My entire life has been an uphill battle of learning how to navigate through this world in a successful way. I have tried everything! I have had gym memberships, therapists, diets, all natural living, quit alcohol, taken vitamins, juiced, quit milk, quit wheat, read self-help books, detoxed, made big life changes, moved, went to college, etc…. I felt that after all of this goodness something would catch on and I would all of a sudden be “fixed.” But I still felt miserable because nothing changed inside of me that made a big impact. I looked at my accomplishments and failures. It all looked okay, but I didn’t want to be just okay. I knew there was a greater purpose for me because I wanted an amazing life!
Every day I woke up on a mission to change my status quo. That was really my first step into being a true soulpreneur…making it my mission to do and try everything for Red Unicorn Media’s sake. Well, that is what I told myself at least I said, “This is for Red Unicorn. It needs to survive and thrive.” So I looked around and tried everything. I listened intently to the people succeeding and followed what they did. It was the epitome of looking at what “she” (the better entrepreneur) was doing. So what did all successful entrepreneurs talk about and do that I didn’t do? Here is a quick list:
“What is she doing that I am not doing that/ What do I need to do to be better/ Maybe one day I will be like her” kind of list:
- Holistic lifestyle
- Getting out into nature
- Getting vulnerable and honest
- Standing in her power
- Talking to the universe
- Deep-diving her “why”
- Sending love to people she dislikes. Lol!
- Being okay with who she is
- Being authentic
- Understanding what authenticity really is
- Forgiving people who have hurt her in her past
- Using crystal energy
- Sending messages to the universe
- Going to retreats
- Helping people with nothing expected in return
- Being positive and happy and understanding what this is and looks like to her
- Master Manifestor
- Showing up
- Creating value
- Being strong minded and getting up after she was knocked down
- Releasing what no longer serves her
- Wanting more and knowing that it is not selfish to be this way
- Being visible and standing in her truth
This was HER list that I wanted to conquer. It was daunting but a lot of it came so naturally. Why? Because in reality this list was mine and always had been. I only needed to write it down to begin the manifesting power I held in my heart. Once I began going through the list one by one, something terrible happened! The list became my secret obsession. At one point I was so in my head about manifesting that I think I manifested a total monster. LOL! Because if you know or you don’t know, the universe doesn’t know the difference between good and bad, it only acknowledges what you are concentrating the most on. So…as I concentrated really hard on becoming successful, I feared so much that I would fail…which in turn became my failure.
One by one I went through my list and one by one I failed. The difference I made in my life and business was going at it again and again. I looked for patterns and let go of what didn’t work. I tried everything when it came to technology, marketing,and psychology. I looked at myself naked in the rain and got excited when something finally came to light. Win after win I began making traction and I started understanding something truly epic: All the things I wanted didn’t have anything to do with my business! It had EVERYTHING to do with my soul, heart,and effort. It was ME and not my college degree, not my experience working for places like Rolling Stone, and not my pricing, clients or artistic skills; it was me and only me all along.
So as I went through my list again I thought with my heart and associated it all with my personal soul. I treated my clients and the way I signed my clients in a very personal way. When something didn’t work out, I looked at me instead of blaming others. I saw my faults as signals that I needed to go in another direction. And you know what? Every month I made more money, had more wins, and was offered great things. These things never would have come to me or my business had I not looked deeply at me instead of the outlying things that didn’t really matter, such as my pricing, services, or marketing practices.
Another amazing and key component that has occurred by living my list is that through all my experience and clients, I have truly found the secret to living a happier life. I am conquering all my fears and monsters that no psychologist, self-help book, or inspiring movie could ever cure me of. And every time I go through a “situation” in business, I wonder how I can handle it differently and in a more heart-centered way now or in the future. I didn’t notice it at the time, but I literally have crossed off almost all those list items now. So what can this mean for my future? I am HER. I am the person I always wanted to be and all it took was becoming an online entrepreneur for a year. I can’t imagine what the universe has in store for me next!
Giving up on my business essentially would have been giving up on myself personally. Don’t give up on YOU. Get out there and make a list of what SHE has that you don’t. Examine that list carefully and realize that it is YOUR list and always has been.
Love you. xoxo, A.J.
One of my secrets is that I was not born on the internet. Nope. I am an 80’s baby and my generation was the last one to beat the onset of all the videos, chatting, and nonsense all of our kids are going through now. I always thank the universe for letting me slip by because if it had been popular and accessible to take videos from our cell phones (didn’t even have one until I was 18!), I would have been all over the internet. Seriously. I was a pretty, party animal and a rebel at heart. Even though I am outgoing when the whole Myspace and Facebook rage hit I was left unimpressed. I literally looked at the online life as pathetic, dangerous, and creepy. Does that make me sound old? Probably. So no, I wasn’t born on the internet and it was never my wheelhouse or place to create a unicorn empire like you see now.
So why the change of heart? Simple, but totally unexpected…I got a puppy! Kingsley The Great White. And yes, that is his legal registered name. He is a beautiful English Golden Retriever and my first dog. From the moment I met him I knew he was “the one.” While all the other pups were staying close by each other, Kingsley was off in the ferns making up his own adventure. He strayed away from the pack each time and I could relate big time. I picked him up and held him like a real baby. We looked at each other and the rest is history. He is two years old now and looking back, I know he is my personal hero and angel. He has taught me so much and if it wasn’t for him, Red Unicorn Media would not be here today.
The reason I ever got on Facebook only two years ago was that I was so afraid that I wouldn’t be able to potty train my little bitty white seal. I never went online and thought, “I am going to grow an artistic branding company that becomes my unicorn empire.” Far from it, in fact. I logged my breeder received my pleas for help and quickly pointed me to a closed Facebook group, “where everyone has the same kind of dog.” She said I could ask questions and people would answer. She was right! I trained Mister (My nickname for him) in only a few weeks. He is so smart. I was on there for a year before even venturing into all this online business and visibility jazz. While in that group I met a beautiful soul who thought I might like a marketing group she was in. AND THAT’S WHEN IT ALL HAPPENED.
Because of my success and love for online relationships, most of my clients and friends find it really hard to believe that I really have only been in this for over a year. But in entrepreneurship and the online business world, we kind of work in dog years. I made such big leaps using visibility to my advantage that it is as if I have been doing this for 7 years not 1! And this is not because I had a big wallet or luck. It is simply me getting more visible, vulnerable, and accepting of letting it all in and all out. Sort of like a breathing in and out.
I never realized how closed off and blocked off I was to the world and to accepting good things into my life before becoming visible and SEEN online. I was afraid of all sorts of things just like you are. I thought it would be dangerous. I thought people didn’t really care about my personal thoughts, or that I loved digging up quartz crystals, or trail running state lands. I really thought that my services were meaningful but that my personal life was separate and not part of the business package. I was still living my past life after putting my website up for the first time in 2015 and struggling to create first posts with my offerings.
We all start from the beginning and the beginning will always feel like entering the room for the first time at a party. You feel like everyone is checking you out and counting your flaws. You head for the bar and try to quiet the voice in your head that is saying all the things that sound so negative but so true to you. Why are they true? Because you say they are you invented the voice. How do I know this? Because I also have a voice and it is not a very nice one, either! I have hushed her and reprogrammed my voice to be nurturing, wild, and imperfect. It takes time and at the start, I had to jump even though I couldn’t see the floor. I had to trust myself that no matter what I said, or did, everything was going to be okay and I wasn’t going to lose my clients because of it.
I started showing up online a lot. I began saying everything and anything I wanted to and educating my audience on who the heck I was. I opened up my mind to them and what do you know? I started working with clients that I love, adore, and respect. For the first time in my life, clients were coming back to me and saying the most wonderful things about my art and personal life. It didn’t make sense at first because I had been programmed for so long with the lie that business is business and personal is separate. I will tell you right now that there are big-time signs you are not being visible online. They are keeping you from working with your ideal clients, making more money, and creating the life of wild and fun freedom that your soul desires so much! Here is a list of signs. If any of these sound like you then you are not having as much fun and visibility in your business as you could be:
23 WARNING SIGNS YOU HAVE A VISIBILITY PROBLEM
- Your profile picture is your logo
- You don’t post every single day
- All your posts are professional
- You don’t do facebook LIVE every week
- You resist doing video
- If you ask your facebook friends what you do for a living you get mixed results
- You cringe every time you see a selfie and wonder why we do it so much
- You don’t have a website
- Sharing pictures of your pets, family, and life every week seem pointless or dangerous
- Your facebook feed seems negative all the time
- You don’t belong to many groups
- You are only on facebook and not any other platforms like Instagram or Twitter
- You don’t help people out even though your advice will help because you don’t think they will care about it
- Most of what you do is like or love other people’s posts
- You share a lot of those food videos everyone loves
- You think your ideal client is multiple types of people or it is everyone or anyone who buys from you
- You feel like people will think you are annoying if you post too much
- Being on video scares the hell outta you
- You have a few ways of selling online and think that is pretty much it
- You constantly follow others in hopes that you’ll have enough money someday to make your brand and business resemble how cool and amazing they are
- You read multiple books on how to run a business
- You post lots and lots of quotes that are not your own
- Opening up about your personal life and mind’s eye is not relevant
Yes, I believed every single one of these and did all of these before I caught on that running my business should be fun and that I make the rules. I don’t need to read a book on how someone runs their business, because you know what? Every single person is different and requires a different soul path route. All those blueprints you see are from the shiny people you admire didn’t read a book. They jumped. They tried it all. But most of all, they were authentic, open, and completely visible to the world. Walk your own path and know that there are tons of ideas out there to try. I recommend experimenting with visibility and doing something new and fun everyday. It will not only increase your income, but will open doors to people and opportunities that will find you. Through my visibility journey, I am now connected to the most wonderful people. I am successful and living a life of more freedom and choices than I ever thought possible. You can, too. The first step is to let us SEE you and forget about everything you have learned at those desk jobs.
Tip: Is there something about you that only your family and friends know about? Do you love roses? Are you obsessed with Bugs Bunny? Do you make jewelry or birdhouses? Do hummingbirds make you sing? Are there more than 3 orchids in your home? Are you crazy about avocados? Do you feel like painting unicorns all over your office or studio like I do?! These are all really amazing and fun things to post about regularly. We all have one or more “things” that are associated with us personally. People usually bring up these obsessions during birthdays and Christmas because it could be an easy gift.
Example: Everyone knows how much I love Marilyn Monroe, crystals, and unicorns. I post about them all the time and even created a Monday through Friday post on my Facebook business page called, “Your Unicorn Moment” with a pic of a unicorn. This is out-of-the-box marketing. Talking and sharing about your personal obsession will not only get you more visibility, it will also create a following and ideal client relationships who also share in your obsession. It was an enlightened and successful moment that day I realized I didn’t really have to “sell” to gain clients, visibility, and success. I just needed to be open, giving, receiving and have a little fun. Trust me, there is something about YOU that a whole bunch of people love, too. Love Bugs as much as I do? Guess who will be loving your post and checking out who you are and what you do on a deeper level? Me 🙂 Attract by showing up and becoming visible no matter how scary it seems. Most of that fear was programmed by you.
You’re the software developer of your own mind. Time for a reboot?
I woke up at 3:00am again and I even took a sleeping pill. Now it’s shower, shave, coffee, smoothie, headache, sitting on my couch going through a million excuses on why I can’t go to work today, makeup, hairspray, teeth whitener, a smoke… it’s early and I am not motivated to do all this again. The thought occurs to me that it is Friday and that pushes me out the door into the endless stream of morning traffic, fake “how are you today” conversations, job responsibilities that make my boss look great and me look like a shadow. Now it is 3:00 pm and all I can think about is doing 3 quick shots of Jack Daniels and relaxing with a strong Long Island Iced Tea listening to my favorite tunes at home. It is the weekend and I am already counting down the hours until I have to start it all over again.
This was ME years ago working at my so-called “dream job”. I guess you could say it was my dream job for a fleeting moment until it became clear that no matter what I did to conform and climb that ladder…I would NEVER fit in. I was slowly drowning at the bottom of a wine glass and the idea that anything could be great for me in reality. It started to feel like I needed to conform not just to rules but to the idea that I was not going to reach my idea of happiness in my career. Hey…what was happiness anyways?!
I began to feel as if there was something very wrong with me and slowly I was more numb to the world. Slowly, I was becoming one of THEM. My dreams were cloudy memories of a little girl’s soul who was filled with ridiculous thoughts of unicorns and laughter. Life was serious and I believed it was time for me to grow up and realize my responsibility to myself, family, and lifestyle must be as it is. I didn’t know anyone who climbed the ladders as fast as I did and everyone was always fascinated by that. So why was I utterly the most miserable person I knew? Words can never describe how much I despised my position in life. Soul path? I could barely leave my house without feeling angry. I didn’t know what a soul path was back then. But there was this glimmer…a light that kept my soul a glow even in my darkest times. If it had gone out I wouldn’t be here today. I just know it.
Fast forward to even darker times…Moving because we lost our way and unable to find work, I quickly found myself giving up the last shred of Alley that I had. I gave in and gave up pretty easily after years and years of trying and failing in corporate America. It felt good at first. I was no longer responsible for creating amazing things and my responsibility level went WAY down. I made a lot less but every day was the same and after many years of health abuse and unpredictable risks, I was ready to be a robot. For months I did the same thing everyday.
Eventually, the people at my job began to notice the light in me. I thought that was so cool because I had been sad for so long. My creativity was at level zero and no one had given me compliments in ages. As I developed new relationships and felt the strong commitment to life, my soul also lit up more. It scared the hell outta me and I wanted to hush the voices of dreams and notions of greatness. I really did! I swear to you that as soon as I felt the nudge I thought, “Damn it! Everything is fine here so you can go away now!” I didn’t want to risk the dreams and possibilities in my life. I was finally calming down and being accepted into a corporate company wholeheartedly. Why would I want to jazz everything up and do what I have always done, which turned to drama and disaster again? Not for me…not going to do it! (So i thought)
One day I left for lunch, even though this company didn’t allow it. But I did it anyways. I was bored and pissed off. I had to get away or I was going to scream. Old emotions were taking me over and I didn’t even notice.. It is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I had been dreaming all morning and the requests I was getting from people were meaningless to me. All month I had little clues dropping from the heavens that I now see were prompts to drive me in certain directions. That day was more than those little nudges. That day was unreal.
I went to the gas station and sat in my car and cried. I wanted so badly to have the world open beneath me and swallow my car whole so that I no longer would disappoint my soul and others. I felt deeply emotional and disconnected from the world in a way that I never felt before. It was as if I was floating there and totally invisible. My body was spinning in a time that no others were in. So much time passed and I didn’t think about the desk job I had left without permission. I didn’t care about it. I cried more. I asked the universe to stop torturing me. I asked her to please save me from the hell I lived in for so many years. I felt open to anything. And then I went into the gas station and headed towards McDonalds. Lol! Yep…that was my life altering moment. McDonald’s in a gas station. Not very spiritual or glamorous, is it?
You see, Dan was there. Dan lived hours from where I lived and worked. After the crash I moved to the country and left the big city behind and everyone I knew there, too. He was a mentor in college. I was lucky to have him as a teacher because he went to one of the best art colleges in the world and I respected that. What he taught me in typography, color, and art I still use today. He was right there…sitting right there. He looked up at me and knew who I was. I hadn’t seen him in years and I felt so happy to see another creative for once. I walked right over and sat down.
I asked why he’d been so far from home and he was told last minute that morning that he would have to pick up his puppy by meeting the breeder at that McDonalds. They were supposed to drop the little stinker off at his home but plans changed. (Wink, wink universe!) We talked a lot about art, design, advertising, and all the things I used to be interested in. He was a big ad director and worked on accounts like Keurig. The last thing he asked was, “So what are you working on?” I almost burst into tears right then. I told him what was really up…nothing. The last thing he said to me was, “I’m shocked. Out of all my students I always thought you would excel the most.”
Those words felt like a hundred knives stabbing my soul open. He left and gave me his fries that he never touched. And, I ate them. Sitting there I could hear no sound. Sitting there I was left bleeding out. I don’t know how long it took for me to actually breathe again. I went to my car and it hit me that I had to go back to work. I cried so hard. I felt so angry and his words were going through my mind like a freight train over and over again. That was the day my soul opened up again. And it hurt like hell!
Three weeks later and I am sitting in front of a Mac computer creating graphics and printing in the creative department for a well-known print shop. I start freelancing a lot and Red Unicorn Media emerges. When I opened my mind and started thinking about the possibilities again, the universe gave me what I asked of her.
My entire life has been full of stop signs, detours, misguided advice, untruths, and weights around my ankles. From the time I can remember, it was if everything in the universe was trying to make me stop. Putting a straight-jacket on my soul and laughing as I wiggled out of it each time. I felt as if I was a joke and struggling made me so tired.
What I know now is when I was being tested, I would actually be resisting or living a life that someone else had given me. I was not living on my own terms–no matter how rebellious I was. I would resist but then NOT come up with my own solution.
Today I live on my terms no matter what. I don’t drink because it is my life and I don’t have to. I decide what is good for me even if it is taking two minutes to meditate inside a McDonald’s if my body needs it. I don’t care what people see or don’t see. I am open-hearted in life and in business. My soul is open to all of you and to her, the universe. I no longer try and convince others of who I am or hide behind brands, awards, or designer jeans. I do not build walls of protection to keep the world out. I am the world and I am Alley Jean of Red Unicorn Media. I saved my own soul. I am a soulpreneur. I am ready for all of it.
I now work 100% from my art studio in Michigan with my hero Kingsley. He is a BIG part of my success with Red Unicorn Media and that story will be coming to you soon. If it wasn’t for Mister (that’s what I call him a lot,) I would never have become what I am today. He is a true angel come from the heavens of the universe.
Opening your soul to your life and business is truly one of the most painful and enlightening experiences, but it will change your life forever.
What are you hiding? We want to SEE you.
Come out into the light with me. I am here and you are not alone.
Love you. xoxo, A.J.
Many people ask me how to get over creative blocks. I’ve had my share. I still do they are just a whole lot smaller and shorter. Here is the secret: Just do it. Do it crying if you have to. Do it as fast as you can. Drop everything and please get your booty in that chair and write, draw, paint, scrapbook, see, quilt, Jewel…whatever it is do it.
You ask yourself, “why is creating so miserable?! Maybe it’s not for me. I’m supposed to love this right?!” Not always. Being an artist or being a creative can be the most wonderful or stubborn thing you’ve ever encountered in this short life. I’m both. I did notice for ME that there was a lot of inner-self work that I was ignoring and after clearing that the floodgates opened easily and have stayed open.
But recently I became a writer. (Or maybe I always was a writer!) and the old block and stubborn child in me said NO! I was lucky to have a writing coach holding space for me when I didn’t have any of my own. Alisia Leavitt is amazing, patient, inspiring and intelligent. She knew I needed to process all of this and was already at a point where I would pull the trigger and “just do it.” She did prod me a bit in the end which at first felt scary but it was a wake up call.
The creative block only lasted a few weeks with help and practice I’ve put in for years now.
I know people close to me that struggle so hard that it’s become a creative block FOR YEARS.
Don’t lock your gifts up because it’s uncomfortable. So what if it feels like crap right now. Work through it if there is a tiny pinhole light shining on a creative part of your soul. If you feel it then yes it is there and YOU are the only one keeping it from being stoked into an inferno.
Try starting with something else you’ve been ignoring that has nothing to do with creativity. That is what I did. Look deep within your cave of fears and walk in with an intention of conquering something. THEN, conquer something else! One of these days if you consistently do this you’ll see your creative child with pen and paper or a sewing needle or paint brush and you will grab it and BEGIN AGAIN. I promise. Don’t let the lies you’ve programmed so many years ago rule the woman you are today. Things have changed. Circumstances are different. You are allowed to do what you want and BE whoever you are.