Brené Brown On How To Be Your Most Brave & Courageous Self

Does fear hold you back from making your most important contributions? With the pace of technology and change, are you worried about being left behind or becoming irrelevant?

Today I’m talking with a friend who also happens to be one of my favorite women on the planet, Dr. Brené Brown.

As usual, our conversation is raw, real and deep. Nothing is held back and we share some things we’ve both never said publicly before. This conversation on courage, leadership and vulnerability is not to be missed.

Choose courage over comfort, choose whole hearts over armor, and choose the great adventure of being brave and afraid, at the exact same time. @BreneBrown #DareToLead Click To Tweet

Brené’s brilliant and powerful new book, ”Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.”, is the culmination of a seven-year study on what it means to be a courageous leader. She unearthed some surprising truths about what holds us back from being brave, open-hearted and effective. (Hint: fear is not it.)

Don’t think you’re a “leader”? Not so fast. Brené defines a leader as “anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and has the courage to develop that potential.” That includes you.

Join us for a rich conversation as we unpack the wisdom in her new book, including:

  • Why Brené wants you to stop using her (or your idea of her) as a way to snuggle up to your own self-doubt.
  • The “huge epiphany” that destroyed her theory about leadership — and led her to write a book she said she’d never write.
  • What the world’s bravest leaders have in common (and the one surprising thing they don’t).
  • How we feel social pain in the exact same way we feel physical pain… a must-listen if you share anything online and fear criticism and cruelty.
  • Plus, how courage is a bonafide teachable skill. Yes, really. There is an actual, proven method that will help you become braver.

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Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

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As mentioned, you can learn more and gain access to additional resources at the Dare To Lead Hub.  

Now, Brené and I would love to hear from you.

Which part of our conversation resonated most with you and why? What can you do to turn that insight into action right now?

Leave a comment below and let us know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Now more than ever, we need brave folks like you to be clear, kind and stand up for what’s right.

Thank you for sharing your heart, voice and perspective. Most of all, thanks for stepping up and using this conversation as your catalyst to become an even braver leader.

With enormous love,

XO

The Copy Cure 2018 Scholarship Program

What if you could sit down with your coffee and pour out words that spark an aha, a revolution, or thousands of clicks to your “buy” button?

What if you stopped second-guessing yourself every time you sat down to write and could get down words that sound as good on the page as they did in your head? No more writer’s block, website shame or devastating silence in response to your work.

Guess what? You can.

Those words — the words in your blog posts, emails, sales pages, headlines, business tweets and all over your website — those are called copywriting. Or, “copy.”

They’re the words that inspire emotion and action. They’re words that sell. If you’ve been having trouble writing them in a way that sounds like you and makes people want to buy what you have…

A few key changes to how you think about copy can change everything.

Over the last few years, thousands of ambitious creatives and entrepreneurs have gone through our stellar writing program called The Copy Cure. Our students have seen huge jumps in comments, fans and sales. Some even before they finished the course.

  • By Module 2, Mohamed had built an international community of over 6,000 members — from scratch! And in English, his third language.
  • In just 3 months, Carolyn and Cynthia went from $54,000 in sales to $119,000. Three months! And the only thing they changed was their copy.

If you’ve been a fan of this blog for any significant amount of time, then you know how committed we are to serving our audience and customers at the highest level.

Well, for the past six months we’ve been working behind the scenes rebuilding the entire program from the ground up. We took everything that was effective about The Copy Cure and challenged ourselves to go even further.

We surveyed creatives, analyzed over 16,000 responses and used all of that insight to create new video trainings, masterclasses, fun sheets, templates, and live workshops. The program has now doubled in size.

We believe in the power of using the right words to create positive change in the world.

We believe your voice deserves to be heard. We believe that your message matters. We believe that the world really needs that special gift that only you have.

That’s why we’re offering a handful of scholarship seats to The Copy Cure 2018.

This Scholarship Program Is Based On The Honor System

Getting an education isn’t easy. My early journey was filled with work-study gigs and, frankly, anything I could apply for that might possibly ease the financial burden on my family.

But an education is one of the most powerful tools in existence for transforming our lives.  

If you’re familiar with my work, you know I believe that talent is universal, opportunity is not. That means we strive to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from what we create, regardless of economics. It’s why 99% of our creative work is offered free of charge.

To be clear, our company is proudly a for-profit business.

Our paid programs not only fund the production of our free content but also pay the salaries and benefits of everyone on Team Forleo who work tirelessly to help produce what we feel is some of the best, most inspiring and educational content around.

We’re grateful to host an audience that spans 195 countries worldwide. We’re acutely aware of the vast range of economic realities that comprise our beloved audience, both domestically and abroad.

This 2018 Copy Cure Scholarship Program is based on the honor system. Please, only submit an entry for a potential scholarship if it’s truly needs-based. I’m entrusting you — on your honor — to apply for a scholarship because without it, improving your writing skills with a program like The Copy Cure would not be financially possible right now.

In our selection efforts, we’ll strive to focus on creatives from underserved and marginalized communities. Check out the details below, and get to it. (Act fast, because the deadline is Monday, October 8th at 3pm Eastern US time.)

The Copy Cure Scholarship Program

What it is: Complimentary access to The Copy Cure digital program.

How to be considered: Read the following questions and post your answer in the comments below. Make sure your response is 250 words or less.

  1. What’s your biggest struggle with writing and why?
  2. What’s your business, career or work dedicated to? Who do you serve and/or what’s your mission?
  3. If admission to The Copy Cure landed in your lap, how would stronger writing help you, your business, your family and community? What tangible, specific difference would this make to you and those around you?

Everything You Need to Know

  1. You apply with a written comment below. Yes, it must be public. No email entries will count.
  2. We’ll award a handful of scholarship seats. A specific number is not predetermined.   
  3. The entry deadline is Monday, October 8th 2018 at 3pm Eastern US time and the recipients will be announced on Friday, October 12th 2018 by 5pm Eastern US time.
  4. No purchase is necessary to receive a scholarship.
  5. We’re the judges and our decision is subjective and final. (We love and appreciate you more than you know.)

Remember: We’re looking for heart, creativity, kindness and the ability to follow directions. Show us how stronger writing will help you reach your dreams and create meaningful change.

We can’t wait to see your entry.

***********************************************************************************************************

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT UPDATE as of October 12th, 2018

Our minds are BLOWN! Thank you so very much for all of the goodness, heart, and soul you shared. We read each and every word of 649 entries. Huge congrats to the following winners. Our team will be in touch with you via email about next steps.

  1. Daniella Green
  2. Ellice Plant
  3. Rebeca Four
  4. Karen (Making The Jump)
  5. Amanda Wilbur
  6. Madeleine Carrington

***********************************************************************************************************

Thank you again,

XOXO

7 Writing Blocks That Keep You Stuck — and How To Blast Past Them

Ah, writing. Whether you’re a professional writer or dream of being a writer — one thing is for sure. Writing ain’t easy. If you’re a creative, activist, entrepreneur or small business owner, copywriting (writing to inspire awareness, sales or some form of action) has become mission critical.

But the sheer amount of copywriting the average creative has to produce — from crafting emails, newsletters, blog posts, social media updates, video scripts, press releases, proposals, website copy, etc. — is staggering and ever-growing. It’s understandable why many of us feel overwhelmed.

I get it. I’ve been writing for my business for nearly two decades. The frequency and volume of what’s needed has exploded. Currently, I’m also writing my next book, Everything is Figureoutable, so I triple feel it! But I wondered…

Do other creatives find writing copy for their business challenging? If so, what specifically do people struggle with the most? We sent a survey to find out. With over 16,000 responses, the feedback was fascinating.

Turns out, the vast majority of us struggle with the same seven writing blocks.

Though we’ve already aired many MarieTV episodes about writing, I wanted to curate the very best strategies and techniques to specifically address these seven blocks.

I have a lot more to share on this topic than I can effectively teach in a single blog post. Visit TheCopyCure.com to learn more.

In the meantime, let’s tackle those seven common writing blocks.

Writer’s Block #1: “It’s all been said before.”

Have you ever looked around your industry and thought, “I have nothing interesting to say that hasn’t already been said”?

I feel you. While you might be tempted to call it quits when someone bigger or “better” writes about an idea you also have, PLEASE don’t let this derail you. Instead, watch this: It’s All Been Done Before: What To Do When You’re Feeling Unoriginal.

In this episode I tell a simple but powerful story about how ignoring my man’s advice led to a total aha moment about originality. You’ll also learn why the world really does need that special gift that only you have.

If you don’t want to listen to me, listen to Pulitzer Prize-winner Anna Quindlen:

“Every story has already been told. Once you’ve read Anna Karenina, Bleak House, The Sound and the Fury, To Kill a Mockingbird and A Wrinkle in Time, you understand that there is really no reason to ever write another novel. Except that each writer brings to the table, if she will let herself, something that no one else in the history of time has ever had.”

― Anna Quindlen

Writer’s Block #2: “What if no one wants to buy what I’m selling?”

There’s nothing more frustrating in business than spending hours writing and rewriting a sales message, only to click “send” and hear crickets. You want to grow a loyal, committed, engaged following — not waste your time talking to an empty theater.

The problem may be caused by your perspective. Thankfully, the fix is fairly easy and won’t just improve your writing but every other aspect of your business, too.

If you struggle to convince people to buy what you’re selling, here’s a 2-step method to help.

Watch the episode: Why No One Wants To Pay For Your Knowledge And How To Change That.

Writer’s Block #3: “It takes me foorrrever to write anything.”

Do you feel like it takes you way too long to write? 30 minutes to answer a simple email? Days to write a blog post?

You’re not alone. Feeling like you’re the slowest writer on the planet is one of the most common blocks that people reported. Almost everyone I know who creates content on a regular basis wants to be more efficient with their time, while still continuing to produce high-quality content.

If writing your newsletter, blog post or finishing your book seems to take way longer than it should, you’re going to love this episode. You’ll learn eight, no-fail secrets to better, quicker content creation.

Watch it here: How To Write Fast: 8 Secrets To Better, Quicker Content Creation

Writer’s Block #4: “I’ll lose business if I spend all day writing.”

When you’re running a business, it can feel impossible to find the time to finish a big writing project, even when you know that the finished product would give you a boost in credibility and the chance to serve significantly more people.

You CAN do it. I promise. In this episode you’ll learn three strategies to help you finish that big writing project once and for all. Spoiler Alert: Strategies #1 and #3 are exactly how I finished my first book (years ago!) while running a successful coaching practice and teaching five dance classes a week.

Watch it here: How To Write A Book When You’re Too Busy Making Money

Writer’s Block #5: “Everything I write is shit. I should just give up.”

I’ve had many days where I’ve questioned my capabilities. In fact, just a few months ago I was in the thick of writing despair…until a chance encounter with a stranger changed everything.

In this episode I share two important things you need to remember if you ever feel terrified of the blank page or get lost in a sinkhole of self doubt. You’ll learn why it’s absolutely critical that you keep writing anyway.

Watch it here: Next Time Self-Doubt Has You In A Death Grip, Remember This.

Writer’s Block #6: “Nothing about me or what I do is unique.”

Raise your hand if, when you first started out, it felt like everyone and their mother was doing what you wanted to do and you started to think…

“Damn! Is EVERYONE a life coach / wedding photographer / blogger, etc.? How the heck am I going to stand out amongst all this competition?”

While these thoughts are inevitable, your response to them doesn’t have to be. That’s why I use a method called “The Four P’s”. If you incorporate these four techniques into your copy, you’ll not only find the right words to express what you do but write them in a way that’s unique to you.

Watch the episode here: How To Make Your Business Sound Unique (Even If It’s Not).

“[T]he older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I’m far more moved by authenticity. Attempts at originality can often feel forced and precious, but authenticity has quiet resonance that never fails to stir me.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert

Writer’s Block #7: “Who am I to say this? Who am I to write this?”

Does the voice in your head say, “Who do you think you are to speak up? Share ideas? Offer a perspective, opinion or advice?”

If the fear of being not good enough, experienced enough or not “together” enough has been stopping you from sharing your ideas, watch this episode. You’ll learn a few powerful mental reframes and a never-leave-home-without-it writing practice called the LSC method.

Watch it here: “Who Am I To Write This?” How To Shake Your Newbie Writer’s Nerves.

Never forget, your words have immense power. Like a magical elixir, they can open minds, heal hearts and inspire courageous acts. Click To Tweet

One more important message, especially about writing for your career or business.

It’s not your fault if writing doesn’t come naturally to you. Nobody is born knowing how to be an effective copywriter. Plus, the writing rules many of us do learn in English or grammar class (regardless of your native language) can actually harm the effectiveness of your copywriting.

I’ve seen people follow traditional writing rules to the letter, only to see their results suffer. While it may be perfectly written, there’s no emotional impact. It’s not powerful, persuasive, nor does it inspire the reader to take action.

One of our Copy Cure students, Cindy, wrote in to tell us this: “I have a PhD in English, but that didn’t mean that I understood how to write emails that people want to open.”

If you want to learn more, get your butt in my free writing class next Wednesday. It’s a live, hands-on, action-packed training full of copy makeovers, tactical tips and some of my favorite free resources. To save your seat, click here and sign up.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What specifically about writing copy for your business do you struggle with the most? Which of the seven common writing blocks holds you back?

Leave a comment below and let us know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Thank you so very much for reading, watching and sharing. Your voice matters. Your message matters. Never forget, words have immense power. Words transform. Words inspire us to act.

As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”

With all my love,

XO

Judge Victoria Pratt on Procedural Justice: It’s Free, Saves Lives and Can Change The World

Have you ever looked at a problem — big or small — and thought, “There’s got to be a better way”? Whether it’s an unnecessarily complex workflow in your office, or our crumbling national infrastructure, we’re all faced with countless issues that deserve focus and initiative.

Yet many of us fail to take action. Instead, we fall prey to apathy. We shrug our shoulders. We succumb to one of the most toxic, insidious and dangerous myths ever:

“Well, that’s just the way it is.”

My guest today believes differently. In fact, she’s tackling one of the most challenging and complex issues of our time. Judge Victoria Pratt has gained national and international acclaim for her commitment to reforming the criminal justice system.

She’s been called a pioneer in what’s known as procedural justice: a simple, free and proven approach to radically overhauling our court system, using the power of dignity and respect.

During her time as the Chief Judge in Newark Municipal Court in New Jersey, she focused on how justice could be delivered to court participants in a way that increased their trust in the legal system and changed their behavior.

She used creative problem solving to provide alternatives to jail for low-level offenders. For example, instead of prison sentences, she hands out introspective essay assignments. She treats each and every defendant with kindness and respect. Her courtroom has so much applause that it’s been compared to an off-Broadway show. And guess what?

It’s working.

In one of our most powerful MarieTV interviews to date, Judge Pratt explains how respect is contagious. She also details the four simple, free principles of procedural justice that can be applied in virtually any setting — your family, team, organization or community — to create similar results.

Failure is just an event. It is not a characteristic. People can't be failures. @JudgeVPratt Click To Tweet

Perhaps one of the most powerful parts of this conversation is when Judge Pratt talks about how she — now a Professor at Rutgers Law School, an entrepreneur, activist, TED Speaker and legal professional who’s admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court — didn’t get into law school the first time she applied. As she says, “Failure is just an event. It is not a characteristic. People can’t be failures.” In our humble opinion, this is a must-watch, must share episode.

We need more leaders like Judge Pratt. As she explains, the principles of dignity, humanity, caring and respect can transform more than our courtrooms. These values, when put into action, can also restore our collective sanity. They can bring us together to solve the even greater issues that face us all.

Check out this episode on The Marie Forleo Podcast

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.

Which of the four principles of procedural justice shared by Judge Pratt resonated most? How can you put that into action today?

Leave a comment below and let us know. Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Thank you so very much for adding your voice to this important conversation. If you have friends, clients or colleagues who’d love this message, please share this post.

With so, so much love and appreciation,

XO

The Artist’s Journey: Steven Pressfield On How To Show Up & Do The Work

Crack. P O P ! Clickity-clack. As I’m writing, my deck (and house) is being pelted with falling acorns. An audible, yet comforting, signal that fall is on her way.

As a kid, I was obsessed with acorns. Every September, I’d spend hours hauling a neon pink wheelbarrow up and down my block, collecting as many acorns as I could.

My parents thought I was a little weird (still do), but I thought these tiny, hat-wearing nuts were simply irresistible (still do). I imagined each acorn contained some secret, magical treasure. Little did I know how true that really was.

Metaphorically speaking, the acorn is a fitting representation of the notion that each of us is coded with unique genius. It holds a sacred blueprint of your one-of-a-kind gifts — your soul’s destiny.

With cultivation and nourishment, those gifts take root. With massive effort and dedication, the seeds of your potential blossom into greatness. You grow strong and majestic, like a mighty oak.  

My life’s work is to encourage that growth.

Both in myself and others. To nurture and fuel. To share ideas, inspiration and support so our roots can collectively deepen as we climb ever higher.

This week, that nourishment isn’t a MarieTV episode. Rather, it comes as an answer to this oft-asked question: “Hey Marie, what are you reading right now?”  

While 90% of my focus is on writing my next book (and will be for a bit), there is something I read this summer that’s too good not to share. My beloved acorns make a cameo, too.

That book is called The Artist’s Journey by the one and only Steven Pressfield.

Steven is the genius behind my all-time favorite book, The War of Art. He’s authored a whopping 18 additional titles, both fiction and non-fiction. We had a fantastic conversation about the value of Turning Pro a few years back and you can catch that timeless MarieTV interview with Steven here.  

The Artist’s Journey is short, punchy and inspiring. It’s about the path we all take when we move past self-sabotage and begin to live our authentic calling. It’s about what happens when we buckle up, pull down the lap bar and create the work that we were put on this planet to create.

On the back cover Steven writes, “You are an artist too—whether you realize it or not, whether you like it or not—and you have an artist’s journey. Will you live it out? Will you follow your Muse and do the work you were born to do? Ready or not, you are called.”

You can devour The Artist’s Journey in a few hours. (I’ve already read it twice.) His prose is both transcendent and bullshit-free. What I learned continues to serve me as I soldier on with my manuscript.

Like all treasured books, my copy is marked with highlights, folded pages, underlines and margin notes. Here are a few takeaways.

The Distinction Between Self-Expression and Self-Discovery

This is a valuable theme that repeats throughout The Artist’s Journey. On page 41, Steven writes,

“I’ve read many times that art is self-expression. I don’t believe it.

I don’t believe the artist knows what he or she wishes to express. The artist is being driven from a far deeper and more primal source than the conscious intellect. It is not an overstatement, in my view, to declare that the artist has no idea what he’s doing.

[…] The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.”

I’ve seen this to be true throughout my entire career. The whole picture is rarely clear to me in advance. Many times when I sit down to write an episode of MarieTV, I have no idea what I’m doing or how the episode will turn out.

It’s far more of a process of discovery vs. pre-planned self-expression. My initial notions are just that — loose starting points.

This concept of art as self-discovery has never been more true than it is right now. As I’m writing my next book (titled Everything Is Figureoutable) it’s as though the book is telling me what it wants to be. New ideas and perspectives arrive almost daily. Much of which bears little resemblance to the content expressed in my initial outline, nor does it perfectly mirror what I’ve developed in the nearly two decades of my career.

In short, I’m discovering what this book actually is through the act of writing it. Self-discovery vs. self-expression. As Joan Didion once said, “I don’t know what I think until I write it down.”

The value is clear. Spend less time worrying about having everything mapped out perfectly in advance. Instead, show up. Get dirty. Embrace the unknown. Chances are, you’ll tap into something deeper, more expansive and inspired. Rather than feeling forced to express yourself, perhaps you’ll discover something far greater than you could have imagined.

Put Your Ass Where Your Heart Wants To Be

Hands down, this is my top one-liner from the book. When it comes to creating a body of work and taking your Artist’s Journey, it really is that straightforward. No matter what you want to do or make, you must put your ass where your heart wants to be. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year. No matter how grindy, uncomfortable and terrifying it is.

On page 158 Steven writes,

“The great secret that every artist and mystic knows is that the profound can be reached best by concentrating on the mundane.

Do you want to write? Sit down at the keyboard.
Want to paint? Stand before an easel.
Wanna dance? Get your butt in a studio.
Want the goddess to show up for you? Show up for her.”

Put your ass where your heart wants to be. @SPressfield Click To Tweet

Here’s what this passage means to me. That it’s wise to worship at the altars of consistency and follow-through. When it comes to doing the work you were born to do, their collective power can not be overstated.

More plainly: Stop dicking around. Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t work just when you “feel like it.” Don’t get sucked into the death spiral of perfectionism.

Do the work.

Because life doesn’t demand perfection. Life doesn’t require you to be constantly fearless, confident, or self-assured. Life simply requires you keep showing up.

The Artist’s Journey contains endless gems to take along on your artistic adventures. If this post inspired you, I hope you grab a copy and make it your new creative companion.

(For more, complement this post with my conversation with the incomparable Liz Gilbert.)

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

In the spirit of your own Artist’s Journey, a two-parter:

    1. What are you creating right now?
  1. What’s one thing you can do to move that work ahead — not just today, but every day?


Remember, share as much detail as possible in your reply. Thousands of incredible souls come here each week for insight and motivation, and your story may help someone else have a meaningful breakthrough.

Important: share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. will be removed.

Never forget that, just like these magical little acorns all around, you too were born with everything you need to answer the call of your soul.

Thank you so much for reading, watching and sharing your voice. You make Tuesdays one of the best days of the week.

With enormous love,

XO