Last year, my mentor gave me a real good dose of tough love. You know, the kind that you KNOW you need to hear but, you’re a crying mess nonetheless!
What brought this about?
As a person with so many interests, it’s hard for me to focus on just a few. Professionally, I do several things and even personally, I struggle with having a hobby because, there are at least 10 things I want to regularly be doing!
It’s just impossible to sustain so much at a high and meaningful level. Add to the challenge of also sustaining yourself – financially, physically, mentally etc.
Mastery can only come with focus. And focus has been my mission. Slowly but surely, I’ve been culling what I give my time to. But it’s hard! Emotions get in the way, distracting shiny objects get in the way and fear definitely gets in the way.
You might be over there wondering: “what does this have to do with soulful branding?”.
And may I add one more thing for you to question? The role of self-care in all of this. (It is after-all, self-love and self-care month, in our Afri-love is 10 celebrations!)
It took me a long time to write this episode because, even though I intuitively knew all these things are connected, I couldn’t quite articulate just how. Today, I will try.
Less but better
The application of all I’m sharing today, is also a work in progress for me. One thing is for sure though: I have completely bought into the fact that, to achieve my long-term goals, I need to do less but better. I need to get over these multi-passionate problems!
There are 3 things I want to specifically talk about:
- The danger of being multi-passionate when it comes to soulful branding
- How self-care can help you focus
- How self-care can help you create more soulful branding
On the danger of being multi-passionate when it comes to soulful branding
Perhaps “danger” is a strong word but, I use it to convey the seriousness of the situation. And trust me, I know from firsthand experience! For starters, on the trouble with multi-passionate problems, you can check out my blog on the power of finding your voice.
Soulful Branding is ultimately about finding your voice, finding your tribe and connecting with them to deliver the value they need that only you can provide. Let’s look at each of these things in turn, in the context of being multi-passionate:
Finding your voice
Your voice is ideally a clear, cohesive expression/presentation. There needs to be one message that you’re getting across, in order for connection to take place. I talk more about this in episode one of Soulful Branding Live with Lulu, which tackles thinking about what you want to be known for. It’s rare that a person is known for excellence in several different things.
Finding your tribe
Again, it will be difficult to draw people towards you if you yourself are all over the place. Think about it in a literal sense. If you’re l i t e r a l l y all over the place, how can I pin you down, long enough to connect with you?
Connecting with your tribe to deliver the value they need that only you can provide
It’s hard to deliver great impact when you’re trying to deliver many things. It’s hard to give an above-and-beyond user experience when you have 5 of them you’re trying to craft. As individual human beings, we simply have limitations.
So how self-care can help you focus?
Do you know who you really are? Are you in touch with what you love? Are you aware of what truly makes you tick?
How do you discover these things? By giving yourself time to explore and enjoy what makes your heart sing. Also known as self-care!
The book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown, is a must-read for you if you relate with these multi-passionate problems. He talks about your highest point of contribution being at the place where the following things meet:
- What inspires you
- What you’re good at
- What need is not being met
The first of these is totally something that can be explored by practising self-care. What are you drawn to? How do you want to spend your time when there are no expectations of you?
He also speaks about changing our mindset to one of “less but better”. And about the importance of things such as play and sleep on this journey – both activities which, in my mind, constitute self-care.
Adequate sleep and rest mean your energy, creativity and problem-solving ability won’t be compromised by fatigue. That means you’re more likely to make better decisions – especially when doing the one thing we multi-passionate people struggle with most: saying “no”!
So what the hell does self-care have to do with branding?
As it turns out, more than I realised. And part of it indeed ties back to play.
From the same Essentialism book, the author writes:
“We are built to play and built through play. When we play, we are engaged in the purest expression of our humanity, the truest expression of our individuality. Is it any wonder that often the times we feel most alive… are moments of play?”
In order to present/express ourselves authentically, I believe we need to get in touch with those things I spoke about earlier:
- Who we are
- What we love
- What makes us tick
[Here’s a resource that can help]
While self-care includes the basics of taking care of ourselves – adequate sleep, good nutrition, enough water and so on. There is a whole other dimension to taking care of ourselves that’s often considered indulgent or a luxury but that’s actually very important. Our emotional and mental wellbeing is very much part and parcel of this bigger picture.
When our emotional and mental wellbeing is well taken care of, we are more present, we express ourselves better and more authentically, with ALL our light shining. In our lives and consequently in our personal and/or business branding.
Thus, it’s important to think about, and then make time for, activities that nourish our emotional and mental wellbeing. If you’re struggling for ideas, check out some of the things that I and others are doing and suggesting, for the ongoing #justformechallenge. Search the hashtag in the Afri-love Women group and also visit this post.
Self-care at work!
I talked about my own self-care routine in the previous episode. Today, after about one and a half months of following it, pretty religiously, I’m experiencing results which I feel are directly linked. They include:
- Greater productivity
- Not feeling rushed – feeling that I’m in control of my time
- More time for reflection, strategising, planning and acting on those plans
- More confidence
- Better boundaries and better assertiveness about my boundaries
- Better decision-making (and better discrimination which, leads to choosing less!)
Ultimately, I feel that I’m showing up – for myself and for the world – in the way that I want to. In a way that feels good, that feels true and that feels… soulful.
Okay, over to you! Can you relate with having multi-passionate problems? Are you in need of streamlining and focusing? Feel free to share your experiences and any questions, in the comments below.
More Soulful Branding Live with Lulu
Every month, I talk about business and life, with a Soulful Branding twist. If you have any topics you’d like me to cover, please let me know! I don’t have all the answers but, I do have plenty of questions and, in my experience, conversations are an amazing way for all of us to learn!
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