Mondays used to mean I would have to kiss Sunday goodbye and enter the world of supermarket sales and moving tea through distribution channels. Mondays also used to mean I was exhausted because I had usually worked a trade show or caught up on marketing over the weekend. Running Zhena’s Gypsy Tea was fun, but it also eventually became a grind like any other grind—meaning, it stopped being fun and started being mostly work.
Today, Mondays look a little hectic in all honesty, but also promising. It’s when I present new books to the editorial board for Enliven, and it’s now when I write to you and have a weekly practice of sending you the Monday newsletter. This brings me joy because I love to write for people, and bringing this new newsletter to you means I have an opportunity to do one of two things: Inspire or Bore you.
So, let me know if I bore you so I stop, and if the content you begin receiving here is inspiring (which is the point) let me know what you want more of and what you want less of. Then, it’s not just an email letter, it’s a conversation!
So, for this first newsletter, I want to share an intention I set for myself at the beginning of the year, it’s so far been fabulous!
Phew, what a great thought, right!? Now, at the tea company, I was myself when I was working in the tea fields for worker rights, designing new packaging, hosting big gypsy tea parties, and being super creative. I was not being myself when I was fighting off competition on the shelves of major chains, defending my decisions to people who didn’t think gypsy tea parties and fair trade were worthy expenditures (it’s true, they weren’t my tribe), and working long hours on supply chain hiccups due to dock strikes and rushed orders. Nope, none of this fed my soul. It was necessary but not me.
So when I left the tea company, it was with great sadness but also a great relief, as there was somebody who would love and thrive on that sort of work and they should absolutely be successful at being themselves at it! But what happened when I realized I didn’t know who I was anymore? What did getting paid for being myself mean when I couldn’t figure out who “myself” even was? And not to mention but I usually got in trouble for being myself, meaning I was too loud, too excited, too risky, too impulsive, too fast, too changeable. Being myself hadn’t paid off in childhood so I became the strong CEO tough girl. So, who was I really?
And what does it mean to get paid to be you?
What I’ve spent the last three years doing is checking out what brings me joy and what it really means to be successful. I’ve measured currencies like cash, attention, time & energy, and I’ve discovered that getting paid to be myself means I get to be enthusiastic, expansive, curious and in service to a higher purpose in my day while not feeling like crap for saying the wrong thing in the wrong meeting. I get to be me, and if you’ve ever taken a class with me or worked with me I cuss, I am fierce, and I don’t have an edit button on my mouth. So what does getting paid to be myself look like now? And how can it look for you?
1. I get to discover and celebrate talent in others: As a publisher and QueenMaker™ (brander), I get to be a cheerleader and I like being a cheerleader (enthusiasm)
2. I get to work as a consultant on projects of my choosing: This quenches my insatiable curiosity and keeps me excited! I’ve worked on A.I., green cosmetics, meditation courses, nonprofits, consumer packaged goods companies, and countless other exciting businesses.
3. I get to travel and serve a higher purpose. Through this my heart is returned to the feelings I felt as a fair trade activist—that was the greatest “job” of being of service and now I get to help systems designers make it real for more people than ever.
SO, what if you got paid simply for being yourself. What would it look like? What would your days look like and how would you redefine your task lists to feed the job of being YOU?
I have an inkling that you would experience a few shifts, as I am still shifting on a daily basis as my new intention grounds itself, but here are some inquiries for you to look at as you move through your week.
1. When I’m doing ____________ I feel like I’m sparkling.
2. As I wake up in the morning, the thing I most look forward to is ________________________.
3. When I am doing _______________________ the world seems to respond like a happy magnet to me.
I’d love to hear your responses to these questions! Meet me at my Facebook page or respond to this post – let’s get this “being yourself party” started. Because if I know one thing for sure, I know this: