TBC #000 Designing a Deliberate Life
April 22, 2023
Read time: 6 minutes
Welcome to The Brilliant Communicator - issue zero.
I am in a phase of consolidation - which is often needed, & overlooked.
Today I’m sharing why I created this newsletter, and my thinking around work, life, success, and most importantly - how you can design a deliberate, sustainable life, based on communicating what you know.
At the end - this is longer than what you’ll be getting in future - I invite you to consider which of these is current you:
- The passionate dreamer
- The aimless producer
- The unclear creator
And to take ownership of your life in a different way. Starting now.
I’m in the business of helping people share their knowledge & messages.
In my previous life, it broke me.
The resulting journey made me realise that we can all be our own spokesperson, permission-free, and that it’s the foundation of building your best life.
Sounds cheesy, fantastical, not achievable.
It can be your reality. But first you need to want it.
A bit of context:
I have always worked for myself.
Even when I was the face of a BBC World programme - it was through my company.
I thought I had hit the winning formula - no one was my boss.
I was flying around the world - rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers of industry & government.
I was living the dream, right?
I had contracts to fulfil. Places I was committed to be - which involved a lot of travel - sometimes every few days.
I was not in control of my time.
I was not in control of where I worked from.
Chairing and speaking at events, training people at the top of their game, interviewing & filming - it’s all person-facing. And my ‘success’ depended on being on location.
I was not in control of the ‘downtime’ in between - because it was used to recover, & set up logistics & research for the next gig/ TV programme.
Plus I did other things too - like set up online publishing businesses - because it was interesting.
No life. No time. No energy.
I ended up in hospital.
I then transitioned to ‘less travel’ & left the TV programme I had fronted for 12 years.
The thinking was I would double down on consulting, speaking, & training. Because I could turn things down.
But the reality was I’d swapped roles, and still worked to people’s agenda, time zone, and elements of their chaos & overwhelm. I was still not in control of what I did, when I did it, where I did it from. And I was still exchanging my time for money.
Enter the realm of building a deliberate life.
- Approaching life with how I want to live & work at the core.
- Defining what will BREAK me.
- Being clear about how people can work with me.
I define success as doing
What I want
When I want
Where I want
It sounds childish.
It's the most grown up I have ever been.
Because it pivots on me taking responsibility for me. For what keeps me sane, solvent, sustaining my success.
It's a more liveable, human way than the corporate scene.
I believe you can achieve sustainable success if you define, and plan, with a bias for action.
Always knowing that what you know and do is your ticket to building a life that sustains and nourishes you.
As long as you are known for it - by the right people.
It doesn't happen in an instant, but if you work towards it, it will happen.
We're all going to die. How do you want to live?
Looking back over the phases and 'aha' moments I've had, and the insight gained from working with tens of thousands of people over my lifetime, I am sharing 5 points that I hope will get you in the right frame of mind, and seeing that 'yes you can'.
1. Fit for purpose
When I make a decision, it starts with defining what will break me. What I don't want.
If you do this, it'll help define what you will do, what you do want.
For me it was:
- Moving away from flying to fulfil a job - unless I want to.
- Breaking the time for money formula, and creating different ways of earning.
When I make a decision, I take it through a ‘fit for purpose’ exercise. This is why I turned down the opportunity to speak at a UNDP event last week. It didn’t fit into my deliberate agenda for my life. It was a shiny object. I passed it on to someone who I know did a brilliant job.
2. Problems as opportunity
Do people come to you with repeated asks? Questions you keep answering?
Last week a client shared she is drowning with requests - she has 100s of messages in her LinkedIn inbox - and it’s annoying to deal with.
This goes for every aspect of life.
And because we need money to live with dignity and choice, own how you earn, whether you work for yourself or someone else. Imagine going from ‘chasing’ to ‘requested’. This is what happens when you’re known for your brilliance.
- Define how you want to live, what you won’t do, how you want to earn.
- Take decisions through the ‘is this fit for my purpose’ lens.
- People asking you questions = opportunity.
- Create systems to liberate & elevate yourself.
- Own your life. Be your own spokesperson. Be your biggest champion. If you don’t believe in you - no one else will.
At the core of all of this is: be better at sharing what you need, want, and do.
So people are clear about what you don’t do, what you do do, and how you do it. AND... how they can do it with you.
Let’s drill down to the ‘share what you know’ today.
Chances are you 1 of these 3:
The Passionate Dreamer
You know what you’d love to be doing, want to create for yourself. But you don’t start.
A lot can be achieved in 20 hours of dedicated drill-down. The problem is people put off starting - that first hour can take years to happen.
Pivoting or putting yourself out there - in a way that’s ‘different’ to how people perceive you is scary. I did this in 2019 and wish I’d done it years earlier.
The Aimless Producer
You have discipline, you are busy working. You might be earning well from doing this. Maybe you’re consulting, coaching, or freelancing, but you’re still on the hamster wheel. You’re not feeding into a bigger picture - the bigger picture of building your sustainable success.
I did this when I swapped being on TV with consulting and hiring myself out.
The Unclear Creator
You’re busy putting out what you know, sharing with the world. Your content is valuable, you’re known for it, you make interesting connections, and come across fantastic opportunities.
But you’re frustrated. You’re not the success you want to be. You start doubting yourself, maybe you pivot, try a new way of doing things, but it’s a time-suck, draining, and you’re stuck.
Chances are you’re not crystal clear about the path from what you know and do, to earning from it. And you’re not earning - or earning as you could be - because your ideal clients don’t know how to work with you.
I am in the phase of consolidation and clarity. Which is why I launched this newsletter. I am going back to my core, which is teaching people to be brilliant at communicating what they know & do. This is the foundation of everything that comes next in life.
The journey of creating my deliberate life will never end. I want to enjoy the journey.
If you want this for yourself, here are 3 things to consider:
- What is your definition of success?
- Do you embrace that time is finite?
- Are you spending your time and energy on things that fit with your purpose?
- Do you take responsibility for your life?
- What are you doing to build a deliberate life?
- What systems do you have in place to build enabling habits?
- Are you sharing your opinions and work permission-free online?
- Are you consistent and creating momentum?
- When great opportunities come your way, are you able to capitalise on them?
If this resonates with you, or has struck a chord, feel free to DM me on LinkedIn.
You can find me here if we're not already connected. I’ll do my best to get back to you. Thank you for reading!
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Whenever you’re ready, there are 4 ways I can help you:
1. Learn Communicate - An online programme with weekly live support to get you communicating with impact & influence
2. SHE Strategy - If you’re a woman who wants to be Seen, Heard, Earning more, in a female only environment, includes weekly live support.
3. MT4 Method - If you are a PR or Comms professional and want your clients to be journalist-ready, and communication superstars, plus weekly live support.
4. 1:1 Coaching. Sometimes you want to move at warp speed. I take on very few clients a year.