I am very excited today to talk to you about the intersection between focus and determination, more specifically, seasons of focus and determination.
I’m currently in a Season of Focus where my main priority is creating and launching this podcast. If you’re reading this right now, it means that the Season of Focus that I created for myself was, in fact, a success.
What is a Season of Focus?
A Season of Focus is a 90-day period that you dedicate to a specific project or intended outcome. It’s a way to gain momentum and really prioritize your projects. When I first discovered seasons of focus and how impactful just 90 days could be for myself as a multi-passionate, it was when I was transitioning out of the childcare industry and into the copywriting freelance industry.
I was a nanny for seven years out of college. It had its highs and lows, but ultimately it just wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. I knew that I wanted to use my English degree. I knew that I wanted to do something a little bit more creative. So I decided that I would take 90 days and become a freelance copywriter. And I did it! I created a resume. I created sample writing pieces. I submitted to publications. I did whatever I could to really show my chops as a writer.
It actually wasn’t until after I made that transition that I looked back and I said: Wow, I accomplished this in 90 days.
The reason I was able to do that was because I was determined. I set a goal, and I allowed it to be my priority. I knew that I didn’t need it to be my priority forever, but for that particular season, if I truly wanted it to materialize, it needed to be. And that’s when I realized the power of creating what I now call a Season of Focus.
So fast forward several years and I’m ready to finally launch my podcast. I now know that the only way that I’m going to be able to do that as a multi-passionate person is to create a season of focus around that goal. So that’s exactly what I did, and I also hired a 1:1 podcast coach like I talked about in the very first episode.
The Podcast Recording Booth Conundrum
Now, you’d think that simply choosing that I want to launch a podcast, hiring a coach, and blocking off calendar time would be enough to make it happen. But what’s actually required far and beyond just blocking off calendar time, is staying rooted in my determination.
Here’s a story to help you understand what I mean.
As I began recording the podcast, I assumed that I would be able to find some kind of quiet area in my apartment. I thought I could hang towels over the door and put a bunch of pillows on my dresser and then put my mic in between the pillows and that would be enough to record.
But I tried that, and it did not work.
I live in a downtown apartment that’s very cozy and small. The only place that I can kind of close myself off and feel like I have a little bit of privacy is a central area in the apartment that you have to walk through to get through the bathroom.
And when I tried to record in there, I did not like the sound quality. It just didn’t sound good. You could hear things that were happening in the living room. You could hear the hum of a fan, and lots of background noise.
So I thought, well, maybe I can just record in my room. The bed absorbs a lot of sound!
Well, you’re not going to believe this (and I’m not making this up), our neighbors who live just next door recently got pet ducks! Their backyard is adjacent to our bedroom window and these pet ducks quack incessantly all day long.
Recording in my bedroom was also off the table.
So I thought, okay, there is a WeWork building that is a 10 minute walk from my apartment. I’m going to go there. I’m going to go on a tour, and I’m going to see if that could be a place where I can go record.
I saw the foam booth on the tour and I thought: Oh my goodness. This is perfect. This is where I will record my podcast.
So I get my day pass. I go inside the room. I set up my computer. I get ready to record, and someone walks into that area. And I can hear the door opening and slamming shut because apparently no one closes doors quietly anymore.
I try to keep my cool and remind myself that I can pause and edit later. I start recording again, and then a group of people walk by the little phone booth that I’m in and they’re talking and I can hear them as if I was right next to them. And I realize the glass door that is closing this phone booth off from the hallway is in no way soundproof.
Tears were welling up in my eyes because I thought for sure I had landed on the perfect place to record, and here I am all set up and it’s still not working. I started to feel so frustrated because I really didn’t want it to be this hard! I didn’t want it to feel like I needed to jump through hoops just to record my podcast.
Staying Rooted Determination
I took a breath, and I felt why this was so upsetting. That helped me realize it was because in that moment I determined to create this podcast and launch it by a specific date. And I have created a season of focus around that and I only had 60 days left.
I took a breath, and I activated my determination. And I said to myself: nothing is going to stop me from recording today.
Going back home and trying to record was not going to be a good option because there was a plumber coming, and my partner’s home and just, it would have been too much.
So I started to think to myself: who has a closet?
Many podcasters will record their episodes in their closet because the clothes that are hanging, they absorb sound and it’s a smaller space. In my apartment, there’s not a closet that I can actually enter into. There’s space for the clothes and not much else.
Then, it hit me: My mom has a closet. It’s a huge closet, and it’s full of clothes. I bet that that space would be perfect for recording my podcast because it’s big enough that I can sit comfortably and there’s some airflow, but it’s got that padding for the sound.
So I sent her a text and I said, “Hey Mom, can I come record my podcast in your closet?” And she was like, sure.
My mom lives over an hour away and getting here, the traffic was horrendous. Still, as I was driving over, I started to feel an abundance of gratitude.
I felt grateful that I blocked off the entire afternoon to prioritize recording the podcast because it meant that I could sit in traffic for an hour and a half.
The reason I had blocked off the time of my calendar is because I’m in a Season of Focus where this podcast is my priority.
If I was in a Season of Focus, but I lacked determination, I may have sat in that booth at WeWork and cried and been frustrated and then just went home and called it a day. Instead, I found a solution and kept moving forward towards my desired outcome.
Here’s what I want you to take away from all of this
When you create a Season of Focus and prioritize a project, make sure that you are matching that prioritization with determination. Bring some tenacity to the table because that’s going to serve you when distractions arise. That’s what’s going to serve you when things don’t go as planned. Your determination will help you stay focused.
And I want to be very clear that I am not saying to work yourself to the bone and never take a day off because you are determined.
Sometimes, determination is going to look like taking a break. Sometimes you may say I’m determined to complete this project, and therefore, I need to take a day off so that I can come back and have a lot of clarity. Or, I’m determined to write the first chapter of my book so I’m going to get good sleep tonight because I know that if I don’t, I’m probably not going to be clear-minded in the morning.
When you bring determination to the table, it’s a lot easier to prepare yourself for success and to think ahead about what distractions may come up and plan accordingly. When you bring determination to the conversation of whatever it is that you’re focusing on, you will be unstoppable, and you will prove to yourself that even as a multi-passionate, you can absolutely set your sights on a specific outcome and achieve that outcome.
The more you do this and the more you practice this, the more evidence you will have that you are able to accomplish your goals and you can stay focused as a multi-passionate.
And you’ll be a lot less likely to feel like being multi-passionate is a burden or something that gets in the way of you accomplishing your goals and working towards your dreams.
Your Next Steps
Look into the archives of your own experience and ask the question: Where have I paired determination and focus, and what was made possible by that? And if there are no examples that come to mind, that is totally okay.
You can also ask: What would it look like if I had a specific project or intended outcome, I dedicated 90 days to making that a priority, and I matched that with my own determination? Feel into what that feels like for you.
For me, it meant not giving up just because my plan didn’t work and coming to my mom’s closet. And I’m gonna tell you right now, whatever the sound quality is, this is what it’s going to be for the podcast because I’m determined to get this done. And that also means letting my perfectionist have a seat and being okay with this being good enough.
I hope that this was supportive for you. This was completely off the cuff and unplanned, but I knew that I needed to tell you this story in case it could help you see what’s possible when you lean into determination and stay solution-oriented while you’re in a season of focus. I’ll see you in the next episode.
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