We asked some folks we admire to share one piece of conventional advice they disagree with.

Erin Graham | Composer, Percussionist, and Educator

Something that I hear a lot and tend to react (perhaps a little too strongly) against is the advice to “always try to keep a positive outlook”. I’m aware that this is a controversial opinion, but I think that while this advice is well-meaning, it encourages burying and denying negative feelings which in turn causes them to accumulate and grow into something worse over time. It also sometimes facilitates a kind of indirectness of communication which stems from a taboo regarding certain types of honesty which is often unproductive, and can also inhibit identifying and tackling problems in the name of productive change! I think that there’s a huge difference of course between valuing optimism (which is certainly healthy) and forcing optimism as a mask for underlying problems. Read more>>

Liz Faraimo | Life & Business Coach | Entrepreneur

People are told: “Wait until you’re ready and everything is perfect”. This advice is what holds people back from ever launching their product or service. If you wait to be ready, you will never be ready. If you wait for perfection, it will never come. And you’ll never launch. I believe that you just have to go for it! Take what you have created, your service or product and start getting it in front of people. From there you will have feedback and the opportunity to evolve and improve your product or service. Every successful business just started and continued to evolve and grow over time. Just go all in!. Read more>>

Marcie Colleen | Award-Winning Children’s Author

“To be a writer, you must designate time at the keyboard each day.” Sometimes my best “writing time” doesn’t include writing at all. Time away from the keyboard and stepping away from creating allow your subconscious to get down to work. Ever lie in bed willing yourself to sleep? “Go to sleep. C’mon, I’m waiting. Sleep! NOW!” Good luck with that. I know that usually just adds up to more frustration and awake-ness for me. But once I loosen the reins and focus on breathing or soothing thoughts, I drift off before long. It’s the same with any creative pursuit—especially writing for me. The more I sit and stare at the computer, urging my muse to “just show up already!” the more the frustration grows and whatever I end up with is usually subpar. However, if I allow myself to step away to pursue other activities—cooking, running, folding laundry, teaching—it usually isn’t too long before my muse whispers something in my ear that suddenly gets me unstuck and rushing back to the keyboard. Read more>>