Business coach and graphic designer Brooke Estin shares her expertise in graphic design and how to create a side hustle that promotes a life you love. Don’t miss Brooke’s amazing cross-cultural experiences living across the world and let her stories inspire your own creativity!
Download this podcast episode now with the audio player above, or watch the show below.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- Pros and cons of traveling and living abroad
- The empowering truth about creativity
- Services Brooke provides to help you align your business and life
- Why it’s important to be intentional about your life’s design
- The value of listening to perspective
- The Key To THRIVING Through Life After Loss: https://hammersnhugs.com/ep26-the-key-to-thriving-through-life-after-loss-elizabeth-stephens/
- How To Become An Admired Leader: https://hammersnhugs.com/become-admired-leader-anton-gunn/
- How To Overcome Burnout And Thrive: https://hammersnhugs.com/how-to-overcome-burnout-emily-coffman/
- Building An 8 Figure Personal Brand: https://hammersnhugs.com/8-figure-personal-brand-aj-vaden/
- El Campero: https://restauranteelcampero.es/
- I Know A Gal: https://www.iknowagal.co/
- Brand Builders Group: https://brandbuildersgroup.com/
- Building A Business To Live Instead Of To Work: https://hammersnhugs.com/building-business-jeff-felten/
ABOUT: BROOKE ESTIN
Brooke is an international brand strategist, artist, designer, TED speaker, and the founder of I Know A Gal, an internationally recognized design studio that helps creative entrepreneurs design their lives and work for more freedom, alignment, and profitability. She has appeared prominently in an award-winning design documentary, led strategic design events and workshops, and is a sought-after business and lifestyle designer.
CONNECT WITH: BROOKE
- Website: Brooke Estin: https://www.brookeestin.com/
- Podcast: The Art of Lost & Found: https://www.brookeestin.com/podcast
Enter your email below for daily inspiration to empower holistic wellness and reclaim a healthy heart and happy home – one imperfect day at a time.
Creativity is the ability to rise above traditional ideas, patterns, or relationships in order to create something new and meaningful. And art is one form of that, but so is building a brand, right? Building a business or raising your kids. Yes you can. A creative anywhere. Welcome to the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast with DIY healthy Lifestyle blogger on a former empowering you to transform your life.
One imperfect day at a time. Hello, and welcome back to another episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I’m your host, Anna Fullmer. Today we have Brooke Eton on the show. Brooke is an expert, artist, designer, Ted talk, speaker, and founder of the internationally renowned design studio. I know a gal where she helps her clients unlock their creativity to live life by design, not default.
Welcome creativity expert, Brooke Estin. Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be here. I spent all of this morning listening to your podcast. Oh my gosh. That’s What were you listening to? That’s so sweet of you. I got Elizabeth Stevens, Anton Gun and Jeff Felton. Oh, you got some hard hitters. One other one.
Yeah. There was another one that I started listening to around overcoming burnout. Because that’s something I’m super interested in, but it was more focused, at least the first like 20 or 30 minutes that I listened to. It was more focused on athletes. Yeah. That’s Emily Kaufman. Yeah. Yes, Emily. Mm-hmm. . Yeah.
Yeah. She had a lot of good applications for even people who weren’t athletes, but yeah, those are some great ones. Anton Gunn, Emily. Yeah. Elizabeth, Jeff, so many good ones. Mm-hmm. . Yes, Jeff and I heard AJ’s from before, so I didn’t really to that, but I had heard her. Oh, lots. Lots of great ones there. And you are just as amazing.
I’m excited to chat. We were just talking, for those of you listening and watching about Brooke’s amazing hair, we were talking about how as we get older, we don’t care. That’s why mine’s thrown up right now. It’s washed. Yeah, she put more work into it than I did and look how cute she is. You are. I mean, you’re kind of an all around design rockstar really.
You do all kinds of things, and I love how creativity is really like the through line of your passion. It’s unlocking that sense of. Creative power in life, not just in design. And I think that is a beautiful element to what you bring, but as per usual, I love to press the rewind button and hear a little bit of how you got to where you are today.
You have a very interesting and unusual, What is the word for it? Like traveling history. I mean, you’ve been all over the place. I’m literally reading this. This was on her website. I love this. She’s California born, Thailand raised. UK educated and currently living in Spain. Mm-hmm. , there’s no way that did not contribute to your passion for creativity and your Yeah.
Absolutely. Ability to see multiple perspectives. So share with me a little bit about how that contributed to where you are. Yeah, I mean, I think growing up overseas was the best thing that could have ever possibly happened to me. I lived in a small town in Northern California until I was nine, and my parents, who literally did not have passports, had never been out of the United States through a series of events, but an opportunity to teach at an international school abroad.
And they said yes, just for two years. The plan was just two years and then we’re gonna come back. We’ll have enough money and resources to, to build the dream house on some land that my parents had. Mm, so two years turned into. Almost 15 for me. Wow. My brother is still there. My parents did 15 years, so sorry, probably closer to 13, 14 for me.
And after 15 years my parents retired, moved to California and built the house on the property that they had had the entire time. So wow. They were really my, my models. So not only did that get me to Thailand, that also gave me really powerful role models of, And I think you’ll appreciate this cuz I get the sense that this is your, Ethos also of we’ll figure it out.
Just cuz we don’t know yet doesn’t mean that it’s not knowable. It just means we have to go through it, we have to move forward. So my parents thought, you know, what could possibly go wrong? , which sometimes is a good strategy and I had a hard time my kind of like crash landed into a different social environment.
That was the big old, were you choice for me? I was nine, so I was just starting the 15. That’s a tough age. That’s my daughter’s age. Yeah. My oldest. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. What I was concerned about was who I was going to eat lunch with. Yeah. Like that would’ve been a concern if I had just moved across town to a different environment.
So I think growing up in that environment, there were several really important things that I learned. One was there isn’t just one perspective. Like we’re all minorities in an international environment, right? I wasn’t surrounded by all Americans or all ties. I was at a school where I had 54 different nationalities within my school.
So I understood cultural perspective and, and how to swap your perspective lens from a really early age because that was my education. Like I wasn’t taught American curriculum. I was taught European cu. So I didn’t learn about the Vietnam War. I learned about the American War cuz I was next door in Thailand.
So just the perspective was so different that I never subscribed to an idea that I think a lot of people who grow up, like live their whole life generations in the same environment, subscribe to an idea that this is the way. I never had an opportunity to ascribe to an idea that, subscribe to an idea that this is the one and only.
I just knew this is my experience, but my best friend doesn’t have that experience and my boyfriend doesn’t have that experience and my teacher doesn’t have that experience cuz they’re all from different countries, all from different perspectives. So that taught me that there was no one perspective. It also taught me that, you know, in that kind of environment, we’re all from different places.
So I was surrounded by. People who were up for adventure, right? People who stepped into that unknown, people who took risks. It’s like when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re mostly communicating with Frozen two just came to mind. I’m literally about to break into song into the unknown anyway. Exactly.
That’s hilarious. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I think that was was really important. Yes, please. . Yeah. Um, so I think that was really important. And then it also gave me, Not only just the perspective, but it gave me the physical opportunities to experience a lot of different things from like, Weather and food cuz you know, Thailand’s like a hundred percent community and a hundred degrees every day.
Like, it physically feels like you’re in a different atmosphere, a different environment, a different world. And then just the ability to travel. So I traveled a lot, like I grew up in airplanes, the way that other kids grow up on school buses mm-hmm. , right? So I, I had a lot of opportunity to take in a lot without.
Me being in necessarily position of authority or superiority, or I’m not like going on a safari or something like that. I’m, I’m going to middle school. Like it’s very kind of just the playing field is relatively even from a cultural perspective in the environment. So, Yeah. And then I came to America for university because I got a scholarship to go to school in San Francisco, and San Francisco and New York were kind of my only options because I didn’t get a driver’s license, so I knew, Oh, in America?
Mm-hmm. , you’re real limited if you don’t have public transportation. Mm-hmm. . And there’s only a handful of places where that is sophisticated enough to be able to. And I was engaged to be married to my high school boyfriend who had moved to California to just wait for me. He was not a particularly ambitious guy.
We did not end up getting married. My parents are thrilled about that one, , but he, he had a brother in California, so we thought, Okay, great. That’s the place. And I came up in California as kind of my. Reintegrating with my Americanism, but in a very different way because in Thailand I felt very American.
But when I went to America, I did not feel American. I didn’t speak slang. I didn’t know the cultural references. I missed completely. The reality TV thing is, Didn’t really make it internationally. So there was just a lot of things. Things. The Lord , right? Yeah. I’m not, I’m not mad about that one. We got friends in Seinfeld and stuff.
Yeah. But we didn’t get like the real world or anything that was happening there. Not my stuff. Um, yeah. And so it was a really challenging time for me because I experienced what’s called reverse culture shock. Mm. And as a a third culture kid, they call us third culture kids or tcs. That basically means you don’t fully identify with the culture that you are from mm-hmm.
nor the culture that you are raised in. You’re just sort of this blend, just like third way. So as a t cck, as a third culture kid, I didn’t expect, you know, as an American going to America, I shouldn’t have any culture shock. Right? Like this is my culture and feel out of place. Yeah, yeah. And I went to university there and the first few months, you know, everyone’s asking like, Where are you from?
What’s your story? And I always said, Thailand. And people would just look at me like I was an alien. And often oftentimes they would congratulate me on how good my English. Yeah, which revealed they didn’t know where Thailand was. Cuz no one’s gonna mistake me for being any kind of Asian, let alone tie.
Like I’m a, I’m as white as they come, Jewish girl, like curly brown hair, light eyes. Like no way. No way that, that could be it. So I felt even more disconnected from my identity because I thought that I was American and I identified with being American. But all the Americans that I knew were expats, were international Americans, so it was a struggle for me, which is why I left to go to the UK for university after that.
And then after that, I worked and traveled. All over doing. And you didn’t feel that in the UK cuz I think this is an interesting point. You didn’t feel that same sense cuz you were raised in Thailand, which is also for anyone who’s not aware. Very, very different in culture from Oh yeah. The uk. However, it’s interesting to me.
So you did not feel that sense of, it was not quite the same in the UK as it was in America? No, because, No, because I didn’t, I never felt Thai, No part of me ever felt Thai. I felt international. and I felt like a third culture kid. Mm-hmm. . So in the uk everybody there has traveled. Yeah. In America, I didn’t mean anyone who had been out of America, maybe Canada and Mexico.
Mm-hmm. , but like just the other side of the border, Canada or Mexico, not embedded. So in the UK they had an international perspective. Mm-hmm. , like nobody asked me if I was Thai. Mm-hmm. , because they know Thailand’s in Asia and they know. That is a question that, you know, would reveal a lot about their level of global understanding.
Yeah, so Americans interesting a lot more than, than the British for me. Yeah, I think I’ve said this one other time on here, but it’s a really interesting point that many, many Americans, So I actually was raised in Scotland, , um, for the first to like, until I was a five and my, I grew up in a home that was very like global travelers.
My parents still travel all over and my grandparents so. Also grew up with a similar kind of global perspective. But what’s interesting for so many Americans that they don’t realize is that despite the fact that we live in quote unquote, a melting pot, it is actually in some ways more isolated considering the number of people that live in our country from getting to multiple cultures.
Then for example, Like you just pointed out, a lot of Asian countries that are so closely, it’s a, it’s a plane ride. It’s literally plane hopping. So to your point, it’s really a lot easier to gain a multicultural perspective because simply the ease of getting there. Where even in America, we border, you know, Mexico and Canada, Canada’s not significantly different in culture.
Mexico certainly is, but again, it’s one country. And then to get to South America, it takes a little bit more. Work to get. So the point being, I think it’s really valuable to highlight that awareness for people listening and watching when it just comes to that sense of perspective, like you’ve mentioned that.
Yeah. Humbly recognizing. Yeah. And humbly recognizing that you have to put in, ironically in the melting pot of our country, you actually have to put in more work to gain a global perspective cuz social media’s not enough . Mm-hmm. , you know, and to be able to actually travel. So I just, I think that’s really interesting and a great case in point, like in the UK you did not feel.
Quite as isolated cuz there’s more of a multicultural perspective. So take that as it will. But I’ve heard that before and it makes sense to me to gain more of a viewpoint, you need to travel . Yeah, and I, I think there’s also another factor around history, right? Because America’s so young, like the building that I live in here in Spain is older than the United States.
The United States has got, what, like 300 years or something? Yeah. Like it’s so new in terms of its government and culture, right? Yeah. And just per perspective, right? Like a lot has happened in Europe over the last few thousand years, right? There’s more of that presence and that embedded in a way that builds on the history rather than the American experience, which is we’re not going to have.
A buffet of different pots. We’re putting everyone into one. It is a melting pot. There’s one single pot, right? And so we all assimilate in that way as opposed to we have our, our separate pots, but they’re all in the same. Space in this so we can really taste other people’s experience. Quite literally.
You’re connected to them by land . Yeah, absolutely. Which is one of the challenges that we have here when it comes to perspective, is we have water primarily surrounding us, which inhibits mm-hmm. multicultural experience. I, my mother-in-law, I’ll never forget this when she said this one time, so she, my, um, Husband was born in Canada, but then he spent his first year of his life in Africa where my in-laws lived.
And we were talking about this and um, they were in, oh my gosh, where were they? This is embarrassing
ing on what country they were in. That’s okay. Coming, Coming. Yeah. I will, I will find that out because now I’m blanking on what country it was. Um, but it was Africa. not helpful. Very large continent. But the bottom line is she made this comment one time that I thought was so enlightening, and you touched on this, but she said, Every person should have the experience of being the minority once in their lives.
Mm-hmm. . And it’s what you literally said, it’s this idea of. Opening up your perspective to ultimately allowing yourself to be the minority in some sort of context. And I thought that was very, very insightful. I’m gonna literally text my husband the country as you’re talking, cuz now’s driving me nuts,
But anyway, I absolutely love that perspective, and I think it’s so important to highlight when we talk about creativity, even just in design, is that idea of being able to see perspectives with other lenses because of. The experience that you have had and how that Yeah. Literally unlocks colors that you didn’t even know existed.
Yeah. I think for, for me, what I am really passionate about, and I think what also separates me from other people working in this creativity space is, for me, creativity isn’t about art. Mm. It’s not a sy. For it. When people think about creativity, they think about having artistic skills. You can play an instrument, you can draw something that looks like a picture or you can sing like it’s, it’s a skill that you develop.
But people have have come up with this story, that creativity. Is hard to attain and if you do, it has the possibility of destroying your life. Because we all know those way out, their creatives that, you know, wouldn’t wanna be them ostracized, poor, all of those different things. But when we really think about creativity, we really look at what creativity is.
Creativity really is just the ability to. Ideas together, that’s it. And execute on them. Right? It’s this sense of being able to look at things from multiple perspectives and bring it together in a way that is new. That’s it. Like that’s what creativity is. So arts is absolutely one form of creativity, but in the same way that English isn’t a synonym to language, art isn’t a synonym to creativity.
It’s just one form, one mo. And I really feel this because I’m a professional painter as well. I’m like an artist, artist. I have a studio with brushes and I love that. I did not know that about you. Yeah, I’m, I’m, I need pictures. I have it. Yeah, it’s kind of like a little bit hidden on my website because I was going through a bit of a creative redefinition Yeah.
Of my own brand and how I wanted to position myself. And part of what, like what I just said about creativity is so much more open and accessible. And when I come out as a teacher, People and talking about creativity. Yeah. That almost reinforces this idea of being a creative, is being artistically skilled.
Right? It’s like, no, no, no. I, I happen to have artistic skills because I’ve been doing it for 30 years, but it’s not a synonym. So I intentionally kind. Did that in my website a little bit because I really wanted to leave lead with a more empowering perspective of creativity. Mm-hmm. , because everybody is creative.
But when I ask people if they identify as being creative, Oh man. The move is like a physical pullback. Yeah. Like I imagine I’m like clutching their pearls like me. No, no, no, no. I’m not creative and it is always followed up with, but I wish that I was, Yeah, I’m not creative, but I wish that I was. I can’t draw, but oh, my son or daughter or partner or whatever, and I’m so envious of that.
So I wanted to really come on the scene and say, we are all capable of being. Fully embodied in our creativity because creativity is literally a defining characteristic of our species. Like we are a creative species. That’s why we dominate everything. Mm-hmm. is because we find new ways. To make stuff and do stuff and, and be certain ways that’s, those are creative processes.
So when you say creativity, I’m hearing, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, as you’re describing it, I’m hearing that really creativity is unique. Problem solving is really what I’m hearing. It’s like this ability of taking your collective unique experiences and cohesively forming a solution to a problem.
That is ultimately creativity. It’s not the sense of I can draw, I can sing. No, and nope. That’s I think a beautiful perspective of sort of flipping the script a little bit on that sense of creativity and ultimately pulling on that, draw that, uh, defining aspect of creativity is a sense of uniqueness, which we often correlate with artistry, but to your point, it’s a higher level view.
Creativity and looking at it as almost like a unique, cohesive problem solving skill. Yeah, and I think that’s a beautiful, Everyone has that and everyone has a unique experience. How can you tap into that? I think that’s a great, Yeah. I have a, a definition of creativity that I use that helps sort of frame my work.
But I say that creativity is the ability to rise above traditional ideas, patterns, or relationships in order to create something new and meaningful. Mm, That’s it, right? Mm-hmm. , it’s a tool to help you consider other perspectives, experiment with new ideas, and better deal with challenges and uncertainty.
Period. Like that’s it. And art is one form of that. Music is one form of that. But so is building a brand or building a business or raising your kids, I mean, you can get creative. In the, anywhere from the bedroom to the boardroom. Like there’s space for all of that. And so my work and my, my passion, I’m a trained designer.
I’m a trained coach, a health coach, a therapeutic art coach. A yoga teacher, like I have lots of kind of random things. Brooke and I kind of swim in the same channel. . Yeah. Yeah. We have a lot going on. Totally. And it’s what makes life so rich and inspiring and colorful. But I think what unifies it for me is this concept of we have way more ability than we think we do.
Right? Just like we’re way more creative than we think we. And I take this concept of design, which most people think of designing graphics or websites or collateral, which I have a long history of doing. But I am overlapping this into the life design space because it’s all the same, right? We’re not human doings.
We’re human beings, and we need to make space for both of those because if we lean too hard into our, our human doingness, we burn out and we break all of our relationships and our body in the process. If we lean too hard into our human beingness, then we don’t accomplish anything and we struggle living in a modern.
Capitalistic society where we have to pay rent and pay for food and all of these things. Yeah. So my approach and my interest and my, my passion really lies at that intersection of the human being and the human doing. The masculine, the feminine, the internal and the external, the intangible, and the tangible.
Like I try to act as a bridge between those worlds. I love that, and we are going to dive into that expertise and sort of clarify the tension between all of those things and how we can reconcile them in a creative, meaningful way. We’re gonna take a quick break when we come back, Stay tuned for speed round of this or that with Brooke.
We’re gonna get to know her little bit better and we’re gonna hear her expert advice on how to unlock creativity to live your life by design. Not by default that is quoted by Brooke Eston. Right when we come back, you have tried it all, worried you will never lose the extra weight or reclaim the energy you once enjoyed.
Want to achieve bat loss without spending hours in a gym or eliminating entire food groups from your diet. While now you can in the virtual faster way to fat loss with Anna. Six week Fitness Nutrition program. You will learn how to pair effective 30 minute workouts with all natural evidence based nutritional strategies to leverage what you eat and when you eat, to reset your metabolism and burn fat fast.
Even that stubborn belly fat. I am a dual certified nurse practitioner, passionate about teaching sustainable strategies to promote fat loss and prevent disease. I have cheered on thousands of clients who have done just that with the faster weight program. In my six week program, the average client currently sheds seven inches of body fat.
93% report more energy and 89% state that their mental health has improved. 100% of clients report. They feel this program is sustainable. Curious to try the program, but not sure if the strategies will work for you. Try the faster way strategies for free. Head to www.hammersandhugs.com and sign up for my free seven day fat.
Accelerator course today and start your own transformation story. All right. We are back here with Brooke. We’re gonna play a quick speed round of this or that, flats or heels, flats, ninja or a pirate Ninja. Ninja. Yeah, no doubt. We all secretly wanna be a ninja, I think. Totally, totally. Unless you’re a huge pirate to the Caribbean fan, maybe.
Hm. Yeah, not so much less so this year. ? Yeah. Hot or iced coffee. Hot. And I should have asked coffee or tea First. Coffee. Yeah. I’m really into mushroom coffee these days. I, Coffee concoctions, , uhhuh mushroom coffee. I tried that like years ago. It was, It was good. It was smooth. Mm-hmm. . All right. Would you rather cake or pie?
Cake Maybe. Not super into, not super excited about either bake stuff. Yeah, I’m excited. Okay. You get one, you get a sweet treat. Anything that you desire, what do you want? Ooh, brittle. I love brittle, like almond. Brittle. Brittle. Oh my gosh. Yeah. I love like a To Britt. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I used to buy with the farmer’s market in San Francisco and it was such a treat, but I would eat it way too fast.
Yeah. I really had What’s popular where you live in Spain? What would be a popular sweet. Ooh. It really depends. It depends on the season, but they have something called uh uh, Thk, which is like, it reminds me a lot of french toast, but it is seasonal. It only comes during certain times and I gotta really be in the mood for it.
But when I am, I really indulge. I really do. I love that. If you could go anywhere in Spain, we have like so many traveling destinations on my podcast show notes, including food, because I’m always trying to send people all over the world. If they’re going to your area in Spain, where is the one? Either restaurant or Hmm, like landscape or tourist place that they need to go.
Mm. There’s so many. No, I know. It’s a hard question. It’s such a hard question. So in this region of Spain, we have several, uh, world heritage sites, including the Al Kaza. Which is like a moreish kind of castle thing that was built and it’s really spectacular. And there’s an even bigger one, even more famous called the Alhambra, and that’s in Granada, so that’s just a few hours away.
But those would be, in terms of like the cultural things, I would, I would hit those. The other would be definitely go see Life Flamingo, like seeing the music, dancing, singing like it’s from this, this region, the, the. Of Spain, particularly the Southwest, and it is spectacular. And in terms of food, if you like tuna, there’s an area close to here called, but.
Um, and they actually, you can fact check me on this cuz I was told this, but I think it’s true that they actually fish more tuna than Japan does. Interesting. Investing in the world comes out of Buba and they ship it to, to Japan and all over the world. And there is a restaurant in Budva, I think it’s called EL or Camp.
I don’t remember exactly, but it’s only open for a few months of the year when it’s that season, and they only serve tuna, but it’s the most diverse and. Inspiring and creative menu I’ve ever seen. Because if you have limitations in a way, it almost forces you to be more creative. Mm. So that was such a unique and thrilling experience that I would say for food, do that.
But then obviously I love that ia, that buzz, that that whole. Mmm. I’m hungry just thinking about it. It just sounds so fresh. I love Una fish. All of it. Yeah. Mm-hmm. . All right. I’m coming. I’ll see you in like 24 hours. Okay, good. I’ll be here. Love. All right. Well, as much as no one here wants to hear me speaking Spanish.
Oh, I did did, It was nice. , . I actually lived in Peru for a summer, so I love the Spanish culture. A little different than Spain. I should make that clear. Peru is a little different than Spain. Yeah. But still, I mean, living overseas and being in a, uh, Spanish speaking country, like there are, there are similarities.
Yeah. Yeah, I loved it. We traveled all through the Andy’s mountains for almost three months. Yeah. It was quite the experience. Well, we’ve certainly highlighted. The beautiful definition of creativity you have and how your history and growing up as is true of any of us, has influenced your perspective now and the way that you are so beautifully able to serve your clients.
Chat with us a little bit for, you know, people listening and watching, wondering, All right, so what actually does she do? Good question. Cause she’s very, very good at it. But what is it actually that she does? Tell us a little bit about your incredible business and how ultimately you are so uniquely positioned to serve clients.
I have my own thoughts on why you’re so good at what you do, but tell us a little bit about what you ultimately do for clients. Yeah, so I actually have two businesses. The one. That a lot of people know me from including you is my design business. So I have a boutique design, uh, services agency called I Know A Gal, and it’s called I Know A Gal, because that’s how I was always introduced.
People know that I have a. Diverse skillset. And so they’re always saying, Oh yeah, I some, I know someone who could help you. I know a gal. And so it was always kind of the, the introduction. So that’s the genesis of my design business. And essentially what I do there is a lot of, like the deliverables. What I actually sell are websites.
Designs for social media, brochures, all of that. I also have a pretty, uh, strong background in tech. I was in Silicon Valley working with the Googles and Facebooks and all those guys back in the the day, and so I also built. I understand the design aspect of it, but then I can actually go in and make it so I don’t rely on a developer for my process.
I do it from very, very beginning concept and strategy, all the way to setting up all of the funnels and the bells and whistles and all of that. So it’s kind of like a one stop shop to go from. An idea to something tangible that other people can interact with. So in Silicon Valley, I did a lot of design, communications, marketing, and user experience.
So it sort of gives me a unique perspective to help people ultimately clarify and simplify what it is they’re trying to do and then build from. So I work with Brand Builders Group, an incredible organization that I know you’re part of, and several of your, your guests have also been been part of. And we help people build and monetize personal brands.
So I’m a brand strategist with them as well. So a lot of my day is spent doing brand strategy with clients and then continuing forward to actually build, build out the strategy that we had created. So brand builders will help you with everything from the strategic points, but people come to me and they say, You know, I know my brand inside and out.
I know all my values. I know my model, I know everything, but I have no idea what it looks. Can you help me? So that’s usually the point where I start engaging with people who are not already my, my strategy clients. And then we just build out as a continuation of all of the work that they’ve put in through the brand builders.
So that’s, I been the majority of my time. But I’m actually making a pretty big shift now and I’m gonna be launching something in the fall that I’m really excited about. So exciting. Yeah, so that was, I know a gal, I know a gal.co. And what I often found was I was building a lot of golden cages. I was helping people grow successful businesses that ate all of their time and energy and their professional identities were completely eclipsing their personal identities.
And when that happens, burnout happens. And I think probably for your audience, literally anyone who’s 25 and. Has some relationship to burnout, and the pathway to that is things start breaking. Your relationship starts suffering because you’re not as present and you’re not putting the time and energy into them.
Your body starts breaking because your over stressed. You’re not sleeping well, you’re not having sex anymore, you’re not eating right, you’re not exercising like you start eroding. So after, you know, over a decade of helping build these golden pages, I felt really called to help people build golden kingdoms that allowed them to have the space and the flexibility to live a more holistic life.
So what I’m launching now is a new program called Aligned by Design, and we start, it’s, it’s a several phase process and we start with really grounding into goal setting, but not from an external perspective. We do it from an internal perspective. And I build on the work of another incredible coach, author, uh, person out there named Danielle Laport.
And she has this concept of core desired feelings. So I have a, a similar version of that that I use working with my coaching clients, going through line by design. And I basically say, How do you wanna feel like on a Tuesday, five years from. Like, what are you doing? Who are you with? What are the emotions that you’re experiencing?
And I gotta tell you, almost everybody says the same thing. You can probably actually guess what, What people, how people want to feel like the top three feelings that people want to experience. I’m curious just what will come to your mind? I’m going to suggest fulfilled. Happy and some emotion that gives a sense of like rest or peace, contentment, satisfaction with their life.
Yeah. Yeah. So there’s that, and then it’s matched with the enthusiasm and the excitement. So people say that they want safety and security. They wanna have enough money to not have to think about money. Right. They wanna just have that piece solid. So the way that they articulate that a lot of times is a sense of security or a sense of safety.
And then on the other end, they say they want freedom. Everybody wants freedom. And that for me is more of the vitality. Right. It’s not just a reactive freedom, like I wanna get away from this thing that feels oppressive, but it’s, uh, it’s, it’s less of a push and more of a pull of, I want to travel, I want to do that course.
I want to launch this idea, I want to spend more time with my family or my lover, or whatever. And so this, this concept of core desired feelings. I created a program to make that the North Star that we’re moving towards, because you gotta way find your way towards how you ultimately wanna live, right? And the concept of way finding is you don’t know what the landscape looks like yet, you ha you discover it as you’re walking it.
And I think that’s more appropriate for life design than having. Just a plan, like a map for an unknown landscape full of variables. So by helping people set goals from an internal perspective about how they wanna feel, then we move into, Okay, great, You wanna feel free, You wanna feel secure? How do you source those feelings?
Now tell me about the last time you felt free. What were you doing? And people’s energy shifts and they always like look up or look over and they go back into a memory and I can see their energy change. Their facial expression change because they can access the thing that they want, which on some level they already have.
And by reconnecting with that, then we start to really get creative around, Okay, cool. What are all the ways that you can source those feelings? And then from there, once we have the North Star, once we have those core desired feelings, then from there we move into business and lifestyle alignment. Mm-hmm.
So I first start with what’s your ideal schedule? Give ’em a template, a spreadsheet. It’s like you got X number of of hours, fill every single one of these cells in. And it really forces people to go, Okay, now I need to match my vision. My schedule. Mm-hmm. , the actual time that I have, the actual hours I have.
Oh, I only have 24. That’s right. . Yeah. And so it’s, it’s confronting in a way because it forces them to simplify even more. Mm-hmm. . But it’s liberating once they do. And then from there it’s like, okay, cool. Let’s build a business. What business model makes sense? If you’re telling me you want freedom, you probably shouldn’t be a service provider where you’re on client.
Client calls all day every day, right? Mm-hmm. , Maybe think about a digital product or a collaboration or passive income or something like that. If you get energy from people and you are not good by yourself in an isolation, great. Let’s talk about group programs or speaking or facilitation or something like that.
Are you a seasonal person where you have an on season and then an off season, or do you need to just constantly be in motion? So once we look at all of that, then we move into, Okay, cool. What business model actually makes sense? Mm-hmm. , what is aligned with those feelings? What’s aligned with that schedule?
What’s aligned with what brings you energy and joy, and makes you remembering your vitality? Then from there, we know what to build. Then the brand identity or the website or the app or the product or whatever is so much easier because we’re building on a solid, authentic, intentional foundation instead of just trying and hit those six figures or trying to hit whatever.
And you actually said something on one of the podcasts that I listened to this morning. I binged it, so I don’t remember how, which one it was. They all kinda like blended together so much. Anna, bless you. Wow. . I remember, I remember now, it was when you were talking with Jeff Felton about your business goals and you were talking about how you and him shared the perspective of you don’t want infinite growth you want.
I think you said to make six figures. Mm-hmm. working part-time or some, Something like that. Yep. And then you followed up and you said, Money to me isn’t the destination, it’s the vehicle. Yep. And I feel the same way, and I help my clients in this aligned by design coaching container to remember that like, okay, cool.
Let’s say you have all of the money. What do you do? And if you’re not satisfied or fulfilled by it, then . Is that truly success? Yeah. What’s it for? Right. Like, that’s not gonna comfort you when you’re sad. Like Right. That’s not gonna keep you warm at night. Like, it’s just a tool. So don’t lose sight of what you’re, Don’t lose sight of the destination because you’re enamored with the vehicle.
Mm-hmm. . But that’s not the point. Once you get to the destination, you don’t even need the vehicle anymore. Mm-hmm. . Right? It’s, it’s optional. So it’s reframing, its intentional design from a lifestyle perspective. Mm-hmm. that then moves into business because there’s a lot of people that just do the kind of the intangible, right?
The motivation, the success, coaching, the manifestation, all of the stuff that’s like amorphous. Mm-hmm. . And then there’s people who are service providers who just do the. Fill out the creative brief and here’s, here’s your PDF with your identity in it, your brand identity, or here’s your website on your name.com.
And I felt like what was really needed in this space that I. Felt uniquely positioned to fill in part because of my multicultural background and my diverse upbringing was to be that bridge. Mm-hmm. between what is the vision, what ultimately do I want? Mm-hmm. , and then, Okay, great. Like how do I make that, How do you actually build a business?
You’re really, you’re reversing the work life balance model because what I’m hearing and what I love about what. You’re presenting to help people with is too often, Like you just said, you get down the business coaching model first, where you’re already. Setting a business plan in motion, and then you’re exhausted, overwhelmed as we all get, and then you look backwards and you’re like, Okay, now how can I balance my crazy work life?
Yeah. Where what you are offering to people is to set up a foundation from the very beginning of recognizing ultimately, what is it that I want? And then you’re still creating the same. Business in the sense that you can still run the business for whatever it is that you wanna do. The difference is how you’re modeling it.
Mm-hmm. , and I think that’s brilliant how you’re producing it and what, what feelings are getting provoked for you. Right. Like, for example, I was working in, in this aligned by design coaching container with the YO teacher. And she was spurt out. Mm-hmm. , she was going from studio to studio making, you know, under a hundred dollars a class, like just trying to do all of these things.
But she had such a unique way of teaching and she’s indigenous, so she brings that lens to her practice as well. And we started talking about her energy and what business model makes sense. And she was like, Oh, if I could just do. Retreats or work in this way. And I said, Well, why can’t you? Like, let’s run the numbers.
How many, how much money are you making now? Or how much way do you need to feel comfortable now? Mm-hmm. . And let’s just price this out. Like, let’s say it’s thousand dollars for a, you know, four or five day retreat. Like, how many people do you need in order to get here? And it was so mind expanding for her, and this is what I’m talking about with creativity, it revealed new possibilities.
Mm-hmm. that she was like, Whoa, now I can design my business around doing these retreats, and then I can go be a student and continue my journey, and then I can come back and teach like I can work seasonally. I said, Of course. Who told you that you can’t, You work to live, not live to work. That’s fine.
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. And, and do it in a way that matches your flow so that you can show up as the best version of yourself and contribute the most. Because I told her like, What good is a burn out yoga teacher? Right? Right. Like, that’s not why people are drawn to you. That’s not what people need from you.
So you need to get grounded and stable and really be in your fullness in order to maximally contribute to your community and that perspective. Things start shifting, right? One where someone like you is so beneficial is, I would also argue a lot of people don’t actually know what fuels them, and that’s part of the benefit of having someone like you know how to ask the right questions.
And what’s interesting is Covid really highlighted, my husband and I laugh about. Really highlighted for us the introvert extrover. Reality. I mean, both of us are very comfortable with people. Both of us would be able to walk into a room where we don’t know anybody and really not feel that anxious like that.
We’re both that personality. So in one sense, you would think we’re both extroverts. But I wasn’t super bothered by not seeing everybody over covid. And that kind of surprised me and I, what it was more bothering was like the systems process of not being able to just go to the grocery store like normal, like that bothered me more than not being able to see.
Anyway, what was interesting is this whole concept of, I realized that at the end of the day, I’m actually more fueled. By my time alone, even though I value being with people, but it’s actually the time to myself that truly fuels me and fills me back up. So it was just a really interesting, like, you know, we were having this conversation cuz it was Covid.
What else did we have to do? We were stuck at home forever, you know? So we had these conversations and it was like, oh, we realized that Zach is an extroverted extrovert. Like he loves being with people and he’s filled with. Around people. And for me, I am basically an extroverted introvert. I love people, but I’m actually fueled by being by myself.
And if I have a weekend without anything to do, I’ll probably just hang out by myself. So anyway, all that to say, sometimes it takes somebody questioning you to know, Oh, totally, what fuels you? And then, and that’s usually the, the approach is people come to me. And they’re like, So I, in the many seemingly past lives I’ve had, I used to work in disaster relief, infectious disease surveillance and disaster relief.
And it was so hard for us to get funding because nobody wanted to invest in something ahead of time to make things easier later. But everyone wants to invest in disaster relief. There’s lots of money happened. Yeah. But it’s like, no. Do you know how much better it would be if we just had a system? So that, I mean, that’s healthcare.
That’s healthcare in general. That’s, it’s not healthcare, it’s disease care. The same concept. Exactly. We’re procrastinators by nature. We, we really are. Um, and so I think, I think about that in terms of, Just needing somebody to offer a different perspective that maybe hadn’t been considered. So I had a, like for example, I had a client come to me for, I offered something called brand therapy sessions.
They’re just 90 minutes where we get into whatever it is that you’ve been ruminating on, that you’re stuck on. Maybe it’s a design thing, maybe it’s a strategy thing. Maybe it’s like a personal emotional thing that is entering. Um, but I had a session with her. And she was, she said, I need to, the next thing in front of me is I need to write my bio.
And I was like, Okay, that’s easy enough. Like you could hire any number of people to do that, but what do you want your bio to say about you? Like how do you want people to feel and what do you want people to do after they’ve read your bio? And that question was thought provoking for her. Mm. Because it made her think about what does she want to be known?
Right. And from there we started talking about legacy and mortality and all of these things that are connected to your bio, but mm-hmm. , if you go to like most marketing people, they’ll just ask you to fill out a form and then they’ll go draft the bio and then they’ll come back. But with this woman, we really got into it and she shared a lot.
With me to the point that I think she might have had a little bit of a vulnerability hangover, which sometimes happens in those sessions. Um, but it just opened up a space for her to think bigger and more creatively about the possibilities that were available to her. Mm-hmm. . And I always say that like that’s a, a key part of my work is don’t design for the life that you think is available for you, design for the life that you want.
And make it, Build it, create it. Nothing that you are looking at right now came from nowhere. It was created. It started with an idea. It started with an intention, and then it got made. That’s how, And no one has your story. That’s the beautiful thing is, you know, the reality is. We’re actually very much the same.
We, yeah, like to hone in on uniqueness and individualism, but in reality, like humanity, there’s very little that is actually individualized about us. However, the one unique identifier is nobody has your collective experiences, your collective relationships, your collective, you know, fill in the blank. And that’s what’s so beautiful about what you do is you know, you are uniquely positioned to take somebody.
Be able to have all of the logistical knowledge of building and visualizing a business, but before that, being able to set up a really clear foundation of that sense of how can we use your uniqueness and convey that in a way that people feel. Your heartbeat through your messaging, and I think that is where if someone is listening and watching and thinking, like, so when is a good time for me to hire Brooke?
What was probably yesterday? ? And ultimately whether you already have a business going or, or maybe you just want to brainstorm. What could I do? You know, I’m not super happy in my current situation, but I, here’s again, my uniqueness, maybe the people I’m best positioned to serve. I think you would be a perfect person, you know, to have that time with.
And then in align by design, it’s that idea of, all right, who are you? What do you wanna be known for and how can we build a business to ultimately get the life, live the life that you want. By the way, the African country was Kenya and knew that, oh, yay. We go, I need more coffee.
Four 30 over here. I mean, I, It’s like 10 29. Literally, I’m looking at the clock. I have no excuses, but maybe I still need more coffee. I’ll always take any excuse for coffee. You, I mean, I have benefited from your generosity. You are so generous with your knowledge, your wisdom, your experience. You truly have a heart to help people, and I, I am so grateful for you.
Tell everyone where they can find you where they need to. Learn more about Brooke and hire you. Yeah, so probably the best place now is brooke estin.com. So Brooke with e b r o o k e e s t i n.com. That’s the central place for everything. Mm-hmm. . So if you’re interested in purely design services, it’ll say that on the website.
You click it and then you bounce off to my design agency, which is, I know a gal.co. I know a gal dot coo. Those are the best places. I used to have the Instagram, the Creative Amplifier, but it randomly got just. Blocked, or I don’t, No. I’ve tried for like four months to get it back, so I’m not currently on Instagram.
This is why your business should not be dependent on social media. Absolutely. Everyone. Absolutely. I can’t even get an explanation as to what, Oh, Instagram’s awful. It’s, it’s just not there. So that’s not a priority for me right now. I really wanna focus on relationships and not just communicating into you.
Into a space ethos Instagram. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So brooke essin.com would be the best, uh, place to, to reach me and, and follow. And you have a podcast, correct? I do, I do. It’s called The Art of Lost and Found, and I basically just interview, I call them creatives, but I mean, based on my definition, I, I think that’s a pretty broad, um, group of people.
That’s such a great podcast name. Yeah. Thank you. And I just, I interview them on their stories of mm-hmm. , their creative. Where they started, what obstacles they faced, how they built resilience, how they pivoted, and where they’re at now. And so those stories of like creative redemption and resilience are are thrilling for me.
So that’s linked to off of my website, brook.com/podcast or any podcast platform, just the art of lost and. I love it. Brooke is amazing. Definitely wanna go check her out. Brooke, I pray God’s richest blessing over your home. They’re in Spain. Thank you. I really wish I could be there in 24 hours. I would love to come out.
Yeah, but let go. Only takes 17. Let’s go be there in 18 hours. My kids will figure it out. They’ll be fine. But yeah. Thank you. You’ve blessed so many. It was an honor to have you and I know you’ll continue to change lives. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I really appreciate it. This has been fun.
Thanks for listening to this episode of the Imperfectly Empowered Podcast. I would love to hear your thoughts from today, head to your preferred podcasting platform, and give the show an honest review and let me know what you think. Remember, you cannot be redefined, only redeveloped, one imperfect day at a time.
Your story matters and you are.