If you’d like some clarity on what 2018 is going to be about for you AND how to get there, please register now.
Because the reminder that everything is temporary is also the reminder to take action now.
There is no better time than now.
Now is the only time there is.
P.S. In the past few years, I’ve had major surgery, written a few wildly successful books, lived with depression and anxiety, grown my business into the mid-six figures, and still found time to walk on the beach. I know something about how to be productive, even when life is getting in the way. Join me for this all-new live interactive video workshop – in which you will actually be DOING stuff (not just taking notes : ) and let’s have 2018 be the year that makes a difference, OK? – S.
P.P.S. Your Clear Year: 2018 also includes a full year of membership in the 365 Club, featuring a monthly “Ask Sam Anything” call, daily inspirational emails, a private FB page and access to the Library. So this isn’t just a one-off quickie – you’ll get a FULL YEAR of support from me and the team. – S.
“…Because you told me I was a stuntwoman and I believed you…” Painting by Lesley Perdomo
Allot Fifteen Minutes a Day to Your Project
If I could actually make you do stuff, the first thing I would get you to do is to spend fifteen minutes each and every day working on your project.
As it happens, you are the agent of change in your life, and I can’t really make you do anything.
But I strongly urge you to make this daily commitment to your project.
Do fifteen minutes every morning
— before you check your email, before you check your email, before you check your email…working on your project.
You will need an iron will to resist the siren call of the Internet, but it’s worth it.
Whatever’s out there can wait while you put yourself first for just a few minutes.
So get out your kitchen timer, or use the timer on your cell phone (in which case you can select an alert sound that you particularly enjoy), and even if you just sit still for fifteen minutes, you will profit.
I’ve heard from my students with attention deficit disorders that using a timer is an especially useful focusing ritual.
You will be amazed by how much work you can get done in fifteen minutes. You will be flat-out astonished by how much progress you make by putting in fifteen minutes a day, seven days a week, for a week, for a month, for three months, for a year.
Intellectually, this makes perfect sense. You know that if you practiced guitar every day for fifteen minutes, before long you’d be a better guitar player.
If you spend fifteen minutes a day writing a novel, eventually you will have written a novel.
If you spend fifteen minutes a day working on your abs, pretty soon you’ll have strengthened your core.
But emotionally this strategy doesn’t feel like it will work. It feels too small and too half-baked.
It may also trigger some feelings of rebellion, anger, despair, or fatigue. Sometimes those feelings show up right when you’re on the verge of a breakthrough.
You might want to think of this as your Daily Fifteen Minutes of Fame.
It ’s your chance to treat yourself like a famous artist for fifteen minutes every day.
After all, would a famous artist have any trouble claiming this small amount of time for herself ? Of course not.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Okay, Sam, but how do I go about this fifteen-minute thing?” Here ’s what I recommend:
Your Daily Fifteen Minutes of Fame — the Why
Quickly — without pondering — close your eyes for a moment and ask yourself, “What does this project represent for me? What value of mine does it represent?” and just let the answer bubble up from inside.
Maybe your answer will be “freedom” or “joy” or “self- expression” or “love” or “escape from the cubicle” or “to prove everybody wrong” — whatever word or phrase brings a little smile to your face is the right one.
You might even make yourself a little sign with your word or phrase on it and post it on or near your timer. (You could even grab a paint pen and decorate your kitchen timer if you were so inclined — a bit of glitter and glue, anyone?)
Your Daily Fifteen Minutes of Fame — the What
Working swiftly, brainstorm a list of fifteen-minute tasks.
Include a wide variety, since some days you might wake up feeling bold and want to tackle something brave such as “entering poetry contest,” and on others you’ll feel quiet and shy and want to do something simple like doodling or daydreaming. With this list at hand, you can quickly select the task that matches your mood.
For example, if I were writing a play called Romeo and Juliet, my list of fifteen-minute tasks might look something like this:
• Write a quickie character sketch of the nurse.
• Research poisons and sleeping draughts.
• Work on the balcony scene.
• Call agent.
• Brainstorm titles (Capulet vs. Montague, Why Fifteen-Year-Old
Girls Should Not Be Allowed to Go Dancing Unchaperoned )
• Write an author’s bio for the back cover.
• Double-check penalties for dueling.
• Write a blog post about doing the wrong thing for the right reasons.
• Research whether a rose by any other name really would
smell as sweet.
Your Daily Fifteen Minutes of Fame — the When
I usually suggest working in the morning, just because getting stuff out of the way first thing seems to work for a lot of people, including myself, but you might find that working after school works well (family homework time?) or just before bedtime.
Some people like to work in the middle of the night. Experiment.
My friend Emilie Beck is an award-winning playwright and theater director, and once she wrote a play (two plays, actually) in twenty-minute increments.
She had two small boys at home and a very demanding full-time job, and twenty minutes each day during her lunch hour was truly the only time she had.
It was not her preferred method of working, to be sure, but she made the best of it.
She found not only that she was able to do some great work but also that the action of writing every day helped remind her of her life goals, and kept her in touch with her artist-self, which was, I imagine, in danger of getting temporarily swallowed up by her mommy-self and her executive-self.
LESLEY’S STORY (In her own words)
I will be honest, I didn’t believe you at first. You were so adamant about how only fifteen minutes a day can help you complete a project. “Yeah, right,” kept sounding in my head. It was that same voice that always held me back from starting a project because I never knew where to start.
Whether I was starting a necklace or a painting, I always felt that if I started it, then I would have to finish it right then and there. That is a lot of pressure, so I would sometimes just shrug off some great ideas.
I figured I had nothing to lose by following your advice. I set the timer on my cell phone and started a neck- lace right away. It took me three fifteen-minute sessions to complete one, but by the end of the week, I had three more necklaces than I had anticipated.
I filled in my fifteen minutes with production, and I started to value what fifteen minutes can bring you in a day, a week, and a month! So I decided to transfer this wisdom to my paintings.
Sometimes I would feel inspired to go longer than fifteen minutes. However, if I had only fifteen minutes to give to a project, I was okay with it.
What I am sharing with you today is a painting that I started in February 2011 and finally completed it August 2011. This painting is very meaningful to me and expresses the journey that I have embarked on since starting the fifteen-minutes-a-day process.
The background is a tile collage of different tattoo images that I found in various tattoo magazines (during my fifteen minutes a day I would skim through magazines and cut out my favorite images). Soon I had collected enough to fill up the canvas (again, in different fifteen-minute segments, I glued them to every quadrant of that canvas).
Once the canvas was filled, I started painting the woman. (In those fifteen-minute segments I learned how to get the skin tones I liked, and I played with shadow.)
I will be honest: sometimes during my fifteen-minute segments I would just stare at the canvas and try to figure out what my next move would be. But those fifteen minutes of thought are what helped bring about the spiderweb, the filigree, and the crystals, all of which helped me complete this painting.
I call this painting the Stuntwoman, which is something you once called me. I have found balance in my life, in my career, by just appreciating fifteen minutes every day.
By the way, I gave Lesley the stuntwoman idea because once as she was talking to me about feeling overwhelmed by her schedule, I suggested that she consider the idea of being busy without buying into the story that busy equals being stressed out:
“Think about being busy in the same way that a surgeon is busy during an operation,” I told her. “Be busy like a trapeze artist flying through the air, or like a stuntwoman — just cleanly moving through each task with great clarity, concentration, and grace.”
Maybe you are in the middle of a dry spell so severe your lips are parched.
I’m sorry. I know that feeling — that sinking, empty, aching feeling — and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
But I know that eventually it will end. And you will live through it. I’m sorry I can’t say how long “eventually” will be, but I do know that you will get your mojo back.
You are an artist.
And sometimes artists endure extended periods during which it seems as if nothing’s happening.
It ’s called acedia, meaning “spiritual torpor and apathy; ennui” or “anomie in societies or individuals, a condition of instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values or from a lack of purpose or ideals.”
And it doesn’t mean you’re dead inside.
It just means that you’ve temporarily lost the ability to feel joy in your work. Which is sad.
But if you accept this dry spell as a stage in the artistic process, feeling fully confident that no one and nothing can ever take away your identity as an artist (after all, they haven’t been able to make it go away yet, have they?), you just might survive.
Maybe this is the time to pursue some of those other things you always say you want to do. Volunteer more. Have lunch with friends.
Take a temporary job in a field that ’s of interest to you. Spend more time with children. Read all those books you’ve got piled up. Plan a trip. Sit on the couch with the television off.
Whatever happens, don’t give up on yourself.
Eventually you will get a little tickle. An idea will whisper to you. You’ll catch yourself thinking, “I wonder if . . .” and you’ll be off to the races again, productive, happy, and rejoicing in the renewal of your vibrant, creative voice.
The symptoms of Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready syndrome include feeling like you can’t possibly move forward until you lose ten pounds, get a degree, receive permission, know the right people, have enough money, get more experience, pay your dues, or obtain the right equipment.
The trick to defeating Getting-Ready-to-Get-Ready syndrome is doing fifteen minutes of research. (And yes, this can be one of your fifteen-minute daily tasks.)
If you assume that you need to do something before you can do the thing you really want to do, please check that assumption — especially if the source of your information is your own mind. Google it, ask around, and, most important, ask someone who’s already done the thing you really want to do.
Chances are good that you’re over-complicating things.
There was the photographer who was convinced she couldn’t market herself until she had digitally optimized all her photos for her website, which would have meant weeks if not months of painstaking work. I asked her if she had one photo that she thought of as iconic, and when she said yes, I urged her to place just that one on her site. She was up and running twenty minutes later.
Lara was a highly intuitive performer who was feeling a pull toward embarking on a second career as a life coach, but she was feeling discouraged by the two years and several thousand dollars that certification would take.
Now, I admire and respect the people who’ve gone through coach certification, but it is not a prerequisite to being of great service to people.
When I pointed out that she already knew enough to at least get started with a few clients, she brightened right up.
Last I heard, she was running high-end retreats once a month in Beverly Hills — further proof that if you can deliver outstanding results, nobody really cares about your credentials.
And finally, there are the countless men and women who’ve told me that they can’t possibly get started on X, Y, or Z until they lose weight.
Honey, your destiny doesn’t care how much you weigh.
You can find a lover, sell your art, star in your show, and earn your fortune with the body you have right now. And it’s entirely possible that you will become so busy and happy working on your project that your body will self-adjust and become closer to your version of perfect.
After all, there’s nothing like joy to create health.
Zone of Genius.
Being in Flow.
Work That Doesn’t Feel Like Work.
Creative people have a special talent for getting into the groove of a project and surfing the energy of it for hours and hours.
In this state of creative flow, there is no such thing as fear, procrastination, anxiety or self-doubt — there is only the joy of the work.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could make money from that same joyful place?
How much money would you like to be bringing in?
How much time would you like to spend each week on your art?
How many people do you think you could help if you were to create this life?
I know it’s possible, because I’ve done it.
And I’d like to help you do it.
Join The 94th Percentile
Only 6% of entrepreneurs ever make it to six-figures. (I’m one of them.)
Less than 10% of actors ever earn more than $10,000/year acting. (I’m one of them.)
Selling over 200 copies of a book of poetry makes it a “best-seller.” (I’ve done well over that.)
Less than 2% of completed manuscripts ever get a publishing contract. (I’ve done that.)
Now, these statistics are debatable, but even so, if you read them the wrong way you might come to believe that I am some kind of superwoman.
I succeeded at those things because I had an idea and didn’t stop working until I made that idea a reality.
I succeeded because I was undistractible.
I succeeded because I didn’t know what I was doing was impossible.
Luckily, impossible things happen every day.
The truth I see is this:
The Odds Have Nothing To Do With Your Probability of Success
Odds are important when it comes to things that involve mathematical certainty – not creative success.
Once you are actually getting your work out into the world, the idea of “odds” becomes completely immaterial.
Conventional wisdom matters when you are doing conventional things.
Creativity and entrepreneurship are, by definition, the opposite of conventional.
Logic applies to things that obey the rules of logic.
Art and love and creative success is anything but logical.
So get those negative voices OUT of your head.
You CAN succeed doing what you love.
You CAN make money doing what you love.
You CAN create a life that is perfect for you.
Reinventing the Wheel
The problem is that no one ever taught you how to take control of your creative power and use it to help people & make money.
Some of you may have even been taught that making art was “selfish” and a sure-fire way to become a “starving artist.” I say: HOOEY.
There is plenty of money and success and joy in the world for those who want to go get it.
And I think you might be one of those people.
What If I Gave You My System and We Customized It For You?
What if we could spend the day together here in Southern California (somewhere around Los Angeles or Santa Barbara) and together we could make a plan for you to:
– bring in at least $1,500/month doing work you love
– have a marketing plan that feels like a party
– schedule your time so you get plenty of rest, meditation and exercise
I’m opening up a few spaces in my calendar for some select individuals to join me for a Big Wheel VIP Day.
We’ll meet in a swanky hotel room (my treat and of course you’ll stay the night : ) and talk, work, have lunch, work some more and by the middle of the afternoon, we’ll have created a fun, workable plan for you to execute over the next 3 months.
I’ll also give you monthly follow-up calls plus email support.
Does this sound interesting to you?
I urge you to fill out the no-obligation application HERE —
Even if you have no intention of ever doing this VIP day thing, the act of answering the quesions can be VERY ILLUMINATING. And I promise I won’t care if you fill it out and then never take another step. No worries.
Once my team gets your application, we’ll review it and if it seems like a good fit, we’ll invite you to have a 20-minute Big Wheel Evaluation Session with me.
MY PROMISE: I will not let you invest in this day with me unless I’m pretty confident we can create something at least as good as the plan I’ve outlined above. If I don’t think you’re ready, I won’t let you book it. Fair deal?
Willing to Take One Small Step?
I want you to fill out the no-obligation application HERE — and then, if you decide you’re really interested, we’ll talk about whether or not it’s the right move for you.
Thank you for reading.
And please leave a comment below to let me know how all this strikes you — I’m very interested in your reaction to this offer.
P.S. Here’s the reason I’m excited about offering the Big Wheel VIP Day experience:
I’m at my best when I can work intensively on one big project. Spending 4 hours with me all at once is better than a full year of monthly calls – I guarantee it.
I get more inspired, more intuitive and more genius-y when I get to spend the day focused on YOU.
So that’s why I’m offering this new format – because I think it will be more effective than anything else I’ve ever offered.