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Talking about change. Out loud, in public.

One of the ways that I express my introversion (INFJ, represent!) strongest is my habit of keeping everything inside my head. I forget that other people are not privy to my thoughts, and I also forget I haven’t said something out loud yet. This leads to me assuming that people know what’s going on with me & my thoughts, when of course, there is no way they actually could. (Conversations with my husband often start out with me saying, “So, did I say this out loud yet or have I just been thinking about it?”)

I want to talk about some of that recent inner dialogue with you, because the thought occurred to me that I’ve been working on changes without explaining where these changes are coming from or why. I’ve been holed up in the creativity cave, working furiously with a step back now & then to look things over. Which led, of course, to some changes, as I mentioned. (Does that process ever stop? …no? Darn.)

I’ve often struggled describing what it is I do here, which is pretty intensely frustrating for me (as you can probably imagine). If I could do a Vulcan mind-meld with everyone who was curious about it, it would make things a lot easier. I get what I do & know how I help people, on a deep-gut intuitive level, but I often feel like I literally do not have the words to express it to others and make them understand. After working one on one with people, they usually say, “Wow, this is different than I thought it would be!”

Part of it is that I was leading with the wrong thing – organization and systems and productivity. While those are usually involved, my work is not actually about any of them at the heart of it. It’s about supporting, enabling, and creating a space for you to do your great work in. From what I understand, it’s actually very similar in nature to what a doula does. Just, you know, for a business vision instead of a birth.

I was also getting tangled up in the idea that I had to be teaching others how to do something, and that that was 110% necessary in any services I wanted to offer. I’m not sure exactly where I picked that idea up, but there you have it. The fact is, it’s much easier and more fulfilling for me to use my strengths to serve others instead of trying to teach someone else to think the way I do. (I’m sure it probably is for them, too.) Which isn’t to say that I can’t teach you some things, or show you useful tools or techniques. But I cannot teach someone else how to do something that comes as naturally as breathing to me. And that’s okay.

Given all of these internal shifts over the last few weeks, I’ve shelved my current services for the time being. I’m doing a lot of behind the scenes work right now (like the Morning Whip program that I mentioned on Monday), and I’m also working with a few select amazing world-changers. My current plan is to continue to hone & refine my description of what, exactly, it is that I do, and re-debut it as my main offering after the holidays, sometime in January.

In the meantime, there will be a few new & different ways for us to play together – keep your eyes peeled. One will be announced next week. Another is a co-creative project I’m working on with Melissa, that I’m very excited about. If the idea of setting the tone for 2012 with a day of genius sounds amazing to you, get in on the dispatch now so you don’t miss out on an exclusive deal.

And that’s it for today! Hopefully you enjoyed this peek inside my brain (it can be a scary place, believe you me). Any questions? And here’s a question for you: how do you deal with change? Welcome it? Hide from it under the blankets? Inquiring minds want to know – this is something I’ve found myself powerfully curious about since recognizing some of my own hang-ups in the area!

17 Comments

  1. “business doula”, love it.

    Do I welcome change? I’m an agent, baby.

    For instance (this post is so timely): I’m just completing changing my business name to “Creative Journeyman”. I feel this aligns better with the solution-neutral approach I use to help businesses with their identity and online marketing, which wasn’t the case before. Happy, happy overworked me, whew!

    I’m glad to see you’re working with great people. You go!

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    • Thanks Nando! I’m so glad you liked this post 🙂 It’s interesting that it reflects things you’ve been experiencing lately – I’ve seen one or two other people have similar experiences lately, too. I think as a whole, this new generation of solopreneurs is moving less away from pre-packaged titles and ways of approaching their services and focusing more on what really calls to *them* and *their clients* – I love it!

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  2. I do that too! Think about stuff and assume everyone else is on the same page (because my thought process is soooo logical, how could everyone else not be thinking the same?…right.)
    I don’t really *know* how I deal with change, because it feels as though my life has never been stable enough for me to get used to there being no change.
    I guess I’m pretty welcoming!

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    • HAHA I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does it. It certainly sounds kind of silly when you put it out there in actual words, but it has actually taken me a long time to realize how often I do this in *all* areas of my life – assuming people know what I’m thinking either because a. I think it’s obvious or b. I’ve just been thinking about it so long that it’s already been ingrained in some way, however small, into my thoughts/viewpoint. (Which I suppose ties back into the obvious thing.)

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  3. Intellectually I want to embrace change, but my first emotional reaction is resistance. Eventually I work into acceptance of change but it’s not in my nature.

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  4. I love getting a little peak inside your process and hearing that you want to be more than just productivity tools and tips – yay, that just feels more juicy!

    When I’m brainstorming change I get into very vulnerable space and share my ideas with very few close confidantes. My energy is quite mutable so I don’t like to to be pinned down to a strategy by others before I’m ready – hence waiting to announce new things literally until launch day!

    Reply

    • Thank you, Jo! I’m glad you liked the post 🙂

      Ooh, I get you on the vulnerable space. I get so attached to my ideas that I don’t want to share them sometimes for fear of them being crushed. I also am careful to share because I’m…I’m not sure what the word is, but when others are enthusiastic about something, I get enthusiastic too. So in the past, I’ve shared ideas with someone, and they’ve gone “Oh! And you know what would be great…” and then I get all excited because THEY’RE excited, and end up doing something that isn’t something I’d normally do or isn’t 110% true to me. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but trust me, it’s a thing with me. 😉

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  5. Heh… I think to some extent I’m the opposite. When I decide to change something, I tend to tell EVERYONE (whether they want to hear about it or not!)

    That *can* be useful in terms of creating some kind of accountability… but sometimes, somewhere in the back of my brain, talking about change is the same as making it happen. And then I don’t actually *do* anything to follow through on what I’ve said I’m going to do. Which… yeah, never ends so well.

    I think there’s maybe a balance to be sought, between telling and not telling, acknowledging internally and announcing externally. And maybe too, it depends on the specific circumstances as to where the right balance can be found…

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    • That’s interesting! Someone did a post about that a while back (vaguest sentence ever) and I remember that they said that there was actual research that said that when we talk about doing something, our brains DO think we’ve done it already. So you’re definitely not alone in that.

      I think you’re right that balance is incredibly necessary – and we all have to find where that specific balance is for us. I don’t think there are very many hard and fast rules when it comes to this sort of thing.

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  6. Another INFJ here; I’m familiar with this brainpattern of which you speak. The most frustrating part of which is building up all these amazing thoughts and changes, then having to tell someone what you’ve been up to six months later. How do you even start that conversation?

    ANYWAY.

    I love that you’re choosing to take a step back and turn your services inside-out. It’s a brave thing to do, especially when you’ve already had clients – hard to backtrack sometimes.

    I likely need to do some more thinking on that score, too. If I had the cash, I’d be working with another bright might to describe headology and how I wield it in just the right way, but alas, I’m left with my own circuitous brain.

    A long comment to say “good for you!” but there it is.

    Good for you!

    Reply

    • HAHA! I’m so glad that I’m not the only INFJ that does that! And yes, having to tell someone what you’ve been up to six months later is obnoxious as well.

      Thank you for the well-wishes & kind comment, Ellie! And good luck on your own endeavors – it really can be hard to describe the more nebulous aspects of the work we do, especially from the inside.

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  7. In the past, I haven’t dealt well with change at all. I stayed in a marriage literally YEARS longer than necessary because I wanted us to both be ok. I am getting better at change, trying to remember to take baby steps and keep moving forward.

    By the way, I get those notions stuck in my head too. It’s funny when we pause and think “where did THAT come from??”

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    • I’m glad you know about your patterns, though, Robyn, so that you can work past them – baby steps are great as long as you’re moving forward 🙂 And I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only one who gets random notions stuck in their head!

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  8. Michelle,

    I’m coming a bit late to the party on this post, but now that I’m here I want to really acknowledge you. Getting to the deeper aspects of what you do for your clients is a tremendous process, and sometimes takes courage. Your results are so much beyond an organized mind, or a learned ability to get projects done without unpleasant crazed manias or tearful despair. Thank you so much for the clarity with which you share where you are with your business, and for having the wherewithal to stop and reframe your packages so they fit better.

    I know the amazing people that you are collaborating with, so I cannot wait to see what comes about.

    In the meantime, have a great holiday season. Cheers!

    Reply

    • Thank you Christyna! I still appreciate your sentiments, late to the party or no. <3 I hope you have a great holiday season, too!

      Reply

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