You aren’t always required to be in hustle mode all the time. If you want to succeed and keep yourself healthy, you also need to start learning when to slow down. Susanne Puerschel gets into a discussion with copywriting coach and expert Virginia Ribeiro de Assis on hustle, drive, and the need to slow down every once in a while. Virginia shares stories of growing up with and being taught the hustle lifestyle early on, her health problems due to overwork, and how she learned, finally, to slow down and take a breath. A must-listen for every aspiring entrepreneur.
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Slowing Down And Taking Care Of Yourself: Conversations On Self-Worth With Virginia Ribeiro de Assis
We have a special guest. Her name is Virginia de Assis and I met her through social media. We connected through a friend of ours that I’m in a mastermind with and we said, “Why don’t we do a podcast?” We have both parallels in the arts. She’s passionate about the arts yet has moved her life to a completely different spectrum. Virginia is the CEO of Content Lounge and your go-to girl for all things copywriting and content strategy. She will help you find the right words to sell your expertise and create next-level income, impact and freedom in your life. After nearly a decade of subscribing to the hustle and grind mentality, she now considers herself a recovered workaholic. She firmly believes in letting your content work for you so that you can focus on your zone of genius, attract clients with ease and get paid while living your best life. This introduction has completely ripped me in because don’t we all want to get out of the hustle mentality? We are going to talk all about hustling. Is it necessary? What does hustle mean for each individual? I cannot wait to dive into this conversation. Without any further ado, here is Virginia.
Virginia, thank you for being on the show. I am so honored to get to talk to you.
Thank you for having me. I am happy to be here.
You and I are meeting for the first time. We have been chatting a little bit prior to this and we were connected through a dear friend of ours. I would love to dive right in because when I recorded your intro, I saw the word hustle. I listened to a podcast that was talking about, is the hustle and what we are seeing as the male energy and the work mentality, necessary to be successful? That’s where I would like to go with you and dive deep into. First though, where are you living?Most coaches and entrepreneurs spend time online creating content that doesn’t help them build their business. Click To Tweet
I love the topic hustle. I am living in Germany. I moved back here. I was born and raised here in Germany. I lived in the US for a long time. I lived in many other places as well. I’ve lived a little bit of a nomad lifestyle from the age of 13 until 26 or 27. In 2017, I moved back here to Munich, Germany, which is where I’m from originally. My family’s still living here, my aunts, uncles, parents. We started a family here, that’s why we moved here.
You have some background in high-performing sports and art. Tell us a little bit about how you got into that, how did you get out of it and how did you step into your entrepreneurial journey.
Maybe it makes sense to start at the very beginning. My parents’ generation is post-war Germany. My father was born two years before the war and my mother was born shortly after the war ended. What you need to understand about living in Germany at that time is this generation had to hustle so hard. There are so many beliefs anchored in that generation of earning money is difficult and it requires lots of hard work. If you’re not working and you’re not creating resources or saving resources, then you’re a slacker, lazy and not worthy if you’re not producing something. You’re wasting your time. In order to make money, you always have to give your best effort. Even for stuff that doesn’t make money, you always have to give your best effort. Don’t rest up because there’s so much to do.
The day after the war ended, my grandma and her generation stepped outside with shovels, brooms and tidied up the country and rebuilt it. That is why Germany is where it is right now. When I was a little kid here and it doesn’t matter what I did, I was constantly told, “Sure, you get to ride horses. No problem but you’ve got to give it your best effort. Sure, you get to do figure skating. I’m happy to open that opportunity for you but you have to give it your best effort.” That was something that was ingrained in me from day one. It is something that has carried me throughout my entire life.
I’m a free-spirited person and maybe a little stubborn. I like to do things my way. If I do something, it needs to be the right way. There were a lot of strong beliefs that I was holding and I was not aware of them. I went to school and I got super amazing grades. I wasn’t physically gifted but I always loved doing physical things. I did competitive horse riding which was one of the few sports where I was gifted because I have that great connection. I did figure skating but I was also a little bit scared of falling. I wasn’t very talented but I still train for 5 or 6 hours a day until I was injured. I played the piano until injury and chronic wrist inflammation but I have to give it my best effort.
After school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My parents said, “Business school will be great.” I had to pick the most competitive business school in my country. I had to work through that until I ended up in the hospital with burnout at age twenty. I called the ambulance because I thought I was going to have a heart attack, but that didn’t matter because you have to give it your best effort. That is something that has accompanied me for my entire life until a few years ago.
After business school, I realized, “Business school is nice but what I want to do is something creative. I love writing, singing and drawing so I’m going to be a fashion designer.” I moved to New York to become a fashion designer. After that, I was like, “I want to do my own thing.” I started my own business and took hustle to a completely new level. I was living in San Francisco at the time with my boyfriend. My factories were mostly in LA. It was an eCommerce store. I was shipping products myself and was wrapping everything. It was a lot of manual work. If the factory needed me, then I would get up at 4:00 AM, drive from San Francisco to LA, work 9:00 to 5:00 in LA and drive back home. I did this probably 2, 3 or 4 times per month. This reminded me of something that I was told at business school. I was warned about this, “Your life’s going to feel like going 200 miles per hour with your hair on fire.” That is the mentality that I grew up with.
My first business was a women’s activewear line. It’s a combination of business and fashion. The way I had studied and learned, I thought I was perfectly prepared to make this a home run. I thought I have to work harder because things aren’t working out. I work harder and harder until I had a breakdown. I was like, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s not possible.” I had 25,000 followers on Instagram but no one was buying anything. I had email subscribers, a Pinterest account, a Facebook account and everything. I was doing photoshoots with dancers and aerialists. I was editing photos myself and doing everything myself. Eventually, I realized, “I can’t do this anymore.” I joined my first coaching program, then the second and the third. It was not working out for me.
Eventually, a coach friend of mine said, “You never give your audience a reason to buy. They all love your product but you don’t know how to sell online. That’s your problem.” That’s what put me on track to become a copywriter. He told me, “You need to learn how to sell. You need to learn how to write copy.” I changed my website and email funnel. I changed what I wrote on Instagram. No more #SundayVibes or #DancersOfInstagram. No more hashtags or superficial captions but I’m selling my product. What I couldn’t sell for three years sold out in 90 days. I was glad and I was like, “Do I want to start again, produce more product and do all of this again or am I just tired?” For the first time in my life after 24 years of hustle, I was like, “I’m going to take a break,” and that’s what I did. For 2.5 months, I was like, “I’m going to do nothing.” That was a big realization and turnaround for me.
I can relate because I grew up in Germany. My mother was born in 1932. Her mentality was exactly that. Hustle away as much money as you can. If you’re not, you’re a bad person. Work hard. If you’re not, you’re a bad person. Even though that expectation was never said out loud, I watched her working herself to the ground, taking it all and trying to please everybody but not taking care of herself first. I can relate to that and that’s what I did for so many years. I’m relearning how can the hustle look like something fun. I still don’t know what fun looks like because I have been denying it or seeing it as something unnecessary to get to where I wanted to go. I’d love to know your story around that.
I told you all the different hobbies I had. My entire childhood, every single minute of the day was filled with some activity that I love doing. I loved horse riding, singing, playing the piano and figure skating. If I wasn’t at an activity, it was because I was still in school. They couldn’t give me a proper transcript because I took more classes than everyone and that didn’t fit on the transcript anymore. I’m so excited and I want to learn all the things so I took more majors than what they could fit on the transcript. Every single minute of my life was filled with stuff.
I’m 31 and I am only learning now to check in with myself, to ask for what I need and take breaks. Many big realizations that I had came from working with a mindset coach. I have a mindset coach. She wanted to do market research and I was like, “Sure, I will help you.” I always help people when they want to do market research to build their business. She was like, “Do you have mindset problems?” I’m like, “I don’t have any mindset problems because my business is doing great. I don’t feel blocked. I’m hustling. I’m working it all off. It’s doing great.” This was already after I had that big realization about, “I need to learn how to sell.”
My life at that time was already slower because I was pregnant, and then she asked me a question. She was like, “I would love to help you out after you’ve answered these questions. What is one thing you want to work on?” I’m like, “With my business, I’m doing fine but I have this one thing. I always get angry at my husband and I have no idea why. It’s completely irrational. He’s a great husband, takes amazing care of the kids and helps out a lot but if he sits on the couch, I get so angry.” She’s like, “Let’s take a look at that.” We did a hypnosis session and suddenly, it occurred to me. I’m like, “I’m not mad at my husband at all. I know he’s doing great. He’s amazing. I’m mad at myself because who is to say that he gets to sit on the couch and I don’t? Why is he getting breaks and I’m not? How dare he not be productive for even two seconds?”
That was the big realization for me where I was like, “I have needs. I need a break occasionally.” The moment I realized that I had attached my self-worth to how productive I am and how much I can get accomplished at any given point in time, that gave me the power to decide, “Am I mad at my husband for taking a quick breather after looking and taking care of the kids, working and doing everything that I’m doing as well? Do I just need to sit down, have a cup of water, maybe put my feet up for two minutes and snuggle with him on the couch while the kids continue to destroy the house? What do I need?”
I added reminders to my calendar for 10:00 AM, noon, 4:00 PM and 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM, several times a day. That reminder simply pops up. It’s just a simple question, “What do you need right now?” It reminds me to check in with what I need. I noticed I never do that. I make excuses for why I can’t shower in the morning but need to postpone it until the night when the kids are sleeping because something else is more important and I could be productive right now. Also, make excuses on why I’m not putting on makeup because I don’t have time. I need to work on something, spend time with the kids, do laundry or do something else. As soon as I added that reminder, I realized how many times I’m putting myself behind everything else. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
You held up a mirror completely. I’m seeing myself particularly on that example of your husband sitting on the couch taking a break. I found myself getting angry at my husband sitting there while I was, “He could be doing this.” It would be easier if he would stop resting and keep hustling because self-worth was attached to the hustle. When you say your self-worth was attached to how productive you were, when was it enough? You never got to that point where it was enough.
While I am in that mindset, the stories that are running in the back of my mind are like, “It’s not good enough. You have to try harder. You have to keep going. There’s still so much in the house that you could be doing. You haven’t worked enough. You’ve only worked three hours and you want to make $500,000 this year. You need to work harder. How are you going to make that happen if you don’t work? What are you doing? You’re never going to reach your goal. You’re always going to fall short.”
What’s important is that you start building awareness that you get to recognize when the stories in your head that are so subtle and so fast start to affect you negatively, put you in fight or flight mode, and chase you in a way that’s completely unnecessary. For my business, it’s completely unnecessary to work 12, 14 or 18-hour a day the way I used to in my first business. As soon as I fixed my copywriting, my content, and the way I was selling and showing up online with my product, it was completely unnecessary to work like that as well.
Now there are a few things that I know I want to do or have to do for my business but if I need to, I can check that off in 30 minutes. If I need time for myself, then there are only 30 minutes a day that I need to do some crucial thing. For me, that’s usually Instagram stories because my entire business comes from Instagram. It’s the only channel I’m using and everything else can wait. That is something that I can do even when the kids are sleeping or I can hand up the kids to my husband and say, “You do this.”
If even that is too much, then I can do something in five minutes. For example, during my last launch, my son had an accident. He needed to go to the hospital and needed surgery. Even then, I could tell someone else like, “Can you please log into my account and pick something old to make sure something is on my Instagram story?” That’s all I needed that day. I call my best friend and she was like, “I’ve found something. I’ve found some old mini-training. I’ve subtitled that for you. You’re good.”
Knowing what you need is step number one. That was me in my past, taking pride in putting myself last and expecting to be at my best while pouring in the worst into me. The demand gets high and we’re not up in our self-care. With self-care, I mean high level. Who’s around us? What do we need? Having those reminders and checking in with ourselves at any given point during the day. If we put that on the back burner, you will also show up as your back burner self and not as the highest version of yourself.
Particular in us women, it is ingrained that we are serving. We’re here to serve our children and the business. Some women still believe they have to serve their husbands in certain ways. I’ve seen that. Their needs are second or third base. You’re early because most women step into this in their late 30s or early 40s when the kids are raised and you’re like, “Now I’m free. Now I can take care of myself.” I find it beautifully that you found that so early on.Slowing Down And Taking Care Of Yourself: Conversations On Self-Worth With Virginia Ribeiro de Assis Click To Tweet
Let’s go into what you’re doing now because I find it so intriguing and beautiful. You found your purpose and you probably maybe wouldn’t have gotten here if you would not have gotten through all the pain and the hustle that you experienced that your parents gave to you. These are our gifts that we then can turn into our anchors or into our gifts. It depends on how we’re looking at them. What is it you’re doing? How are you helping your customers? How can we draw a little bit of a parallel to performing artists?
I’m a copywriter and content coach. Most coaches and entrepreneurs spend a tremendous amount of time online creating content that doesn’t help them build their business, get clients and build their reputation. By content, I mean captions and the things that they say. When you think about branding, a lot of the time people think about, “Which one should I choose? Which color should I choose? Am I more of a black and white type of person? What editing style?” All of that is nice to help you create sort of feelings. In the end, if someone asks you, “What does this person do?” You’re not going to tell them they’re Helvetica and the color is ￼422. You’re going to tell them, “They’re a copywriter. If you need help with content, they can help you write content that converts. She’s a dancer.” We repeat words and we use words to describe what other people do.
If you want to brand yourself as a dance instructor or a performer for weddings or a certain type of event, then you could say, “This is what I do.” You need to repeat that often enough for people to memorize it. What I help entrepreneurs do is find the right words to communicate what they do and their value so that people simply get it. They get it not after two years but they can read one caption, one post and it has to be the right one. They will instantly have the desire to work with you and be interested in your offers.
For me, it goes so far that I can sometimes pinpoint individual pieces of content and how much money they make in terms of their return on investment. When I am in my fight or flight mode because I am burning myself to the ground, then I can’t create that kind of content that I could create for myself or my clients. When I am well-rested, my body is hydrated, I’ve spent some time stretching, I feel good, and my mind is clear, then I sometimes have intuitions of like, “I know what I want to write.” Those are the most profitable, successful pieces of content.
It doesn’t matter if 500 people see them or 5,000. One of my least often viewed reels is still one of the most profitable ones that I created on a whim in five minutes because I was excited about something. I wrote a lot about strategy and experience into learning how to position yourself, how to capture attention online and how to get your message across. Once you have these tools, it becomes easy to run a business because you know you just have to put something out there and you can sit back and trust that that thing does the work for you.
You don’t have to go out engaging with 50 people a day, leaving 3 likes, 2 comments and 1 follow. I don’t do all of that kind of stuff. When I started my Instagram account, my first paid in full client came through at 92 followers. I no longer do sales calls for my high-ticket coaching programs. I send people the link and I’m like, “I would love to work with you. You filled in the application. You seem like a great fit for the program. What are your questions? Here are the answers. Here’s the link,” and they sign up.
I’m going to go back to how can we put this into the whole concept that you beautifully described around, you just have to do the right stuff. It’s not about doing all the things. It won’t take so much time. It originates from you being ready to create and not working so much that you are cutting yourself off of your creativity. Being in that flow state and being able to deliver that way comes from the past in oneself, at least for me. For me, that is still a huge journey.
When we’re looking at your childhood, “Do your best at everything that you do,” it’s always translated into, “You have to practice this one thing over and over again the same way you practiced it yesterday and the day before.” We’re never asking the question. “I’m not stepping forward. I’m just trusting this particular process but maybe that process isn’t how I can blossom and how I can find the best outcome.” When I say we, I am uttering at all over the performing arts here. There is one way of doing it and that’s the only way. In entrepreneurship, when I first started out, it was the same too. There is one way and it’s the hard way. You have to work eighteen hours a day. If you’re not doing it, you’re not going to be successful.
This is still being preached. Have you watched videos from Gary Vee? He’s like, “You have to put out more content.” No, you don’t. I post one time per week. I was pregnant every single minute of the first year or with a newborn on my lap. There was no way I could bury myself to the ground like that anymore. I specifically created this business because I realized it’s enough. If I continue the way I did with my first business, I will end up in the hospital again.
There’s a wonderful book called When the Body Says No: Exploring the Stress-Disease Connection. This is a big topic that I’m still learning about. This is a series of medical, scientific information but also case studies and examples from this author’s personal life. It’s consistent that the people who burned their candle from both ends and maybe in the middle who like to hold their thing on fire, they will get sick and this is non-negotiable. I have passed out from stress and gotten a fever from stress. I could not complete my last year of business school in school. I could only study at home by myself because every single time I stepped foot into that super-competitive business school, I would fall sick. My body was clearly communicating, “No, you cannot do this.”
I created the business that I am running specifically for the purpose of, “I don’t want to live this kind of life anymore. I am done going 200 miles per hour. I am fine to slow down.” This took a lot of courage to make that decision. I knew I wanted to have children and I knew I didn’t want to be the parent that is completely absent from your children’s life. I wanted to have a business where I can work in the morning while they’re at kindergarten or in primary school. I maybe even have an hour or two to take care of myself. When I picked them up, I’m in a good mood and I’m excited to see them. In German, we would say, “I’m walking along on my gums,” because I’m exhausted.
This podcast is popular in Europe so they’ll understand. Thank you for that because we have this innate belief that in order to get where we want to get, it only can be hard. We need to be sick and skinny. It needs to feel hard like going with boots through molasses. If it doesn’t feel like that, it is not worth it, you’re not enough and not doing enough. The outside world will also point its fingers at you. I have recreated that scenario over and over again in my life.
There is something fundamentally flawed in the way we raise our children, the way our school systems work and the way everything is drilled on performance. My husband and I both strive in a competitive environment but he somehow still has the gift and the skill to slow down. I was asking myself, “How is that possible?” The truth of the matter is he grew up in Brazil and his school system was not competitive at all. It was an intrinsic thing from my husband who is extremely curious, playful and wants to learn. When I first met him, I was still a fashion designer and he was like, “Can you tell me the difference between this fabric and that fabric? How do I recognize this and that?”
We will walk through the mall and I would challenge him. I’m like, “Can you guess the designer of this garment or this handbag?” We will play like this and it was fun. He had this intrinsic motivation to learn, acquire knowledge and do all the things. He didn’t have that pressure from the outside of like, “You must perform.” He could do whatever the hell he wanted with his time. The fact that he had free time helped him acquire the skills that later led to his job. For me, it was the complete opposite. It was like, “You have a free day. What do you want to do today?”
What we need to understand, especially in our business and also in how we deal with our kids, is that rest is good, silence is good and boredom is good. If my husband wasn’t bored, he would have never become a software engineer because he taught himself how to code and how to build a computer. They didn’t even have internet, so he taught himself how to hijack the internet from the neighbor. I was drawn to that curiosity of his and this playfulness. I wish I had that lightness to life. This is something that isn’t going to come to me from one day to another but for continuously giving myself permission to play, to just be, to do something else and stronger boundaries.
The other thing is in our upbringing, we fail to establish boundaries for ourselves, especially if we have driven parents. My mom wanted to give me everything she didn’t have as a child because, in post-war Germany, she didn’t have the opportunity to learn the piano, ride horses and do all the things that she would have liked to do. She was giving me all of these opportunities but at the same time, there wasn’t necessarily the permission to just be and to rest. That was never outspoken. I’m not sure my mom’s even aware of it because she is still in that mindset of like, “I always must do something.” She wakes up in the morning and she’s like, “I’m going to do laundry. I’m going to do this and that.” I see where that leads to. I consciously make an effort every day to decide, “Is this the life that I want? If not, what can I do to fix it? How can I take one step at a time to pivot the direction of where I’m going?”
What came in for me was A) We do have the choice. There is not just one way of living that fits everybody. We all have a choice on how we create our life and what it looks like. B) This is my list for today. This is what I have to do. Here’s what I’m choosing to do. It used to be, “This is what I have to do,” because I didn’t want to sit still. I could not sit with me. I was so afraid of what’s going to come in because of all the old stories and the pain. I didn’t want to deal with that. For me, the hustle was exactly what I needed. I still get to these points sometimes where everything on the inside is bubbling. The only way I used to deal with the bubbles was, “What else can I do? Can I go for another run? I’ll go clean out this cupboard.”A need is something that's either filled or not filled. If it's not filled, there are consequences to that. Click To Tweet
My coping mechanism is to go to the basement and do laundry. If I get angry, I’m like, “I’m going to go do laundry. No one else is doing this.” I do have to admit the fact that I’m a fashion designer, I do get a weird satisfaction from ironing laundry and seeing a wrinkle-free fabric. It is meditative for me. I love ironing clothes.
I cannot relate to that. I have fabric cleaning or cleaning something out and organizing. However, I can draw parallels. The thing is that our past has shaped us this way. What the message here is that we don’t have to continue. We do not have to end up in a hospital. We don’t have to step outside of our career, let’s say for performing artists, then look at ourselves and we are a shell because we’ve given everything to somebody else’s expectation.
I love that you have these reminders in your phone that says, “Check-in. What do you need right now? How can I support myself?” That is maybe seen as selfish by my mother’s generation and by the teachers that I was surrounded with. I am learning now that that has nothing to do with a bad form of selfishness where we are. Everything is about ourselves and we don’t care about anything around ourselves or other people and their feelings. As people, we need to fill our cup first that whatever is overflowing goes to other people and not the other way around. Learning that is so important in order to show up as your best self.
The people also who claimed that this is selfish, either two things are going. Either they’re jealous because they’re not giving themselves these breaks when deep down, they would need them. A need is non-negotiable. A need is something that’s either filled or not filled. If it’s not filled, there are consequences to that. They’re either a little bit jealous or angry at themselves because they’re not filling their own needs or in some form or way, they are taking advantage of a lack of boundaries that we’re doing.
Whenever someone’s telling you, “That’s selfish,” and that might even be the voice in your head that you’ve inherited from someone else, that you’re being selfish because you take a break, then it’s your decision and your choice whether you want to agree with that. Whether you can fact-check it and be like, “Maybe it’s true but maybe it’s not.” The moment you take a step back and analyze all of the thoughts and beliefs that are running on autopilot in the back of your mind, you are starting to take control of your life and you get to decide which direction it goes. You get to decide whether you’re going to continue down the road that you’re walking on or whether you’re changing from one road to the other one step at a time.
The truth is when we run businesses, we want to be successful. We want to create financial freedom, time freedom, location freedom or all the freedom that we’re always being preached. There are very few things in business that are a necessity to be successful, at least successful in the way that we are running our businesses like $2,500, $5,000, $10,000, even $20,000 or $30,000 a month. It doesn’t take a lot of things to do it. Any one offer, you’re good. You need one clear message and you need the ability to effectively communicate how you help people. That’s everything you need. You serve your clients, delivering your offer and you’re done. There’s not that much more that goes into it. My business coach has a list of affirmations by which she lives by and it is mind-blowing the way she embodies all of these. The things that I’ve adopted are, “My content is doing the work for me. Rest is a money-making activity. I am worthy of rest.”
Because I choose to post, every single time I post, money flows to me. This is something that I have realized over time that’s so true. If I cut out all the other unnecessary crap that’s simply my ego and the stories in my head are making me do, then I am creative. I can simply use the tools that I have to put out good content that helps me grow my business and then be done. I don’t need to do more work than that. My business coach embodies that to the full potential and it’s insane. She just had a baby. She’s still on track to hit seven figures in a year and it’s mind-blowing to watch that. The only thing that you’re in competition with is whether you can control, decide and witness the thoughts that are going on in your head, and then making conscious choices about how far you let them rule your life.
I call this a very German mindset. I was teased by it in school like, “Why are you not writing ten pages around this topic?” I was like, “Because this is all there is that we need to say about this.” It’s this way and you can get as philosophically as you want to. The real hit of this entire fruit is that it doesn’t take burnout to be successful and here’s how. That’s it. That goes for not only entrepreneurs. I had this conversation one time and I was asked, “I strongly believe that producing dancers take a lot of work. They have all this training on their bodies and they are deep in psychology.” I was like, “We’re not asking the right questions. We’re only repeating. We’re not asking, what if? What would it look like when? How can I adapt to? How could this be fun?” We’re in the mentality that it has to be complicated in part. The more complicated it is, the better it’s going to be. We’re getting into that space that more and more people are showing, “I dare you. It’s wrong. Let me show you how.”
That’s exactly what I’m doing with my business and why I chose the career that I chose in the end. Every single person deserves to have a thriving business without working themselves to the ground. I have seen these stories over and over again from so many of my friends and it’s clear to me where the path will go for most people. Most people will think it needs to be hard. They’re procrastinating because it doesn’t feel good and then they don’t show up online. They have this dream about their business but it’s not happening for them. They work harder and harder and it takes even more fun out of it. It’s running down their energy. In the end, they abandon their business and they go do something that they’re not passionate about, and then they decide, “Life sucks. I need to be rescued.”
It continues to spiral like that. For me, in my first business, I was so lucky to turn it around in the end and pull myself. I was $100,000 in debt by that time because producing product is so extensive. I was so lucky that I naturally had that gift to write well. I had to learn how to write copy. I had to learn the tools and the frameworks. It was fast and easy for me to implement this. Not everybody has this gift. I was simply lucky in that sense. When I did that, I was like, “Identity crisis, I’m too burned out from this business. This business took too much of a toll for me.” I decided to abandon it. We decided, “We do all of it at once.” We stopped that business, took the money, moved to Europe and changed completely. I was like, “What can I do now?”
I was like, “I truly hope that with my skills, I can help other entrepreneurs and save them from the fate that my first business had.” I saw that over and over again. The dear friend of ours who put us in touch had a similar experience. She was producing a lot of content and gaining a lot of followers but it wasn’t necessarily converting. After we worked together, things simply changed and everything got to be easier. You get to breathe and enjoy life. That’s why I’m so passionate about it.
Dancer or not, performing artist or not, I am encouraging you to take a look at it because the headline of your freebie is scroll-stopping headlines. Here’s the thing, performing artists love to post themselves dancing on social media and that’s great because, particularly during the pandemic, they were seen and got the intention that they were missing when stepping on stage. It is my mission to show them that what they are doing already, they can make money. Here is one way that you can take a look at how you can, not only through your beautiful face, body and motion but also through your words, attract more people that are looking to you and at you, and maybe can get you some deals, collaboration or anything that you are looking for.Take a breath. You don't have to work so hard. Click To Tweet
When you post your beautiful dancing to Instagram, it’s lacking context. When you post a video of you performing a beautiful piece, what is it that you want your audience to do? Do you want them to read it, watch it and engage with you? You have to let them know because engagement is crucial for brand deals. Do you want them to go hire you for teaching because you’re teaching online classes? You need to let them know. That is what goes into your caption. What do you want your audience to do? How can they help you make an income, make a living with the thing that you’re most passionate about?
Only if you have a headline that’s catchy and attention-grabbing that people are going to read what you wrote. You want to add context beyond just a video of you dancing, which when they see, they will go, “That’s pretty,” and then they will keep scrolling. It’s the internet, there’s a cute cat video, a funny meme, the funny quote and an inspiring video around the corner that they could be watching. All of those are tugging on their attention. Don’t just put your beautiful video and say, “Monday Dance Vibes. Flexibility Friday.” Let your audience know what you want them to do. Give them context.
Last question, with what you know now and with who you are now, if you would have the chance to talk to your fifteen-year-old self and tell her one thing, what would that one thing be?
Take a breath. You don’t have to work so hard. Look at the people who are already doing what you want to do and simply learn from them. When you do, make sure that they’re living the life that you want to live. You can learn from someone but then, you’re also adopting their lifestyle. If you learn from Gary Vee, you’re going to be burning the candle on both ends. If you learn from someone who is still living, hustling, grinding and working 24/7, then whatever you’re learning from that person is going to be just that and it’s going to define how you live your life. You want to build a successful business. If you learn from someone who is consciously leaning back, leaning into rest, doing only the bare necessities and being open to receiving, then you’re going to create a life with a lot of space, oxygen and freedom to live your life. Know that you don’t have to go 200 miles per hour. Everything’s a choice.
Virginia, thank you for this conversation. I appreciate your time and expertise. It is so interesting to talk to another woman who has been through that and particularly grew up in that same cultural mentality of the hustle and the grind. How you turn it around is inspiring. I hope that everybody will at least take a little bit of time to reflect on where they’re at and perhaps ask themselves the question, is this what I want? Where do I want to go? How do I get there without burning out? Thanks for reading. Thank you for being here. I’m sending you guys so much love. Bye.
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About Virginia de Assis
Virginia de Assis is the CEO of Content Lounge and your go-to girl for all things copywriting and content strategy. She will help you find the right words to sell your expertise and create next level income, impact, and freedom in your life. After nearly a decade of subscribing to the hustle and grind mentality, Virginia now considers herself a recovered workaholic: She firmly believes in letting your content work for you so that you can focus on your zone of genius, attract clients with ease, and get paid while living your best life.
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