I spend a great deal of time with entrepreneurs. Some have baby businesses that have just started. Some have earned millions. And heck, some are on Shark Tank.
There’s one line of thinking that every successful entrepreneur refuses to follow down the rabbit hole: the “should” thoughts.
I call the place where those thoughts reside…Shouldville.
Shouldville is a place where you get stuck thinking, “Oh, this isn’t professional” Or “This is too much.” Or “This should be more general” or “This should be more specific.” “This shouldn’t be done the way I’m doing it.” “This shouldn’t be happening.” “I should be further along by now.”
You’re sidelined from your real work – whatever your real work happens to be – by the thoughts telling you you’re not good enough, brave enough, creative enough, or smart enough.
Forget about the shoulds. Forget about what “should” be happening in business based on the latest magazine article or poll or trend.
Everything you create is for YOUR business. No one else’s.
If you decide, “Hey! This is what I want to do for my business,” then forget everybody else’s opinions and get to gettin’.
When it comes to writing for my business – which is the bulk of my work during any given week – I keep an editorial calendar. This means I outline what I’m going to write about, and I keep it fresh by recording my moments of genius.
But, this calendar is loose. If I’m, like, “F*** it! I’m not going to write about X topic,” then that’s it. I don’t get caught up in, “Aww! I should do that because its written on my calendar.”
That’s a one-way track to Shouldville, and it’s a big waste of time.
According to experts, my way is all wrong. I should have posts scheduled for you months in advance in case of emergency. In reality, I typically only write the posts that you see a few days — possibly a few hours — before you see them.
Please don’t assume I’m some sort of superwoman by thinking, “Ohh! I bet she has her articles for the next six months all done.” No. Part of the thing that my peeps love about the way that I write is that I’m always writing about where I am and what’s on my mind.
I should also have something on sale at all times – I’m a business owner, right? But I don’t. For the majority of the time, I’m writing for you without your ability to send money my way.
I should not take time off to hug orphans – who ever heard of such a thing? How can I just leave my business for weeks? (As the guy in line behind me on the way home from Kenya said, “Did you get enough of that humanitarian stuff?”)
I should also not swear. Because my Mom says I’m such a pretty girl, and why do I have to curse like that?
Unfortunately, these “should”s don’t change my reality, and they certainly don’t result in more productive hours for my business. They only serve to dumb me down, make me appeal more to people I don’t care to appeal to, and keep me from serving the people I love most. (Um, that’d be you.)
Remember: you ARE allowed to make it up as you go along.
It’s your business, and it will be better off without any trips to Shouldville.
P.S. It’s okay to be weird.