I don’t know about you but I’ve gotten to the point where I am no longer interested in trying to fit what I do into someone else’s lens of understanding.
I’ve been able to grow in confidence by understanding who I am, What My Purpose Is, and how to fulfill that purpose through helping others.
Have you ever felt unfulfilled with what you are doing in your life?
Have you ever explained to someone what you do, only to realize that it wasn’t the whole truth?
Have you ever felt empty, like a part of your identity was missing?
If you have answered yes to any of these, then it may be you’ve put yourself in a box or you’ve allowed society to bind you to its beliefs and barriers.
I recently gave a TEDx talk titled the Rise of the Inspiration Engineers®. Here I shared and discussed with the students my philosophy on what it means to break the box.
What is the benefit to living a life to satisfy everyone else?
I couldn’t find the reason. And I tried, I really did. After becoming fed up with trying to fit inside everyone else’s box, I finally arrived at the conclusion that
“Enough is enough.”
Below I share my Top 5 Tips and strategies on how to break the box. I share with you my journey from age 5 to 33. As you go through it, know that evolution is a process.
Like the majority of you, my background is very versatile and unique. When I began my journey, age 5, I started as a poet and lyric writer. My father taught me the game of chess which planted the seed of counting moves ahead of my competition and opponents.
From poetry, I advanced into a musician, songwriter, audio producer, and self-taught audio engineer.
I ran my first high school concert and sold out the auditorium of 1,209 people, which taught me how to conduct Event Planning and Operations for events and concerts.
As many of you might have done, early in my career I started in restaurants like McDonald’s, Applebees, and other serving gigs. Through these I learned the value of customer service.
Over time I progressed into sales and marketing for brands like Dish Network, Google, and many others. mastering the process of sales psychology, top performer probing, and sales closing.
I advanced into Enrollment Advisor at University of Phoenix and acclimated to helping one of my students earn her Associate’s degree. Here my passion for education and coaching derived.
Currently, I am working on a couple books, and have a speaking and content creation platform, while at the same time learning financing, capital, and angel investing.
I could list more stories and skills, but the goal is not to gloat or bore you. The intention is to show you that all of these different skills don’t typically tie together.
When I would go to Chambers of Commerce, people would ask me what I did and depending on the audience and who was there, I might have been a salesman, or a marketer, or something inbetween.
The reality was I felt dishonest. I felt like I was lying. I felt like I was holding back. And it left me unfulfilled.
I know a lot of you are having that same problem on your journey to becoming who you are meant to be.
So what do you do?Create Your Own Lane
Forget the boxes and trying to satisfy everyone else’s point of view. The reality is I didn’t fit the box and I am never going to. You don’t need to fit into the box! Rather, evolve into your own creative production.
Ask questions that inspire you to think critically and passionately about what you do. They don’t have to be complicated, they just have to get you started. Questions I would ask myself include:
What do I like to do?
What makes me different?
How can I simplify so others understand quickly?
One answer that came to me was strategy and music. There isn’t someone (who I am aware of) who does life coaching and consulting as an entrepreneur, intermixed with creative writing & music creation.
It hasn’t existed up until now and the closest to it is Eric Thomas.
So, you don’t have to have all the perfect answers right away. But you have to get started. Once you have some early answers to these questions you are set to do the next step…
This doesn’t mean to make something up. This means condense your story into something that people can understand. I have had over 30+ jobs and use it as fuel instead of the Jobhopper Syndrome that most reference as undisciplined.
So find the meat of your story, condense the meat and remove the potatoes. Then test the story.
For me, one night as I was asking all these questions, a funny analogy came to mind:
Right then and there I was hooked. And when I tried saying this in the marketplace it quickly made sense to people (granted it got plenty of chuckles!) and it has stuck since. When I explained what I do in this way, it stuck.
Inspiration Engineer® was the title I arrived on. It wasn’t the only choice. There were a few. We took 10 ideas, narrowed down to the Top Five, had the community vote and narrowed down to the Top Two, and then we did a final voting. And hence Inspiration Engineer® was born.
You may want to come up with 10, 20, or even 100+ ideas until you settle on one that sticks. But if you’re truly passionate about what you do, a great title will come to you, and you’ll want to market it consistently once you’ve settled on it.
Getting the community involved is one of the best things you can do. It’s the process of developing and refining your ideas down to your unique value proposition. Once you have refined your ideas you can create processes and real action steps around them, and you’re off to the races.
Understand that this is a journey and it’s not going to happen overnight. Stay diligent and committed to finding your destination. One of the biggest tips I can give you is, expect people to not understand you right away. Even if your story isn’t as complex, know that most won’t get it and that’s ok.
Stay committed to the course, and don’t be afraid to break outside the box.