Someone said this to me in a dream once of all places a looooong time ago. Was it my psyche? God? Or something else giving me this wisdom that still plays in my head 15 years later? I don't know and it doesn't matter. But it is a concept I have struggled with for most of my life. Always trying to do so much, compromising on myself and what I really want, and often forcing myself to do things that have just made me perpetually depressed and overwhelmed because it seemed like the "practical" or "smart" thing to do. That is until now.
This summer has been a HUGE season for me- personally, creatively and professionally. I changed day jobs- took on not just one but TWO jobs to train to run retail stores. I did this because- and I hate to admit this- deep down I didn’t believe I was good enough to run a business on my own. Which is very important for me to feel competent in as I’m technically building two at the same time. 1.) the Affirmations Gift Shop: an online store full of positive, life affirming merchandise to encourage people and help them heal from emotional abuse “one product and post at a time” and 2.) Femmespire Media: this multimedia company you are currently reading the blog from.
In addition to all of this, I Tiffany Grand, am an author, songwriter, and playwright with my own brand to build and creative passion projects to work on.
Needless to say, I’ve had a lot on my plate and it’s been hard to focus. So sadly, many things got put on the backburner in order to keep a steady paycheck coming in. Media companies aren’t as lucrative as one might think (at least not YET). But writing and encouraging people through the arts is my passion so I keep coming back to it.
This past week I had spent a great deal of time trying to record some songs to go along with one of the books we’ll be publishing through Femmespire Media “Better Late Than Never”. I was super excited and motivated to get the EP done and finally tie up the last odds and ends so we could officially release this book once and for all.
But nothing really went how I planned. The mandolin I recorded didn’t sound right, the drums were too tingy, and my vocals- well let’s just say I’m rarely if ever happy with vocal takes. After a few days of getting frustrated and feeling discouraged, I decided to (at least temporarily) pack the recording gear back up and get back to working on the project I was doing all this for once and for all- the book. Or books, as the case has become.
And that’s when the quote from my dream all those years prior came flooding back to me yet again.
“Focus on your strengths, what comes naturally to you and what you really love to do.”
My biggest love has always been writing and encouraging people through the written word. But I also like business and being in control of a project from beginning to end. However, running stores (online or in person), pushy sales, intricate techie tasks, and performing are not my strengths. I mean I’m more competent at it than many people, but they’re not my first loves and Lord knows there are MANY other people in the world who ARE gifted in these areas more than me. So, I really need to start leaving these other tasks to other people and stop feeling like I must do EVERYTHING MYSELF all the time.
All this comparison, head decisions, and forcing myself to do certain things (like the new day jobs running other people’s stores) has just made me miserable. I suffered a great deal of depression and shed a lot of tears this summer because of it. You can read the blog post I wrote about it titled “Saying No to Head Decisions: and Other Things I’m Still Learning in My 30’s” here.
Summer isn’t even completely over yet and I have already left both of those jobs behind. I’ve had to be honest with them and myself. I don’t want to run someone else’s business or sell products just for the sake of making money. I want to do something with meaning and purpose that hopefully encourages and inspires people to live their best lives as well. I want something that feeds my soul and makes me feel like my authentic self. Someone I don't have to apologize for or feel compelled to compare to anyone else.
In other words, I want to WRITE books, and plays, and other kinds of media that I can think of to convey a positive message. And I want to publish and promote other writers and creatives with similar visions. This is all I have ever really wanted throughout my life. This was the original vision of Femmespire Media before I got all lost and paranoid believing I wasn't good enough for the purpose I had in my heart. But as most of us do when we are in the mist of adulthood looking at bills we have to pay, I ignored it in favor of a more “steady paycheck”. Even if it meant my soul felt like it was dying most of the time.
All things I actively encourage others NOT to do on a nearly daily basis.
Yuck. What a hypocrite. I can’t believe myself.
But I am finally learning my lessons. Better late than never, right?
So now, Femmespire Media is officially evolving into a multimedia PUBLISHING company. Emphasis on publishing. I have two books of my own that I will be releasing first: “Better Late Than Never” and “Dancing in the End Zone” coming early this fall. And then I will be focusing on publishing an anthology of encouraging non-fiction essays (on a specific theme to be announced shortly) by various other talented authors. So, stay tuned for all of that.
Leaving my jobs this summer, accepting my weaknesses, and finally deciding to focus on just writing and publishing which are my biggest strengths and passion- has been very liberating for me. I already feel so much lighter emotionally and more inspired to get things done.
But this new change of focus also means there will be a lot of “housekeeping” that needs to be done. We will be revamping and rebranding Femmespire Media on our social media channels and the website. So, it’s going to look very different very soon. But don’t worry, we will still keep sharing great, positive content. And I will be busy with my head buried in my computer writing and editing these upcoming book releases. I CANNOT WAIT to share them with you.
It’s a little embarrassing to share some of my journey with you and the head decisions I have been living in for far too long. I’ve always been a big preacher on “living authentically” “following your heart” and “confidently pursuing your dreams” when I have struggled with doing it consistently myself. But no more!
The year 2021 was HUGE for me and the business(es) I’ve been trying to build. I’ve made excuses, believed lies, and put the REAL dreams of my heart on the back burner for way too long. I mean, I just realized today that I hadn’t written a blog post for Femmespire Media in over a year!
Yikes. No Bueno.
So, things have GOT to change. I mean, they will and they are. Just please be patient with me on this journey.
Please check back with us on our website and on social media soon for updates on the new books coming very, very soon. You WILL NOT regret it.
Don’t be like me and waste most of your life making head decisions and not living your own truth. “Focus on your strengths, what comes naturally to you and what you really love to do” from now on. You will be happier you did.