TCC Podcast #162: Finding Your Brand of Joy with Tanya Geisler - The Copywriter Club
TCC Podcast #162: Finding Your Brand of Joy with Tanya Geisler

Leadership coach, Tanya Geisler, is our guest for the 162nd episode of The Copywriter Club Podcast. It’s been more than 2 years since we spoke to Tanya last (all about the Imposter Complex) and we thought it was time to check back in and see what other issues she could help us deal with. And we’re glad we did. We asked Tanya about:
•  what’s changed since we talked to her 2 years ago
•  the behaviors that hold us back from accomplishing our mission
•  the difference between anxiety, criticism and imposter complex—and why it matters
•  how our deeply held values sometimes hold us back (and real world examples of how that works)
•  the unshakeable confidence framework
•  how to take ownership of what is holding us back so we can make progress
•  overcoming the lies of the imposter complex (it’s not a linear process)
•  how to find our own brand(s) of joy
•  Tanya workshopped this a bit for Rob a bit while we talked
•  what happens when we have the wrong perception of our brand of joy
•  Tanya and Kira talked through her “word” and why Kira didn’t like it at first
•  what you can do to figure this stuff out for yourself
•  how to choose a coach who will help you become a better version of yourself
•  how copywriters can take on the role of a leader

We also asked Tanya about how someone can work with her and her thoughts about the future of copywriting and online marketing. To hear what she said about all of the above, click the play button below or download this episode to your favorite podcast player. Rather read what she said? Then scroll down for a full transcript.


The people and stuff we mentioned on the show:

Our first interview with Tanya (47)
Kira’s website
Rob’s website
The Copywriter Club Facebook Group
The Copywriter Underground


Full Transcript:

Kira:   What if you could hang out with seriously talented copywriters and other experts, ask them about their successes and failures, their work processes, and their habits, then steal an idea or two to inspire your own work? That’s what Rob and I do every week at The Copywriter Club Podcast.

Rob:   You’re invited to join the club for episode 162, as we chat for a second time with leadership coach Tanya Geisler, about what she’s been doing since our last interview more than two years ago, the importance of embracing joy, building unshakable confidence, what to look for when you’re hiring a coach and the thing that separates those who reach their full potential from those who don’t.

Kira:   Welcome, Tanya.

Rob:   Hey Tanya.

Tanya:           Hey. I’m so happy to be here, and honored. Thank you both so much.

Kira:   Yeah, we’re very excited to have you back for a second time. Your interview, number 47, is one of my favorite interviews on this entire show and I think just surprised both of us just with the impact it’s had in the copywriter community after we talked about the impostor complex and dug into that. So we’ll definitely link to that conversation, but we want to know really like what you’ve been up to since then over the last two years. So we can talk about a lot of what you’re teaching and talking about today.

Tanya:           Oh, what I’ve been doing in the last two years? I can tell you what I’ve been doing today, but the last two years, Oh my goodness. I’ve been doing a lot of speaking. I’ve been doing a lot of deepening into this body of work that I’ve been called to really understand. I’ve created a framework from which I’m really understanding the impostor complex, and I launched my own podcast called Ready Enough, which is really looking at all of the places perfectionism and gets up in our grill and insists that we do things perfectly right. But really it’s also about taking the conversation about the impostor complex and getting under when it might not be the impostor complex, because I’ve spent so much time, I think I might’ve even said this in our interview two years ago, that for me I’m like, I used to say that I’m like the Greek father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and I can bring everything back to the imposter complex and over the speaking of the doing and the deepening of the doing with my work, I really, sometimes it’s not the impostor complex.

Sometimes it’s a fear of fat phobia or transphobia or it’s racism, it’s systemic issues that are at play. So I’m really trying to be much more nuanced about it, and continuing to dig into what we do about the impostor complex when it shows up. That’s what I’ve been up to.

Rob:   Well, let’s dig into that just a little bit and we don’t need to rehash the discussion we had on imposter complex because that was already a great interview and you walked us through all of the ways that that can show up in our lives and some of the tools that we need to have in our toolbox in order to deal with it. But can we go a little bit deeper on some of these other things related to perfectionism that are keeping us from showing up and doing the work that we should be doing?

Tanya:           Absolutely. So the only thing that I’ll say just from imposter complex 101, is that it has three really specific objectives, I should say, it wants to keep you out of action, it wants to have you doubt your capacity and it wants to keep you alone and isolated. So the whole setup of the imposter complex is to do one of those three things or sometimes all of those three things. And so it functions, so when we want to avoid feeling like the impostor, we might go to one of six specific behavioral traits. That’s perfectionism. That’s procrastination, that’s leaked boundaries, that’s people pleasing. It’s diminishment and it’s comparison. And so this is, all have our own particular blends and cocktails of how we try to avoid feeling like the impostor, but it’s typically going to be one of those behaviors.

That’s where we’re going to be hiding out. And so, and again, each one of those is going to be, again, trying to keep you out of action, dead in your capacity or alone and isolated. So I think it’s just really helpful to know which one is your particular blend that you go to, to avoid feeling like the impostor. And then when we know that, then we have more of a fighting chance of extracting ourselves from it or popping back out or having sort of sea anemone, sort of shrink back response that when it shows up, we can go, Oh, okay, I understand what’s happening and then I can bounce back. Does that make sense?

Rob:   Totally makes sense. Yeah. And you’re the first person to mention a sea anemone on the podcast. So 162 episodes to get there.

Tanya:           162 episodes. All right.

Kira:   You’re good like that.

Tanya:           This could be the last line. Like you guys are done.

Rob:   Yup, we’ve hit full vocabulary. Whatever it is.

Kira:   So Tanya, when you, you were mentioning your body of work and that you’ve just continued to dive deeper into it. So over the last, let’s say again, over the last two years, what has surprised you as you continue to get deeper into your work and work with more clients and speak more and get more feedback from the outside and your community? What has surprised you and even, you said that you found that some of these issues are not the impostor complex. Can you talk more about that too? Maybe it’s related.

Tanya:           Yeah. Well, let’s just say this. If you study or if you follow anybody who does deep work in anxiety, you’ll hear, when they talk about anxiety. Anxiety really tries to keep you out of action. Want’s you to doubt your capacity, and wants you to feel alone and isolated. So that’s looks and smells an awful like what I would have painted the impostor complex with, with a pretty wide brush stroke, in the past. Or if somebody is dealing with, they feel they are attacked by fat phobic people. Same thing, you’re going to go to, you’re going to keep out of action to at your capacity and feel alone and isolated. And so one of the things that I’ve been paying a lot of attention to is, are these behavioral traits, this procrastination, perfectionism, leaky boundaries, people pleasing diminishment and comparison.

Because some of these, let me just say this, I’m going to step aside with for a minute and say that, these behavioral traits, it’s really easy to go and say like, stop procrastinating and don’t be a perfectionist, and like get over people pleasing. But the truth of the matter is, is just like our own inner critics. There is a nugget of truth or there’s a nugget of gold I would say in the context of these behavioral traits. So if you are somebody who diminishes, then you might have a really strong value of humility. Your value of people pleasing, or if you’re a people pleaser, maybe you’re just really concerned about being super inclusive. If you’ve got boundaries that are pretty leaky, it might have everything to do with the fact that you are deeply generous and generosity is really important to you.

So again, I just like, I want to bring in lots more discernment and nuance to the conversation because I do think that in a lot of self-development spaces, it’s like perfectionism is the enemy. Well actually perfectionism is the very thing that has helped you to grow your capacity as an artist, as a copywriter, as a leader. And it’s not a problem until it becomes a problem. And so it’s that kind of, that edge that I’m really paying a lot of attention to. People pleasing isn’t just about inclusivity, for folks who’ve been marginalized. It’s actually an instrument of survival. So I just think that like we need to hold the perspective with a lot more care. So if you tend to be somebody who procrastinates, I don’t want you to berate yourself. I want you to go, okay, this has served me to a degree.

Now where is it problematic? Where do I need to spend a little bit of attention? Where do I need to pay a bit more attention? So I think that that is sort of taking each of these traits and constraining them out has been deeply surprising and really illuminating. And I think it’s also helpful for a lot of people to be like, okay, there’s a reason I can’t just lop this part of me out. Like, Rob, Kira I think I probably should’ve said this to you two years ago, and we’ve had lots of conversations. You know, that I tend to be a people pleaser, but I also attribute an awful lot of the success that I have to my people pleasing tendencies. Am I manipulative? No. Am I trying to get away with something? No.

So, those are the edges that I want people to be paying attention to. Like appreciate that aspect of you and then get curious about when it’s in the way. So I’m now over the shadow side of the people pleasing, which was all about calling into question the invitations that I got. So, back two years ago we would have talked about it being a double bind. If you’re a people pleaser, it means that you’re using that to make sure that you’re in the fray, that you belong. But then the sort of a double edged sword piece is that, when you get an invitation, you think it’s because they’re air quotes required, just being nice.

It has nothing to do with the fact that you’re deeply skilled or talented or exceptional at what you do. They’re just being nice. So that would be that double-edged sword. But I’ve been doing this so long and I have really immersed myself in my tools and I recognize that, yes. Pleasing folks, getting along, belonging, being seen, all of that’s actually really important to me and it’s not something that I use to manipulate others. And when I’m given opportunities, I can now route into the capacity that is true about my excellence at what I do.

Rob:   So I really liked this idea that our values may be contributing to some of these things that are holding us back. But it seems to me that if that’s true, and it probably is, it also makes it harder to overcome them. So, if I’m procrastinating because, maybe I have a value of needing to be ready before I get something done or whatever those values might be, changing who I am and something that’s so fundamental to my identity as a value is a lot harder than just saying, well, you need to manage your time better. Right? So what are the tools that we can use to identify, like how do we move forward and turn this into a positive as opposed to a negative?

Tanya:           Well, first of all, so for you Rob, if that’s true, that procrastination is your thing, then, hallelujah, you have a strong value of discernment. And I know that that’s actually true about you, you are quite concerned about congruence. You are very pragmatic and you’re not going to say a false thing. So you are going to measure your words, you are going to measure… you’re going to be very mindful about how you present something. So for some people that might look like procrastination. And for me, I would say like, I don’t know, I just think you’ve got a strong value of discernment. So again, it’s about an edge. It’s like, okay, I can take this piece, but now where is this behavior getting in the way? Where is it keeping me out of action? Where is it keeping me alone and isolated and where’s it having me doubt my capacity? And that becomes this internal process and also something that you can work through with somebody who knows what they’re doing in this realm. So it really is about parsing the gold for yourself because again, you’re highly sophisticated…

Rob:   Well. Thank you very much.

Tanya:           I love it. I mean, that’s a good thing, right Rob? It’s not a bad thing. We’ve got to celebrate Rob Marsh people. We’ve got to celebrate Rob Marsh.

Rob:   I’m not sure that I am highly sophisticated. I’m highly a lot of things, but maybe not…

Tanya:           All right. All right. All right. All right. All right. See, this is going to become a coaching call. Tell me about that. No, I’m kidding. Kira, would you or would you not agree that Rob is pretty sophisticated?

Kira:   I do and I agree with everything you said. He takes time and sometimes this could aggravate me, because he takes time to think through decisions that we make. And that’s ultimately a good thing and that’s what’s helped our business grow and that’s what is unique to him, that adds value in our relationship because I am not that way. I’m like ready to jump into something, so I can see what you’re saying. There’s the positive and the negative side to all of it. But I see the positive side of that in our business relationship.

Tanya:           Do you find though what you’re witnessing from over here, from the outside looking in, is he actually procrastinating or is he doing something else?

Kira:   I think he watches a lot of baseball games. That’s what I think it is. No, I know…

Rob:   I wish, I had time to watch more.

Kira:   Yeah. I know that he’s just taking his time and moving his way through all the work and decisions we have and all the projects, and taking his time to think through it carefully, which is a good reminder. Even having this conversation, it’s a good reminder to me like that’s what it is. Again, whereas like I’ll move quickly through things. And that’s good for some actions and moving forward. But that’s not always good, especially when you’re making big decisions, signing contracts. So there’s a lot of value in it.

Tanya:           Right, right, right. So for somebody who is in the question of procrastination, like recognizing that there is a value of discernment and then really focusing on action. So there is this framework that I guess we’ll just go ahead and talk about it, and that’s the unshakable confidence.

Kira:   Let’s just do it.

Tanya:           That’s okay. Yeah. So this is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about and how, if we think about the impostor complex as being one sort of end of the spectrum where we feel, where we have this really proven track record of success, and success is of course very subjective, but we have this proven track record of success. We don’t feel our steamer or competence has measured, like it’s sort of equals that level of success that everyone else can see. The opposite experience of that is what I call unshakeable confidence.

But I’m actually morphing it right now and it’s fun that I’m talking to copywriters because I’m actually thinking about it as impeccable impact, but to be continued, to be discussed. But really that opposite experience of the imposter complex is this quality of like really unshakeable confidence, this impact that really matters and for you to be able to stand in unshakable confidence in all that you do, it requires integrity. It requires presence and it requires action. And so when we know which behavioral trait we tend to go to, to avoid feeling like the impostor, again, people pleasing, leaky boundaries, diminishment, comparison, procrastination, perfectionism, those are going to tell us which areas we want to pay a little more attention to in our life. And again, if and only if this is problematic. So if you find that procrastination is actually keeping you out of action, having you doubt your capacity, or having to be alone and isolated, then we need to pay attention to action.

And that seems like really obvious. But this is where we need to look at. Am I willing to fail? Am I rooting into resilience, and am I being tenacious? And if you can say that, sure. Like I’m not actually afraid of failing. Yes, I’m feeling really resilient and I’m also feeling really tenacious, then it might not actually be a crisis of procrastination. There might be something else going on. So I feel like it’s this kind of cause and effect, this kind of call and answer relationship that we start to be in. And the same action is also, if we are, action is the sort of a diagnosis. If we are struggling with perfectionism as well, then we ask the same questions. Am I willing to fail? Am I being resilient, I’m I being tenacious?

And if the answer is no to those, then again, it might not be perfection. It might actually be more simply a value of excellence and again, a bit more discernment. So like I said, it’s a bit of a cause and effect, call and answer. For people pleasers such as myself and those who struggle with leaky boundaries or have leaky boundaries. Integrity is where you want to be paying attention. And this is really about, are you obedient to the vision that you have for the life that you are creating in your vocation, in your life? Are you showing up authentically and are you honoring your word? And that means to not just to others, but are you honoring your word to yourself? And none of these questions are small questions. Am I showing up authentically? Is like a big soul searching kind of question?

Am I honoring my word? Is a big soul searching kind of question. So none of this is light. None of this is easy, but it’s where you’d want to be paying attention. And then finally, presence is what you want to pay attention to. If comparison or diminishment are your dams. And this means we need to be able to root in and like trust in our power. We need to really know ourselves. And here’s the real kicker. We need to hold a reverence for ourselves and for the gifts that we’ve been given. Again, simple, not easy.

Rob:   As I listened to you talk about all these potential things that may be holding us back, and there’s a lot going on here. And maybe even some of us struggle with several of these things, so it’s not just one thing that’s holding us back, but again, at the risk of getting a coaching call here, like what are the next steps? Like once we identify, okay, yeah, I am afraid to fail, or maybe I’m not afraid to fail, but I’m not being authentic or maybe I am being authentic, but as we go through those questions, like how do we then take ownership of what the next steps are?

Tanya:           So, you’re going to hate this answer and that’s okay. But the real next step is to dig deeper. So if you’re not, so first of all it does, is a bit of a fire hose right now. There’s like a lot of stuff coming at you and the listeners. So it’s like, what is the most pressing issue right now? Like what is, you might feel like maybe I’m not showing up authentically. Maybe I’m struggling with a willingness to fail, because like seriously, who wants to fail? But it’s really about reforming our relationship with the thing that feels like it is the most up for us. And they all shape shifts. You’re right. I mean they might not all be happening in tandem, but what is the piece right now that is most up?

So for myself, I’m doing some scary stuff right now, that I have just had to decide that the time is now. So willingness to fail is like right here. Because I probably just am. But when it gets really hard, I notice that my tendency is to diminish. And so when I know that I’m diminishing, then I need to look at, am I trusting in my power? Well, it’s feeling a little bit shaky right now. Do I know myself? Oh God, yes. And am I holding a reverence for how brave I am about doing this thing? You better believe it. So that means that I then need some power, the one that needs a little bit of attention. So again, it’s like this kind of a process of elimination. So then for me, like what do I need to do to be able to kind of trust in my power? Well that, has me look at all of the places in my life that I am feeling a sense of power.

And again, very, very, very subjective. Like what power means for me is going to be different for Kira. It’s going to be different for you Rob. And so we just all have to find our own relationship with what that word is and means, and powers of grapes word, because it has so many different meanings for so many different people. Power is actually something we avoid in lots of ways. So again, finding what that means for you. So that’s my response, is you’ve got to like next thing to do is to dig a little bit deeper about what we have that word mean, what we have that experience mean.

I will tell you that more often than not, I’m working with somebody who is struggling with diminishment because they’re afraid to be seen. Or I’m dealing with somebody who might have some people pleasing or leaky boundaries. Usually it is not as much a crisis of authenticity or being obedient division. It’s about honoring your word to yourself and holding a reverence. Those tend to be on this large spectrum of things we need to be thinking about. Reverence and honoring word to our self, tend to be the things that are coming up the most for people that I work with. And that is, folks just at a university and C suite level people.

Kira:   Can you talk us through almost like the journey of your body of work? So again, we’ve talked about imposter complex last episode, but it seems like you do have to start there to just figure out, if you don’t have that level of awareness and know, okay, I am a people pleaser or I’m a perfectionist, you have to start with that piece to almost like diagnose and figure it out before you can move on to the unshakeable confidence portion. It just feels like phase two here where it’s like, cool, now let’s dig deeper. Is that how it’s all laid out? How does it all work together?

Tanya:           Oh my gosh, Kira. Here’s the thing. This is the dirtiest little secret that I have. I see this entire structure in this like this kind of like beautiful mind sort of way. It doesn’t… it has all this like very dynamic structure for me. So I don’t know that there necessarily is a beginning, because we might come into the world of the imposter complex because we believe one of those seven lies, self doubt is proof of your inadequacy. It’s just a matter of time before this all crumbles beneath us. You’ve got nothing useful or original to say. So like we might step into this world by believing one of these lies that is once again trying to keep us out of action, denting our capacity or alone and isolated. And then when we, it’s like, Oh, okay, that’s alive.

The imposter complex. Okay, now what do I do with that? Well, now it’s a function of, I mean, what I’m trying to say, is it’s actually not as linear as I would love it to be. It would be so fantastic if it was. But the way I look at the structure of the impostor complex is, once you know the thing that you want to do, whatever that is, whether it’s that stepping into that leadership role or really owning the fact that you are this brilliant business owner, whatever it is, that the impostor complex is saying, that’s not for you. That’s for somebody else, sugar lips or whatever it’s called to you. You need to get granular about why this matters for you. And then we need to look at, the obstacles that are in the way, which is what we call meeting the critics.

We need to bolster our authority, which is where we expand our capacity, because again, if those three objectives out of action, dead or capacity and alone and isolated. Our three strategies are to make sure that we are staying in action by meeting those objections, those critics, tackling that willingness to fail, bolstering our resilience, and then who wants to have a stoner capacity. We need to root into proof positive about what we’ve done so remarkably well all along. And then if it wants to have us be alone and isolated, we need to assemble our cast, surround ourselves by the absolute best, join groups like yours. Where people are having these conversations, where we recognize how we are so not alone in this very, very, very human experience. And then we got to do the work, right? We’ve got to do the thing that we are here to do, that is going to have us be able to step with competence into that leadership role.

And owning the business, like claiming the business that is ours, that is our birthright. And then celebrating. So that is like the most sequential piece of the imposter complex work. But, this unshakable confidence, it’s going to ribbon all the way through because at every step, we might find ourselves a little stuck in procrastination, a little stuck in people pleasing, a little. So then we need to look at what else is happening. As we are taking these very intelligent and strategic steps, we need to look at why we are not holding a reverence for ourselves. Why we’re not showing up authentically, why we are allowing other people’s visions take precedence over our own vision. That’s why I say it sort of ribbons through. And it looks like this sort of 3D structure that I have not been able to articulate. And I don’t know if I told you this Kira, actually was working with Hootsuite on this and they were trying to come up with a 3D model for this, because of the research that we’ve been doing. And it’s simply, it won’t conform to a structure.

Kira:   All right. So I want to shift the conversation to your brand of joy. I know this is a big part of how you work with your clients. Can we talk a little bit about your specific brand of joy and then like this concept, what it means and how we can all find out what our brand of joy is in our life and business.

Tanya:           Absolutely. So the theory that I have, and I’m certainly not alone in this, is that we are all governed by a desired emotion. And for each of us, it’s going to look and smell and feel a little bit different. But the experience that we’re all having is one of just everything being right in the world, like just being the most expanded version of ourselves, and we’ve had glimpses of it. And it’s the thing that we want to feel in all that we do. And so for me, I have narrowed it down to the most simple word and that’s joy. So I call it your brand’s joy because I’m a terrible namer. But also because what I call joy, somebody’s going to call success or freedom or whatever, love, connection. And so I feel like it is what I want to experience in my speaking, in my coaching, in my writing and my parenting and just being a decent human being in the world.

This is what I want to experience, because this is me at my best. So I invite people to think about a time when, like time could just stand still. You just had this feeling like everything is right in your world. Do you have that moment?

Rob:   Are we looking for like the perfect moment? Is that what you’re saying?

Tanya:           Nope, not even the perfect moment. Just a moment when you felt your most vital alive Rob-ness.

Rob:   That’s scary. Even to think about that. But yeah, I mean, sure, there are times that I can feel like, I was in a total flow, things are going really well. Certainly different times. And it’s sometimes maybe, it’s on a vacation, but it’s also at work, right? Like it happens all kinds of different times.

Tanya:           Yeah. Yeah. So pragmatist, Rob, who’s concerned of that discernment and nuance and congruency, which I love about you with a fire of a thousand suns. So your word may actually be flow. So what I experience, it may be, I’m not saying that it is, but it may be flow, and so you have a visceral reaction to that because you’re like, it’s a hippy dippy word or whatever it is. But if we understand for Rob, Marsh what that actually means, what flow actually means, that we get a very different experience of what I would consider to be flow. So we’re just going to put that on pause for a second. So I’ll tell you, for me to experience joy, it does not look like, sunshine and lollipops the way it might look for some folks. For me it’s actually about like really deep connection, big generosity and massive gratitude.

And so when I say that that’s what I want to feel in everything I do. I mean, that’s what I want to feel in everything I do. Last January I lost my dad and it was a terrible, like a terrible passing. There was no grace, there was no going gently into the night. It was like awful. And in the context of that profound grief, I was able to find joy, not because I was like, bypassing of the horror of what was actually happening, but because I could sink into the connection that I was feeling with him, myself, his care team. I was able to feel generous in certain contexts. I was able to feel gratitude in certain contexts, but it was awful, but I was still able to find joy in it. And so I use that as a strange example, but if we know what that is, so if we know what constitutes flow for Rob and I suspect just knowing what I know about you, I suspect purpose is underflow.

And there are going to be other qualifiers that will sit under flow. That’ll be incredibly unique to you and you alone. But once you know what those are, they’re like your super highway back to yourself. And they are something that you can access. So again, to use me as an example, if I’m not feeling joy, I wish I could just snap my fingers and go. Like, I want to feel some joy right now, but that’s not always accessible. So then I need to question how can I feel more connected? How can I feel more generous and how can I feel more gratitude? Sometimes it feels impossible to reach one of those, but you get as close as you possibly can. So I’m going to pause there and ask how that’s landing, resonating, what your questions might be.

Rob:   No, I think that makes a lot of sense. As I’m trying to like process it through and I haven’t done the deep thinking to figure out, okay, what does flow mean me? But, let’s assume that it’s me operating out of some state of comfort, I feel like I know what I’m doing and I’m contributing value and getting respect from the client or that kind of thing. Like, if I’m not feeling that, are those the things that I need to go back and say, okay, why am I not feeling this? And how do I get it? Is that the way that you find yourself back to joy?

Tanya:           Yup. Bingo. So whatever those are. I’m actually really curious about this. So at some point we’re going to get onto this. I think that for you there is purpose. There is, you look at what you’re doing in the world, Rob, like you are about connection as well. And so that might not be the word that you would use, but I do think that that’s here for you, when you are at your best. I feel like that’s what you’re doing, connecting people, connecting ideas, connecting thoughts, like just connecting concepts. So I sense that that might be here for you. I don’t need to be right about that. And then, some contribution. There’s also a quality of lightness too, that I think wants attention. But then what you would do once you know what those three underpinning values are, you can go next level.

Like so what does purpose actually mean for Rob? What does comfort actually mean for Rob? There might be a little bit of lux there. There might be a little bit of, I don’t know, I don’t know what those would be. But then so you can do the kind of genealogy chart of what is true for you. So how do we access, so if purpose doesn’t feel like it’s accessible, then you can go, okay, like what do I need to feel more purpose? What do I need to feel more gratitude? I need to have a little more aw, I need to feel a little more… it’s under there for me. Just like a bit more sense of wonder. And then also this quality of recognizing the privilege that I live on top of. So again, like if gratitude is not available because you’re like super pissed off of the world, then like what lives under that? So it really does become, so when you asked me what the next thing we do is, it’s going to look a little bit deeper because the answer’s going to be sitting right there.

Rob:   Okay. So yeah, it does. And I’m thinking like this is probably like most useful, at least in my business setting. Let’s say that I’ve got a project and I am, for whatever reason I’m procrastinating it. I’m maybe even self-sabotaging. I’m not getting on it and it’s because I’m missing something related to this joy. So one of these qualities that helps bring me to that is absent. And so therefore I don’t want to work on it. Would you say that that’s something you’ve seen from, is that how it manifests, I guess, is really what I’m asking?

Tanya:           A 1000%. So for you, the first question I always ask, once we’ve done this brand of joy work, it doesn’t matter if we’ve been working together for two years or like three days. What does your brand of joy know to be true? And it feels super trite, but for you, if procrastination is your thing, and I’m not necessarily sure that it is, and I think you might be illustrating a point too, but say procrastination is your thing, and your brand and Joy’s flow. Well, you can see that there’s going to be like a direct, there seems to be, there’s tension here. So it’s easy for us to go like, I’m not in flow or I’m out of joy. Like I can’t do this stuff. Well actually for you to feel flow, if I’m even remotely right about this, you got to come back to a sense of purpose.

Why this matters, right? Because that lives underneath flow for you. Am I contributing great value? Like is that here? If it’s not here, then you’ve got to find a bigger reason. And what are the conditions of my success here? Like if that’s what comfort represents for you, so then you’ve got a chance of getting back to flow. So flow in and of itself isn’t this thing that you can just conjure. You’ve got to be, you’ve got to create it, you’ve got to be, you’re like an active participant in the creation of flow. That may be the thing that brings you back to action.

Kira:   All right. So I know when you and I work together and in your immersion program, which I am in with you, we sat down and work through this brand of joy for me, and we came up with it together. Actually you came up with it and I was like, okay. And it rubbed me the wrong way because it was power. You said it was power. And I was like, Oh, that’s not good. Like we have too many power hungry people in this world already. I don’t want that to be my brand of joy. And then as you explained it, it made more and more sense. So I guess the question in there, is really sometimes maybe do we not sit with what it actually is, because we have the wrong connotation attached to that brand of joy.

Tanya:           Oh my God, totally. Are you kidding me? I resisted joy for like all the years because I’m like, that’s, because when I say it’s not sunshine and lollipops, like whose perception do you think that is? That was mine. Like I didn’t want to, I wanted something like super sexy, like decisiveness or, I don’t want to joy because for me I had this association with being like LITE and not very powerful. And now that I’ve a real understanding of what it actually means, it’s undeniable. So for you, can you remind me what your underpinning values were?

Kira:   It was delight and connection and presence.

Tanya:           Yes. Oh, I love it when I’m right about stuff like that. Because it’s totally true. Oh my goodness. Okay. So yeah, so power is this, I mentioned it earlier, it’s this really loaded word, because we’ve got it so colluded with power over, right? Like you have to have power over somebody, you have to control somebody, somebody needs to submit to you to be powerful. Folks who have been marginalized have absolutely experienced what it feels like to have that power over them. And so that is the worst of what humans are capable of doing, that power over. I think the real truth of it is, is that we are… this is just like my own thing, but I do think that we are more powerful as we amplify each other. I know, I know. I can actually hear in the field people are like, that sounds like nonsense to me. It’s what I believe to be true and I know that the most dysfunction that happens in our society comes from a place of disempowerment.

Folks behave in the way that they do because they have felt disempowered and are doing damage and harm because of that place. So I feel like one of the most gracious and human things we can do is to route into the power that we have been given. We are here for a reason. What’s it look like to amplify from that place? And Kira, I’ve seen you when you are truly in your power and it is just about the most inspiring thing to be around and it invites people to step up and match you. You become this model of possibility for people, when you are standing in your power and there was no power over anywhere to be seen. Does that make sense?

Kira:   Yes. Yeah. And just to close out this conversation about the brand of joy. So if somebody listening, is like, this is great, I want to figure out what my brand of joy is. They can’t necessarily work with you one on one, where or what can they do to just really figure this out on their own?

Tanya:           So it is hashtag simple, not easy, and it is absolutely worth the time and energy it’s going to take. Think about that moment in your life when all felt right with the world and then answer this very brief question, in that ideal and sweet moment I felt like, and whatever blank is, is probably the word that you are seeking to feel in all that you do, in your writing, in your business building, in your relationships, in your partnering, all that you do is likely associated with that. So then it becomes a function of being a bit of an investigative reporter and scanning. So like for me, I came up with joy when I was thinking about this crazy moment when I was in high school. Like it had nothing to do… sorry. That’s the other thing. We want to make ourselves wrong.

Like we think it should have been our wedding day or when our baby was born or when we were handed the keys to the house. For me it was when I was on stage in high school and I was doing my ridiculous Bill and Ted’s excellent adventure impersonation, as part of like my pain, Oh my God, it was ridiculous. But I felt this beautiful sense of joy and connection with the people that I was with, and, it was amazing. So do not judge whatever comes up, if it was in the dock at the cottage or if it was when you were marching or whatever it was, like, it doesn’t matter. It is your truth. So now the job is to become an investigative reporter and to think back to different times when you’ve had that experience.

Like Rob said, sometimes it’s in his work, he’s had tastes of it when he was in at work or on vacation. But that sense of flow was ribonning through. So then we can start going, okay, like what are the concentric circles? Or what’s the Venn diagram of all that I was experiencing? And it doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to be true and it takes a little bit of time to play with it. But then like what are all of the things that are happening when you are feeling that sense of joy, that sense of power, that sense of flow or success or whatever the word is, that you’ve come up with. And then once you feel pretty comfortable that those are places that you can kind of hang your hat on. Then if you want to, because you have found moments where you not able to just to tap into comfort or value or purpose or delight or presence or connection, then get underneath what each of those words then means for you.

Great news is you all love writing. You all love words, that you can play with that a fair bit, but it becomes this kind of genealogical chart. Like I said, that is kind of infinite, if you want it to be. I’ve only ever gone, I don’t know, think three generations, I think I’ve got at the very bottom, and then it kind of lost meaning for me. But that’s as far as I’ve had to go. And I’m pretty versed in this, I’ve been doing this for about, it’s been a resource for me for about 12 years, and it has not shifted. It has remained joy. It has remained, connection, gratitude and generosity have been the underpinning values all along. I think some of the words underneath have shifted a little bit. But for the most part, it has remained true. So that’s what I would do. And when we talk about, knowing yourself in this presence place, in this integrity place, it really does require you to know what it is you stand for. And this brand of joy is going to help support that.

Rob:   Okay. I want to shift our conversation just a little bit because as expected and as what happened last time, we could talk about this for ever. And there are a couple of other things that we definitely want to talk to you about. So, you’ve been coaching for quite a while as a leadership coach, and if somebody were looking to hire a coach, maybe it’s not a leadership coach, maybe it’s a copy coach or business coach of some kind. What kind of things should they be looking at in order to make a wise decision about who they work with? Because we all know there’s some pretty bad coaches out there. There’s some great coaches out there as well. And working with the coach can probably do more for your business than almost anything. But how does somebody know that they’re with the right person?

Tanya:           Such a great question. So, you could take the coach out of the woman or the woman out of the coach. I don’t know, because I would have you look at yourself first. That’s such a coaching answer? My goodness, I really-

Rob:   Totally is coaching answer.

Tanya:           It’s a totally coaching answer. So I think about the folks who do really well with coaching, are those who are really committed, who are resourceful and who are willing to take responsibility for their actions. So I think that that’s like, that is the person that’s going to have the most amount of success, the coach that you’re going to be working with, if you show up resourceful and committed and willing to take responsibility, I feel like the coach then becomes kind of secondary, but it needs to be somebody who has you… My humblest of opinions, it needs to be somebody who is going to have you sit up and pitch forward, who’s going to really be able to call you forth. Your coach is not simply your champion. And they’re definitely not your soft place to land. They are intended to be that person who’s really going to have you be able to step into that really full expanded vision that your coach should be holding on your behalf.

Rob:   And, yeah, so let me follow that up. So this is not somebody who’s just a cheerleader. It’s somebody that’s going to push you. It’s probably somebody who’s going to help you define, not just let you decide what the future is, but they’re going to actually push you to go farther than that. What about, experience and success with other people, how important is that?

Tanya:           It’s going to be a… I’m certified, I’ve done all of the things and oftentimes, young coaches are asking me about certification and I am a little bit, I don’t feel like I’m answering your question head on Rob, and I’m sorry to be wiggly about it. But I think that it’s going to be incredibly unique to you as the client, how your showing up, where your edges are soft and where your coach can hold focus. So I’m an incredible coach for some people. For the folks that I’m not a great catch for. Those are going to be people who really just want somebody to tell them what to do. Who want guaranteed outcomes, so those are not going to be the people that I’m going to be, or who just want to like hang out with me.

Right. Because I’m a people pleaser, I’m a lot of fun to be around. But if you just want to hang out with me, I’m probably not going to, we’re just not going to get where you need to get to. And I’m going to call forth and that’s going to probably piss you off, because you’re expecting it’s going to be this like really funness that we get to hang out. And that’s not what it is. So I think it’s like, really for you, yourself knowing what you want from the coaching relationship and it really needs to be like, that coach needs to be able to match you. If you want to be called forth, they got to be able to, that’s what they need to be really good at. So I feel like there’s a lot of different ways to answer this question.

I do apologize and it’s not quite as simple as all that, but I don’t think there’s one coach for everybody and I don’t think there’s even one kind of coach for everybody because again, we’re so wiggly around our procrastination habits and our perfection habits. And even, I’ve worked with some coaches who were far too didactic for me. Like I actually did need to process some stuff and I didn’t really want, here are the 10 steps to X, Y, and Z. Like I needed more discernment and more nuance, I needed them to understand where I was soft around my edges. And so I think that that’s, you’re going to be drawn to the person who’s got the right energy match for you, but also be really super mindful of how they’re holding their vision of your success.

Because, nine times out of 10, the vision that you were holding for yourself, particularly those that people that I come across because of the imposter complex, there is a significantly larger vision. And if you let me, I will hold it on your behalf. It might be uncomfortable for you to be held in that regard. That’s OK. I can handle that. And so that’s what I want for most people. It’s to make sure that you’re working with somebody who can hold a bigger version than you’re able to hold on your own behalf.

Kira:   Well, yeah, I know. I think that’s great advice and I love that last part because I know you do that so well and I’ve seen you do that, in action, holding us to this bigger vision of ourselves. So Tanya, I want to shift again and talk about you as a thought leader because like we said, there’s so many coaches out there, but when I think of coaches who are thought leaders in the space, who have built a stellar reputation, you’re the first person I think of. And so I know this didn’t happen overnight and you’ve put in the work and you said certifications, experience. There’s a lot that goes into it. The question here is how can copywriters reach this level, this, ‘thought leader level.’ What are some of the things we can do if we aspire to be at that level in our own career and business?

Tanya:           Well, first of all, here’s how we know that this work works, because you saying that I am the person that you think of when you think a thought leader did not send me into any kind of spiral around the impostor complex and I was able to just sit and go. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That really means a lot. Kira, thank you very much for that acknowledgement. I really appreciate it. I don’t think that there are any shortcuts. I think that when I look at my body of work, it’s as much for myself as it is for anybody else. It does require daily practices of how am I showing up in integrity. Am I taking right action? Am I rooting into my presence? But the only way I’ve been able to get to that place is to make sure that I’ve been well surrounded by people who are able to point out my squishy edges, and have called me forth.

And folks who’ve had my bigger version, that they’ve been able to hold on my behalf has been really important. There was a way in which, I think rammed off as we are all just walking each other home. And I feel, that’s kind of like the coachee pyramid scheme of all coaches coaching coaches and coaches needing coaches, because if I’m going to hold my clients to the highest standard that they want for themselves, I need to be able to make sure that my house is as clean as it can be as well. So I’ve certainly invested and made sure that I am doing the work that I expect my clients to be doing. And so that looks like asking the question, what’s underneath this, at pretty much every turn.

And then there’s the other really practical piece, that I’ve really tripled down and understanding this body of work. I feel like the luckiest thing that ever happened to me other than this insane life of privilege that I get to live, was being invited to do that TEDx talk back in 2013, I guess it was, because that really required me to hone into something that I really wanted to understand. And from that, when you really invest your time and energy to researching something, you’re kind of in, you’re just kind of in it. And this is the thing that I think if people really understand how the imposter complex works, how we can negotiate it, navigate it in own life, how we can respond when it shows up, be reminded that it’s only showing up because what we’re about to do is really important, that it shows up on the precipice expansion and not be so afraid of it. That’s everything.

Tanya:           And so being able to be given that gift of forced clarity. Like if you’re going to talk about it for 20 minutes, was such a gift and has really invited me to be more critical in my analysis, thinking a lot deeper. And so it’s like that’s super unsexy 10,000 hours to become a world class expert in anything. And I’ve really just spent those 10,000 hours, coaching and researching and putting in the time. That said, I feel like I had, I was claiming thought leader a long time ago. So for anybody who’s listening, who’s just sort of starting out, and they have this area of expertise or understanding, don’t be shut down by hearing that it takes 10,000 hours. Because I actually don’t know that that is necessarily true. I do think it’s like 10,000 decisions. I think it’s all of the times that you commit to your craft, to a deeper understanding, to doing the work, to doing that analysis. I think those become your right to claim what you’re here to claim.

Kira:   All right, Tanya, we are out of time and I’m going to cram in two final questions and just cram them in. So what else is coming up for you? How can people work with you? That’s number one. And then number two is what does the future of copywriting look like to you? And if copywriting is too specific, just online marketing, what does the future of online marketing look like to you?

Tanya:           I feel like the future of online marketing, or copywriting is, folks who are getting closer and closer and closer and closer to their own truth, and recognizing that they might not be here to serve everyone, but they’re here to serve their right people. And I think the closer that, the copywriters that I’ve spoken to through your group, I feel like the closer they can get to their own truth, is the time that that excellence really comes forth and comes through. There are lots of people doing, there are lots of people coaching, there are lots of thought leaders, there’s a lot of people talking about impostor complex. So lots of copywriters, but nobody will ever, ever, ever do it in your way and your way is the way. So getting, landing on those grains of truth for yourself will be the grease lightning.

And for me, I really think that I’m going to be spending a lot more time understanding what unshakable confidence is, as a rooted place, but then what this impeccable impact that I really feel like so many of us are desiring on behalf of this very fragile world. What that impeccability looks like. That’s what I’m going to be focused on. And you’ll just track me at, and anywhere on social media. And that’s what we’ll be talking about. And I love being here with you two. Thank you so much.

Rob:   Thank you for showing up. I know we mentioned it before, but anybody who has listened to this podcast and wants more of Tanya should definitely go back and listen to that episode 47, when we first recorded it, we thought, it’ll be a short episode. Basically, it was an hour of really good stuff that I think a lot of people in our community have used to grow and just step out and own the personalities and the businesses that they wanted to grow. So she definitely listened to that as well. But, thank you Tanya for coming today and sharing your thoughts again. It was awesome.

Kira:   Thank you Tanya.

Tanya:           Thank you both.

You’ve been listening to The Copywriter Club Podcast with Kira Hug and Rob Marsh. Music for the show is a clip from Gravity by Whitest Boy Alive, available in iTunes. If you like what you’ve heard, you can help us spread the word by subscribing in iTunes and by leaving a review. For show notes, a full transcript and links to our free Facebook community, visit We’ll see you next episode.



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