Getting Out of My Own Way

How My ADHD Hubby Helped Me Focus

It’s one of our typical Sunday’s. We loaded up the laptops and popped over to the local coffee shop. I usually pack ALL THE THINGS because I have no idea what I want to work on. This particular Sunday, I at least was able to tell myself,

“Rachel, today you are starting your blog.”

I started to create the categories for my blog and my mind immediately raced back to industry terms, design terms, all the buzz words. I hate those so why do they always pop into my head first? Sensing my frustration, that I usually wear prominently on my face and make heard through my various grunts and sighs, my husband, Wes decided it was time to step in.

I showed him my page of chicken scratch and he jumped into coaching mode, and boy was I thankful. No matter how much I guide others on this when it comes to their brands, I had trouble doing it for myself. Wes made me take a breath, and step back. We broke out a blank sheet of paper and started fresh. Here’s how he coached me to a renewed and focused view of my blog.

Break Free of That Bias

I’m a strategist, so the first word that kept appearing into my head was ‘Strategy.’ I, of course, need a ‘Strategy’ category – I’m a strategist! But did I really? It’s just another buzzword, it’s too nebulous. While I didn’t initially see this, as Wes guided me through this activity it became so clear. He showed me that I needed to dig more into what would resonate with readers. I’m not my reader. So what did we do? Wes told me to take a look at my original categories (ewww – now that I think back on them).

Round 1: Strategy, Social Media, Branding, Design That’s where I started. Ok, I admit it, these are all super general and they don’t really mean anything when you think hard about it. So what next?

Get to the Core

Wes reminded me that I needed to get to the core of what I really wanted my blog to be about. So we did a little activity.  He made me write down four more words, they had to be different from the ones above and had to be things that I wanted to write about. He pushed me to stop thinking back to those vague words that tended to always pop into my head.

I struggled and pushed back, I didn’t think those words were too vague. How could they be when they had, or I thought they had, such profound meaning to me. But finally, I gave in and we had some new words.

Round 2: Words, Visuals, People, Tools. Ok, we are getting somewhere with this one. But then he told me I had to do it again. What?! Weren’t these new words enough? “Four more words,” he told me. “They don’t have to relate to the last round, they can though, but they can’t be the same words.” Ok fine, I said in my head as I smiled meekly at him. Here we go again.

Round 3: Write, See, Connect, Do. I was a little stuck in making them parallel with Round 2, but at least they were different words. But wait, there’s more, he told me to do it again, to keep going. So I tried again. One more time he had me write four words about things I wanted to write about, things that mattered to me.

Round 4: Community, Resources, Creativity, Storytelling. We have to be closer, right? These words started to resonate with me. They were still my words just like the first round, but they were closer to the core of what I wanted to do. We weren’t quite there yet though.

Refine and Focus

From those four rounds, we had to go even further. It was time for me to take a look at everything and circle four words that meant the most to me that echoed and screamed: “I’m your blog categories, pick me!”

Wes waited for me to make my choices. I circled Connect, Tools/Resources, Creativity, Storytelling. But this isn’t where I finally ended up. He asked me to look at the words again—boy was I getting tired of looking at these words—and to think about how they felt to me. Did these words feel like me, did they show my personality? ‘Connect’ wasn’t giving me the warm and fuzzies I wanted, and ‘Tools/Resources’ sounded so freakin’ corporate. My blog name is ‘She Hacks Brands’ – that’s the farthest from corporate you can get. He was right. Why is he always right?

So I thought a little deeper. I went back to the word ‘Community’ instead of ‘Connect’—community has such deep meaning for me. I threw out those icky corporate ‘Tools/Resources’ words and decided to call that category ‘Tactics + Hacks.’

Now this final list of categories, this feels like me. I made it, I got there—and with only an hour my hubby pushing me out my own way.

Community, Tactics + Hacks, Creativity, and Storytelling.

Sometimes you just need to take a step back and even start over if you need to. I was stuck in a rut and unable to admit, on my own, that I needed to scrap it and start again.