If everything you built in your career burned to the ground, would you be relieved or distraught? If you are relieved to start again, you’re probably not doing what you are meant to do with your life. Join this session as Angela Mulrooney explains that those who create inspiring content are the ones who are passionate about how they change the world with what they know. To be your best self as a podcast host, podcast guest, or professional, what must you burn down that you do good so that you can build what you do great and change the world while you are at it? Get ready to discover your podcast guesting niche!
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What if it all burned to the ground? Everything that you’ve built in your career. What if it caught fire and just suddenly burned to the ground? Would you be excited about that prospect of reinvention, or would you be utterly distraught that everything you had perfectly built was gone?
The truth is most people won’t have some external force level them and make them start again.
So if you’re not fulfilling your greatest potential, are you brave enough to let go of what’s good and make room to build something great?
It’s not easy, but people who impact the world live in their passion. They know precisely what they should be doing to change the world.
We’ve all had moments where we’re in that flow—when we know that we’re in the right place at the right time doing the right thing.
If you’re not waking up feeling that way every day, something needs to change.
This post is a transcription of one of the talks from our PodPros Quarterly Virtual events.
My Life Has Burned Down Several Times
I have had my life burned down, and there are moments where I’ve chosen to burn things down.
I used to be a dentist. Unfortunately, I ended up with this career-ending injury that ended my ability to drill. When it happened, I had to make a choice. I could stay on the path of continuing to own my practice or reinvent myself.
This was a tumultuous time for me. I had all these advisors who told me, “You don’t have to be the one doing the drilling. You can bring associates in and just sit back and run it.”
I tried that for two and a half years, but all it did was make me miserable.
My practice was based in Calgary, which has always been an oil town. So when the oil crisis came along in 2015, the economy started to tank very quickly. Finally, I made the tough decision to shut my practice and move on with my life.
I moved on to a journey of reinvention. Over the next six years, I built brand after brand around my unique skill sets. The first company was a dance company because I wanted to teach people how to tell a story through their bodies.
Then I built my dental coaching company, which allowed me to teach dentists how to niche into their passion. This ultimately led to building Unleashing Influence, my personal branding company, which allows me to help people to change the world with what they know.
I’ll be honest; when building these three brands, I felt like an entrepreneurial bad-ass because I paved a brave new path after losing my career. That’s was until COVID-19 happened.
Suddenly it was like matches started dropping out of the sky, and every industry had parts of it that were on fire. The first of my companies that got hit was my dance company. Since we were no longer allowed to gather, that got completely shut down.
Surprisingly, the first thing that I thought when that happened was, “thank God, I don’t have to teach rehearsal.” Not exactly what I was expecting with something that I thought I was in the flow with!
Next to get lit up with a match was the dental company when the dental industry shut down. Dentists were in complete turmoil because they weren’t allowed to practice. For the first 60 days of the pandemic, I did 60 broadcasts to try and help my colleagues get to the other side as gracefully as possible.
However, at the end of 60 days, the dental industry was still in absolute turmoil, and frankly, they didn’t want to talk to someone like me.
So I decided to turn my attention to my last company. When that match hit Unleashing Influence, instead of bringing it down, it ignited the spark that allowed us to scale.
In the first 10 months of the pandemic Unleashing Influence went from two and a half to 14 full-time team members. I had unlocked a scalable model in business!
But what was supposed to be the dream quickly turned into a nightmare! Night after night, I would wake up with this sinking feeling that I was going to fail epically. I tried to push down those feelings and ignore them, but the alarm bell kept going louder and louder.
Eventually, I had to take a step back and look around at what was going on. I realized I wasn’t an entrepreneurial bad-ass. I hadn’t paved a new path. All I had done was hedge my bets because I was terrified I was going to fail.
By having these three companies in such disparate arenas, I was being pulled in so many different directions. If I kept going on this path, I was only ever going to be good. I was never going to be great. And to me, that is an epic fail.
So I decided to write about what I had done wrong. I threw a match over my shoulder and burned down everything I didn’t want. I sold off the dance company and the dental company. I sold off the agency part of Unleashing Influence and niched myself down into exactly what I do great. And that is:
Teach people how to use their personal brands to change the world with what they know through media mastery.
I teach them how to be great on camera, how to be great on podcasts, and how to be great on stage.
By closing off all those other paths, a new path just seemed to magically appear in front of me. My ideal clients started showing up and marketing companies started approaching me to help their clients be masterful in their media. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been brave enough to throw that match.
It’s Time For a Self Audit
So I want you to do a gut check right now. If you had the opportunity to go through something similar—like in my dental career or when I had to burn down what wasn’t working in my life—would that be a relief, or would that make you distraught?
I understand if you’re having mixed feelings about it, but which one will win out?
Right now, do you feel like you’re in the flow of everything that you’re supposed to be doing? Do you feel like you’re in the right place at the right time doing the right thing? Most people I talk to don’t feel that way.
In fact, many of the people that come to me as clients do so because they aren’t in the right place. They’ve had a fantastic career where they tried to realize that entrepreneurial dream of building a scalable company and selling it off.
But then it dawned on them that isn’t where happiness lies. When they are in the flow doing the right thing in the right place at the right time, that is where the joy is.
3 Questions To help Figure Out If You Need To Burn Some Things To The Ground
I want to ask you three questions that will help you understand if you are doing the right thing. Maybe there are things that you need to slowly burn to the ground to make room for the greater things.
Why are you on this path that you have chosen?
Why are you doing what you’re doing today? Whether that’s a new path because the pandemic forced you to pivot or whether it’s an old path that you’re continuing on with. Why are you still continuing on that path, after all, we’ve gone through with the pandemic? All the while, everyone else is jumping ship, pivoting, and squirming to do something new with their life.
What started you on this path?
What was that inciting incident that got you to get where you’re today?
For some people, it might’ve been the pandemic that made them realize there’s more to life than giving that pound of flesh at work.
For others, it’s a family legacy that got them on their path. Maybe someone helped you out, and you decided to help people in the same situation.
Whatever your reason, I want you to trace from that inciting incident to where you are today. Look at what you’ve accumulated in that time from experiences, things that you’re doing that you shouldn’t still be doing, things that you’re good at to those you really don’t want to do anymore.
Where do you want to go in the next 10, 20, or 30 years?
Where do you want to go in your life? What is that north star that you are constantly chasing?
Are you in the right place to launch yourself to chase that north star? Are you on a path that will put you somewhere in the future where you will look back and wonder, what if I had taken the chance on myself?
And it’s hard to take that leap of faith to do exactly what you think you should be doing with your life.
You’re going to have people telling you to do things differently. Look at me when I had my dental practice; everyone had an opinion about what I should do. I should keep my practice. I should stay in my industry. I should keep going and not give up and reinvent myself. And all those ‘shoulds’ were wrong.
What It Takes To Create Amazing Content
The entrepreneurial dream has changed. We have gone from trying to build that scalable company that we can sell off to wanting to be in the flow.
People want to find their place and do what they know they should be doing in this world. They want to change the world with what they know.
So you need to ask the right questions, be brave enough to light that match, throw it over your shoulder, burn down the things that are distracting you and focus on doing those things that you do that are great.
This is how you create amazing content. The kind of content that gets everyone excited.
We’ve all been in situations where you’re talking about what you do, and you get that ick feeling. You know that this isn’t where you want to be, yet you’re trying to talk about it and convey to people that you are excited about this.
You may be knowledgeable, but they can feel that there’s something a little bit off.
The people who create fantastic content are the ones who are doing precisely what they know they should be doing with their lives.
I can teach anyone to be masterful on camera. I can teach you to use your hands. I can teach you to use your voice. But I can’t teach you to be passionate about something that you don’t want to be doing.
While reading this post, if you’ve realized that the path you are on isn’t taking you to where you want to go, take a step back and look at what brought you to where you are today. Identify the things that are taking you off your path to being great.
Then one by one, start eliminating them so that you can get yourself into the flow and niche into your greatness. That’s when you’re going to find the bravery to throw that match over your shoulder, burn down what you do that is good and build towards that which is great.
Did this content inspire you? We have more amazing podcast-related content in our PodPros Quarterly Virtual events.
About Angela Mulrooney:
Dr. Angela Mulrooney is a global speaker, serial entrepreneur, and personal branding expert. She works with entrepreneurs and corporations internationally to help them build clear personal brands that turn into sales-generating machines by teaching them media mastery – online, on podcasts, and on the stage.