So, I spent the last four and a half weeks in The Declaration of You course and all I got was this little piece of paper!
Actually, I love having everything I discovered summarized on one page where I can review and mull.
I was asked if I would recommend this course, and my answer is a big fat "it depends" on what you're expecting when you go into it and what stage you're at.
I was drawn to the course because I loved the voice, style, personality and philosophy of When I grow up life coach, Michelle Ward. She "gets" creatives and the quandaries they face when thinking about career choices. So by extension I was attracted to this course. I'd recommend the same thing to you whenever you're looking at an online course - check out the personality behind it and see if they resonate with you.
I loved the ideas and playful open tone, but I had a bit of an adjustment about halfway through. A mismatch in expectations - my fault for not reading the course description for what it was instead of seeing what I wanted to see.
From the standpoint of both a blogger, a writer and a real life human, I've struggled with coming to grips with my idiosyncrasies - the funky little things that make up who I am and what I love - and feeling comfortable expressing it. How to boil it all down into the essence that is me - my brand? ACK. Did I just say that word? I did. Ah, branding. You see, I do have a marketing background. And I tend to think in those terms.
On my blog I'm all over the place: I like books! I like movies! And tea! Pretty ladies in vintage clothes! But also modern style! And I'm also a writer! Who is a philosopher! Who likes punky nail polish! And crochet! And sci-fi! And Jane Austen! And exclamation marks!
You see my problem. (Btw, I'm thinking maybe I should embrace my problem. Maybe my essence is my idiosyncrasies, but that's for another blog post.)
I thought this course would help me boil down the essence of me to some kind of top secret formula, like Dr. Pepper or Revlon Fire and Ice, that I could use to be more pithy and pointed.
Ha! No. This was not the course to do that. Sorry.
While we did spend the first week talking about what we love and what makes us unique, after that the course veered into other territory.
So I'd say this class will not help you figure out what to do with your life (exactly) or help you figure out how to define your brand (exactly). But it will help you create your own personal philosophy and guidelines to help you along the way.
This class will not give you a 6 month or 5 year plan to world domination. It will however, help you define your own manifesto of what makes you tick, what matters to you, and how to hold it together no matter what your 5 year plan turns out to be.
What you end up with is a personal manifesto describing: what makes you tick, what makes you unique, where you want to go with that in general (intentions), how you need to care for yourself along the way, what success means to you, how you view money, ways to celebrate your milestones in the journey, and what you can trust in along the (scary) way.
This one sheet is a reminder, tenets to live by, things I can go back to and look at and say - "Does it make sense for me to take that 2 year assignment in Zambia? Does that map to my definition of success? Does it fit with my unique strengths and passions and intentions?" Or I can look at my crazy journey to publish a novel and say "How can I celebrate the milestones? What can I trust in when I am wanting to pull my hair out?"
I'm still processing my own declaration. It's dense - there is a lot of meaning in this one page and how it will impact me over time is hard to say. But it's a great start at what you could get working with a life coach - your own personal, foundational philosophy for making decisions.
If you're trying to develop a super concrete action plan or a very specific definition of the essence of you (your own custom parfum straight from the laboratoires de France), you might need another course, or you might need to shell out the big bucks one-on-one with a life coach to get there.