November 29, 2023 at 8:06 am #2166
People (like me) who would rather walk around in a hazmat suit than touch random strangers or be around sick people aren’t called to be doctors or nurses.
People (like me) who would rather spend their allowance getting someone to do their math homework than having to do the weekly page of word problems… aren’t called to be physicists.
People (like me) who would rather take a Jetson pill than have to cook… aren’t called to be chefs.
People (like me) who would rather stay home and watch human behavior documentaries alone than get dressed up and go networking at the bars… are called to help SOLOpreneurs thrive as SOLOpreneurs.
I was never called to be a dental hygienist… or pastry chef… or even a cashier (math gives me hives).
But I was ALWAYS very clearly called to be my own boss.
Everything after that has been the wild, wild, west.
It’s taken me two decades to figure out my ‘thing’.
I had a jewelry line… and years later a candle line.
Then, I designed wedding invitations + wedding profiles.
That turned into graphic design freelancing, which turned into web design freelancing.
Eventually, I planted my flag in the SOLOpreneur pond but I still didn’t really know what the fuck I was meant to do… I just knew who I really wanted to do it for.
So I stuck with what was on my resume for a long time. Logo design… color palettes… image templates.
I went all in on branding design but it always felt superficial.
It felt like being stuck on first base.
I went through years of imposter syndrome but eventually, I pulled together enough courage to dip my toe in the strategy side of branding, and… that’s when things really started coming together for me.
My brain works in this crazy Tetris™ meets Match Maker™ meets Therapy kinda way that I never able to really make sense of… until I went down the brand strategy rabbit hole.
I instinctively understood the concepts at a level that I had never experienced with anything else before. It didn’t just make sense, it connected dots.
It organized loose pixels into a clear picture for me and made my life + business make sense for the first time.
Like, the way I’m able to make insanely deep connections with people in an insanely short amount of time. BOOM… I understand the dynamic of kindreds vs warm bodies who spend money. I understand buyer behavior. I understand how to connect with other humans.
Or like, the way I can read subcontext like Rainman can count toothpicks. BOOM… I understand how subtle clues affect perception. I understand how to use words + pictures to paint a picture people can step into.
The more I learned about brand strategy (in all it’s 50 shades) the more I learned about myself.
It quickly became the career synergy I’d been searching for my whole adult life.
But, it still took me years to have the balls to act like I knew shit about it publicly.
I worked with clients (QUIETLY) in the background.
I taught a few masterclasses to test the waters.
But all in all, I didn’t really step into it until I entered the YOU-shaped era of my business in early 2022 and decided it was time to burn everything down and launch my branding bar.
That decision has snowballed into so much clarity, I kinda feel like a cult leader bragging about it.
No BS, no business decision has ever felt as poignant and perfect as that one has – even 20 months later.
Every single day (even the really shitty ones) I’m glad I stepped into this truth because it’s truly been a missing piece in my identity.
It’s made me feel whole in a way I didn’t think was possible.
See, I sound like a cult leader.
Enough about me…
How about you?
What’s that ‘thing’ you can’t stop coming back to even though there are 10 things you’re technically more qualified to do?
Hit us with your truths… and or let us know where last saw your ‘thing’ so we can help you find it again?
November 29, 2023 at 2:36 pm #2172Yashi SrivastavaParticipant
The thing I couldn’t help coming back to until about a year ago was writing.
I have always loved writing and have spent over a decade in inner turmoil about how I want to write and want to share what I write but what if I am not good enough and I don’t have anything new to say and what if no one reads what I write and blah, blah, blah.
Thankfully, almost exactly a year ago, I put that inner chatter to rest. FOREVER.
It took me working with a spiritual teacher + consolidating everything I knew about living a happy, fulfilling life to get there. But I am here now and writing is going to happen. No questions.
BUT – it has to be writing I want to do – not on someone else’s terms. AND, at a deeper level, I know that I don’t want writing to be the ONLY thing I do.
The thing I deeply care about – for which writing has always been an awesome tool – is to live well. To go in directions I am being called to – even if they don’t make sense to anyone else. To be who I truly am, even if no one else gets me. To fulfill my soul’s desires. To live a life that in the end, I look back and say, wow. That was incredible and if I have to go back and change something, there wouldn’t be a thing I’d want to change because each experience taught me something valuable and made me the person I was meant to be. To live life on my own terms and have no regrets.
Until a year ago, not writing and sharing what I learned would have been my biggest regret.
Now, staying small seems like what I would regret.
The big question for me is, how do I play big on my own terms – retaining the freedom and the life I’ve created but without trading time for money – which is what I currently do.
November 29, 2023 at 5:11 pm #2177
I love this, sweetie. I can relate so hard to wanting to write but wondering if it’s good enough… or if anyone will care.
It sounds like you been on quite the personal growth journey too in the last year.
It’s nice to see things change when you’re doing so much soul searching isn’t it??! And it kinda creeps up. You don’t realize how much progress you make until something makes you stop and take notice.
Noooowww, you get to decide what that writing ‘calling’ looks like for you. 🥰
November 30, 2023 at 4:00 pm #2194
A thing I wished I had known when I first started writing articles as a freelance writer:
That’s the only criterion.
We have no control over whether the powers that be think it’s good enough. We have no control over how others will interpret our words. We have no control if anyone will give a shit about what we have to say.
But we can control whether we write.
Which means we can control whether we are writers.
November 30, 2023 at 8:51 pm #2206
I love that!! It’s so true isn’t it? The craziest thing is I kinda think I’m a writer but there’s still a lot of mindfucks around calling myself a writer because I was told I was such a bad writer when I was growing up.
November 30, 2023 at 9:34 pm #2219
Ditto! I think that’s why it took me ages to actually be able to call myself a writer.
November 29, 2023 at 8:49 pm #2180
I always come back to audio production. I’ve loved it ever since I learned not to be afraid of it. There’s nothing better to me than getting a few copy points from a client and getting to work my magic. Crafting the perfect script, voicing it just right…the emotions and the emphases…then adding the music and finding the PERFECT sound effects. Jeebus! Goosebumps!
But now I worry about AI. Why would you pay me to deliver what AI can do, FREE, in minutes. Additionally, that sort of audio belongs to a dying media- radio and I’m at a loss as to how to spin it. (Also, I fucking HATE podcasts and audiobooks)
November 30, 2023 at 8:52 pm #2207
I’m really curious why you hate podcasts + audiobooks?
November 30, 2023 at 1:43 am #2187RicardoParticipant
It’s funny how one person’s hell can be another’s heaven. Analyzing abstract data through the lens of systems thinking to explain the behavior of the social ecosystem and how it will evolve over time massages my brain in ways that nothing else can. I can feel the electricity firing inside my brain like a euphoric massage. I’d happily barricade myself for days around 6 monitors to articulate a method of measuring the world and explaining its evolution. A competent analyst has over 110 techniques at their disposal to decompose all kinds of phenomena, but the differentiator is being able to do it in a way that is reproducible and explainable to general audiences so that we can engage entities with strategic dialogue about the most pressing decisions facing their business and how our proposed analysis will lead to a better outcome. The difference I’m meant to help people make is to fundamentally reinvent how analytical insights are generated and scaled across their organization to co-create the industry’s future.
Yesterday from 6am to 8pm I created a model that explains the evolution of a certain market in 70 countries by scoring hundreds of variables such as market sizes, growth rates, the regulatory climate, the level of mobile connectivity in a given country, how people spend their time, etc. into a 1-page presentation guiding an emerging brand on how to allocate resources across those 70 countries for best performance and I don’t regret a second of it.
November 30, 2023 at 1:14 pm #2191Vanessa RedfordParticipant
Hearing about this makes my brain light up and warms my heart.
I love data.
November 30, 2023 at 4:01 pm #2195
I love you data lovers! My brain does not work that way at all, and so I always learn something from those of you hardwired for data!
November 30, 2023 at 8:53 pm #2208
This is the shit I live for. How we’re all brilliant minds in our own ways. I la la looove hearing about how other people’s minds work.
YOURS is fascinating, Ricardo!!
November 30, 2023 at 9:32 am #2188Andrea CristanchoParticipant
oh boy, this one is for me! Lately I’ve been praised by my sales and marketing efforts because people ( my ideal audience – founders and startups ) start noticing me, yeah!!! BUT here’s the kicker, as I’m being introduced as “she’s my marketing coach” at the networking event by my client, I actually introduce myself as a health coach and I’m putting together a program to optimice your health for founders.
This scenario has repeated itself too many times to ignore it, and day 3 has paint the picture so clear that it pains me. And I wonder, am I walking the talk? I only want to have one program and one program only, but can’t help to doubt now if I’m leaving money on the table. Actually, am I going in the right direction?
Gee Dre, thank you, Merry Christmas to me in November :)))
- This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by Andrea Cristancho.
November 30, 2023 at 9:02 pm #2209
You can NOT do what other people want you to do.
You can NOT do what you’re used to doing.
This is YOUR TIME.
To do what YOU want. What YOU feel called to do.
This is the time for you to step into the role you want to fill.
You get to be brilliant at a lot of things.
If you chase what you really want to do the other things you love will find their place on that path.
The money will follow YOU.
Let people into your transition. Let people be a part of the ‘build plan’ for this program. Share why you’re changing directions. Tie it back to the things you’re currently known for and segway you’re existing audience into what you’re now focusing on.
It’s ok to let things go to make room for BETTER things!
P.S. Is it wrong that I want to tape a bunch of bows on me and show up at your doorstep? 🎁
November 30, 2023 at 9:04 pm #2211
If she’s weirded out by bow-bedecked Dre, c’mon down lol.
That’s some good shit tho. I kinda wanna print it and frame it in my booth.
November 30, 2023 at 4:04 pm #2196
I missed this yesterday, so I’m going to keep this one short (because my response to today’s post was LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG)!
I have always processed the world through writing.
And I have always loved deep conversations that dive into the nuance of a situation and don’t just skate along the surface.
And I love celebrating the fuck out of other people.
I get to do all of that now. And I love every minute!
November 30, 2023 at 9:03 pm #2210
YESSSS! We’re so kindreds it’s insane. Same. Just SAME to everything. 🍷
November 30, 2023 at 7:10 pm #2202Crystal SullivanParticipant
Man Dre, have I thought about this topic a fucking lot. And over the years I have tried so many businesses. I have learned what I like and don’t like in them.
For a long while I pushed away branding and design because my last job was so toxic I didn’t want anything to do with it.
For years I have always thought about helping female entrepreneurs step into their power and run their businesses on their own terms. Kind of like you are doing with us Dre. But i struggle with all the mindset shit bc I can barely get my business started and i go back and forth. But my story is extremely close to yours where i am an excellent listener and look at things in a way no one else usually does. I can tend to pul things or have people think of things they may not have thought of. All my friends say i’m so easy to talk to. While all at the same time thinking do i have what it takes.
BUT i also really do enjoy sitting down and designing all at the same time. Especially when I don’t have much else to do and i can just zone out and design.
BUT, the biggest BUT of them all. With all the shit going on in my personal life I don’t have the mental capacity to help others and I don’t want to be around people or cram all of that into my schedule. so I am kind of stuck in this shitty middle area.
Everyone always talks about having the ONE thing, but I keep feeling like that’s not my style. So I created the ultimate branding kit that has many logo templates for people to create a brand look. But I also wanted to come up with a brand template and then create the other templates like social, email, slide dec, ebooks funnels, etc, everything but the web bc that is not really my thing all in that same brand style. This one be like they can download all the different pieces they need and don’t and get the whole brand without paying a designer. Not super unique bc they aren’t paying for that but it gets them started with a professional design.
Then have my course as my other thing, maybe in a bit.
- This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Crystal Sullivan.
November 30, 2023 at 9:11 pm #2212
Is it possible that you just haven’t found your ‘thing’?
That’s OK, sweetie!
It’s frustrating AF that it can’t be rushed but you WILL find it.
Keep playing with the things you do connect with.
If you love helping female entrepreneurs step into their power + run their business on their own terms… but feel like a fraud because you aren’t doing that… then, MAYBE… that’s where you start.
Share YOUR journey to stepping into your power + running your business on your own terms.
The ups… the downs… the fears… the work arounds… the setbacks… the successes… let people watch you do it.
Maybe, finding your people will help you find your ‘thing’?
What do you think about starting there?
December 1, 2023 at 12:32 am #2231Crystal SullivanParticipant
I like that and i think what i need to get comfortable with is that its ok to start where i am now and grow into what i want to do.
I think i spent a lot of time trying to figuring out in the shadows and not enough of doing it and seeing what happens.
December 5, 2023 at 4:29 am #2259Megan MatthewsParticipant
I’m a clinical mental health counselor by training, education and licensure; but for nearly five years I worked as a chemical dependency counselor after having been essentially “railroaded” into that line of work by an academic advisor who told me that a chemical dependency counseling graduate certificate would “open doors” for me, and said that was something I needed because I didn’t “present well”. (Translation: I’m neurodivergent, and my advisor decided that I was too “different” to ever find work without going into a field that was so desperate for workers that the certification didn’t even require a four-year degree, let along a master’s. Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence, Dr. Neuronormativism.)
That was how I started understanding the “Thing” that has kept finding me, over and over and over, that I’m here for, that I was literally born to do: Working with people who are “different” like I was (and am) “different”. The ones who are discouraged from following their dreams because they and their dreams don’t fit in the standard-sized societally-approved box. The ones who need to know that being neurodivergent, or having a chronic illness or disability, or being queer or black or brown, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be in the margins forever. The ones who need the affirmation that just because we’re different doesn’t mean we’re broken or wrong.
Showing people with nonconforming identities how to embrace who they are and how to navigate a world that wasn’t built for us or even by us is My Thing. It’s followed me all my life – because it IS me.
December 6, 2023 at 2:04 pm #2269
What a fucking ahole! Who do these teachers and professors think they are to qualify someone’s dreams… or dictate their careers? It pisses me off soooo hard!!
It’s so fucking validating to me how many of us are doing such similar work – helping people accept + love themselves again (or maybe for the first time).
The world needs more rule breakers like US! 😘
December 8, 2023 at 10:53 pm #2290Jodi ChaffeeParticipant
The job I’m being hired to do would be to supply parents with the tools for navigating a resilient family culture when they are in need of recalibrating their purpose without the stress of guesswork or screwing up their kids, nor getting trapped in the traffic jams, roadblocks, and detours of destructive cultural patterns.
I have often thought my job was to help parents deconstruct their generational traumas, confront their assumptions about systemic patterns, and break the cycle of their wounded child tendencies and become more conscious parents. Those are part of the package, but are also a very tall order. These are the ways that I think about the problem, but I don’t believe they’re part of my job. As parents learn the tools of a resilient family culture, they will likely come to these conclusions on their own and be part of the discussion, but that isn’t my ultimate job. I kind of hope that gaining the tools I share with them will lead them to seek treatment to heal from the excess baggage we all carry around as parents.
I have been obsessed with family culture because I wanted to know how to break the cycle of dysfunction in my family and figure out how to prepare my children for a future of unknowns so they might be successful despite what happens tomorrow. I originally thought that a successful family culture hinged on my ability to model success for my kids and always be capable of showing up for them to model every behavior and characteristic I wanted to instill in them. Exhausting, amiright?? I accidentally stumbled upon the truth as my exploration into family culture unearthed the dysfunctional patterns of more than just my family. I began to see how society at large has been repeating patterns of dysfunction that are deteriorating individuals and families and breaking down our resiliency.
I want to give parents the tools they need to have confidence in their ability to be resilient in spite of the challenges we face, in spite of what the future holds, and be able to navigate those ups and downs with compassion.
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