I’m a Gatekeeper – translating ideas into reality for others

This morning I woke up with an incredibly clear idea of what I wanted to write about (personality profiling). And then when I sat down, everything I wrote felt superficial.

So here I am, drinking Japanese green tea on a Sunday and looking for creative inspiration. The question I’m asking myself is, what can I share that is authentic and real, AND also valuable to those who read my blog.

The words that came when I asked this was “being a gatekeeper and messenger”.

And then I thought, crap. I don’t really feel like talking about that *sigh* … *deep breath* … So here goes…

My definition of a Gatekeeper
The word gatekeeper has been a relatively new word for me. I attended an event with Dr Kim Jobst last December about health and disease and I asked a question and suddenly found myself declaring “I’m a Gatekeeper” – a word I had never used to describe myself before. But the reaction from a couple of people in the room who knew me, were like “of course you’re a gatekeeper” (my head was going, “what the?!”). So I went home that night and asked myself what does that actually mean? And this is what I wrote…

“Tonight I discovered I’m a Gatekeeper. On one hand I help business owners translate their vision and ideas into material and physical reality. And on the other, I help business leaders heal. Both are opposites side of the same coin. I also get I’m not everyone’s gatekeeper. But when I meet someone and hear their vision or idea, I intuitively know what I’m suppose to do next.”

I’m finding it rather hard to share the above. It kind of makes me want to throw up. It feels a bit too self righteous. Who am I to say I am a gatekeeper?

I’m actually not an expert …
And yet, people constantly come to me and ask for my feedback on so many things. Their branding, websites, book covers, brochures, logos, videos, products, blogs, photographs, pitches, ideas … everything under the sun. Essentially what they are asking me is:

“Do you think this translates and captures who I am and the difference I want to make in the word?” … “Will this land?”

The truth is, most of the time I actually don’t know. And I wonder why people trust me so. I’m always only sharing my personal opinion and experience. Nothing I say is THE truth.

But what I promise you is, if you ask me for my opinion, you will always get my truth”. For better or worse. Direct, honest feedback is the frequency of my channel.

I’ve tried to tone it down slightly. Pad it a bit more. Use the sandwich technique. But ultimately, it’s pretty clear and direct. Whether I like it or not. And sometimes, I really don’t like it.

I always feel awkward…
There are moments where I wish I didn’t have to say, no that doesn’t land. That logo is off brand. The website needs to be completely redesigned. You’re wearing the wrong colours in this image. This should be landscape not portrait. This headshot won’t work for your positioning. Your writing style needs to change. I’m confused with what you’re trying to do. I don’t believe you.

I’m using all the words I personally hate: doesn’t, should, need, off, wrong, won’t, can’t, don’t etc-

Those words and statements totally suck.

I hate delivering these messages. Yet I know it’s essential and it’s the role I play as the messenger. People who know me well, will accept that’s why they come to me. It’s not personal at all. But those that don’t, are sometimes left in a bit of shock (I wish I had more finesse!).

Accepting my role
I chucked a little mini tantrum in my bedroom last week. Declaring, I don’t want to do this. And then Danielle, said to me “just watch what life keeps throwing at you”. And that’s when I threw in the white towel – accepted once again, I’m a Gatekeeper and messenger – often a translator – to help people bring their visions to life.

Despite the how uncomfortable I sometimes feel. I trust if they’ve come to me for feedback, it’s cos for someone reason, they actually want. And if I’m saying something they don’t want to hear, on some level they obviously want to hear it – even if it’s to disagree (I rarely give feedback unless I’ve been asked to). Ultimately, what they do with the feedback is up to them. As the messenger, I’m unattached to what happens next.

Open honesty is my policy
So if you ever ask me for my feedback, just know I will always be honest and if it’s not 100% amazing, I’m doing my best to deliver it with an open heart and I’m feeling equality uncomfortable inside. And when I ask you for feedback on my journey (cos I will), I want your honesty in the same way. I might have clarity when it come to others, but my blind spots feel deep and dark.

And so … my journey continues. Watching what life throws at me. Currently a Gatekeeper for others.

Photography credit: Amanda Clarke

ps. I randomly texted Avni this week (not knowing I was going to write this blog) and asked her: “What’s my life purpose?” and she responded with “to ‘Thao’ people – knife like clarity for others”. It made me laugh. If only I had this clarity for myself!!

pps. If you’re wondering where the ‘healing’ comes in, I find growth and self awareness goes hand in hand with business growth. Not always, but the types of businesses I’m interested in, they always do : )

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Comments
11 Responses to “I’m a Gatekeeper – translating ideas into reality for others”
  1. Avni Trivedi says:

    I love this Thao. Over the last 3 years I have seen you deliver clear, honest feedback to a number of people. It’s been tough love when it’s needed to be, but although your words can be direct, it’s backed up with heart. And don’t worry- you have lots of us to direct it back to you when you can’t ‘self-Thao’ 🙂

  2. Shaa says:

    Im reading this, just before i jump on a flight back to the UK from New Orleans … knowing that without you being my Gatekeeper, my ‘transition’ would never have happened with such clarity, nor so swiftly.

    You have an amazing gift for ‘getting’ people, but I also think you’re greatest skill lies with those who want to do more than just ‘business’. When you connect with someone who you believe has a gift to help transform both lives and business, you spring in super sensory mode. Instinctively ‘knowling’ what needs to be done. Like a modern day ‘Soothsayer’.

    it not just a skill, its a gift and a blessing. Embrace it for all its worth and let others be your Gatekeeper too.

    Thankyou my lovely Thaoski for all that you are!

    X

  3. Danielle says:

    I don’t like feedback.

    Simple.

    I find it challenging to hear and difficult to digest.

    Yet you are my ‘go-to’ person for feedback on my business and brand. I know that I’m always going to get feedback that aligns completely with me. Straight, honest, on the money feedback. It’s why I come to you.

    Often you get me better than I get myself, you see me, and you know how to translate my essence into my brand.

    I am so grateful to you for your gift.

    Thank you thank you thank you xx

  4. Jai says:

    Thaoski, a friend posted your blog on facebook which is how I came to read it. I wondered if you were interested in a different way of giving feedback than either the stale sandwich or the brutally honest. I think I might be able to help. Drop me an email if you are interested. Jayaraja

    • thaoski says:

      Hey who said my sandwich’s are stale? : ) and direct honesty doesn’t mean I’m brutal – it just means I voice what’s in my head and heart (generally with less words) : )

  5. Kim Worthington says:

    I have always called myself a Gatekeeper too. I have never understood where this came from (not me) and what it means. What you have written has helped. xx

  6. Michelle Cachcuho says:

    Hey Thaoski

    What a cool blog post my friend. Having only just met you, I must say that I did find it fascinating how you delivered your message. I think it’s super cool though.

    Loving your work Thao and hope to catch up soon.

    Lovage
    Mish x

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