Lisa Robbin Young

[Editor's note: this is a re-post from January 2011. Part 2 of a series of year-end posts I write each year. When we migrated to the new site design, all the old posts were archived.]

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I was working with a client/colleague/friend* recently, celebrating her recent launch of a free worksheet she created for an opt-in on her website. She made mention that she'd gotten more response from her audience with that one freebie than she had from several other paid launches she did this past year.

And I don't mean "thanks for the free stuff!" kinds of responses. I mean her audience as actively seeking her out and thanking her for the powerful work she had just offered to them.

Before anyone jumps off the deep end about the "paid/free" conversation, that's NOT what this is about. There are pros and cons to giving stuff away. This conversation, instead, is about response vs. effort.

When she mentioned that she'd gotten such a great, positive, empowering response, I asked her, "About how much time do you think you spent working on this?"

She replied "About 30 hours, though I may be remembering too low."

She spent 30 hours working on something she planned to give away. (more…)

Entrepreneurs dream of success.

We crave it. We stalk it. And some of us continue to be eluded by it. You've probably written down a number -- or certain other goals -- and then began bowing at the altar of “if only.”

“If only I could have x, then I’d be successful.”

“If only y would happen, then I’d see some success.”

Far too few of us take the time to define success for ourselves; to step in to full ownership of success and what it can really mean. (more…)

Often times, we as creators find ourselves in a bind.

Okay, bind is not the right word. Neither is stuck. It's more like being trapped in a building that's collapsed.

We're gasping for oxygen, battling with ourselves over whether we should scream out for help or conserve what little oxygen we have. (more…)

Self-sabotage is a mis-nomer. We don't set out to actually sabotage ourselves. Often, in fact, it's quite the opposite. The thing we've opted to do instead of what we originally planned was supposed to make life easier for us. Unfortunately, things didn't quite turn out that way.

Sometimes there is truly a deep-seated issue, and I'm not a doctor, so I won't pretend to diagnose a serious psychological issue from your ancient past (but my friend Sydney might be able to assist). Most creatives, though, use "self-sabotage" as an excuse to resign themselves to mediocrity. Here are three quick and easy steps to get over yourself fast. (more…)

Building a Noble Empire isn't always easy.

For most of my years as an entrepreneur, I've also been a parent. Handling multiple responsibilities at one time has pretty much been the norm for me from day one. At one point, I was working 40+ hours per week in my day job, attending college full time, and raising my pre-schooler (he's now a teenager). There was very little time for sleep. I remember the morning I was supposed to be up early for a special presentation with all the big wigs at work. That's when my son decided he wanted to re-paint the bathroom - at 3 o'clock in the morning.

I'm still not sure what exactly woke me from my sleep, but I heard a noise in the bathroom, went to check it out, and there was paint pooling on the floor. There was blue paint everywhere. He looked like a smurf. (more…)

"Living in your passion makes it easier to live."

The words came out of her mouth as if it was a truth she had always known. Yet she was saying it in reference to something I had shared with her only five minutes before. During part of the weekend intensive with my coach, each of the participants got five minutes to share "what's up" with them. And well, a LOT is going on with me right now that's pretty freaking awesome.

I just re-launched this website with a kick-ass new design, I've re-launched The PEACE System, and I've got several songs ready for the new album, plus I'm involved in writing/directing/performing a Christmas musical, and I'm doing some other performing as Fall rolls around.

And... my new book is almost done! I'm hard pressed to call it a labor of love. I didn't really labor over it much. The hard part for me was the waiting - the inbetween times when someone else was reviewing/editing/commenting, etc.

Patience may be a virtue, but I don't feel very virtuous exercising it. (more…)

I've had a fairly open calendar today, as I'm prepping for a trip that will take me out of town for five days. The day was pretty calm, but this evening is bustling.

It's almost a whirlwind of activities: reviewing the schoolwork that needs to be done, trusting my husband to feed and care for the kids, and all the last minute "mommy stuff" that has to happen before I can confidently get in the car and make the 12 hour drive to Minnesota.

But what I really want to do is... (more…)

A very good friend of mine has a non-profit that volunteers each year to work a booth at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

If you've never been, it's a high time of revelry, silliness, and even a bit of debauchery all set in what's supposed to be the 16 century. But really, it's like the SCA* on steroids.

For the past few years, my friend has been responsible for the ice cream booth. In exchange for about 12% of the take, he and his band of merry marauders get to scoop their little hearts out for patrons of the festival. Situated in the children's realm, they see quite a bit of scooping. Yesterday, they actually sold out for the first time.

I'll be doing another post on the creative entrepreneurs of the festival (it's actually QUITE a profit center for some people). Today though, I want to talk about tips.

See, when my friend first started working the festival, about 10 years ago, they had a tip jar, it was prominently displayed at the cash register, and they would easily bring in $50 per day (more on really hot days). Some time in the past few years, they (and all the volunteers in other booths as well) were admonished to NOT have a visible tip jar, which essentially cut their tips by 90%. They're lucky to see $20 in tips in any given week.

That is, until I started working in their booth.

My friend called me in because he was desperate for help. This year was a difficult one to get volunteers for the booth. He had a handful of folks committed to work most mornings, but the afternoons were a crap shoot for him. Not everyone who committed to working would show. The ice cream booth needs at least three people at all times, and four is ideal. This past weekend, the lines were so long I had my head in the freezer scooping most of the time.

But of all the scoopers on any of my shifts, I consistently out earned them all in tips. Here's how I did it: (more…)

Two years ago, I put together this video mashup of two scenes from Spider Man 2. In it, you hear Aunt May talking about how there's a hero in each one of us. I thought it was a perfectly inspiring underscore to Spidey's big train rescue scene.

This video's been watched over 175,000 times to date by a bunch of total strangers.

"I believe there's a hero in all of us that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride."

-Aunt May

12/20/2012 update: Since I wrote this post, (Sept 13 2012) the video has now been viewed over 227,000 times. We are crying out for heroes in this world. We are crying out for YOU.

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