#SoCS: Quieting the Quagmire (for Myself and Others, Too!)

Hey there! I’m Shan, and I have a thing for alliteration!

I’m also a solopreneur, providing content creation and collaboration services to a small and select group of clients. Because I want to give my best services to my clients, I focus on building strong relationships with them (whether they need a one-off service or more consistent work).

These relationships make my work a pleasure, because they mean I get to help friends, and, even when my work is extremely challenging, as sometimes it is, I come to the challenge with the drive to get things figured out, keep things as stress-free as possible for my client, and deliver the best content I can craft – even if that means I spent an hour cursing and muttering at my laptop screen before I got there. =)

Since I was a very young child, I’ve had an abiding passion for the human ability to communicate through language. I’ve written elsewhere about the traumatic event that led me to writing, and how it’s been my lifelong go-to for working things through – like this post about the aftermath of our baby son’s death at 12 days old, or this poem born months following my husband’s death of a very aggressive pancreatic cancer early in 2018.

A full Burton Bunch… wacky joy fully loaded!

I also have another ability, which I honed throughout my childhood, because it made me more valuable to an emotionally needy and abusive mother – and being more valuable meant I was a little safer.

I have this knack for being able to articulate things people didn’t know they wanted to say until I say them back – and in their language.

You might be able to see how that’s a pretty useful skill for a content creator

A few months ago, I had an inspiration after one of our weekly calls in the fantastic biz coaching group I’m in (shoutout to Britt Bolnick of In Arms Coaching, and to all my magickal Biz Elementals sisters!).

We’d been talking about places we were stuck. As usual, we brainstormed in the Zoom chat…. And I began to realize something that broke over me whole later in the week, when I attended a great webinar on expanding service offerings through Freelance University.

I could develop a service offering around helping people get unstuck! I could use my ability to hear and feel things people didn’t know they meant or wanted to say, and my ability to reflect those things back to them. I could add in my content collaboration abilities, and put my years of writing, revising, and beta-reading for others to a new use.

Within a few weeks, I’d figured out the basics of how the process works: We chat via email, beginning with a few simple questions designed to tease out the stuck places and the way my client expresses herself,  and she sends me any documents or thoughts she has around her stuck place – her personal Quagmire.

I read through these and give her my impressions, and once she’s had a chance to unravel them in her mind and see if they resonate, she schedules a Zoom brainstorming session. That way, we get to interact digitally face-to-face. It helps me tremendously to be able to see where someone lights up, what pulls them down into their chair, what words and thoughts and themes they keep coming back to.

And that’s how Quiet the Quagmire was born, although it didn’t have a name until a few days ago, when I was sitting outside taking some sun with my sweet Noli-dog, feet in the too-shaggy grass.

This face inspires me (usually to give her treats!).

As soon as I announced I was test-driving this service in the coaching group, I had a waiting list (I only onboard one woman at a time, because each deserves my full attention, and I can’t give that if I’m spread too thin). That list has grown in the weeks since – and this is the first time I’m even mentioning it outside of a very select group of people!

I love how this idea that turns me on, and is something people truly need and are willing to say, “Sign me up!” Because that’s when I know it’s the perfect blend of my Big Three – writing, learning, and helping others.

I feel like I’ve quieted some quagmires for myself, too. =)

NOTE: None of these are affiliate links – I just believe in these businesses, and they were part of my process.




    • I was shocked at how quickly it took off. Since I can only bring in one woman at a time, I have a waiting list for test-drivers.

      They will help me fine-tune things, set equitable pricing, and build out the branding and systems.

      Last night, I had an inspiration for two or three different ways to market this.to different groups of people. I’m excited about it, because it’s both a way people can explore working with me in an a la carte style, but it’s a way for someone who isn’t ready to make a monthly investment for whatever reason to have a chance to get unstuck… and it turns a lifelong gift that took me over 40 years to realize WAS a gift not everyone has to a beneficial purpose. Winning all around! =)

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