I love writing, I would love to make my living from writing. By putting it out there, actually writing – not just talking and thinking about it – things are starting to shift, and the advice I keep getting is that I need to find my “niche,” the different angle or subject that will make my writing unique.
This was how I found myself at the Meaning 2015 conference, a thought provoking and potentially life changing event. I went to listen to the amazing line up of speakers, to network, to sell my wares and to ask for help with my career change, and it made me feel vulnerable.
It was so inspiring to be amongst people who have adopted the attitude that we can change cultures in business so that we can be more productive, more ethical, more effective, have more fun and build better relationships.
It was also a very safe place to feel vulnerable.
I always feel like a fraud going to business events and telling people I am a hairdresser looking to become a writer, but at Meaning, I was given a very strong pep talk by a wonderful friend, client and confidant. I told her that I felt people didn’t take me seriously because of the stereotype – I have in my head – that I believe they have of Hairdressers. She told me that it wasn’t necessary to say I was a Hairdresser, that is one aspect of who you are. How about telling people that your job is to “make people feel good about themselves”, that your job is to “listen” and that you are an “entrepreneur.” Wow! I’d never looked at my job like that before.
I have changed career before, from telecoms to hairdressing and I can change again. I shouldn’t feel intimated or vulnerable, I have something to sell, it’s me and it’s a good product!
The line up of speakers was immense, people who were really putting themselves out there, no doubt they had felt vulnerable at some point, but had asked for help and hadn’t let their head’s get in the way of their dreams and visions.
Jos de Blok is transforming healthcare in the Netherlands and talking to the NHS about rolling out his model in the UK. Miriam Turner spoke on behalf of Interface where they are using salvaged fishing nets from the Philippines to make their carpet tiles. Annette Mees is preparing the “Almanac of the future” and her motto is “make it fun and challenging.’ That resonated with me, I’m challenging myself and I need to make it fun.
At the end of the day after listening to the great speakers, tuning into the panel debates, participating in workshops and enjoying a very sociable lunch, it was time to have a mingle in the bar, and it was here, that for me, the magic happened.
I had been trying to pin down a contact for months to go for a coffee, to discuss the world of content/copywriting and it just so happened that she too was at Meaning. An expert in her field, a true wordsmith, it was a pleasure to finally catch up with her.
We discussed why I wanted to get into commercial writing, my blog, my aspirations and why I wanted to make writing my job. We discussed hairdressing, my varied clients, the wonderful conversations we have and how through meeting such amazing women on a daily basis they have helped me resurrect my passion for writing, a dormant skill that had always been there, but one I had lost through laziness and self-doubt. “why don’t you write about these conversations that you have?” she asked… the lightbulb moment!
Why don’t I??! I feel most comfortable when writing about my thoughts and experiences, and every day through connecting in such an intimate space with people, chatting and ruminating, some amazing things begin to happen. It’s a side of hairdressing that people aren’t aware of and it’s what makes it such a fantastic job. It’s not just asking people about their holiday’s, there is a lot more to it than that….. watch this space, I think I may have found my ‘niche’
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