Goodbye for now, Color Your Soul!
Unfortunately I’ve come to the decision that January’s issue of Color Your Soul will be its last.
There are many reasons that I’ve finally come to this incredibly difficult (but right-for-me) decision, and I wanted to express those factors fully so that you might be able to understand why I won’t be moving forward, and so that you might be able to learn from my own experience.
The time cost
I don't think I ever fully expressed just how much time and effort goes into the creation of the monthly Color Your Soul issue AND the creation of each new monthly workshop or course.
Between selecting the theme, gathering inspiration and resources, creating the art pieces and preparing them for the issue, formatting everything into the magazine and the website, each issue easily took me over 40 hours to put together. I was happy to invest that time so that each element of the issue would be personal and heartfelt, but when I compare the time investment to the financial return, as a business owner I just can’t justify it. Admittedly, the bar that I set for each issue from the beginning was a bit ambitious, and while I'm proud of the quality and heart in each issue, I'm sure I could have been much more diligent about projecting out the time I set aside to complete each issue every month.
Fragmenting my attention
The original vision for Color Your Soul — aside from being a soulful answer to all the strictly business related resources out there — was actually intended to be a way to consolidate my various courses and projects under one roof.
Ironically, this project has actually done quite the opposite for me. In an effort to promote and boost subscriptions, I’ve done my best to deliver new and interesting instructional content each month, basically doubling my amount of offerings and products in the process. Even if I’m not actively working on or promoting each of these courses/workshops, they take up mental space for me. I have to admit that keeping up that level of mental rigor and stamina has finally caught up with me and I’m ready to once again commit to curtailing my offerings so that I can focus on the few that bring me the greatest joy AND the most significant financial impact.
Taking my own creative biz medicine
You have heard me talk about this on workshops, in recent newsletters and even in Color Your Soul itself. The challenge of being a person who wants to make 100% of their income from creative pursuits is that you have to constantly balance the desire to follow your ideas with the practicality of what brings your business money. That's the puzzle.
After writing this week’s newsletter, being reinvigorated by the concepts in the Make Money Making workshop, and especially after filling out this month’s worksheet on defining my values, I’ve realized that I need to take my own medicine. I need to let go of what’s not working (CYS only brings my business about $600/month) and I need to restructure things so that I can use my gifts in a way that is sustainable for me and beneficial for you. Otherwise, nobody wins.
Living the vibrant ethos
Ultimately it comes down to this VERY important and very simple fact. Without realizing it, pouring my time and attention into this project without a healthy, stable return has left me feeling stretched thin and without time and attention for the other things that keep me centered in life. Things like painting, and getting outside, and connecting 1-on-1 with Made Vibrant community members like you. (You should see my inbox right now… it’s not a pretty sight!)
If I'm honest with myself, these past few months I've not been living my best and brightest life. I can see that now.
As much as you love and believe in an idea, you also have to accept the reality of what you’re sacrificing to bring that idea to life, and for me, it’s just too much.
Another important lesson this experiment taught me: answering to a monthly recurring offering felt inflexible and confining at times, like it was looming over my head and it was a deadline I could never get out in front of. That’s not the way I want my business to feel, and that's a lesson I'll take forward with me when developing new offerings.
What I hope you'll take away from this
You’ve heard me talk about this in theoretical terms before but right now you are seeing it play out. We have ideas and they don’t always work out the way we envision them. That is OKAY — Experiment anyway. Experience anyway. And check back in with yourself often so you can learn firsthand what lights you up and what drains you.
Color Your Soul was a beautiful dream of mine that I got to see turn into a reality. Maybe there are things I could have done differently to make it successful and sustainable. But I wouldn’t go back. I have learned a lot these past few months about what brings me joy and what doesn’t, what people are willing to pay for and what they’re not, what my strengths are and what my weaknesses are. That insight is invaluable to me.
To me the the greatest metric of success is that I keep growing and keep stretching myself — and I keep sharing these pursuits with you all because I want to inspire you to do the same.
I’ve always told you guys that I want to bend my business to my life, not the other way around.
I want to keep molding my offerings as I grow and evolve, and I want to keep experimenting until I find the right mix for the life that feels most vibrant to me.
I’ll admit my heart is a little heavy from not being able to follow through on the vision I had for Color Your Soul. However, letting go of things (regardless of what we fear others will think of us) is a crucial part of maintaining a soulful creative business that allows you to be your best self. I hope you can understand that and please reach out to me with ANY questions at all about this change and transition.
Love and LIGHT to you this year -- may you choose what is true over what is easy!