Systems & Process with Melinda Livsey

Episode 426 LIVE on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022 at 7:30 pm GMT / 2:30 pm ET / 11:30am PT

To wrap up the series on Process I thought there was no one better than to ask Melinda Livsey back on. She has a unique approach to guiding brand strategist through finding and practicing their system and process.

There are so many frameworks out there. It gets overwhelming. If you are trying to learn something new or pivot and you want to make sure you are doing it right. But what is right to someone might not be right for you. I can’t wait for this conversation. I hope you will join me live and understand why I love how Melinda runs her groups and helps people find their way.

Join us LIVE on Wednesday, Dec 7 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET / 7:30pm GMT / 9:30am in Hawaii
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The Questions

  1. Melinda, can you give everybody a little background about your business and when you started helping people build their own processes?
  2. When did you realize that people don’t need one and only one framework for brand strategy?
  3. How did you come up with your process? How does it change with each client?
  4. When did you see that the numerous options were really hurting people more than helping? How did you approach guiding the people in your courses and community after that?
  5. How have you reframed this idea of using or developing a process or system?
  6. Your way of working with your community is different. How did that develop?
  7. Is there a challenge you hear regularly from brand strategist and creative entrepreneurs?
  8. How has your process and systems for your business changed over the years?
  9. What is one thing you’ve learned in the last year that’s been the most impactful to your life and business?
  10. Are you launching anything or investigating anything for 2023?
  11. What is something you are looking forward to in the new year?

Follow Melinda


[00:00:00] diane: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of Creatives Ignite. I’ve changed the name. I didn’t know if you knew, but Melinda, I changed the name. Um, anyway, I am excited to have my friend Melinda back on and she is closing up this, uh, if you didn’t know there was a series on process. Um, I really felt called and then Melinda and I had just gotten ca caught back up, and then we started talking about process and I was like, oh my [00:00:30] goodness, Melinda, would you come on and talk about this because maybe some of you guys are similar to me where you, um, Go in and you are thinking, oh, I’m not doing it right, or you’re, you think, oh, I just need to take this one other class and see to do this.

[00:00:50] Then maybe I can say, I can do this on my website or something. And I know Melinda and I have had lots of conversations like this. She has an amazing group of people. I always, [00:01:00] um, if she has something that she’s doing and I can afford it, man, I pop right in and I do it. It is awesome. And so I, she’ll talk a little bit about her community and all the things she’s doing, but one thing that Melinda does that’s different from other people, and I will let her explain it just in case I don’t explain it good.

[00:01:18] But today we have Melinda Lisey and Melinda’s in California. She has had a great career in design and she. Um, she’s, she’s been teaching, she’s been [00:01:30] leading people through brand strategy and figuring out processes and systems, but it’s not like do it Melinda’s way. Right. So, Melinda, give us a little thank you for being here and thank you for being my brand and tell ’em a little bit about just your business and, um, we’ll

[00:01:50] Melinda Livsey: start there.

[00:01:51] Yeah, that’s a lot, man. I don’t know where to start. Also, thank you for being my friend Diane, and thank you everyone for joining. It’s so nice to see all you guys in the chat [00:02:00] and, uh, yeah, and coming here. Um, so you’re asking you about my business. What do you, can you gimme a more specific question? Do you want me

[00:02:07] diane: to Yeah.

[00:02:07] Yeah. So when did you start, um, you started in design, but then when did you pivot from design to more of what you’re doing now? More brand strategy or leading people into brand strategy?

[00:02:22] Melinda Livsey: Yeah. It was around 2017 and I had. A brand identity business for a couple years. And before that I was a graphic [00:02:30] designer, did all the things a graphic designer would get hired to do from things I didn’t wanna do to really cool stuff, the gamut.

[00:02:36] And then I decided that I wanted to go more into identity. So I’d done that for a few years. So in 2017 was when I learned what branch strategy was. Um, and my, my coach and our mutual friend Christo. And it opened my eyes to, oh, I can solve bigger problems. That was a real huge desire for me was I wanted to work on identity and branding, but [00:03:00] I felt very limited in just the visuals.

[00:03:02] And I would hire, get hired to just do a logo when I thought, I know I can help them with more. I know that I can help people with connecting with other people, with the people that they wanna sell to, and I wanna get to know those types of people and how can we show up in ways that that really attract those people.

[00:03:18] And then I would get hired for little things and I felt like, but I can do so much more for you. So when I learned brand strategy, that’s when I was like, oh, this is my answer. This is what’s [00:03:30] gonna, this is what’s gonna help me solve bigger problems. So I started doing that in 2017, and then a few years later, I had been sharing behind the scenes process in my newsletter for those two years of.

[00:03:43] Like people who followed me, they just wanted to know how I was doing things. So I would just share, Hey, this is what I was doing this week. Here’s what I learned. And then a couple years into doing that, um, a lot of people were asking me, can you share what you’re doing? Cuz I wanna learn from you. And that’s when I started the branch strategy bootcamp.

[00:03:59] So that was three [00:04:00] years ago now. And, um, started teaching people like, here’s how I learned it. And as we, as I started showing my process, other people were showing theirs to me. And I learned from the people I taught and I realized that they were all teaching each other. And then we’re all just developing our, our frameworks that work for us.

[00:04:18] And that’s where, that’s how I got to where I am now. And, uh, doing client work still. So branch strategy and then, um, doing the branch strategy bootcamp.

[00:04:28] diane: And so in this [00:04:30] branch strategy bootcamp, just to kind of paint the picture for people, um, people are coming in and they are how many weeks? And like, what’s a cohort look like?

[00:04:41] Like how many. People Or how, what kind of, how many weeks is it?

[00:04:47] Melinda Livsey: Yeah. Well, at the moment if someone were to come and sign up, they would be in for a year. So they would be in for a year. And has it always been a whole year? Um, it was actually lifetime [00:05:00] when I first started. So those who got in at the beginning, they got a deal.

[00:05:05] Uh, but now, now it’s a year. So they get access to all the re I have client recordings in there. Uh, we have community, we have coaching. And so for that year, cuz we, I, I could have made it shorter, but I know that it takes at, well our people that usually come to us, it takes ’em about a year to feel like they got their footing.

[00:05:26] Like they understand it, that they know their own [00:05:30] positioning and how they wanna show up in the world. And it just gives the overthinker like me that time to just. Dwell on the information and talk with other people and tear it apart and create their own process and then go out into the world that we’ve noticed that by a year people are, are really starting to feel confident in what they’re doing cuz they’re able to repeat it.

[00:05:51] So, um, at the moment it’s a year, and then we offer shorter cohorts throughout the year and other programs. Um, but those are bonuses. And on top of the year is the [00:06:00] bootcamp.

[00:06:00] diane: But we, some is Do they, can they start at any time or is it You can come in at any time and then Okay. So in this, and it could be something that, because one of the things that I’ve noticed is you attract people who are in marketing or who have been designers or who are, it’s not just the typical, um, person and it’s not.

[00:06:27] I don’t feel like the oldest person in [00:06:30] the room, which I also like. So these are seasoned, these are people who understand design, understand marketing, or understand what the, we’re not, I’m not trying to sell it, but I am sell. I’m telling you, these people in these day day, and you are, they’re, they are awesome.

[00:06:47] I have always, I love every time you have something and I’m. I open your emails, you’ve always been a great writer. Um, so you tell a great story and I think that that [00:07:00] is how you’ve built such a great community. But we weren’t really talking about, that wasn’t what we were talking about today, but that’s just a plug for Melinda’s community.

[00:07:07] But I love that the people are people that, like you said, I can learn from as well. So they’re giving, Hey, this is what I tried. Um, what do you, what, what are you trying to get out of this? And then what have you tried and, and you’re really with people who aren’t like, oh, I’m just learning illustrator or something.

[00:07:26] You know, like, um, really early in like the branding or something, I [00:07:30] always feel like I can come in, I can definitely learn, but I can also maybe share something that somebody else could, um, take away as well. But I definitely always get a ton out of that. But that was kind of weird. We started talking about this when we were catching up ear earlier in the fall.

[00:07:45] We were talking about processes and. There is, you have a philosophy, I think maybe. Mm-hmm. , um, is what I would call it. I think I called it that in the newsletter to me or yesterday or whatever. Um, that it’s [00:08:00] like a philosophy of this. Do you know what I’m talking about or do I need to preface it a little bit?

[00:08:04] Are

[00:08:05] Melinda Livsey: you talking about uncertified or, yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s it. Yeah. Okay. Okay. Yeah. Um, yeah, so we we have a philosophy of being uncertified because I’m, I was seeing that and it was, it was more just like a, a joke. It started off as a joke and then I realized, oh no, that’s actually what we believe. So I was starting to see, um, and this was in my own self, like my [00:08:30] imposter in me wants to be certified.

[00:08:31] The imposter in me wants accolades and awards and proof and experience, and I wanna be the expert. To make me feel good enough to go show up and start doing. And the more I thought about it, the more I saw that none of those external things ever really gave me that confidence inside. Like true confidence that lasted, that I, I could feel like I could build upon and, and all that.

[00:08:56] It was just an external validation. [00:09:00] And I, and as I was thinking and thinking and thinking about this, I realized that what we do in brand strategy also, cause I come from the creative world, I approach brand strategy in a very creative way. Like how I, how I create and design. I brought that thinking into brand strategy and then I thought, well, it would be ridiculous for me to certify anyone in my way of doing brand strategy because what I truly want people to do is develop their own way of going about it.

[00:09:29] And so [00:09:30] with all those things, with the idea of. That external validation is not what I truly want people to walk away with. I want them to have that internal confidence that they know that they can do this. That is, I want that for them. And, and so between that and then the idea of, I don’t believe you can certify creativity.

[00:09:48] And I believe that the, our approach is like helping the creative thinker do brand strategy. I don’t want you certified in my way. I don’t want you, I, I don’t, I want you to be [00:10:00] you and I want you to show up the way you do things so that people will be attracted to you and not because you have a badge of someone else’s name on you.

[00:10:08] I don’t want that. And so then I started realizing like, yeah, it’s just like this whole philosophy that was born out of really a conversation with me and my fellow bootcamp coach a few years

[00:10:19] diane: ago. Yeah. So, so in this I always feel like, um, there’s, if I’m learning something new, Or really [00:10:30] anytime. But if I’m learning something new, I would not put myself out there as, um, I would just try to eat up as much as I can on that subject.

[00:10:41] And I don’t know if continuing to learn, I think, I think we should always continue to learn. I actually don’t feel like, uh, because in our industry, things change all the time. You have to stay up on it. So there’s never gonna be enough certification or never [00:11:00] gonna be enough. Um, you know, I, I, because I teach college, I feel like the kids are like, oh, well, I’m graduating now.

[00:11:08] Oh, now I know. And I’m like, oh no, you don’t know. You don’t know yet. You know, like, um, it’s, it’s not, you know, there’s so much more. We’ve just barely taught you how to walk, you know? There’s, you’re gonna be learning and you need to be learning all the time. And students, this is finals week. And so I always ask, oh, what would you have liked to have [00:11:30] covered?

[00:11:31] And they’re like, well, we really wish you would’ve talked about Photoshop more. And I just kinda laugh cause I’m like, not that I won’t use Photoshop, but I’m like, you have to learn how to learn on your own at work. Like you, I there Photoshop is way too big. You know, like I could have Adobe come every day for the whole semester and they still would only learn how to walk in Photoshop.

[00:11:56] You know, like the, there’s anyway, [00:12:00] um, but I think that, I think that we’re in a society, uh, where we are maybe at this time of life and our whatever in the world is that we think that we should be able to be taught it. And I, but I think that it’s always changing. There’s always something new and. , I love the uncertified one.

[00:12:23] It gives me the permission to see it and do it my way and then practice it. So, [00:12:30] mm-hmm. , you have all these people that can, that are willing to give real feedback, I think. Right? They’re trying something or they’re saying, Hey, how did you do this? Um, and I think, uh, because I, I know how some of this has worked, at least in the past, where you’ll partner people up and then they kind of run strategy on each other.

[00:12:48] Mm-hmm. . And by doing that, by practicing multiple times, you’re able to see if it works. And you’re, I, I do think we have just a whole bunch of tools and then, but [00:13:00] you don’t use all the tools in the tool belt on every single project. You use the ones that you need. And it’s about figuring out how to learn, which tools, when to use the hammer, when to use the saw, when to use the screwdriver.

[00:13:15] You know, like there are times and. So in you developing what worked for you, you’re always continually learning as well. Mm-hmm. , how, how do you encourage other people to not [00:13:30] just always keep going after the other framework or this other lesson? Like what would you tell somebody who felt like their confidence was low, but you saw that they had a lot of, they have been doing it or, or something like that?

[00:13:46] What would you tell them if they felt like, well, if I just do this one more

[00:13:50] Melinda Livsey: class, I, I feel like that if that’s a reflection of me, like they’re the inner me always wants Just one more. I just want one more [00:14:00] article. I just want one more how to, I just want one more thing to make me feel confident and I know, now I know that’s not gonna give me what I really, really.

[00:14:10] And it’s easy for people who can put things into action really fast, to just to, um, think, oh, what’s wrong? Just, just do it. Just do it. I’ve even said that before. Just do it. Just do it. But sometimes we need that bridge between, I, I just said this to a friend the other day. I said, the gap between [00:14:30] consuming and learning and then learning by doing, that’s where our dreams go to die.

[00:14:35] Like that is, that is just where they fall into the abyss. And we can stay in that learning by consuming and then never go to do. But I feel like there is, there is a way to bridge the gap. And for me, I have found that that’s through community. So I’ve always, I needed just that extra support system that I could talk to, that I could bounce ideas off of that I could say, Hey, I just learned this thing.

[00:14:59] [00:15:00] I don’t like this part. This does not work for me. I tried it out with a client. It felt totally flat. And they can help validate that you’re not crazy. Because when we do things alone, what happens is we learn a framework, we learn a how to we do it. Let’s say we, we actually put it into practice and then it doesn’t work for us.

[00:15:18] And then if you’re like me and you and you have that imposter monster in you and you turn on yourself very easily and you have self-doubt, you go, well, then there’s something wrong with me because obviously this process [00:15:30] worked for X, Y, and Z person or the guru or who knows what, like the person I look up to, but then it didn’t work for me.

[00:15:36] Well, it’s obvious that something is wrong with me. But if you have that community that you’re like, Hey, I just tried out this process and it didn’t work, and like, here’s what happened. They can help think through those things with you and they’re like, oh yeah, you know what? I tried that the other day with my client and actually here’s what I asked instead.

[00:15:52] And this is what worked. Or they can talk with you. It’s almost like a support group. Like they can talk with you through those things to see why didn’t [00:16:00] it work for you. Maybe it’s something that. You know that you did bring that day with you that you were thinking about, or maybe there is a different, maybe it was the client, like who knows what was going on.

[00:16:10] But having those people to reflect with I know was extremely helpful for me cuz that’s how, that’s what really got me from, from learning and consuming to actually putting things into action is having that group of people that I felt really safe with, that I felt accepted by, that I felt like they were home, that I could go out and screw up [00:16:30] in the world and I could totally make a complete fool of myself with a client and I could come back and tell them the story and we could laugh about it and we could learn from it and then they could be like, good job.

[00:16:38] Go out and do it again. That I think is the bridge that I’m noticing in my own life and also what ended up happening in my community that I built that that’s the bridge for the people who are have struggle with doing it alone and end up just, it’s almost like an addiction where I know for me, I end up being an info [00:17:00] hoarder.

[00:17:00] I will go to information when I feel self-doubt, when I don’t feel confident. And I was watching, um, a TED talk a while ago about substance addiction and they said that the, they believe the opposite of of addiction is not sobriety. It’s connection. And then my brain was like, oh my God, that’s it. When I go into info horror mode, I’m alone.

[00:17:23] I’m not confident. And it feeds the narrative that I can’t do this. You don’t have enough. You need more and more and [00:17:30] more. But when I have connection and I have those people that can validate me and be like, you’re not crazy. It’s not you, I then have the confidence to go out and put it into action and then learn more from that.

[00:17:41] So I would say that’s the big insight that I’ve had over the past few years in my own journey. But then also seeing other people go through this journey as well, is it’s that it’s that connection piece. And even if a course has a community, It’s not always this, that type of [00:18:00] community that you wanna look for is one where you feel safe and you feel safe to come back and not where you have to perform, not where you have to show up all like serious and all that.

[00:18:11] Like you can show up as you and you’re completely accepted. Those are the types of groups that I think help us go take action on things that we’ve been dealing with.

[00:18:22] diane: Absolutely. I love that. So, so it is a lot about, um, I do feel like the people in your community do know [00:18:30] a lot. They’re not coming in, uh, super green, you know, like they, they actually, there’s a lot of value.

[00:18:39] So that’s something that you’ve been able. To create one. I think because you’re very open about your process and what you’ve learned and how you failed or what worked or what did it, and you are really clear that this is just, you all have to try lots of things. You are welcome to try anything I’ve done, but I also wanna know what you’ve tried and then [00:19:00] let’s see, kind of what works.

[00:19:01] Um, as you’re, you’re contin you continue to work with clients, um mm-hmm. in, in that regard. How has your process continued to evolve I in like the last five clients that you’ve had? Because doesn’t it continue like, cuz every client isn’t the same, it’s not like you’re always doing dentists, you

[00:19:29] Melinda Livsey: know? [00:19:30] Yeah, yeah.

[00:19:30] They’ve been completely different with different problems and different people. I mean, even just if, even if it was the same type of client, Even the people will make things different. Um, so, uh, what I’ve noticed lately with the past handful of clients is that, so I started out with a certain framework. I adjusted it to make it work for me.

[00:19:49] And, and I, I would say that’s like a default I go to, but the most recent ones I’ve been throwing it out and showing up more. Cuz I, [00:20:00] it’s, it’s one of those things where when you’ve practiced something so much and you’re understanding it, you can just, you know what you’re looking for. And so that’s one thing where I just use the framework and anything I’ve learned in exercises as tools like you, I think you had said earlier that I’m just gonna take out the tool when I need it.

[00:20:16] So now that I know what I’m aiming at, what I want, what I’m looking for, I can just go into my backpack and be like, okay, what tool would be most useful in this moment? Instead of trying to use the whole framework, I know which is gonna be useful when now. [00:20:30] So that’s one thing is like I just start fresh. I can start with a blank piece of paper and just a conversation with a client and come up with something.

[00:20:37] Because I know what I’m aiming at. The ne The other thing I’m noticing that I’m doing a lot more is when something feels super difficult, I don’t force it. And so when I keep hitting a wall with something, when a client’s not giving me great information back or I’m just not asking great questions and I’m just like, this isn’t working, I don’t try to force it.

[00:20:59] I go, you [00:21:00] know what? There has to be an easier way I, that is my question I ask myself all the time is, what if this were. What if this were easy? So it’s, to me, that’s what strategy is. Like we’re trying to get to a goal and if we hit a roadblock, well let’s not try to scale the wall cuz that’s hard. What, why don’t we get a strategy to bypass that and go around it?

[00:21:21] And so I try to come up with ideas of like in the moment, I’ll give you an example. I was with a friend and she was trying to figure out her positioning for her [00:21:30] brand. She brought up a comp, a competitor that she found that said almost the same exact thing as her. And she goes, look at, they’re doing the same thing I am.

[00:21:37] What am I gonna do? And I sat there and like, okay, there’s gotta be a way, there’s gotta be a way to quickly see what the difference is between you and them. So I said, okay, imagine your logo is on their website right now. Let’s just say put the visually in your mind on their website. Let’s look through their website.

[00:21:55] What gives you that feeling of ew No, I would never say that. Oh, that [00:22:00] is so not me. That’s a good one. We flip. So I’m trying to make things easier. I’m like, in the moment, that’s what I’m always asking myself. How can it be easy? How can it be easy? Instead of doing like, let’s do a competitive audit in research and like spend weeks, I’m like, no, no, no, no.

[00:22:12] How can we do this in two minutes? So we did it and immediately she found a case study of work. Um, it was for an, an alcohol brand. And she’s like, no judgment on that, but that’s not, I don’t believe, like I don’t drink, I don’t, I don’t wanna do any sort of packaging for alcohol brands [00:22:30] and, and nothing like that.

[00:22:31] And so I found, and I said, great, why does that mean something to you? Why does that matter to you? And then we got to delve further into what matters most to her. And it was a super quick exercise and I’m noticing that now I’m at this place of exploration and freedom where I know, I know the tools. I’ve been practicing with them a lot.

[00:22:50] And now I get to figure out how to make things really easy on myself. And others. And it’s been really fun to do that. And um, one other thing I [00:23:00] noticed I’m doing is I’m really leaning into emotion. So I’m, I’m really trying to be conscious of what am I feeling in the moment? What is this telling me? What matters most to me?

[00:23:11] What matters most to my clients? What matters most to their clients or their customers? And, and listening for that emotional language. And I think when I was too stuck to my framework, I was like, I just need answers. Like, just give me your informational answers and I bypass the emotion, which [00:23:30] that’s what brands are made out of.

[00:23:32] We’re trying to ignite a gut feeling in someone. How do we do that? If we’re not connected with our emotions and we also are not connecting with the emotions of our clients and their customers, there’s, we can’t do that. So I think that’s what I’m noticing. The progression over the past, like year or so of what, where, um, My process has changed.

[00:23:53] It’s more free, it’s a lot more free.

[00:23:56] diane: Is connection even with that client, [00:24:00] really important for that, for that, uh, person in the, in the bootcamp they said, Hey, oh, or friend or whatever, this, it’s because I don’t align with some of the products that they’ve worked with. So that was like a, um, now they get why it w they wouldn’t have connected with that client.

[00:24:18] They probably wouldn’t have said yes to it. So, but for you, how, cuz I think early on, um, maybe, maybe not in the very beginning of our careers, we don’t really have [00:24:30] a ton of control if we take a client or not. We’re just like, we need to pay the bills. So we take the clients. But then as we’re getting to the place of, we are refining and we’re honing in what our area is or our industry or the, or the thing that we do.

[00:24:47] How do you know? Or is there, is it through conversation? Can you tell in the first conversation if it’s gonna be a match? Or have you [00:25:00] like gone through the whole process and then you’re like 12 weeks in and you’re like, I don’t think I can do this with

[00:25:07] Melinda Livsey: a client?

[00:25:08] diane: Yeah, with a client

[00:25:09] Melinda Livsey: at this point in my career and my life, um, I’m able, I mean, I, I don’t wanna say this a hundred percent cuz you never know what’s gonna happen.

[00:25:18] Well, knock on wood. Yeah. There was one that didn’t work out well and I could tell you about that and why I believe it happened. Um, but the more I show up as myself in life and in [00:25:30] business, the more I can just write what’s on my mind and what I feel and what I’m thinking about and talk to people like you and connect with people I like the more that I get clients that I.

[00:25:41] Jive with personality wise even, and philosophy. Like if I can share my philosophy of even uncertified, I’ve had clients come to me knowing I teach cuz I show up mainly as a teacher, even though I get clients, but I also get clients through those I teach, like, you know, just [00:26:00] being known is very helpful, but, It was interesting cuz I’ve had multiple clients reach out to me because they see my philosophy of being uncertified and they’re like, I love the way you think.

[00:26:10] I’ve worked with agencies before and we’ve been burned and we like, they were just putting us through their process and they weren’t seeing us as humans and they weren’t treating us as that. And they said, and we see your philosophy and we love that. So the more that I can show up as myself and what I believe and my point of view, the more I attract the people who [00:26:30] also believe very similar.

[00:26:31] And then we end up working together and it’s awesome. But where it didn’t work out as well, it ended up fine. But I would say where we were a bit misaligned in like personality and how we worked together was that last year, like a year and a half ago, I got hired through an agency that had found me on LinkedIn.

[00:26:48] Really connected with the owner of the agency. They landed the client. I never was in the sales calls, nothing. I just showed up to the workshop, first day, met the client right then. [00:27:00] And it was a group of people, and it was like I had to build rapport in that moment. And, and also they weren’t familiar with my process, even though that person had explained it to them.

[00:27:10] It wasn’t from me. So there’s just no previous connection with them besides that one person at the agency was like an

[00:27:17] diane: arranged marriage. You had to

[00:27:19] Melinda Livsey: like, and it was, yeah, it, it was, um, I had to end the, the. Like very ear. It was two hours in, which was a two day [00:27:30] workshop and, and it just was, I was hitting block walls and I, and I’m like, you know what?

[00:27:36] There’s gotta be an easier way I thought to myself, so I’m just gonna, I’m a, I’m not gonna push it. So I ended it early and went about my work another way, which was doing a lot of research and digging up information based on the, what they already had in their business, which was great cuz they were, they were not a startup, they already were in business and we were able to do it and the client was happy and it was awesome, but I had to [00:28:00] completely abandon my plan, my process and everything because of that lack of connection previously.

[00:28:07] So that’s where it didn’t work out for me. Do you

[00:28:09] diane: think it was also. Because sometimes when you’re working with groups, there’s a dynamic in the group that some people aren’t comfortable sharing what their real thoughts are. And if you don’t have that rapport or you haven’t built that relationship, those people are gonna be quiet.

[00:28:26] Certain people are gonna talk and it’s gonna be guided, but it’s not gonna [00:28:30] be what they wanted. And the, the client doesn’t get the right, they don’t get what they wanted out of it. They wanted someone to pull the other people out. But if you’re like popping in your thought, it was a first date, and you walk in and there’s a preacher and a, you know, somebody standing right there, that’s sort of, so there’s a, it does feel like, oh wow, I didn’t know it was this fancy, like there’s a commercial.

[00:28:55] And I think it was, it’s like somebody, I don’t know what they’re selling, but the guy comes in with [00:29:00] this. Uh, his shirt’s all stretched out and stuff. Do you know, you probably don’t ever watch tv. But anyway, so this guy’s sitting down and they’re at a nice restaurant and he takes off his jacket and he’s like, you look beautiful.

[00:29:13] And she’s like, well, you look comfortable because his shirt’s like all jacked up or whatever. And it’s cuz he didn’t use the right, you know, whatever detergent or something. I don’t remember what the commercial is. I’ll have to find it and send it to you, but Yes. Um, [00:29:30] but it seems like, you know, one person thought we were going to a hockey game and one person thought we were going to the opera and there wasn’t any communication on how to dress or how to be prepared for, for this thing.

[00:29:45] But you have, you’ve led lots of people, lots of groups, lots. Clients, individual or groups, what’s something that you’ve learned in those situations? One, to be able to say goodbye and to, or not [00:30:00] goodbye, but like, Hey, um, we’re gonna end the thing from today. Cuz you just keep getting the, either not the right, the answer that you need.

[00:30:08] They keep saying they took their lunch and you’re asking them if they rode the bus, you know, it just isn’t fitting. What is, uh, something we can do when we do, maybe we don’t know what we’re going into. Is there any pre-work that you would say to do in a situation like that?

[00:30:27] Melinda Livsey: Yeah, I, I also thought, I wanna give an [00:30:30] example of what happened that day too.

[00:30:31] Um, emotionally? Yes, emotionally prepare. Prepare yourself. How so? How did we, what do you mean? So, so one of my coaching clients, um, this is one of the things that came up in this year for her. So I worked with her on multiple projects. One as a strategist, but also as a coach. And. One of the things I found myself repeating and she actually repeated it back to me, um, to remind me like, Hey, this is the thing you’ve been teaching me this year.

[00:30:57] And I was like, thank you for letting me know. And it was, take care [00:31:00] of your internal state before you try to fix the problem externally. So let’s say like she is, was feeling really unprepared, or I’m feeling really unprepared. Like how do I make sure I’m gonna, cuz that’s the thing, right? We gotta get all the infor, we gotta get all the information and be ready so we can go in there prepared while instead of focusing on the external information that we can gather or making sure that we know how to do all the things.

[00:31:24] What if we took that time to prepare our internal state and address our fear? [00:31:30] Maybe tell somebody else, maybe talk to some, like a therapist or a close friend, and you’re like, you know what? I’m really feeling scared right now before I go into this, this client workshop and talk about it so that when you go into that client workshop, you are feeling so grounded and comfortable and ready for unknowns.

[00:31:48] That’s the thing we want, my hope for anyone who works with me ever, or anyone who doesn’t work with me, whatever, is that they feel comfortable going into the unknown because that’s [00:32:00] what’s, so, it’s weird because as creatives, it’s, it gives us the most thrill to go into the unknown and then create things out of that, and then it’s also the most terrifying thing in the world.

[00:32:11] So how can we, because we know that’s our superpower. Mm-hmm. , like I’ve heard, , A lot of things are coming to my mind right now. Two things. Um, my one really good friend said that one of the things, and we’ve heard this, like the thing you fear the most is the cave that you need to enter, things like that.

[00:32:27] She’s like, a lot of times the thing that people think [00:32:30] they’re the worst at is actually the thing that is their superpower. That that is something that they are called to do and bring forth into the world. So I would say address the fear that you have before you go in. That’s how you can prepare the best so that you get comfortable with facing any unknowns that happen.

[00:32:49] Because you could be, like you said, a lot of our people, they know so much, they actually know way more than they need. It’s, it’s being comfortable that like, no, you have enough to [00:33:00] figure it out in the moment you have enough to figure out, if you get into a really awkward conversation with your client, you have enough to figure out what to do, you’re fine.

[00:33:08] No amount of studying is gonna, and no amount of information is gonna fix your emotional state about it. So I would say address your fear going in. Be comfortable with the. Be comfortable. Trust your gut that you’ve already studied enough, most likely. Yeah. Whoever’s listening to this and really connecting with it, they already know a ton.

[00:33:28] Then when you go into that [00:33:30] session, when you go into perform, we’ll say perform is like, you’re on. Right? You gotta, you gotta do your thing. Forget everything. Forget everything. Get into the flow. Trust your gut, that your gut knows what to do in that moment. And, and as just a tangible, um, example of that client situation you were saying about you come into the room and like, oh, you were not dressed the same.

[00:33:53] Um, I opened up my , I opened up my, uh, presentation deck before [00:34:00] I shared it with them, and I started it out with like, really funny pictures of dogs, like making funny faces and sticking their tongues out in like, of little kids. And I was gonna make a point about certain things and I was like, Oh, this isn’t the crowd.

[00:34:14] I’m like, this is the wrong crowd for this. And so I had to make a decision on the spot like, you know what? I’m gonna start at this slide cuz it’s just, it’s like when you wanna tell a joke and you realize this is not, this is not for this group. That was kind of the feeling I had. But it’s that idea of like, how [00:34:30] can you go in with this very light spirit and confident and grounded so that you can make those decisions on the spot Versus if I were to go in freaked out and scared, I’d be like, oh my God.

[00:34:40] Like I would still try to show my dog photos and stumble through it and think that I had to do it, versus like, you know what, no, I’m just gonna trust my gut and like this isn’t the right place for this. Let me just put it aside and go with what I think the best decision is and just trust that. So that’s what I mean by address your internal state.[00:35:00]

[00:35:00] I

[00:35:00] diane: love that. And I also love that you have that lighter start that you can. If it is the right group, it that, because one of the things I think that you’re great at is being you. So if somebody’s gotten your newsletter, you are sharing the real you, you are talking about what’s happening. You are candid, you’re open.

[00:35:23] Um, if they’ve seen you on the future, you ask questions that maybe somebody I know one time I [00:35:30] had a professor, I asked a question that I guess you weren’t supposed to ask people. I didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to ask that. And everybody in the room went, oh, I’m sure my mom would be really embarrassed that I asked that question.

[00:35:42] But anyway, I didn’t know that was, I was just talking like I was talking to a friend, you know? And so then the class went like that and, and the professor answered. But sometimes I think we just have. Um, you just have to ask certain things, but you have to also be able to read the room to be like, [00:36:00] oh, I shouldn’t ask that now, or, I shouldn’t start with this now.

[00:36:05] And if it comes up, if there are dog photos later, you can kind of just skip through them. There are ways to not have to be like, oh, I don’t know why I put that in here. You know, like, there’s, there’s confidence in just clicking to the next slide. Or making, being able to think on your feet in a way, right.

[00:36:23] Of, yeah.

[00:36:24] Melinda Livsey: I, yeah. I wanna bring up too, this reminds me of, um, I took a, I love, I love improv [00:36:30] and I took an, in an intro to improv class, like a, just a, you know, two hour thing. And I loved it because one of the things that the teacher said, he goes, whatever comes out of your mouth in this next exercise, commit to it, act like you meant to say it.

[00:36:44] And I was like, I can totally do that cuz I have no clue what’s gonna come out of my mouth, but I can commit to it, whatever that is. And I really, it’s like, What would you know, those happy accidents? It’s all if you didn’t know that was gonna happen. Like you just go with it. And the other thing I would [00:37:00] say is the more that we can be aware of our own emotions, like when and, and aware of others too, just be emotionally intelligent and learn how to be, because I know it’s not just like be emotionally intelligent.

[00:37:09] It’s like, no, no, no is this skill. But the more you can do that you, when something awkward comes up, you could be like, you know what, this might be, this might feel like an awkward question, or this might sound really dumb. I’m gonna, it’s gonna sound like I’m gonna ask you questions today. And it’s gonna, you might think to yourself, why are you asking me this for the fifth time?

[00:37:27] I’m trying to acknowledge that [00:37:30] ahead of time. So I’m even trying to handle their emotional state beforehand too, so that we don’t, I don’t have to go end up apologizing later. I’m so sorry I asked that question. Or make an awkward situation. I can call out ahead of time like, Hey, this might actually feel.

[00:37:45] Or you might actually not want to answer a question, and that’s totally fine. I’m gonna poke as far as I can and see how, how much information I can get. And if I ever hit something that you actually don’t wanna answer, totally fine, just let me know and we’ll move on. So [00:38:00] being, learning how to be more emotionally intelligent.

[00:38:02] Um, and that starts first I’ve learned with myself, like understanding my own emotions. What I think when I feel something has helped me to be more aware of that with other people too. And I’m not perfect at it, but at least I know it’s something to be aware of.

[00:38:16] diane: Well, and it’s practicing telling someone else what you’re feeling and being okay with whatever their reaction is.

[00:38:26] And having, like in the bootcamp, you have trusted people who you [00:38:30] can say something to and they can be like, well, I don’t know if I’d have said that. You know, or maybe you could twist it in another way because I think it’s good that you have that. But it’s just like having the, the funny way to start the.

[00:38:42] The deck. You had one idea, but you were easily, you could start at slide six instead. It wouldn’t change anything except it just goes with the, the conversation better. The, if the conversation was [00:39:00] already deep, then you didn’t, maybe it wasn’t the right time for the funny, you know, it, it feels like you’re telling a joke at a funeral.

[00:39:07] Although people tell jokes at funerals all the time because it’s fun and you’re remembering people, but you know what I mean. Yeah. Um, but I think that that is really important. One, I think you’re connecting with you, um, and knowing where your fear, I need to remember where I’m fearful or why I’m so nervous about something.

[00:39:27] I mean, there will be times. I will go to the [00:39:30] bathroom. I mean, I have a tiny bladder, but I have like nervous pee, you know, and I’ll go to the bathroom like five times before, like in 15 minutes. I’m like, nope, I got a little bit more in there. Um, which now I know I’ve seen somebody on Instagram that’s like some bladder doctor that says, that’s bad.

[00:39:46] You should hold stuff in your bladder anyway. But I just am like, okay, well there are certain people that I’m just, I want to do, well, I didn’t have to pee a lot, I just had to pee one time before you, Melinda. But we’ve

[00:39:59] Melinda Livsey: [00:40:00] talked a lot so I know if I, yeah, I hope I didn’t make you nervous.

[00:40:02] diane: No, no, no. But, but there are people that in, and I think it’s me.

[00:40:06] It’s not them, it’s, it’s, um, so I feel like there’s something in us. I maybe it’s like, why is this person then maybe cuz there’s really not much to come outta my bladder, you know, like it’s, oh, I. But at the fifth time, in 15 minutes, you know, you’re, seems like I got a different kind of problem. Anyway, again, this is off the track here.

[00:40:29] Um, [00:40:30] so, so I really like that. Maybe I need to think about, um, come to the, come to the feeling or how it’s gonna be with a client if I’m really nervous or if it’s a, sometimes when you’re presenting, when I’m presenting something and I’m not, a lot of my clients don’t live in, in my area, so I don’t meet with them in person.

[00:40:55] So I meet with them online and I could be really nervous about presenting something, you [00:41:00] know, if they’re, if we’re trying to fix something. So maybe I need to have more than 15 minutes beforehand to really think about what I am nervous about. Do you think that that would. Kind of in the same way of this fear kind of, cuz sometimes fear is pretty strong.

[00:41:17] Uh, it is a, it is what is happening. But that nervousness, is it real or is it just this made up fear that I’m going to be, you know, turned away. They’re not gonna pay the rest of their bill, the [00:41:30] project’s gonna go sour, I’m gonna have to start over or whatever. If I just address those things. I know this sounds like not question.

[00:41:37] Do you understand

[00:41:38] Melinda Livsey: what I’m, no. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. Like, uh, beforehand, if you feel nervous, should you address it and ask yourself why and Yeah. But

[00:41:45] diane: like days before or, you know, not like

[00:41:47] Melinda Livsey: whenever you notice it. Yeah. Whenever you notice. I mean, if it is 15 minutes, it’s 15 minutes ahead whenever you notice it.

[00:41:54] Yeah. Address it and, and just acknowledge it. Give it a hug. Yeah. Be like, I, I get it. I [00:42:00] get where you’re, I get where you feel that way sometimes I’ll even ask. What is, let’s talk about the worst case scenario, because right now that’s a scary thing to even look at. Mm. We wanna avoid worst case scenario, and that’s why our mind’s like, be prepared, be prepared.

[00:42:14] Okay, let’s go there. What is the worst case? They’re gonna make a public humiliation of me, and I’m never gonna get Alan again. Okay. And what would you like to do when that happens? Like, I actually ask myself, okay, let’s plan for the worst. Literally, how would you [00:42:30] react? Because when, when we, at least when I, when I get into that state and like, worry, worry, worry, and then I go to the worst case scenario and I realize that even in the worst case scenario, I have choice.

[00:42:43] Hmm. It’s, it the worst case scenario. A lot of times I think, well, I have no control over it. It’s gonna take me over and it’s gonna ruin my life and I’m done. I remove my own, I, I disempower myself. Mm-hmm. . So if I can empower myself, even in the worst case scenario of my [00:43:00] entire life, in my imagined life.

[00:43:02] Then I’m like, oh, I can handle that. Like obviously, I already know how I’m gonna respond to that situation when and if it ever does happen, okay, I still have choice. And that, I don’t know if you’ve ever read, um, uh, Victor Frankl’s, man Search For Meaning. Mm-hmm. , but he talks about that, about our, we still retain the control to, I mean, he’s talking about the worst, literally the worst case scenario that can happen for humans and in concentration camps.

[00:43:29] And he was [00:43:30] saying how we can still decide our attitude about it. I think that’s what he was saying, or our response to the situation. So if we can remember that we still have a choice, even when and if those worst case scenarios happen, we retain some. Control. And I think that’s what we’re so afraid of is we’re gonna lose control.

[00:43:51] The uncertainty is gonna bring all these things that I don’t know how to handle and I don’t know how to respond to. And it’s like, okay, well let’s go there. Right? You gotta plan for that. Now what? Now what? Now what are we worried [00:44:00] about? Okay, yeah, let’s address that. Because I found that I do my best work when, when I am in flow and I can just like most of us, right?

[00:44:08] And I can get into flow now in client workshops and it’s the best feeling cuz you’re like, nothing’s going wrong. We’re just in this endless river of like, Beauty and let’s, and when we hit something that doesn’t work, let’s go over here. And, and so it just, that’s why I can make decisions really easily in workshops because I don’t, cuz I can get into flow in them.

[00:44:29] [00:44:30] So I think if you can address that nervousness and that fear and handle it, that hopefully more and more you’ll learn how to get into flow when you’re in workshops and when you’re doing the work and when you’re presenting or when you’re having conversations with clients. And it’ll feel just as creatively energizing as designing does or anything else that gives you that feeling of creative flow.

[00:44:52] Um, when you can have that with other people in the room and not feel that nervousness, it’s, it is a beautiful thing. Maybe that’s what connection is. I don’t know. Well, that’s [00:45:00]

[00:45:00] diane: what I was just thinking, I was thinking about when, um, I had a student who had a problem and I feel like when we are limited in, in what we know, either through knowledge limitations or um, experience limitations, or we’re just in that fear, Prison.

[00:45:19] We can’t see the way out. But when, when she told me what her problem was, I was like, oh. And I was seeing this as like, this is fun. This is, uh, Carol Dweck. You know, [00:45:30] there are some kids who are like, oh, gimme another problem. You know, like, these are fun. And then some of the kids are like, I hate this. Please give me just the cookie.

[00:45:39] I don’t wanna solve any more of these problems. I’m stupid. Right? Like, that’s the, what was happening. Um, I can’t remember the name of that book, but Mindset, girl mindset there. Yeah. There you go. So, but in, in this situation, I got excited for her problem. And I think that some of that is just that I’ve had a [00:46:00] lot more problems than that girl’s had, you know?

[00:46:02] So I’ve had to come o you know, experience I’ve, in designing, I know, Hey, if this doesn’t work, we can try this and if this doesn’t work, we can try this. And so I’m, uh, navigating where we could go depending on time. And she had enough time, so it wasn’t like, um, I mean there was like a problem with the, the laser engraver and so it, I can’t fix the laser engraver, but there are other options, uh, to, for her to use.

[00:46:28] And so it, I got [00:46:30] excited and she noticed that. She’s like, wow, you, you are really like way excited about my problem. But I think it was also, I had no expectations. No expectations were on me to perform or to solve her problem. But that happened in community because I was able to help her because she came to me.

[00:46:51] And when we’re in community, then it unlocks that. That gate of, Hey, oh, I can look at this. I don’t have to go [00:47:00] over the wall, I don’t have to fix the laser engraver. Maybe I can solve this a different way. But when we are in that, that prison, it is, we are in solitary. And I think solitary really is, um, you know, they say in solitary you’ll be like, you, you lose track of time.

[00:47:19] You are, you, you know how many like meals you’ve had maybe, but you, your time, like you have no relation there. There’s no windows and there’s, they’re not letting you [00:47:30] outside or whatever it is. I’ve never been in solitary, but um, that’s in my brain. I’ve been there . Um, so, so I think about that and I think about how when we are hit with a problem, it feels like there that we are not able to solve it.

[00:47:50] and we often just stay quiet. And that’s where that loneliness. And if you are working alone, which a lot of these people are lonely onlys or we’re [00:48:00] solopreneurs, and we don’t have that community to be able to go to and talk to or process that with mm-hmm. . Um, sometimes it’s just talking through something.

[00:48:10] Uh, I’m a verbal processor. I know van’s a verbal processor. Um, you know, sometimes it’s in that, but sometimes it’s, I can get something when somebody else is talking to me about something. But I did notice that I got really excited when that kid came with her problem. But some of it for me was if I am not [00:48:30] expected and you’re not expected in the first meeting with a client to solve the problem, but we are just supposed to be open to options.

[00:48:39] And if they are also open to trying new things, then. Um, that can make the project better, project flow better for you, for them, for their customers, their buyers or whatever. I don’t know. Yeah. It wasn’t a question, but

[00:48:55] Melinda Livsey: No, no, no. Well, a couple things you’ve sparked for me. One, [00:49:00] um, is it makes sense why you were excited too about her problem.

[00:49:02] One, because as a creative, we’re like hungry for problems. Like, gimme a problem, I wanna eat it for breakfast. . But also if it’s not an, we’re not emotionally attached, there’s some kind of, you know, it makes sense. She, like you said, she had, there was expectation she was on the hook for something. She is more emotionally invested in this of, as a part of her than you are, and that distance for you, you can see things a bit.

[00:49:27] Objectively and that that, you know, gives some a [00:49:30] different perspective to her that she might have not had if she was alone. So instead of her feeding her thought prison fear prison that she is in, you can be like, oh, hey look it, there’s a window right there. You didn’t even let, like turn around. Look it, there’s a window.

[00:49:42] Sometimes you just need someone to be like pointed out something that we might have not seen before, cuz we’re staring directly at the problem. The other thing I noticed too, um, something you said last that triggered this thought is that we tried this one time when we did run a cohort and I was trying to think of how can I help [00:50:00] people just get present with when they’re in a workshop to get into flow?

[00:50:04] And so we gave them one, just one thing to focus on. You’re just trying to understand the other person in what they want and what is getting in their way, period. Like for this one time that we’re, that we’re gonna have you go into the room, that is your only focus, and it’s just to, we are not gonna try to figure anything out.

[00:50:23] You’re not gonna try to give solutions. You don’t have to do anything else. Then be so present to listen to them [00:50:30] and help them feel heard and understood. That is it. The crazy part that happened was they did that, they came back in the room and we all reflected about their time and they said, oh my God, I, I realized that I could do X, Y, Z.

[00:50:43] And they had all of these solutions. And I said, how’d you come up with those? And they’re like, it just got birthed out of me just being present with the other person, trying to understand them, trying to understand what they want and what’s getting in their way. And if there were, was a solution, it was [00:51:00] just a byproduct.

[00:51:01] Of what was uncovered in that conversation because the first and most important thing was to help the other person feel heard and understood. And if you can do that, you can extract the best information from people. The rest will take care of itself. And we concentrate so much on that last part that we don’t necessarily have full control over.

[00:51:20] What do we have full control over? The fact that we can show up and help someone feel heard and help someone feel understood. I had one of our boot campers say, cuz we, like you said earlier, [00:51:30] we have, we pair them up so they can do strategy on each other because we can see what it’s like empathetically to be a client, but also get strategy done for your business.

[00:51:39] And um, someone said when they were the client, they said, I have never felt that understood and heard in my entire life. To have someone so invested in hearing about you and your business and what you’re passionate about and what matters to you. And be like, all right, let’s try to figure out how, what to do with this.

[00:51:59] To have someone [00:52:00] there like that. How often do we get that? Rarely ever. And so just you can pull out the best from people. When you just listen to them and you seek to understand what’s going on with them and what they, what they want, and those solutions that we’re so scared about that we’re not sure if we’re gonna come up with the best solutions, they’re going to take care of themselves.

[00:52:22] Once you get that information and you’ve already have all this studying and you trust your gut, you’re gonna be able to be like, you know what I can do with this? [00:52:30] I can, I think I’m gonna try this tool that I learned. I’m gonna try this exercise and I’m gonna see what happens when I apply it to all this information that I dug out or these insights that I got and, and you’ll be able to figure it out.

[00:52:41] So I think learning how to really listen, be empathetic, put people first. Learn how to understand them, handle our own emotional state so that we can listen to other people. Because if we’re fear is going on in our head, that is a complete roadblock to listening to the other person. Cuz we’re just scared, [00:53:00] we’re not gonna look good, we’re scared we’re not gonna do a great job, or that we’re not gonna have a great solution and they’re gonna fire us.

[00:53:05] And what is it? It’s all about us and it’s like putting us mm-hmm. and it’s like putting this wall in between us where we can’t see the other person and we can’t draw out the best in them and, um, what we can do for them.

[00:53:17] diane: So I love that. Okay. Lightning round. We have four minutes. How, what is one thing you’ve learned in this last year, uh, 2022 that’s been impactful on your life or business or life and [00:53:30] business?

[00:53:30] Or,

[00:53:30] Melinda Livsey: I should have looked at these lightner questions before. Well, it wasn’t really the lightning room. I learned. Um, well, I’m just gonna go cause this is the first thing that’s coming to my mind. Um, go back to what I said earlier about taking care of my internal state before I fix, try to fix the thing that I’m so worried about.

[00:53:48] How about I just sit with those emotions for a sec and, uh, acknowledge them, see what I can do about those first, and then see what I wanna do about the situation. I think not jumping to the [00:54:00] situation and fixing it. Um, that’s a big thing.

[00:54:03] diane: I love that. Okay. Um, are you launching anything or investigating anything for 2023?

[00:54:11] Melinda Livsey: I am a few things. So one, um, so the bootcamp’s always running, at least at the moment, so that’s, that’s a thing. Um, but do you take time off

[00:54:19] diane: ever, like a week or two, but you a you’re able to take a week off?

[00:54:25] Melinda Livsey: Yeah. Yeah. It’s, that’s why I have an assistant. Yeah. And coaches [00:54:30] that also cover for me if I need to.

[00:54:32] Um, Yeah, I, uh, so in the new year, I’m looking at offering a shortened version of some of the things that are in the bootcamp. So giving an example of a, a client workshop, um, and, and giving people a taste of, of community, and it’s gonna be like a book club, but a course club. We’re calling it a course club.

[00:54:51] So you go through it with a group, um, have discussions what you learned, what you noticed from the client example, and, uh, show some different examples of people how they [00:55:00] put their own spin on the process. So that’s something I’m looking at. I’m like, just in the planning phases of that right now, but it should take place in January.

[00:55:08] diane: Is that something that you would have to have gone through the bootcamp to be a part of? It’ll be open to anybody.

[00:55:13] Melinda Livsey: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. It’s open to anyone. So it’s for people really that want a taste of like, what is this all about? And maybe some of them might go onto the bootcamp, maybe not. Um, but I, my goal really for this one is that people leave that course going, oh, I can do this.

[00:55:26] Mm-hmm. , I can totally do this, like see me [00:55:30] ask questions to clients and how, like, how I just maneuver and flub up stuff and like how it’s casual. And when you see an example like that, you can be like, oh my, oh, it’s that. Like I can do that. I wanna demystify the process, um, and share the behind the scenes.

[00:55:46] So I’m really excited about that. That’ll be in the new year. Is

[00:55:49] diane: there anything else? You said there were lots. Do you have other, or are you gonna just tease

[00:55:52] Melinda Livsey: that? There will be lots and we need to, oh, well I’ll tease this because I don’t know what it’s gonna turn into, but I just had a, a discussion with a friend because we just wanna [00:56:00] make stuff.

[00:56:00] We’re just in this mode of like, I wanna create stuff. I’m done info hoarding and collecting. And you know, as creators we collect like a millions of things. So we just talked today before I talk to you, and we’re gonna look over all of our collections, our collections of screenshots of books. Oh, books We haven’t read, books we have read.

[00:56:20] Um, Things we’ve collected, like artwork or drawings or notebooks. I have 10 notebooks. Mm-hmm. that I’ve collect, that I have filled out, you know, over [00:56:30] the past 10 years. I wanna see what’s in there. So we, we wanna see like what are we hoarding? And then from there, how might we visualize what we’re hoarding?

[00:56:39] And then from there, what do we do with it? Do we make something, do we have an exhibition? Do we create a book? I don’t know,

[00:56:45] diane: man. That would be a good workshop

[00:56:47] Melinda Livsey: too. It’s not fun. I’m so excited to do

[00:56:50] diane: that. Yeah, that sounds awesome. Okay, so then, um, what is something, I guess this is the same sort of question, but is there something that you’re looking forward to [00:57:00] in this new year?

[00:57:01] Melinda Livsey: I’m looking forward to creating practices for myself. So I am starting to have a day where I go to a coffee shop and write, I don’t know what’s gonna end up coming out of me when I write, but I’m just, I’m, I’m using it as a practice. Like, just show up. Just show up and write and see what happens. Um, so I’m excited to get into the flow of creating next year.

[00:57:22] I think that’s what I’m really, really looking forward

[00:57:24] diane: to. That’s awesome. I love that. Do you feel like you’ve been in the non, [00:57:30] uh, a place of non creation or you’ve just been, you haven’t had, you haven’t given so much time to creation. You’ve been creating things, but you wanna give more, a little bit more time

[00:57:42] Melinda Livsey: to creation?

[00:57:44] Yeah. I wanna give, I’ve been creating, but not as much as I, I want to have noticed that I’ve been, um, in a lot of amazing discussions with people and learning from people and gathering of insights and information and I’m like, I love all this and now I wanna do something with it. So I [00:58:00] feel like I’m getting packed of information and insights and notes and journal entries and like quotes from people and I’m like, this is amazing.

[00:58:08] And now, What, what can I do with it to share it with even more people than the people that I just discussed it with. So I think I’m, it’s not that anything was wrong with what I was doing this year, it’s just that I’m excited to amplify it and make something of, um, all the amazing experiences and discussions and learnings that I’ve had this year.

[00:58:29] Yeah,

[00:58:29] diane: I [00:58:30] think absolutely nothing wrong with those things. It’s really neat to, but that you’re taking time to going back, reflecting, but then you’re also not getting stuck in just the reflection. There’s also that time for making and creation and I, I, that’s awesome. I, I just love you and I’m thankful that you get to end the 10th year.

[00:58:51] This is the 10, 10 year mark. We’ll start year 11 next January, and I just want people to be, Follow [00:59:00] you. So I’m gonna tell them how they can do that just in case they’re listening and not in the chat. But if you are here underneath, if you’re watching on YouTube or you’re listening, all these links are right at the top.

[00:59:11] Um, Melinda Livesey, l i v s e That’s where you can go. If you sign up for her newsletter, you will not be, uh, that will be one of the best, funniest, fun, good read emails that you’ll get. Um, and obviously she’s doing some fun stuff [00:59:30] next year. So get on the mailing list. And then Instagram, Melinda Lisey, and then on LinkedIn, Melinda Lisey.

[00:59:38] And then the only difference, it’s Melinda Livesey one on YouTube, which, uh, luckily we get to choose things now, but you had to add the.

[00:59:48] Melinda Livsey: Couldn’t be. I think I might have had it on another account. That’s why I, oh, you know, cannibalize myself. So , whatever. Yeah, you don’t care. just onward

[00:59:59] diane: [01:00:00] upward. Well, that’s, well, I, I, yes, we’re, but if you wanna follow her on YouTube, Melinda, Lizzie one, the, the le the number, I was about to say the letter there isn’t a letter one, but hopefully you guys get it.

[01:00:13] Um, thank you. Rafi said thanks and Chris Danielo said one of the best chats you’ve had, so I’m just glad you had lots. We did find a t-shirt, we think, or I said a T-shirt. Um, the, when you said, [01:00:30] um, now I can’t find it in there. Um, anyway, it’s one you’re not, uh, Victor said you’re not a solution provider.

[01:00:40] You’re a problem solver. Loved that one. Um, oh, creatives eat problems for breakfast. That’s the t-shirt for the year 2023. We loved that one. Um, I, I thought that was a really good one. I’d totally buy that one. Nora, oh, something. You know, like a, a journal with that on the front. [01:01:00] Melinda, I hope you have a Merry Christmas and I hope everybody else has a Merry Christmas.

[01:01:03] Thank you. And I will see you in January. We’re gonna start the second week, uh, in January. I may do a rapid recharge, which we know is never rapid, but maybe it’ll be recharging for the first one. But the second one will be in. We’ll start. I already have a new series that we’re gonna be doing and, um, I hope you guys have a great break.

[01:01:26] And Melinda, I hope you have a great, I mean, I don’t know if it’s a break, but maybe hopefully you [01:01:30] get to take a little bit of time off. Will you go see family? Yeah.

[01:01:34] Melinda Livsey: No, I think I’m staying here. I still have to plan my break, so . Okay. I hope I’m gonna pray for you to reminder .

[01:01:43] diane: Melinda, thank you for doing this with me and I hope you have a great

[01:01:46] Melinda Livsey: Christmas.

[01:01:47] Thanks Anne.

[01:01:48] diane: Bye everybody.[01:02:00]

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