WARNING: This is some seriously vulnerable shit.
So, I haven’t written a blog post in a really long time. I’ve been focused on delivering a lot more to the Champagne Room, my Copy That students, and my one-on-one clients. And I have to admit: I’ve slipped up a little with my own bigger business message.
I have been in the whirlwind of “go go go” and in doing so, started to let go of my own “why.”
If you’ve been hanging around Your Hot Copy long enough, you’ve heard me talk a LOT about the importance of connecting to your greater “why.” After all, it sets you apart from your competition. It makes you memorable. It makes you unique. It shows people that you’re human and real and imperfect. It brings you down to earth. It fosters connection.
So vulnerability and REALNESS are necessary for your community. Showing all sides of you in a way that offers value to your audience is, well, everything. So now, it’s my turn to take a giant step back and expose more of the human behind the brand. *wink*
This week, I’ve decided to put my money where my words are… I’ve decided to get real.
Like all great stories, it begins with a significant relationship. And mine is pretty obvious. In every way, I am my father’s daughter. (Key qualities: Driven. Business-minded. Creative.)
Now for the realness… last week marked eleven years since I lost him. Deep breath.
I’m writing this post because there isn’t a DAY that goes by in my business that I do not use a skill or value that I inherited from my father. Because his “why” is my “why.” Because when you lose someone that you love, you never truly stop missing them. But they’re also never really gone.
And while no relationships are “perfect,” I have been unreasonably lucky.
I am consistently grateful that I grew up in an environment where I was encouraged to go forth and be creative. My father, on the other hand, did not have that privilege. He struggled a lot more in his youth, in making a name and living for himself, and in discovering the value of art, creativity, and comedy. But, by his mid-twenties, he found his purpose and even started a non-profit in New York City. My father’s initiative created youth centers to teach at-risk kids art and music for free.
Because art, music, comedy, and creativity heal.They make life better. They make things okay. They build connections. They transmit experiences. They let you know you’re not alone. They help you FEEL.
Your Hot Copy is built around my writing and sales skills and what I can offer my clients. There is no denying that. But it’s also built around my personal mission to work with unexpressed creatives, because I believe that your talent is worth it. You can create work and a life that expresses YOU, IF you make the choice to value your talent (and yourself) beyond the perceived “market value.”
It doesn’t matter if you make all (or any) of your money doing it. What matters is that you’re doing it. That’s what the WHY is all about.
But here’s the thing about the WHY.
Business isn’t just about the “why,” it’s also about the “how.”
Like how I was fortunate to be raised to think like a creative entrepreneur, by a creative entrepreneur. Like how I now have countless skills to offer my clients because of it.
Since my father created his own reality, he made it clear to me that I had the power to do the same.
Most parents encourage their children to go to college.
My father offered me money to start a business instead.
Most parents push their kids to get straight As.
My father wanted me to live more and work less.
Most parents want their kids to “get a job.”
My father raised me to question authority and do my own thing.
While most parents care if their kids ace all of their subjects, my father made sure that I understood sales, business, marketing, and people. This doesn’t mean that I always listened, took all of his advice, or even skipped higher education for some sweet upstart cash (regrets are REAL). But the best things that I do in my business – for my clients and myself – are so deeply ingrained that most of the time I don’t even realize I’m doing them.
This is precisely why I’m NOW working on making all of these writing and sales skills completely teachable for you. Because this is my legacy, and it’s been invaluable to me, and it’s time to share it.
My father showed me that you can do anything you dream, with the right mindset and skill set. He showed me that when you combine your unique gifts in a way that truly helps people… you’ve found your sweet spot. (And the place where money will totally flow.)
That’s all the “why” I’ll ever need.
One of our great featured panelists for TEW Beyond the Book 1.0 – is Patrice Cokley of The Bassline Group, contributing author The Entrepreneur Within You – Volume 2 (2014)
Patrice K. Cokley is one of the most forward-thinking, intriguing and engaged marketing leaders of her generation. Commonly known as PKC, Patrice is a consumer-centric marketing extraordinaire who has a track record of discovering new brands and redeveloping existing brands, then leveraging them online by breathing life into their marketing strategy.
Patrice is the founder of The Bassline Group, a boutique communications and management agency that provides branding, marketing/pr, and management services to (but not limited to) entertainers, creative artists, small businesses and entrepreneurs. Patrice holds both a BS and MBA in Marketing and has over 14 years of experience in the field. As a Virgo who prefers strategically masterminding behind-the-scenes, Patrice has been a hidden gem in the marketing industry, bringing awareness to the importance of developing a strong and authentic brand that resonates with its intended audience, whenever she cans.
Business and music was never a hobby for Patrice. It has always been a passion that developed into a career. Patrice has had the pleasure of working with local union officials, non-profit organizations, creative artists, recording artists, bloggers, authors, lifestyle brands and retail. With the Bassline brand, her goal is to bring more awareness to brand development and business strategy by assisting the creative and talented mind with building an audience and monetizing their gift. It’s hard building and growing a business alone. Patrice’s purpose is to help those avoid doing just that.
Find her online at www.TheBasslineGroup.com
Social Media: @TheBasslineGrp
Please do share/invite some colleagues out as well, whom you think would benefit from this candid panel!
Entrepreneur Empowerment Call, “Commitment to Consistency” this Monday at 7:30 pm will feature Brand Strategist Lashonda Vinson and Author, Graphic Designer and Entrepreneur Julie M Holloway. We are going back to the basics of Entrepreneurship, Branding and Design!!
Introducing Ignite, Monthly Sprints For Suburban Entrepreneurs
When I first started working on Reading Glue nearly three years ago, I found myself attending a lot of startup focused meetup groups around the area. I spent a lot of time learning from other people’s experiences. There was nothing wrong with this, but I really needed to be getting my feet wet with my own experiences. It is so much easier to sit in a room and hear someone else’s story rather than getting out of the building and writing your own.
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.
― Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics
Learning from others and learning on your own are equally important. Sprinkle a little accountability into the mix, and you have the perfect recipe to help ignite your process of validating and building an idea. This ideology has been used by myself and other members at the Elgin Technology Center for some time now, and we thought it was time to open it up to the public by creating a new meetup group called Ignite.
Ignite is focused on providing education, collaboration, and most importantly holding entrepreneurs accountable so they can continue to make progress in validating and building meaningful solutions to problems.
We will focus the first half of each meetup around a new startup topic. One week we might be discussing how to build a killer UVP (unique value proposition), and the next might be about ways to create a MVP (minimum viable product) for validation purposes.
One of the most important aspects of Ignite is collaboration. Are you struggling with something as you try to launch your startup? Do you have any interesting “A-ha” moments you want to share with the group? We will dedicate plenty of time to help each other out in a collaborative setup.
Holding yourself and / or co-founders accountable can be a very difficult task. We will wrap each meetup with a sprint meeting where Ignite entrepreneurs make goals to hit by the next meetup. Our goal is to provide you with a little extra motivation to take action and produce results that you can share with the team next month.
Join us for our first meetup on Wednesday August 26 at 7PM. We will meet in the 3rd floor meeting room of the Elgin Technology Center. RSVP for our first meetup at http://www.meetup.com/Elgin-Technology-Center/events/224077918/.
Hit us up on meetup with any questions or suggestions. The entire team at ETC is super excited to share this collaboration process with the public, and we hope that you are just as excited to participate.
Ready for co-working? Join ETC Today!