In Episode 7, I’m going off script to bring you an episode that I believe holds great importance for entrepreneurs. I want to look at the process of content creation – one of the most important aspects of a successful business. In this episode, I’ll give you the tools you need to discover and bring forth dynamic content that connects deeply with your inner wisdom.
A few weeks ago, a listener introduced me to a mutual friend who wanted to write a book and needed some guidance. I published my first book earlier this year, so I had some knowledge to share with her. We spent most of the conversation talking about the logistics of writing a book: setting aside time, working with an editor, etc.
But it was the last few minutes of the conversation that really stood out to me: I started talking about moving from being a writer to being an author and what it takes energetically to write a book. As I was talking to her, I realized I had never said the words out loud, and I instantly realized I needed to share this topic with you. (Thanks, Jessica!)
Content and Content Creation
Content is everything and anything that you create through your business to serve your audience. And yes, that’s intentionally broad. It could be the paid content we make available to our clients – our books, programs, and webinars – but it might also be the free content you offer. Maybe that’s emails, blog posts, podcasts, and videos. Everything – the paid and the free – add value to your business and serve your clients.
I’d also expand that definition to include marketing materials as well. As spiritual entrepreneurs, we see everything as a service to our clients, even marketing, because it serves people before they are even clients. Every piece of content should be forged with wisdom to add value to your audience.
The KLT Factor
Everything you create for your business, including your content, helps build the “KLT Factor:” Know, Like, Trust. To establish a business relationship with someone, first they need to know you, then they have to like you, and then they learn to trust you. Without all three factors, we won’t be able to create successful business relationships with our people. Content helps us build that trust over time. It’s the anchor point for creating that KLT factor. It’s how we connect and grow our community.
The KLT factor depends in large part on your content:
* Marketing helps us connect to clients, allowing them to get to know us.
* Free content (blogs, articles, free webinars, Facebook groups) allow us to continue a relationship with our audience. Relationship development means our clients will (hopefully) like us.
* After establishing that relationship, clients recognize the value of our products. They begin to trust our knowledge and expertise, and that’s when they decide to invest in our businesses. They think, “if the free content is this valuable, imagine what the paid content must me like!” It’s in this phase we find our revenue.
In each step, content is the backbone to business success.
Shadow Side of Content Creation
When we recognize the importance of content, we feel pressure to do it well. I have been there. I thought I had to create something brand new and mind-blowing every day, all on my own. Combine that pressure with a desire to prove myself, and I was procrastinating and putting out inconsistent and disjointed content to my audience.
If you’re feeling pressured and burned out, you are not alone. If you’re procrastinating and stressing out over creating content, you’re in good company. I hope this episode helps you see content creation in a new way. I hope it revitalizes and reenergizes you to create content in a way that serves both you and your client.
Writing My Book: Lessons Learned the Hard Way
At the 9:15 mark, I discuss writing my book, ACT on Your Business: Braving the Storms of Entrepreneurship and Creating Success Through Meaning, Mindset, and Mindfulness. Along the way, I found what did not work for content creation, and through those missteps, I found a method that works beautifully for me.
I started writing my book in January 2018. The first month was great: I was energized and hitting my word count goals. At the end of the month, I already had 15,000 words in what I figured would be a 50,000-60,000-word book. I already had 25% of my draft done. I was rocking it!
Then one day, I sat down, and I couldn’t write. No words were coming. I chalked it up to an “off day” and decided to pick it up the next day. But the next day, I still had no words. The day after that, STILL nothing. I got in my own head, and writer’s block set in. I had an outline, I knew what I needed to talk about, but nothing would come. I was stuck. I was absolutely paralyzed.
For a month, I avoided sitting down to write because I was scared and confused, and I felt alone.
“Just Because You’re Scared Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Strong”
Then I experienced what I call in my book “The Miracle of Teen Titans Go!”
One day, my kids were sitting down watching the animated show, Teen Titans Go! (which I must admit I enjoy as well). I wasn’t really tuned in to the show, but then I heard one of the characters say:
“Just because you’re scared doesn’t mean you’re not strong.”
It was a record scratch moment. I stopped everything I was doing and repeated the line to myself.
It was the message from the universe I needed to get back to writing my book, right there in a cartoon. I could be scared – I could have thoughts of doubt and insecurity – but I could still sit down and write a book anyway.
What I didn’t write about in the book, the experience that I considered the second miracle of Teen Titans Go!, was that when I did sit back down to write, I asked the book to reveal itself to me. I sat down and asked, “what do you want to be?” It was only when I involved the spirit of the book that I started connecting to it and writing again.
This was the magic turning point for me. I began to treat the book as its own being, something that already existed in the Universe, and I began to see my job not to create something new, but to merely tap into that energy and bring it out in written form.
Content Creation as a Spiritual Connection
Once I started approaching the book as a spiritual connection, everything changed. When I treated it as not just something I was creating, but something that needed me to help it emerge in written form, it became a partnership. I started to trust that the book would tell me what it needed.
I used my outline, and I kept to that, but if I was having trouble, I would ask the book, “what do you need right now? What do you want to be?” By quieting my mind and connecting to the soul of the book, it would provide me direction. It was a two-way street: not only would the book reveal what it needed, but I could tell the book what I needed, too.
In May 2018, I told the book I needed a break. Not because I had writer’s block, but because my business was taking off and I had a very full month planned between travel and speaking engagements. I knew that May would require my attention to be focused on other aspects of my business. I told the book, “you matter to me, and I care too much about you to give you less attention than you deserve.” I pressed pause until I could return with my full attention.
In June, I finished the first draft and got it to my editor.
What I’ve Learned About Content Creation
At 16:15 in the podcast, I discuss two important lessons I have learned about content creation:
- Content creation is a delicate balance between following a plan and responding in the moment.
Writers typically fall into two camps. “Plotters” plan everything out, making lists and outlines, sticking to a strict schedule. “Pantsers” fly by the seat of their pants, writing as inspiration strikes, without rhyme or reason. Of course, it’s more of a spectrum than a dichotomy, but I think it’s fair to say I’m a plotter. I like lists and outlines. But it was the strict outline that led to my self-doubt and my writer’s block.
When I stepped back and connected with the soul of the book, I gave myself permission to embrace the unplanned “magic” of content creation. For instance, I assure you the “Miracle of Teen Titans Go!” was NOT on the outline, but I realized the book needed me to share it with the reader.
It’s great to have an outline, but if you’re going to co-create with the energy of your project, you need to leave room for spontaneous inspiration.
- Sometimes, just as with all relationships, content creation needs some space.
Through this process, I also realized that space is healthy for development. One of my favorite quotes comes from Khalil Gibran says, “let there be spaces in your togetherness.” Healthy relationships allow us to not only come together in a partnership as equals but also to have time apart, to be on our own and to work on ourselves.
The book and I had a great relationship, but in May 2018, I knew I needed space. I communicated that with the book and then gave it my full attention when I returned.
If we treat the content we are creating as a co-equal partner, asking for what we need and giving it what it needs, we will create a harmonious relationship that will show through in our content.
Listening to the Book’s Energy
At the 19:30 mark, I go deeper into spiritual connection to content creation. Each time I finished a draft of the book (and there were a lot of drafts), I slowly saw the energy that previously existed somewhere in the Universe slowly come to life in written form. I continued to tap into that energy throughout the entire process of writing, revising, and marketing.
The book told me who to choose as beta readers, letting me know who would provide insight and guidance. It led me to my editor and helped me decide when and how to publish it. I listened to this energy and my intuition and pushed back the publication date from December 2018 to February 2019.
Looking back, I see why it was important to postpone the publication date. December would have been too busy with the holidays and other issues that came up, but by waiting until February, I was able to tackle marketing and projects I wouldn’t have had time to do otherwise. It was a mutual decision between me and the book.
Even now, with the book published and out in the world, I still have conversations about what it wants. Does it want to be center stage at the next talk I give? Does it want me to pursue Facebook ads? I realize that it deserves to have its own voice.
In fact, the book wanted to sponsor the “Make It Work Moment,” just like you hear at the end of each episode. That’s a decision that we made in partnership. The book feels strongly about being a primary source of translating thought into action.
It’s helpful to view content as something separate from ourselves. Not only does it take the pressure off, but it gives us another energy to tap into to find inspiration and guidance, helping us find the soul of whatever it is we are trying to bring into the world.
The Theories Behind Spiritual Content Creation
The idea of spiritual connection to our content is new: I didn’t create the idea that the things we make existed before we created them. Many others have spoken to this idea.
Two quotes attributed to Michelangelo speak to this theory that. He said every block of stone has a statue inside of it, and it is the task of the sculpture to create it. He also said, “I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free.” Michelangelo understood that his art already existed in an energetic space, and his role was to help that energy to translate it into a different form.
Elizabeth Gilbert talks about this in her book, Big Magic, too. She talks about story ideas as a seed that, if not given proper attention, will move on to someone else who will bring it to life. She says our work exists outside of us. We are crucial to bring it to form, but we aren’t responsible for creating it on our own.
I’ve recently become fascinated with quantum physics, and I think those ideas are relevant here. Quantum physics hold the fundamental belief that everything on earth and in the universe is energy. When we can connect with the energetic field, we can create anything and everything into existence.
We can connect quantum physics to content creation (or any manifestation, really) by recognizing that what we want to create already exists in essence. If we can connect with that essence in an energetic way, we can bring it forth in the world.
Be clear about what you want to manifest. Share your vision on paper, in writing, or on a vision board to tell the universe and our minds what we want to create. That vision helps us tap into the energy that brings our visions to life.
But that’s not the entire process. Visualizing isn’t enough: we also have to take the necessary actions to bring that energy into this world and to transform it into physical matter. (Perhaps we will talk more about that idea in a later episode!)
What I want you to take away from this blog is this: all the content you create is energetically alive. Whatever you create for your business – blogs, emails, coaching programs – it already exists energetically. There’s nothing brand-new to create. The first step is to connect with it and explore how it wants to come forth. You aren’t responsible for creating it, you just have to find it and help it take form.
How can you connect energetically with the content you want to create? How can you engage in partnership with it? I talk about it at the 29:00 mark in the “Make it Work Moment” where I give you actionable steps to tap into the spirit of your content and bring it forth into your business.
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