Since I’ve spent perhaps ten years or move surveying inner landscapes of both self and occasionally others in depth, and found ways to resolve a couple of issues that could have turned out worse through research and ingenuity largely (and maybe perseverance and mistake tolerance), on and off it crosses my mind, or somebody else suggests, that I could use this knowledge and experience somehow.
I mean somehow apart from just enjoying the fruits of my limited yet slowly rooting wisdom in solitary contemplation, or occasionally finding a moment to shock an acquaintance with an understanding of some exotic issue that they didn’t expect understanding for.
Since I figured out that a lot of the issues in my life that I have worked out on my own can go under the autism spectrum umbrella, or are basically issues that are present for people on the spectrum, and my variants of various other issues, you could say, have an autistic “spin” to them, someone suggested I could do some autistic mental health consulting (not therapy but personalised info, education and strategy sharing), or something like this. Especially that I have myself paid for a couple of consulting sessions with and older autistic person, and they were very helpful – even though the person had no specific qualifications beyond life experience and the satisfaction of their own curiosities. They were more useful than any of the therapists I had tried before. I only found a useful therapist after talking to them and understanding better what to look for.
I thought why not try something like this, since I’ve seen in my own case that it can be useful, and I don’t regret any of the money I paid that person for the time they spent focusing on and thinking about my stuff. In fact, it was a fairer rate that I’d paid before that for various “coaching” rip-offs whose ability lay mostly in skilful copy writing.
In fact, after these incidents I thought that I could at least do better than these folks (or worst case equally “well”). I spent some time reading about little coaching businesses, how to start them, how to market them, etc. The fruit of that was a bit of experimenting around on social media, but largely no fruit – I think partly due to too many other disruptors in life, in part because I still couldn’t (and can’t) put my finger on specifically what I could help people with (vaguely I kind of know), partly lack of determination or courage or self-confidence to just try.
The last point was maybe a lie, I usually don’t lack courage or determination, confidence probably yes, but I actually have occasionally tried things based on too much courage and too little preparation. I think with enough preparation, too much courage shouldn’t be needed. So perhaps not doing it up to this point (for a change not engaging kamikaze courage) has actually been a good decision.
Thinking of how last years I had a start at organising a type of local queer event, kind of knowing the risks, thinking about the worst-case scenarios beforehand and knowing I’m not properly prepared, but accepting the risk for the sake of having some first experience with it. Something pretty close to the worst-case scenario actually happened, and since I thought it might happen, I kind of didn’t make a too big fuss about it, but also withdrew from the venture. No big deal seemingly; I’ll think it over, analyse the mistakes, ask other people for advice, read a couple of books as now I already have a case study in mind. Point being, a couple of months I noticed my blood pressure was still spiking merely thinking of the incident. I was afraid that the incident had gotten under my skin to the point that it would put me off forever, and that it would have been better to wait longer and be prepared to avoid going through this aversion conditioning (basically making me want to never try this again). But another month or two later it seems Ok – no blood pressure spikes, new ideas that start crawling around.
Anyways, what was the point?
Ah, that as opposed to this community organising thing, which I somehow just tried for the sake of making mistakes, I haven’t done the same with regards to couching or consulting, and that maybe it’s better that way. Maybe there’s more at stake for other people – if I just stop organising an event, it’s fine: there isn’t really an obligation to anyone. If a more personal consulting relationship gets stressful or complex, I guess I should at least be well-prepared to have a decent way to end it.
Actually, I remember now why I’m not doing it: because I actually “just tried” with something different but similar before, and I realised that there are complexities (at least for me) in it. I once did a round of free Ayurvedic consultations for an organic food cooperative in Warsaw – it was fun, but I also learnt that I can run into “weird” people that I don’t really know how to deal with, and who can affect me (because of my then even more massive hyper-empathy) quite strongly. I also tried something similar with somatic bodywork in Berlin – and the effect was similar; I got quite affected by people. And then there is that weirdest of all stint as something similar to a psychic while I was in the Polish countryside – that’s the thing I got the most positive feedback on (people pursuing me with phone calls and offering money when I didn’t ask for any), but a range of weird incidents (some are on this blog actually) told me that this is playing with fire (without a firefighter training :D).
I think maybe for me 1-on-1 relationships with new and somewhat random people are very interesting, but they can also be something of a trip. That’s probably why I’m holding back from “just trying” a round of neurodiversity & queer coaching, even though I would be able to at the very least provide informed understanding and discussion.
Why am I saying this? Ah, because it’s on my mind and friends’ mind. Because I’m doing the DEI (“emotions”) training and wonder if perhaps I should try, using it as a springboard. Because I’m reading another marketing book, recommended by these folks, which is actually different from the spammy and scammy – to my autistic gut feeling – coaching marketing advice I’ve read before. Thinking if there’s a way to do it without fake promises, pretending to be more competent than I am (but also finding a way to put my nebulous competences into words), and sleazy manipulative internet copy writing. Kind of honestly.
I’ve seen and read a couple of articles about “marketing with integrity” and “authenticity” and stuff (one of which is Martha Beck, ambivalent relationship), and it didn’t convince me. Seemed fake and a bit lying-to-yourself. As the DEI people would say, my authentic shame (conscience) comes up. So I wonder if there’s a way to pull off such a vague online-coaching / consulting thing honestly, or whether it’s better to just focus on getting some honest profession … such as bookkeeping (joke), but perhaps focusing on my translation micro-business, or perhaps doing a proper therapist training if I really want to work with “atypical” people (but that costs as much as a house; plus I know some people who did and were still useless for me as a queer migrant autistic).
I actually did some trial copy writing on https://autisticnaturalhealth.wordpress.com/ to see how people would take it. That’s using the old, somewhat sleazy marketing approach. Maybe less sleazy than some, but still not really my style. Doesn’t feel honest.
Marketing myself as a psychic might feel more authentic 😀
What’s the problem? I think perhaps my particular sense of humour or my penchant for informality might make this hard. Even in the translations business, it really pains me to have to appear formal and professional. Factual and to the point, yes. But overly serious and authoritative, less emotive and less subjective and quirky – much harder or impossible. Less ambivalent and sometimes inappropriate about stuff? Like, I like talking about nonsense. I like to point out the nonsense when it’s supposed to be sense. Is there a way to get away with that kind of personal style in some profession, or made-up 21st century “profession”?
I read somewhere … ah, I remember, in “Gravitas” by Caroline Goyder, assigned course reading (not that it helped) … that to find your “voice” (whether as a speaker or author) it’s good to just write. Randomly. Every day or so. Kind of like the “Artist’s Way” method (had the book at a point and still don’t get what the hype is about). Goyder says that just by writing whatever, something happens in the mind and emotions and perhaps soul that helps you to find yourself and your favourite topics and your best, most natural manner of thinking, speaking, communicating. Guess I can use her point to justify this blog post, if otherwise it somewhat lacks justification – an ongoing reflection.
If any of the people following me is in this kind of business or has any thoughts or experiences, certainly curious about comments.