Trust yourself: A message from the universe

Nathan Anderson via Unsplash

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self you’d be happy to live with all your life. 
—Golda Meir 


“Trust yourself.” 

The universe has beamed this message at me over and over and over this week—even while I covered my ears, squeezed my eyes shut, and shouted, “I can’t!” into the kitchen sink (yes, the dog thinks I’m nuts now).

It’s especially hard to do just after I’ve made mistakes that, in retrospect, seem so obviously flawed. On Monday, I made a big mistake—and it cost me. It cost me money. It cost me time. And it cost me a lot of pride and heartache. That moment caused me to question not just the one decision that led there, but every decision I’ve made in weeks. In months. It made me question who I am, and if I can rely on myself. 

I’m getting on a plane next week with no return flight booked. Not for the first time, I’m striking out on my own with only a tentative plan and nothing to do but make it work. I’ve found that I have the best inspiration, the best work ethic, and the best LUCK when I’ve already raised the stakes and bet on me.

And even though I've been doubting this week, I know that next week, I have to level up. Because I bet on myself. 

What happens when you bet on yourself?

What happens when you keep climbing the rock wall, when you leap to the next hold, knowing that you have to let go of the hold you’re on—and not being able to see past the next step? 

You level up. 

You let go of the things that, while good for a time, are no longer helping you climb. 

You trust the next step, at least enough to jump for it.

You become free to make choices that you know are right for you—even if they’re not the easy ones. Even when it’s not the logical, predictable plan. When it’s not a quick win.

You become strong. 

You make room for what you want in your life. And maybe, just maybe, you realize you were strong all along—all those small leaps? They didn’t make you strong, they just raised you high enough to see your strength. 

Here’s to strength, love, and trusting yourself this week—

XOXO
Ashton

When you're ready, here are three opportunities to grow & connect: 

  • Connect in my free Facebook community, #DestinationSuccess.

  • ^^ Join me for free "office hours" tomorrow at 4 pm PST in the Facebook group above. I'll go live to answer questions and chat about anything business-related you like!

  • Get clarity on your story & website in just a weekend.

It's Mardi Gras!

Ashton at mardi gras (blurry as hell)

*Before you read: Here’s a soundtrack for your reading pleasure.

Last night, I plastered purple glitter on my face and wandered the streets of downtown New Orleans with two of my oldest friends—and made some new ones—while we watched the sassy revelers and satirical floats of Hermes and D’Etat roll by.

Tourists in tutus and locals in jeans (and the odd Sonic the Hedgehog costume) were laughing and cheering one another to dance and sing for hours before the parades started. A man near me took up a three-hour football game with a little girl on a balcony that involved at least a dozen foam footballs. That's the spirit of Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras is infectious, fun, and completely unapologetic—despite all its flaws, mistakes, and the occasionally sketchy past.

A quick google will return a million overviews, insider’s guides, bests & worsts roundups, and angry mobs of opinions about Mardi Gras. Most of them, to me, are unimpressive. But then, nobody can capture the essence of NOLA without ambient sounds of Trombone Shorty and the smell of crawfish spices in the hot, sticky air.

You have to experience the confetti bombs landing in your hair, get pelted by at least one bag of beads, make friends with a dozen strangers, and taste the strongest daiquiri of your life (on the street! Walking around!) to truly understand what it's like.

Mardi Gras is a huge, lavish, creative, welcoming, guaranteed ball of a time. Everybody around has made a CHOICE to be there. They want to kick back, throw down, and laugh it up with people they love—or brand new friends. You don’t just “end up” in New Orleans on Mardi Gras by accident (that’s how you get to Memphis…)

But Mardi Gras is also a 200-year-old mega-successful enterprise & brand. Cities and conferences spend millions trying to generate the PR & tourism boost that New Orleans gets every year, without fail, from this spectacle.

Think about it—if Mardi Gras were just one businesswoman, she wouldn’t be selling homely slices of King Cake on the corner of Canal St. She’d have a giant operation overlooking Old Man River with ravenous locals & tourists lining up for days to lick her powdered sugar off their lips.

Why?

Because Mardi Gras isn’t afraid of “not being your cup of tea.”

This huge, drunken soiree is guaranteed every year from Twelfth Night right on up to midnight on Fat Tuesday. You know where it is, what to eat, and that you /better not/ take your kids (get that seven year old off the barrier before she falls into the fire).

No, it’s not for everyone. Some people believe Mardi Gras is the spawn of satan himself (just read my hate mail!)

Mardi Gras don’t care. Mardi Gras thrives on all these flavorful opinions and the flamboyant attention. Mardi Gras probably believes, just a hair to the side of cutthroat, that ANY publicity is good publicity. Maybe you’re not quite there, but…

How can you apply that fun-loving, self-confident-as-f*uck attitude to your business?
No fear.

Don’t be afraid that you’re going to offend someone.
You will anyway.

Don’t be afraid that some on-the-fence clients will turn away from you.
They will anyway.

You will never be able to please everyone.

But you can seduce the ones who were already ready to love you. The ones who would fly all the way down South and attend your parades and eat your beignets and yell, “Throw me somethin!” just for a chance to work with you.

Who’s your parade-going, trumpet-blowing fan base? You can’t please everybody, but you can certainly blow your fans away so they’re talking about you all year long. Listen to what they’re asking for, those wild-eyed revelers who already love you. And then throw ‘em somethin, mister!

XO
Ashton 

When you're ready, here are three ways to work with me on shouting your message from the (hurricane-ready) rooftops: