Live and Learn

Does anyone else ever find themselves in the position of having to “know how” before trying something new?

I recently heard a new paradigm: first you do, and then you feel. Uch. Way too often I have led with how I feel, and then I do.

But, last week I tried to take this new advice and put it into action. On my own. I re-designed my blog. This blog is about creative expression and connection for me. A year and a half ago, I came up with the name, made a logo and started posting. It was not an easy step to take. And yet, I did it. Since then, I have focused on the discipline of simply posting on (MindFULL) Mondays. But  for the last few months, I’ve wanted a new look and have not known how to get it.

My usual MO is to think someone else “knows how” and I have to pay to learn. However, after spending some time around friends who are amazing at jumping in and figuring it out, I decided to try and do it myself. I was scared I’d screw it up and that what I had was better than nothing. But that is not the way I want to Be. I want the thrill of knowing I’ve tried.

And so, on Tuesday, I sat down at 9am and gave it a shot. I lifted my head at 2pm, exhilarated that I had a new look! I had taken a ride on the roller-coaster of Flow and found myself in a new place. I felt proud that I got the banner to fit. I felt a little frustrated that I couldn’t do more.  I felt delighted when I figured out how to use Widgets.

I’ve tried many things in my life and can look back and laugh (and cry) at what I’ve achieved and what I’ve fallen flat on. For the last 15 years, on every birthday, I start a new journal and make a list of things I want to check off. I am proud to have manifested quite a few. The outcomes haven’t always been as I had hoped, but the thrill of the effort has definitely stuck. My efforts range from bombing an audition to be a QVC host to getting on-air at a local NPR station as the News and Weather anchor. From getting a graduate degree in my 30’s, after feeling not smart enough for most of my life (the irony is a degree like that doesn’t mean you ARE “smart” – smart can be defined in many ways, thanks to Howard Gardner and his work around Multiple Intelligences) to trying for “dream” jobs in the most creative of ways and not getting them. And yet, here I sit, with all of these experiences leading me down a career path that gives me the honor of working with some of the best and the brightest across domains and industries and hearing the thoughts and feelings over thousands of consumers.

There are some new business ideas in this year’s birthday journal that Id like to explore. At the top of my list is to create a new website and have part of it be around eCommerce. I don’t even know where to begin.

Hmmm…will I wait to feel like I can before trying or will I try and then feel like I can?

 How do you MindFULLY figure out what to do even when you don’t know?

Let us know!

It’s All About Learning

Yes, I know this picture is blurry. However, I am using it anyway. To me, it’s a metaphor for this crazy new world of social media and blogging. It reminds me that it is about the creative process and not having to do it all perfectly.  I could get hung up on having to understand everything before embarking, but I have decided to swim against my natural inclination and plunge into learning along the way.  I hope by checking into The MindFULL Creative every so often, you, too, will learn something new!

Some friends have asked me what the difference is between a blog and a website. In my new favorite resource book, Blogging for Bliss, Tara Frey describes them as:

A blog is a type of website supported by a content management system that provides a collection of features including a home page where the latest content automatically appears on top and earlier posts appear in backwards order. Blogs allow users to do much more than just write and share text. You can include photos, audio, video, and other interactive tools.  Blogs allow for comments and interaction with the reader. Historically, websites were more static.

If you’re not into reading books, but like the old world, person-to-person kind of help, try  Marc Farmer.  Marc came to me through my friend Nancy Sharp (stay tuned for an entry on Nancy’s beautiful blog). Marc owns Internet by Demand. Even tho’ I built my own blog on WordPress and designed my own logo, Marc helped me understand nuance and made my logo easy to use across mediums.  Marc is an invaluable resource for those of you who don’t have the time or the inclination to muddle through and design your own website or blog.  He makes everything so easy and he uncomplicates this complicated world.

You can reach him at mfarmer@internetbydemand.com

As I meander along this path, I also spend a lot of time talking with my friend, Jill, about what it means to be relevant in the social media world. There is so much to know and it is rapidly transforming old paradigms. We learn something and then…It’s on to next! Jill sent me this social media cheat sheet. It’s by no means comprehensive, and I have no idea what half of them are. However, in our effort to learn how to navigate this crazy new world, I put it out to you. Maybe you’ll discover something useful and find a way to add it your everyday life.

Here’s to filling our minds with new understandings and “aha” moments!

______________________________________________________

Aggregation Tools: FriendFeed, Lifestream.fm, Lijit, Ping.fm, Socializr, Socialthing!

Blogs: Blogger, Typepad, WordPress*

Bookmarks: Delicious, Digg*, LivejournalMixx, Newsvine, Propeller, Reddit StumbleUpon, Technorati*, Yahoo! Buzz

Post Documents: Google Docs, Scribd

Post PowerPoint Presentations: AuthorSTREAM, Google Docs, Myplick, Slideshare

Post Videos: Vimeo, YouTube

Social Networks: Crowdvine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo

Twitter Tools: MyTweeple, TweetDeck, TweetLater, Twibes, Twitter