Finding Inspiration and How Your Gifts, Talents and Skills Intersect to Build an Authentic Business
Hey, and welcome back to business and breakthroughs. This is Kristen, and I’m really excited for today’s conversation. We are going to talk about how do you find your intersection? How do you find your secret sauce? And how do you blend your ingredients together your the things you offer the world? So they come together in a way that you feel so aligned, you feel like yes, this is it. And people want to come work with you because you have connected the dots, if you will. Why are we talking about this today? Because I continue to talk to so many people, and where they’re stuck, where they’re struggling is here. They know things they’re good at, they know what direction they think they want to go into business. And maybe they’ve started it. But then they get stuck. They question what they’re doing. Or maybe they need to pivot because of what they’ve done in the past and where they think they need to go. This is what we’re gonna jump into today. And I cannot wait. Hey, and welcome to Business and breakthroughs. This is your host, Kristen, and I am so glad you’re here with me today. I cannot wait to dive into the topic and get going with you. Today we’re going to talk about how do you find your secret sauce? How do you step in the world with more curiosity. And I just hope this episode just is exactly what you need to hear today. Alright, let’s dive right in.
Here’s the crazy thing about life. I had actually written down to talk about this topic, because it’s come up in conversation with several people recently, they’re still working on starting their podcast or launching something or launching something new or doing a pivot in their business. You know, one friend of mine is a writer, but she’s about to launch something new. Another friend has a podcast but would like to do more speaking coming up. So there’s all these twists and turns like it is for all of us. But I had written down to talk about find your intersection. What’s your secret ingredient? And how do you bring them together in the world to make a living or to make a better living? Well, so I had this idea. And then I happened to listen to a podcast, I think it was on Saturday by Martha Beck now, I have found her podcast before but it’s not when I regularly listen to but maybe I should. But I listened to one recently called Find your muse. It’s episode 82. And I’m going to tell you a little bit about it. And then we’re gonna dig into the topic today, because they’re so aligned. But I literally, I needed to hear her episode, it was literally like music to my soul of where I’m at currently, because I’ve been feeling a little burned out, I have been just worn out lately and just not feeling the productivity. I wanted to, you know, feeling behind and some of my work.
So the gist of the show the gist of her podcast was, if you first of all, it’s that you should just go towards what you interest. You know, like, in other words, her whole life, she’s like, I didn’t do what someone told me to do. I didn’t try to fit into a job like, Oh, I’m going to become a lawyer. She just always followed the things I’m about to tell you to where she got. And if you don’t know her, she’s a writer, MIT. She’s written many books. She’s a sociologist. And she’s also a well known world renowned life coach. She has some amazing programs. And then I think she also has some sort of Life Coach School. But here’s the gist. She said, how do you find your muse? In other words, how do you find your inspiration? How do you stay inspired. And so she gives us three kinds of ideas on how to do this, or how to keep doing it. The first is a concept that she says, is to follow the heat. And what she’s talking about is what interests you What do you feel excited about. And it might be that you have to try several things at once to see which thing interests you versus which thing feels like, you know, cold or, or, you know, it’s not really warming you up, it’s not getting you excited. And so one of the ways we kind of find our way through life, the one of the ways we find our inspiration, which often then leads to the next project we should be working on or the next will work is by following our heat. Or if you think about it, it’s like a game of hide and seek or I mean, like you’re hotter, you’re colder, you know, when you’re near the person.
That’s what we’re talking about. In other words, open your eyes and be aware which things get you excited when you when you work with that product that service you talk about that topic. You know, what things do you read or seem to be drawn to? That’s the heat, right? That’s the thing that you could just keep doing and it interests you. So that’s the first thing she talks about. The next is, let’s say you can’t find your heat. Let’s say that you can’t. You can’t even decide which things are kind of like getting you excited. She says, then what you need is you need rest, she said depressed people think it’s bad right in our culture. But she says no, if there’s no heat, you need to physically sleep. Because it basically allows your brain to go to work. And it lets your brain kind of let go of all the things that it doesn’t need, okay? Or if you’re numb, you feel numb, you’re not getting excited, and you can’t decide what’s warm, and what’s cold for you to go towards sleep. And she says, You can’t get too much sleep. It’s our body’s way of healing, right? It’s our body’s way of repair, of renewing. Okay. And then she said, once though you feel rested, and you can start to sense what things you’re drawn towards what things you are interested in. She said, she calls it follow your nose. But really what she’s talking about is be open to new experiences. And I guess I’d say, have a childlike wonder, I guess I’d say is the way I understood what she’s saying.
She explains, you know, a child kind of threw a park in there, just kind of like, oh, my gosh, look over here. Did you see that bird? Oh, I’m gonna go towards the stream right there. They’re literally awakened to everything around them. And they’re going to take it in, in other words, take it in through your senses. And if we all just showed up in life more like that, I mean, truly, how wonderful would it be, I mean, think about even in the kitchen, and someone’s cooking food and my gosh, cookies, and maybe like a tomato sauce, you walk in the door, and you’re just hit with those smells as aromas. It’s much like that. So when you’ll be drawn to go see what that’s amazing smell is, what I’m saying is taken, what she’s saying is take that sense of like, let me follow the smell and do it with all your senses in your life every day. But if we were more open to not being super stuck in routine and structure, we would actually know the things that interest us the things that we became, you know, deciding, like, gosh, I would really love to go walk down near the water that day, instead of sitting at my computer for eight hours, if I don’t have any, you know, appointments or calls, coaching calls. So the next thing she says is the third thing, follow your curiosity, right? And she says, if you can connect to curiosity about anything, it removes our fear, our worry. And then we can ask the question, why is this happening? Or why do I like this? Why is this interesting to me? Okay, and so once again, if we’re more curious in life, this could be about our relationship, about a topic, maybe we’re getting super into a certain topic right now of books, we’re reading documentaries, you know, a movie, but we need to be aware of those things, okay. But if we do these things, you know, her point is, we won’t feel stuck like that, we just can only go into law medicine. And she names a third category, and I can’t remember what it is. In other words, we don’t have to have a career that someone says we have to have, it doesn’t have to fit in a box.
It truly can be our, to our own making, and it can keep changing. And she shares a story about a female comedian, I think it’s cuz she’s like a stand up comedian, I guess. And she explains how she keeps doing what she wants. And she’s always doing different things. But she always calls it stand up, okay. And she basically, Martha Beck says, if you have a deep passion, keep following it. And you have to, because you have to have the heat. If you don’t, then go towards the thing that does give you that hate that curiosity of interest that wonder, okay, and then she has this great comment or thing she says what she says, Wait, you’re not sampling the whole universe to see what you love? Oh my gosh, imagine if we all from childhood on had that approach to life, how much more alive we would all be? How much more happy we would all be. Right? Because I think so many people we do get stuck in obligation, we get stuck in this sense of routine. And that we have to make a living and we somehow have been trained, we’ve been brainwashed to think that it has to be in some nine to five job or even if we already have our own business, it doesn’t have to fit in certain constraints.
Maybe you’re a you hate working first thing in the morning, maybe you’re you know someone that loves working at 11am You know, to six or something or maybe you say I only really am good for four hours a day to really work that’s okay. Maybe you were wired that way right because of the type of creation that you’re you’re doing you’re making. Okay, so why did I tell you all that? I told you all this because I have recently been feeling that need for rest. I’ve been feeling that need to remember what all lights me up and of course I noticed Some of the things, but I felt disconnected from some of them lately. And let’s be honest, a lot of us feel I don’t want to use the word guilty. But we feel like when arresting, we’re not being productive, which in our society, we have, many of us have been trained that we need more productivity time instead of more rest time. But this, this podcast episode, it just really I listened to it twice, because for me, it was so good. And it really just reminded me to pay more attention to myself to my body, to my thoughts, to the things that I feel that urge to move towards to go do to get off the paved path on, you know, in into the woods, if you will. Okay, so how does this have to do with finding our intersection? How does this have to do with coming up with where our, you know, our gifts and our talents come together? Well, I think it has a lot to do with it. Because if we’re in touch with our, you know what, what we enjoy, if we’re in touch with our curiosity and our wonder, and if we are rested, then it’s going to be a lot easier to look at what I’m talking about today.
And I want to share this little excerpt from the book, Big Magic from Elizabeth Gilbert, about this topic, she says, If you don’t have clear passion, and somebody blithely tells you to go follow your passion, I think you have the right to give that person the middle finger. Because that’s like somebody telling you that all you need in order to lose weight is to be thin, or all you need in order to have a great sex life is to be multi orgasmic. That doesn’t help. I’m generally a pretty passionate person myself. But not every single day. Sometimes I have no idea where my passion is going off to. I don’t always feel actively inspired. Nor do I always feel certain about what to do next. But I don’t sit around waiting for passionate strike me. I keep working steadily, because I believe it is our privilege as humans to keep making things for as long as we live. And because I enjoy making things. Most of all, I keep working because I trust that creativity is always trying to find me even when I have lost sight of it. So how do you find the inspiration to work when your passion has flagged? This is where Curiosity comes in. I believe that curiosity is the secret. Curiosity is the truth in the way of creative living. Curiosity is the Alpha and Omega, beginning in the end. Furthermore, Curiosity is accessible to everyone. Passion can seem intimidatingly out of reach, at times, distant our flame accessible only to geniuses and to those who are specially touched by God. But curiosity is a milder, quieter, more welcoming and more democratic entity.
The stakes of curiosity are also far lower than the stakes of passion. Passion, makes you get divorced and sell all your possessions and shave your head and moved in Nepal. Curiosity doesn’t ask nearly so much of you. In fact, curiosity only ever asked one simple question. Is there anything you’re interested in anything? Even a tiny bit, no matter how mundane deign or small, the answer need not set your life on fire or make you quit your job, or force you to change your religion or send you into a fugue state. It just has to capture your attention for a moment. But in that moment, if you can pause and identify even one tiny speck of interest in something, then Curiosity will ask you to turn your head a quarter of an inch. And look at the thing a wee bit closer. Do it. It’s a clue. It might seem like nothing, but it’s a clue. Follow that clue? trust it, see where Curiosity will lead you next, then follow the next clue in the next in the next. Oh my gosh, how many of you can relate to those words? I surely can. And I think that’s the point is, as humans, this is the condition most of us are in because we’ve gotten disconnected. Right? With our, with our creative, curious selves, that part of us. And I do think that, you know, God is really here to partner with us, right to allow us to create amazing work through you know, these gifts He’s given us and through the inspiration that we feel from, you know, this all inspiring curiosity and creativity that we are given, but we have to get in touch with it.
Okay, so what happens if you’re in a place where you don’t feel like you know what your secret sauce is? You don’t feel like you really know where your intersection is that sweet spot in your business or or just in what you’re going after? What do you do? Well, the first thing I’d say is, let’s get a piece of paper and a pen. And let’s write some things down. Okay, so I’m going to give you the main things to write down and most of you have probably done some version of this at some point. I want you to write down these these little topics or categories. And then later you can fill them in. It’s right down gifts, right down talents, write down skills, passions, pain, struggles for what you’ve ever overcome, okay? And then write down what two people say I’m good at. Now, before you do this, and like I said, you can either pause the show, and then fill these out, or you can do it later. I want you to really think deeply about this and make sure you put some things in each of these buckets. But next, don’t just think of things that you’ve gotten paid for in the past. I mean, those things are great, obviously, to put down right as your skills, your abilities, whatever it might be. But many of us have gained skills, or we have an ability that either we just had naturally, right, we had a knack for it, if you will, it’s one of our gifts or talents, even if we’ve never gotten paid for it. Or maybe you you gained the skill working, you know, being at home, or maybe you did it volunteering, it doesn’t matter.
If you got paid for it, it matters if you develop something that other people are like, Oh my gosh, are so organized, or you are so good at putting events together, you know, or you everyone comes and talks to you about, you know, their personal struggles, and you you lift them up, you make them feel better, you know, so the things can be where you have to think about it. But I want you to really think about these things, and then put down interest to so what things are you drawn to? What things what kind of content do you consume? And what are we talking about, for instance, for me, when I was little, I wrote poetry and lyrics, but it wasn’t something I shared regularly with people I just was drawn to do it. In college, I liked my religion in my philosophy classes, my classes on morality. I’ve had a passion towards taking pictures for as long as I can remember, not when I was little, but maybe by college or after. I love being in conversation with people. I love gift giving. And I love food for sure. But people come and talk to me about their lives, right, and I help them shift their perspectives. And so these are just some of my indicators. Of course, I’ve worked in tech for 20 years, I’m good at taking something complex and making it a more simple idea. I am obsessed with certain types of books, right?
But not everybody is I love Christian Christian inspiration books. And I like other sorts of books too. And I have poetry books, things like that. But that’s not what everybody has interested in, you know, what pulls at your heartstrings, that pain struggle or what you’ve overcome. Maybe you’ve been divorced, maybe you have dealt with childhood trauma that took years to overcome. All of these things are indicators. And if we can really look at them and start to see hmm, what what area am I working in? Or what area have I been wanting to move into. But these things will help inform us on where we should be going towards, and pay attention to what pulls you what gets our attention? And then as we interact with the world, what are you most passionate about? Right, that my friend has a gift? What are you passionate about? And, you know, one thing is how do you find your intersection? Well, I think it’s what is it that you’re good at? What is it that you literally are so passionate about that? You? You just you kind of obsessive about it, right? And then where is it that you think people are saying that they need help that you could help them with? And remember, this could be anything you could you could be the most amazing Baker, or you could be the most amazing coach to help people with their children that may be have certain maybe they have special needs.
And you’ve worked in that area. Maybe you have taught in that area. Maybe you’re a parent that has gone through that you know, with your child, but what is it? In other words, how can you dis I mean, how can you connect these disparate things? Where do they come together? And maybe you don’t know or maybe you’ve been trying out coaching, but you still can’t seem to find that sweet spot for yourself? My guess is is because you’re you’re just trying it all instead of really getting quiet with yourself looking at all these different you know, what are your gifts or talents or skills, your interests, your passions? In seeing Where do my passions and interests intersect with my skills in that I want to be a coach because you might be trying to fit in a box, you don’t need to like, oh gosh, I’m going to be a business strategist type coach, I’m going to be a life coach. Well, those are so broad and big and vague. That one, you might not feel super connected to it. And two, people aren’t going to really be drawn to you for it, because it’s too broad. So how do you Yes, niche or niche niche down however you want to say it with these? These areas? Right, this intersection of yours?
How do you blend your signature ingredients into what you do? Okay. And so for instance, another exercise is that you take all those things, and you think, you know, who do you serve, but you keep going down four levels? And what do I mean by that? Like, you can’t just say like, oh, I help people that need life coaching. It’s that you Who do you help? Okay, I help women under 50, let’s say, okay, women under 50, who are typically moms who work full time, and they’re trying to navigate a big transition in their life. Do you see I’m saying, so keep niching? Down? Who exactly you help? And then how you help them? Are you helping them make a transition, you know, in their life? Are you helping them step out and become more bold, right in this in this next part of their life, the clearer you get, the more specific you get, the more it will match up with your skills and your gifts and your talents, that intersection, and that you will start finding more success, because it’ll make sense to people and it will make sense to you, it’ll feel you’ll feel feel more authentic in that place. The other thing I think happens is, we often try to fit in. And this has happened to me before too. I tried to say, Oh, I’m this and it even now with this podcast. As I’ve been rebranding, I’ve been honing it, I still have resistance, I’m still working through what I’m going to be when I grow up on this podcast, right? Because I think I niche down to so much, because that’s how he’s being guided by the program I was in.
But it’s starting to feel I started to feel like no, no, no, no, this isn’t it. So I’m going to be pulling it back just a bit. It’s, I still educate, you know, on some of these topics. But my heat wasn’t there as much, right? This is a sort of thing I love talking about. This is really how I like helping people. And yeah, tech, of course, I can help with that. But that’s not where the heat is. Okay, and so for me, I’ve got to keep going towards the heat, I gotta keep twisting and turning, turning. And that’s okay. And I need to be honest about it. Because so many of us find ourselves on this path where we go down one little alley, and then we find that it’s blocked off or it’s cold. And we’re not sure how to go forward. You know, and we don’t want to embarrass ourselves, right? We don’t want to see, it seemed like, it’s silly that we keep trying new things. But, but if it’s blocked, or it’s cold, I have to turn around and go back to the main road and find the next path that is opened, that does have the heat. The other thing is, talk to people about it, ask them, gosh, what am I what do you think I’m good at? If you thought I was going to do something as a business, you know, as my thing that I made money that I could do my whole life, what would it be? And then listen to what they say and really accept what they say.
Because often we hear somebody say something, and we, we don’t really believe it about ourselves, especially if it’s something we’re stepping into that we’ve never done before. The other thing I would say is what if we just took the pressure off ourselves? What if we did follow the things that excite us? What if we tried new things without the expectation of the outcome? What if we only said yes to the things that we said, Heck, yeah. I’m so excited to do this. If we didn’t do the things that we weren’t really, we didn’t feel that sense of wonder, that sense of curiosity, that excitement about it. And I don’t mean that everything in our business or in our lives is going to be Yay, it’s so fun. But I’m saying are we have it? Do we have things in our life everyday that we’re excited about? And that we’re getting curious about and we’re following that kernel? That’s the question. And you know, I think it’s we have to keep being willing to learn right to be a lifelong learner to be a beginner and I think it’s okay we should commit ourselves to being more you know, a filled with wonder that childlike sense of excitement about our days. shake up your routine a little bit, you know, get out of your comfort zone. Get away from your computer. or your zoom calls or whatever it is, you’re doing a lot of in just do something different.
That you, you have that little inkling that says, Hmm, what would happen if I did this today? What would happen if I picked up the paintbrush, or I went and had a conversation with somebody I’ve admired, whatever it might be. So what I want to leave you with today is just, you have so much ability. The question is what’s holding you back? Is it because you’re stuck in the mundane, you’re stuck in routine, and you’re not even seeing the amazing things right around you that you could literally grab, you’re not giving yourself credit for the things that you’re actually so skilled and gifted at? Because you’re still questioning how you should move forward. So instead of questioning how you should move forward, just take a little step. Take a little step and say, You know what, I am going to just try it. And my goal is you just want to do it long enough so you don’t give up and you actually grow from it. Right? You can you just keep trying things and you’re going to learn. Okay, so that’s it. I can’t wait to see if you check out Martha Beck’s episode, I just think it was so life giving for me. And it really is what I needed to hear right now. So if you check it out, let me know what you think. And let me know what you think about today’s episode. And next up is the next, I think a third of the six part series about optimizing your website, very tactical. But sometimes we do absolutely have to do that side of business as well. You wish there was a way to optimize your online presence so you can get more traffic to grow your writing, speaking or coaching business easily in an authentic way.
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