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Ditch Your Day Job

Lesson 18 of 24

The Dreaded Question: What It Is and How to Answer It

Michelle Ward

Ditch Your Day Job

Michelle Ward

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Lesson Info

18. The Dreaded Question: What It Is and How to Answer It

Lesson Info

The Dreaded Question: What It Is and How to Answer It

So now let's move into the support peace, Right? And I think I have to start it off with the dreaded question because the dreaded question is something that is gonna build your confidence immensely when you figure out how you're going to answer it and it's gonna allow you to kind of the side effect is that you're building support because you have a way to talk about what you're doing and then be able to have someone else recognize whether, what, you're doing this for them or they could refer you to someone else blah, blah, blah. So I'm gonna add, um I'm gonna ask you guys to put on your acting shoes for those of you that have the workbook you could follow along with the script. But I wrote three different scripts as to what usually happens to someone who is like in the midst of building their creative business. But it's still let their day job and like the way a lot of conversations go right, So we're gonna read just thes three scripts will take that long, but I think it's gonna be fun...

to find out what the dreaded question is, and you might have heard me say it before. I haven't been keeping it a secret, but see if you could if you could find it, right, The dreaded question. So can I. Can I put you on the spot? Um, To read on page 45 to read, Read Aunt Jane. And I'm going to read the part of you, right? Just just the proverbial you. So we're at a family Christmas party, and Ken is my aunt. So what are you doing these days? Uh, well, I just open my own shop on at sea, etc. What's etc? Oh, it's just this online story thing and people could buy my artwork. Really? Can you make a living from that? Uh, well, I'm I'm trying. I sold some art, and I got pictured on a blawg, and I thought you were a project. Uh, yeah, but I'm not. I'm not really happy with that being a project, you know, I know someone who's a project manager, and I'll ask if they know of any openings where they work. You probably just need a change of scenery. And it be silly for you to think that you could just make a living as an artist, honey. Okay. Thanks, Uh, and seen. And so I leave out the fact that I will never go. Never go back to project management once I'm done and that I actually just sold my piece of art in the shop. Right? I forget all of that. Okay. So keep your ears open for the dreaded question. Heather, I'm putting you on the spot. We're at our 10 year high school reunion, and Heather is a fellow former drama club nerd on I play the role of you again. I m Are you still performing? You were so great as Dolly Levi. Oh, no. Actually, I went to N Y u. I pounded the pavement for a few years, but then I did real estate for a while and then sales and then account management. And so, you know, Well, I'm an executive assistant for the money, but then I I like to this certification to be a life coach singing and so I like coach people on things. Okay, I think I see Lisa Carlin over there, and then you just leave and seen a fantastic on. This is interaction Number three were at a friend's birthday. party and loses a new person that I just met. I still play the role of you. So what do you dio? I'm an executive assistant, and I totally leave out that have a certified life coach. I'm great at it. And I'm getting clients. And I won't have to be an executive assistant much longer and seen. There's no mention of my dream business that I'm working towards at all. So did we figure out what the dreaded question is? Figure it out. It is. So what do you dio right back? Just Hello? Okay, here we go. Oh, isn't this isn't a stock photo subject mental? What do you dio? This is panic for those, uh, for us creative types that are in emotionally dead and jobs that we kind of don't want to tell people because we feel like it's an assumption on our identity that doesn't feel like us. But the side hustle doesn't feel like the truthful answer to the question, cause we're not making money at it yet, And so we discount it, right? And I know that we're afraid. We're afraid that people won't understand why you're leaving a stable gig to do something so risky were afraid that they're gonna make assumptions of who we are based on the stereotypes they have of what we're doing. I know that was a big thing for me. I was afraid if I told people I was or was going to be a life coach that they would like look for my leg hair or they would be afraid I would read their crystals something. Not that there's anything wrong with either of those things. But it wasn't how I wanted to be seen, and I was certainly very nervous. They're gonna ask me that question of Well, how can you make a living with that, right? Eso? How do we put this in a flattering light? I like to think of this as the answer to the joy, the question, but also your elevator pitch. So this comes in really handy to when you have to write your bio or talk about your business. Think of the length of an elevator ride where you have 15 seconds to just tell someone what you do in a very clear way and allow and hopefully get their attention so that when the elevator goes to the bottom floor and opens up. They're just They're gonna ask you more questions, or they're gonna want to follow up with you and have a meeting. So, for example, the first script that I read with kind of with the aunt who wanted to push me back into project management The answer that I could have given that would be a great elevator pitch. Slash Answer to the dreaded question was, I've decided to leave Project Management. Actually, that would have shut that down, Right? I've always wanted to be a full time artist, so I opened up an online shop. I just secured a booth to sell my stuff at the Brooklyn Flea Brooklyn holla. And have already sold my paintings online. I also incorporated my business, so I'm a really woman of the world now. Thanks so much for the offer, right? I know it's very hard to get here. I know this. So if you could guess, we're gonna answer some questions to find out what we're gonna be proud of saying and what feels truthful. So, Heather, I'm gonna put you on the spot for this. You could stay where you are, but I ask you these questions. And while Heather's answering them, I want everyone to answer them at home. Either in your workbook that starts on page 48 or just on a separate sheet of paper and try it. Try to right the short version of all of these answers like we're looking for clear and concise. I once heard. I think that's such a great tip that if a five year old can't understand it, it's too complicated. So when you answer these questions, think of it in that way. So I want to know. Heather, what about your new venture? Your new business lights you up. Why are you pursuing it? Because I want to make a difference in other people's lives. I love this. I love us. I want to make a difference. I'm gonna leave it at that. Is there anything else to add? Feel like That's great. Fantastic. We're gonna move on to the next question, right? It should be this easy to answer these questions. It should be this easy. You don't have to overcomplicate it. Don't write a frickin book. What are you currently working on or will be working on in the short term, right now. I started a blawg. Uh huh. And that's where him out right now. Started a block. You see, in the short term, I mean, I feel like with everything we talked about, it's safe to say, like your in the planning stages of your business or your process of preparing tow. Launch your business, right? I don't have a concrete plan yet of what my business is going to be. I just have a lot of ideas that I haven't figured out how to put together yet. So, um okay, I like this. So maybe instead of preparing to launch a business like I started a block to get clarity on the business that I want us lungs. Okay, um, business. I love my my, uh, murderer. Handwriting. Great. I love it. Next question. What's your overall business school? There are three questions here, right? They all kind of relate to each other, though, But, like, what's your overall business goal? What do you want to be known for? Who do you want to work with? And this may be hard since you haven't, like, exactly decided on the wet yet, But I have a feeling you still kind of know this. So again, it goes back to the 1st 1 I want to make a difference. One thing that I have found. I'm sorry. I'm making it more confident. Please. Just one thing that I feel is a real need is for, um, like teenage girls and young adults. Women Teoh have some support in making choices like we are today. So because I have met because I have four daughters, um, I've had a lot of girls come through my life, and many of them are struggling because they don't know that they have other options, that they don't have to do the college job. You know, whatever. And even one of my own daughters is so frustrated because she works at a lumber yard. She loves it. She is not a typical, you know, Like I'm she she wouldn't work in an office. She doesn't like computer. She wouldn't do that. But everybody keeps telling her, go to college and get a job. So she tried college. She got straight A's four point. Oh, and she hated it. So she dropped out. And now she's like, I'm still struggling to find out what I really want to Dio, but everybody I talk to you tells me go to college. And so she's really frustrated, like all these people who were supposed to do a stronger raspberry did that. All these people were supposed to be role models in my life. Or the people who are supposed to have that power to give me options are telling me Go to college now. Obviously, I am not one of those people telling her to go to the O, but it seems that that is a trend that I'm seeing with all of these girls and then there floundering because they feel like the passions that they have and the skills and the abilities that they have are totally discounted. And they just start trying to be pushed into this mold. And so I think it would be really great, too. Have some way to provide inspiration and direction and support. And, you know something for for that joined my revolution. Other. Uh, so this is this is how I summarized everything you said, which was beautiful. And I'm glad we have it on camera. You could watch it whenever you want. Right? Uh, you want You want to be known for working with teenage girls and young adults to have support and inspiration and direction in making choices. I put on their life path because it seems pretty broad rights, whether it's school or maybe whether it's relationships or whether it's what peer pressure, whatever you want, to make sure they know that they have choices. And it's not about what Americans have all brainwashed this into in terms of what the trajectory of our lives and our career should be. Is that a good way to say this is fantastic? Okay, I like thistle, and what steps have you already taken for your new business? So I know you said you started a block. Is there anything else were in sexually early stages for you? Is there anything else to add as anything you've already done for your business? So I have been so hesitant about this because I felt I don't know. I've just been really hesitant and not confident in this, but I have already talked Teoh, my daughters and my daughter in law and a bunch of their friends and said, What do you think about this idea? Is this something you would be interested in, would you, You know, is this something you would like? And every single one of them is that Oh, my gosh, it's the best thing ever. I totally want that. Um, so, you know, I have done a lot of research with that market research, right? Even talking to your own family could count. Is market research. Yeah, Um, yeah, quite a few other girls too. And, um, my girls came up with the name already, but if they purple pants I Because my daughter and I were shopping at the goodwill a few weeks ago and she and we just kept seeing purple pants of all different shades of purple and on the racks. And she was like, Maybe I should just start a trend at school of wearing purple pants, And so then you're pulling out like purple pants and crazy shirts that would go with. And so then we were sharing that with my other daughters later that night. And they're like, Mom, you should discuss with purple bans. So purple pants dot com and you better buy purple Majority taking you better find some, like will find a way. That's why I'm when I grow up coach dot com instead of one who could afford it is my money says like I know it seems so ridiculous, but But I have the memory now too, right? I have to point out and point at you. This is how strongly I feel about this. You said at the top of all of this, I don't really know what I want. You might. You might not have the offer yet the product yet or how you're making money yet, but this is your business. And so I love your faith. One, like starting are starting or blawg talking to these girls, figuring out what they need, what they want, who you could get on your team. And I'm going to give a shout out to my private Facebook group because you were in there yesterday. Heather and I'm so glad that you connected with Jennifer Lin, who's at nightly doodles dot com. And she wrote a book based on her own teenage experiences, called Like How Being Depressed and Unpopular Saved My Life and it's a wonderful and she's a doodler. And so it's so artistic and colorful and expressive on. And she she has a very similar mission to you. And so being able to start purple pants, blogged dot com and starting Teoh, give yourself a present so that you could be connecting with other people, too. I think you and Jennifer needs to join forces and take over my comments, and I know amazing and I was like, Oh, they all and I would have made an introduction. But it's on the Facebook group already, like, Look at the tribe that's that's coming in, Which is great. Just a reminder, because we're talking about how do people get into that private face when I grow up? Coach dot com slash day job Dicks will just give me your email address and you'll get an email right away, and it will give you a link to the private Facebook group. And when we're on a break, I'll approve you. Uh, so this is where we're gonna We're gonna put together your response to the dreaded question Heather in a second. Based on this, I promise tell you how to make sense of it. But, you know, let's just let's just give some exam some more examples because I think that will be helpful. So Here's an example. In my real life, I work in advertising. So here, here's away. Teoh. Feel like you're truthfully answering the question because you're telling them what you get paid to Dio. But my passion is building websites that pop for creative entrepreneurs. I love working with artists, actors, writers, anyone who makes a living from their point of view. Someone else. I've been working behind the scenes to transition over to a consultant rule for small businesses who want to change the world. I help them build their community, find their tribe and spread their message through social media and sponsored events. Now this might sound familiar. I'm currently an executive assistant for a finance company, but I took the job because it allowed me to spend my nights and weekends becoming a certified life coach. I've decided to work with creative types through their career transitions, since I was once in their shoes as a musical theater performer, I can't wait to help them full time as the when I grow up, coach. So let's go back to Heather, right? And I want as we're going through Heather's answer, let's let's, uh, make sure that everyone's writing and page 50 of their workbooks. I kind of want to put this like side by side. Right. So we have with Heather. This is the meat that we're working for. We want kind of the meat of what's gonna be the simplest thing to say that a five year old is going to be able to understand. I'm also just a way for you to brag about yourself in a way that we normally do not like to talk about ourselves, right? Uh, and you were not gonna feel comfortable answering the question this way for quite a long time. I'm gonna tell you that right now, like Thea answer that you come up with should make you feel uncomfortable because this is a very weird way for us to talk about ourselves. But no, it's that annoying Catch 22 that the more you do it, the more comfortable you're gonna get. So let's be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because that's that's the theme of diction. Our day job. Right? So we have Do you need some tape or no, a great A good stuff. So we have Heather. I want to make a difference. I started a blogged to get clarity on the business. I wanna launch. You know what? You're clear on the business. You want a long right teen girls and young adults. I would say young women have support and making choices on their life path. I want to provide inspiration and direction. I've done market research, and the name of the business is purple pants. So how could we craft this? I think someone says So. What do you do? You take, you take you first, Stay about it, Heather, and then I'll jump. Then, based on what's here, you don't have to say everything right. You do not have to say everything. Just what you feel is most clear and might prompt the most lightbulb moments for the other person and hearing you talk about it in terms of what they need and who they know, as well as maybe encouraging them to ask questions about what you're doing if they're interested. So I help young women find their path in life more to it than that. But I help young women. I almost want to say, based on what you said before, like book the stereo, genitals, life path or something That's not right for them. You know, like buck conventional advice and find and make choices for the life path that's best for them, right? I wouldn't use the word buck myself. Um, that's what I was trying to figure out. What other word? Like, uh, I help young women have the courage to make choices, make life choices based on their own. What, uh, dream e like that? Based on their own dreams. Great dreams. Yeah. Not societies. And yeah, not societies, not dreams. But, um, what is the stipulation is the only word that's coming to me, Not society's expectations. Uh, my spellings on display here. Here we go. Society's expectations. I love nest. And then we could say I just started a block. I just started a block. So now I have to go start a different blogged. You don't you don't. I don't think that you dio I mean, I don't know what the other lives about, but don't be afraid, Teoh. Have your blawg encompass whatever it is you want to talk about, right? Are blog's are ourselves. So so don't feel like Oh, now I'm talking about something that's off topic from when I talked about in my block before. It's It's fine. Yeah. I just started a block and planting the business. Purple pants, right. Business purple pants. Okay, so let's read this back. I help young women have the courage to make life choices based on their own dreams and not society's expectations. I just started a blogger and I planting of this purple pants. It's a pretty frickin great answer. The dreaded question. Right? It is. It is right. It is. This is you. Wait, I'm gonna give this to you. You As long as I don't rip it first, you get this to take home. Okay? I love this. Yea. Fantastic. Liz, I know you've been listening, but do you have the answer? The dreaded question answer yet? Um, I have not for not for a five year old, but what you have now. Um, I've had a good career as a geographer and using using computers toe and G I s to eight and environmental management, but I'm really wanting to get away from technology. And so I'm transitioning into a creative business, making maps and nature related art. Um, that I can sell and also make travel maps for that document. People's the document People's Once in a lifetime trips. That's amazing. And if you want, you can mention the name of your business is a five and a compass or I'm about to open my shop or, you know, whatever it is you want to share about what you're working on now, I think that that's so great. And I think I need to stress before we move it over to the chat, which I'm going to in a second cause I want to hear more answers come through. Know that the answer to the dreaded question is like part answer, part elevator pitch, part mission statement. Really, for your business, right? You could use this in just a variety of ways, but it really reaffirms why you're doing what you're doing. And it lets people know about it so you could get referrals and you could get more business. And it's also a way to, like, celebrate your accomplishments, which I feel like we just don't do it very often. So being able to speak out loud the fact that you just started a blogger, you just got accepted to this big craft show that you've been wanting to forever. You just made your first sale. That's something that we should get used to saying, because it shows proof that what we're doing is serious and riel intangible. It's also worth worth saying that answer is always a work in progress. Always. I have revised my answer to enjoy the question, probably somewhere between 1/2 dozen in a dozen times in the eight years that I've been doing this. So don't feel like you have Teoh memorize this and then repeat it like a robot. You just You just want to get familiar enough with the key points so that you don't just go into a ball of nerves and anxiety when you know this question is coming. You know the key points that you want to hit. And as you keep saying it, please pay attention to the reaction that you're getting from people because that's really gonna be a clue as to what's resonating. So, for example, one of the very first time I had to introduce myself as the when I grow up coach was at a workshop that I took on, and I was in a living room with like 20 other women and the woman giving the workshop. And we had to go around and introduce ourselves and the woman giving the workshop. It knew me as the when I grow up, coach, because I was on Twitter and whatever we're talking. So I made sure that when it was time for me to introduce myself, I said, I'm a shell ward. I'm the When I grow up Coach And I said it just to the workshop leader to be like, Oh, hey, do you make that connection because you know me is that online? And I noticed the whole room kind of laughed and leaned in. So now I like to always start the answer toe to the shredded question with I have I'm the When I grow up coach right? I leave with my business seem, and then this is new. As of like a week ago, I used to have a different answer. But now I say I offer dream career guidance for creative women that z all I need to say, Um, if someone's interested, they're gonna ask me questions about it, and I could tell them about this class and I could tell them about my book, and I could tell them about all my clients and the amazing things that I get to do in my business. Otherwise, if they're not interested in they don't care. Then we move on to something else, and that's great and fine, right? So make sure, you know, you keep looking at this and revising it, and you should be changing it every so often. Otherwise, it probably means there's something stagnant in your business or you're not paying attention to what people are responding to. The let's Let's jump to the chat and hear more answers your questions. So this is a little story before we get Teoh to those answers that is just in calculates. Everything encapsulates everything that we're talking about right now. This is from Sandra Glover Clark, who has been with us throughout the class, she says. I was at the U. S. Canada border over a month ago, and when the Border guard asked me what I did for a living, I said nothing. E was pulled off to the side and had my car searched. They asked what all the arts and crafts stuff was for, and I answered, I'm an artist. And they said You initially said you did nothing. Isn't that interesting? Whoa, yeah, yeah, yeah, we don't even yeah, we discount at we discount it. We have these assumptions in our head. I think that, like being an artist isn't a real thing, that we can't answer that that question, especially if it's not our, you know, main major source of income. And it's it's bull. I love that story. Thank you for sharing that. Everyone should remember that, right? That nothing, nothing concern into getting searched by the Border Patrol and having them be like question you and I. And I love the fact that they didn't say Oh, and artists right, that doesn't count. They're like, Why did you say that? To begin with? That's a real thing. That's a real thing. Amazing. Thank you for sharing that Sandra Missy wife says. Her answer is, I'm currently in corporate finance and in parallel, working on promoting healthy nutrition and lifestyle. A A, Renee says, I help independent health care practitioners with their websites, online stores, newsletters and social media accounts so they can spend more time with their patients. One more, Becky Pennington Arc says. I say? Well, my day job is a project manager at a bank. But what I'm really passionate about is yoga and coaching, which I would love to tell you all about yea band as sick. I love this, right? We're not hiding anymore. I think that's that's really a key thing to you. Don't have to hide. You don't have to hide behind your soul sucking day job. You don't have toe hide behind pretending to know what you're doing. You could be open with the fact that you know you're building this on the side. You're not full time yet. You're looking to go full time. This is what you do during the day. This is what you do at night, right? I think the right people are gonna be really interested and want to hear more. So everyone must commit to saying the answer to the dreaded question. Practicing it just like say it out loud. It's gonna feel silly, but say it out loud. You know, in the mirror, to your spouse to your family a few times and then commit actually following through on that answer. The next time someone asks you that question, it's gonna be tough. You're gonna have a split second where you're just gonna go into, like, your regular answer, but get the courage to answer it in the way that you set it up here because eventually being uncomfortable or semi comfortable with the answer is gonna turn into being comfortable with the answer. So three only way to do that is to do that.

Class Description

You don’t have to commit your life to a soul-sucking day job. In fact, you can drum up the job of your dreams if you have the right mindset and an action plan to back it up. In Ditch Your Day Job, career coach Michelle Ward will show you what it takes to go from bored-at-work to satisfied and self-employed.

There was a time when Michelle was wasting her days working in finance. She was miserable at work and needed a change. Over the course of two years she cooked up her escape plan and has been perfecting her approach by helping others for the last five years. In this class, she’ll show you how to prepare to leave your day job for a career you love. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Create a simple plan for getting your business started
  • Establish an emergency fund
  • Identify your existing sources of help and support

Michelle will take the mystery out of starting your own small business and help you zero in on the details that will make it happen. You’ll develop a savings plan that will give you a good buffer before making the leap and get tips on exactly what it takes to make your new endeavor profitable.

If you are done with counting down the minutes at your day job and want to launch your own creative business, Michelle is ready to give you all the inspiration and insights you need to set yourself up with a life and job you love.

As a bonus when you purchase this class, you'll get:

  •  1 Year Membership Free to Bidsketch
  • 2 Free Hours on Breather, to apply towards booking one of their beautifully designed workspaces.


a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course! I highly recommend it. Michelle is a wonderful teacher: energetic, passionate, funny, and encouraging. Kenna is also a great facilitator; the most natural and genuine host I've seen so far on Creative Live! Great job both of you. And a well-deserved shout-out to the in-class participants, who were engaged and candid about their own situations. Best of luck to both of you with ditching your day jobs. This class has given me the structure and several practical tools to facilitate my own transition to creative entrepreneurship and out of a soul-sucking job. Michelle shared many supportive messages that made me look more confidently at my "uniquity" and its value in the creative marketplace; as a result, I am now eager to take the action towards building my art business. I will use my S.N.A.P. to comfortably and confidently get to where I want to be, so that I don't snap at my day job in the process ;-)

Becky Pennington Arce

This course is truly AMAZING! I've been in hyper - forward motion since the first day! Thank you Michelle! This course was honestly different then any other! It gave actionable items, where to find support, and tons of yummy resources (which if very time consuming and somewhat impossible when you have a DAY JOB!) My Day Job is actually "ditching" me but by having a plan (which Michelle gives step by step details how to do), I'm totally comfortable and even EXCITED to be DITCHED! Several items that she shared I've already been able to implement into my creative business plan AND my personal life! Double whammy! I ended up buying the course to make sure I didn't miss anything! Super excited to continue and wish everyone luck on their own creative journey! ~Enjoy!

Heather Young

I was one of the fortunate studio members of this class. Wow! So much great information, step by step instructions, enthusiastic encouragement and fun! Michelle takes you through the baby steps needed to form a solid foundation to get ready to ditch your day job and do it with a plan, a safety net and a support network. A common sense guide to doing something uncommon and (to some) seemingly nonsensical. The videos will teach, inspire and encourage, the workbook will make it real for your own situation and the resources that are provided will be invaluable as you prepare to ditch your day job. You will be so glad you purchased this class!