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Who are you becoming?

Jay Clouse
Jay Clouse
3 min read

I've been a long-time listener of the Tim Ferriss podcast. It was probably the first podcast I really got into, and then I cooled off for a few years, but lately I find myself listening to Tim again.

Our lives and interests are seasonal. We need different things for different seasons, and we need SPACE from things for different seasons.

But sometimes who we are changes with the seasons too – and I think Tim has done that. He's become more introspective, reflective, and holistic in what it means to live a good life (and I like to think I have too).

Anyway, he recently published an episode with Rich Roll. Rich is a podcaster that I've recently really gotten into because he's an incredible interviewer – great preparation, thoughtful questions, cozy vibes...

Tim, in asking his usual wrap-up questions, asked Rich what message he would put on a billboard if given the opportunity. And Rich responded with the question, "Who are you becoming?"

That's a question I resisted asking myself for too long, and as a result led me down some dark pathways and distracted me from actualizing in a healthy way...and I think our culture is setup to distract us from that kind of self-inquiry.

And the reason I add the word "becoming" is I think it speaks to the fact that none of us are static. In every moment, we are shifting and we are changing. And every decision that we make, every interaction that we have, every word that comes out of our mouth, is either moving us to a better, more authentic version of ourselves or away from it.

That hit me really hard.

Now that I'm fully self-employed as a creator again, I've spent the last three weeks seeing just how much opportunity there is in the world. We have so many choices for how we spend our time, invest our energy, utilize our creativity...especially if you're privileged like me.

For a long time, my day in, day-out mission was making this creator thing work. I wanted to get my writing, my podcast, and the overall business to a place that it supported me and opened up more choice for where I want to invest my time.

That has happened.

That is no longer a goal to be achieved. what?

I'm so conditioned to working 12-hour days and being turned up to 11 that it's been really challenging for me to be OK with slowing down. With enjoying the space I've made for myself. And part of that is due to the constant questioning of, "So what am I really doing here?"

It's forced a level of inquiry and self-reflection that is really hard. And when I'm working at an 11, it's easy to distract myself from those hard questions.

I've been focused on MORE and GROWTH for years. I thought MORE and GROWTH would fulfill my mission of making this creator thing work. sort of did.

But focusing on more growth now doesn't feel inspiring. It feels a little gratuitous. Not that it's bad or that I don't want continued growth...just that it's not an inspiring vision that can get me going every day.

Who am I becoming doubles as a question of the true person I believe I'm becoming, but also what my creative platform will be known for.

My vision needs to put YOU at the center. It's much more inspiring to focus on helping YOU get to a place of creative and even financial independence.

And to do that, I need to lean into my strengths:

  • Gathering insight (Creative Elements)
  • Synthesizing that insight (Creative Companion)
  • Delivering it in a fun, warm, accessible way

The most authentic version of myself is someone who makes people feel welcome and provides practical, realistic insight that can help you keep moving forward with your work.

There are a lot of things I could pursue for the money, but that's not who I want to become. Instead, I'd rather become someone who is a trusted, appreciated, encouraging companion on your creative journey.

So add that to my growing list of questions for making decisions:

  1. Is this sustainable?
  2. What would old man Jay think?
  3. Who would I be becoming?

More on this to come next week.


Jay Clouse Twitter

Writer, podcaster, and community-builder helping people become professional creators. I write this blog and host Creative Elements, a narrative-interview podcast talking with today's top creators.

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