When I got divorced I cut my hair. Not just a trim—I went from long, plain (though fabulously red!) locks, to a short, sassy new hairstyle.
My reasoning: big life changes require big hair changes.
After all, I was integrating a new identity as a single woman. I needed a new “face” to show the world.
Now, over a decade later, I’m in creative free-fall, an exhilarating (if sometimes exasperating) state, and I’m in the process of integrating a new identity once again.
This time, though, instead of divorce, it’s the metaphorical opposite: instead of splitting up a relationship, I’m bringing together my many relationships with my many selves.
There’s Melissa the artist and calligrapher. There’s Melissa the singer/songwriter. There’s Melissa the writer/blogger. There’s Melissa the teacher/coach. (Notice how even my individual identities are multiples!)
For much too long I’ve separated out these various selves (and their sub-identities and offshoots). It’s time to consolidate and integrate.
The new title:
Melissa Dinwiddie, Renaissance Woman Multi-Passionate Creative Artrepreneur
I tried on Renaissance Woman for awhile, and it was a great exercise. But it wasn’t quite right.
There were a few problems:
- Not everyone is familiar with the term “Renaissance Man (or Woman),” especially people from other countries! I guess it’s an English-speaking thing.
- There’s the unintended implication that “Renaissance” in the title means involvement in historical re-enactments. Um, no. Ren Faires are cool (and I sure wanted a hoop skirt when I was 9!), just not what I’m about.
I knew I needed a new title, and when I listened to a Question the Rules interview with Marie Forleo I knew I’d found part of it. Marie calls herself a “multi-passionate entrepreneur,” and like me, she’s got a lot of different stuff going on, her fingers in a lot of pies. (Check out her site — she’s a great inspiration!)
And contrary to the conventional wisdom that niche-ing oneself is essential for success, she makes her diversity work for her business and her brand!
ROCK ON! I want me some of that!
However, “entrepreneur” doesn’t adequately describe me. It’s too “business-y,” and excludes the creative/art side of who I am and what I do. So I added “creative,” and changed “entrepreneur” to “artrepreneur.”
So: Multi-Passionate Creative Artrepreneur. (Thanks Marie!)
In addition to a title, I knew I needed a new website. When I started LACL, my immediate goal was to get my feet wet in the world of blogging. I didn’t have a clear vision of how it would fit in with my overall business model or brand, just that I wanted to start writing and exploring.
At the moment, I’ve got a whole bunch of disparate websites, each showing different sides of myself and what I offer.
Ketubahworks = my wedding and lifecycle art
MDDesignworks = my calligraphy and design (and not updated in years!)
MelissaSings = my music
The Dating Queen = my blog about dating
Living A Creative Life = my blog about following my evolving Blisses and creating the life I really, really want.
(And there’s also the unfinished Wedding Artworks = my ill-fated site that I started when I thought it would be a brilliant idea to try and capture the larger wedding market. Suffice it to say, it was an expensive mistake.)
Now I realize I need a platform that consolidates all of those facets together.
I need a site that represents the whole me.
Here’s a mind map of what that looks like today:
So now my big project goal is to build a new site that ties it all together. A lot of work, but I’m excited about it! Once I have it up, I’ll be able to send people to ONE site, rather than several.
So now I’ve got a brand new site that ties is all together! A lot of work, and still ongoing, but I’m excited about it! Now I can actually send people to ONE site, rather than several.
This is exciting! I’ve got that telltale buzzing inside that’s a sure sign I’m on the path the Universe wants me on right now. (Know what I’m talking about? If so, you’re definitely a kindred spirit.)
Big internal changes require big external changes.
Watch this space!