Headshot of Darreisha Bates. Today's podcast guest

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Ready To Start Your Own Purpose or
Passion Project?

Imagine finally taking that dream of starting a podcast, writing a book, becoming a public speaker or any other creative endeavor and turning it into something tangible in the world. I'm talking #Done

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Where can the people learn more about your passion project and the dope work you are putting out into the world. 

Instagram: D.Michelle.Speaks

What do you do for Full-time work?

 I work for the federal government in the United States. And I am a director of Intergovernmental Relations where I get the pleasure of connecting federal, state and local governments, with private sector nonprofit with each other, in order to accomplish a common goal of accountability within the government.

What is your passion project and how long has it been in existence?

I like I coined a new term, an auditory  sommelier. So my career passion is his audio book narration and voiceovers, that, you know, run the spectrum of, of different media's I've always been fascinated by other's stories. And I've also always been very auditory. I'm not really into ASMR necessarily in the auditory world, but I really love stories from like, old time radio with Johnny dollar and Twilight Zone. I mean, I really, I can just sit and listen, I love I love podcasts. So I enjoy listening to yours. And I just like I like the, the the voice. So what I'm doing is trying to take that passion and put it towards other stories or others projects. And that's really been, that's really, what my passion, project it.

What is your project’s origin story: Why did you start this project; what was the passion behind the project.

Sure. So I think I one thing is I started working with a coach, who I think really helped me to visualize what I wanted my life to be, and what and what my talents were and required me to think about my skills. And during that time, and I still work with her to this day, during my time of discovery, I realized that, Hey, I got to do this really neat recording at my job talking about my, the history and the black vote and what that meant for your family. And what that required me to do for that recording was to write out to interview someone in my family, which I did my father and then to write out a sort of one minute two minute monologue, if you will, talking about what it meant to my family. And I was talking I did it without hesitation. I mean, my schedule is crazy with work. But I did it after work without hesitation and then I got to record it. Now this was something that was visually recorded. But my connect what I connected back to was, I really enjoy speaking. And I noticed that when I took a sort of look back, I, I have always been asked to help at weddings to do BD announcer and no one's looking at the announcer right there. They're listening to the announcer I've done monologues on stage for Domestic Violence Awareness at where the spotlight was on me. But people are really listening to my story, I'm not acting, I'm not moving around, I'm not using my body, I'm using my voice. And so I started just collecting all of these things. You know, I i've emceed conferences, again, I, the FBI, they see my face, but it's really my voice that they're listening to, because I have to move, move things along. And I and I'm very comfortable with it. It's a natural gift. It's something that I know was nurtured with growing up. But it's also just something that comes naturally just speaking. And so once I had that moment of that was the moment of self discovery when I was, you know, working with my coach, and there was a discussion about well, what do you want to do full time, especially about what you want to do to make sure you, you live the life that you want. And then there wasn't these products that were coming along? That it just it was that there was a connection point. And then I started thinking, like I said, earlier, I started thinking about how much I love Johnny dollar, and Twilight Zone, and, you know, podcasts I love voice. And so that's really, that's really where it came from. It was really just this sort of moment of self discovery. Once I got became clear on what kind of like life I wanted to live, and what kinds of things what how, what kind of joy, I wanted to feel, doing the things that that in my life on a daily basis.

Is there a point where you hesitated to start it?  What got you over that hump?

So yes, there is there, there definitely was a point where I hesitated. I hesitated to start. When, and this is something that's pretty typical, that was was pretty typical of me of what, when I don't know what to do, I sometimes do nothing, I sort of just, I sort of freeze and become a bit paralyzed by, you know, fear, or what it would manifest to me is procrastination. So I, I did hesitate to start, when I had multiple, a couple of opportunities come to me, I was not able to say yes, quick enough, and then I lost them. So what got me over the hump was realizing, okay, you lost these opportunities. And in the past, when you lost opportunities, when you were trying to start other businesses or started other projects, you then question, hey, Teresa, do you really want to do this? Is this what you want? Maybe it's not what you want? And then you would, and then I would spiral. This time it was, man. You lost that?

Okay, how can we do better? You lost that? Okay. What does that you know, what, what needs to be in place for you to actually be able to produce next time and to be able to deliver? And so that to me was the hump was me Look at me sort of recognizing that this pattern, the pattern was the same, but my reaction to the pattern was no longer the same. And that was, that's what clicked for me.

One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to starting passion projects is finding time in their already busy lives to do it.  How did you find or make time for your project?

I found time, which I you know, I put that in quotes, you can't see me air quotes, because the time was there. It's just what was I using the time for. And so the way that I made time for my project, the way I made time for my passion is that I, I took an inventory of where my time was being spent for a week, or a few days, I think it was about a week. And I documented it, I wrote it down. And once I saw where my time was actually being spent. It's sort of like when you create a budget and they their finance advisors say, Oh, yeah, I want you to look at your statement to tell us really where you spend your money. Because, you know, you might say, Hey, I don't know where my money's going. I you know, I don't spend a lot I don't shop, that you look at your bank statement and you realize you're going out to dinner every week. You're buying dinners for your friends. And then you're also buying I don't know, soda every day at work or something like that. Whatever it is, you see where you're getting your, your money. I did, I did the same thing with my time. And then once I was able to identify where I was mindlessly spending my time I was able to then change it and use that time for my project. And again, I think one thing I And I learned that something wrong with you know, for me having mindless time, right? There's nothing wrong with me relaxing, but it's the What do I, what do I want? And because I can continue having what I have and be just fine, but if there's something else that I want, I need to change what I'm doing.

Another big challenge faced is fatigue.  You work 9-to-5, it takes up 95% of your energy.  And we are not even talking about family and their needs yet.  What can you share with the listeners about getting energy after all the demands of life?

So I think two things stand out. One is that I allow myself to have about an hour of decompression time. And that's not just my, that's not me eating dinner, but literally, you just need decompressing from the day to sort of wipe off the things from the day to release that the you know, the heaviness of my day. And that took practice, I still to this day, you know, struggle with it have to be intentional, and I struggle with it to this day. That's one thing I do. I also, you know, over the past year, is really when I became super focused on on my audio work, I started working out. And I believe whenever I say that, I don't know, you can tell the hesitation, my voice I don't think people have no there's like a perception about you know, yeah, just start working out. But that actually really helped me to get more energy. I started off my day working out and being more active. And that really helped with my energy at the end of the day. And so those are two things I think, that I do when I'm zapped. But you know, it's just, it's hard. And I think it's it's, it's a constant push to get energy at the end of the day. And there are days where I just don't, I just, I can't and I just allow I give myself grace on those days, when I can't do anything I can't research can't record something. I can't practice I can't learn. I just give myself the grace and just say okay, today is the day that I just allow myself to rest.

, I love a good glass of wine. So I will sit and have a glass of wine or a glass of Prosecco and nothing so much that makes me tired. But something that sort of helped me decompress. That's one way. Another way, honestly, is I watch like a TV show like 90 day fiance. I don't know if we're allowed to say names, but like, something that doesn't, that I don't have to think. So something that really allows me to just watch something and not be thinking about work. I don't watch anything that stresses me out. So I couldn't I could not watch like, no events like love and hip hop because it's too It's too intense. And I don't you know, I can't do that kind of show. But like something. Or I'll walk into like House Hunters like something where I can just live in somebody else's life for 30 minutes to an hour. And that honestly helps me.

I have heard about passion projects providing renewed confidence and new skills when it comes to people’s day jobs.  How has your passion project impacted the way you show up at your day job?

It definitely did in this way, because particularly with this last year with us being virtual. I have had to run more run meetings, wherever you know, my voice obviously is is the thing because I'm running meetings on behalf of the leader of the agency. And so what it has helped me do to do is, it has increased my confidence in how I navigate these meetings because it, it truly is my voice, it truly is the sound of my voice that is moving the meeting along. And so it's really increase increase my, because I have to practice and because I have to, you know, read things out loud, it's increased my vocabulary, you know, it's increased the tone of my voice, it's increased my ability to give different emotions in my voice. So it definitely, it definitely has helped my me at my job in that way.

There is someone out there listening to this recording who has something they are passionate about but they are on-the-fence when it comes to starting.  What bit of guidance would you provide to them?

So I think because I've had some, you know, failures when I had lost some, you know, a couple of clients, just because I wasn't prepared. I think I would have, I would have told myself, hey, Trisha, I know you're an over thinker. So I know you will think this, too, to death. So don't overthink just start. However, don't throw out the pieces of you, that have helped you in your career. I create a plan, create a structure, create processes and procedures so that you can be successful with your first client. I think that's the advice I would give for myself because I am a I am a overthinker not even a closeted overthinker I am an overthinker I am an analytical person. And that's what I would that's what I would tell myself is just start Asterix, but for but do create these put these things measures in place so that you can be ready to move forward.

Lastly, are there any particular books that you have found helpful along the passion project journey?  Please share 1 to 3 of them if any come to mind.

So I'll first share a book that I read that actually was that I had listened to, and that actually changed, changed my perspective on my talent. And then I'll also talk about my coach, because i can't i that is a resource that has been incredibly helpful. So my the book that by Mel Robbins, the five second rule, I listened to that book. And that was an incredible resource for me, because it helped me with the he my perspective on what butterflies in your stomach and anxiety and fear, what that how it manifests, and what it actually what we can call it and what it actually is. And so in her book, she talks about, you know, butterflies, or fear anxiety right before public speaking, or right before doing something. And she said, if we change how we say what we call that thing, we call it adrenaline, because that's really what it is, it's your body preparing to do something that was life changing for me. And that's literally because I always thought, What am I nervous, I don't think I'm nervous, because I would get on and I'd be able to deliver, you put me in front of a mic and put me in front of a stage of people, you know, I will, I'm on I'm fine. But beforehand, right beforehand, you might just butterflies in anxiety. And so I was able to change my mindset there, which was incredible. And I'm hope book is really good. The five second rule in terms of a resource, you know, I have to shout out my my coach Whitney a white and she that when a way calm, and she really helped me to take back my time and see where I'm spending my time and then to pursue this thing. So not only did she help me with just recognizing my time, she also helped me with she is helping me with structuring my business and structuring my, the turning this passion project into something bigger over time. And so those are the two that I would mention.