my 2018 challenge to you is print your own shirt and become an author or whatever it is you want to be

My 2018 Challenge to You: The “Print Your Own Shirt” Manifesto

Laura Blog [read me!], Book Writing, Copywriting, Psychology

PRINT YOUR OWN SHIRT – A MANIFESTO and 2018 CHALLENGE TO YOU
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Back in high school we had *major* cliques..and the prettiest, most popular girls ran the school. 👭💪

Who knows what I’m talking about? 

If you grew up in a small town or smaller school, maybe you didn’t have this so much…but picture the movie Mean Girls with Lindsay Lohan… Rachel McAdams (who’s a revelation!) was the leader of the mean girls in that school.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Well, for those of you who know me, I grew up in The OC — like ohmygawd totally! — this was back in the late 90’s before anyone even called Orange County “The OC.”

My school was El Toro High School, if you’re familiar with the area, just inland from Laguna Beach. Go Chargers! 😝

Well, we had a mix of students there but certainly our fair share of the stereotypical ‘get a red sports car for my sweet 16 birthday’ girls. A few boob jobs were even granted — not kidding. 😶

So, as you can imagine the “cool girls” were the ones driving flashy cars, wearing designer clothes, and rocking fake nails and too much makeup. Usually they were the cheerleaders, or tight friends with cheerleaders, and they RAN the school, year after year.

The popular girls from the senior class were seen as gods. Envied and adored and obeyed. 💁💁💁

They:
• lead the student council
• won all the spots in the Homecoming royalty
• dominated the photos in the yearbook
• and were spotlighted in every single school assembly

My graduating class…the Class of ‘99…started out no differently. The self-selected elite rose to power and prominence as in all the years prior. They got all the attention and perks due their roles and stature…

BUT …THE PLOT THICKENS!

And there was one other tradition each year…and this…this, is where things get interesting…

So, the popular girls always made t-shirts for themselves proclaiming their coolness and wore them with pride, delighting in excluding everyone else. 👕👕👕

The year before me in ‘98 they had “Senior Hotties” written across their bright pink shirts…the year before that were the “Senior Babes.”

My year, in ‘99, the girls selected the name “Senior Princesses” atop hot pink shirts.

“On Wednesdays we wear pink.” The Mean Girls movie must have know about our Senior Princesses. 😜 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBbOAVSBvpE

The Senior Princesses shoved their superiority in everyone’s faces, as each year before them.

It was all fun and games if you were a ‘chosen one,’ but if not, you were a second or third class citizen at my school.

But then, one day I arrived to hear a buzz whipping through the school! The face of every Senior Princess was hot pink with rage. (no pun intended )

Their eyes pierced like daggers at all who passed. 😡

‘What had happened?’ I wondered.

[From this, you can see I was not a Senior Princess….far from it…I was in the AP / Honors nerd group…the group of kids who competed to get A’s and joined clubs just to pad their college applications and go to an ivy league. No cool shirts for us!] 🤓😜 haha

But back to the story…it turned out that the nerdiest of nerdy girls at our school (who in our case were the band kids and color guard gals) had printed shirts of their own with the words…

…Senior Queens on purple shirts!!!

❗️ ❗️ ❗️ ❗️ ❗️Oh, the uproar! ❗️ ❗️ ❗️ ❗️ ❗️

You could cut the tension in our school with a knife for days as war brewed.

The Senior Princesses appealed to the student council, the principal, popular teachers, and the school staff…they demanded the Senior Queens be forbidden from wearing their shirts because it was THEIR tradition and only THEY could decide who was cool or not. Only *they* could choose who got shirts.

MY BIG TAKEAWAYS

After the Senior Queens took their stand, more small groups of students started making their own shirts. Even guys got in on it… “Senior Dudes” or something like that. lolz

Eventually, it all just blew over.

The Senior Princesses were still mad, but there was nothing they could do so they just had to move on.

For me?

I never joined a clique that printed their own shirts…

…as I watched it all unfold though, I can say that I felt really proud of the Senior Queens for rejecting the idea that no one else was allowed to print shirts unless selected. It took courage to do what they did.

…I realized that just because something was always done a certain way didn’t make it right…

…and ultimately, I vowed to never be:

(1) a “Senior Princess” telling others they weren’t good enough or allowed to do something

and

(2) a person who put my own self in a box that ‘isn’t allowed’ to do something and has to wait to be selected as ‘worthy’

Let’s bring this back to modern day…

Nearly 20 years later, and I still see myself and others in boxes. I still see myself and others believing we aren’t ready, good enough, pretty enough to step into the light and move our lives and businesses forward.

This year?

I’m 100% focused on getting out of my self-imposed “scared of public speaking box.” We all have areas of growth. 

And, as you already know, just over 1 year ago I wrote my first book, self-published it, marketed it with no ad budget, and hit #1 best seller in my category on Amazon of “Podcasts and Webcasts.”

I printed my “Published Author” shirt! 🎉🎉🎉 BOOM!

But here’s what I didn’t do…

➡️ I didn’t wait for a publisher to select me and tell me I was allowed to write and publish a book.

➡️ I didn’t wait for an arbitrary number of fans on Facebook to deem me eligible to share my expertise as a writer/podcaster.

➡️ I didn’t listen to ‘traditionally published authors’ scoff and throw scorn at me for being proud of hitting best seller in a subcategory in Amazon. (It’s not a “real best seller!” they all shout).

In high school we feel bullied and trapped in cliques and groups.

But as adults, we get to choose.

As entrepreneurs, we *must* be brave and question ‘rules’ and ‘norms.’

There are a lot of “Senior Princesses” out there who will tell you that you can’t speak on stage…you shouldn’t write a book…you aren’t good enough to do XYZ.

Often times that “Senior Princess” is in YOUR OWN HEAD. Completely self-imposed.

—->>> What “Senior Princesses” and made up ‘traditions’ are stopping you from printing your own shirt? Sharing your message? Spreading your light? <<<—-

OKAY, HERE’S MY POINT FOR YOU

The bottom line is this…
…Everyone has value and a story to share.
…There is never a more perfect time to start than right now.
…A book doesn’t have to be your life’s work (think of it more as a great collection of blog posts on one topic in your zone of genius).
…You don’t have to wait for a publisher to give you an offer, for someone else to tell you you’re ready, for your shoulder to be tapped

At the end of the day…
… print your own damn shirt!

➡️ Want to be an author? …print your own shirt!
➡️ Want to hit best seller on Amazon? …print your own shirt!
➡️ Want to be seen as an expert in your niche? …print your own shirt!

Okay? You with me?

Now shut your eyes (figuratively )…visualize a 3D printer that will pop out any shirt with any title on it… what color is YOUR shirt?

Red, white, black, green?

…picture that now…

And let’s print the words:
• “I am a best selling author”
or
• “I am a non-fiction author”
or
• “I am a _________” (fill in whatever is on your heart to do and become!)

See those words and hit PRINT.

Your shirt is being made!…the machine spins and whirls with the final touches…you reach out to grab it in your hands and feel the soft cotton, slip it over your head, and BAM!

Wear your shirt with pride.

And then, I invite you to help others do the same.

SO???

👕 What ‘shirt’ are you printing this month? This year? 👕

💕 💕 💕 💕 💕 💕 Comment BELOW and I’ll cheer you on and help however I can. 💕 💕 💕 💕 💕 💕

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