Whether you’re side-hustling, transitioning from one career to another or a multi-passionate entrepreneur or creative, you probably struggle with a common problem:
Trying to tell your backstory (your who, what and why) feels impossible. After all, how could you possibly explain all of the things you do without looking flaky or unfocused?
I have a solution for you. And yes, it involves Queen Bey herself (plus we’ll talk about why living like Batman is NOT helpful in this situation).
In this episode, you’re going to learn about a simple (but critical) re-frame that could have saved me years – and potentially a lot of money – if only I figured it out sooner.
Intrigued? Then start listening!
READ THE TRANSCRIPT
You’re listening to episode 15: Why you need to be a Beyonce and not a Batman. If you’re someone who is multi-passionate or side hustling or trying to move from one career to another, then you probably struggle to know what to even talk about online because you’re scared that you’re going to give away too much or too little, and if that’s the case, I really want you to listen to this episode. Welcome to the personal branding project. I’m your host Kat Elizabeth an actor and personal branding coach who is obsessed with helping creative entrepreneurs like you build personal brands that change life for good, from attracting bigger opportunities, more joy and freedom in your life and the ability to get paid to do the things that you love most. Each week. I’m bringing you inspiration, practical advice, and occasional dose of tough love so you can stop dreaming and start doing what it takes to make those dreams a reality.
Welcome back. I am thrilled you’re here again. If this is your first time, well welcome and for everybody else, thank you for allowing me into your ear holes. Once again, I am really excited about this episode, but before we kick in, just a few little updates for you. So I am currently gearing up for the social storytelling challenge, which I know a lot of you have signed up full, but if you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Jokes, half jokes. So it’s a five day challenge that starts on Sunday, which is February 2nd PSD. Um, wait, Sunday is always Sunday. If it’s the second anyway, you know, it’s a Sunday morning. Give me a break. So I’m really excited about this one, but I will be honest with you, I’m also, I’m a little bit nervous. I’ve not done a challenge like this before. Specifically it’s uncharted territory.
But as I mentioned on the last episode, so it was a podcast and then it became my comfort zone. So I decided to do something a little bit different experiments. See how this goes. I’ve got so many people signing up and I’m absolutely thrilled. I really truly believe that what I’m teaching in this challenge is going to be something that really does have the power to sort of transform the way you connect with your audience, but it’s also going to hopefully transform the way you think about social media or writing any copy. Really. I think it’s very easy to get overthink it, like to get really stressed out when you have to write your own captions or emails and think, Oh it’s too hard. I’m not a writer but I’m, I’m really gonna show you that you do not need to be a writer.
In fact, sometimes being a writer can get in the way of creating real, real gold and real connection because you’re trying to be too clever. So as I said, it kicks off on the 2nd. If you haven’t signed up, do it. It’s completely free and I’m sure you’ll walk away with something helpful. And at the least you can have a good time cause there were so many amazing people signing up and that’s just going to be a really good energy in air. So that’s that one. One of the thing I was going to ask is that if you have been listening for awhile, I would ask if you would mind going and leaving the podcast, a review, a written review on iTunes. I say iTunes, I mean podcasts. It makes such a difference in helping get the word out and get the show in front of more ears.
And I would be incredibly, incredibly grateful if you would do that. So that’s all on that. Let’s dive straight into this topic because I’m sure you’re dying to know why the hell I’m talking about Beyonce and Batman. So I am talking specifically about this topic today because it actually relates to a mistake that I made for a really, really long time that potentially cost me a lot of money, but also even sent me back years in growing my personal brand. And I kind of, I refer to this as like the curse of the multi-passionate millennial. Um, I mean it’s a term that I just coined, but roll with me here. I think it sounds good. So I really believe that at the moment we’re kind of stuck between two worlds, well kind of two generations. So like the generation that came before us, things were a little bit more traditional and straight forward when it came to climbing the career ladder or running a business.
And there was definitely a much bigger separation between like your personal life and your professional and obviously because we didn’t have social media then it was so much easier to have those boundaries really clear. Social media is what pretty much has confused everything and then the next generation is obviously the generation of oversharing and there is no like there are no boundaries between the personal and professional. And I really think that the, the sweet spot is something in between. So this is, especially if you are someone that’s multi-passionate or if you, let’s say you have a day job and you have a side hustle that you’re trying to grow, which technically means you are still like multi-passionate, but I’m just saying this can take many forms, but so many of us, like in fact I feel like it’s actually the vast majority of people today have more than one interest.
And in the past that used to be seen as kind of frivolous or it’s like, okay, that’s fine, but get the real job and then you can have your hobby on the side. Whereas the beauty of today is that people are actually able to pursue their passions, their obsessions as careers like, we get to find ways to make money doing the things we love, which I think is one of the greatest gifts of all time. So I’ve always been multi-passionate like I’ve always been obsessed with lots of different things, but there was a time that I thought that was a curse. I thought it was a really bad thing. So obviously, well not obviously, you may not know, but I started out my career as an actor, as a musical theatre performer, and part of my brain was always like, you’re destined to do more than this.
Like you’re more than just an actor. Like you have all these other things that you love. And part of me was like, Oh, if I wasn’t acting, what would I be doing? I’d probably go to university, probably study business, maybe it’d be a photographer. Like there are all these different things that I love doing. And in fact, I did actually try many of them. I used to think that you had to just be the one thing for multiple reasons. Part of me felt like I was less worthy of doing the thing that I, you know, the, the main thing, if I had other interests, like almost diluted my power, my worthiness of doing the main thing. But that’s like, that’s a mindset issue. Maybe you don’t have that. But the other side was that I was really concerned that if I told people in my industry of the thing that I was doing right now that I did things outside of the industry, that I had other interests, they would take me less seriously and this became more of a problem.
Like it was one thing when I was in the acting like the film industry, the theatre industry, because you know obviously a lot of actors, most actors have to support themselves another way so it’s more common to have to like jump between things. But when I started trying to build my freelance career as a copywriter, I felt weird about telling my clients, my copywriting clients that I was also an actor and that I was still actively pursuing that because I thought, Oh dear, they are going to be like, well clearly she’s not serious. “How could you be that good a writer if that’s not what she does all the time?” “Is she flaky?” You know, all these things. So I started to develop a secret identity. I decided, you know what, I’m going to have you use my two different names, so I have like Kat Elizabeth, Elizabeth is my middle name and then I was using Rodrigues, which was my surname and I was like, okay there’s going to be Kat Rodrigues and there’s Kat Elizabeth and that’s how I’m going to separate my life.
So like on LinkedIn and on my professional email signature, it was Kat Rodrigues and KatRodrigues.com which was my copywriting site. It does still exist if you are looking for that. It’s just not really active. And then for my acting, anything creative was going to be Kat Elizabeth. In other words, I turned myself into Batman because you know at night I was Batman, I was doing my acting, I was saving Gotham city, but during the day I was Bruce Wayne. Oh my gosh, I actually wish I was Bruce Wayne. He’s very rich. But you get the idea. I was really living two separate lives and I did not want the people that saw me in one thing to know I was the other thing cause I thought it would all just fall apart. But now fast forward a few years and I’m having to try and undo all the damage that I did by separating my identity for so long.
Basically I ended up having to come out of the closet as someone who is multi-passionate but who was also a specialist in what she does because just because you’re multi-pass multi-passionate – oh dear I can’t even speak. Just because you’re does not mean you can’t specialize and master something like, I think the thing that was going on in the back of my head was like Jack of all trades, master of none. Because that is what society has generally said is like if you’re not going to specialize in one thing, then you’re going to be a Jack of all trades. And that’s a bad thing because look, there are some things that we like. If you choose to be a doctor to be a lawyer, certain things that require a crazy amount of study and a very, very intensive day job, career, you know, commitment to your work, then obviously yes, it’s going to require way, way, way more time.
But not every career is going to require you to do that same level of intensive study and the same number of hours each week in your job for you to actually become, you know, the top of your game. Okay. But let’s just shelve that for a second. And I want to talk about Beyonce for a second. So obviously we’ve got Batman, you get it. Two different characters. No one knows that he’s BruceWayne and Batman, except you know Alfred, which is, you know, probably your best friend or you know, your partner, your family. Like they probably know it but nobody else really does. Whereas Beyonce is a little bit different. So Beyonce created Sasha Fierce and like you don’t have to be a massive the Beyonce fan. So like don’t, don’t lose me here. I’ll explain. So Sasha fierce is what Beyonce named her alter ego — it’s what she calls an alter ego.
Now I believe alter egos can take lots of different forms and if you’re thinking like comic book style alter ego, it’s probably going to be a little bit different. But for the purposes of Beyonce, like from what I understand, and I’m certainly not an expert, she wanted to create a stage persona that gave her permission to be as fearless and as “Beyonce” as possible. But when I say Beyonce as possible, I mean all of that natural goodness inside her, but that’s not kind of held back by the day to day responsibilities and boring crap. Like, you know, Sasha Fierce doesn’t think about the fact that she’s looking after kids. She’s changing diapers that she has to go, you know, I was going to say cook. Beyonce probably doesn’t cook her own meals these days, but you get the idea… Like there’s admin involved. She’s probably in negotiating things.
It all sounds boring. Whereas Sasha Fiece is just out there on stage or getting filmed, posing for photos looking amazing and making us just go, wow, that’s so cool. But we know that Sasha fierce is Beyonce was never any question about it. It’s just like Sasha Fierce is this elevated version of Beyonce and the fact is we know that Sasha Fierce is Beyonce. Like it’s not like she’s trying to trick us. It’s more that like we, she’s kind of giving all of us a chance to suspend belief for a little bit and just, just imagine that this fullest version of Beyonce that we’re seeing on stage or onscreen is the real Beyonce that she doesn’t have to about, you know, all of the other stuff that’s going on. She can just be Queen Bey – like she’s, she’s running the world. She’s like, you know, it’s just all of the good stuff without any of the boring stuff that can kind of water things down.
Now I believe that you can be Beyonce in your own way. You don’t need to be a Batman if you have multiple things going on, we can work this to your advantage and in my opinion, this all comes down to a good backstory. Now in the next episode we are going to be talking about your brand story and these two things definitely tie in together, but just to give you a quick hint is that your brand story is actually all about how your audience, how your ideal client, that person that you’re trying to serve is actually the hero of the story. So what we need to be careful about when we create our back story is that it’s something that’s actually going to appeal to our audience. It’s not just about our egos. In fact, it’s not about our egos at all. And this is where really being Beyonce / Sasha Fierce is is going to help you shine.
Whereas Batman could actually, it could harm you because people do want a full story. They want to know you. They don’t necessarily want to know that you are like changing nappies, you know, in between writing copy or you know like what you’re doing when you’re not on stage. Like they don’t always want to know the nitty gritty details. Like let’s be honest, like a personal brand. It’s a business. Okay so you’re not going to share everything. But I truly believe that everything that we’ve done in our lives has played a really important role in getting us to where we are now. Really key lessons, experience like it’s taught us so much. So therefore there has to be some things from your past that may seem unrelated to what you’re doing now, but that can actually tie in and support your story and give you even more credibility.
You don’t just have to use, you know, your relevant degree and your five years in this specific industry as credibility. So it’s taken me a while to get my story straight and it’s something that’s going to be ever evolving because I’m trying to make sure it appeals to my audience. Yes, that’s you. You’re listening right now. And so I kind of go back through my history and I can finally see that the things that I did, like all the really random things, I mean not all of them, but a lot of them helped me now help you. So I mean just the fact that I am multi-passionate means that it can actually help other multi-passionate people because I know what that’s like. The fact that I actually worked in real estate, I mean I’ve actually found that I can use that depending on who I’m talking to, the real estate can give me an edge.
Whether I’m talking to people in that industry, like whether I’m talking to real estate agents or mortgage brokers or even sales can say that I’ve done sales. So I’m tying that into the stuff that I’m teaching now. Once I started my YouTube channel, I was like, wow, I’m actually becoming a a video expert. And suddenly that’s something that like, you know, people could think, Oh, a YouTube channel, that’s just a hobby. It’s just one of the million things that she does. But the fact is it’s taught me so much about creating videos like scripting and editing and you know, search engine optimization that that is a part of my potential backstory as well. I used my makeup background to eventually create the course and then launch the course. And then what’s interesting is that I ended up being miserable after the launch. However, like even though I was really unhappy and at the time I was really humiliated and I just was like, I didn’t want people to know just how badly I believed I’d failed.
Now it’s one of my core story pieces for my backstory because I saw just how much of a blessing in disguise that failure was because it led me to where I am today. I also had the same experience with a show that I produced about six years ago maybe. Oh, I think six years ago. Wow. Time flies. My, my Bombshell shows. And again, like two sides of this one part of the show for me, like it was a huge failure. Like financially the show costs me a lot and I was absolutely devastated by that fact. But then on the other side, you know, it was a critical success. I learned how to like write and produce and direct and manage a team all in that one go. Like in this really intensive period of time that may or may not have shaved five years off my life.
But that whole experience now like, which again like this could have made me look like I, I’m just like flighty or you know, because it’s like, what she also does this, she also does this, but I’m like, no, because this taught me how to do this, this and this. I mean it sparked my interest in marketing. So that’s interesting. Like, I can tell that in my backstory of like one of the reasons I decided to become a marketer is because I marketed my own show and people ask if I’ve managed a team. Well I can say that I did it in that, you know, we need to think outside the square. And as I said, this firstly is going to take a little bit. So take your time with this and know that it’s going to evolve and it’s going to get, you know, it’s going to get better as time goes on.
So don’t feel like you ever have the final draft. There’s no such thing. But the other thing I want to remind you is that we are always presenting in front of different people. So depending on whether you’re introducing yourself at some sort of industry event, if you’re networking, but in front of the people, some people that are in a very different industry to you. If the setting is more corporate, if people are younger than you, older than you, you’re going to have to present different parts of your backstory or present them in a different way so that it appeals to that audience at the time. And I think this is something like this comes from emotional intelligence and empathy and knowing how to read people and just experience in general. Because obviously if you tell, if you write your backstory and it’s the same way and you present it to the same to everyone, they’re all going to hear different things and it’s going to appeal to some and not to others.
But I do think that we all have all of the elements of something that could appeal to just about anyone on the planet. There’s some way that all of us could connect with somebody else. And I mean, I think Beyonce does this because so many of us do want to be unencumbered by the day to day. The stuff that keeps us busy and maybe bored and frustrated and feeling trapped and we want to be fearless and independent and we want to feel like we can take over the world and do whatever the hell we want and look fantastic while we do it. So I think Beyonce has found this really universal appeal, which not everyone is going to be able to do. Not everybody is Beyonce, but I do think on a smaller scale we can tap into what other people need from us so that they can believe in us, they can be inspired by us, they can trust us and our credibility.
And I just want you to start maybe being a more of aware of this. Because I don’t, I don’t want to send you away and give you homework of like now you need to write a thousand word essay on your backstory. Not at all. I just want you to reframe the stuff that you’ve been trying to hide because you think maybe it makes you less credible and instead try and find a way that you can tie it in and make it, explain how you got to where you are today and who you are today. So anything that you learned from that, anything that helped guide you. Like it could be something that helps you have a mindset shift, you know, perspective shift. It could’ve been the actual skills you learned, it could have been the people that introduced you to, sometimes it could be from the injustice that you faced…
You were so frustrated by being in that situation that you decided you never wanted to do that again. I mean, one of my big “whys” is that like, I really don’t believe that we have to be starving artists like that, you know, actors and musicians. I believe there’s a way that we can actually enjoy like financial abundance while also expressing ourselves creatively. And so that was one of my big, like kicking off points, especially when I started the YouTube channel. So again — so many different things that can connect us to different people. So stop trying to hide. Stop being Batman and start really being proud of everything that got you here and thinking about how you can weave that into stories. And also keep in mind, you don’t need to tell this entire story in its entirety. Like if you join The Social storytelling Challenge, wink, wink, I’m going to show you how, you know we can pull out little bits and pieces of what we need to appeal to our audience.
And like you know, you just one tiny little nugget from your backstory could spark an entire story. So don’t think that you have to try and explain yourself in one in one mouthful and one sentence. But once you start feeling proud of what you’ve done and who you are, it just starts to get a lot easier to communicate with anyone. You know, you walk into a room with your head held high, you create social posts and proudly talk about your background instead of just, you know, trying to gloss over the bits that you think people are going to judge you for. And you know, just keep in mind that usually people only tend to judge us for the stuff that we are really insecure about and that we’re judging ourselves for a and if you are owning who you are and where you’re at, then it makes it really difficult for other people to judge you.
And then if they do, you don’t care. You’re like, well cool, take a hike. I don’t need you in my life. Anyways. I’m not going to rant on any longer. I really hope you got the point and I hope you start to own your own story and share it a little bit more. And just a reminder that if you’re listening to this at the end of January or the beginning of February, you still have time to sign up to The Social Storytelling Challenge, and I would love to see you there and start helping you tell your own backstory in a way that people find interesting and relevant and all of those things. So thanks as always for listening. Don’t forget to go leave the show a review so we can get some more listeners! And I will see you – NO – I will, I won’t see you. I will talk to you on the next one. Bye for now.
Kat is an actor and personal branding coach as well as the host of The Personal Branding Project Podcast and her self-titled YouTube channel. She started her career off by playing Marilyn at Warner Bros Movie World, went on to perform in the original Australian casts of Jersey Boys & Hairspray and eventually found herself writing/producing her own work before becoming a self-employed copywriter and marketing strategist. She now offers 1:1 Coaching and Online Courses for entrepreneurs, freelancers + multi-passionate creatives.