A space for creatives, artists, entrepreneurs and freelancers to be heard and to feel known. A real life creative community designed to promote thoughtful discussions about business, connect creatives within the industry and to act as a source of accountability and support for one another's ideas and ambitions.
"When people don’t express themselves, they die one piece at a time."
— Laurie Halse Anderson
Your work tells tales. It speaks about you, your values, your hopes, your ambitions, and ultimately what you deem worthy of your energy and attention. It reveals, intentionally or not, what you really think about the world around you. Ultimately, your body of work, which is any place, you create value, whether through your job, your relationships, or any other way you spend your time and energy is a standing testament to your existence on this speck of rock orbiting the sun. Here’s a question worth pondering: While your work speaks about you, does it really speak for you? Does it represent you well? Does it reflect the authentic you? (Or, in your busyness, have you even recently considered who the authentic you might be?) The key to making your work resonate is to uncover, develop, and then bravely use your authentic voice. Those who are brave enough to dedicate themselves to the effort of discovering their authentic voice are impervious to the temporary cultural noise. Their work is founded upon a deep knowledge of who they are, what they want, and how they plan to achieve it. They have firm footing because they have rifled through the debris and uncovered bedrock. They have learned how to craft their work so that it represents their true selves and resonates with their audience.
IDENTITY + MASTERY — VISION = NOT CLEAR
Your audience craves clarity, and will seek out work by those who know where they are headed. Without a vision for your work you are like a ship at sea, unable to weather the storms of contrary opinions or challenges to your point of view. Your work may waffle and ramble to the point of confusion, and even early fans of your work will eventually lose hope and abandon you if they can’t discern where you are leading them. Your vision is the compass that keeps you on the right bearing even while “making it up as you go.”
MASTERY + VISION — IDENTITY = NOT CALLED
Without an identity infused voice, your body of work will ultimatelybe hollow. Your audience is likely to discount you if your work feels inauthentic. This often happens when someone is chasing trends rather than aiming for impact. (Consider the trend of rapidly spreading but ultimately shallow list based blog posts, or attention grabbing headlines that may garner someone’s focus for a short period but will not ultimately lead to any kind of significant impact other than momentary entertainment.) This is not to imply that all clever attempts to gain attention for your work are misplaced, but your body of work will be inconsistent if it’s not rooted in something that matters to you.
IDENTITY + VISION + MASTERY = COMPELLING
When all the parts of the engine are working together, they fuel the discovery and use of your authentic voice. A greater sense of identity leads to a refined vision, which provides motivation to continue to master new skills. Through this greater mastery, you achieve influence, which then ideally helps you better understand your place in the world, and leads to a deeper understanding of the value you want to create. The cycle continues to repeat over and over throughout your life. As you examine the above equations, which do you think most accurately describes you at the present time? Which of the three drivers are you best at, and weakest at? It’s easy to get out of balance, as you deal with the pressures of work, family, and other responsibilities. This is why it’s important to have a set of grounding practices to help you continue growing. In the coming pages, you’ll discover tools to help you hone and strengthen your sense of identity, your vision for your work, and your mastery over your platform for expression. In other words, to answer “who are you?” “where are you going?” and “how will you get there.”
Develop your Motivation based on your values. The “why” behind what you do. What drives you? There are typically three motivators that motivate us all:
Pay, Prestige, Process.
If you make either of the first motivators dominate your motivation you are in danger oflosing your standing and connection to your work. You must instead cultivate a deep love of process which includes a deep love of your mission. So you have to figure out what drives you. Great work is driven by something deeper. Passion comes from the root word “do suffer” so to have passion for what you do means you are willing to suffer for what you do. Great work costs you something. You only have finite amounts of time and energy so you have to say no to somethings in order to achieve others. Is the thing I'm bending my life around worth suffering for. Don’t be tempted to sidetrack short term gains for a long term.
After our discussion on these excerpts we completed an exercise to help us determine our own personal and business values. We really felt that this was a helpful activity and wanted to give you all the opportunity to do this activity as well. Take about thirty minutes and complete this exercise then share you value statement with a loved one or friend to get some feedback! After completing our value statements we put them up in our office as a reminder of the 'whys' behind what we do. It's a healthy reminder during the good times and especially powerful during the challenging times.
CLICK HERE to download the worksheet.
A huge thank you to all of you wonderful ladies who came to our #dulcetgatherings event. We can't wait for the next one!
XOXO, Amber + Kayla