Your work is a beacon

I’m not sure if I know how to convince people and creative freelancers to abandon client work and get paid for their own creations. I’m also uncertain if that’s the transformation I can offer. It can feel uncomfortable, and I’ve felt a bit uneasy making such a definitive statement. I love the idea, but of course, there’s that feeling of discomfort and the question of whether I’m the right person for this.

Yesterday, we explored the idea that this could be what Gay Hendricks calls an “upper limit problem” – that feeling of not being the right person or feeling like a fraud or imposter. Today, I want to close that off and examine whether it’s actually true. Not that you are an imposter, as that carries a lot of judgment, but maybe we want to take a slightly different path.

Today, I want to mainly talk to those of us who engage in work that has an inherent transformational aspect. It’s helpful work, and that’s not a judgment about art. Art is necessary and goes beyond being helpful. I’m referring to work that helps us move from point A to point B. It could be persuading clients or new people to work with us, or educational work that helps people understand and learn something.

In this kind of work, we often learn about positioning and personas – clearly defining our target audience. I’ve talked about that before, and it’s valuable for transformational work. We need these things if the work we do supports a business or leads to someone getting paid. However, Morning Creative is not a business, at least not yet. I’ve been focused on the transformation, which has led me into a strange place of imposter syndrome and the thought of excluding certain people.

Earlier this week I mentioned receiving compliments from people who aren’t my target audience. That’s interesting and telling me something. It tells me that the work I’m doing resonates with people, and I don’t want to exclude them just because they don’t fit a predefined category. I don’t want to randomly pick a target audience. Instead of Morning Creative being about getting freelancers paid, what if we shifted towards providing daily tips for a more creatively fulfilling life? It’s not exactly what we were going for, but it aligns more with the work I want to do and how I feel about it.

That’s enough about Morning Creative. Let’s shift our focus to your world, the real world that matters, regardless of what you create and who you create it for. I want you to focus on what you can do that’s right and aligned. Your target audience doesn’t have to fit a specific demographic or be based on a predefined transformation. Even if your work has a transformational element, I want to explore the idea that you don’t necessarily have to start with that.

You should have an idea in your mind of how you’re helping, but it doesn’t have to begin with creating a persona. Yes, we need to consider those things in business when thinking about products and the people we serve. I believe in that. However, when creating something like a beacon, the rules are different.

I invite you to keep experimenting, trying things, and making mistakes – all in public. I’ve changed my bio and the description of this episode many times, and the fact is, no one really cares about the meta explanation of your work or your bio. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be compelling or get people where they need to be, but those who are already with you are there for different reasons. They’re not with you because of your metadata. Something about your work or who you are is resonating with them. Hopefully, the work you do, if it’s for yourself instead of a client, touches people and makes them think, “I’m part of this group. I’m aligned with this person.” That’s why I mentioned being right and aligned.

People don’t care about your metadata or bio. The people who are already with you care about how your work makes them feel, what it makes them think, or what it helps them do. You are a beacon. Your voice matters. As that idea evolves, what I’m really talking about is connecting with those whose lives, futures, or fortunes you’re transforming. If you accompany people on their journey, understand what’s weighing them down. If you want to be noticed, know what makes you different. As a beacon, your job is to shine through the fog and provide clarity, letting people know you’re here to help.

Let what you create be the central defining thing. Let it be the light that shines. Instead of using a magnifying glass to analyze positioning and personas, let your content be the thing that allows people to self-select. If your work has a commercial aspect, your customers are the ones who resonate with what you’re putting out there.

Once you’ve lit your beacon, ensure it shines as brightly as possible. Those who vibrate on the same frequency and feel drawn in will come and stay with you in your lighthouse. Those ready for the next part of their journey or those who realize it’s not for them will pass by and find their own way. Hopefully, if they found something valuable, they’ll tell their friends and spread the word. The point is, those who resonate will connect with your work when it’s out in the world. Make sure to tell strangers about it and find ways to do so. We’ll explore this further throughout the year. This commitment phase is just the beginning. Later on, we’ll delve into how to connect with people, draw them in, and more.

Once people see your beacon and understand how to find you, make it easy for them. Those who feel aligned and connected will stay with you. Your content, or what you create, is the lighthouse, the beacon.

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