4min readSelf 30 December 2019
Raise your hand if you were told that hard work was valuable when you were growing up—me too!
While this well meaning mantra of "work hard and you'll be successful" was great for teaching discipline and commitment, it's time to understand that working hard won't get you what you want (and what will instead).
Don't believe me?
How many times have you sat in front of your computer for 12 hours, only to walk away with half finished projects or feeling like you were no further ahead when you stood up than when you began?
And how many times have you been at the movies, in the bathtub, or doing something non-work related that gave you a business altering insight that when you sat down to process it, somehow you churned out a week's worth of work in three hours?
This is the difference between working with or working against your energetic blueprint.
Hard work will only take you so far, and it creates more stress, conflict, and tension than necessary along the way that can actually set you back in your business. If you want to truly slay your goals in 2020, it's time to learn how to work with your energetic blueprint. Because success comes from aligned action—not hard work.
Identifying Your Primary Energetic Type
There are four primary energetic types: The Maven, The Dreamer, The Strategist, and The Professor. Like astrology, you have a primary archetype that will make up most of how you show up in the world, with sprinkles of other archetypes to keep things interesting. Knowing your primary energetic archetype alone will bring you further into alignment so that the actions you take in your business are meaningful and move the needle.
Here's a breakdown of each archetype to help you identify which one you most relate to.
This energetic archetype is who influencers dream of being when they grow up. This archetype is the star of the show in their business and rocks out their authentic expertise. Think Oprah Winfrey, Mel Robbins, Lori Grenier, and Shay Mitchell. Mavens know that their success comes from taking center stage, being willing to leap before they're ready, and sharing both their story and the causes they stand behind with their audience. Mavens are true leaders, and they're dedicated to the people they serve. Strong, honest, and willing to make the tough calls, Mavens are able to build empires that last generations when they're in alignment.
If you're a Maven, watch out for being too hard on yourself. You likely know that you're special (and the rest of the world can see it too), but just because you're a unicorn doesn't mean that you should be further along by now. Your archetype is your potential, and only you can write your destiny. So share your story, take your rightful place on stage, and build a team that can support you with all of the things. But remember, your team is there to support you. Because you have a tendency to be too hard on yourself, that can extend to your team. Remember, when you push your support system away, they can't help you when you fall—and everybody falls sometimes.
The Dreamers are the seers of the world. Think Brene Brown, Gabby Bernstein, Vera Wang, and Sara Blakely. They are connected to emotions, experiences, and the infinite well of possibilities more so than any other energetic archetype, which is what fuels their inspiration and creativity. Dreamers see the whole puzzle when the rest of the world sees fragmented pieces, half of which are turned upside down and scattered under the table. They connect the dots and find solutions where others may only spin their wheels in problems. Dreamers often have creative and artistic businesses, such as copywriters, fashion designers, photographers, or branding experts, but they also can be inventors, visionaries, and social media managers.
If you're a Dreamer, you need more structure than any other energetic archetype to stay in alignment. When you're out of alignment, you're waiting for inspiration to strike. But your gift isn't inspiration—it's tapping into the creative flow on demand. When you wait for inspiration, you surrender the most authentic piece of you to the unknown, creating more hardship than there needs to be. While structure can often make you feel suffocated, it's the key to your freedom.
The energetic archetype of The Strategist is crucial for human and business evolution. Without The Strategist, people would often be left in squalor and turmoil, because it's The Strategist who is able to see the solutions and opportunities in impossible problems. Think Melinda Gates, Mary Barra, Sheryl Sandberg, and Gina Rodriguez. Whether it's a humanitarian effort, building an empire, or solving a world crisis, Strategists are able to see the many possibilities, outcomes, and solutions that evade others. What separates Strategists from Dreamers is that Strategists are able to see step-by-step plans in clear and pragmatic ways, so they can enlist help, delegate tasks, and create forward movement.
If you're a Strategist, you are more likely to struggle with being seen (visibility issues, anyone?). You're also likely to get frustrated and stall your decisions if you can't see the whole solution from the get go. Don't let this halt your business. Remember, forward movement can bring other variables into focus that will help you find the right solution, which would be impossible to see otherwise. It's easy for you to feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders because many people come to rely on you for the answers to their problems. While this can be lucrative for you in business, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and being misunderstood when you're out of alignment.
The Professor archetype is equal parts student, teacher, and changemaker. They desire to make a difference in the world, and they spend an immense amount of time learning skills, methodologies, and information that they believe will help them be more effective in helping others. Think Emma Watson, Peggy Whitson, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, and Farnoosh Torabi. When Professors are in alignment, they're epically curious and bring that passion for learning to their clients. When Professors are excited to share, their audience is excited to receive. Professors are able to take information and assimilate it into their being more effectively than any of the other archetypes. This means that they go beyond the information phase and create a practice from the insights they learn.
If you're a Professor, it's important to remember that alignment isn't about feeling ready for you. Your curious nature will consistently make you feel unready to go out and teach others. There will always be another certification or degree to get. There will always be more studies to conduct. But if you spend your life preparing to serve, you don't actually get there and the people you would have helped are starved in the process. Put yourself out there and go for it. The world needs you.
Are You Misaligned or Learning?
Learning your primary energetic archetype is the first step in taking aligned action. But there's a huge elephant in the room that needs to be addressed—learning the difference between being out of alignment and experiencing a learning curve.
Your energetic archetype is there to help you understand how you show up best in the world and your business. If you want to accomplish your goals, your archetype is a great way to see potential potholes and avoid some of the problems that can happen before they pop up. Keep in mind, that being in alignment doesn't mean everything is going to be smooth sailing.
Think about it like this. You've got a puzzle laid out over the table. You've got most of it together, and you have this piece in your hand that you know belongs in this particular section. You try it one way, and it doesn't fit. You turn it—no go. You turn it again—blast! You try one more time (even though it doesn't look quite right), and BAM! Success!
This happens in your business all of the time because you're learning new skills, perspectives, and strategies. So you want to make sure that you have a process to check for your alignment according to your archetype. If you're showing up in your strengths and you're not resisting your weaknesses, then you're likely just learning. When you're in a learning phase, this is when you get outside help to guide you through the process.
This next year is all about building your business and crafting your success from alignment. The harder you work and the more you resist, the harder it will be to make (and keep!) money. Part of slaying your goals in 2020 is coming up with an alignment plan so that you can stay in your primary archetypal energy. That's where you'll work smarter, not harder. In that space, you'll be able to see where you need support and what you've already mastered.
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4 Min Read
During a recent meeting on Microsoft Teams, I couldn't seem to get a single word out.
When I tried to chime in, I kept getting interrupted. At one point two individuals talked right over me and over each other. When I thought it was finally my turn, someone else parachuted in from out of nowhere. When I raised and waved my hand as if I was in grade school to be called on (yes, I had my camera on) we swiftly moved on to the next topic. And then, completely frustrated, I stayed on mute for the remainder of the meeting. I even momentarily shut off my camera to devour the rest of my heavily bruised, brown banana. (No one needed to see that.)
This wasn't the first time I had struggled to find my voice. Since elementary school, I always preferring the back seat unless the teacher assigned me a seat in the front. In high school, I did piles of extra credit or mini-reports to offset my 0% in class participation. In college, I went into each lecture nauseous and with wasted prayers — wishing and hoping that I wouldn't be cold-called on by the professor.
By the time I got to Corporate America, it was clear that if I wanted to lead, I needed to pull my chair up (and sometimes bring my own), sit right at the table front and center, and ask for others to make space for me. From then on, I found my voice and never stop using it.
But now, all of a sudden, in this forced social experiment of mass remote working, I was having trouble being heard… again. None of the coaching I had given myself and other women on finding your voice seemed to work when my voice was being projected across a conference call and not a conference room.
I couldn't read any body language. I couldn't see if others were about to jump in and I should wait or if it was my time to speak. They couldn't see if I had something to say. For our Microsoft teams setting, you can only see a few faces on your screen, the rest are icons at the bottom of the window with a static picture or even just their name. And, even then, I couldn't see some people simply because they wouldn't turn their cameras on.
If I did get a chance to speak and cracked a funny joke, well, I didn't hear any laughing. Most people were on mute. Or maybe the joke wasn't that funny?
At one point, I could hear some heavy breathing and the unwrapping of (what I could only assume was) a candy bar. I imagined it was a Nestle Crunch Bar as my tummy rumbled in response to the crinkling of unwrapped candy. (There is a right and a wrong time to mute, people.)
At another point, I did see one face nodding at me blankly.
They say that remote working will be good for women. They say it will level the playing field. They say it will be more inclusive. But it won't be for me and others if I don't speak up now.
- Start with turning your camera on and encouraging others to do the same. I was recently in a two-person meeting. My camera was on, but the other person wouldn't turn theirs on. In that case, ten minutes in, I turned my camera off. You can't stare at my fuzzy eyebrows and my pile of laundry in the background if I can't do the same to you. When you have a willing participant, you'd be surprised by how helpful it can be to make actual eye contact with someone, even on a computer (and despite the fuzzy eyebrows).
- Use the chatbox. Enter in your questions. Enter in your comments. Dialogue back and forth. Type in a joke. I did that recently and someone entered back a laughing face — reaffirming that I was, indeed, funny.
- Designate a facilitator for the meeting: someone leading, coaching, and guiding. On my most recent call, a leader went around ensuring everyone was able to contribute fairly. She also ensured she asked for feedback on a specific topic and helped move the discussion around so no one person took up all the airtime.
- Unmute yourself. Please don't just sit there on mute for the entire meeting. Jump in and speak up. You will be interrupted. You will interrupt others. But don't get frustrated or discouraged — this is what work is now — just keep showing up and contributing.
- Smile, and smile big. Nod your head in agreement. Laugh. Give a thumbs up; give two! Wave. Make a heart with your hands. Signal to others on the call who are contributing that you support and value them. They will do the same in return when your turn comes to contribute.
It's too easy to keep your camera turned off. It's too easy to stay on mute. It's too easy to disappear. But now is not the time to disappear. Now is the time to stay engaged and networked within our organizations and communities.
So please don't put yourself on mute.
Well, actually, please do put yourself on mute so I don't have to hear your heavy breathing, candy bar crunching, or tinkling bathroom break.
But after that, please take yourself off mute so you can reclaim your seat (and your voice) at the table.