Who’s got two thumbs and usually writes the words you see right here? It’s today’s guest, Claire Fernan! It took me (Angie) months to persuade Claire to come on the show, and I’m so glad I was persistent because this episode is FIRE. If you’ve ever had to make some major transitions in your life and your career, this one’s for you.
Claire and I first met when she was a student in one of the programs I coach for. We were working on building and growing her career as a copywriter when she suddenly realized it wasn’t really what she wanted. Cue the head trash and wondering if it’s OK to quit or pivot. We talk about what it’s like to completely change directions, when to listen to your own heart, and owning your ever-changing identity. Listen now!
Can’t-Miss Moments From This Episode:
This one is full of sass and awesomeness. Don’t miss out - listen now!
Claire Fernan is a writer, corporate flight attendant, Doctor of Pharmacy, and completely shameless when it comes to reinventing herself on the path to joy and empowerment.
After ten years as a hospital pharmacist, Claire put down the pills and picked up a laptop to put her writing talent to use as a copywriter. When copywriting left Claire longing to share her own voice and perspective, she took to the skies in the world of private aviation.
When Claire isn’t making picnics in the skies on jets or pondering life through her writing, you can find her on her yoga mat or at the beach.
To get the latest on her journey, follow Claire on Instagram @theclairemarie or visit her website: clairefernan.com
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Angie Colee (00:01):
Welcome to Permission to Kick Ass. A podcast about leaving self-doubt in the dust, punching fear in the face and taking bold action toward your biggest dreams. I'm Angie Colee, and let's get to it. Hey and welcome back to Permission to Kick Ass. With me today is a very, very special guest. I've been trying to get her on the show for a while, but this is Claire Fernan. Say, hi, Claire.
Claire Fernan (00:29):
What up, Angie?!
Angie Colee (00:30):
So Claire is very special in that every show that you have ever read the notes on, like the bullet points, the emails that go out Claire is the one that helps me write all that. And she does a great job of stepping into my shoes and being Angie. Uh, a lot of the bullets that you write are like, I start laughing out loud and the ones that I cut are even funnier.
Claire Fernan (00:54):
Those are generally my, uh, more risky ones.
Angie Colee (00:57):
Yes. Oh man. Did we keep a bank of those somewhere someday? I'm gonna have to like make a post about.
Claire Fernan (01:03):
I think there's like a G drive. There is one, I think the favorite one that comes to mind is the one about a glory hole.
Angie Colee (01:08):
Yeah. Someday. I'll have to just do it. Like the, the ones that didn't make the cut, but were too funny not to share. That's great. So tell us a little bit about your business and what you're doing.
Claire Fernan (01:20):
Well, it's funny that you ask me this question, because a couple weekends ago I was at, um, a networking conference. It was the 10X GrowthCon, Grant Cardone. And my friend had just dragged me to it. She's part of the community. I didn't really wanna go, which sounds terrible. But I was like, all right, I'll go to one day. I'll see how it is. And my plan was just to like, go there and observe, like, not really interact with anybody, but it's a huge networking event. People wanna talk to you. So the very first person they're like, oh, what do you do? And I'm like, "Um, I'm confused." That was like my answer.
Angie Colee (01:53):
What do you do? I dunno, I'm confused.
Claire Fernan (01:57):
Which they just laughed. And they're like, yeah, me too. And part of the reason I say that is like, my business is in a huge transition phase right now. I was a hospital pharmacist for 10 years, left that. Became a copywriter, did copywriting for about, mm, like year and a half, two years. But realized there were some things that just weren't jamming with me. And now I'm doing something completely different from both of those. I'm a flight attendant on private jets. I make no sense on paper, but somehow it makes sense to me.
Angie Colee (02:29):
I love that. I think there's our quotable quote of the episode right there. "I make no sense on paper."
Claire Fernan (02:34):
I literally don't but you know what? It feels good. It works for me.
Angie Colee (02:38):
Well, it was funny too, that we were just talking about like, cuz I, I, I went into my like radio announcer voice, right as we were preparing to record and you were like, oh, it was like that voice that you used for the phone sex operator back in, what was it? Episode? I wanna say seven with Carolyn Ananian.
Claire Fernan (02:53):
Yeah. I feel like I'm like a walking encyclopedia of all your podcast episodes. Like there's so many like things like sort of you're like, it's just like, boom. Okay. Yes. That episode with this guest, you said this.
Angie Colee (03:04):
Yeah. You know that I'm a big fan of doing all of the jobs, cuz I've pretty much done all of the jobs.
Claire Fernan (03:09):
Yes. Well, there's, you know, value to be gained in all the jobs you do. Even if they seem completely unrelated, like they're skills, you're picking 'em up and you can use them.
Angie Colee (03:22):
That's a, you know, tell me a little bit more about that. Cause I feel like that's a conversation that I have with my coaching students a lot, especially when they come into writing and they're feeling like, what do I have to offer here? And I'm like, I don't know, 20 years in the workforce, just for starters plus all of your, all awesomeness. Like there's more here than I'm starting at the bottom as a writer.
Claire Fernan (03:43):
Yeah, absolutely. And I think when I first made the pivot from pharmacist to copywriting, I struggled with that so, so bad. I was just like, to me, like in my pharmacist career, I had all these letters behind my name. Like I could apply to any job I got in the door, but like copywriting was, was like, I'm a, nobody, I have no skills. Like what do I do? Like nobody knows me. Like, it was just like, you know, you go from the top to the bottom. And I just completely like forgot that I had 10 years of professional experience, like talking to different people, like interacting like so many skills that I just could not figure out how to articulate and put to use in copywriting. Just, I feel like that was like a constant theme of like all my coaching with like Kevin or like you or Melanie or Rachel. I was like, how do I work in this pharmacist thing? And they're all like, "Duh, Claire, like, it's just, it's so there!" I remember Melanie one time she's like, it's like asking a fish to describe the ocean. They don't know that it's the ocean cuz they're in it. And like, that was me. Like I just could not see how to really connect those skills other than just being like a health and wellness copywriter. Because like, Hey, I'm a pharmacist. I know science. I can talk about all these things. Um, and I did do that successfully, but I feel like there was probably like a whole another skillset from pharmacy that I just did not figure out how to bring to copywriting. But now like fast forward to being a flight attendant somehow I've just like figured it out.
Angie Colee (05:06):
Claire Fernan (05:06):
Like it's just comes so naturally. Um, you know, a big thing in like aviation is crew resource management. When there's, you know, safety issues or stuff that goes down, like how do you function as a team with the pilots and that, and for me I'm like, oh, as a pharmacist that was being on the resuscitation team so working with the doctors and nurses, like when a patient's like coding and dying, like we work as a team, we function together, that's crew resource management, like boom, that made sense. Um, you know, and I think another thing with flight attendant work is just like owning the identity of it. I, because I went from being like such a pharmacist with like all these letters behind my last name to being a copywriter where I kind of viewed myself as a nobody to say I was a copywriter felt so uncomfortable. But maybe, I don't know, maybe it's cuz like I struggled with that as a copywriter. Like once I decided to like get into the flight attendant role, I was like, no, this is what I am. Maybe I just listened to your podcast enough and like heard enough people talk about it. I was like, okay, I'm gonna say this is who I freaking am. You know?
Angie Colee (06:07):
I know. Well identity is such a huge part of it too.
Claire Fernan (06:11):
Angie Colee (06:11):
And I think we don't even, I don't, I think this is probably the first time that we're even really talking about identity and its role in starting to be a freelancer, to be a writer. Whatever you're you're doing as a business. Like you have to be comfortable saying, this is what I am. This is what I do. And if you've already got some sort of like nervousness or anxiety around, I, I maybe I do this. I don't know. I haven't gotten paid for it yet. Like that has a way of bleeding into the interactions and not really, you know, generating that faith in somebody that wants to give you a chance. So you almost have to own it before you feel ready. Would you agree?
Claire Fernan (06:48):
Oh yeah, totally. I mean, if you're uncomfortable and don't feel confident in saying like I'm a copywriter or I provide X whatever service, it may be the person that you're trying, trying to get to buy it. They're gonna be like, "uh, okay. Cool. Maybe I'll do some more research on my own." So yes. Right. Like you really have to believe in yourself and like own it and have that vision of like, yes I am, you know, this X service provider, I do this, I do the best that I can. And like present that even if you haven't done it yet, even if you're not a hundred percent comfortable with it, like you have to believe it. Otherwise nobody else will believe it. Um, and I think for me, like with copywriting too, because I had made such a huge career transition, I was a pharmacist for 10 years. That was a huge part of my identity. And I didn't really give myself time to mourn that. So it was like this whole like personal struggle of like, well, who I, who am I now that I'm not a pharmacist, but trying to take on this new identity of a copywriter, which is a completely different like working world compared to being a pharmacist. It was just honestly, it was probably like too much at freaking once.
Angie Colee (07:55):
Yeah. Timing plays a big role in the success of these things too. And that's another thing that we don't really talk about, but I feel that on a very deep level too, this whole, who am I now that I'm not doing this thing that I'm known for because my transition was as you know, uh, I'm, I'm a copywriter. I've been the head of these big name teams for years. I've been, I've generated some stellar results. And now everybody knows me as a copywriter. And I was even talking about this with some coaching students recently that it took about nine months after I left my old role for people to stop asking me to write copy for them. And I just had to like firmly hold the line and be like, no, I don't write. Nope, I don't do launch. Nope. I'm not a copywriter for, I will post your job in a community. I will introduce you to several excellent writers. I know. Nope. Like every once in a while somebody would come along with a sweet deal where I was like, maybe it's like, Hmm. And then like, no, I'm gonna take that, that big check. And then I'm gonna get disenchanted with having to write again and I'm gonna let everybody down and let's not even go down that path.
Claire Fernan (08:56):
Right. Like let's not do it. It's so funny. Cuz actually earlier this week I had to tell like my last copywriting client, cause I've slowly been phasing it out. I had to tell him like, Hey man, I'm not gonna be doing this anymore. And he was like, "What? No!" He's like, he's like "How much, how much Claire?" And I'm like, dude, I just I'm like, well you're tempting me, but no. Um and I think part of that is just like, I am so much more comfortable with my identity as the flight attendant. So it's easy to say no to things that I know aren't in alignment. You know? And like for you, like as you made the pivot to coaching, you could say no to copywriting, even though you're a fan-frigging-tastic copywriter, you could say no because you're a coach. You believe that that's your identity. And like people coming up and being like, Hey, you wanna do this old thing? I'm very woo. Like that's the universe testing you like, yeah. Are you? Are you really ready? Are you committed to your vision? Let's see, let's put this little tantalizing carrot in front of you. Cause I mean, for you probably to like go back and do some copywriting work like, not that hard, quick easy money, but not like the identity that you have right now as a coach. And like for me to continue to do copywriting, like that's not in alignment with like what I'm trying to do with flight attendant work. And also like I'm pivoting to focus more on my own writing and like sharing my own story through different ways. Like me. I get to write as me and not other people like that's that's dream as a writer.
Angie Colee (10:20):
I know that's that was the exciting thing about it for me because, uh, I remember when I first put out the ad and I, and I had to get my own coach to kind of talk me off. I was like, nobody can, nobody can write like me. I, I am a special, unique unicorn and nobody knows how to sound like me and my favorite thing ever. Well like talk about transferable skills and creativity. Uh, I think a lot of people looking for like a job or a gig get hyper focused on the guy with like the donut box resume or like the super creative stuff. But you shot me a video, uh, where you had made - Are you cool with me sharing this story?
Claire Fernan (11:03):
New Speaker (11:03):
This is my favorite. All right. So talk about somebody that understood the brief that I didn't even put out there. Right? You made a fake headset out of tin foil to mimic my big over ear Bluetooth headset that I usually use on coaching calls. You, you made a fake Jack Skellington sweatshirt by pinning a bunch of paper Jack Skellingtons to your sweatshirt to mimic my favorite comfy old hoodie that I wear everywhere. Uh, the I think one of the very first things that you did was touch your nose, which of course they, they can't see since I don't share this video with anyone, but like, you're looking at me like doing this. I didn't even realize that like I touch my nose when I'm thinking until you pointed it out to me.
Claire Fernan (11:43):
You totally do.
Angie Colee (11:46):
So you went on this like four minute spiel of like imitating me down to the hand, gestures, the mannerisms, slamming a timer down on the table and going fucking do it. And I was like.
Claire Fernan (11:58):
Take a fucking power nap.
Angie Colee (12:00):
Yeah. And I was like, OK. So how did I convince myself that nobody could write as me? Like you went so far beyond writing as me and you just became me for like four minutes that I think we have to try this out and make it work. Woo. Yeah.
Claire Fernan (12:15):
I, um, I like to describe myself as like an irritatingly observant person. Like, I just, I just noticed the nuances of, you know, the things around me, the people around me. And especially if I like you, I just pick up on this little stuff and it's not meant to be like, you know, mean or like judgy or anything. It's just, I'm irritatingly observant. Like I can't not notice things about people, but it comes from a place of love and kindness.
Angie Colee (12:41):
Oh no, I totally get it cuz I'm a, I'm a natural mimic is, is one of my really weird skills and people that have seen me do it like off the cuff tend to get weirded out. But like if Stella meows, I can make a sound. That sounds almost exactly like her right back to her.
Claire Fernan (12:58):
Um, what a wonderful party trick.
Angie Colee (13:00):
Yeah, I know. Let's have a conversation with the cat. Um, I, if I wanted to make one of those videos where like I sang one song, but switched into different Diva's voices like went from, I could easily do that. And, and sound like Ariana Grande, as much as I could sell it
Claire Fernan (13:17):
Why don't you?
Angie Colee (13:18):
Probably need to at some point to just do that. But like, it's one of those just kind of natural intelligences I have within my body to like be able to, I know how that sound is made and I can make it as soon as I hear it weird. Um, I love these tangents. They're so entertaining. But I like cuz that goes into like owning your identity too. Cuz I remember when I saw your video, you did write a line in there about like, this is not meant to be offensive, but I was like, I laughed my ass off the entire time. There was nothing about this that I took in an offensive, like.
Claire Fernan (13:52):
I giggled so hard making it, I the whole time I was like crafting my Jack Skellingtons I'm like, this is so fucking funny. I am hilarious. There was like one moment, I'm like, "Will she get pissed off? I don't care. I'm having so much fun."
Angie Colee (14:07):
And that is the best energy to bring to these projects too. Like you can actually have that energy in business with the people that you work with. Like, I don't care. I'm having so much fun. This is gonna be so great. Oh my God. I hope they love it as much as I do. Like, uh, we get so hung up on like how things should be that we forget to have fun sometimes.
New Speaker (14:27):
Yeah. And I honestly like the most successful moments are like when I'm having fun. Cause it doesn't matter like what service you're providing, whether it's like written or, or like you're doing something to somebody like that energy. They feel that. And like they get excited too. Um, one of my past copywriting clients, I wrote her an email and this, I used the story of like how elephant's rampage to like release anger. Cuz she, it was like creative art, journaling and the whole spin was like, you know, sometimes you just got a rampage with your journaling and get this out like an elephant, like just go nuts. And I'm like, this is like really weird and out there. But I love elephants. One of the things I've always admired about elephants is the fact when they do get really fucking pissed, they're just gonna go on a tirade through a town and stomp on whatever. And like when you're angry sometimes like that's just what you wanna do. So I'm like, this is weird. It's out there, but I love it. So I'll just see what she thinks. She loved it. You know what I mean? She's like, "this is my favorite email ever." And like honestly that's probably like my favorite email that I ever wrote copyrighting was like the elephant rampage. Cause it was just, it was exciting. It was fun to me. And like that energy carried across.
Angie Colee (15:32):
One of my favorite ones that I wrote was back in my corporate days where, uh, so the, the merchandisers that we worked with all fancy themselves marketing experts. And when I would ask them questions, they often wouldn't have answers, but they just were firmly convinced this was the direction to go. And I, I would get supremely annoyed, but uh, like, so they came to us and this is a hardware store that I work for. So I was very astonished one day when they were like, we need to do a Valentine's day sale. And I was like, what do we sell for Valentine's day? This is a hardware store. They're like, uh, and I was like, exactly, like we don't really need. Well we brought in an orchid in a, a pink pot with a heart on it. So we have one lone product in a hundred stores with thousands of skews. That could be a Valentine's day thing, except for maybe all of our potted flowers out in the garden center. Like how the hell am I gonna make this promo work? And that was when I turned, uh, sarcasm like that email became chocolate schmocolate and we were like, these are all the things that you should absolutely not come to us for Valentine's day for. And I think there was a, there was a scale, there was, like a body weight scale, a vacuum cleaner. There was a doghouse for when you do this shit and you get in trouble. Asterisks on everything saying if you buy these things, we take no liability for what your partner does to you. If you do decide to come to us for Valentine's day, you should probably get them this orchid in a pot.
Claire Fernan (17:05):
Just to soften the blow.
Angie Colee (17:07):
Like here's the only thing that we have for Valentine's day. And uh, of course the merchants didn't really like it, but we had so many customers writing in and going, I'm laughing all the way to the store. We sold for Valentine's day scales and vacuum cleaners.
Claire Fernan (17:24):
Angie Colee (17:25):
Claire Fernan (17:27):
Angie Colee (17:28):
Well like that's the power. The whole energy changes when you can actually let go and have some fun with it versus trying to force it. And that was, you know, before we started recording, we, we talked about burnout and trying to force it and trying to make it through something that it feels like you quote unquote, should be doing. Do you wanna speak more to that?
Claire Fernan (17:47):
Yeah. I feel like a lot of my time as a copy writer was riddled with like these expectations that I put on myself of like what I should be doing, how my day should look, how much I should be making, how I'm doing this. Like, it was just, honestly, it was so much pressure that I put on myself. And it was so unnecessary. So self-created, um, I'm remember there was one day last summer I was like out walking the dog and like, I was just so stressed out, like, oh my God, like I'd taken on way too many clients, was like salty cuz I wasn't charging enough. I'm like, Ugh. Why, why did I do this to myself? And I just, this question popped up in my mind. It was like, what are you trying to prove? And like, who are you trying to prove it to? And the answer just as crystal clear - myself. Like I'm trying to prove something to myself by like pushing, pushing, pushing, like getting up at 4:00 AM and writing till 10:00 PM. Like nobody else cared. Like everyone, honestly like all the people like in the copy writing circle, like all of them believed in me, but like I didn't believe in myself. So I was just like pushing myself to the nth degree and yeah, I got burnt out real hard and like I knew burnout was coming because when I got COVID last August and I was finally able to like have a week where I'm like, oh my God, I don't have to leave my house. I don't have to write anything. I can take a nap, wake up, watch a Disney movie, take another nap and be left alone. I was like, oh, I love this. And I'm like, wow, this is really sick. That you're like, happy that you have COVID because then you don't have to do anything else. Like talk about a sign that like running myself ragged that I'm like, yay. I'm ill. And I don't have to do anything.
Angie Colee (19:30):
Oh gosh. Yes. Well, but good, good on you for recognizing that that's not the healthiest mental space to be in.
Claire Fernan (19:38):
No. And so like after I recovered from COVID I was like, okay, like I need to change some things. I put some boundaries in place, but you know, I'm a Virgo, Scorpio rising. This is a lot of like it intense, super high perfectionist energy, like must achieve everything. Like slowly over time, those boundaries kind of like whittled away. And then one day I woke up and I was like, I don't wanna do anything. I don't wanna get outta bed. And I was like, well, this is new.
Angie Colee (20:07):
Claire Fernan (20:07):
Cause I've never like, felt that throughout my entire life. I mean, like to get through pharmacy school, like there were some weeks we had exams, like four or five of the days, like studying super intense. So like I'm used to like functioning under a lot of stress, but always like got up, was gonna do what I had to do, but to wake up and be like, I don't wanna do anything even get out of bed. Like that was whoa. That was like a big wake up call for me. Um, and so that, at that point, like I got really serious about like anything that I don't absolutely have to do. It's going. Um, and I, I cut back so much, so much stuff. Um, I just, I had to focus on Claire and just like really, really cut back on what I was doing.
Angie Colee (20:53):
I've been in that position before, too, where it's like, even when you know that this thing is gonna do good for you and you love hanging out with these people, it's like, I just can't.
Claire Fernan (21:00):
Yeah, I can't. And it, again, it goes back to the energy, like, do I wanna bring my salty, exhausted energy? And like probably like some, you know, like jealous vibes, like, oh, you know, how many clients do you have? You're getting paid what? You know, like, nobody needs that crap. Like, ew. So, so I stayed home. Um, and a lot of what I did with that time is kind of do some soul searching. Um, and I remember Rachel Mazza, she had sent me "The Clarity Field Guide" and that's the book, um, you've mentioned a couple times where they talk about like the seasons of business and I'm like, okay, I'm in the doldrums here. Like I'm just kind of drowning, barely keeping my head above water. And one thing that's really helpful in the book is they have journaling questions and I love journaling. So took myself down to the beach with this book. Um, and I remember the question that was really kinda like a come to Jesus moment for me. It's like, I don't remember the exact words, but basically it's like, what's one question that you don't want people to ask you and have to answer. And for me that question was, do you like copywriting? Cuz the answer was no. And as soon as I admitted that to myself, like that was kind of like a big shift and like a big weight off my shoulders cause I'd been fighting that, you know? Um, I think when you're someone who's in a creative field, like trying to make money off of it, it's really hard. Um, you know, like I'm a great writer, but still just like that concept of like, well, how do you make money writing? Copywriting. Like you go online. There's so many things. And it's so funny. You talk about all the time on the podcast, like bringing your laptop to the beach, who the fuck does that? One of the first things that I saw online about copywriting. It was literally an image of a dude in a hammock, on a beach with his laptop copywriting like, oh my God, isn't this life cool?
Angie Colee (22:52):
So first of all, I'm gonna fall on my face outta this hammock because I am the opposite of whatever the hell grace is. Um, second of all, I'm gonna land on my laptop and probably crack it in half and fill it with sand at the same time. And none of this is going to actually relax me.
Claire Fernan (23:07):
No, and it's probably humid as hell on this tropical island, wherever you are. So it's like, you have weird sweat, like dripping in between your keyboard keys. So there's short circuiting. So when you press Q it's like actually an X and it's like, what the fuck is this word? Like it's the laptop on the beach does not work.
Angie Colee (23:26):
No. And it, you know, there was, that was a conversation. And I had with some, some coaching students on a call, like right before you and I started talking too, which is about the, like the attitude and the energy and the motivation that you bring to any particular project, especially in a creative field like this, that has to be taken into consideration too. I was telling them about a time that I walked away from a five figure a month retainer because I just couldn't sell what they were asking me to sell. And they were like, are you kidding me for $10,000 a month? I would write whatever it's like for $10,000 a month, I will not write whatever. I'm not gonna sell my soul for this. Like, pretend that I think that this is a great product and that people are gonna benefit from it. When I know that I'm putting my interest above their own, like that's and, and I know that there are writers out there that think differently from me and there are people out there that money is the big motivator and it doesn't really matter what they're doing for it. So like that's no judgment. Everybody operates the way they are. But I know that I felt a similar energy. It's like, when I don't believe in this thing. Everything, but a fricking wall comes slamming down in between my brain and my fingers. And like, I just can't.
Claire Fernan (24:30):
Yeah, totally. And like, when you don't believe in what you're doing, the procrastination techniques that you implement, like you get real creative.
Angie Colee (24:40):
It becomes an Olympic sport. Like I'm gold medaling in procrastination. How about you?
Claire Fernan (24:44):
Oh my God. Yeah, totally. It's like all the thing, like in hindsight, just like thinking all the ways I procrastinated it's like, it was just ridiculous, but it's like, cuz I wasn't really, I didn't have my heart in it. You know, there was something to me that for whatever reason, like, you know, I love the idea of getting paid to write, but it's like this isn't what I wanna write, you know? Um, cuz for, for me, I feel like my writing, it shines the most, like when I can be more playful and fun and you know, the focus is when my writing can be focused on like making somebody smile or laugh or like have something thought provoking that like helps them change their perspective. That's when my writing shines but when my writing is like focused on like "buy this shit!" I'm like, yeah, I don't care. Like which who wants to hire a copywriter that doesn't care if your shit gets bought when they're writing, like it's so bad.
Angie Colee (25:37):
That's not great. And I, I know like I'm gonna go ahead and take credit here cuz I remember seeing some of your email samples and being like, girl, you got the goods, you are a fantastic writer and I laugh every time I see you post something, so like we're gonna find you a way. You're you're gonna be writing books with me. Like I, I just wrote down, you would probably be proud of me. I finally wrote down the laundry scar story the other day about like people were like, Hey, tell me about your travels. And then last year I was like, I'm grieving and depressed. And I don't wanna write shit about this. Uh, plus I live this as my everyday life. And it doesn't feel unique and special like it does to you looking in from the outside.
Claire Fernan (26:13):
Angie Colee (26:13):
Um, and I fell down the stairs the other day while doing laundry and now I have a scar and people are like yes. I have two circular scars on my ankle. I'm looking at it. Like you can see through your ear holes right now. I'm just imagine these two circular scars on my ankle that I got from falling with all of my weight on my ankle, trying to do my laundry. And I finally wrote the story like then I thought I was gonna get gangrene and then like, I was gonna die like, oh.
Claire Fernan (26:41):
It's gonna spread to your brain.
Angie Colee (26:44):
I took it to the writer's nth degree. Like this is how I die doing laundry. This is why I should never do laundry. Basically. That's the lesson I took.
Claire Fernan (26:52):
Yeah. That's what you learn. Um, it's funny though. Like, something you just said is like, from people looking from the outside, in like what they see versus what you see. And I think, I, I just feel like that's something that's been coming up for me a lot lately. Like, I don't see myself the way other people see me. So like in copywriting like everyone was like, oh my God, Claire, like, you're a great writer. Like you could totally do this. Like you, you could be making big bucks. Like I just, I didn't see it. You know what I mean? Like again, I was just a fish in the ocean, like I just could not see it. But I think one thing that I've learned is like sometimes when people like reflect you, like how you really are, like, you need to like sit up and listen, cuz they're not looking through the filter of the self-doubt, the bullshit, the fears, like all the dumb narratives that you tell yourself that you're not good enough. It's like they just see you for how awesome you are. And like you, you really need to listen to them.
Angie Colee (27:45):
Oh yeah, exactly. I, you know, I, I have a, I don't even know if it's a filter, but we'll, we'll just go ahead and call it one for simplicity's sake. This podcast wouldn't exist. If it weren't for random people paying me compliments because they liked my voice which I still like, I guess, because of the acoustics bouncing around here in the old noggin, I hear my voice differently inside my head from when I, and I, I rarely listen to recordings. If I can help it with the exception of the podcast on a weekly basis, I'm like I have to listen to the stupid shit I say and make sure that it's not too stupid. Um, but like I, I spoke on stage at an event, a professional event. And when I got down and this is a room, a thousand people, it's a dark ballroom. It's hectic. It's crazy. It's noisy. Somebody found me in the dark at the back table to tell me I really love your voice. Do you have a podcast? I was what are you smoking? This is, I don't have a great what? And so I just kinda.
Claire Fernan (28:40):
Did you just become a dog, like how did you hear me?
Angie Colee (28:42):
I know I just dismissed it as this like weird. Somebody was having a psychotic break and my voice is amazing. Cool. We're just gonna ignore that. Um, then the second time I spoke at an event, it happened again, a different person found me in the dark, in the chaos to tell me you should have a podcast. Do you have a podcast? And I was like, no, but uh, this is weird. This is twice. Twice this, this has happened to me. I don't know what's going on. Then the third time it happened, I had this sudden epiphany of three people, three separate times, nothing to gain from. Like they're not trying to sweet talk, talk me into writing for them at a great deal or anything like that. They literally just came to pay me a compliment and tell me how awesome that they thought I was. Why am I fighting this? Why am I telling them that they're wrong? And one of my friends, Dr. Julie, you know, when I have fits of anxiety like that, she said something that really snapped me out of it. She goes, how arrogant are you? And I was like bitch! But I, I love her. So like after the initial bristle, I'm like, okay, okay. Why, why is that arrogant? And she goes, so you've got people out there that are taking in everything that you're having to say. They're having an amazing experience. They think that you are phenomenal and they come up and tell you how awesome you are and you go, you're wrong. How's that not arrogant? And I was like, oh shit, interesting. Like this whole societal pressure that we have sometimes to just reject the feedback and, and feel humble. Or artificially humble sometimes. And I'm not saying I'm gonna go out there and be an ego maniac tomorrow. I've started taking the compliments that people pay me much more seriously. And like, I have a duty to hear that and consider it versus rejecting it outright. It actually makes me feel better about myself too. So not gonna lie. That's been a good move for me.
Claire Fernan (30:36):
Yeah. It's weird how hard it is, like when somebody gives you a compliment just to be like, thank you. Cause usually like we're taught to be like, "oh, well, you know? Mm, yeah." Like, no, thank you.
Angie Colee (30:48):
Claire Fernan (30:49):
Yeah. Like, "oh, I, I guess I'm okay." Like, no. Thank you. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for like having the courage to come up and share that with me and thank you for knocking some fucking sense into me. Right? Like, thank you. I appreciate you. Um, and it's funny, like what Dr. Julie said, um, I was talking, so again, I'm very woo. I'm doing like this hypnotist therapy stuff right now, and it's really cool.
Angie Colee (31:16):
Claire Fernan (31:16):
It's so cool. Um, but one of the things that my hypnotist said, she's like, think about like, think about it like this Claire, like, is your fear of like, having your voice be heard? Is that, is it worth keeping it to yourself to know that like there's, you know, people that you could be helping that aren't gonna be helped just because you're scared. Like, is that worth it to be keep quiet, to not like, own your voice, own your power. And it's like, no, I, I don't wanna do that. Um, and like, when you, it's kind of like taking like the me-centric like, I'm so scared, I don't wanna do this and be like, okay, if I don't do what I'm meant to do, like I'm hurting people, I'm not helping them. Like, I can't be that selfish. That's not cool. That's very arrogant of me to put myself above all the people I could help by just getting over myself.
Angie Colee (32:04):
I love that too. Uh, the words that really caught my attention when you said that was like me-centric. And I think that is like at the root of almost all of society's evils, let alone like how we hold ourselves back. It's all about me and what I'm getting and my place in the world. And me, me, me, me, me, me, and I'm not saying you shouldn't care about yourself, cuz I am a big proponent of self love and self care and holding firm boundaries. But you can do that in a way that shows care and consideration for people around you as well. Without bending over backwards and letting people take advantage of you. Um, and I had a very similar thought process when it came to starting this, like who am I to have a podcast and it's saturated and people wanna hear what I have to say, but I tell you the letters that I get on a weekly basis say exactly to the contrary. I get people that write to me every week. And sometimes they'll write about an episode that they listen to from like six months ago that they just now heard, but they'll be, I just, I needed to hear this today. This one really resonated with me. And I'm like, okay, if I just get this message to that one person that needs it at the time that they need it totally, totally worth it. Totally worth all the anxiety and the fear.
Claire Fernan (33:15):
Yeah. And you have no idea, like what that person's gonna go on and do like what the ripple effect, the butterfly effect is. So, it may be like just one person in front of you, but it could be like thousands later on down the line. Um, and it's just getting out of your own damn way. Like getting over your fears and it's, it's almost like counterintuitive. Like you don't wanna be me-centric and like your fears and your anxieties, like holding you back because the reality is like, nobody else sees that, but you do need to be very self kind and like focus on being the best version of you and taking care of yourself. Cuz that sets an example for other people like they see you doing your best. Then they're like that quietly inspires them to do it. So sometimes it's not even like, it's weird. It's like being me-centric you shouldn't do it, but like you kind of need to do it, but like in different ways.
Angie Colee (34:04):
Yeah. There's there's a balance, right?
Claire Fernan (34:06):
Angie Colee (34:06):
You can't swing that pendulum too far, either direction.
Claire Fernan (34:09):
Angie Colee (34:10):
And it's, you know, I've had a lot of people comment on like my confidence level and stuff like that, which my default joke to that is like, oh, if only you were in my head. You'd hear me spiraling out. The latest thing I'm spiraling out over is that I've got my, my first event. We're recording this in April. My first event is coming up in a couple weeks here and I'm like deep in planning, which of course comes in the, with the anxiety of like, can I deliver on what I promised these people are coming out here and they're expecting good things. Like, no. Um, I just remember my coach holding my feet to the fire and it was like, what can you show people is possible if you put yourself out here and do this first. And like that little tiny shift in perspective was enough to challenge. And that gave me a great tool too. Whenever I start feeling anxiety, I'm like, what could I help others achieve? If I challenge myself to do this first?
Claire Fernan (35:04):
Angie Colee (35:06):
Oh shit. I can lead by example. What?
Claire Fernan (35:09):
Like, Hey! Um, it's so funny when I first left my pharmacist job and like pivoted to copywriting, like the amount of people like that I knew from the pharmacy profession, like reaching out to me and kind of like on the low and be like, yo, I kind of, don't like it here either. Um, it's really cool what you're doing. Um, you know, and they would like ask me for advice. It was very, like, they were kinda like covert about it cuz I mean, to be in that profession and be like, I don't like being a pharmacist, like especially all the training, like it's kind of like, nobody does that. Nobody leaves pharmacy. The money's too good. Like we're all the people just stay there and they're miserable and they bitch about it. But, you know, but by me I guess like kind of having the balls to be the batshit crazy person that I am, you know, like people that got people thinking and they reached out to me for support and I'm just like, yeah, anytime you wanna talk about this, like just reach out. So and I never expected that. I had no idea.
Angie Colee (36:01):
I've told people about that before this phenomenon of, of accidental expertise. And like people see you as the expert in something, even if you don't recognize that, like I, I doubt that you're gonna start a business tomorrow that is focused on helping pharmacists quit their jobs. But it is something that you could potentially coach people through in the medical field, in the future, if that was an interest, because you've got people that already see you as somebody that paved the way. And has that experience and you didn't have to go to school to get the, how to leave your pharmacy job and start a new career degree.
Claire Fernan (36:34):
And like, honestly, it's not even just like leaving pharmacy specific. I've just gotten a point to my life where I'm like, where if I'm doing something and like, it doesn't feel right. I'm not gonna keep doing it. Um, you know, I took a full-time copywriting position, like employee, and after two months I was like, yo, I don't like this. I don't wanna do it. And so I, I told them I quit and my friend he's like Claire, you've been at that job for two months and you're already quitting. He's like, you got big balls. I was like, yeah, big dick energy man. Like, what good does it serve me to stay there? When I know, like, I don't like the corporate structure, I never done it before. Cause I'd been a pharmacist. Like I don't like it. It makes me feel like crap. And it doesn't serve them either to have an employee that like hates how they run their business. So it's like it's in our party, both party's best interest for me to leave. So yeah, if I don't like it, I'm not gonna do it. And I'm not gonna stick with it and convince myself that like, because I spent X amount of time getting to this point or like, you know, all those things of like, well, I've spent so much money on this coaching and I've done this and all. No. If it makes you fucking miserable, stop it. Do something else. And it can be something temporary. Like even to just pay the bills, like, you know, on paper, I look bat shit crazy. I know that. I'm a pharmacist with a doctorate, 18 letters behind my last name. I left that became a copywriter. And now I'm a flight attendant. Like none of that makes sense. It doesn't.
Angie Colee (38:01):
But are you happy?
Claire Fernan (38:03):
I'm happy. I have so much freedom in my life. My bills are paid. I'm having a good time and I'm figuring it out figuring out shit as I go.
Angie Colee (38:11):
Yeah. And I think that's okay. Like I love that you brought this up cuz the, I think that's another thing that we don't really talk about in entrepreneurship a lot, which is the sunk cost fallacy. I've spent so much time, so much energy, so much money on this. I have to stick with it. It's that stupid meme that we've all seen online with like on, on the top panel, it's the guy that's digging for diamonds and he's like two inches away from finding the diamonds and on the bottom panel, it's the guy that was two inches from diamonds. But he turned around and walked away. Cause he was pissed off. Maybe he doesn't want any fucking diamonds.
Claire Fernan (38:43):
Yeah. Maybe he wants rubies. Okay. And that's fine. Go find the rubies.
Angie Colee (38:49):
Maybe he doesn't wanna dig anymore. Like I don't know, maybe he wants to pan for gold instead of digging for diamonds.
Claire Fernan (38:54):
Yeah. Maybe he's just hungry and wants a damn sandwich. Like go get your sandwich.
Angie Colee (38:58):
Yep. It is totally okay. Like you don't have to stick to something because you know, I made, I made a commitment and I made like honor your commitments, obviously don't be somebody that just like leapfrogs from things to thing. But like if you are straight up miserable in something that you agreed to try out, it's totally okay to be like, well, I tried that. I don't like it. I don't think I'm gonna like it. There's no sense in continuing on this.
Claire Fernan (39:22):
Yeah, exactly. I think you have to have a good level of self-awareness to know like there is, you know, there is quitting and giving up on something too early and that happens because you don't believe in yourself because you know, that's like imposter syndrome, like those negative self narratives. But then there's like forcing yourself to do something that in your core you don't wanna do. And that's the things that are like, okay, every time I sit down to do this, my head hurts. My neck hurts. Um, I get super bitchy every time I'm doing this thing, like that's a sign, you're doing something that you don't really want to be doing. So just admit that to yourself. Because the second you admit that like literally like the weight lifts off your shoulder. When I finally said to myself, I don't like copywriting. It was like, oh, like I am 500 pounds lighter. And then it was kinda like, well, what the fuck do I do now? But it's like, whatever. I'm gonna figure that out later. But for now, like I know like I cannot continue to force myself to do something that I don't genuinely enjoy. So I'm gonna do something else.
Angie Colee (40:29):
I love that you brought that up too. This, uh, resistance is a sign I think. And we tend to wish it away or rationalize it away or do anything, but pay attention to what it's trying to tell us. And I, I think of resistance these days as a messenger of sorts, like it's trying to tell me something about what I'm doing here. Is it trying to tell me I hate this? Is it trying to tell me I'm scared of this? Is it trying to tell me that maybe I should be doing something else? I don't know until I stop ignoring it. And stop explaining it away and actually sit with that supremely uncomfortable feeling. Especially if I've invested a lot in something and going all right, well, why am I resisting this? What's going on here? Why am I feeling so blocked? It's it's funny to me how over the years as somebody that's dealt with like some intermittent chronic pain, how often the pain I'm holding in my body is something related to the emotions that I'm feeling. And just by acknowledging those emotions and like articulating it and starting the process of dealing with it, the pain will release.
Claire Fernan (41:34):
Oh yeah. It's just, you have to give yourself space to like really sit and think, what does this mean? Cause you could keep inundating yourself with noise and you won't figure it out, but eventually your body's gonna be like, yo, you need to listen to me and I'm gonna break because you're not getting the subtle signs.
Angie Colee (41:54):
And you've gotta get the should outta there. My best friend is fond to saying that like stop shoulding on yourself. I should be feeling this. I should be doing that. Like that all is masking the lesson or the learning or the truth that, that resistance is trying to share with you. And I know one thing that really helps me stop resisting the resistance to get like super meta was this rule that, uh, my, my best friend and I developed like a decade ago, I wanna say, but it's, I can't talk to me in a way that they wouldn't and vice versa. They can't talk to themselves in a way that I wouldn't. Because why would you treat someone like a piece of shit and expect to keep a healthy relationship with them? You wouldn't. So if my best friend comes to me and says, you know, this person really hurt my feelings and they're sobbing and they're they've, you know, just got a lot of big feelings right now. Am I gonna hug this person to maybe go get them a pint of ice cream? Or am I gonna be like you stupid asshole. Here's everything that you did wrong and why it's all your fault that you're feeling this way. That second one, I would probably say to myself in a past life, because it's acceptable for us to be mean as fuck to ourselves.
Claire Fernan (43:03):
Oh, I've been such a raging bitch to myself. I was like, why?
Angie Colee (43:08):
Why is this self-love and self support, such a radical fucking idea? Like, why is it cool to be miserable, more miserable than everybody? Uh, I've suffered more than everybody. Oh, look at all these pains that I've gotten all this stress and I'm, I'm working 20 hours a day. Oh, I'm working 22 hours a day. Like, fuck you. Fuck you. You work your 22 hours a day.
Claire Fernan (43:30):
Yeah, those are not accolades that I want at all. You can take that crown if you want it.
Angie Colee (43:36):
I know. And like the funniest part of this whole travel adventure to me was like, you were talking about people seeing it from the outside. I know because people have told me that there is an impression of like independent wealth in doing this. And like there's a reason that I can travel that other people can't and it's because I have money. I don't, and I have a lot of student loan debt. I have just structured my business in a way that allows me to travel. And that was a conscious decision that didn't, that came with its own set of hardships and its own internal demons, challenging me to like find a way to make this thing I wanted work, but I don't know, like the ranting aside there, I think the point is have the bravery, like Claire, uh, like me, if I can presume to say that, to validate your own feelings. Well, I don't wanna do this.
Claire Fernan (44:28):
You have them for a reason. And you know, I'm not saying that like it's easy, like once you acknowledge, like, okay, I don't like this, like it's totally easy. Like leaving pharmacy. One of the hardest decisions I've ever made, I decided to make it super extra hard and get a divorce at the same time and move to a new state. Cause you know, Hey, why do things one at a time?
Angie Colee (44:46):
Overacheivers club! Left my job started a new business.
Claire Fernan (44:49):
I'm gonna do it all. Um, and even like making the decision to pivot away from copywriting was a really hard, hard choice. And part of it was like, I invested a ton of money in coaching and like stupid stuff too. Like, oh my God, the amount of like unused branding photography that I have is like, I'm just gonna like start putting it on Instagram. Like, yo, I paid for this. They're pretty whatever. Like just to get it out there. Um, you know, so like these are hard decisions. It's tough pills to swallow, but like in the end, like you come out so much better for it. Especially like when you're making decisions that can move you more towards an alignment. And like what genuinely makes you happy. Working to be miserable. It's not a way to live. And you know, I feel like society's definitely changing. Like there's a shift towards like, you know, more nontraditional stuff, like really finding joy. Like it is possible. It's hard. Because you have to buck what you've been taught. Like what society's been showing you, but like you can do it. Anything can be undone, anything.
Angie Colee (45:55):
Joy and happiness are a choice and a pursuit.
Claire Fernan (45:57):
Angie Colee (45:58):
Versus a destination. And I think like we, we set that goal line so far in the future. Like someday when I've checked off all these boxes, I'll earn the right to be happy. Like you could be happy right now, bitch!
Claire Fernan (46:08):
Angie Colee (46:08):
Right now you could be happy.
Claire Fernan (46:10):
Why would you wait to be happy? That's stupid.
Angie Colee (46:12):
And the bonus points is like, if you deliberately look for reasons to be happy, if you look for little, I, think Ariana Huffington wrote about it recently. She called it glimmers. Little glimers of joy throughout the day.
Claire Fernan (46:25):
Angie Colee (46:26):
If you train your brain to look for it, you see it more often and then it becomes self feeding and, and you don't see the negative shit all the time. Everywhere every day.
Claire Fernan (46:34):
Yeah. If you're just grateful and happy, like you're gonna see more things that make you happy and make you feel grateful. And then you'll attract more things that will bring you more happiness and more gratitude. And like, you don't have to be miserable. You don't have to stick with something because you spent a ton of money on it because your mom thinks that's what you should be doing. Like no, no, no, no. Like you can do generally what makes you happy. It's possible.
Angie Colee (46:57):
I just wanna punctuate that again for everybody that's listening. If you make decisions that move toward your own happiness and your own joy and helping the world at large, around with you, without focusing on what you should do and what everybody else thinks about what you're going to do then. Oh, that capacity for joy is so real.
Claire Fernan (47:19):
It's so good. Yeah. I mean, I think about my life at this time last year, like how different it is, how different, but you know, and at this time, last year, like I was just making that transition out of pharmacy, like making huge life choices. And that was probably the lowest I've ever been in my life. And like, I look at my life today. I'm so happy every day. Like even now, like my, my worst days now are better than my best days back then. And it's because I'm just following, I'm following my trail of joy, you know? Yes. Sometimes I take little detours and it gets a little bit thorny, but I just keep coming back to like, what makes me happy? What can I do to like spread joy and kindness and like serve and it just keeps getting better and better every day. It's awesome.
Angie Colee (48:07):
Oh, I love that. Oh, I love that. Yeah. And I can tell the difference in the energy between when we talked this time last year.
Claire Fernan (48:13):
Oh my God. You know, what's really funny. You mentioned the resistance and like, what is the resistance teaching you? That was literally one of the, the very first coaching advice you gave me. And I'm like, what the fuck does that mean? I was like, so angry. I'm like, I don't even know what that means. I don't know what to do with this. Oh my God. Oh my God. Ugh. Now I'm like, oh, I get it. So thank you, Angie.
Angie Colee (48:35):
Yeah, my pleasure. I remember that. That was a good learning experience for me as a coach, too, cuz I'm giving this, you know, sage wisdom and it makes perfect sense to me. And there's a certain, like you have to be good at reading people as a coach too. And tell when the messaging is it's causing confusion, it's causing frustration. There's something here that I need to kind of dig a little bit deeper in. And I remember being like, did I piss her off? What's going on? Like. I, I feel like I'm a decent coach, but that just felt like it hit all wrong. And then we wound up like, did we talk for like an hour when I was driving?
Claire Fernan (49:10):
Angie Colee (49:12):
I wound up giving you my number. We were talking for like an hour where I was like, I feel like the advice that I gave you caused some strong feelings and I just wanna make sure that I'm actually answering the question and actually helping. Instead of just like throwing some wisdom at you and being like figure it the fuck out. Bye!
Claire Fernan (49:29):
Yeah. Yeah. And I remember the day that you gave me that advice, that was also a particularly low day as the, you know, the stability of my mental health depended on whether I could get my butthole lasered or not.
Angie Colee (49:40):
I remember that story. Did you post that somewhere?
Claire Fernan (49:43):
No, I haven't.
Angie Colee (49:45):
Please put it in your book. This, that all needs to be a book by the way, too.
Claire Fernan (49:48):
Like 110% that will be a chapter in the book. But for now I'm not gonna explain it cause it's kind of weird, but.
Angie Colee (49:55):
Just, just leave it and let it be mysterious. And then that way people can ping you all over Instagram and be like, I need the laser butthole story.
Claire Fernan (50:04):
Cause that's what I wanna be pinged about on Instagram as if there's not enough creeps on there already.
Angie Colee (50:10):
Maybe don't ping. Don't ping on Instagram. Just use the hashtag butt hole laser.
Claire Fernan (50:15):
Yes, please do not slide into my DM's about your butt hole laser.
Angie Colee (50:19):
On that happy note. Tell us more about where to find information on you and what you're doing.
Claire Fernan (50:27):
Speaking of Instagram um, yeah, so right now, like I'm in a transition. So the website, I have a new website that I'm building not quite up yet. Um, but if you wanna connect with me, Instagram is the best spot to find me. Um, my handle is @theclairemarie. Um, it's gonna be a lot of yoga, a lot of silliness, just kind of me living my life. You'll see kind of some of the behind the scenes of the corporate flight attendant world. So yeah, come check me out.
Angie Colee (50:55):
Excellent. Yes. And I can attest to the fact it's very fun to watch all of the adventures. Maybe, maybe that's the funny thing too. Cause like I travel full time, but you do a different kind of travel, but I'm like, oh, what does she traveling to today? What's going on? Um, I'll make sure that they have a clickable link in the show notes and thank you so much for being on the show. It's awesome.
Claire Fernan (51:12):
This was so fun.
Angie Colee (51:18):
So that is it. Another awesome episode of Permission to Kick Ass on the books. If you want to know more about the show or if you want to know more about me, Angie Colee and the mission I'm on to help entrepreneurs punch fear in the face and do big bold things, then head on over to permissiontokickass.com. That is all one word together, permissiontokickass.com. Make sure to sign up for my email list so that you know whenever there's a hot, fresh and ready podcast episode out for you. And also on Mondays, I like to send out a little newsletter called Kick Monday's Ass. I'm sure you're totally, totally surprised by that. So thank you for being here with me today. I'm Angie Colee. Make sure that you share this with a friend that needs to hear this message today. Like it, share it. Comment wherever you're listening to this today and let's go kick some ass.