Tarzan Kay

<tarzan@tarzankay.com>

October 24, 2023

to you

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Subject:

quick fixes, non-paths, and navigating change

On Monday I really wanted to quit my job. I was convinced (without any evidence, really) that all was lost. 

On Tuesday one of my students asked a complicated question on a live call, and another chimed in with exactly the answer we all needed to hear. 

I was proud to have created a safe enough space for that conversation to happen. I decided not to quit everything.

On Wednesday I wrote email invites to my upcoming class Write This Way asking myself, “Who in their right mind would not want to come to this when I am probably the smartest person in the world?” 

I was so convinced of my own righteousness that I took all of my calls with my Lulu hoodie tucked behind my ears because I’m Tarzan and I’m allowed to be weird (also it kind of made me look like The Great Sphinx.)

We all have days when we forget how smart we are. 

Days when the only reasonable thing to do is to pack it all in and see if Starbucks is hiring. Some people call that “imposter syndrome” but, personally, “syndrome” feels a little dramatic. Self-doubt seems pretty normal to me, especially when running a business during a recession. 

I’ve never run a business in a recession before, so yeah, it’s kinda scary and unsettling. It makes sense if you’re looking for a quick fix, the next funnel strategy that will keep your business in the black. 

We need “quick fix” providers in good times and hard times. Quick fixes have saved my bacon more than once in my eight years of doing business, and they will again. I love it when I find one that works.

But it must also be said that quick fixes don’t have sustaining power and they don’t work for everyone. So that’s never been what I sell. 

One of my strengths as a leader is allowing people the dignity of being in their struggle without jumping in to fix it — so they can grow the competencies and skills to navigate their way through hard things. 

There is so much wisdom in the struggle. But it requires you to sit with the discomfort of not knowing. Sometimes for longer than you’d like. 

When you’re ready to get into action, my best advice right now is that you be willing to try out your most inspired ideas, without knowing whether or not they will work. And to offer yourself patience and compassion as you navigate this new terrain. 

Seth Godin wrote in his new book The Song of Significance (which I am loving so much rn), “Finding the path is largely about finding non-paths until the path is evident.”

In my eight years of doing business, I have found many more non-paths than I have paths. And the paths I’ve found that work are unique to my strengths, my business and my lifestyle goals. Yours will be different.

If people are out there with the answers, great. Go get them. 

Just remember that you get to be a Pathfinder too. 

Hit “reply” and share if you feel like telling me about any of the paths (or non-paths) you’re being called to walk these days. 

And in case you haven’t seen it yet, here’s mine

XOT

P.S. 

I often hear people talk about building a “burnout-free business” and ask myself, “What does that even mean, anyway? Is it like a Tim Ferriss-inspired, outsource-everything-including-tying-your-damn-sneakers kinda thing?”

Well, one person I know who has answers is one of my fellow masterminders, Maegan Megginson, and she’ll be talking about that at her upcoming summit The Rest + Success Code

Maegan’s work is changing the narrative on capitalist and patriarchal conditioning that tells you that you don’t deserve success unless you fall into bed exhausted and depleted 6 nights a week.

Sign up to hear what Maegan and 9 other entrepreneurs have to say about burnout —>  

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