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  • Ellen Broen

Love note to the new kid




I do a lot of work with people who want to navigate current workloads and goals with an emotionally thriving mindset. People who are in deep, who want to see their aspirations and training fulfilled to the highest potential.


A theme that frequently comes up is: “Man, I wish I knew all of this sooner!”


So I’ve decided that this one’s going out to all the n e w b i e s.

So you can know it all sooner. :)


For the ones who have that fresh degree tight in their hands.


For the ones who are going back to work after a personal hiatus.


For the ones who are navigating a career pivot and are ready to rock and roll.



Whatever your position, if you’re starting out in any capacity, I want to first congratulate you! You’re about to begin one of the best, most difficult, and WORTH IT endeavors of your life. You absolutely can do what you’re endeavoring to do. And bravo for seeking a community of support along your journey! (And if you truly stumbled upon this blog post, welcome! Hope you stick around for some love and encouragement!)




Every individual and endeavor is unique, and I would encourage each person to examine what you need to do to be successful, and then do it. While I don’t know each of you personally, I do have some #hottips to incorporate into how you strategize your business efficacy. (And just to be clear, a working definition of “your business” is whatever you’re investing your passion and training into!)


Find your primetime.



Are you a morning person? My grandmother would get up at 4:30am every day do her household account managing, get her babies to school, workout, and hightail it to work energized so that she could create space in the evening for herself and for her family. She called it “snake-killin’.” Quickly addressing everything you need to do efficiently so that it doesn’t creep back up on you later and bite you in the butt.






Alternatively, I know many creatives who thrive at night. This especially works if you are a private contractor or perhaps a musician who is scheduled in the second part of the day. Personally, I ride a line between these two “types,” and when I have music commitments at night I struggle to release guilt about taking the morning for myself, sleeping in, eating well, working out...when I have my entrepreneurial checklist looming in the back of my mind. But the truth is, if you’re early to rise and late to bed, you’re setting yourself up for a wrecked next day and the risk for illness. So if you find yourself leaning toward Night Owlism, go for it! And go all in if you can. Designate your rest time and your work time.



Liz Gilbert (who wrote Eat Pray Love and Big Magic, among others) said something in an interview that has really stuck with me (and this is not a direct quote, but): If you know that you are extremely productive between 6 and 7am, make that your work time. Better to have one hour of down-to-business than 3 hours of half-attentive, sloppy work. If you’re working in a corporate setting, see what you can maneuver in your schedule to create an optimal lineup for attending to your responsibilities.

And if you don’t know, try shaking it up! Try grabbing a cup of coffee and heading straight to work when you wake up. Or, create space after dinner to zero in on your to-do list.

Find what works for you, you rockstar!


Keep your connections current


This one is is both fun and productive. Do you have a professor or mentor that was instrumental in forming your career and worldview mindset? Send a note of gratitude and let them know what you’re working on at the moment. Do you know of a job opening that perfectly suits a former colleague? Tell them! While it is always good to keep your professional doors open, it’s equally important to keep a lookout for your colleagues. If you’ve ever been recommended for a job, you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of this experience.


Don’t be afraid to send a quick update to a former collaborator. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable! It can be as simple as

“I’m thinking back to our last project together, and am so grateful that I got to know you! Currently working on a design project with X and they told me to pass along their greetings. Hope all is well!”


The key here is authenticity and a collaborative spirit. Make sure the recipient had a positive experience with you, and always strive to use gracefulness when mentioning your current or upcoming projects.



3 words: WORK-LIFE BALANCE.


One of the most common experiences my clients have is difficulty balancing their commitments at work with their personal life. Because each situation is different, I would like to simply offer you some guiding questions.


“Do I create time for myself to rest and exercise?”


“Am I working toward goals that utilize and expand my skillset?”


“Do I have healthy expectations in my relationships? If so, are they being met?”





If your answer to these questions is yes, keep on keepin’ on! If not, follow that thread and ask yourself some followup questions. Ownership of your lifestyle will make a huge impact on your efficacy and self-fulfillment. Be honest with yourself, and take action. You got this!

These are just a few jumping-off points for you to get your wheels turning. They are a few ingredients in a recipe that includes mentorship, community, and creativity to produce a thriving life. If you couldn’t tell, I love (LOVE) talking about creating a life and workstyle that allow you to blossom into everything you were created to be. I would be delighted to talk more about your goals and what it takes to make them a reality. The door is always open.



As always, big love to you all.



-Ellen

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New York, NY, USA

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