Well, I never actually sold crack. So Mom, Dad, you can now resume breathing.
But for the last eight years, I have definitely been hustling. As a freelance writer, my primary goal has been making money. I’m proud of the hundreds of magazine and web articles I’ve written for numerous national, well-respected publications—I’ve always aimed to include some capital-T truth in every article I’ve written, no matter the subject. But I’ve begun to feel more like a service provider than a writer or journalist. Oh, you want 1,000 words on this subject in this tone with these experts? Peachy! Oh, you changed your mind and now you want 500 words in a snappy tone with a completely different expert? No problem!
I’ve been daydreaming about completely changing up my business model—writing my own content, cultivating my own tribe, and putting my passion for helping frazzled women feel more fulfilled at the top of my priority list. I’ve even started working with an incredible business coach who has helped me truly see how I’ve created the reality that I find myself in today, and map out the steps to the new reality I wanted to create.
But I didn’t have my a-ha moment until I heard Jay-Z on Fresh Air. I’m not a huge hip-hop fan. My musical tastes are more classic soul and whatever the genre is that includes Wilco, the Jayhawks, and Gillian Welch. But he’s clearly successful. He sampled the Annie soundtrack in one of his songs. He’s engaged to Beyonce. I was intrigued.
The interview started with Jay-Z telling Terri Gross about his upbringing in the Marcy projects in Bed-Stuy. Born in 1969, Jay-Z was a teenager when crack came on the scene in the mid-80s. He said that, in his neighborhood, you were either smoking crack or selling it. He sold it. (“I was just thinking about sneakers,” he said when Terri asked him if he ever had qualms about selling drugs to his neighbors.)
But what Jay-Z really loved was music. He wrote his first rhymes when he was 9. With the money he made selling drugs, Jay-Z would buy sporadic studio time, record a couple of songs, then go back to the streets to earn some more money. Then he said the line that struck me: “It wasn’t until I decided to focus on music 100% that things started happening. And look where I am today.”
The clouds opened, the birds sang, and I thought, I have to stop selling crack!
It was probably the closest I will ever come to being gangsta.
I am so delighted to report that I am in full swing on focusing on creating some juicy MsMindbody goodies for you and all the people you know who are one tantrum, or flat tire, or flu or (insert your disaster du jour here) from losing their ever-lovin’ minds.
I’ll still be happy to write articles for editors I respect on topics that intrigue me, but from here on out, I’m going to stop waiting for people to pick me (props to Judi Ketteler for spelling it out so eloquently) and start being my own boss. For real.
My business coach, Darla La Doux, always says that what you focus on grows. I hereby choose to focus on creating things that will help people feel calmer, clearer, lighter, and stronger than ever. It will take me a little while to debut them, but when I do, you can remember this newsletter and think, “I remember when this all started.”
Whether you’re a new subscriber or have been with me since the beginning (which was now 6 years ago!), thank you for coming on this ride with me. The best is yet to come.
Take care and keep breathing,
GIVE THE GIFT OF CHILL
Do your part to reduce stress in the world by giving my book, The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide, as a gift this holiday. I’ll sign it, wrap it, and send it straight to your recipient (if you like), thereby reducing your stress too. I’ll be raising the price of the book in the new year, so order now while the gettin’ is good!
BOSTON-AREA PEOPLE, COME HEAR ME SPEAK JANUARY 28
I’ll be at the Be Healthy Boston expo on Saturday, January 28th, talking about how to navigate your way to total wellness by trusting your gut, opening your heart, and walking the walk. The expo is shaping up to be an amazing opportunity to sample fitness classes, meet all kinds of local health care providers, discover new wellness products, and spend the day in the company of like-minded people.