EPI 24: Bipolar: I Don’t Know Who Needs What I Offer
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Welcome to the Bipolar Excellence Podcast. Episode 24, I Don’t Know Who Needs What I Offer. This is part of the Life Of An Outsider series. You’ll find a link to that series in the footer of the website, bipolarexcellence.com.
I don’t know who needs, what I offer. My pause is evidence that this is even tricky to explain. It takes a lot of work to figure out who you are. What you’re about. What you want out of life. What you’re good at. What you’re not good at. Who might be able to help you once you figure out what it is you’re good at.
How to market it. How to gauge the reaction people have to you and your work. How to be honest with yourself. How to take criticism. How to know when you’re being scammed… not all criticism is correct or proper…
How to have faith in yourself when results are not yet evident, which in itself causes you to question, Am I still addressing the right people? And lastly, maybe nobody needs what you offer and you have to create something different.
I’m going to start with that last part, because that caused me the greatest amount of frustration.
The way my high functioning bipolar brain works, I’m capable of creating a lot of content. I used to, as of this podcast episode, I used to write a ton. I don’t anymore, but I could easily sit down and crack out a 5,000 word article and then spend a half a day reformatting it and cleaning it up along the lines of proper copywriting.
I took a course on copywriting once. What was the name of that school? Oh, it’s right on the tip of my tongue. Very very helpful course. Boy, it’s right there. Maybe I’ll think about it as I go.
But when you write, you have to write so that the headline grabs people’s attention, then each heading each subheading on the page, by themselves, tell the story, because everybody scans, nobody sits and just reads in full from the get-go. They scan to see if they’re even interested in what you got to say.
So you have to be able to tell the story through the headings, lower on the page. If that’s all they read, they’d still get the point. So it has to flow. It might have to be chronologically, correct. Cause a lot of times when you write, all kinds of ideas hit your head that don’t… they’re out of order.
They make more sense once you’ve got them all on the page. Now I’ve now I’ve diverged off into a lesson on writing, copywriting, which is not what I wanted, but good to know, keep that in mind. Point being, I love writing and my head could crank out a lot of material.
And back when I was younger, particularly, younger in regards to when bipolar hit. When I came out of bipolar, mania and anxiety really, were the last two things to have a strong hold on me. And they took a long time to slowly bleed away.
Now, when you’re manic, you can really create a bunch of shit and you’re tireless. I would not be bipolar entirely. I just had some mania left over. Just the mania. And my God could I create and write and make videos. I used to make a lot of videos years ago. They’re all gone now. I doubt you’ll find them online.
But I loved… anybody’s brain loves having something to do. That’s just how the brain works, in any person bipolar or not. But with bipolar people, if you’ve got mania, it’s hyperdrived, it’s hyper driven. Did I just say hyper drived?
It’s hyper driven and it takes a pressure off of you to just put that to use and do something with it. Get the energy out of yourself. It’s like lifting weights or any other kind of exercise.
You’re exercising your brain and you’re feeding your ego, which needs to know it’s right in what it’s doing. And it feels good when it’s doing whatever makes it happiest. Whether the thing is actually valuable to you or not.
So your biggest problem to begin with is… and I’ve studied this… it seems most people, of any sort, that have an idea… start with an idea and then try to find a market to buy it.
Now, you might be dead on. It might work. It never really did for me. Not in any great sense. Here and there it did. But as I’ve said before, I created a whole world about helping people with bipolar only to find out I’m not the one that should be helping people with bipolar.
It’s why I switched gears, with the help of Rhonda Hess over prosperouscoachblog.com. She’s the one that helped me tweak my perspective to pursuing… assisting… high functioning bipolar people in the development of their passion projects, through the use of the better parts of bipolar. I just simply had never considered that until she said it.
I was going after all creative people and all entrepreneurial people, in their entirety, and for business purposes, for marketing purposes, that wasn’t working. It was too unclear over who I was talking to. And I was casting too wide of a net. That’s why I’m talking to you guys now.
So if this happens to you, if you’ve created a ton of material and it seems to be going nowhere, and you’re really throwing yourself at marketing, in whatever way you are… ads, social media seemed to be the two biggest ways, or even just talking to people… and it’s going nowhere? You might have to take a hard, painful, honest, look at the product you’ve created.
Maybe it’s not the right thing that you should be leading with. I’ve probably gone through that transformation, that brutal transformation, I think three times. I feel good where it’s landed now, because I could not make a business out of helping bipolar people beat bipolar. Because I was the wrong person to do so for a number of reasons.
And I simply wasn’t enjoying it. And the way that I had positioned all my material, it was drawing suffering, bipolar people my way, or families of people who had bipolar, none of whom… the suffering people, usually because of their illness had no money to pay me, to help them.
And the families want the suffering person to work with me, but that’s not how it works. You guys know that. You what you’re going to do when you want to do it. You can’t be talked into it, no matter how much your family and loved ones care about you. Even if they’re willing to pay for all. It’s like anything. If you want to do it, you’ll do it. If not, you’re not gonna.
So for Kenny, that meant no income, on the back of all this staggering amount of work that I’d created! I’m stressing this because it was hard. It was so many man hours, thousands. I mean, thousands of man hours of work to produce everything I’d produced, only to find out, either through dead silence or blatant negative feedback of many sorts that I was in the wrong place doing the wrong thing.
Now, in my case, I knew bipolar was the heart of the thing. I just was approaching it wrong. And I didn’t want to get dragged back into drawing the wrong kind of people that couldn’t help me any.
And to be fair to those people, I couldn’t help them. I wanted to, I seriously, I still do. I’m big on taking care of the underdog.
It hurts me knowing what I know and finding someone that can use it. And for a bunch of different reasons, it’s just not going to happen. That’s something I had to stuff. I think I just nailed another major lesson for you out there.
I think a lot of high functioning, bipolar people want to do something off the back of their bipolar background as well.
I got to imagine that’s going to be a lot of you. You suffered mightily. You learned something from it. Now you want to help others. Brace yourselves, leave a little room to see, to check feedback. You might find that coming at it head on is not going to work the way you want. Just be aware of that.
But you might be very close. You’ve just got a slightly tweak your perspective, as I did.
Now the second part, listen to what people are saying. And if they comment on anything that you’ve created. Watch people’s body language when you’re speaking to them about it. The way people are responding… let’s say they’re disinterested and their eyes are glazing over as you talk… you could be talking too much about it.
They might not be your audience, or you might not be relaying it clearly enough. But whichever one of those things it is, you’re going to see that these people are falling asleep, while you tell them about it. That happened to me more times, I’ve learned to be more brief.
Brevity is your friend when trying to pitch an idea about what you’re doing to anybody really. There’s another powerful tip for you. Brevity. It’s why I’ve made these episodes for this series very short.
I’ll have interviews following all of this that are going to be as long as they take. But for these little lessons, I try my best to keep them as short as I can. Make a point. Focus on one point. Leave it at that and move on.
So be aware of those things, whatever cool lessons I just said. And just if you’re not dead on with the thing and it’s failing before your eyes, you’re going to need time to regroup. I did. Before I did this switch, that brought me to you now? I didn’t do anything for two years. I did some things, but almost nothing.
And I was just deeply confused the entire two years, while I consumed more books on the topic and just, I didn’t do really anything. I didn’t know what to do. I stayed frustrated for two years, alternating with, I’ve got to fucking relax so I can let the message come through.
So I worked on various relaxation techniques as best I could with the full knowledge that not getting this done was affecting my ability to feed my family or give us the kind of life we we wanted and deserved.
It’s tough guys. It’s tough. But I said it in one of my other episodes, you can’t give up. What’s the, you know, if you give up you’re dead, you’re done. Nothing happens. That’s unacceptable to me.
This thing might take iteration. It might go through phases. Each time you create something and try to find out who needs it, you’re going to learn. You’re going to learn something, even if it sucks.
And the shit that sucks is usually where you learn the most important lessons. Don’t give up entirely. Maybe ya rest for a bit. Stew, meditate, cook, sit around mumbling to yourself for a few months or even ignore it completely. That’s a bit of healthy advice for you too.
When this thing doesn’t go where you want it to go, sometimes the answer is do nothing. Just let it sit, stop thinking about it. You’ve thrown yourself at it for all you’re worth, and it’s not going where you want. You need to sit and think. Or not even think. You just need to think about other things.
Go look into other areas of your life. You’re not going to forget about this thing. But you can ignore working on it for awhile. And I believe what’ll happen is you’ll have some sort of transformative experience happens that would not have happened had all your focus been on this project, that’s going nowhere.
Or like when you take a shower. At the quietest time when you’re not expecting it, the new way to proceed will pop into your head completely unbidden and it’ll be awesome.
All right guys. See you on the next episode.