By Dawn Shuler
Years ago, I was working with a client in my Get Started Now book writing program, and she was having a hard time figuring out what she wanted to write about. However, one theme that kept popping up for her was that she was passionate about people’s stories being told. “There are all these stories out there, and they just need to be told!” she’d say over and over.
It was pretty obvious to me that telling other people’s stories was what she needed to write. At first, she didn’t agree; “That’s not good enough. It needs to be bigger.”
Really? Isn’t that what a lot of books are about, in one form or another? Telling others’ stories, stories that need to be – must be – told?
That idea, that passion, was a beacon for her. And as such, she used it to help guide her. Not so much as a sign post far ahead that she would move toward, but more as a lamppost that shines its light and guides the way.
We all have those beacons. Some of us call beacons our purpose or passion. Whatever you call it, use your beacon as a guiding light, something that will hold the light and the focus for you whenever you feel you are losing your way.
My beacon? That what makes you unique is what MUST be put out into the world, and that the more authentic you are and the more you embrace and celebrate what makes you unique, the more successful you’ll be.
As a big-picture thinker and high-level strategist, it’s easy for me to see that for my clients. Probably because these concepts and passions are such a part of them that they can’t see them.
In talking with another client about creating website copy for her new website, I mentioned the idea of a beacon – why she was passionate about her business and what she wanted to convey to her potential customers – and use that to guide what she wrote.
And then there’s the idea of personal beacons that guide us. I call them core values, and they serve as my guide in life. I can look at them if I’m conflicted or needing to pick a direction. They light my way.
What are your beacons and how do you define them?
First, what are your core values? What are those concepts that are at the top of your belief system as well as what guides you? For me, it’s connection, authenticity, sacred space (my top three).
Second, what do you want to be known for in the world? If you can, distill this into one sentence. Bonus tip: once you can do this, it’s much easier for OTHER people to refer to you… “Oh, she is THE person who does _____.” Yes, you want this. 🙂 For me, it’s to help draw out of people their amazingness… and then put that out into the world confidently and with gusto.
Third, what are your successes? Yes, you have them. 🙂 What are you good at? What do people tell you that it’s just amazing you can do such and such a thing? What are you proud of?
Finally, put all that together and come up with your beacon or beacons (you may have more than one). Print out your beacon on a sign or write on a card. USE your beacon.
And let that beacon guide you, especially if things look a little dark.