Today we have a great interview with Brandi Spencer. Brandi helps people, especially women over the age of 40, to find their gift and their purpose so they can create a business around it.
Brandi: I’ve naturally always been a talker, but one way I found and honed my gift is by taking one of those cheesy surveys online. It was about your archetype. It showed me I am an innovator and people are drawn to me because of my ideas. I took a minute to think about that and it’s absolutely true. I am always giving people all these different options and possibilities for different situations. When I stop to think about it, I realize, for so many people, that is something valuable and, most importantly, something people would pay me for. It all started with a cheesy survey, Meredith. That’s where it all began.
Meredith: What were you doing before and what have you done to move your business in that direction?
Brandi: Before I took the cheesy survey, I was working in the education field, first as a teacher and then as an instructional coach who went from school to school and helped teachers teach better. I was good at it because I could give them lots of ideas, and when they were feeling down,I would help them get motivated and feel fuzzy. I loved the job, but the job was suffocating me. After a while, I felt myself feeling negative and complaining all the time. I finally got tired of hearing myself complain, so I decided to do something about it and take my life into my own control. That’s where I started and that’s what led me to the survey: looking for a way to share what I had learned in my experiences with other people, but also be able to do it on my terms and in my truth, if that makes sense.
Meredith: Exactly. How do you help people find their gifts? I recently did a survey of our listeners and asked them what was the toughest thing about getting started in business. Everybody said figuring out what they had to do because there are so many things I think I can do, it’s hard to pick just one.
Brandi: There are some things I am really good at, but I don’t like them. First of all, I think it’s about getting clear on what you enjoy doing and finding that sweet spot where what you’re doing doesn’t feel like work. Instead, it feels like helping people or doing what you love. Get clear about the things in your life that bring you joy and then find a way to match that with other people’s needs.
Many people quit one job and start a business, but what they end up doing is creating another cubicle and another job they hate and are tied to. By focusing on finding something that you love that brings you joy, that means you’re building a business when no day seems like work. It just seems like sharing and serving other people.
Jasper: That is a bit of a process, isn’t it, to find that thing? Often you can’t see it yourself. Sometimes you even have to ask your friends, “What should I be doing?”
Brandi: A lot of times, you are doing something and you don’t know it’s making you glow or it’s making you shine. I recommend for my clients to ask a couple of friends, “What am I known for? What are my special skills? What do I rock at? Where do I shine?” For a lot of people, asking your trusted advisors, your friends and family, is a good way to start, but it definitely is a process. You may try something you think you love and then you find out, not so much. That’s okay, because that’s the magic of building a business. You’re the boss and you have the power to stop something that’s not working in its tracks and try something else.
Meredith: That’s tricky, too. Right, Brandi? On the one hand, you don’t want to give up on something that just isn’t working yet that might work fine, versus giving up on something because you know it’s not what you should be doing. What signals could people look for to tell the difference between those two things?
Brandi: First of all, it’s more about the feeling. If I’m doing something I love to do and I’m not getting results, then I would totally say,”Okay, wait a minute. Take a step back. There’s probably some things you could be tweaking in your business to get better results.” If it’s something you don’t enjoy doing and you are not getting results, cut it! Try something else. That’s the opposite of a job. Doing what you love the way you want to do it is the opposite of working possibly in a place where you are not able to be as creative as you want.
If it’s something you love and you are not getting the results you want, I would first look at how much time you are putting into it. We can talk a lot about, “Oh, this is what I want,” but what are you really doing? Nose to the paper or to the grind to make your business run? If it doesn’t include talking to people who are your ideal customers, that’s where you should start. You need to understand that.
Meredith: That’s the mistake people make. I have made that myself. I am the queen of learning. You think you’re working on your business when you’re getting yet another certification. It’s like, “Oh, wow. I’m a certified this and that.” I think I have 10 of them — I’m not kidding — but that’s not really doing anything to help propel your career, because any information you need of a factual type as opposed to coaching, like “Here are the Seven Steps to Create an Amazing Opt-In Page,” is available to you really for free.
Brandi L. Spencer, M.Ed. is a business consultant, coach, speaker, and entrepreneur from Austin,TX. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University as well as a Master’s in Education Administration from Lamar University. She enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends. She helps women who want to escape the corporate drudgery to create a customized plan of support and turn those corporate skills into a profitable business!
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