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Last newsletter we began the tale of three books that came to me in unusual ways. This is Part 2 of how the books changed everything.

In full disclosure, I've been too scared to start reading book 3...

There's still time to register for Monday night's (3/15 from 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. CST) Websites 101 workshop. I show you how to set up a free website with all of the built in functionality you need to grow from an Apprentice creative to an Established Artist. $15 for non-Patrons.  Free for Patrons of the TCA tier & up.

There's a big announcement coming in your next newsletter, because things are afoot from reading all these books.

Have a great week.


p.s. If you're working from home and having a hard time being productive join me for a co-working session.  I host them every Monday 10 a.m. - noon, Wednesday 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.,  & Friday from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. CST.  Just reply to this email & I'll get you the details. 

Gifted Books - A Story In Three Parts
Book #2

by Jessica Conoley
How It Came To Me: January 7, 2021 I woke up to an email, “Congrats — You are a Giveaways Winner!” Now this may not seem like a huge deal, except I’ve been entering Goodreads Giveaways a few times a month since 2016, and never won a single book, ever.  My writer friends and I talk about winning a GG like Ahab talked about Moby Dick, so I immediately screen shotted the email and shared it in my writer friend chat so everyone could marvel at the miracle.  It was only after I shared the screen shot I actually bothered to read the email and find out what I’d won. The Buddha and the Badass: The Secret Spiritual Art of Succeeding at Work by Vishen Lakhiani. (I wasn’t sure why this book was on my Want to Read shelf, but assumed I’d probably heard the author on a business podcast.) Buddha and the Badass arrived in the mail the weekend of January 23rd, three days before I finished reading Book #1, and two days after book #3 showed up. 
The Guts of It: Vishen Lakhiani is apparently some big fancy with real fancy friends.  He runs a multimillion-dollar company called Mindvalley, and he likes science-ing things just like I do. He says our work system is broken, and “we are operating inside old obsolete models.”  The book is about discarding what doesn’t empower you and leaning into your intuition as a guide to running your company. You do this by blending your experiences as a spiritual being and changemaker.  In Part I, Lakhiani challenges his readers to go inward to attract the right allies/business partners.  In Part II, he describes Four Elements that Transform Work. Finally, In Part III, he wraps up with merging the “Buddha and the Badass.” He draws on his own experiences from startup to multi-million-dollar company runner, shares personal stories, and offers insights from and about the fancy and not-so-fancy people he’s worked with.  It didn’t hurt either that he quoted Neil Gaiman from Sandman and George R.R. Martin from Song of Fire & Ice. Clearly this man and I could geek out together on a multitude of things.
How the Concepts Bled into Real Life: I dug into Book #2 on the Monday after I wrapped up reading Book #1. The intro hooked me because I was 100% on board with the statement our work system was broken. I liked that he believed we could create a better way.  The fact he was leaning into the energy of intuition really resonated with me, because that built on what Book #1 had just taught me with the whole business essay experience. The second day of reading, I was  on the Attracting Your Allies chapter, and I thought this is so weird.
For the past few weeks, it had felt like all the periphery (podcasts, books, etc.) learning in my life was telling me to learn about hiring someone. For over a year, I had dreamed of hiring an assistant. I wanted someone to take admin tasks off my plate and give me more time to create. My non-fiction business writing had gained traction, which meant I needed to simultaneously write my Murder-board time weirdness novel and transcribe all of my lectures into written format. But, with the Pandemic, my income from freelance work was down; the money to hire someone simply wasn’t there. I’d have to wait for years before I could hire an assistant, even though the universe seemed to think I should get one now.
I tore through chapter 2, but stopped at this passage, “People are drawn to you not because of your business plan, but because your dream gives them hope.”

Then Vishen quoted Buckminster Fuller:

You never change things by fighting the existing reality.  To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
He follows all that with, “Have a vision and then start with the who.
At this point the name Imari popped into my head. I felt the spark of the good energy I’d dialed in on while reading Book #1. Imari had graduated from my last Group Authorpreneurship Class. She’d written a manuscript that I really enjoyed, was dying to change careers, and most importantly she had faith—pervasive, unshakeable faith. If I told her good energy was telling me to do something she might not think I was totally nuts.
She would be a fantastic assistant, but I still didn’t have any money.  The energy had grown by this point though, and last week’s Jane Friedman experiment was still fresh in my mind. Publishing an article with Jane had seemed impossible until it wasn’t.  So, while my brain was saying, I can’t ask Imari to be my assistant. I can’t pay her.  My intuitive mind was saying, You don’t have money, but you do have skills.  Skills she wants. Skills she needs. Skills she has already shown she’s willing to pay for.
Holy crap, could I barter myself an assistant? 
By now the energy had built to the this-is-totally-crazy-but-feels like it could work way, so I send her a text. She responded with a Spock gif which made me laugh and made me want to work with her even more. She was intrigued. We Zoomed that night, and by the end of the day on February 3rd, 2021 she was on board. I went to bed dumbfounded, and not really believing the whole assistant thing was happening. The last thought before I fell asleep: this follow the energy thing is not fucking around.
When the Lesson Made it into My Bones: I was reading Book #2 at a good clip, as I’d decided to do all the exercises on a re-read, this was definitely a sipping book. Three days later I was knee deep in part three Activate Your Inner Visionary.  The book gave me permission to turn off my logic and shut down the belief that something is impossible. Vishen told a story about the designer they hired to create their gorgeous, award winning office space.  The designer came up with some sort of Shangri-La of the working world, and when they got done building the space the designer said, “Thanks for letting me dream so big.”
That’s when it hit me.  I’ve been thinking too small.
All this time with my writing, the magazine I used to run, the editing, speaking, and coaching. All of it has been way too small.
Good energy came roaring at me like a freight train, and an Idea started to fall into place.   I was playing Tetris, fitting all the puzzle pieces together as the Ideas fell from the sky faster and faster and faster. I worried I was missing something, but as I turned the Idea around, rolled it over, checked for cracks, I saw the shape of this huge, impossible thing, and I knew what I was supposed to create. 
My brain’s wailing: This, this is madness. Complete impossible madness.  But now my intuitive mind has learned to bypass my brain.  It had already sent the Idea into my body. The Idea had taken root in my bones and was growing at an exponential rate feeding on that scary-good-crazy energy.
Over the next week I dissected the Idea like a manuscript. I built the vision out, five years, ten years, thirty. I saw how it scaled. I zoomed the picture in examining it line by line.  Seeing the first steps, the content creation, the people I’d need. I reached out to the early players and asked them to find the cracks, tell me I was missing something, tell me I was nuts. But all I heard was, “It makes total sense.” “I want that yesterday.” “When this thing happens I’m ready to help. I want in.”
For a week pieces kept falling from the sky, landing in my brain waiting for the moment I would loose them into the world. They came at all hours of the day, woke me up at night. On the fifth night as I was trying to fall asleep with pieces alighting on me so quickly I no longer bothered to write them down, I said to my empty room, “I hear you.  I’m doing it, but first let me sleep.  I just need to sleep.”
What Book #2 unlocked: I’m a hybrid creative. I have business brain and create brain. I can do both halves, run a viable business while creating literary art. I’ve been told that’s impossible, but it’s not. If I can do it, I can teach other creatives to do it. February 6th I texted Imari, “This is going to be so much fun! We’re going to obliterate the myth of the starving artist.”
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Copyright © 2021 Jessica Conoley-Coach, Speaker, TCA Founder, & Writer, All rights reserved.

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