make peace with your purpose.

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Hello!  I hope you started with the intro on day 1.  In case you missed it, I just edited it to add this disclaimer:

This is not a step-by-step list of a formula to follow to grow your email list, set up a sales funnel, etc.  There are so many of those around (some of which are really good, and others with lack luster advice).  What this is intended to be is a round up of tips to help you keep your business wholehearted and genuine as you grow.  Sometimes we get so inundated with emails and programs with all the step-by-step advice of things you must do now (!) in order to be successful.  My purpose is to remain focused on the heart of creative business while working on those necessary action items.

I thought it was important to point that out because as I was thinking about all the topics I've listed for each day, I wanted to make sure that the purpose of this series was clear.  

While this is not a step-by-step program to follow, it's also not "fluff" (you know fluff when you see it.. a bunch of filler content that really doesn't mean much, and after you've read it you wonder why you wasted your time).  

What I hope to do here is share some valuable advice and reminders about keeping the heart the focus while using your head to grow your business.

The focus today is

make peace with your purpose.

As in YOUR unique, one of a kind purpose.  It's so easy to fall into the comparison trap in creative business.  You see so many other creatives who seem to have it all together and you look at their work and think, "I wish I could do that!  Why didn't I think of that?" Or you have a great idea and while you're in the planning stages, you see someone else is doing something similar so you get discouraged and wonder if what you're doing even matters (spoiler alert: It does!).  

While it's not possible for every person who wants to have a creative business to think of something completely new and innovative, it IS possible for you to put your own unique touch on what you do.  

Take the chocolate chip cookie for example.  What if there were only one recipe ever created for this classic treat?  Aren't you glad that there are variations and spin-offs?  What if Ken Rawlings, founder of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies decided not to bake chocolate cookies because it's already been done?  My very favorite cookie is a version of chocolate chip + some secret ingredients that all together taste like heaven, which are only available when parents check kids in at a summer camp in the Santa Cruz mountains.  It's what I look forward to most each summer when I take my kids there.  I'm so happy that someone came up with that unique recipe!

And so it is with creative business.  We can't let discouragement stop us from pursuing our dreams just because someone else is already doing something similar.  Just like a favorite cookie recipe, you add your own special ingredient (YOU) to the things you make and the business you create.  Don't worry about what others are doing or the way they're doing it.  Just be true to you and trust your instincts.

The other part of making peace with your purpose is to embrace your calling.  You were created with purpose that no-one else can fill.  I often wish that I had certain talents that I see in others, but God didn't call me to those things.  He put passions and dreams in me that are unique to me.  Instead of wishing to be like someone else, or feeling inadequate because I can't do something as well as someone else, my job is to do what God has called me to do, and do it with all my heart.  

One time when I was driving by myself (some of my best prayer and worship times), I was comparing myself to someone, wishing I had their gifts, and I remember so clearly the Lord whispered to me, "Why do you despise who I created you to be?"  Yikes!  I don't want to do that.  I want to step into all that He has put inside me and purposed for me, not getting distracted by what others are doing or they way they're doing it.  I'm reminded of an old song by Amy Grant.

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I'm still hurting, wondering if I'll ever be the one
I think I am--I think I am. 
Then you gently re-remind me
That You've made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst. 
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who
You are, who You are. 
And all I ever have to be is what
You've made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You've made me

"All I Ever Have to Be" is available on Amy Grant's album The Collection   (not an affiliate link... just thought you might like to listen!)  I also found it on YouTube here.

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Inspiration and resources to encourage you in creativity, faith, dreaming big and taking action