressure I feel when I think about putting myself out there makes me implode.” “I don’t think I have anything to say.” “I’m never going to be as funny, or brave, or on-point as this total amazeballs person I follow.” Does this resonate with you? I’m sure you get the picture. But the reality is that everybody has to start somewhere and very few people feel comfortable when they are just starting out. So today I’m covering the new rules around putting yourself out there online and irl because if you’re listening to this podcast or reading it on my website, then I know you’re ready to forge a life less ordinary. That you’re on the verge of achieving but you need some help in getting there. You need someone to hold your hand. So I’m going to be Sonny and you can be my Cher. I got you babe! Let’s get started…. #1 Firstly, you’ve got to give yourself permission to be released from fear. We grow up spending our lives asking for permission. From our parents, our teachers and then our employers. So it makes sense that we continue to be wired to expect permission. But in YOUR life you are the boss so you don’t need to ask anybody but yourself! So maybe your fear is that people will think you are stupid, or irrelevant or not their kind of person. Or maybe you are scared of the unknown, of unchartered territory or you are scared you won’t be able to pay your bills. Let’s just take a second to acknowledge that fear… just take a second to say out loud what you’re afraid of. Now we’ve acknowledged it just give yourself permission to release that fear. Because the only person you have to ask is you. I’m going to ask that you say it out loud to yourself. “I release the fear of……” Ok, well done! Now we can move on…… #2 The most important thing: Be more you So I went to my first Mothers Meetings this week, choosing to sit in a room with 100 other mums was definitely a big deal but I knew it would be amazing and inspirational. When I heard Jenny Scott say to the audience of creative mums something “just be you” it really resonated because I say that all the time. We are ALL unique, we are ALL made up of all the little quirks that make us us, the mistakes we’ve made along the way, the people we’ve loved and the stories we’ve immersed ourselves in. So why, when it comes to “putting ourselves out there” do we clam up? What I always say to my clients is just to think about who you really are. Don’t try and be a professional version of you, or a “business” version of you, or a version of you that you think people are looking for (because they’re not). Just be you! So how this might translate to your business is to be really clear on who you are, who you are here to serve, your why and your values. Knowing your story means it’s easy to be yourself and all it takes is a bit of practice. I talked about uncovering your story in episode 2, so check it out if you haven’t already! A few ways that you can be you online is to practice writing like you’re talking to a friend, not a client. Write like you write in WhatsApp or an email to them. Talk about whatever it is that you are an expert at or something that you love to do, just talk or write in a natural way. I love to read people’s different styles of conversation on social media and think you can learn so much so I’d suggest immerse yourself for a few hours in thinking about how you want to make people feel (inspired, empowered, confident etc) and then develop a few content streams (or topics) that you feel comfortable talking about and that reflect you as a person. The end goal is for people to get to know you! It’s all about building the like, know and trust factor so help them get to know you in any way you can. For me, how that looks like is to talk about creative life and also a lot about travel and adventure because that’s a big part of who I am and it’s my big WHY. I work for myself so I can travel as much as I want to. And I want to make women have a positive mindset so everything I write is designed to achieve this. Be funny, be zany, be inspiring. Don’t be afraid to talk about the mistakes, the none-perfects part too and what you learned from them. If you can, think about how your friends would describe you and then look at how you can inject that into your business, whether you’re telling the story online or in real life with your clients. #3 Embrace the power of people and make a community I went to my first networking event YEARS ago in York. It was a complete disaster. I’m not going to mention the name of it but I have to say there weren’t many like-minded people. I was a newbie blogger who’d moved up from London and wanting to connect after moving back to my hometown. Everyone felt a bit intimidating, they all wore suits and brandished business cards. I’m sure they were all nice people but they just didn’t feel like my kind of people. I was horrified! But this time around I knew I needed to make some real life connections after living abroad for a few years and I had always wanted to go to a Mothers Meeting. From the second I walked in the door I knew this was a happy place filled with like-minded women (over 100 of them). And we started with a meditation, and a power pose and the panelists admitted how nervous they were and then we just all had a complete laugh. I felt so lifted up by finding people on my wave length and I can’t wait to get to know them better. So I guess what I’m saying is lookout for a way of connecting that feels right for you, listen to the tone of their message, check out their content. If the idea of irl meet ups totally freaks you out too much, that’s cool but you do need a bit of a community to support you in making it happen. Maybe you have a small network of friends doing the same thing and you can use each other as support, or maybe you want to be part of a small membership group or an online workshop or course. By making some new business besties you are harnessing the power of people, making new-friends and opening your heart and life up! Because, working on your own or at home can be lonely and it can be hard to stay motivated on the crap days. I can promise you that the people going through the same as you are going to be much-needed friends when you’re having a bad day or launching something new. And you can use your super-powers to serve them too, to help other people out with the things they struggle with. So, imagine what your ideal community looks like? What kind of people are they? Where are you going to hang out and what are their beliefs? Once you know all this finding a tribe that’s going to work for you will be easier than you think. #4 Show up for your business in a way that feels right for you There is NO cheat sheet for how to run a business! Of course there are the must-have’s like being able to take a big picture view, make sound financial decisions and attract clients but other than that there are no rules. One thing I hear all the time is “I’ve got to go Live or talk to camera to grow my business.” I just want to reassure you that this is not true! What I do know is that you have to be visible but you can do that in way that’s right for you and your business. Some people share everything across lots of channels and that’s perfectly OK but don’t put this pressure on yourself. If you think about it, there are some people who’s lives we feel like we know intimately, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you would buy from them. Think about the people you buy from, look at how and what they share and think about what channels you like to hang out on whether that’s You Tube or on blogs. So for me, I like to get my message out there through this podcast because for me it’s a powerful way to connect. I love podcasts and I know that having something short(fish) to listen to in their own time is going to help busy creatives have the confidence they need to grow their businesses. I don’t feel the need (yet) to talk to Instagram stories every day (although that might change) or to use too many social media platforms. I’m feeling my way through this and I hope you can too. #5 Set little goals and rewards As long as you’re making progress then I’m happy! Because this process is going to be different for everybody. If you’ve never done anything like this before then it can be really scary so my advice is to start small and work up. Maybe that looks like setting up a social media account, or maybe it’s about attending a small event, or just meeting up with someone who does something similar and swapping stories over a cuppa. Just taking the first few steps will feel so good and breathe energy and the human factor into your idea. Whatever you choose to do, setting small goals will help you towards achieving those things. So I’m going to challenge you to go write a few little goals with deadlines in your planner or journal. Maybe you’re going to be brave enough to reach out to someone in a similar area who you admire, or maybe you’re going to talk to the camera for the first time, or start to write more personality-driven Insta posts or you really want to go on a workshop run by someone you think is great. And although I know the biggest reward you’ll get is that lovely warm feeling of friendship, it’s also useful to set little rewards along the way too, whatever floats your boat! Please, I’d love for you to share any of the goals you set yourself over on #thehappycreative so I can follow your journey! #6 Being brave (AKA putting your big girl pants on) At the Mothers Meetings yesterday I felt the most incredible energy from all the creative women I met, most of whom were new mums wanting to pursue a creative business idea or blog and ALL of whom totally got it when panelist and designer @Junie Poonie called it “putting your big girl pants on.” To grow as humans, as creatives and as business owners we have to take those steps. We owe it to our dreams to work through our fears and doubts. We have to move forward because what does the alternative look like? And going back to what I said at the start, when you start to connect with people you are going to get the best, most juiciest feeling. Like when you meet a friend for life, or you’ve spent time laughing with your girlfriends, this is going to feel so good! Because we put those fears to one side and we start taking baby steps (or big girl steps if you prefer) then we are making PROGRESS and it’s most definitely a case of progress over perfection. So now I’d really encourage you to start to work towards those little goals you put on. To make some meaningful and intentional connections with people who are going to make you feel good, to put your big girl pants on and just get on with it for the sake of you, your business or idea and, well your LIFE! The post Episode 5: Big Pants, Being You And The Power Of Community: How To Put Yourself Out There appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
12 minutes | Jan 24, 2019
If You Have A Big Business Dream But Don't Know Where To Start
In this episode of the podcast I’m sharing my ideas on turning a big creative business dream into reality. I’m focusing on the point when you have already decided what your future is but you need a bit of help in taking the leap and bridging the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be. This is the first stage of making your business a reality. I’m covering: Bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be. Uncovering your business dream and sharing it. Acknowledging what might be holding you back. Making your business all about your clients. How to show up as you in your business. Making a plan to make your idea happen. LINKS + RESOURCES A Feel-good business plan for bloggers, freelances and creatives. Episode 3 of The Happy Creative: On Creating Better Content For Your Business (and Pro Writing Tips) THE FULL EPISODE BELOW: I’m so happy to be back here to chat with you all today! Last week was a big one, releasing this podcast into the world felt scary but makes me smile every single time I think about it and the feedback I’ve had from you guys has been incredible. I’m so grateful so I have to start by saying thank you, a big, big thank you from the bottom of my heart for your emails, messages, listens, shares and love. I launched this podcast – despite not liking my voice at all or how I sound when I listen back to it – because my mission is to inspire you on your journey with your creative business journey. I do that through this podcast and the ever-growing free resources on my website, ruthhoskins.com and through my email community where I go a little bit deeper into my creative life, it’s kind of like my journal that I share only with my subscribers. I believe so much that investing in ourselves and learning like this can only go one way – up! I think it’s so exciting when we have a big creative dream that keeps ticking away in our minds but I know the gap between where we are and where our heart aches to be can feel HUGE! It’s a bit like standing at the edge of a canyon where you’re scared of failing and vulnerable or you just don’t have a clear way of breaking down something big into something small and actionable. So today I want to help you bridge that gap! Because I know from my own experience and from my clients is that having a plan makes everything have more clarity and purpose. By the end of this episode there will be actionable steps that you can take away to start making your dream happen. We are going to work on uncovering your dream, figure out what is holding you back, how to make your business dream all about your clients but be infused with who you are and I’m really hoping at the end you can write up a vision for your future business. So let’s dive in! #1 Uncovering your dream If you close your eyes and picture the other side of that gaping canyon, that scary gap, what do you see? Just getting clear on our dreams feels really good, and sharing them feels even better. So I always say to people dream big and then dream bigger. Let’s start with your wildest creative dream and then start to reverse engineer a plan to make it all happen. I’m so passionate about reverse engineering because I love strategy and I see people have those lightbulb moments when they start to figure out that they can make this happen. I’ll share my dream with you. I like to think I can create a space on the internet that is like the biggest, most fun meet up/co-working space you can imagine. It’s a beach house that’s filled with music and paintings and art and tropical plants and it serves all-day dim sum and we sell cool branded stuff raising money for good causes. And I’m working face-to-face coaching clients too and the community is working together to help each others businesses thrive. I love thinking of this dream when I’m feeling uninspired or I’m having a bad day. So my big goal is to build this space online through a community centred around my podcast but my bigger dream is to create this space irl too, either as a series of retreats or in a permanent home so I’m working on how that could happen. My podcast is just the first step in making that all happen. So to recap going to ask you again, what’s your dream? Who are you working for, what are you serving them? What is your mission? # 2 What is holding you back from achieving it right now? Now, I already know your answer is probably going to be the thing that your inner demon tells you when you need it least. You’re too busy already, you’ll never be good enough, you won’t find clients because there are too many people doing it already, or that it’s too early or late. Does that sound familiar? Those little demons are bitches! I don’t think we should focus too much on the negatives but I think acknowledging the things that are holding you back is an important step. You know when you’re told as a child that saying something out loud it becomes less scary? It’s true for us as grown-ups too and I firmly believe that anyone can make it at anything. The most successful people I know are not the busiest, in fact they know how important it is not to get wrapped up in being busy. It really is never too late, there’s no magic formula it’s just a question of showing up every day and plugging away at making it all happen. Sometimes we all need a little reminder that we are already good enough, that we have a gift or that it’s never too late to build the business that you love (and deserve). This is where having some support in your journey can make a big difference. An accountability partner. That could look like a mentor, or business bestie you rely on, or a coach like me. Someone to cheer you on and support you in making it all happen, someone to run things by and know they are dedicated to helping you put out the best work you can. # 3 Put yourself into the picture What are you really good at? What’s your super power that you can bring to your dream? How can you bring it alive and show up for your dream clients and customers? What are your values and beliefs and passions and are any of those relevant to your business? This is about honing in on what you bring to the party, what makes you uniquely awesome! Maybe you have super-vibey personality and connect easily with people? Maybe you are full of ideas and you want to bring that into your business? Or maybe community is very important to you and that needs to be reflected in how you build your business. What I like to say to my clients is that we all have some secret ingredients – the things that make us us! We also don’t need to share every part of who we are but deciding what is relevant to your clients and helps them get to know you is a big step. It’s all about building the like, know and trust factor. I also think at this stage it’s good to identify where we need to learn on behalf of our future business. So for a lot of the amazing creatives I work with, they have the creative talent (i.e. the thing they do) but they know they need to learn the art of online business. I believe as creative business owners we HAVE to be committed to learning as part of our journey, because we don’t have a team of experts to hand and usually have a limited budget. And there is so much help out there to help us learn, whether that’s grappling with website (not so difficult now thanks to SquareSpace), or design (hello Canva) or writing (totally possible for anyone to learn how to create compelling content, you can check out my last episode about creating better content and pro writing tips if you haven’t yet listened). I’m not a life coach, I’m much more focused on the practicalities of growing a business online but I do help people with confidence and mindset issues because I see time and time again that once people start to crack the things that they thought they couldn’t do (like creating an awesome online home for their work, or finding their first client) then they can see that this dream is really happening. So my message to you is this: Put yourself into your dream, what role do you play? How to bring your values and beliefs into your business? And consider what skills you need to learn so you can think about what support you need it making that happen. Maybe that’s listening to podcasts, or taking some online courses or going to a workshop. #4 Serving dream clients and customers So now we’ve explored your big dream, we need to think about who we are serving and how we can add value to the people you really want to serve (and eventually sell to). Lots of people get a bit stuck at this point, but writing down 5-10 types of dream clients or customers and thinking about how you can serve them through your online content is going to bring you clarity. What do they struggle with? What are their hopes and desires? What can you do that enriches their lives in some way? Do you want to make a blog or a podcast the heart of your business? Or build an email list? Maybe you want to focus on social media as your main channel to attract people back to your online home where they can learn more and eventually buy your signature offer. So maybe you’re a nutritionist and you really want to connect and work with busy working women who need some help achieving balance and make healthier lifestyle choices. So you decide to serve them by creating a podcast where you interview women about their lifestyles. This this all leads in towards selling a course that you’ve written as well as live workshops too. The list that you write here will underpin your content strategy and give you the content streams, topics and themes that you can talk about to reach out to your dream clients and customers. #5 Making a plan I know for some people the idea of a business plan is daunting but I really believe it can be done with clarity and purpose so that it feels really good! However you want to make your plan, just having it is the important thing! It’s ever evolving but it really is so important to do because it’s like committing your dream to paper and in itself that’s an important act. You should definitely include: Your vision, your mission, your why Your dream customers and clients and how you can enrich their lives What you bring to the party (how will your business be infused with your personality, your values, beliefs + passions) Your signature offer, packages or products How you are going to serve and connect with your clients (the content, so that’s through blog, podcast, social posts, Stories, video, free content, emails etc) Where your dream clients hang out & how you will show up there and build the like, know, trust factor What your working week looks like Your financial goals for each month Priority projects to start to make it all happen (building an online home, how you’re going on onboard people, sales channels, designing your brand, going to a local meet up, freeing up time to work “on” your business.) OK so we’re coming to the end of this episode. I always like to give my clients a bit of homework, so I’m challenging you to write up the vision for your business. If you want a guide for this you can head over to my website ruthhoskins.com/freebies and sign up for all my resources which includes a feel-good business plan template and also a workbook to uncover your North Star if you’re not quite at the making it happen stage right now. Before we finish I just want to leave you with this quote by Barbara Sher: “As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning.” I am SO excited to follow your journey. The post Episode 4: If You’ve Got A Creative Business Dream But Don’t Know Where To Start? appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
14 minutes | Jan 14, 2019
Creating Better, Faster, More Purposeful Content + Pro Writing Tips
In this episode of The Happy Creative podcast I’m talking all things content. Anyone who knows me knows that content is my favourite topic! It’s also the currency of the internet right now so as a small business owner, you’ve got to get your head in a content mindset. In this episode I’m sharing my own content strategy and approach as well as some pro writing tips that are going to change the way you create content right away. HERE’S WHAT I TALK ABOUT: The content struggle and juggle. How to do it better, in less time and with more impact. Committing to a time slot in your week for content development and why it doesn’t matter how much time you have as long as you’re consistent. A reminder on the importance of knowing your story. Creating content streams based on themes and topics that relate to your story. Purpose and re-purposing! My 5 key pro writing tips to start to create more sparkly content right away.RESOURCES AND LINKS: The 5 Big Questions I Asked Myself To Uncover My Business Story Uncover Your Story workbook Beth Kirby READ THE EPISODE HERE: Do you struggle to write sparkly, on-point and high-impact emails, Instagram posts and web copy? Do you worry that you’re the life and soul in real life but reflecting that in your online content, social media posts and emails is so hard? I totally get that and I know it doesn’t feel good. So today, I’m going to share with you the strategy I used to learn to create better content that has more purpose in a more efficient way. I taught myself this approach over years of trial and error and I grew my last business to multiple six-figures and a team of seven people using this exact approach. Content that reaches out to the hearts and minds of the people you want to work with. Let’s face it, if you have a business then content is the currency of the internet. Even if your business is not totally online, this approach will help you hone your writing skills and reevaluate your web content, your social channels and your emails. The other good thing, this applies to any online service of product-based business that wants a proven DIY and low-budget way to attract the clients you want to work with. I hope you’re as excited as I am to dive in. So the first part of today is going to cover my approach to having a content plan. The second part is where I share a few pro writing tips that you can easily adopt to make the things you write stand out and capture attention. So, onto content planning! I’m going to keep it simple here by sharing how I plan out content in the most efficient way possible (and believe me, I have tried so many different approaches – this works and takes very little time when you set up a simple process). #1 Commitment I’m not going to lie here, your commitment to getting better at creating content is a bit of a game-changer. You don’t have to spend hours every single week but you do have to show up consistently. Consider what you need to write (emails to your subscribers, social media posts, client testimonials, flyers, meatier content as lead magnets) and set yourself a time limit that you are comfortable with each week to create them. The good thing is you will get better and faster over time. If you need anymore convincing on this consider this: Bigger businesses pay people to help them do this, but as small business owners we’ve got to get results on a shoestring, and the work you put in to creating high-impact content that your future clients love, will bring mean you spend less (if anything) on paid marketing. # 2: Knowing your story So now I know I’ve got your commitment, let’s revisit the story of your business and your clients. In short it’s the problem – the solution and the result, a three-act show brought to life with vivid details that make it interesting (why you created this business, the problems you can help your dream clients and customers with right now and in the future, why you’re unique and the path you took to bring your dream to life with an added dose of emotion and openness about your journey to here.) We covered this in episode 2 so if you didn’t hear it yet, go find it, I think it will help you! #3 Content streams Every content ninja keeps a topic list. I use notes on my phone and laptop but you can use anything, and add to it as you go. I take inspiration from listening to what people struggle with irl and on social media (I think listening to people share is one of my favourite things about social media). Write down a list of topics that address each of your client’s (or customer types) frustrations or struggles. So if you’re a yoga teacher create topics around motivation, reaching a transformation stage and how to bring the post-class feel-good factor into their every day life. I know that you struggle with some of the detail of building their own business: revenue streams, pricing, making a plan, building an audience or writing content and every piece of content answers these problems at every stage of business my future clients are at. Keep it focused too, you don’t need a big topic list. In my business I talk about all things creative business, adventure (i.e. the result of creating a lifestyle business) and content + marketing strategies. I don’t share much about my family life (I’m not shy, but I’m also not a parent blogger) or about lifestyle (fashion, food) because even though I love those things, they’re not going to make my dream clients want to buy from me. #4 The purpose I try and avoid the word strategy because I find it freaks people out a bit, but the more intentional you are on the purpose of your content then the faster you will build the know, trust and like factor. And this applies to every single piece of content you create, whether it’s an email update, or a reminder on Stories about a new service to a product description. At the top of every piece you write, make a note of the purpose, who this piece of content is for, how you are going to make them feel and what action you want them to take when they’ve read it. Maybe it’s an email and you want them to watch a video, or maybe it’s an Instagram post and you want to invite action by asking them to double tap or tag a friend. So much content I see out there lacks this sense of purpose, you have to tell your people what you want them to do. The internet is not a place for second-guessing, you’ll lose them after five seconds otherwise. #5 Repurposing This is not the same as cheating or spamming people with the same thing over and over. Did you know that people actually like to be told the same thing multiple times? It’s classic storytelling that you keep the plot simple but you reuse themes. What I’m saying here started life as a podcast will end up as Instagram posts, be expanded into meaty resources for my email list and used on future guest posts. #6 Batch work ok so batch working has seriously upped my content output levels. Rather than skit from one thing to the next each day I divide my week up into client work, content writing, podcast production and marketing. Then I write three things on my list to write/record/produce each day. If you haven’t tried working like this, I really suggest you do! It works! If you have a service based business it’s about getting clear on which days you are doing client work and what time you have available for creating content that is going to market and sell your business. So now you have all the tools to go and create a content plan that tells your story, that is all about your future clients and saves you endless hours of thinking about what to write and when, I’m going to talk about some pro writing tips. Do you sit there worrying why you have so much to say when you are with your girlfriends, or family but nothing seems to come to mind when you sit down and write? I’ve been there before. So here are my tips to reach out to your dream clients hearts and minds with every piece of content you produce! Pro tip #1 – tell a story Did you know we are all kids at heart? As well as having the attention spans of nits, we are much more likely to respond to (or read on) if someone is telling us a story rather than a bunch of information. It doesn’t always have to have a beginning and an end either, but can use forms of narrative…”I was talking to a client the other day and they told me I had transformed their life” is going to have more impact than “I transform my clients lives through my (insert) service.” As an example, maybe you’re a wedding photographer and you want to remind people of how they felt when they got engaged so rather than say something like “I’m a wedding photographer and I capture the special moments on the biggest day of your life” how about something like this? “Do you want to bottle that giddy, weak-at-the-knees feeling you got when your partner proposed? I’m a wedding photographer and I make sure you are flooded with that feeling every time you open your album. Want to hire me?” Pro tip #2 – involve your audience Remember, we are all kids! We need to be told what to do. You can tell the best story in the world but if people don’t engage with it it’s not going to do the job it needs to. I apply this to everything I write. Ask a question, invite your audience to tag a friend, click through to read or comment, or hit reply and tell you something you’d like to know. Get vulnerable and people will open up to you. Whatever it is you’re writing, make sure you tell people what you’d like them to do with the story you’re telling them. Pro-tip #3 – bullet-out content Subheads are there for a reason – to help the reader stop, take stock, absorb what they’ve just read and be ready to move on to the next part of your story. I always start my content plan with just a title and the bullet points. These bullets are the subheads. This has so many benefits, that I promise you you need to do this! It forces me to stay focused and stick to the story and purpose of that piece of content. It also makes me super efficient because when I have an idea for content, I write the title and subheads into my notes so that when I come to write it, there’s already a clear brief! I can write with more intention (and speed). What’s not to love? Pro tip #4 – Start your post/email/copy with an irresistible hook I got an email the other day and it started “This is my story and it’s a messy one.” How could I not read? It was actually from Beth Kirby, who’s podcast, writing and photography I’m a massive fan of. She went on to talk about the impact of mental health on her business journey in a pretty emotive way. I felt all the feels for her, and I felt better about my own journey knowing that other creative entrepreneurs that I admire also had to deal with tough times. I also felt like I got to know more about her than her beautifully created Instagram feed let’s in, which builds in the know, like and trust factor. In short it had IMPACT. I’m not saying you have to have a big, dramatic story underneath to share, but what I do believe is that you have to use emotion, humour, or suspense. You’ve got to grab your audiences attention. Imagine you’re a stylist and you want to email / flyer your past customers. Which of these email headers are you going to click on? number 1 “Offering all my clients a wardrobe declutter to start the new year for £200.” or number 2 “Miss the memo on what not to wear in 2019? No sweat, I’ve got all the goods…” So, as a little exercise, I suggest that you go back to a web page you’re not entirely happy with, or an email you sent recently and just considering these tips above rework it with a hook. Look back at your old social posts and think about how you can add more impact. Write a new sales page for your website that commands attention. And be brave to take a few hours out to write down some content tiles with bullets that you can come back to when you have time. OK, so there you have this overview of how to become a content ninja! I have so much more to say on this subject but we’ll save this for another time! I hope this has given you the confidence and inspiration to take some small but intentional steps towards creating better content that your tribe loves! The post The Happy Creative, Episode 3: Create Better Content appeared first on Ruth Hoskins.
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