For Years, I Chased
A life as an artist, a writer, a webpreneur, a blogger, all in carefully focused niches. Sure, I had the trappings of a non-conformist, of sorts, but it was surprisingly mundane — I followed advice, charted a path, targeted markets, fretted over my strengths and weaknesses and start up expenses. It was all very contrived and proper (in spite of the creative labels I stuck on it).
And I grew incredibly, frustratingly bored and burnt-out.
It just wasn’t working for me. Sure, I sold stuff. Sometimes, my stuff sold for not-insignificant amounts. Sometimes, my only income was a $50 affiliate check.
But it never was money that motivated me. Yes, I wanted to pay the bills, but even more than that, I wanted to create, to express, to reveal, to give voice, to provide perspective.
I wanted to turn people’s perceptions on their heads, and see what shook out through their ears. And I wanted to help others to create, to express, reveal, to find their voice and provide perspectives of their own.
So I walked away from my semi-conventional blog , the one I had years of authority and networking and product development invested in, the one that actually got me writing jobs, and made money, and showed the potential of making a lot more.
And I ran off to join a circus of my own invention.
A metaphorical circus.
The Circus Serene.
Why a Circus Serene?
Isn’t That Self-Contradictory?
I adore a good, old fashioned circus; there’s just so much fabulous going on, that you hardly know where to look. It’s a frantic, frenetic affair, with dogs and ponies, trumpets and clowns and sideshow freaks, all running around every-which-where. On the surface, it’s all apparent random chaos and madness, yet somehow? It all fits together.
There’s a flow, a sort of choreographed serenity to the circus, a rhythm that underlies not only the performance, but the lifestyle that supports it.
The circus knows what it is, and what it does. It knows that no matter how many tickets are sold (or not sold) it will still be a circus, and its members will always be circus, too no matter how far away from the big top they may roam.
That’s what I want… that sort of certainty of identity, and the serenity that comes with that knowledge.
Not just for me, but for the rest of us, too.
I want us to know who we are, with unshakable certainty.
I want us to have positive relationships with the chaos of our lives, to rearrange our attitudes so that we’re directing the show, rather than the show directing us.
And I want us to know that just like the circus, our sense of home, family, community and self is always with us, where ever we are, whatever changes in identity and circumstance we go through.
And for those of us with businesses (and business aspirations), I want us to step into our identities as ringmasters, comfortably directing both the show itself,and the attention of the audience, creating not just products and services, but experiences.
That’s Nice, Tori.
But, Um… What Do You DO Here?
I started the Circus because I saw a need in myself for unconventional business advice –- strategies and methods that wouldn’t constantly force me out of my own process. Gradually, I realized a lot of people were in the same boat. They wanted and needed business advice, but trying to follow the standard button-down sources? It felt like wearing somebody else’s clothes.
So through the Circus, I offer that sort of specialized support. Support for creative, sometimes seemingly-abstract approaches to business. Support that gives you room for your own process. Support that re-writes the business-as-usual advice so that it encourages your unique voice and quirkiness, rather than dressing it up in a suit and kitten heels and insisting it conform to some imaginary standard of success. (But if you like wearing suits and kitten heels, that’s ok, too. I sometimes even wear a necktie, just for fun.)
Discussion topics around here range from business models to creative inspirations, and how to stay sane when the world interferes with our plans.
I host weekly chats on Twitter every Monday at 2pm Eastern (look for hashtag #QuirkyBiz) and there is always something interesting in the works. Stick around – you never know what may happen in the next act!
And Then There’s Me, Tori Deaux.
I’m a forty somethin’-somethin’ from Texas, currently living just north of Dallas. No kids, but we do have a house in the suburbs and 2.3 pets. I don’t have favorite colors, movies or books, because I’m afraid I’ll hurt the feelings of whatever I leave off the list.
I have a shameful fondness for paperback horror novels and over the top disaster movies complete with all their glorious pseudoscience trappings. I’m allergic to onions, I hate peas, and I could easily become addicted to seasame chicken. Don’t judge.