Ep. 346: Pursuing Your Purpose with Arika Davenport of She Pursues Purpose

I'm so excited to introduce you to this week's guest on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers, Arika Davenport of She Pursues Purpose!

Arika Davenport, the founder of She Pursues Purpose, leads women of faith into discovering their personal path to purpose. Arika has been able to help women create a blueprint that turns their visions into realities. Women who have partnered with Arika have gained the confidence, clarity, and courage to walk in their calling. She Pursues Purpose offers a variety of resources for the woman in pursuit of purpose  As a Purpose Coach  Arika equips & empowers the busy woman with the practical and spiritual tools needed to walk in her purpose.

Push play to listen to this week's episode, or read the full transcript below!

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Shannon Mattern: Welcome to episode 346 of Pep Talks For Side Hustlers. And I'm so excited to introduce you to today's guest, Arika Davenport. She is a purpose coach and author, a course creator, and the speaker behind She Pursues Purpose, which is a brand and movement for women entrepreneurs. So Arika, thank you so much for being here. Can you share a little bit more with our listeners about you and what you do?

Arika Davenport: Yes. Thank you for having me Shannon. I'm so excited to be here. So yes, I'm Arika Davenport. I'm the founder of She Pursues Purpose. I'm a mom, I'm a wife. I'm a full time employee. I'm all of these things. And really, I created She Pursues Purpose to help the woman who knows that there's more to her, right? There's more than just her nine to five and more than being a mom and a wife. And so what I do is help women to really discover their gifts and their talents, the things that come natural and I show them how to create a business or a product or a service that's aligned with their calling and aligned with their gifting.

Shannon Mattern: I just love, love, love that. And I was trying to think about how we met, it's been a few years now. We both live in the same city. We live in Columbus, Ohio, and I feel like it was, was it through Tanisha English? Yes. Okay. So I met, and I need to have Tanisha on the podcast by the way, note to self, because she's so awesome. We met at this Women in Digital Conference here in Columbus, Ohio, and she invited me to speak at this intimate gathering of women entrepreneurs. And I was talking about getting your website set up and I think you were there. I don't remember specifically meeting you or if we talked after answering questions, because I don't know if you guys know this about me. I'm terrified of public speaking in front of like real actual people. So I probably just like blanked, cause they're like real human bodies in the audience that I was presenting to. But after that, you reached out to me and you were like, Hey, I just need some one-on-one time with you, some help with this big idea and I just need to sit down with you and get my website together. Could you just show me? And I was like, okay, cool. I don't normally do that, but there was just something about you that was just your mission, the business that you wanted to do. We met at a Barnes and Noble and we dug in. And I think we met like one or two more times after that. And your website and business came to life. And then you reached out and you're like, Hey, I'd love to be a guest on Pep Talks for Side Hustlers. I'm like, bring it on. Let's talk about what you do, because you just go out and pursue your purpose so hard. And I can only imagine the clients that work with you, the people that you help. You must pour into them like crazy. So I was just so excited to talk to you. So enough about me gushing about all of that. To kind of turn it back to you, what really drove you to start She Pursues Purpose.

Arika Davenport: And before I go into that, you skipped over so much because you know, at the very start I wasn't even really clear on what I wanted to do when I met you, but I knew I was called to do something, right? And I knew in order to put myself out there I needed a website. So you invited me to take the 5-Day Website Challenge. And I am less than techie and I hated it actually. And what happened was, you know, I called you like, Hey, I need more help. Even though you're laying it out step-by-step, I'm struggling. And you were so gracious. And Barnes and Nobles has become my favorite getaway. When I need to get away and I do work, I still go there and that's where we met, but you were so hands on and you helped me so much, you know, and I tell people about you now. I credit my website, my freebie and all these things to you. You were the first contact as I began to pursue my purpose. You were the first person in line. So I appreciate you for that.

Shannon Mattern: Well, it's truly my pleasure, because you just took everything that I showed you and just ran with it. And that is the most rewarding thing for what I do is to just see it turn into what you've turned it into.

Arika Davenport: Yes, yes. And so what really got me to start looking into entrepreneurship was the fact that despite a Master's Degree, despite a great paying job with the State of Ohio, despite all of my accolades, I felt like something was missing. I was still unfulfilled and I'm looking at all of these other boss women online. And I'm like, I know there's something more to me. And so what I discovered, you know, I kinda just went through this process of personal development and self growth. I went on what I call my own personal spiritual retreat, where I really just kinda became one and got to know me again. Cause I think, you know, oftentimes as wives and working women, we can lose ourselves in our roles. And so I kinda just got back to who I was and what I like to do at the core of myself. I enjoy reading, I enjoy writing, I enjoy these things. So I started, She Pursues Purpose as a blog and I just began to talk about different topics as it related to purpose. And as I continued to go on, I realized that A) I was really attracting women who, like me, were unfulfilled in their careers. Right? I'm a Christian. I'm a spiritual person. And what I've found in my own personal pursuit was that I really was being personally equipped, you know, and understanding how gifts and strengths and talents work. So I was learning first how to apply my gifts and my strengths, which was writing and inspiring people. And then it kind of blossomed into the coaching and the course creating and all of those things. But it really came from me just wanting to figure out what else I could do. I didn't know where to start. And then I just decided to start with what I was naturally good at - writing and reading and inspiring people.

Shannon Mattern: So when you meet someone, when you work with people or clients or the people that you inspire, where do you start with them? They're like you. They're feeling like something's missing. They are maybe a parent, they have a full-time job or whatever they have in their life. And they feel like, probably if they are anything like me, I should be grateful and I shouldn't even feel like this. I feel guilty for even feeling like this. So where do you start with people when you meet them and you're going to help them identify their purpose?

Arika Davenport: I start with mindset, honestly. Because I believe, you know, first of all, we have to understand and know that there is more. If there's a feeling that there's more, then there is. But you have to be willing to accept it. Do things scared. Right? Get rid of the perfectionism, all the things I had to do. So I really start with a person's mindset because a lot of people lack the confidence to even move forward. Right? And so just building up that part of them that says, yes, you can do more. No, it's not wrong for you to want to do more. Yes you deserve more, you know? And then from there we kind of go through this whole process of identity, who you are at your core, not who you are as a mom or a wife or an employee or any of these things, but who you are and the gifts and the strengths, what are you good at? What do people come to you for? Because oftentimes I found that the thing that we're called to do, we're already doing it. We just don't know it, or it's not packaged right. Or we overlook it because it's something we do so naturally we wouldn't think that this is something that we can get paid to do. And so that's where a lot of the women that I work with, I'm just really showing them what's already there. You know, I'm just kind of wiping their glasses off, giving them a cleaner vision. Like, listen, you're already doing this. Maybe this is a strategy or a structure, but it really starts with you shifting your mindset and then you just looking on the inside. Because I believe everything you're going to be is already on the inside. It's just discovering it. So that's where I start. And then we go through a whole process of other things, but it really starts with the mindset and the identity.

Shannon Mattern: You said something that just kind of struck a chord with me and you said, no, it's not wrong for you to want more. So can we talk more about that? Because I feel that sometimes, even now where I'm just like I have enough. I have what I need. I don't need to go for more. Let's dig into that a little more. What do you see with your clients? Like what is your opinion on that?

Arika Davenport: Yeah. As a believer, you know, I'm a Christian and as a believer, I believe that for one, it's not always about us, but God will bless us in a way that we can be a blessing to other people. So from a different point of view, you can think of it as being selfish if you say I have enough. Because now it's like, you have enough, but if you have more, you can help someone else. Your cup is supposed to overflow so that you can pour out and be a blessing to other people. And I also believe that, you know, the Bible tells us that we're lenders and not borrowers, you know? And God takes pleasure in blessing us. So if we're putting out the word and I mean, whether you're spiritual or not, you get a return for the work that you put in. Right? Like there's typically a return. So there's some people who, you know, sometimes it's humility, but sometimes it's selfishness, you know? It's not just about you. All the gifts, everything that we're given to do, our business is to solve somebody else's problem, to help somebody else. So that sometimes we'll meet people that's not even for us, but we're there to be the connection. Right? And so when you think about it in those terms, I think it takes away the guilt and takes away the icky feeling of 'I have enough, I don't need any more'. You know? Sometimes you're that person, your influence and your reach can be the reason why you can help somebody.

Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh! I feel like you just like put the missing puzzle piece into that problem. Not necessarily problem, but that thing that I've been wrestling with in my mind. It's like me stopping is selfish. Having more is not just for me, it's for me to be able to have a bigger impact, help more people. It's not about just oh, my bank account has enough. I'm good. I'm so glad I asked you that question because I really truly have been, you know, going over that in my mind. And like you just said, we are lenders, not borrowers. And yeah. So thank you. Just talking to the last podcast guest, these episodes really are for me, they're not for all of the listeners, it's for me to pick your brain for an hour and solve all my problems. But yes, that was just so, so powerful. And I think that that's kind of been like that missing piece because it's like, I started my business at the very beginning because I wanted more and I wanted to also take care of myself and, you know, the byproduct of that was that I help other people thrive. And I know intellectually that what I do has a huge impact, but then really turning that into the purpose behind why I do it instead of just making sure that like I'm financially okay and my family's good. Like shifting that purpose. I haven't specifically, directly, purposefully shifted the purpose of my business until literally just having this conversation with you. But I knew it was operating for that reason, but my motivation hadn't completely followed that. My mind is just blown right now.

Arika Davenport: Yeah. I believe the richest people in the world are givers, right? And it's not necessarily about a number. When you're pouring into people and you're pouring in your resources and your knowledge, you know, not only your money, but you're helping enrich somebody else's life. And that's why, you know, it says to whom much is given much is required, right? So we're giving we're receiving so that we can be givers and we can help other people grow and mature and develop in their purpose and their calling. And that's what it's all about.

Shannon Mattern: So good. So you help people get their minds right. What's the next thing that you work on them with?

Arika Davenport: So typically once they kind of accept and embrace the thing, and that's a process. Sometimes, you know, people can get stuck right there. Right? Because they wanted...sometimes when we look at our call and our gifts and we want something else and we don't want to do this thing. And it's like you have to embrace it. Right? There's successful people who are not operating in purpose. But if you want to operate in purpose, you know, you have to embrace the thing that you're naturally gifted and created to do, and to serve the people that you're called to serve. So once we get around that, we get into it. It's always different, you know, because some people may not always want to do full-time entrepreneurship, but they do a side hustle. Or they just want to create a book or a journal, just this one thing, but it's them giving of themselves. So we kind of determine, based off of their thing, how do you want to do this? Nine times out of ten, the women that I work with have a entrepreneurial spirit in some way anyway. Right?. And so now we talk about some of the basics of things now that we know the thing you're going to do, that's aligned with your gifting and your calling. Now we're going to talk about how to talk to your people, how to speak to your target audience, how to define your target audience, the importance of having an email list and all of the things that help you get started. Because for me, I think getting started and not knowing where to start, but nine times out of ten, once people know where to start, it's a no brainer. It's just like, okay, this is what I'm supposed to. Finding the what is really hard sometimes And that's where there's some trial and error and process of elimination. But we then go through, okay, this is how going to work. Starting off for me and for the people that I've even worked with, sometimes they think that they have to have this huge platform or a huge social media following. And so I really help them to take the thing, it's all about working with what you have, right? And I tell people, who can you help now with what you have now? Your purpose, your call, and your gift is going to evolve. But if it's your neighbor next door and you bake cookies really well, bake some cookies and give them to your neighbor, right? Who can you serve now with what you have now? And that's where people get stuck, because they're looking down the line, they want to have this huge following or feel like they have to have this perfect website and all these things before they get into action. So my goal is to help you figure out what it is you can do, and figure out who you can help now. And it'll grow and it'll evolve once you get started.

Shannon Mattern: I totally agree with that. And I do the Free 5-Day Website Challenge. I teach people how to build their website. And what breaks my heart is when they get stuck there, because they haven't done this initial work to figure out who can I help now? Just like you said. Who can I help now with what I have now? And then they get stuck in the website, get stuck in the version of their business, three, four or five years down the road that they're trying to force out now. And it's no wonder that they lose their passion for it, because it's not the place to be spending your time yet.

Arika Davenport: And not only what I've learned and what I teach my clients is that not only will you lose your passion trying to have this loan plan, but there are people who will suffer because of you not acting, right? Because your gifting and your calling is connected to helping somebody else. So while you're sitting and complaining about a perfect website or whatever it is that's got you stagnant, there's somebody out there who's waiting, right? There's somebody out there who needs you. And so when you kind of understand, okay, if I can help just a little bit, if I can help someone just a little bit, that feels better than knowing I'm sitting on my hands because I can't get my website together. My website, Shannon, I did my best with that 5-Day Website, right? And I literally just got my website updated maybe a couple months ago. I've had the same website since we met. And that has not stopped me from getting clients. That has not stopped me from serving. That has not stopped me from helping people align with their purpose. That stuff can be worked on as you go. But I encourage everybody just to act, you know, don't let that stuff stop you.

Shannon Mattern: Oh, absolutely. And you know, the perfect website is a myth. Right? It's all about the words that you say to people that's the most important thing. And I think what you were just saying about how if you're waiting until everything is right, or you feel like everything's perfect for you to go out and help somebody, you're not serving. Somebody out there needs that solution that you're holding yourself back from putting out there because it doesn't look perfect or whatever. And when I talk about marketing and I talk about oh, here's how to market yourself, here's how to position yourself, you're not talking about you and how great you are and what you do. What you're talking about are the solutions that you have to help people. And you have that now, whether you have a website or not. You have that now whether you have your email list ready or not. The website and the email list is designed for you to be able to help one to many, but you have to help people, one person by one person at first. I don't know if I'm articulating that very well, but like, you start your business one by one, like you really do.

Arika Davenport: Yes. My mentor taught me that an audience of one is still an audience, right? So my whole philosophy, if I'm helping one person, if I'm serving one client, if I put out a program and one person buys, that's good enough for me, you know? And I think that helps move us forward. If it's just one person and there's a need, there's a problem to be solved. And it grows, you know? But just starting with the mindset of one, you know?

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. If there is one person out there that needs the solution that is your gift, there are more people out there and it's just that you haven't found them yet. And that's okay. This just happened inside of our Web Designer Academy program where we teach web designers how to grow their businesses. A couple of them recently launched courses to teach some aspect of web design to a niche. And they put all the work into it, building the audience and then they make the offer. And I think six people joined the one program, and she felt like she was a failure because all of this work creating it, and her words were like "only six people". And I'm like, this is a huge success. Right? You have found six people who need what you have and now you'll go find six more, and six more. And the next time, six more. I feel like, and I don't know about you, when I was in my early stages of business and I was watching all the people that were doing what I wanted to do and looking at all the entrepreneurs online and looking at them launching their programs and having all of these big splashy launches and huge success. And I thought that that's how it was supposed to be. And if I wasn't doing that, then my program wasn't right. Or my solution wasn't the right solution. Or I needed to start over or whatever. And it truly happens one by one. It truly does.

Arika Davenport: Yes. And it rarely goes as planned. Right? Never goes as planned. And I think we all have to get over that hump. We have these big ideas and this big thing we want to do, and we want it to be big, right? And it deserves to be big. But we just overlook the process of it. And so even for me, when I did my beta launch for my first round of my programs, I had a few people buy. But one of my philosophies is to give it away for free as well. So I had a few people buy, but in exchange, they gave me a testimonial or feedback so that I could continue to revise it and make it to what people want. And I'm all about sloppy progress is still progress to me. Right? And so that's what I've learned. Sometimes it's good to start smaller because you can make it better and better and you increase the price once it's better and better. And so that's something I had to work on too, and still have to consciously work on, like the number of followers, does it matter? The email list, does it matter? If one person says there's something I said or done or offered has helped them, that has to be good enough for me. So it's all about the mindset as well.

Shannon Mattern: Oh yeah, absolutely. And we talk about this is an experiment. Everything that we do is. You're gonna put it out there, but what you get back is data to help you make decisions to figure out was this the right person to take this solution? Maybe this person didn't need this right now, or maybe it wasn't the right time for them. And when you make it mean something about us, that we're bad, that we're wrong, that we're not good enough, it pulls us away from what we're really called to do. And having to look at it as this is just data and just an experiment and I'm willing to look at it and figure it out no matter whether they bought or they didn't, how does this help me find the next right person?

Arika Davenport: Absolutely. And I'm a big fan of asking people what they want. Sometimes we go through this process of creating a great and wonderful thing, and then nobody wants it. But we didn't ask if they wanted it, you know? And so even if it's just that one person or someone who may be your ideal audience, say, Hey, I'm thinking about creating this. And I guess we'll get into talking about my freebie, but even when I originally did that, I didn't have everything finished before I put it out. You know? So testing it out to see if people actually want to engage in what you're putting out there, will save some of that frustration and disappointment sometimes.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah, for sure. So, yeah. Let's definitely talk about your freebie. Tell me the evolution of this.

Arika Davenport: It was so crazy because it was never my intent. But after I did your 5-Day Website Challenge, I took the five day freebie challenge again, building my email list and my website. And so I tested out some things that clearly nobody wanted. Right? And so I eventually I came up with what I call my 30 Day Pray For Purpose challenge. And it was a 30 day email series. Well, the first couple of days I started promoting it and the first couple of days people were responding like, oh my gosh, this is so good, this is so good. So then I had to literally stay ahead of the days, right? Because I didn't just sit down and create a 30 day email sequence. I wasn't even sure how well it was going to do. But I got feedback I wasn't really expecting, I was amazed. People were posting on their social media. I'm getting text messages from family who signed up. I'm like, oh my gosh! I'm just trying to grow my email list. Someone told me that the challenge had inspired her to publish her book that she's been sitting on. Literally I took your challenge and I'm taking what you're teaching and I'm just trying to apply it. I understand the importance of an email list. So long story short, I did this 30 Day Pray For Purpose challenge, and people started asking me in my email, can you print this and email this to me, with my name on it, and all that, you know. And I'm like, hmmm. And this is all about listening to the people that you serve because more and more people were saying, I printed mine or I printed this prayer and I hung it up and that sort of thing.

Arika Davenport: So over a period of time, I published the book. I put it together as a 30 Day Prayer For Purpose devotional journal. And it's literally all about praying for your purpose. There's a place to journal, there's affirmations every day. And that freebie has landed me on podcasts, award-winning podcasts and all these things. And that was never my intent, but I think the biggest takeaway was listening to the people that I served, right? Like my idea was just to grow my email list, but I was still solving a problem, which means you don't even have to put out a product that makes money right away. I didn't pitch a product that costs for a long time before I was nurturing my email list and just pouring out, just inspiring and encouraging and educating. This is just what I do. And so I published a book and it's doing really well. And it's the Prayers For Purpose devotional journal, but it really just started off as a freebie, where I just wanted to encourage people, give people the language and the prayers, because there are so many people who want to know what their purpose is. And thanks to you because of that 5-Day Website Challenge. Then it was just a freebie. But you know, I just couldn't wait to tell you the evolution of it because, like I said, I've learned a lot from you.

Shannon Mattern: Well, I appreciate that you're giving me the credit, but you did the work, I just put the information in front of you and you took it and ran with it. And a lot of people don't do that. I'll take my part of the credit. I'll give you back the credit. I think what is so cool about that story is you're just like, I am not going to wait till I write all 30 of these emails to put this out. You're like, I have this idea, I'm just going to start and I'm going to try to stay ahead of it, but I don't have to have this whole thing done and perfect before I start sharing it. And I think because of that, it is what led you to validate that people do want it in a journal form, want it at this next level. And it became this evolution. And you iterated your way to what it is now by letting the people tell you what they needed instead of, like we said, us telling them what they need. When we tell people what they need it doesn't work. I've done it before. Here's the course that I think you need next. Ta-da! And everyone's like, no thank you, this is not what I need.

Arika Davenport: People are going to buy and participate in what they want, not necessarily what they need, you know? Being in our field and in our lanes, we may know what they need, but people aren't going to invest in what they need. They're going to invest in what they want and how you make them feel, and how you validate them. And as I was listening and reading the responses daily, I'm like, okay, this is what people want, and I'm not going to use my little printer at home to do it. So we'll just publish a book.

Shannon Mattern: I love it. And then the other thing that I wanted to point out for people listening is you created this asset, this really powerful thing that people told you that they wanted, you're giving it away. But you're also leveraging it to get in front of the people that you know can serve. Like you said, "this got me on award-winning podcasts". People are probably giving it to all their friends. They're taking this asset that you created, that you're giving this knowledge and everything away for free, and it's helping you connect with the people who you want to serve and who really need you. And people are so afraid to give away everything that they know for free because they think no one will ever buy from them. So what's your experience been with that?

Arika Davenport: Well, I'm a huge fan of Myles Munroe. He passed away, but he was this great speaker and he was big on purpose. And I heard him say, give it away for free. He said, people have something to say when I charge $25,000 to speak, but I gave it away for free for years. And I think there's a balance between it, of course. And that's the whole thing about really being purpose driven over profit driven, right? Because when it's purpose, I believe that my purpose is going to bring the profits. So to me it's like, give, give, give, give, ask, give, give, give. You know, it's just really about me nurturing. And that's where it's, in my experience, not always having something to sell, not always having a product, but always nurturing and serving them. It built that know like, and trust factor. So they see what I have. So it's like, if she's giving this away for free, I can imagine what she's giving away when I pay. Right? And so that's the angle that I come from. Like I said, every time that I've launched my program, I'll probably be doing another one, either late spring or early summer, Paycheck to Purpose, I've always given away scholarships because it's not just about the money for me. Right? I know that things I'm called to do, my Zone of Genius, is gonna bring in the income. And so I think that takes away some of the pressure too. I don't like the email list where all they do is want to sell a product. You know? That annoys me. So I can imagine that it annoys the people that I serve. But at the same time, I do believe that you have to invest in yourself to go to the next level. I do believe that in order to really elevate, you're going to meet people on purpose to help you go there. So I'm a big believer in self investment.

Shannon Mattern: I love that. I believe my purpose is going to bring the profits. I don't know if you can me, you guys can't see me, but I'm like writing. I've got like pages of notes of everything. Arika's said, cause I'm like, that was awesome! That was awesome! But the whole thing is you could probably sit here and tell me step-by-step exactly how you work with a client, all the way from beginning to end, and lay out every step that they would need to go through and they could listen to this and it's going to be very valuable for them to understand the journey that they're going to go on, and they can get so far along the path of transformation just having that awareness and knowing where they're going. But they can't see everything that Arika can see for them. They don't see their own blind spots. They don't see where they're getting in their own way. They don't know what they don't know. And so there's much value in you talking about how you work with people and giving as much information as you can, but if they want to take the next level, if they want to have that full transformation, like you said, the next step is to work with someone one-on-one or in a group or in a course or whatever, to make that full transformation. And so you don't have to hold yourself back from sharing the full thing of what it's like to work with you for fear that nobody's going to buy. I always talk about this. And I think I talked about it in the 5-Day Freebie challenge. The people that don't buy from me are just as valuable as the people that do, because they're having that transformation and that impact.

Arika Davenport: Yeah. And I was going to say I totally agree because sometimes they may not buy, but they may refer you to somebody that will. It's all about just connection and collaboration on all angles. I'm a big believer that in order to fully operate in your purpose, you're going to need people. Purpose can't be achieved in isolation. And so, like you said, you can do a lot on your own, but you don't know your blind spots. You do need accountability on those days it gets rough. You need someone to encourage you to keep going. And a lot of the times, as business owners, we tell people what to do, right? But how to do it is where you'll get that next level. You know, how to do it, how to implement the things that I'm teaching you. And there's a difference, you know? There's a lot of times I can tell you and go down the list, this is what you do. But then there's a how. And that's where we put a price on it and say, okay, this is where I can give you this time and help you move forward in that way. So it's all valuable information to go to the next level when you're ready to really put it out there. I believe we should always be students, right? At any given moment, we're going to be a student or a teacher, but we should always be learning and growing and educating ourselves and our field and our lane. And so I love that you said that, that you just brought that forward. Sometimes we just still don't know what we don't know. And that's what a mentor or a coach is there for.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. The biggest moves I've made in my business, just in terms of not only profits, but impact and being able to serve more people at a deep level, have come after I've invested in myself. You get to that point, like, okay, I'm struggling. I'm trying to figure this all out on my own. And I'm resisting getting help because I am smart. I can figure it out. I don't need anybody. I'm independent. And then I'm like, but wait. If I just got help from the person who I'm literally looking at, and I know that that's exactly what they do, but for some reason I'm resisting. If I just got help from them, I could have a bigger impact and serve more people. And on the other side of that, every time has been amazing personal growth for me. But I'm able to serve the people that I serve way better too.

Arika Davenport: Yes, absolutely. And I think it's really great. Oftentimes when we invest in ourselves, like you said, we're not just investing in ourselves. When I'm learning, when I'm reading a book, when I'm on a webinar, I'm never just learning from myself. I'm always seeing what I can take and apply and teach to my people. You know? So it's never just about me, but it's how I can serve better, how I can teach them. I teach the people in my group the importance of a freebie. Right? But I learned that from you. And that's the beauty of all of us when we operate in our purpose. We don't know it all. We don't have it all. So you have a person who's gifted with tech, right? And that can help you on that side. You have a person that's gifted with purpose and discovering your gifts and your strengths, but it's putting it all together. It's not designed for us to do it by ourselves anyway.

Shannon Mattern: Yeah. So powerful. So going back to when you first started, you started from scratch. Like you had an idea and you were trying to find your people who needed you. Right? So can we talk about how you found those people? Because I think this is also where people get stuck, getting in front of their ideal client, finding their audience. I feel like you were just starting your Instagram.

Arika Davenport: I had no followers. I had no posts, all of that. I honestly will say my people found me. Right? I put myself out there. I put myself out there and people began to DM me and inbox me and then it kind of confirmed it. Cause I wasn't sure. That's the thing about purpose and the thing you're called to do. Sometimes it's like, am I supposed to be doing this? Or you know, that imposter syndrome, who am I to teach purpose? Like who am I? And so what I realized for myself is that the more I would just put out how I was feeling or talk about purpose and talk about these things, the more response I would get from people. They would be in my inbox and saying, I really need help. I really need help with this. I really need help with finding or discovering my purpose or whatever the case may be. But I think your people find you when you put yourself out there, you know? I'm an introvert, right? I'm super shy. And I really had to learn to do it scared. Like literally that has been my motto as I've grown my business. Like I have to be willing to do it afraid. I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Right? And I just recently started going live consistently on my Instagram. But I realized your purpose will not be found in your comfort zone. So you literally have to do it scared and put yourself out there and your people will find you. You'll attract the people that's called to serve you. And then they'll tell other people. And it just grows. Literally. I had no followers, no website, no anything. You know, I just knew at that time I wasn't fulfilled in my job. Speaking of which, Shannon. I am quitting on Friday!

Shannon Mattern: What? Are you kidding me right now? Why did you wait for the end to Pep Talks For Side Hustlers episode to tell me you're quitting your day job on Friday?

Arika Davenport: I know. And I was trying to find the right place to squeeze it in, but yes.

Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh. Okay. You have to tell me about this decision. This is like my dream life right now.

Arika Davenport: Okay. So, I mean, again, knowing that there's more and I honestly, I think the COVID and just this whole past year has helped me and pushed me deeper into my purpose because you know, I'm homeschooling, I'm working from home. I'm trying to build my business. And one day, you know, I'm sitting in my office and I'm just like, I'm done. It's always been a dream. It's always been a desire to be, you know, self-employed and again, learning how to do things imperfectly, understanding that I'm not going to be able to cover all bases, but accepting what I can is what really drove me to this decision now. Initially I wanted my business to make a certain amount before I quit. I wanted to at least be able to replace my paychecks. But what I realized is the more I work, the less time I have to work in my business. It kind of really began to interfere with it. And I'm so convinced that I'm doing what I'm called to do that I've just decided to take the leap. But my business has not replaced the income yet, you know, but it's my belief again, that my purpose is going to bring the profits. So my story's a little different. I didn't bring in enough money to retire myself. I made the decision so that I can fully pursue my purpose. And I trust that it's going to open up because I'm going to be able to use that energy and time in the business.

Shannon Mattern: Oh my gosh! I am like so thrilled over here. I am so excited. And everybody that comes on this podcast has a different story about when they knew it was time and what was right for them. And you are just so sure that when I give myself back this time that I've been giving to my day job, the profits will come with what I'm going to do. And you have laid the groundwork. It's not like you're just like, oh, you know, I'm just gonna like do this. And it probably would work out for you cause you're the kind of person that if you did just decide to quit and dive all in, it would work out. I was just talking to the last podcast guest. Her name is Jessica Thiefels. So she would've come out the week before this episode. We're talking about trusting yourself and just trusting in a higher power that the decisions you make are the right decisions, period.

Arika Davenport: Period. Literally, you know, we all have some level of faith, right? And you just know. I prayed about it and I feel like I got confirmed over and over again. And I was nervous, you know, and all of that. But there just comes a time when your WHY is big enough to take the leap. Right? And so my WHY is just big enough. And I just know that it's time and I can't wait and I'm super excited. And I look forward to being able to share this story as I become more successful. Because again, everybody's not going to make all the money in the business first, you know. It's a leap of faith you have to take. It's a risk you'll have to make. And it's not for everybody, but it's for somebody. Right? And so that's what I'm really excited about, to see how I'm going to flourish now that the job is out of the way. And now that I can really focus on the thing that I know that I'm called to do. You know this thing you have is great, but I've been in corporate jail forever. Everything is limited and it just gets in the way. And I really think COVID gave me this time alone, and reflecting and knowing and all of these things really just pushed me to the point to where it's like, okay, I'm going to take the leap and I'm going to do it full time.

Shannon Mattern: I am just thrilled. And I'm so glad that you came on the podcast. I don't think when you pitched me for this you probably hadn't put your notice in. So the timing of this is perfect. Just to have you as an example of what is possible and the path doesn't have to look like my path or any other guest's path on this show. Everybody has such a unique story. And whoever's listening out there, it doesn't have to look like how any of us have done it. But you just said, your WHY was big enough to take the leap. And that just gave me chills. I've written down 7,000 things that gave me chills from this whole conversation. But that's everything. That's it. So I have just one more question that I ask everybody on the show, and then I'll have you tell us all the places where everyone can connect with you and get the book and all of the things. But I ask this to everybody that comes on the podcast, and that is what belief about yourself did you have to change to get where you are today?

Arika Davenport: That everything had to be perfect. I was such a perfectionist and I just played it too safe and I was too cautious. And I had to trust myself more. I had to trust the God that I served and I just had to take a chance. And I literally live by sloppy progress now. And it was really hard. I think I first heard from you, done is better than perfect. But it took some time to process that. And that was one of the biggest beliefs to get to where I am, that it does not have to be perfect. That people will accept me as I am, you know, and I don't have to have this huge following and this huge thing in order to serve people. So that has really been the thing that's helped me move forward.

Shannon Mattern: So good. I could talk to you for two more hours about this. I'm so thrilled about you quitting your day job and everything. Can you let everybody know where can we connect with you? How can we get on your email list? Where can we get the book? Just tell us all of the places. Because I know so many people listening are going to be like, I just need to be in her world.

Arika Davenport: Yes. So, social media, Facebook and Instagram, She Pursues Purpose. My website, shepursuespurpose.com. You can purchase the book there, the Prayers For Purpose devotional journal. I currently have two freebies going. One is the Level Up to Launch mini course. And that's really just helping people go through the process that we talked about, identifying your gifts and strengths, but then how to find your people. It's just a small course like that. And I also have a 7-Day Pray For Purpose journal and it's actually a sneak peek into the book. So it's a freebie, it's the first seven prayers of the book, which that can also be found on my website or on my social media.

Shannon Mattern: Awesome. Well, thank you so, so much for being here. Again, congratulations! Everybody, you can go to shannonmattern.com/346. We'll link everything up for you to connect with Arika. And again, thank you.

Arika Davenport: Thank you, Shannon.

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