I’m taking a look back over the past 12 years of blogging/2,000 blog posts/nearly one million words written and sharing with you my 20 most popular blog posts of all time.
I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve sworn (more on that here) and this blog has been somewhat of a form of therapy for me.
There’s freebies, there’s life stuff, there’s business, there’s big deep soul sharings as well…
It’s been a true honour sharing it with you… this job is really my favourite thing ever… and I hope we can share another 12 years and 2000 blog posts together. It’s been a joy… and such a blessing. I’m so grateful for your support, friendship, kinship and encouragement.
When I started 12 years ago, it was just that fun hobby thing I did at night and on weekends. I was 21 and me and Mr Dawson had just moved to Canberra and it was really a time of play and exploration and learning how to be an adult. I worked in the public service and explored all the rest of my passions and studied part-time. I started blogging just before I found women’s circles and before we adopted Charlie puppy.
Me and Charlie in ye olden days of blogging…
And now we are married, have two kids, adopted another doggy… we’ve moved all over the countryside… and this blog and company has been both me and my husband’s job for nearly six years.
I’ve met so many beautiful souls, had so many adventures and mostly just felt soaring joy at the very opportunity to be able to write and share and create and help. That’s all I could ever ask for or want. Ever, ever, everrrrrrrr.
So… here’s the top 1% of my last 2000 blog posts my loves!
And here’s to sharing 2000 more!
So… gift time!
I now present to you….
A 100+ page colouring book chockablock full of inspiration for you to colour!
These 100+ pages will keep you going for MONTHS I reckon!!! As well as giving you some beautiful art to put on your walls + in your journals.
Grab your coloured pencils and enjoy!
I recently read my very first Brené Brown book – The Gifts of Imperfection.
I’m always so reluctant to jump on popular book bandwagon – but lemme say… there’s a reason her books are so popular.
I had so many AHA! moments + wanted a poster to remind myself of the 10 guideposts for whole hearted living. I couldn’t find one, so I made one.
And of course – I had to share it along with you! I was pretty sure ya’ll would be Brené lovers too!
I made this for some private coaching clients to help them get their creative projects finished a few years ago… Which they promptly devoured, giggled over + made miracles with.
And I just discovered it again and thought:
OMG WOTTTTT MORE PEOPLE NEED THIS! I NEED TO GIVE THIS OUT!!!!
So here we are my loves.
It’s The Project Finisher Ebook: How To Finish Your Projects + Get Them Out Into The World.
Official Secretive Title: “The Cowgirl’s Guide To Riding Wild Donkeys.”
Snag it now!
It’s so deeply important that we get to know what makes us thrive and remind ourselves of this,
So, to help… I made a fun free printable poster/worksheet for you.
Fill it out. Pop her on your wall. And send me a pic when you are done!
Wondering how to sell your artworks as prints online? I’ve got a buttload of experience in this one.
Follow these four steps for success!
This is the story of two small businesses selling handmade stuff online. And how they used social media differently, with great affect.
This is a true story – the one me + my team saw unfold before our eyes.
One story is one of those wonder stories – of social media done so beautifully it wins for everyone involved. (Holy Flaps)
The other – a bit of a dramatic-filled trainwreck – that still leaves us with a sour taste in our mouths to this day.
Me and my team talk about it often.
The lessons we learned from seeing it play out.
And the very different outcomes it made.
It illustrates so beautifully the do’s + don’t’s of social media.
I wanted to share it with you here to inspire you + help you find your own shining success story in social media that looks more beautiful than trainwreck-ish.
Ya think I’ve got it all worked out?
Think that once you get over a certain point in your business, it all gets EASY?
And that no buttons get pressed, nothing needs fixing, it’s all lollipops/sunshine/unicorns FOREVS?
I don’t mean to break your illusions.
The truth is,
I don’t have it all together.
Click here for more!
I get asked this question a lot. So you know what dat means…
Time for an article about it.
El questiono in question:
Is it really possible to have a six figure business and not work full time hours?
What about in the beginning when you first start out?
Here’s my story…
I wanted to share with you a quick but important tip to grow your business…
Guidance that I’ve used to grow my own multi-million dollar a year company and has held me in good stead.
Just a few minutes long so short, sweet + potent.
Dive in to get a business tip that can change your trajectory now right here!
The truth of parenting is I absolutely do not enjoy parenting every single minute of every single day, and I think it is downright bullshit and so harmful when any person claims to or tells you should to.
I love my children deeply and ferociously. I would choose them again.
I was born to be their mother. And still, it is hard.
Come on over here to read more.
On realizing I’ve got Asperger’s…AND why it’s perfectly bloody wonderful by me.
I’m so used to being an open book.
I’m so used to being vulnerable.
And yet… I don’t feel like I am as much anymore.
I used to feel completely safe with sharing things on the internet, ya know?
That was before.
Before I discovered that some people have so much sadness inside them that they delight in other people’s sadnesses or struggles.
Some people call ’em trolls or haters. I try and think of ’em more as lost.
It’s harder for me to be vulnerable when I know that a tiny, tiny percentage of readers will not be kind with that vulnerability.
When you write a post about your boss – you really want to say nice things, right?
But, if you’ve been around Leonie and I at all, you might already know we make it a practice to be radically honest. Well, let me restate that – she makes it a practice to be radically honest and I’m just surfing along uncovered in her wake. Frankly, while I love the effects of this trait, often it scares me to death.
I’m going to set that aside and give you an inside look at what it’s like to work with Leonie. Leonie, who asked me to write this post, but won’t publish it unless she thinks it’s really an honest look, so here it goes…
Another guest post from Grant Andrew, our Chief Operations Officer. I always get the grins when I see a new draft blog post of his has pinged into my inbox. I love the messages that come through him. And it’s such a delight to creatively collaborate with him + illustrate his words.
Enjoy it here!
We use that word in many ways. Work can be a simple task, work can be a monumental effort. Work can be something you do yourself, or it can take an army of workers to accomplish it.
What great thing will you plan today? What next step will you take? What Donkey will you ride on your way to the summit of your most important work?
Read more here.
Lily has a little business. Always the creative type, this year, a friend told Lily about Leonie. Lily now finds herself at her little desk, flipping through the pages of the 2016 Shining Biz Planner.
It almost seemed like too much, tasking her tiny business with a whole volume of goals and commitments. It was too concrete, in a way.
Turning the color-splashed pages of the her Workbook, she stumbles on a word that seems foreign to her hand-drawn, each-one-different world. “Systems” it said. . Something in Lily recoiled. Hers was a systems-free world. She had left systems for one-of-a-kind. She competed with systems.
Maybe you’re like Lily. You’ve found a niche of un-system in a systems world. You’re a throwback from a different era and you like it that way. Your clients like it that way. It’s working for you.
Or is it? Click here to read why you actually need systems (even for your creative business!)
One thing that’s been super fun to see pop up this year is people getting creative + innovative with how they customise their 2016 goals workbooks, to do list pads + weekly diary-planner to be perfect for their life!
The 2016 workbookers Facebook group is busy + thriving with brilliant ideas + shining souls… so inspiring to see and be a part of! Make sure you join it… it really is incredibly motivating!
Nab some tips here!
Goal setting + accomplishing your biggest hopes and dreams isn’t always an easy feat. Life gets in the way. You get sick, work gets hectic, unexpected expenses come up.
It’s just SO easy to put those goals on the back burner and well, give up. Been there, done that.
We all need + deserve support.
We decided to create a fabulous, free guide to help you create your own workbook group!
Grab yours here!
This year as I was filling out the workbooks I decided I wanted to do one of the extension activities in it…to make an artwork for my Word of the Year.
I’ve done this before a couple of times before when I’ve been called.
This year I decided to do another painting to hang in my office. It’s so helpful to have a big painting to remind me of my word of the year.
For my word of the year and to check out my artwork project, click here!
Let’s talk GOALS for a moment, shall we? The fact is this – the vast majority of us will end this year no different than how we began it. Our dreams still tiny seeds that have not taken root. And that makes me bloody sad.
Goal-getting + dream-birthing is a LEARNED skill. A pragmatic practice that all too often is not shared, discussed, understood or worked at. And yet it’s the skills that make all the difference.
So, if you really want your dreams to come true, here’s your three step formula to success!
I hope you found my guide to be a handy one that you’ll bookmark forevs.
Big ole looooooove,
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Hey party people,
I’ve been blogging for three thousand centuries now.
Well… like… 12 years.
Which is basically the same thing.
And sometimes I really yearn for ye olden days of ridiculous blogging that had no reason to exist except to share and connect.
This year I’m going to be creatively extending myself… reinvigorating myself… trying new things (and old things) to keep things fresh and fun and fabulous.
So, in that spirit, I’m doing something that was allllllllllll the rage back in 2006.
Leonie circa 2006
25 Random Things About Me!
1. I just got a perm. I’d never had one before and I thought it would be funny. I’m pretty relaxed about making changes to my physical appearance – I’ve died my hair wild and purple, have had an eyebrow ring and have a tattoo that doesn’t get covered up. Anywaysies, I’ve tried it, and I’m not a fan. My hair is barely more curly than it used to be. Plus it hurts and stiiiiiinks and is a generally excruciating process to have. WHY DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME THIS? Probably every person from the 80’s, ever. #lessonlearned
2. I wish I was as addicted to reading books as I am addicted to reading my iPhone. #workingonit
3. My old boss/still my darling gal pal Lile has banned me from drinking alcohol when we go out dancing. Not for the reason you think though. She says I get boring and quiet and liable to fall asleep somewhere. My behaviour is more drunken and ridiculous when I’m stone cold sober. #boooooyahhhhhhhhh
4. I think I would make an excellent writer of erotic short fiction. Maybe even erotic fan fiction. I would write erotic fan fiction over whatever I was particularly obsessed about at that point. Like Doc Martin.
5. My husband and I used to work together at my very first job. One day I had to help payroll fold payslips and I saw my husband’s full name. I knew we would get married as soon as I saw it. I don’t want to share it here for his privacy, but I think it is the most perfect combination of poetic and sexy dreamboat.
6. As I get older (I’m only 33, but STILL) I think I am becoming:
more okay with all my feelings
I love the first three parts of course. I don’t know if I quite want to become the last three though. I don’t know if the last three are the result of having some truly shitty years in the last 5 years or simply because I have very young children.
I’ll let you know.
7. About seven months ago, I injured my foot quite badly in a VERY athletic way. It was a Friday night and I’d just had a bowl of ice-cream on the couch. I decided to get myself another bowl. My left foot was asleep and as I stood up I managed to bend my foot in half. It hurt like a mother fucker and I fell to the floor. I was sure it was broken, but we had no one to look after the sleeping kids so we could get to hospital. We called an emergency health phoneline, and the nurse over the phone diagnosed it as a bad sprain. I went to a doctor a few days later to confirm, and he also thought it was a bad sprain and didn’t order x-rays. He believed my hypermobility has helped my foot fold over without breaking anything. Ewwww. Seven months on, I’m still having trouble walking. I’ve gone through a round of Bowen Therapy which helped immensely but didn’t fix it completely. I’m onto a month of osteopathy now. After this, if it still isn’t fixed, we’ll get imaging done. I’ve never had a foot injury before. Can I just say… theyyyyyyy succccccccccccccccck. I haven’t been able to use my treadmill desk since the first day. BOOO! Fingers crossed I can get this baby resolved. #leonieswonkybody
8. When Grant and Jen were here I was showing them my art journals that I play in each week.
And Grant said:
“Huh! So… this is all creative work that aren’t for anything except for yourself? Fascinating!”
And it got me to thinking how all artists and creatives (and people) need that. We need creative side projects that aren’t for anybody except for us.
I get all dried up without them.
9. I find it really hard to stop working
sometimes most of the time almost always. I didn’t used to be that way when I just had a job but owning my own business makes me hyper aware that there is always something more to be done. So I have to give myself strong rules and tell other people to enforce them on me.
Here’s a helpful meme Erin uses when she sees me working when I shouldn’t be:
10. I am stalling out at 10 because I’m sure I’ve already told you everything about me. Is that possible?
11. I have a very inappropriate sense of humour.
12. I do not apologise for that.
13. I also don’t apologise for swearing like a motherfucker.
14. Our wedding song was Ronan Keating’s “When You Say Nothing At All.” My husband refused to decide on a song in advance and so I surprised him with that special number which I knew he hated (and I loved). We laughed and laughed and laughed the whole way through. He has the best wheezing giggle in the world.
15. I’m 5’10 and used to think I was super tall for a chick. But I’m noticing that younger chicks tend to be even taller. It’s amazing! I so wanted to reach 6′ and love that there are other chicks doing it now.
16. I’d give up sugar but that would be giving up a very big source of joy and pleasure in my life. #nope
17. I’m writing a blog post about my darling doggy that just passed away. I don’t know if I’ve caught it in time though. I hope so. I really hope to carve out more concentrated bursts of creative time over the next year. Sometimes I feel like I’m just managing the business. I think most CEOs get into that place fairly regularly. I gotta keep pulling back and out. #thatswhatshesaid
18. That’s What She Said really is the greatest addendum to any sentence.
19. I’m feeling overwhelmed right now because I have a lot of books on the go. I prefer to just monofocus on one and complete. I’m reading “Million Dollar Women” by Julia Pimsleur, “At Home” by Bill Bryson, “How To Love” by Thich Nhat Hanh and re-reading “If You Have To Cry, Go Outside” by Kelly Cutrone. I’m also wading through a year’s worth of magazine subscriptions of SUCCESS and Collective magazines because I am the worst magazine subscriber in the world and can never keep on top of it.
20. Maybe everyone is like that. Maybe I’m just hard on myself about it. As Brené Brown says… “I thought it was just me, but it wasn’t.”
21. I have become a diehard Brené fan after years of resisting. I’m convinced that every person on the planet would be greatly serviced by reading/listening/doing her work. I was even talking to Sone on the phone this morning and we were talking about ways we can incorporate it into our company culture.
22. I just got a delivery. Chris answered the door and handed it to me as I lay on the couch. It was a package of Rebecca Solnit books from Hiro Boga, my dear mentor. And it amazed me that me and Hiro didn’t even have to get off the couch to send books across the world to each other. It felt like she’d just delivered me a box of love.
23. I love books. I love Hiro. I love a lot of things and people. I tell people I love them a lot. I tell people I love them when I hang up the phone. I tell my accountants I love them. I tell my staff I love them. I’ve micro-considered not living life like this, but thought “Nah, fuck that.” I’d rather be a living geyser of love.
24. I felt like I was tinkering out at number 10 here, but I’m getting a fresh breath of energy now. I think I could go on for further. Maybe that’s the whole point of creative extension… to go into the familiar, boring places… and feel like there is no more room to go… and to keep pushing anyway… until you break into a new space, a new realm. That’s fucking cool.
25. I gave up cooking food a few months ago and ordered a meal delivery service instead. It is blowing my damn mind and it’s made the world of difference to me and my family. I can’t even talk about how much I love it. Who would have thought… I don’t actually have to do EVERYTHING… I can just do the things I elect to do instead?
So hope that this was in some way of interest or use.
Either way… I’m glad I did it.
I think I might just do some more things just for me, just for fun, for no other reason but to create and share.
Back to the beautiful, radical roots of blogging.
Have a glorious day sweet soul.
All my love,
We’re back with my usual scrapbook of photos + ramblings from the past couple of weeks.
It’s been a crazy FABULOUS time!
Between Grantacular and his lovely wife Jenny visiting us here in Australia, hosting our live Shining Academy conference in Canberra and connecting with so many gorgeous goddesses, I am so damn full of love.
Let me take you on a play by play of how the past coupla weeks have gone downnnnn!!!!
Granto, my brotha from anotha motha, has arrived!!!!
Can’t stop laughing or looking at it in sheer terror. Our social media manager Erin did a face swap on me and Grantacular. Awful. Hilarious. Atrocious. But so funny. It’s been such a rad day!!!
How to do a work retreat: lay in the backyard all afternoon with the Americans drinking beer and eating icypoles. #nailingit
We took the kids to the park and pushed them on the swings. Granto seems to be fitting right into the Australian way of life.
The gift basket I made up for Grant and Jen for their arrival… Tim Tams, Vegemite, beer coolers, books and massage vouchers.
Happy families!!!! Me and Grant have been trolloping all over the countryside with our families eating and getting sunburnt and laughing.
Our “It’s Midnight, We Really Need to Shut Up And Go To Bed” faces.
We sent the boys to the music store on their own. They were kind of excited.
When the boys were at the music store, the girls went for tea and cake. #priorities
It was Grant’s birfday! We took him to San Churros to celebrate and stuffed our faces with chocolate and churros and rolled out of their in a coma!
They came from the same pod, but they ain’t the same. The wild one and the sensitive one. They teach each other so much.
I’ve turned him into an Australian.
We went to go back the last piece of our management puzzle… my darling Sone! LDI MANAGEMENT TEAM ALL TOGETHER AT LAST. I love you Grant and Sone and feel so lucky to work with you two!!!
And then we got right to work. Beffy is our new Admin Assistant.
Mapping shit out for the year ahead veryyyyyy sexuallllllyyyy
Me & Sone talking accounting shit in da backyard fannnnncyyyyyyyyy ladiezzzz
This is what I look like when I am doing conference planning. #warriorgoddess
Off to pick up conference handouts!!!! We crammed a bunch of illustration and planning to get these done in time!
My incredible management team at our planning retreat… General Manager Grant Andrew + Operations Manager Sonya Forrest! I’m so lucky to work with such passionate, devoted, smart people!
Darling husband took some photos of the LDI management team before they headed off to start setting up our Shining Biz conference. Love that I get to work with these two magical, spirited dynamos to make miracles happen!
Sone, Grant and Jen just left to head to our conference venue and meet up with other staff flying in and start getting ready for this weekend’s two day Academy conference. I have total FOMO that they will have fun without me, but also know I need to rest up so I am beaming with energy on Saturday and Sunday. It’s been a big, intense, wonderful time having them all here staying with us… Trying to find creative ways to meet the needs of seven people.
I know not many business owners would have in-house at-home planning meetings with staff and their spouses. What can I say, I like to go intimate and deep! I’ve learned so much and feel very lucky to work with and learn with Grant and Sone. We’ve talked and laughed and ate. I’ve fallen over from laughing and I’ve cried and I’ve felt proud and I’ve seen places where I still want to grow too. This whole dang thing is the greatest spiritual journey of all.
WE ARE SOOOOOOO EXCITED TO BE TEACHING ON THE WEEKEND!!!
Me and some of my beautiful team setting up our Shining Academy conference at The Abbey, Canberra. What a beautiful, sacred venue!!!!
Doing sound checks on stage at The Abbey and waiting to meet our 100 Academy members who have flown in from all over the globe for this!!
It’s ON! #shiningacademy #canberra #retreat
Sonya and TamTam! Our Team Unicorn helpers extraordinaires!
Our shining group! Surrounded by about 100 gorgeous souls and a massive organ.
Melissa Prince leading us in #meditation!!
Our favourite money expert and mama of 1.6 kids! – Denise Duffield-Thomas!
Q&A time with Denise!
What a gorgeous event space at The Abbey!
The fabulous @tracy_lee_photography + her photography skillz!
Introducing our brand new program – the 6i Success System!
Q&A story time!
I feel so very lucky… Months ago when we decided to do a Shining Academy conference in Canberra, I had a dream that Kerry Rowett and Denise Duffield-Thomas would speak at it. They are both so much a part of our Shining Family… We refer to both of their works so much.
When I asked them, they leapt at it which I was so grateful for. I love that we got to hang out together like we do it all the time IRL. They are such brilliant, talented souls and I love them dearly.
Somebody said to me, “Leonie… You’re like Taylor Swift. You’ve got your own Girl Squad!” And I leapt up and down with joy as I realised it is true. I know such good people. And I love that I got to cuddle the fuck out of them this weekend.
We like to Hug Sandwich our fans.
Doing a dramatic re-enactment of something I like to call “Drowning God”. I guess you had to be there. It made sense at the time.
Sometimes I make people vertical spoon with me.
The registration goddesses at the Shining Academy conference fully fucking profeshunal. These turquoise angels made our conference the most exquisitely run thang I’ve ever been blessed to be a part of. Thank you Sone & Tam!!!
An honour to have publishing sensation Cheralyn Darcey in our tribe, so grateful that we can help her share her work even more with the world (not that she really needs it, she is so brilliant). She is an incredibly talented author, artist & oracle card creator whose career has exploded in the last 18 months. We will be interviewing her for the Academy very soon so we can learn even more of her incredible story. Go check out her inspired work… She is totally a real life fairy!!!!
So… Grant and I are now both on a week’s holiday to recover before we connect up again for a week to create even more new courses for the Academy. And then he’ll head back to the US and we’ll sob. I can’t even think about that right now! It’s been so glorious having my brother from another mother IRL!
Some things I wanted to share before I sign off:
- YES – the event was professionally recorded. We will be giving the full 2 days worth of conference workshops to our Academy members as an additional bonus. I know a lot of teachers end up selling conference recordings like this for $1-2k. We prefer just to keep on delighting and over-delivering for our Academy members. If you ain’t one, you should be!
- NO – I am not doing a world tour. Mama ain’t got no time fo dat. If you want to come see me live, save your shekkels to come to Canberra, Australia next year.
- I’ll be writing up a big blog post about how to run a 2 day conference, all the details and goss in there. Hope that will be helpful.
Okay, my team are reminding me I am supposed to be on holidays this week… shittttttttttt…
Okay… love you all long time!!!
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