When It’s Personal

Amanda Thomsen
I’m sitting here at my desk just before the busy season kicks off, trying to maximize, optimize and otherwise market myself for 2019. I’ve got a new book coming out on top of all the other things I do and it’s a whole full-time job that I need to somehow layer on top of an already busy life.

Can you identify with that? Are you the head of marketing on top of pretty much everything else? I’m in so deep I can’t see the forest through the trees and shrubs department. And I’m too darn Midwestern to give myself a pep talk, but what I can do is give YOU one (because it just seems more humble and dysfunctional) and hope that some of it seeps into my thick skull.  

1.    Your weirdest ideas are your best ideas. Just because no one has ever done them before or you don’t really know how it’s all going to work out and you don’t have a lick of support doesn’t mean it isn’t a fantastic idea. It might mean that you’re a little stuck, but being stuck is a temporary thing. It might be just for a minute or a few days. You won’t be stuck for long.

2.    It feels a little icky. Putting yourself out there and asking for what you want is just … icky. Start a little Post-it note of all the times you asked for what you wanted and it actually happened. Look at that Post-it when you’re feeling knee-deep in vulnerability.

3.    This year can be your best one yet, but I’m guessing it won’t be your last, so just ease off on all this extreme pressure you put on yourself. There are second chances as well as third chances and 300th chances. There are no expiration dates on success, which is hard to remember when we work in an industry with a definitive busy season (yeah, not you warm-weather friends!).

4.    Don’t take it personally… just joking! It’s as personal as it gets. It’s your name on the sign on the door, on the business cards and on the website. It’s not your brand, it’s your life and it gets soupy. You work yourself silly for three months out of the year, forsaking friends and family, burning the candle at both ends. Promise me you’ll save up your pennies to take yourself on a Disney vacation in the slow season, taking deep breaths between churros and getting back your singular You instead of plural You.

5.    You work harder than anyone I know and you crush goals like mealybugs under your fingertips. (Ew. I’ve gone too far.)

6.    Find the right feedback. I think we get stuck when we ask for feedback on our marketing ideas. When you ask someone who doesn’t understand or care, you won’t get the best response. It can be hard to find the right sounding board. For me, no one understands, so I know it’s time to hire a coach to bring my biz to the next level, but I’m frightened and I don’t know where to start. Is it the same for you? Is it time for you to bring in a consultant or coach? A visual merchandiser? A freelance graphic designer? A therapist? I’m going to write down 10 reasons I’m not hiring a business coach and then I’m going to work through each excuse while eating LOTS of ice cream. I suggest you do the same.

7.    Perhaps we’re people that do well under that pressure and feel a little lost the rest of the time. It's easy to feel adrift when urgency isn't always pushing you into action. It happens.

You're doing a great job. In fact, no one has ever done what you do any better than you. However, perhaps with an extra dose of perspective you could really knock 2019 out of the parking lot. GP

Amanda Thomsen is a funky, punky garden writer and author. Her blog is planted at and you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter AND Instagram @KissMyAster.