When I started developing my Primary Archetype Test back in 2012 (and launched it in early 2013), I had no idea that it would touch the hearts of so many people.
With just under 45,000 people having taken the test to date, it has proven to be the starting point of a most awe-inspiring journey that has forever changed my life.
One of the things I wasn’t expecting at the beginning of this journey was the fierce loyalty of my community.
Every time a new archetype quiz or similar pops up somewhere on the interwebs, I receive so many messages and emails from kind-hearted folks who want to draw it to my attention. This work has touched them so deeply that they have an instinct to protect it – and ‘copycats’, apparently, are the biggest provocation.
After a recent increase in these lovely messages of support, it got me thinking about devotion.
Being copied – or inadvertently copying someone else – is a major concern for so many soulful solopreneurs. It certainly used to be for me. In my first year of self-employment in 2012, I barely breathed in case someone accused me of copying them. I was also anxious to share my best ideas, in case they were ‘stolen’ from me.
My Archetypal Blend of Alchemist/Sage has taught me two things that I believe have been pivotal to the steady growth of my business:
1. Devote yourself to the work
2. Detach yourself from the work
At first glance, this seems to be a paradox. But – it truly makes so much sense, if you dig a little deeper.
I am devoted to my work. As an Alchemist, I am focused on mastery. I have no interest in turning archetypes into gimmicks – I’m in it for the depth (which, I must admit, is the cause of my skin crawling when I see people using archetypes as a get-rich-quick scheme or freebie that lacks integrity).
I am also completely detached from my work. As a Sage, I believe in the gift of caring so much about your work that you understand you are a part of it; it is not a part of you.
If the worry of other people copying you keeps you up at night, I recommend taking a moment to remember that you were called to your work for a reason. If copycats are a part of the plan, they’re a part of the plan. A distraction, not a deterrent. Similarly – if you’re called to explore an area that you know has already been explored before, you owe it to the work to respond to that calling.
Each time I see a new archetype quiz pop up overnight (especially the ones that are so obviously lifted from my work), I don’t sit at my desk wondering whether I should a) try to sue them or b) change my own direction because I can’t ‘compete’ with them. (Much to Erin’s discontent. She’s one fiercely protective assistant).
Sometimes, I feel a lot of pressure to keep switching things up so I don’t fall behind (because…you know…marketing). But it only lasts a minute. I know that’s not where the magic is for me.
I sit down at my desk, and keep doing what I’ve done for the last four years. I ignore everything that is going on around me, and I bury myself even more deeply into creating things that mean something.
The point of this post being:
This isn’t about archetypes, or even about copying. It’s about having the resilience to be so devoted that everything else melts away, and all you can see is what’s in front of you. It’s a noisy world out there. There are clashes of interest, and moments when you feel like you’re not as unique as you ‘need’ to be. The next time you find yourself questioning whether your authenticity is enough, remember that devotion is where you’ll find the fulfilment.
Lots of love (and devotion),