46 minutes | Aug 16, 2021

Aiden Clark McFarland: Be Limitless

He's a business and lifestyle coach with a gender-free clothing line called Limitless. He helps other creatives not only think outside the box, but blow up the box entirely. Please welcome Aiden Clark McFarland. -- Connect with Aiden: https://www.limitlesswearables.com/ Twitter @AidenLimitless Instagram @aidenislimitless YouTube: Be Limitless and Queerate -- Connect with me on your favorite platform: https://pods.link/aardvarkgirl -- 00:40 Instead of just a bump, it became a wall of like, do I keep wanting to push other people's visions forward or do I want to start finding my own? Can I build something that incorporates all these different elements of myself without restricting them? That's where I went, what can I do? How can I start building this? I literally started looking for ways to build an income from scratch. That gradually became a lifestyle. 03:50 I ended up leaving that company, just doing things on my own, and really cultivating my client roster until instead of "I'm just going to work and keep getting clients and keep getting income," I started fostering it down to which of these clients do I feel passionate about their projects? Do I feel they're including me versus me just being a cog in their machine? I really was able to fine-tune. By that point, I had replaced my job income. I set a date and I left my job. 07:24 I was not happy with the clothes I was finding off the rack. They didn't express what I wanted to express. If I went to the women's section, it wasn't built for my body. If I went to the men's section, it was drab and boring. I wanted to find more clothes that fit me, and then I finally had this duh moment of, well, I sew. I've been making costumes and stuff for years. Why don't I start making clothing for myself? Why don't I start a clothing line? 09:43 Then it just became, well, now that I'm making these clothes, of course, they're all going to have pockets. The first round of clothing is very unisex, very gender-free, with more tunics, robes, and things like that.  12:00 I was just going to tease it out like, here's an item. I'd take it to shows. When that became not an option, I had to really look at this, get really serious, and build a business plan. How much would it really take to create a full line out the gate? What would that look and how much would I need? I did the Kickstarter. It got fully funded. It's amazing.  19:05 I was just hearing similar themes through all the conversations of like, “But I don't, I don't want to offend anybody.” A lot of fear of being seen and fear of being heard. Also, “Nobody is going to be interested in what I'm creating. It's not good enough. I need to do more before I can share it.” A lot of that are holding ourselves back because we don't think we're ready or good enough. As I started getting out of my own way, really getting out there, showing my voice, getting on social media, starting a YouTube channel, and putting out the clothing line, I was like, I have this experience of my own to share plus my years in business and admin. 21:30 The more of our artist friends that I was helping with little business things, the more I was seeing that all the business help in the world wasn't going to get them where they wanted to be because they were still holding themselves back out of the fear of not being good enough, or “My product isn't going to do the thing or be what people want.” What they needed was to get comfortable with their voice, with their creativity, with putting it out there, and just letting it go into the world. Letting your child go out into the world and see what happens.  24:51 Look at the materials you've used to create that piece of art. What did they cost you? What practice and training have you done? Did you go to art school? Have you been drawing every day for 10 years and that's how you've gotten to this level? Did you buy better paints so that the quality is better? It's not just about you and what you think your creation in that little time window is worth. It's about everything that has built you to this point. That's what the charging is about. It's not just about the value you put on yourself. It's this culmination of all these different parts and pieces.  30:50 I've seen it happen with both arts, with my virtual assisting, and with everything in between. If somebody is going for your bottom rates, that is the client or commission that is coming at you every five seconds with complaints and concerns. “Can you tweak this? What about one more thing? What about one more thing? What if I add this?” Whereas if you start from your high rate, they're just like, “Great, here you go. Straightforward. I trust you, go with it.” It's so mind-boggling because it feels counterintuitive. 33:18 I think, honestly, one of the positives that have come out of the whole pandemic is, I think, people are talking a little bit more realistically about mental health and the need to treat that just like any other health issue. 34:43 Being a creative, having the business, and all the mental health and the self-care, it all has to be interconnected. That's a big piece also of my coaching and how I approach it. I don't look at it as, “Well, now I'm doing my job." "Now I'm having my life.” It's all integrated. It is my lifestyle, all of it together. I feel like I embraced "eff it" as a spirituality and that I was done with anything that didn't serve my lifestyle as a whole. That meant adding some things, taking some things out, but I am done fitting into what society has told me "life," "career," and "work" are supposed to look like. They made it all up. I'm going to make it up too. 39:17 I feel we tend to set these deadlines for ourselves that are so arbitrary. When you feel that pressure of there's too much, take a step back and look at the list and be like, which of these actually have deadlines? Which of them are self-imposed deadlines that the only person holding me to them is me? Also, taking a further step back with I love what I do. I'm passionate about what I do but it's not a life or death situation. If I don't get that done today, nobody's actually going to die. 41:54 That doesn't mean that there aren't going to be times where you do push and work a lot. It can come in spurts but you have to be very aware of, know where your limits are, and not consistently push yourself past them because that's where you hit the burnout. If you occasionally do it, you're okay. If all you ever do is push yourself past it, recipe for failure. 43:18 Any situation you're in, whether it's the idea of launching something new, putting something new out there, leaving a job to focus on your creativity, or raising your prices, any of it, if fear is holding you back, ask what is the worst thing? What is my worst fear? What is the worst thing that could actually happen? Realistically, look at that worst thing and go, if that happened, what would I do? By doing that, we often find we're much more resilient than we think we are. The fears that are holding us back are really things that aren't the end of the world. They only feel like it but when you actually take a step back and look at them, that's not that bad. It might mean a few things have to change a little bit, but ultimately I'd get back up and keep going. It's not the end of the world. Nobody's going to die.  
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