November 06, 2012

Coffee Talk ~ Chantilly, Inc.

coffee candy shop

Before I say anything, I just want to give you a little public service announcement: please remember to vote today!! It's really super important.

Anyway... onto the post. A few weeks ago, I read this post by Kaelah, and she talked about a few business books that inspired her. I decided that Creative, Inc. sounded like a fun choice, and promptly ordered it from Amazon. Then when I received my book, I found myself a cozy corner in the little coffee shop/ candy store that I blogged about last week, and had myself skim through.


Truth be told, it intimidated me just a bit.

See, I'm a person that's had many, many jobs over the years. And I've been frustrated over my inability to ever find fulfillment in any of them. So It's been my dream to be a work-from-home creative. This year, that's mostly manifesting in teaching music lessons (which I do really enjoy!) However, I don't really get enough students- which I was hoping to find a bit of help with in this book (I didn't... there wasn't any music-speciic advice in this book, which maybe I should've known.)

But for the bigger picture- I've been thinking about myself as a brand for a long time now. I always figured that after awhile, I'd branch out. I've pondered the different ways to market my various skills. I've thought about all the directions I could take my talents, and how many avenues I could pursue as a creative individual. But now I'm thinking that this is a mistake.

This book got me to thinking.... and it made me think that if you are too many different things, if you have too much to offer, people get confused. It seems like most people interviewed in this book fell into one career path, had one skill, and did it really well.

So I can be a writer, photographer, designer, musician, blogger... but it's hard to present that in a way which makes sense and comes together tidily in people's brains. I feel like everyone would just be more comfortable if I presented a package that said "Chantilly: Singer-songwriter." "Chantilly: Music instructor." "Chantilly: Blogger." But I don't feel like that at all. There are too many things to get excited about in this world.

I guess I'm confused and a little excited about all the different options out there. But I'm (still) fuzzy on where my path is headed.



Any thoughts? Are you, too confused out there in the world?



chantilly

PS, come see me perform this Sunday at the Tinderbox Music Festival!! Webster Hall in NYC, CocoRosie headlining. Buy tix here. xx

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27 comments

  1. I feel very lost about my "title" lately. I do a lot of different things and I've done a lot of different things and to be honest it can get frustrating. I can't seem to spend any good amount of time to become really good at anything. I'm just okay at a whole bunch of stuff. I also find it funny when people ask me what I do and I'm like... uhhh... a lot of stuff lol. oh well I hope you figure out what you're looking for. you're pretty awesome in my book :)

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    1. haha, i'm the same re: when people ask me "what i do." such a silly question, anyway. people are not defined by the things they "do." and thanks :)

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  2. Hi Chantilly!

    Well, I just graduated in Journalism - and people expect me to be journalist, of course. But I like writing fictions (instead of news *yawn*) and drawing and designing my room and photography and many other things. Sometimes I just don't know where to go and what to put my focus on. But for, I'm taking a break from finding a job and spend my time writing (and, well, procrastinating) until I figure out my destination.

    The book seems interesting - am thinking to get one, too :)

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    1. hi!

      the more i live and breathe and talk to people, the more i realize that almost no one has a concrete feeling of what they're "supposed" to do. it's such a fantasy that should really stop being perpetuated.

      i guess it's a useful book to have... i've personally just been more inspired by other ones out there.

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  3. I've been having this problem lately too, at 25 I feel like I should know where my life is going, but at the moment I feel like I am still just muddling along. I'd love to write professionally, but I don't have any of the necessary qualification to make any money doing it now, and trying to fit that into my spare time along with blogging, learning to sew and all my other commitments leaves me with no time to actually live my life (let alone sleep and eat).

    Thanks for reminding people to vote too, I try really hard not to judge people on who they vote for, but I am pretty judgmental about people who don't even bother. I'm surprisingly invested in the US election, despite not living there xo

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    1. it's good that you're watching the election! i read a LOT of comments and tweets from people from outside the us that were pretty invested in it as well.

      and yeah... hopefully someday we'll find out what the meaning of our lives and careers are :)

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  4. Well, i can't say i've ever feel confused about this, i work as a librarian and teacher in a highschool but that doesn't define me as a person, I'm only ME, i don't let a tittle tell me what path i have to choose. I enjoy taking pics, but i don't consider myself a photographer, it's just a hobby, i starting to love blogging, but i'm not only a blogger, i love writing, and finally finished my first novel, but that didn't make me a writer, my point is i love so many things and i really enjoy them, but at the end this things don't make me who i am, don't define who i am, because i could never choose only one.

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    1. you're right. i think people get so caught up in letting the things they do define them. it's only part of them. people have so much more to offer.

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  5. I don't think there is anything wrong with presenting the world with your many talents and passions - it represents YOU. I too have so many passions: drawing, painting, cross stitiching, sewing, gardening, blogging, photography, DIY, farming, traveling and that's what makes me interesting. I too get confused with what one career path to follow, I guess that's the thing with being an artist. When I think of Chantilly, I think of a multi-talented musician. I think musician is your main title, if you ask me :)

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    1. all your passions sound amazing. and thank you :))

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  6. I have this book on my Amazon wishlist. It's also pretty cray cray that the post on my blog today is quite similiar to this, wow!

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  7. I struggled with something similar when I first started blogging, having to pick a topic, a theme, a brand, an identity, there was so much to chose from. In the end, I had to go with my passion, events. But I know the feeling of being overwhelmed.

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  8. im a 16 yr old going on 50 this year and i still cant figure out my nitch,, i was an athlete,, an artist,, a singer,, a dancer, a serious shopper & hippy. Grew up in the Big City and moved away to the country. Now i drive tractors, raise horses, still attend fashion shows but also farm shows,, lol am a happier & more content person but will always be confused as to what exactly my calling was & is,, so im just blogging about it now.

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    1. this sounds lovely. i dream about escaping to the country sometimes and just forgetting about everything. looks like you did it, but managed to hang onto your creative outlets. that's awesome :)

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  9. Chantilly: Renaissance Woman! I think as long as you can market yourself in a way that makes sense to the consumer you're fine. Do what makes you happy, that's what my Mom always told me! Right now, I'm not doing what makes me happy... I want to be more creative and I want more freedom. One day when I'm more financially stable I'll be able to do that. I love that you're one step closer to working at home.

    Hope things get figured out! :)

    Kristen Nicole

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    1. thank you for your vote of confidence, kristen!

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  10. Uff, that happen sometimes, specially with people whom are artists, that´s a name that could help to explain others, why you love to do music, bloggin, photography, etc, etc
    I think I am in this group, so let´s see how it goes, but this book is nice, I have it, but english is not my mother tongue, so is not tat easy for me lol

    xo

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  11. Hi,
    you know what? I feel you. but I think that if there is a perfect time for people to understand and embrace a polivafacetic professional profile it's just right now. Also, five years ago I enrolled in changing course by Valerie Young and i there I met Barbara Winter and Barbara Sher, this last one is know for being a "scanner profile" defender, and so I thought maybe you would enjoy the reading of her book, "refuse tho choose", whch is about all the worries you were talking about in this post. here0s the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594863032/qid=1137700399/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/103-4524712-8792631?n=507846&s=books&v=glance, ( I haven't read it, thought, but I thought you might be interested in).
    Anyways, have a nice day, and keep up the good work.

    Lily, from http://lifeismoremysterythanmisery.wordpress.com

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    1. this is crazyyyy!! i ordered that book last week and just received it. i've actually read (most of) wishcraft, barbara sher's first book. that book was one of my major inspirations last year. i love her work, and hopefully this new one will help get me out of my slump. it's so cool that you met her! xx

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  12. I feel you! I often feel totally confused by the choices that lay ahead of me. Be I artist, or be I blogger? Be I scientist, or writer, or ugh, the list goes on. I keep trying to focus on just the one thing, but it's very tough. I generally end up feeling a bit "jack of all trades, master of none"!

    Alli xx

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  13. Yeah, having private students is not an easy thing. I only did it for a brief time when I first started teaching. My biggest problem was that most of the people I got (not many at all) were people I knew and I felt bad asking for money for the classes. Stupid, I know, but I have a huge problem demanding to be paid ... Even when I had employers! I ended up working as a teacher for institutes which sent me to big companies and I found it fun and fulfilling! I got to learn things from my students and I built up self-confidence being faced with challenges and having to deal with people of all hierarchies.

    One of my closest friends, in the end, chose to stop working in companies and kept working as a teacher at home. It was very difficult for her to build her clientele but she's told me that now she can finally say her project is finally paying off. It took her about 4 years to get to this point. The key I guess is to do a great job, obviously, and word of mouth will eventually pay off. Offering competitive prices can be of importance, too, but at the same time, you have to set prices that show your work and input are valuable. Plus, if you don't charge enough, chances are you won't be able to feel fulfilled by this job in the long run.

    I'm sorry if you don't care for what I've said :/. Just wanted to tell you about my brief experience in teaching.

    Have you consider teaching in schools and music institutes? In Argentina, a few of my peers worked in bilingual schools as "English drama teachers". They were not actors, they took singing classes (not sure how great singers they were, though) and they were English teachers so all that entitled them to lead and organize the musicals most bilingual schools there organize. If you're interested, you can also probably take up classes to become a music therapist. I bet that must be fulfilling ;). There are several schools here in Cali which offer relatively short courses and once you get your degree they help you get hired. There's one which even claims they help you pay bills if they can't find you a job within X amount of months, hahaha!

    I apologize for this extremely long comment. I should've emailed you :/.

    Anyway, hope you figure things out. It's amazing how things can work out in the end! I mean, look at me! After applying for the crappiest jobs, I finally got the one I'd wanted for so long! Crazy.

    Tight hugs and all the best of luck! :D

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    1. no, i appreciate your advice :) thank you miki. i'd love to look into music therapy, but at the moment i can't afford any more school. and yeah, i've kinda been looking into more permanent gigs at schools... xx

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  14. Oh yeah girl, you spoke right to me. I'm all over the place all the time, and yes it gets super frustrating not really knowing where to head or how to start something from nothing. I did the music teaching thing too along with my full time job but then moved because of my hub's job & now I'm doing the stay at home thing (which is good for now but may not always be where I want to be). I'd love to have my own shop but that is one big dream that is very far off. I'd love to incorporate all my loves - vintage, music, baking but how the heck would that look? Anyhoo, not wanting to type a book here but just wanted to let you know I understand & am right there with you :). Wishing you many exciting things to come! xoxo

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    1. thank you so much for your words of solidarity, marisa. i miss you!! xoxo

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  15. 'eternally confused' should be the name of my blog. thanks for your comment, and for letting me join in your blog hop - i had a ball x

    imbeingerica.blogspot.com

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  16. I bought that book last year hoping that it would work miracles and answer all my "what do I do with my life" questions :) I totally relate to you because I feel like I have so many interests but don't specialize in anything (you're different because you're an amazing musician!!) I have the same dreams of having a creative business but can't nail down exactly how to do it. It's hard not to compare myself to younger, successful people doing what I want to do, when I'm in my 30s and still can't figure it out! But I still believe it will come to me, I'm just working on living in the moment... xo

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  17. i started college majoring in meteorology. then switched to math major. then went to FIT for fashion design (which lasted *almost a week...couldn't hang in the big city:)...then got married...had my babies...returned to school and got a degree in civil engineering.

    what do i do now??
    i am an artist. lol

    i either have really bad A>D>D. or i like a lot of things:)...point is, part of finding out your path and what you love is trying all different pieces of what you LIKE.

    i think you are creatively very inspirational...So you could just throw all of your gifts and interests under Professional Inspire-er. Problem solved:):).

    Good luck on your journey:). xx

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