I love writing and communications. I love working with people who value their communications. I love creating a space of discovery that empowers and inspires big thinkers to fall in love with the vibrant potential and the possibilities of embracing, sharing and amplifying their story to grow their brand. To do so I need my head on straight, eyes on the prize, insert your own cliched metaphor. 


Do you get the opportunity to do what you love every day – and get paid for it? No, I’m not trying to recruit you to my MLM, but according to people much wiser than I – I’m looking at you, Melitta Hardenberg – people who answer ‘yes, yes, a thousand times yes’ stay in business longer, delight their clients more and have higher productivity than those who answer with ‘meh’. 


Having a positive headspace is really important to me. It breeds excitement, enthusiasm, optimism and creativity, all essential to my work. It’s more than that, though. I think it’s essential that I enjoy my work. I’m not delusional enough to suggest all day every day should be unicorns farting glitter, in fact, I abhor toxic faux positivity, but negative and snarly isn’t my natural state. My tagline, after all, is ‘tell your story and grow your brand with beautiful communications.’ It’s not ‘tell your story and bugger off!’ 


Bottom line: I want to feel energised, not drained by my work. This I think is emblematic or perhaps an articulation of my business values.


I wrote a little about my values here, but basically, they’re an element of my definition of success which has shifted, waxed and waned over the seasons of my life, as it should be! I’m hashtag blessed to have some incredible people in my orbit who challenge my conceptions (or misconceptions, perhaps) and support me to sit in discomfort against their provocations. People like Mark LeBusque, Tracy Bell, Leanne Elich and Belle Lockerby, among others, all who work in the space of deep, considered thought, not settling for the shallow. Tracy (I think!) shared a concept with me about the link between self-worth and a definition of success against feeling liked and/or valued and the impact of boundaries on this. It always comes back to GD boundaries, doesn’t it, hey Kylie? So what does this mean in the day to day of life, work, family and everything in between?

Well, if you look at ye olde wheel of life against a lens of life by design, it’s easy to visualise how energy is a relatively finite resource and requires consideration. Where’s the best place for me to be placing my energy today, this week, this month? Enter the ideal day/week/month concept that I’ve written about before. Not my concept, by the way, just one I love. It’s clearly outlining the what, why, when and wtaf of how to live a life by intent, by design. For me it looks like a literal day/week/month on a page, laminated no less, with time blocking for work life, mum life, writing life, Holly life and everything in between and around. 


Of course, that’s the relatively practical element of defining success and making it happen. It doesn’t involve the self-awareness component. Eww. I know. It’s knowing your strengths, your values and working and living in a way that aligns, not jars. It’s creating and delivering services that align with values – for example, my Content Blast takes away the feeling of ‘stuckness’ to bring a sense of vibrance and excitement to people’s content strategy. It’s my deliberately carved out, non-negotiable time away from my business for creative writing. It’s about listening to myself, deeply, yet being open to sitting in the discomfort of questioning your status quo and your internal stories. Double eww. 


While the inherent purpose of this piece is to provide a thought prompt for you to consider feeling energised not drained as a definition of success, I can’t help myself with some practical advice for you to take or leave. One of the things that have been key to my sense of balance, or of replenishment or of energising is rethinking and reclaiming the weekend. Whenever possible (f you, kids sporting commitments) I treat at least one day of the two like a mini-holiday. I get to the farm as much as I can, although I don’t know how much of a holiday it is hanging out with my Dad who loves to tell me how to make a coffee, although at almost 50 I do actually know, thanks, Dad… Anyhoo, I love to have a big four hour hike at least once a month to be immersed in nature. If for whatever reason I can’t get away I’ll settle for an urban hike aka a walk for at least two hours. In summer, those long, hot days, I’ll have breakfast outside. Around midmorning, I’ll bring out a fruit platter. Around midday, I chop up some salad stuff for some DIY sandwiches or protein bowls and in the evening we’ll stick on the BBQ for dinner. In between, there’s a whole lot of nothing. I’m taking lazing, dozing, reading, scribbling, mucking around in the garden, all with The Boss (Bruuuuuucccceeee) in the background. Work doesn’t enter the realm, or if it does, it’s relegated to a quick sticky note (mental notes don’t work for me!) and it’s back to Bruce. This day ‘away’ is a circuit breaker and when I skip it when life gets in the way, it feels as though I’m on the back foot. I really miss it – I’m not sure if this is a throwback to my life as a nurse when there really was no such thing as a weekend, other than the (lovely!) penalty pay, so when they entered my life they were like a precious gift.


Tell me, how do you define success? Is it intrinsically linked to your sense of energy?


I love writing about communications, writing, life in business and life in general! If there’s something specific you’d like me to cover in my writing, please shoot me an email or give me a buzz, and I’ll do my best to help, or address it in an upcoming blog post or on my social media platforms.

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