A Heart & Gut-Based Business Plan


Last week, I attended a four-day event for women business owners. It was a small mastermind group led by an amazing coach who confirmed for me something that I know but that can also be scary and really hard to do.

Here it is: Trust yourself.

When I first began my journey in this online space, I vividly recall publishing my very first blog post on my very first WordPress.com website.

I was terrified.

In the post, I declared, “I am a writer.” This was something I hadn’t ever had the courage to say. I also shared that I had started my first novel. I knew that if I was going to publish a novel, I needed to get comfortable with the idea of people actually reading my writing. But, when it came to that blog post I was both afraid that people would read it and paradoxically, that no one would read it.

Starting that blog, regularly publishing blog posts, and sharing them on social media worked. My confidence in my writing grew. I finished that novel and another.

I followed my gut and took those baby steps to begin to redefine myself as a writer.

Then, I got a little lost.

I discovered the world of online courses, marketing and #allthethings. I veered away from my gut because the good girl in me wanted to do this whole online thing “right” – whatever that is, and in wanting to do everything “right” I forgot about the ME part of my business.

When I look back over the course of the past seven years and my online ventures, the most successful moments I’ve had were ones where I followed my heart and my gut, where I created offerings that made me happy and fulfilled a need for clients, and I shared those offerings in a way that were authentic to me.

My most frustrating moments were when I followed some online plan for how I “should” run my business, whether that was through following a certain launch plan for a program, following some hard-sell script when I was on the phone with clients because “this is how you should sell,” or through packaging my services in a specific way because that’s “what works.”

It’s not.

I’m learning (slowly but surely) that my business is just that…MY business. And I get to show up and serve in a way that serves my clients AND me. This has been a bit of a lesson for the people pleaser and perfectionist in me – she’s currently banished from my creative space though she tries to get back in every day though she still tries to perch on my shoulders and oversee my work.

My current coach made an interesting point that the word nerd in me latched onto. Have you ever looked at the word “shoulders”?

When I get overly busy, stressed, or frustrated, I feel it in my shoulders. They get tense and tight and congeal somewhere just below my ear lobes. My coach broke the word “shoulder” down for me, and I had a jaw-dropping aha moment.

Your shoulders are your “should-ers.” Several years ago, I wrote a whole post on my writer blog about not “shoulding” on myself, and now I have a physical cue for when I am shoulding on myself.

My should-ers show me.

And I get the should-ers when I’m not trusting myself and instead doing what I think I should do rather than taking the steps that feel good in my heart and gut.

The other thing she pointed out is that my shoulders are between my heart and head and when they get tense, I totally live in my head and don’t drop down into my heart for guidance, and it’s when I’m out of my head that my business feels great.

Our bodies have such important messages for us, and I’m finally learning to tune in and listen to mine, to TRUST the feedback that I’m getting, and it feels really good.

When you think of your website or the tech surrounding your website, where do you feel that in your body? I feel it in my heart because website and tech is so fun. It’s like quilting in pixels. I love playing with the visuals as well as breaking down the strategy.

Most of my clients don’t feel this way. They feel tension in their shoulders or deep in their gut with lovely nauseous feeling when they think of the tech.

If this is you, if you’re ready to declare that your website isn’t your zone of genius, my next custom web design slot is open in mid-April, and I have room for two template-based semi-custom sites beginning in March and launching toward the end of April.

What is a semi-custom site? I will coach you through defining your website goals, creating a visual identity, and writing your copy. Then, I will install a customizable WordPress template and fully customize it for you.

This is a great option for those of you who are not sure where to start with your website and need 1:1 guidance and support in getting launched and visible.

Let’s get your site launched and your heart-based business visible.



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