Akasha Lin Garnier is proud of her work as a writer and activist with Minneapolis, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Paris, and Hawaii (pre-pandemic). She excels at helping clients shine with 18 marketing awards/accolades since 2007. Akasha also enjoys giving back through her promo partners. Akasha was invited to write 2 books based on her branding expertise, love of travel, and the right blend of business and creative skills: Secrets to Shine Through the Noise and Shine Through the Noise: Spark Your Creativity in Branding & Business help amplify personal and professional brand value with exercises and inspiration to keep readers engaged. Ms. Garnier donates 15% of sales to The Who’s charity: Teen Cancer America. Akasha also writes a branding blog with 1 million v.p.m. and is negotiating a #ShineThroughTheNoise seminar and travel series in book and streaming series form.
What led me to make a career in Writing?
“I was an Indie filmmaker and producer…and a whistleblower for the biggest American financial scandal, all over the news…” And I can tell you none of those paid enough to cover my bills…, and they certainly didn’t quench my desire to travel. But that’s how I started when I was invited to be a speaker at the Dublin Writers’ Conference in Ireland (pre-COVID 19 and just before a noteworthy birthday of mine). Fortunately, the audience was on the edge of their seats.
Those jobs were stressful and left me as a starving artist. I was exhausted and disheartened. I knew things had to change. I knew my business had to change. I had a part-time job managing sailing events in Chicago and landed a corporate event with a healthy budget. I suddenly had more doors open before me. The event wrapped, and I packed up my apartment and went to Hawaii’s Big Island to work, write and consider my options.
I went to Hawaii to invest in myself and to gain clarity before making my next move. I lived in the rainforest, Waipio Valley…the valley of the Kings…imagine seeing the island of Maui out your front door and the 7th deadliest crossing in the world. I was invited to a cool, fresh waterfall and then quiet time with my thoughts. And I. Feel. Better! I share this piece about finding my career from that place…the place where I feel better. I hope that you’ll feel better about your ideas, intuition, and career options too!
My career path began with outstanding teachers that inspired me and helped me believe, know and show that I could write. I knew that I wanted to be a writer before I was 12. I went public and shared my writing goals in my sophomore high school Economics class with Sister Rose, asking me to justify my answer. I continued to write and practice my presentations.
It would take me a few more years to make the kind of money that would pay for practical things and help me pursue my goals simultaneously. Both of my parents were artists, so I was inspired by their work, art, and agility.
And speaking of inspiration, let’s go back to Hawaii for a few minutes…I chose a winter away to rejuvenate and refine my goals. I learned how to surf. I swam with sharks and dolphins. I became a tsunami survivor. You don’t have to go that far. I will share some wisdom with you here today. You are strong. And you have an inner voice that will help you make choices. These are superpowers when you put them together.
What if we could start to harness more of those powers? A delicious dose of inspiration and wisdom as we plan our path and stay nimble to adjust to curves up ahead. I’m writing this during a pandemic, so we often hear the term “pivot” now. I learned how to pivot, and you can too. I wrote/produced 50 videos for a client and 250 marketing pieces as part of that campaign. Now, I’m getting back to my thriller series (with ways to work the whistleblower part into the story)! I wrote about my Hawaii adventure in my first 2 non-fiction books, 1 screenplay, and thrillers as books, and a streaming series in the works.
I am Akasha Lin Garnier. I’ve become a published author, filmmaker, and brand expert giving back. In my #ShineThroughtheNoise series, I wrote about how to deal with “inner and outer noise.” Inner noise: like no clarity, or lack of confidence, or feeling distracted, or like your goals are too hard to start or too big to finish. Are you waiting for permission to write your book or to find your right idea? Permit yourself to start. Today. When you’re ready, write this down: “I give myself permission to start and succeed.” Depending on what you feel when you write that, add an exclamation point. Or not. That’s not required.
Whether you have a strong belief in mind, body connection, and intention or not, consider this: As an author, screenwriter, filmmaker…we are creating or making up stories to entertain others. Even if you work in non-fiction, you are telling a story. Those are the ones that work best. Take at least 30 minutes a day to build up your own story: we must be the heroes/heroines in our own story…in our careers. The same muscles that create characters can help improve your writing and business. The more we believe in that, the more it will help things happen.
In my #ShineThroughtheNoise series, I write, “Wherever you are on your journey, believe it’s worth the trip!” (Yes, with an exclamation point!) We all share similar “outer noise”: interruptions/notifications, texts, Netflix, TV shows, going out late every night, requests to work without pay, or to pick your brain for free. You can conquer inner and outer noise. And when you do, it helps bring things into focus. It helps you plan your next step and see your goals more clearly. We free ourselves to be more creative and effective.
Where do you start? Working with a brand consultant is around $50,000, so you may want to try a couple of exercises first. I use some of these with teams on a consultation, so we’ll share them with our readers:
Choose a celebrity spokesperson:
Write down three ideal celebrity spokespeople for the brand. Feel free to lean into your brand or be playful with it. You should still be able to glean something about your brand based on the final decision. Capital One sells to moms who shop, so they went with effervescent and savvy Jennifer Garner, someone women can relate to.
Airbnb might choose a 30-something celebrity who anyone would be excited to sit next to on a plane: Scarlett Johansson or Gina Rodriguez. This gets easier as you jump from brand to brand, and you can always try out a few before taking on your own. You get the idea.
I combined my remarkable Hawaii trip with the spokesperson exercise. I received and response from Reese Witherspoon, someone I’d love to work with on upcoming books and/or my thriller streaming series (with more news to share another time).
Yes, I did post photos on Facebook and Twitter when in Hawaii because it was gorgeous!! I also took a social media break and wrote 4 books and 2 screenplays.
What could you cut out and cut back on to commit to your goals?
Thank you for reading, and I welcome your comments below: Discover more about building a brand and business: http://thewishwall.org/desideri/fe-discovery-in-brand-business.
All the best & brightest,
Akasha Lin Garnier
Also read How I Became a Multidisciplinary Artist