Ask the experts


Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 201 total)
  • Author
  • #48
    Clarity on Fire

    Have a question for Rachel and Kristen? Ask us here!

    Erica C

    Hi Rachel and Kristen!

    It was relieving to find out my values as a Thriver. I kept saying to people “Working 40hours a week doesn’t seem like a quality life” and everyone thought I was crazy. My mom is a huge firestarter; working 80hours a week and having a passion. I always wondered why I wasn’t like her, why i couldn’t understand why she worked weekends, why i couldn’t find MY passion. This course really helped me understand myself and how I have different values than my mom, ESPECIALLY time.

    Currently I work in a 40 hour week job that is constantly busy. I am financially ready and able to cut my hours down to 32 hours a week. Can you give me some tips or advise on how to ask my manager to let me work less even though the workload is consistently busy?

    Kristen W

    Such a good question, Erica! I first want to say how amazing it is that you’ve internalized the concepts from the PPSC so quickly and are already ready to take action, based mostly on your value of time. I love it!

    It’s understandably nerve-wracking to ask your boss if you can cut your hours, especially when you know that there’s more than enough work to do all the time. My suggestion is to approach it this way: Ask your boss if you can try something for 1 month, or 3 months, or however long you want to “test run” it. Say you’d like to see if you can be more productive in less time, and ask if you can cut your hours to 32 each week while implementing some productivity strategies (maybe try “blackout” hours each day when you don’t allow any distractions, or say “no” to meetings that you don’t really need to go to, etc.). Then, you can meet with your manager again at the end of the “test period” to see how it went.

    What’s great about this approach is that 1) your manager won’t feel as threatened because it’s only a “test,” (for now, at least), and 2) you’ll be more motivated and engaged in your work during those 32 hours because it’ll feel worth it to get an extra day of freedom each week. If you try this and your boss wants you to go back to 40 hours after the trial run … well, at that point it’s up to YOU if this is a place that can align with your values long-term.

    Hope that helps!

    Simon J


    I’m not exactly sure how to approach this question. Without giving some long history of my life. I recently started working your clarity course because I didn’t know what else to do or anyway to find what I feel like I have lost.

    Your profile categorized me as a firestarter which I completely agree with. I have never had any problems finding a job and even excelling at whatever I put my mind too yet I still cant seem to find my real “place”. I have worked several sales jobs, coaching, consulting, as well as technical work.

    I went to school for creative writing and for a long time loved the art of language and emotion and how it could speak to the audiences consciousness. I believed my passion was writing and the arts for a long time.

    My problem now is I feel a complete lack of passion. After what I will say was a completely destroying relationship for 4 years. I was constantly told in the relationship I wasn’t good at music writing etc. So in turn I haven’t wanted to write in any sense or even touch anything that would draw any emotion or passion from me. I am now 29 and feel like I have no time to dabble or soul search anymore. It seems like anytime I look back and ask what do I really want? It is always something with music or athletics that now in my life I feel are completely out of reach or unrealistic for my values now.

    I won’t sugar coat it at all, while filling out the workbook on the values section, I got completely depressed to see how my values have changed so much. I mean the most cynical responses you could think are most likely what I wrote. I am at that point where I have been dealing in complete realism. Money is very important because without it there is no way to escape the mundane and do what you love to do. I have also said to people who have asked what I want to do, that I would do anything I could care less about enjoying work as long as it affords me the time and finances to do whatever I want in my free time.

    So I know this has been pretty long winded and the actual question is unclear, so I will try to pose what I am actually looking for here.
    Is there a way to find my passion again? Instead of feeling numb and not caring what I do? Or a way to not look at the whole career subject and finding work as just a way to have the finances to live?


    Kristen W

    Hi Simon,

    I’m really glad you reached out to ask us about this and that you were willing to share your struggle so openly. You’re definitely not alone in feeling disconnected from your passion — I know a lot of people in this course can relate to that. Your struggle makes so much sense; on the one hand, you deeply want to reconnect with the side of you that’s passionate, creative, driven, artistic, and an out-of-the-box thinker. That’s the part of you that resonates so much with the Firestarter profile. And yet, there’s fear and resistance getting in the way and clouding up your passion — fear of failure, fear of not making money through your passion, fear of other people’s opinions, your own inner critic voice. All of that feels SO heavy and makes feeling passionate again feel like a far off dream. As frustrating and upsetting as this feels right now, it makes complete sense based on the backstory that you shared. Anyone in your situation would be feeling equally discouraged!

    The thing I’m hearing the most here is … well, a few things. And I think you’re going to be relieved to hear these points:

    You’re allowing other people’s opinions, beliefs, and fears cloud your natural creativity and drive. It sounds to me like, several years ago you were determined and happy to follow your passion and your curiosity wherever it led you. But then other people swooped in with their judgment and criticism and snuffed out your passion. It’s no wonder you wanted to cut ties with your passion. It hurts to get that kind of feedback! It sounds to me like it’s time for you to get VERY discerning about who’s feedback you choose to listen to. There are probably no more than a handful of people in your life who have the qualities necessary to give you meaningful feedback: they’re loving, supportive, looking out for your best interest, respectful (and respectable), constructive/gentle with their feedback, and give you a safe space to open up. From now on, anyone outside of that small group — you have full permission to ignore their feedback because they’re not on your side.

    You’re playing the role of the cynic, but I don’t believe that’s really you. Just from the way you wrote this post, I can tell that you’re a natural creator, innovator, and optimist. But you may have adopted the (false) belief that optimists can’t also be realists, so you thought you had to become a cynic in order to be practical. And the reason this feels so bad to you is because it’s not who you are — it conflicts with your inner free spirit. The truth is, whatever you look for … you’ll find it. So if you’re looking for things to go wrong, they will. If you fully expect things to work out for you, they mostly will. So I want you ask you — will you give your inner optimist permission to resurface? Can you allow hope to slightly outweigh fear?

    You’re a clear Firestarter who’s trying to structure your life the way a Thriver would, and it’s naturally causing you to feel “off.” You asked, “Is there a way to see work as just a way to have the finances to live?” Yes, there is. It’s the way most Thrivers view work. The truth is, you might have a secondary Thriver profile, but you said that the Firestarter profile felt very accurate for you, so that’s clearly prominent. So your Firestarter self is likely going to feel perpetually frustrated in a job that you don’t absolutely love and that doesn’t give you lots of independence and creativity.

    You’re tired of limiting yourself. I heard a few limiting statements in your post. For example, you said “I am now 29 and feel like I have no time to dabble or soul search anymore.” I don’t believe that age has anything to do with self-awareness, finding (or rediscovering) your passion, or soul searching! A lot of us impose these arbitrary timelines on ourselves, and it creates so much unnecessary pressure. Whenever you find yourself thinking or saying self-limiting statements like this, I want you to question, “How true is this really?”

    You’ve shut down your emotions. It absolutely makes sense that, after your emotionally destructive relationship, you said you “haven’t wanted to write in any sense or even touch anything that would draw any emotion or passion from me.” You were trying to block yourself from all of the horrible emotions that were coming up in that relationship. But when you block the bad emotions, you also block the great, passionate ones. Since you love to write, I’d suggest giving yourself at least a solid hour alone with no distractions (no phone, no music, no TV, no anything) where you just free-write. Allow anything and everything to come up, and any emotions you experience during that time are valid. No judging yourself! This is just a process of reconnecting with your emotions.

    All of this, if you ask me, boils down to two things: 1) Giving yourself permission to want what you want and to express yourself authentically, and 2) changing your internal dialogue to be more supportive and less self-limiting.

    There’s SO much more I could talk about here, so I tried to mention just a few key things that immediately came to mind. But I want you to know that our other program (The Passion Plan Virtual Experience) was created specifically to answer the exact questions you just asked. So if you want a much more in-depth answer to this, you might want to consider joining us for the next round of the PPVE when we open enrollment in January. It sounds like your definitely ready to take this to the next level.

    Serene L

    Hi Kristen and Rachel,

    Just curious, apart from having a primary and secondary profile, is it weird for anyone to resonate with (at least to certain extent) the other 2 passion profiles as well?

    Kristen W

    Hi Serene! Really good question, and I’m glad you asked it here because I’m sure other people have this same question.

    It definitely makes sense that you might relate to some aspects of each of the 4 profiles because there’s a bit of overlap between certain profiles. For example, both Firestarters and Thrivers place an extremely high value on freedom, so that’s a shared value — but in most other aspects, those two profiles are very different. So although you could probably find elements of each profile that resonate with you, you’re going to most strongly relate to your Primary (and possibly Secondary) Profile, which is why we recommend using that to pinpoint your ideal career direction.

    Keep in mind, too, that Side Hustlers — with their intense desire for variety and their naturally energetic spirit — may want to dabble in lots of jobs/career paths, which might mean pulling elements from other Profiles. I’m not sure if you’re a Side Hustler or not, but if so, that could explain why you resonate with various elements of all 4 profiles.

    Serene L

    Hi Kristen,

    Thank you for your reply! Yes, I believe I am a side hustler. That was the result of my passion profile when i first took the quiz. However on a separate occasion when I took it, it was Firestarter and I got a little confused. After listening to your video recordings on the different passion profiles, I found myself relating to the thriver profile as well (confusing!). I believe I am still primarily a side hustler (constantly wanting to hoard a variety of experiences) although sometimes I feel some pull from other values (e.g a thriver) associated with other profiles and that is when I get really lost and not knowing what I truly want.

    Kristen W

    Hi Serene! It’s completely understandable that questioning which profile(s) you relate to most is making things feel confusing and cloudy. If the first quiz result you got was Side Hustler and you really related to that profile (and still really relate to it), then I intuitively believe that you’re a Side Hustler first and foremost. As you’re creating your ideal career plan, your Side Hustler needs and values will likely feel most important (variety, stimulation, high-energy, challenge, connection, balance, flexibility, etc.). But that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to borrow a few traits/values from other profiles, too!

    Think of Passion Profiles as simply another lens through which to view and understand yourself. Your Profile is meant to help you identify the things that matter most to you, not to put you in a box. So if you decide that you’re a Side Hustler who REALLY loves her outside-of-work hobbies (a typical Thriver identifier) or who craves a TON of freedom and autonomy (which are big Firestarter values), that’s perfectly OK. Just keep those values in mind when you’re clarifying and taking action on your next career steps.

    To me, ultimately, it seems pretty clear (from what I can tell in your posts, at least) that you’re primarily a Side Hustler who just wants to be able to pick and choose a few values from other profiles, and that’s perfectly fine!

    Andrew P

    Hi Kristen,

    Thanks for the insight. Your course was awesome!
    I have been doing a lot of self study online here are my results.

    Myer Briggs (INTJ-ENTJ)
    Multiple intelligence test (Spatial 95%, Interpersonal 80%, Intapersonal 80%)
    Passion Profile quiz (Firestarter)
    Passionpreneur™ Personality Test (Informer 40%, Competitor 30%, Supporter 20%, Exciter 10%)

    Art is my passion. I like traditional drawing & painting because you can do it anywhere and its simple. My parent insisted I get a degree in 3d animation because that’s where you can earn good money and were safe jobs are. During my professional career I got in with a gaming company and climbed the corporate ladder and was still not satisfied. I didn’t like the rules, red tape, restrictions, salary cap & office life. Over the past 3 years I have quit multiple jobs to pursue my own startups but have failed to find one that could bring me both financial success and enjoyment.

    After doing further research and discovering some more traditional artist doing well online like Ann Rea & few others. I am developing a business plan for creating a online business selling painting targeted at a specific target market. I can use this as a way to develop my own brand and branch out in to different areas like commission projects, prints, original sketches classes & online courses.

    As u can probably imagine I have my reservations about if it can work as a practical business, I believe the key is to transition for my job to the business over time once its established to reduce risk.

    I would love to know your professional opinion on my choices & any recommendations you had for me?

    Kristen W

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m glad you enjoyed the PPSC! I’m impressed by how much time and energy you’ve been putting into your self-awareness lately, and it’s clear from your various assessment results that you’re extremely intelligent, thoughtful, independent, artistic, intuitive, and passionate. Given all of that, I’m not surprised that climbing the corporate ladder (even in a gaming company, which I imagine was likely more innovative than many corporations) was frustrating to you. Given your values and your personality traits, it makes sense that you’re looking for more creativity, freedom, and possibilities than most companies can offer you. So starting your own business seems like the best option for you! (As a fellow Firestarter, I can absolutely relate to this.)

    From the sound of it, you already have a pretty solid business model planned out, and you’ve seen people doing this kind of business successfully online, which proves that you have a viable idea. If this idea sounds exciting to you, then I would absolutely go for it. It’s natural to have reservations about whether any entrepreneurial venture is realistic, but I encourage you stick with the idea for at least couple of years (assuming you’re still enjoying it) since that’s how long it takes most businesses to gain traction and start reaching stability. I agree that it’s probably a good idea to start your new business while working at your current job (or another stable job) so that you don’t put needless financial pressure on a brand-new business right away. You can definitely transition more and more of your time and energy into your business over time. (I wish I’d been more gradual about transitioning from my full-time job into my business, to be honest!)

    Sounds to me like you have a good idea and plenty of motivation and talent to make it happen!

    Shannon H

    In being a thriver, it seems that the environment you work in is more important than what you actually are doing, in a lot of cases. I’m not the type of person who has specific passions, my passion aligns more with being able to just enjoy life. It’s important for me to have things to look forward to and connecting with people makes me feel more alive than anything else. And I love to travel and take vacations! Beach vacations are my favorite. 🙂

    I work as a graphic designer. I have done this type of work for the past 11 years, and have had many different jobs, with some being better than others. It seems to be difficult for me to find a good fit, and I feel like I am a job hopper.

    With all of this being said, if I continue as a graphic designer, how do I find an environment that I am confident I will thrive in and enjoy before I commit to a job? Or are there better career suggestions for my passion profile? I don’t want to work long hours, and have been pretty fortunate in that aspect with my jobs. There is overtime occasionally, but most of the time I don’t have to deal with that, which is a relief because 40 hours a week is plenty for me. In fact, i would love to be able to work less than that.

    Kristen W

    Shannon — These are great questions, and I know that other Thrivers in this group will be glad you asked this on their behalf!

    If you haven’t yet gotten to the “Job Searching According to Your Values” section of the Workbook, I think that might be really helpful as you’re searching for new jobs based mostly on the work environment (which, as you said, is extremely important, especially for Thrivers). The key here is getting clear about what your ideal environment looks like: Is it a casual atmosphere? Do you have a flexible work schedule? Are you working on-location or virtually (or a combo)? Are you working more independently or collaboratively? What are the characteristics of the people you’re ideally working with? The answers to all of these questions can fuel both your job search AND the kinds of questions you ask in an interview so you can get a true picture of what you’re walking into if you accept the job.

    I really don’t believe there are “good” or “bad” career suggestions for any Passion Profile, and graphic design could fit into any of the 4 passion profiles — but HOW you go about being a graphic designer will look totally different if you’re, for example, a Firestarter vs. a Thriver. Does that make sense? So this is about embracing your Thriver values, learning to ask the right questions to learn as much about a working environment as possible, and identifying (and staying true to) your non-negotiables (for example, not working more than 40 hours per week).

    Let me know if you still have questions about any of this after you get through the “Job Searching According to Your Values” section of the Workbook!

    Diane M

    Hi Kristen and Rachel!

    I’ve been slowly progressing through the PPSC, and it’s help me learn that I’m part Tribe Member/part Side Hustler. Which means I’ve been feeling that push-pull you talked about in the secondary profiles session VERY strongly lately — especially as I consider a career change from my current marketing job.

    As part Tribe Member, I like to have somewhere to get up and go every morning where I connect with others and am part of a team (but I want to have this outside of the corporate world). I’m considering becoming an elementary teacher to embrace my Tribe Member tendencies as well as my interest and love for helping others learn and grow. I started taking a small step toward this last year by taking an intro to teaching class, and I liked it! However, the Side Hustler in me wants to make sure I have enough time to dedicate to the hobby/side project that I also love –- creative writing. Creative writing is a very isolated experience, and while I really enjoy writing, it definitely conflicts with my Tribe Member values. So, I’m being pushed and pulled both ways, and, of course, this ambivalence is stopping me from making strides in either direction!

    So, I’m just wondering if you have any advice to help me appease both sides. 🙂 I’ve been going through this dilemma for almost 3 years (yikes), so any thoughts you have would be so appreciated! Thank you in advance!

    Kristen W

    Hi Diane,

    I’m glad you’re taking the PPSC at a pace that feels good for you and allows this content to really sink in.

    As you heard us mention in the PPSC content, it’s SO normal to feel this kind of push-pull inner conflict when you have a combination of 2 Profiles (I have this same challenge myself!). From your question, it sounds to me like you already have a pretty good idea of what you want, at least for the next stage of your career. And I want to really acknowledge you for dipping your toe into the world of teaching by trying that intro class to see if you would like it — and it seems like it could be a good fit for your Tribe Member values and personal interests! So this boils down to finding the right balance so that you can have the daily Tribe Member-type job, while also pursuing your creative writing (to satisfy your creativity and your Side Hustler desire for variety).

    My first recommendation for you is to read the book Big Magic by Liz Gilbert — I think you are going to LOVE her approach to creativity. One of the things she talks about is treating your art like a “love affair” (I love this concept so much!). She recommends sneaking away for stolen moments with your art, and secretly spending a lunch break on a “date” with your creativity. Cancel all of your weekend plans and stay in with your creative writing, like you would with a secret lover. It not only gets you to carve out time for your art, but it re-invigorates your passion, too.

    Also, I want you to start recognizing just how much time/energy you need to devote to your creative writing side projects in order for you to feel balanced and fulfilled. The way you can tell when you’re getting out of balance is you’ll start to feel resentful of any/all things that are “stealing” your time away from your art. That resentment is simply an indicator that you’re out of balance and your “Side Hustler” values are not getting enough attention, and you can re-prioritize. Once you determine just how much creative time you need in order to avoid that resentment, you’ll be able to create a sustainable structure for yourself to balance your job and your hobbies.

    I think you’re already on the right track, and now it’s just a matter of fine-tuning the balance of both of these things. You can definitely make this combination work!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 201 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.