How I almost lost sight of my biz purpose + how to find yours again
Have you ever played telephone? You know the game—the first person whispers a message to the next, who whispers what they heard to the next, and on it goes, until we get to the end and the last person says what they heard. It's usually so different from the first message that no one can even figure out how it got that way.
What began as "The Queen likes to eat bagels in the morning," ends up as "The Queen fights beagles in the garden."
But you can do this with your own mind, too. And I bet you have been.
You've been playing telephone with your passion business & it's screwing you over
I knew, when I first started Create Alchemy, that I wanted to help women get shit done.
But, over all the iterations and elevator pitches, all the blog posts, guest posts, and the occasional video, I'd lost sight of the details on how to do that.
What was originally "helping women because XYZ" turned into "helping women just because".
What's the big deal? Well, when you don't know why you're doing something, it's really easy to respond in a way that's counter to your original goal.
If you don't know why you're baking cookies, you may eat them all before you remember they were for the neighborhood BBQ.
I was approaching content in a way that (I thought) got across the tips I wanted to share + wrote it for women + wrote it with running a small business in mind. That's not an incorrect reduction, but it was so over-generalized that I was missing my own point I was trying to make.
It was like writing a blog about pizza when I'd set out to write one about fine Italian cuisine. Pizza's still Italian food (sort of) and knowing how to make it means you know how to make some Italian food (sort of), but it doesn't have the essence of fine Italian cuisine.
That was my mistake.
And when I realized it, so many lightbulbs went off in my head. I knew that every frustration and difficulty I'd faced since starting up Create Alchemy was about to disintegrate because things were already clearing up, and once I got super clear on my focus again, they'd clear up the rest of the way.
How I found the real, true focus of my passion business
I started asking why. And what. And how. Here they are.
1. Why women?
Because I'm a shrill feminist harpy, of course. No that's not why (though I am a feminist).
Because I was frustrated by a very obvious lack of women getting to do anything in history. I wanted historical heroines I could identify with, that future girls could identify with, and there weren't very many.
For so much of human history, women have been on the sidelines, unable to contribute without overcoming humongous social hurdles.
And when they did contribute, they were often forgotten. Women ruled countries for their sons. Women painted as well as Michelangelo. Women built planes men fought in during WWII, and they flew them, too — but they can't get a military burial. The person who wrote the first computer program was a woman, largely forgotten by history.
I appreciate all the discoveries, useful inventions, and progress we've made as a society, but I want to see women's contributions showing up in the history books more.
And if we have to fight a little harder to be counted, then I'm ready to fight for you and with you.
Create Alchemy is here to teach and empower women, so that we will never be forgotten by history again.
2. How do I see women making history?
By creating masterpieces — Magnum Opuses — things that they're passionate about, things that can change the world.
- A novel can be a masterpiece
- A doggie daycare can be a masterpiece
- A poem can be a masterpiece
- Teaching an elephant sign language can be a masterpiece
The distinguishing factor is that it is your Best Work. It's your life's work. It's overflowing with passion and soul and when you create it, you feel like you've left part of yourself in the finished product forever.
I don't care what your masterpiece is; I just care that you make it.
3. What keeps women from making masterpieces?
Stress. Overwhelm. Confidence issues. Not knowing where to start.
Women are more likely than men to experience stress and for that stress to be severe when they feel it.
Raise your hand if you're one of those women.
I know my hand would've been up hard just a few years ago. I still go through times when I feel stressed out, but those times are far fewer now, and when they come, I know how to make them go away again.
For almost 15 years, I didn't know how—I just suffered through panic attack after panic attack, feeling more and more frustrated with myself that the stress and overwhelm was stopping me from doing the one thing I wanted to do more than anything else: write a novel.
I beat my own overwhelming anxiety by making Minimalist changes + adding rituals. I transformed stress into productivity like an Alchemist transmuting lead to gold.
When I finally figured it out, I told girlfriends about my lightbulb moments. They tried the things that had helped me, and they started feeling less stressed and more productive, too.
Then one day I knew that I had to help other women turn their passions into masterpieces.
That's why I made Create Alchemy: To teach other stressed out women how to get this shitty chaos out of their lives so they could focus on their passions instead.
4. And why does it have to be about business? Can't women just do something because they love to do it?
Yes, girl. You can do anything you want. You don't need me to tell you that.
But here's my thing: Whether you want to make a living from your passion or not, approaching it with a business mindset does 2 things:
- It ensures you take it seriously & get plenty of practice
- It leaves the door open for when the day comes you get bored of your job
The great artists from history were all artists by trade or vocation. That's how they got the jobs to paint chapels and to compose music. It's how they honed their skills and became the masters they were.
The more you do something (well), the better you get at it.
Even if you don't plan to quit your day job, I encourage you to consider making a side hustle from your passion. It will help you refine your talents and who couldn't use an extra $100 every now and then?
So I took what I learned from that to define a Manifesto—so I'd never lose sight of my purpose again
I don't want to fail the women who I could help, so I have to hold myself accountable to my driving purpose.
I asked myself if I was still clear on what I wanted to do, and if I needed to change any of my original goals.
- Where do I want to go with Create Alchemy?
- How can I serve my audience better?
The answers to those questions are not one-and-dones. As we grow, our perceptions change and we change with them. It's good to evolve.
But I still needed something to guide me as I progress.
And maybe you're thinking similar questions about yourself, your business, or your passion now, too.
They aren't always easy questions to answer, but the only thing we can do, really, is take the first step.
This is true in all things.
It's true in defeating chaos (stress, overwhelm, clutter, and so on); and it's true in creating passion projects (whether they be a single project or your Magnum Opus).
The Create Alchemy Manifesto—for now
And here's what I'm thinking. It's just the first clean iteration, and this may change, but it's a first step.
My readers, clients, and customers are my sisters. I'm here to help them grow into the creative Alchemists they're meant to be. When they defeat their stress, anxiety, and overwhelm, my heart glows. When they take that new focus and channel it into the creation of their Magnum Opus, it glows like a magical unicorn. They have the power to transmute their chaos into gold—I'm just here to teach them how.
What do you think? Does it speak to you? Does it inspire you?
I hope you will—because we women CAN create masterpieces. We have endless passions and we can do amazing things.
We have a couple extra hurdles, but not nearly so many as Hypatia did when she made the first hydrometer (still used today).
We're smart, savvy, talented, thoughtful, creative, ingenious people, and we have things to share with the world. We can change the world.
Seeing all of you amazing women create masterpieces and legacies that go down in history is my driving force.
So, will you define your Manifesto with me?