There Is No Plan B

There Is No Plan B


 


HUSTLE HARDER. STOP EFFING AROUND.


 


TAKE MORE VACATION. STOP WORKING SO HARD.


 


FOCUS ON YOUR ONE THING. STOP DOING EVERYTHING. 


 


BE MORE. BE BETTER. BE THE BEST. BE WHAT YOU WERE MADE TO BE.


 


TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. FOCUS ON YOU. 


 


DO LESS! DO MORE!


 


Everyone has an opinion. And you know what they say about opinions. 


 


They either tell you to work harder or they tell you to take more time for yourself. And everyone has their own formula for doing it – thinking that it will be one-size-fits-all when it’s not and it CAN’T be. We’re all unique snowflakes (I know, I know – but it’s true!). We all need our own balance/integration/way-of-doing-life. As much as personality tests try to stick us in categories to tell us how to do things, we still have to figure it out for ourselves.


 


I saw a facebook ad that literally said (and I quote): "FACT If you are not madly in love with every area of your life, overflowing in every area of your life which matters to you… (continue reading)” with a physically fit bearded hipster guy sitting on a rock looking out over rocky terrain & a link for his program to upgrade your life.


 


I couldn’t even "continue reading" because first, it isn't well-written – and second, I wanted to hit him the face for putting that kind of shit on other people. Those words are out there making people feel like shit because he OBVIOUSLY does this himself. *insert eye roll*


 


Let me be REALLY clear: NO ONE IS MADLY IN LOVE WITH EVERY AREA OF THEIR LIFE. NO ONE IS OVERFLOWING IN EVERY AREA. NO ONE. ABSOLUTELY BLEEPING NO ONE. The gurus, the monks, the coaches, the trainers, the experts, the spiritual leaders, the ninjas – no one has all of their shit together. WE ARE ALL HUMAN! We’re not meant to have everything together. We’re meant to keep learning & growing. The reason some of us teach others is because we’ve figured out how to authentically be ourselves and our purpose is to help others figure out how to do the same.


 


So many are REALLY good at hiding their shit – and it ends up eating them alive. If you ever hear a “guru" say that they have all of their shit together & that they’ve found the fountain of _fillintheblank_ and you look at their life, their Instagram feed, and see that they live a spotless life – RUN! Don’t buy that program. Don’t read their blog posts. Don’t listen to their podcasts. Don’t fill your brain with that shit. Don’t feel bad about your life. 


 



 


Phew – now that THAT is over.


 


Over the last two years, I’ve been building a program that is SO far outside of my comfort zone. This program allows humans to show up authentically on stages sharing their stories. It didn’t happen over night. And it has NOT be easy. I hosted it three times – training over 30 people – before I even admitted I was doing it. I denied that I was training speakers – when in reality, I’d been doing it for years. I’m a brand strategist so it’s been my job for the last 10 years to help companies tell their stories. I’d even written talks and created slide-decks for people and companies – and stayed fully focused on the fact that I’m “just” a brand strategist. 


 


Every time we hosted an event, I would always say it was the last. Every time we had to get butts in seats, I said I’d never do it again. Every time we finished the event, I’d be SUCH a Proud Mom – telling every one of my speakers' stories – and how hard they worked to get on that stage. And yet, I WAS NOT GOING TO DO THIS AGAIN. 


 


Then I moved across the country, built the online course, and wrote a 140-page workbook – and, what did I do? I did it again. WHAT IS MY PROBLEM?! I’m NOT a speaker coach. I help people tell their stories, I don't teach people how to rock stages – AND this is REALLY HARD! Why am I doing this?!


 


This was until my Helpful Human, Gisell, looked at my ragged, weary, and proud face after our third event as everyone was hugging each other to head back home and said, “If you could hear what everyone says about you and this experience, you’d never doubt that you have to keep doing this.” So, we did it again. We posted a whole new event for October – added more days, made it all-inclusive, got a few signups, worked our tails off – and found that EVERYONE wanted to do the next one. 


 


“I’m totally in for the workshop in April,” said the 53rd person.


 


Hearing this over and over, I took a weekend to decide if a handful of signups was worth moving forward with or if I should just wait until April. I asked my team to think on it, pray on it, and see what they thought. One of my trainers came back to me after the weekend and said, “I asked God for a word and although I wanted to play it safe and wait until April, He told me that you should listen to what He first told you.” So, we forged ahead with a new fervor. 


 


Until I hit another wall. 


 


I got up on stage in front of 300 women to keynote the Women in Business Network event. I’ve never felt more on fire than that morning in Dayton, Ohio. I shared the shit, I shared the awesome, and I gave them permission to take ONE step. Just one. To show up for themselves so they could show up for others. I told them “You are right where you’re supposed to be.” I made 300 new friends that day. 


 


And the whole time I chatted & inspired, I was doubting my decision to make the October Accelerator happen – again. I was excited to be there and suffering inside trying to piece everything together.


 


A woman walked up to me & said, “I’m so glad I found you. I don’t know if this is weird or not, but while you were speaking earlier, God told me to tell you ‘There is no Plan B.’” 


 


Talk about all of the air rushing out of my body. KEEP GOING! We jumped on it with even more excitement and decided that the people who were supposed to be there would be there. And guess what? THEY ARE! The Rockstars who have signed up for October are 100% right where they’re supposed to be. (Weird that I talk about this.) And this Accelerator would help me streamline every single one of the future ones – hosting more people and going even bigger. Because I was FINALLY COMMITTED! No more wavering. No more Plan B.


 


YOUR SUFFERING ISN’T FOR YOU TO KEEP.


 


Entrepreneur life is NOT glamorous. Anyone who talks about the hustle being sexy is lying.


 


Running a business is HARD. Building a team, managing your life, and making money is HARD. Especially when you AND your team depend on you for a paycheck. It’s not for the faint of heart. We can surround ourselves with incredible humans and still hit bottom over and over. We can be fully supported with a sound business structure and perfect marketing plan – and still miss the mark. 


 


“It’s lonely at the top” is true AND false. It’s hard – there is NO doubt. And all of us have major decision fatigue on a daily basis. But it’s only lonely if we don’t reach out.


 


The problem is – when we reach out, people say shit like “everything will be ok” and “it’ll all work out.” We share where we are and it ends up being brushed it off as character-building. Which ends up reminding us to NOT reach out. Which reminds us that we’re lonely. 


 


Encouraging words are all fine & good but most of the time we really need to hear “I’m with you” or “I’ve been there” or “I get it & I’m sorry it sucks.” 


 


If you know me at all, I’m a HUGE encourager. I love helping people through rough times and reminding them to wear their awesome. If you need a hug, I GOT YOU! AND I’m also the first person to say “ugh, I feel that. I’ve been there. And I’m standing with you in it.” Because when shit gets hard, we really don’t want to hear that it’s going to be fine. We want to be validated in our feelings and know we’re not alone.


 


Sure, when we look back on the hard stuff, we may laugh at how silly it was. We may add it to a talk on a big stage or share it over coffee with a friend. Or we may just be glad we went through it because of all we learned. But when we’re in it, PLEASE knock off the “just smile & everything will be better” shit. It doesn’t help. A hug does. A listening ear does. An understanding note does. A word for the Big Guy upstairs does. Because it feels like no one really hears you when they say that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. 


 


Screw the tunnel. Screw the light. Screw the great story this will make. Screw the character-building. Screw you for saying I’ll laugh about it. I’m just going to light that bitch on fire and we’ll talk about where the light and the tunnel meet. 


 



 


Because what other choice is there?! Trudging?! Pretending?! Lying to myself and everyone else? THERE IS NO PLAN B.


 


I’ve been hustling my face off for 3 straight weeks without downtime, without sleeping well, and without feeling like I have all my marbles. I’m building an INCREDIBLE program that takes up almost all of my waking hours – and I know it’ll be worth it. It always is. And I’m tired. 


 


I just turned off my wifi for two hours in a mountain town, put my noise-canceling headphones on, and pretended my business didn’t exist in order to write this post. I have a to-do list that’s bigger than it's ever been and I’ve delegated everything I can possibly delegate. I have zero phone calls on my calendar today and have been asked a total of 86 questions today alone. I’ve only responded to one email. And I finally got a note from my bookkeeper that said the sky wasn’t falling anymore. I am blessed – I get it. I REALLY do. And yet…


 


It’s been almost 10 years since I started my business. It’s been hard – and SO rewarding. I’ve transitioned, I’ve changed everything, I’ve revamped my life, I’ve moved multiple times, I’ve been through almost everything an entrepreneur can possibly go through. And yet, I’m still here. I’m still standing. I’m still hustling. I get it. It sucks and it’s so awesome – all at the same time. 


 


If you’re in the shit right now, I feel you. I feel every particle of your being. I DEFINITELY don’t have all my shit together and right now, as much as I love celebrating all of the wins (and boy, there are some INCREDIBLE things happening), I’m also living in the shit. I need sleep. I need to delete my inbox. I want to go play. I sometimes wonder what it would look like to have a 9-to-5. And then I remember the impact of what I’m doing. The impact, the purpose, the stories, and the authenticity. I LOVE being me. I LOVE my life. I LOVE this shit. THERE IS NO PLAN B.


 


So, all that to say – I see you. My twitchy eye sees yours. My tight shoulders are wrapped around yours. I have a tissue box ready for you any time you need to just let it all out. And I will encourage you to LET IT ALL OUT. No matter who you are or where you’re from or what you’re going through, I’ll stand with you. Because that’s what we humans need – to know we’re not alone.


 


xoxo


Melanie Spring

The secret to manifesting: there is no secret.

The secret to manifesting: there is no secret.

Are you ready to manifest that shit?


I love words. Lately, my favorite word is “manifest.” It’s one of those weird little misunderstood words so many of us think is “woo-woo.” All the life coaches and energy healers use it so it gets put in the category of mystical. This word gets entangled with The Secret and positive thinking – when, by definition, manifesting goes way deeper. Most people think that manifesting is just another way of getting what you want. The faith-focused humans liken it to praying. Some call it “the laws of attraction” and still others don’t believe in manifesting at all. But it’s a thing. A real, concrete, fact-based thing. (read on for a free downloadable workbook)


My friend Amy got married a few weeks ago and I was the wedding officiant. Being the wedding officiant wasn’t just about running the ceremony, it also meant I was behind-the-scenes helping her get to that day with the least amount of carnage. The day before her wedding, Amy realized the dress she ordered for the rehearsal dinner didn’t fit. (Insert massive freak-out moment) I didn’t worry about it, I knew we’d find just what she needed. She couldn’t figure out how I wasn’t worried – I told her that I would manifest one for her. And it worked. We walked into the local mall, into the first dress shop, and the first dress we picked up – the first she tried on – was exactly the dress that made her feel like a million bucks. And her groom was blown away by her stunning look that evening. Much to her surprise, we hit the manifesting lotto. It wasn’t just because we wanted it, it was because we had a clear picture of what we wanted, made a plan, and did the work to find it. (isn't she gorgeous?!)


 


 


“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.” – David Rendall


6 months ago, I quit my business. I had just been in the magic land of Bali and realized how out-of-balance my life was between my purpose and running my business. For years, I had wondered if there was something bigger, but worried way more about what would happen since I had a team that relied on me. I kept standing in my way by hiring more people, taking on clients when they weren’t the right fit, and doing work I never intended to do. I couldn’t say no – everyone around me kept telling me that the only way to scale a business was by hiring more people and getting more clients. I told everyone around me to follow their dreams and do the hard things to make them a reality – but I was sitting in silence hoping it would show up instead.



As soon as I made the decision and released it to the world, I started a journey of manifestation. That journey led me to more success in 6 months than I had in the 8 years previous. I had a very clear picture of what I wanted – I knew what success would look like for me. I made a plan and worked the plan. I got rid of everything I didn’t want to do anymore (and yes, I’m still learning how to say no) and started doing the things that lit me up. I noticed how all of my limiting beliefs about success and business were slowly disappearing and being replaced by abundance. I worked on it every single day.


When I called my mentor to share my accomplishments, he reminded me that everything I was doing right now was exactly what I said I wanted to do 6 months ago. My bookkeeper even told me that we were at 27% higher gross income over last year and net profit increased by 657%. HOW?! Because I manifested that shit. I made the decision, put in the work, and made it a reality.


“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn


I recently decided it was time to finally find my tribe. I’d felt for awhile as if I was on an island – working hard without much support. Supporting so many people without getting the support I needed to keep my cup overflowing. I had done the work on how I wanted to show up in the world and my business and it was time for me to find more people like me. I wrote down the qualities of the humans I wanted to surround myself with. Incredible humans who lifted me up as much as I lifted them up. Hardcore entrepreneurs doing big things in the world – not just for themselves but for others. And I found them! I knew them as soon as I saw them because I showed up fully as myself and they loved me just as I was.





As a group, we went to Vermont to do more personal and business development – only to find ourselves spelunking, rappelling, and running a mini Spartan race – while tied to other people. We also learned how to make shelter, build a fire, and survive a zombie apocalypse. By the end, I was able to visualize more of what I wanted for myself and even how we can help disabled kids stay more active and disenfranchised kids stay out of trouble. I know it all might sound random but it was the best leadership training I’ve ever attended. Because that’s the kind of tribe that fits me. We’re crazy, but we want nothing more than to be our best selves and give back to the world we live in.





(Maverick pics by Alex Kane)


And in that tribe, I found my person. Someone I didn't believe existed until a friend (who happens to be a dating coach) told me that I would have to come down to earth because the man I wanted was harder to find than winning the lotto. Guess what?! The best way to get me to do something is to tell me it can't be done. 


I found him. A man who is building a business in order to heal the world. A man who thinks bigger than himself – who does as much personal development as I do. A man who runs at my energy level and who envisions a life bigger than either of us can dream up. Because I finally figured out that I was attracting the wrong kind of humans – and I grew within myself to start attracting the right ones. I didn’t fix anything because I wasn’t broken. I did the work and he showed up.



He was obviously created just for me to the point that this past weekend, we sat down at a gorgeous little tea shop in DC (go try Calabash – it smells delightful and has the best chai ever made) to write out our life goals. We started by writing out the vision we have for our lives separately – and then read each other’s. After which we wrote out a list of our life goals, long and short term goals, and next steps to making them happen – while holding each other accountable. Can I even explain to you how long I’ve waited to find someone who would do this with me?! And he showed up up, not just out of nowhere, but because I knew what I wanted, made a plan, and showed up for myself.


“Every single one of your desires is attainable.” – Mama Gena


Mama Gena of the School of Womanly Arts (seriously, if you don’t know about her – fix that now) talks a lot about manifesting the life and love you deserve. Manifesting is deeply ingrained in who we are as humans. We are powerful beings and have the ability to bring to life whatever we desire. We can ask for what we want – and get it. We can call things to us. We can do the work and watch it show up. It’s really up to what we want and how we show up in this world.


But manifestation isn’t all about us. Just as our purpose on this planet isn’t a selfish one. We’re given the ability to make something from nothing – and as much as it feeds us, it also must feed those around us. When we are full, we can spill out on others. When we get the things we want (especially when they aren’t selfish), we are able to be a bigger presence on this planet – and make a bigger impact. It’s cyclical.



Let me put it simply – when we show up for ourselves, we show up for others.


And THAT is the key to manifestation. It’s not about sitting on the couch and thinking positive thoughts. It’s not about waiting for Prince Charming or that business idea to pop into our heads. It’s about knowing what we want, making a plan, showing up for ourselves, and doing the work to get it. That’s what I mean when I say “manifest that shit!”




 


MANIFEST THAT SHIT WORKBOOK


[download here]


The word manifest is an adjective AND a verb. Let’s get super clear on what it means and put it into action so you can manifest the life/business/person you desire. Grab a coffee (or your drink of choice), download & print the workbook, grab your favorite pen – let’s do this thing!


1. GET CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT


Before it’s an action, manifest first means “clear or obvious to the eye or mind.” This means manifesting is not a secret. Amazingly enough, the antonym (opposite) of manifest is “secret” – which means it’s in front of our noses. And sometimes we can’t see what’s right in front of our noses. From little things like getting a parking spot every time you go to the gym so you’ll be less likely to stay home to big things like the business you want to start or meeting the man/woman of your dreams, I want you to get super clear on everything you want for your life. You already know what you want, but sometimes we just need a little clarity.


Grab page 4 and:


  • In the first column, write a list of what you think you want.
  • In the second column, write down the reasons you want them.
  • In the third column, write down how they will make your life or others lives better.
  • Circle three things from the first column items you want to work on manifesting.



2. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU WANT


To manifest also means “be evidence of; prove.” That means you have to create a place to show evidence – proof – that you want it.  If you want something, you have to write it down. Put it on the wall, on your mirror, in a journal, or as a status on Facebook. Write it somewhere – pronounce it as the thing you want and then make it your mantra. Once you put words to it, you’ll continue the process of manifesting.


Grab page 5 and:


  • Label each of the columns with the three things you want to manifest.
  • Under each, write out a list of why these things are important to your life or others lives.
  • Then ask yourself why they matter.
  • Ask yourself why again.
  • Ok, one more time.
  • Check the sheet and make sure you are positively sure you have the right three. If so, move onto the next step. If not, fix it.


 


3. MAKE A PLAN TO GET WHAT YOU WANT


A manifest is “a document giving comprehensive details of a ship and its cargo and other contents, passengers, and crew for the use of customs officers.” A manifest is a detailed list of everything that’s included in a ship. Think of this as the detailed list of everything you need to get what you want. Writing all the little details down will help you hone in on the things you want. It will help you get super clear about the path it will take to get there. Without this plan, you’re just hoping. With this plan, you’ll start manifesting.


Grab page 6 and answer the following questions for each of the 3 items you want to manifest and create the plan for how these will manifest.


  • What am I manifesting?
  • What do I have in my life already that will help?
  • What do I need in my life to help?
  • Who is in my life already to help manifest this?
  • Who do I need to meet in order to manifest this?
  • Where do I need to go?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • Who will hold me accountable?
  • What are my daily action items?
  • What are my next steps?


 


4. WORK TOWARD WHAT YOU WANT


To manifest means to “display or show (a quality or feeling) by one's acts or appearance; demonstrate.” This means you have to DO the work. You have to show up and put some skin in the game. You have to MAKE a plan then WORK the plan. Mark Patterson, my pastor, likes to say “Work like it depends on you. Pray like it depends on God.” Swap out the words however you need, but DO THE WORK. Sitting on the couch will never get you what you want.


Get out your to do list, calendar, planner, whatever you use to keep track of everything you’re doing on the regular. Do one or all of the things on the following list and get working on the plan.


  • Break down the plan into small action items.
  • Add your daily items so you can check them off. (Set reminders)
  • Add weekly items so you can check them off. (Set reminders)
  • Schedule meetings with people who can help you.
  • Schedule time to send someone a love note (filling up other people’s buckets will only help your cause.)
  • Schedule time to help others.
  • Sign up for that networking event you keep putting off.
  • Say yes to the friend who invites you out.
  • Write sticky notes and put them on your mirror.
  • Smile at yourself & say “hi sexy” before you leave the house.
  • Be ready for anything. Because anything can happen.


 


“Success is something you attract by the person you become.” – Jim Rohn


Now, let me be clear. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. God, Spirit, The Universe, whatever you believe is out there giving you what you want – it might not be what they want for you. These things might not be the best thing – and you have to be ok with the fact that something better may show up – better, different, not-quite-exactly-as-you-planned. And that’s the fun of manifesting – we typically don’t know what we want because we can’t dream that big. Or we just aren’t dreaming big enough for the things we really deserve. But those will show up and we celebrate all of the loveliness that is manifested. And if bad things manifest – well, that’s a whole different blog post.


Get clear about what you want and then do the work to get what you want. Download the Manifest That Shit workbook and start manifesting that shit.


Want more?



 


 


—————-

When did we stop dancing like nobody’s watching?

When did we stop dancing like nobody’s watching?

“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching. Love like you’ll never be hurt. Sing like there’s nobody listening. And live like it’s heaven on earth.” – William Purkey


 


We have forgotten to play. To be kids. To do things we love – just because.


 


Sitting in bed scrolling through my Instagram feed, I wonder to myself why I’m not reading a book instead. I set a deadline and start a conversation – an hour goes by. I realize it’s past my bedtime – and plug in my phone and start the noise machine. Tomorrow – tomorrow I’ll meditate and get some reading in. Until the next morning comes and I’m off and running again only to find myself in bed the next night mindless scrolling. Why is that?! Why do I need the brain drain?


 


When I was a kid, I loved to listen to music, read books, write in my journal about the boy I met, flip through magazines to find new styles, learn something new, draw sketches of what my house would look like someday, write poetry, play my piano, sing out loud, dance like a maniac, laugh out loud, sit next to a stream and just listen. The simple things – quiet things – and at some point, I grew up.


 


I get wrapped up in being adult. Going hard at work all day, thinking about work when I’m not at work, making excuses for not having creative time, not painting the blank canvas on my wall, not taking time to just breathe or meditate, skipping my writing time (which is my favorite time!), pretending my workouts are "my time", and getting caught up in the world outside of my own online. Yes, I do like to play – but not like I used to. I don’t make time for it. 


 


That all changed recently. I went to entrepreneur sleepaway camp (Camp Maverick) in the Berkshire Mountains and when I got home, a friend asked what I got out of it.


 


"Dance every chance you get, leave your heart open, and say yes to everything that feels good.” 


 


He said it reminded him of a quote. My response: “You’re right – people quote it, but few actually dance, love, sing, or live it.”


 


Last summer, I went to the same camp and walked away feeling angsty. It was a fun camp, but I had been in hardcore introvert mode – angry at the world because nothing was working and I felt very unsafe in a lot of different aspects of my life. I showed up to drop off my phone and be silent for the 4 days – mulling over breaking off a relationship that was going nowhere and ending a business I’d had for almost 8 years. It was a tumultuous time, to say the least. The other campers thought I was nice, but no one saw me for who I really am. I was adult-ing to the core – and that left zero play in my spirit.


 


A year later, I had quit my business and my relationship – and walked into camp with a spark. I was ready to set the world on fire and made a few distinct decisions before getting in the car to head up there. 


 


I decided to:


  • play full out
  • say yes to everything that felt good
  • keep my heart open to other incredible humans
  • allow myself to make deep soul connections


 


From the moment I walked into camp, I felt the difference. I was smiling. I got hug-attacked by a camper from the year prior. I wore my “I miss you so much” shirt and hugged the heck out of old friends. I was a social butterfly. I was happy. And it showed up. Everyone at last year’s camp had watched my transformation on Facebook over the last year and they asked what the catalyst was for the change. It was a decision to show up – for myself and everyone else in my life.


 


On the first day of camp, I met a guy who wore my second tutu the next morning for the Wake & Shake. Because who doesn’t love 45min of yoga followed by 2 hours of dancing your face off? And why don’t we, guys and gals alike, wear tutus in real life?


 


  


 


By the end of the 4 days, I was on fire. I ended up being the captain of the winning team for the Color War – chasing teammates all over the course, covered in paint and bright colored powder, hugging everyone around me and screaming loveliness at anyone who would listen. I sang one of my favorite songs (Glitter in the Air) dressed still in paint and THREE tutus (which is officially now called a six-six) and killed it – I honestly have never sang so hard from my heart before. I could feel my heart soaring.


 


  


 


The whole experience left me with an aching awakening. I had joined a tribe of humans that allowed AND encouraged me to be fully myself – a full self I never felt safe to share. To dance, to dream, to partner, to love, to smooch, to snuggle, to be filled up with – and BOY, did it feel good. It’s filled with humans who get me. Humans who aren’t like me but are JUST like me. Humans who play hard, work hard, and live big lives – and who want others to know what it’s like to be wild & free. They’re now my family. (Love to Yanik & Sophia for giving life to Maverick1000 and inviting me in!)


 



 


As much as it was great being with this tribe, I walked away realizing it had more to do with how all of us show up every day. Camp can go with us – into our every day. We don’t have to “adult” so hard anymore. We can play anytime we want. And although many people think this is how I’ve always lived my life, they’re going to see a huge shift in how outgoing and open I am now. 


 


Heart open – no longer afraid to have my heart crushed. 


Connected – ready to explore deep soul connections. 


Saying yes – to anything that feels good and no to anything that feels like crap. 


Playing full out – no more canceling or not showing up unless it’s only to maintain my high energy levels.


 


By the time I got back to DC, I was on fire for my life – on fire in my heart space – on fire in my new friendships – on fire in my soul – on fire in my business – and ready for what was next. Before I left, I had planned to hire a street artist to paint a wall of my office but while I was away, I remembered how much I love to paint and decided to do it myself. I decided to stop wearing clothes that didn’t make me happy. I found myself wondering how I could start singing during my talks (without it being weird) – because it made my heart sing. I looked at the white canvas on my living room wall that has a painting sketched on it and decided it was time to finish it. I even went to IKEA and danced around to whatever music made me want to dance. And smiled at random strangers – I usually squeeze my lips together, but now I’m open-mouth smiling. I hung out with my friends’ kids and got on the floor to play. Heart open, deep soul connections accepted, playing FULL OUT.


 


This past weekend, I went to Colorado for the Jazz Aspen Snowmass festival with friends. Three days of bands playing to a huge field of humans. We danced our faces off even when everyone else was standing around. We waved our hands in the air like we just didn’t care. We laughed, we smiled, we sang, we hiked, we made new friends, we chatted with strangers, and we fully lived. We played for 3 solid days. And walked away sore and happy. I’m taking camp into everyday life. 


 


 


 


So, now that we’re back to work – “the grind” – what can we do to keep playing?! Or what can you do to START playing? 


 


I’ve come up with some ideas so we can play together. Pick one and do it today – then do another tomorrow – and then another the day after that. These are just ideas, not requirements or rules. Because kids don’t get creative when they have rules. Let’s play!


 


ADULT-ISH PLAYTIME


  • Wear an outfit that makes you smile.
  • When you see a stranger and love something they’re wearing, give them a compliment out loud.
  • Instead of walking down the block, skip. 
  • Say yes to everything that feels good. 
  • Say no to everything that feels bad.
  • Leave your phone home when you walk the dog and give every person who walks by you a big smile.
  • Dance in a retail store to music that moves you.
  • Do a project you don’t have time for but you used to LOVE doing. (paint a picture, play piano, write a poem, buy those fun baskets and reorganize that closet, etc)
  • Go for a long drive with no destination in mind and find a new spot to grab coffee, dinner, or a drink.
  • Walk the long way to work.
  • Kiss your significant other at least 20 times in one day.
  • Hug people instead of shaking their hand.
  • Put on a tutu. (I SWEAR it will brighten your day.)
  • Be bold and say “I want to be your friend” to someone you really want to be friends with.
  • Tell a friend you love them.
  • Send a package of goodies to a loved one with lots of bright colors inside.
  • Paint your toenails a bright color.
  • Send your mom a massage gift certificate for no reason.
  • Smile with your whole face.
  • Listen to every word of a song with your eyes closed.
  • Ask your friends to play.
  • Skip happy hour & go to the park for a picnic.
  • Read a book on the toilet instead of your Facebook feed.
  • Put on headphones and lipsync in your public with full face expressions.
  • Dance around your house to loud music in your undies.
  • Take a real bath.
  • Wash every little part of yourself.
  • Put on music from your teenage years and rock out. (Oh, man, can they bring back Lilith Fair?)
  • Make silly faces at the camera instead of posing.
  • Wear cute pajamas to bed.
  • Wake up on Saturday morning and watch vintage cartoons. (Can you find them online?)
  • Handwrite a love note and mail it.
  • Text a friend a bunch of emojis.
  • Schedule a dance break at the office and get your colleagues involved.
  • Use bright colored pens instead of black or blue.
  • Buy a coloring book and really color – instead of trying to be mindful.
  • Take a nap.
  • Say what you really mean. (I know, right?!)
  • Tell someone they’re your bestie. And mean it.
  • Encourage someone else to play with you.
  • Come up with a creative date instead of “meeting for drinks” – like music in the park, a walk by the lake/river, or a painting class.
  • Buy a set of legos and use them on your next lunch break.
  • Break your routine and try out a different kind of exercise class.
  • Sign up for an activity you’ve never done before.
  • Plan a really romantic (but fun!) evening with your significant other.
  • Do your hair or makeup differently. (For bald guys, try a new style of hat.)
  • Get your friends together and go out for a night of dancing. 
  • Sit on a park bench with a notepad and write what comes to mind.
  • Join a kickball team, bocce team or hash (the drinking club with a running problem).
  • Smile. For no reason.
  • Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile. 
  • Listen. JUST LISTEN to someone share. Ask them lots of questions but don’t butt in.
  • Put your phone & headphones away on your commute.
  • Strike up a conversation with a stranger. 
  • Play – whatever that means to you.
  • Put on a tutu. (Did I already say that?!)


Let’s do this together. We can put our phones down, have a real conversation with another human being, truly listen to what is going on around us, and find out what we really like to do. Decide it’s going to be a beautiful day and then manifest that by showing up and playing. None of us REALLY wanted to grow up anyway.


 


What other playtime ideas do YOU have? 


 

You have a story you need to share.

You have a story you need to share.

“Our lives are not made up of minutes. They’re made up of moments.” – Mark Batterson


 


Each of us has a story. A lot of us just think that our story is insignificant. I’m here to let you know you couldn’t be more wrong. Whether you’ve been through the big things or the small things, it doesn’t matter. Someone else has gone through them as well. And some of us are going through them. And some things are still yet to come for some us. But you would never know who needed to hear exactly what you have to say until you say it.


It’s no secret – I’m a BIG fan of stories. I love sharing them and I love receiving them even more. The last couple of weeks have been amazing with 6 sets of women on HERadventures. Storytelling is one of the biggest drivers for why I do a lot of what I do, and the biggest inspiration for Rock Your Talk.


I can think of fewer things in life than helping someone organize their story and helping them get the hint of courage they need to be able to get on stage and tell it to the world! In honor of stories, being back to Adventures in Branding, and the launch of the second Rock Your Talk, I made a whole episode all about stories and the impact your story can have on someone else.



If you don’t know already, Rock Your Talk is a show put on by myself and my co-host, Patrick of Patchbay Media, where we get people on stage to share their story in front of a live audience. If you’re interested in being a speaker, audience member, or just want to find out more, visit irockmytalk.com




CONNECT WITH ME: 


Join the Kickass Humans Club


Instagram: @Melaniespring


LinkedIn: Melanie Spring


Twitter: @Melaniespring


Facebook: Melanie Spring




Find out more: http://brandventurespodcast.com  

Subscribe on iTunes: http://bit.ly/brandventures

Kickass Humans Club: http://bit.ly/KHCgroup

Find your brand, share your story, change the world.

Find your brand, share your story, change the world.

It’s finally happened, kickass humans.


I launched a new brand. A spankin’ new brand! Branding a brand expert has been no small feat. And not in the way you would think. 


Not once did I ever believe I would ever own another brand – ever. SISARINA FOR LIFE! And anyone who thought differently would get punched in the face. I was adamant that Sisarina was it. Until I let it all go – my business, my list of services, my entrepreneur clients, my employees – even the brand voice. I stepped in front of it all and created a whole new brand – one that sells one product: ME!


 


Not long ago, my crew asked me a pivotal question that would start a ripple in my own life – changing my direction and allowing me to take the next step. The question? “If you didn’t have any responsibilities, what would you do instead?” My answer: “Write a book & teach.”


 


The only problem was, I had every excuse in the book as to why I HAD to keep Sisarina. Why I HAD to keep my crew, my clients, my responsibilities. Why I absolutely COULDN’T go write a book and teach. And I held onto those stories – and made them my own. Like I had for YEARS before that question. 


 


Stories are how we connect to each other. We’re humans talking to humans about human things. But most people forget about the human element and start talking in bullet points and PowerPoints about all the things they do. The stories are what keep us together. They’re how we build relationships.


 


Every single one of us has a story inside of us. We have stories. Our companies are filled with humans who have stories. Our companies have stories. Stories are everywhere – yet most of us never share them. Most of us keep our stories to ourselves. And it’s because we don’t believe anyone will care about our stories. We hide them thinking we’re the only ones with that particular story. Until we share them and start finding the weirdos just like us who were hiding their own stories.


 


Our stories aren’t for us – the good, the bad and the ugly isn’t ours to keep. When we share our stories, we create little ripples. The more people we share our stories with, the more ripples we create. One person is touched by our story and they share it with another. The more impact that ripple makes, the bigger the ripple becomes until it slowly becomes a fast-moving wave crashing on a distant shore. We have NO idea the impact we end up making, but I know for certain that if we don’t share our stories, zero impact is made.


 


I didn’t start sharing my story until about a year ago. My story of being too much and how when I owned who I was, I became wild & free. (But you’ll have to come listen to my Rock Your Life talk to find out more.) Finding my story allowed me to share it and when I shared it, I heard how much it touched others. One woman said: “I may be nobody to most but now I am somebody to me.” Stories are powerful. 


 


When we find out who we are, our stories start coming to the surface. When we stand in our own personal brands (yes, each of us has one, we just have to define it), we stand in a humble confidence that gives us the power to change lives. Our personal brands show up at home, at work, and with our friends. Our personal brands go before us and make sure people are talking about us – but if we don’t define our own brands, others will define them for us.


 


My personal brand is Approachable Badass.


 


The approachable part makes sure I get to know you really well by making you feel so comfortable you WANT to tell me things. The badass part goes deeper and further and ends up pushing you off the edge of a cliff you’ve been staring at for years – it’s the part that makes things a little uncomfortable. Together, we're able to find the stories you forgot were even in there – the human stories – whether you’re a person or a company. And I’m REALLY good at it. It’s my purpose – my superpower if you will.


 


Which leads me to launching Branded Confidence by Melanie Spring – a brand of confidence by a human who finally stepped into who she was called to be. And who wants to show you how to do the same for yourself.


 


This gives me a platform to help you create those stories and share them. Branded Confidence was built to give brands – the personal ones AND the corporate ones – the courage to be what they were made to be. To find their purpose, understand the core of who they are, and make sure they attract the humans and clients they deserve.


 


When your brand is confident, you walk into every room with poise, tenacity and a fearless grit.


 


You know who you are, what you stand for, and how to talk about it – personally and professionally. And then you can share the story of who you are with the world.


 


Which is what I’m finally doing myself.


 


Your turn: Ask yourself “If I didn’t have any responsibilities, what would I do instead?” Then write down all of the excuses, the stories you're telling yourself about why you can't do the thing you want to do – and burn it. Then go do the thing you want to do. Or, at the VERY least, take the first step. 


 


Thanks for being a part of my story. I can’t wait to be a part of yours.


Melanie Spring