On being the best version of yourself

We recently received this email from Jess Joswick, the CEO behind Backbone Creative (and one of our Sponsors!), and we wanted to share it with you all because we think it’s super valuable information! Enjoy!


The hard parts about running a business or launching a startup aren’t just decisions to be made or tasks to be done. It’s the emotional rollercoaster part. The highs are really high and the lows…well, I don’t even have space to get into how shitty those feel.

I’ve learned that being a great CEO isn’t about having the right tactics, knowing the correct answer all the time, or showing people how smart you are. You can know how to do it all, but if you don’t have a mindset of growth, grittiness, and acceptance, your best-laid plans will be DOA every time.

Before I started my business, I sure didn’t realize how much work on myself I’d need to do alongside working on my business. It didn’t mean I was broken, stupid, or wrong—I just needed to sharpen some skills and acknowledge where I needed more help. Doing that was a lot easier than resisting change just to prove I was already ‘good enough.’


I’m not perfect and I don’t aim to be, but I’ve learned stuff about managing myself that have helped me show up better for my business. Here are a few things I’ve done so that my business grows and I thrive, too

1. Create order from chaos

Flying free and not having a system worked for me—until it really, really didn’t. You can’t do it all, every day. I calmed my overwhelm with calendars, analog planners, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for repetitive tasks and processes. I introduced tech that really makes a difference (like payment capture, CRMs, and Slack).

2. Have a morning and/or evening ritual

Rituals unlock hidden power and focus. Some founders have one to open and close the day—I like kicking off my mornings with a blend of meditation, journaling, and review of mantras and perspectives. Others like working out, listening or reading something inspiring, or reflecting on the previous day. Try out a few things until you find your perfect mix.

3. Take responsibility for relationships

This is one of Peter Drucker’s tenets, so if you’re curious, I recommend Managing Oneself. It helped me get how other people’s different strengths and values impact professional relationships. I now understand that when communication with others goes awry, I have a part in the problem and can learn and grow from it.

4. Set scary goals

This one is tough for me and a lot of my clients because we’re taught that we’re failures if goals aren’t reached. Our goals should make us a little nervous. I show up much differently to a $120,000 revenue goal than I do a much more comfortable $80k. It forces me to plan bigger programs and events, stay focused as my calendar fills up, and charge what things are worth.

5. Get support outside my business

When I first started working with my coach, I had so many questions doubts. I didn’t see how I could create a business without losing my mind and I couldn’t believe I was paying so much money to get help doing it. Now I know that walking by faith is part of entrepreneurship and calculated risk-taking is critical. I trusted my coach to guide me and I trusted myself just enough to make it happen. I didn’t need the evidence that I could do it—it wasn’t really there, anyway. That’s a lesson that has paid off year over year.

I’m curious…was this helpful? Which of these resonate with you? District Bliss would love to hear from you! hello@districtbliss.com

Bonus! Jess is leading a Free LIVE Training Series: How to Become A Thriving Entrepreneur. You can RSVP and get all the details here.

—Jess
Backbone Creative Founder & Brand Business Coach



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