INdeep with Janet Brent
INdeep is a monthly series of interviews with people that inspire me. They may be coaches, healers, teachers or wellbeing advocates and experts.
I ask these guiding lights to share their stories of darkness, fear, growth and triumph that have lead them along their journey and I then ask them to go deep… sharing their current struggles and secrets that they don’t normally share with the world.
Stories of courage, honesty, vulnerability and the abolishment of “perfect”.
Every month we will have a rare opportunity to see the person behind the teacher, the human behind the bright lights and struggles that have lead to their success. You won’t want to miss these intimate musings that are not often shared beyond covert journal entries.
This month I spoke with Janet Brent, founder of www.janetbrent.com
Tell us what you do.
I like to call myself the "Ebook Queen". I help writers and holistic, purpose-driven entrepreneurs discover their burning passions, bring them alive and deliver their soul-centered message to a mass audience. I do this by working with clients through branding, and creating high-level e-book designs, e-zines, e-course modules, worksheets and launch pages to share your heart-centered message to a world that's dying to hear it.
How did you find your path to help and inspire others?
I wanted to start a freelance business for a long time but didn't have the courage to do it. This was three years into the job field after getting my graphic design degree and I ended up in a dead-end position that wasn't utilizing my skillset or challenging me enough. I basically had a quarter life crisis, broke off a longterm relationship that lasted five years, and decided I would travel to SE Asia with no return ticket and build a business where I could afford a cheaper cost of living. I was already into blogging and it was just catching on as a thing that could be utilized for business so I knew it was possible. This suited my introvert ways, which opened up the possibility that I could work for myself even more. With zero business skills and zero savings, I struggled through a tough first couple of years.
I owe my business foundation to my career sabbatical, taking a full year off before delving into starting my business. I lived in a Buddhist monastery for six months on a meditation retreat. I also walked about 600 km of Palawan island, Philippines. Furthering my spiritual path towards Buddhist philosophy, minimalism and simplicity, and learning about manifestation and intuition (especially during the walk) has drove my business decisions and way of life.
After walking, I lived for 2 months in a raw foods detox center, where I learned a lot about health and nutrition and its importance to well-being, optimal energy and balance. This abundant life was contrasted by living in a slum village for the next 2 1/2 years after that while I started working on my business. As I mentioned, with zero savings and zero business skills, it was a tough few years, but it taught me humility and that the poverty consciousness I was struggling to overcome into an abundance mindset was literally at my front door. It was quite the contrast from co-owning a 1400 square foot house with mortgage in my earlier 20s, yet feeling like a complete prisoner to a life I didn't want. It was like I had gone the complete 180 opposite direction, trying to figure out where the pendulum, from one extreme to the next, could find equilibrium.
When I was a kid, I used to write and illustrate my own books for fun, and even book-binded it myself. Flash forward to college and my favorite graphic design class was publication design, which focuses exactly on book layout and magazine design. It's not surprising then that I eventually ended up focusing on e-book design as my specialty, but it was never as apparent to me as it should have been, looking back at the pieces now (I actually started with web design because I also had an interest since teaching myself how to code at the age of 13, and still incorporate those skills by creating the top level package which includes web design for your ebook/digital product). I think books are one of the best ways to send out mass information and inspiring messages that will never become obsolete, it's just changing into a more digital medium, but the core is just the same. I aim to help passionate people make positive change through my ebook design services.
Are any of those old challenges still playing out for you?
I think the challenges are never 'finished' or done, so they'll always be there, guiding you. I truly believe fears and challenges are a good thing. When we are faced with forms of "crisis", it is always the best opportunity for growth. This is how I transform negatives into positives, and shift perspectives, always looking on the bright side. Challenges are some of the best learning experiences so I try to be grateful for them and express gratitude. Without challenges, I wouldn't be where I am or the person I am today.
Tell us about a recent challenge that you’ve been facing in private.
This is more personal than professional, though I always feel they're very interconnected. I'm a person who lives a pretty unconventional path. I like to travel a lot and enjoy seeing new places, and new experiences, but I also know that I need a homebase and can't say I've found one yet (currently I live with my mom, when I'm in between travels).
The concept of 'root to rise' has been on my mind for the past few months and I still don't have an 'answer' on how someone can root and ground themselves and yet still live an active travel lifestyle. The concept of doing conventional things unconventionally has been on my mind in conjunction to this. Where I can find the balance and equilibrium from one extreme to the other. I don't want to be completely unconventional that I outcast myself from society (i.e. asceticism).
I want to live within society and still be able to relate to it, but do so in my own unconventional ways. Things like marriage, relationships, community, and my version of "settling down" (however that might look like)... I haven't quite found this balance but I'm working on it. I also feel really vulnerable and embarrassed to admit I want some 'traditional' things like marriage and kids and am not sure where that shame is coming from but know that I need to work on releasing this in order to open it up in my life. The challenge of releasing blocks in order to make a clear path towards manifesting what you want is also a constant challenge.
What is the next step for you?
I think part of feeling empowered involves feeling focused and committed. One of the most focused and committed times of my life was during my senior year of high school when I tried to get an art scholarship to a university. At the time, I had no portfolio so I did a lot of research on what made a good portfolio and instigated my own art projects to add to it. If I can recreate that same energy from high school and transform it towards my business I can break it down step by step.
- Do research - Research the subject you want to explore.
- Make your goals, and break it down into steps. Set the compass of where you want to go, then break it down into steps and tasks so it doesn't feel so overwhelming.
- Take action. Inspired focused action each day that brings you closer to your goals is how manifestation becomes reality.
The most important step is taking inspired focused action. You can achieve your big dreams by holding the vision (goal), making space for that vision/goal (taking time to commit, simplifying your life and getting rid of things that don't serve your greater vision), and taking inspired focused action (creating more than consuming).
Is there anything you've accomplished or manifested by declaring your goals and taking action?
Comment below and let me know!
Janet is an ebook designer for holistic, purpose-driven entrepreneurs and a location independent digital nomad. She is interested in passionate people making positive change. You can find her work at www.janetbrent.com or follow her on Twitter @janetbrent