Eve da Silva Msc, PgDip
Where do you get your inspiration?
Updated: Aug 5, 2021
In conversation with writer, musician and entrepreneur, Kelly Naude.
Beams of light - Illustration by Eve da Silva
You have managed to accomplish a lot with your talents. You are a writer, trained musician, martial artist and specialist Sign Language Deaf Educator. You have also set up your own businesses, The Grammar Goblin and Dreaming Tree Academy. What has been the driving forces that have gotten you to where you are with your talents?
Thank you for those very kind words! It’s quite a difficult question to answer because a lot of the time when I come up with ideas it’s from a place of desperation or fear or needing to make the change. It’s about using the resources I have to the best of my ability and in a way that I think would work. So I think the important thing is that I use what I have got. So in a situation where I need to start something new or I need to look into changing what I am doing, I will brainstorm all the resources I have at and see how I can use them. For example with teaching I would use it in many ways, so for example, for me as a deaf education specialist, I would think about using my skills to teach online to teach English to deaf people, to teach sign language to hearing people and so on.
Another big factor for me when deciding on a new project is the energy at the time. A lot of times I will be at rock bottom and then get that haziness, mind fog and then after that, a sort of activation energy, a burst of energy and adrenaline that gives me what I need to take action. So once I have had that energy and the brainwave, I need to be able to visualise the whole thing. I need to have a very clear vision of what I want the whole thing to look like. Anything I want to do I like to see the end goal and have the visualisation of it. Like with Karate I had been visualising myself in the role for quite a long time. It’s not necessarily visualising to draw it to me, it’s visualising to know I am headed towards it and that I will get there. I think that if you start something you don’t want to do you won’t succeed at it. There has to be an element of fulfilling a greater purpose, having a great time or helping someone. For me, anything I take on has to be from a place of passion and excitement, otherwise I just don’t do it.
Success is so relative, what it may look like to one person – for example “oh you’ve got your Black Belt in Karate” to someone who has got this first black belt “oh you’re the baby of the Black Belts” or if you are playing in an orchestra you may think you are second violinist instead of first. So there’s always a level of success and I think it just comes down to knowing what you want to get out of it and working towards those things and using the resources that you have. On the topic of resources, it’s always important to know, if you need the resources would you be able to attain those? Would you be able to take a course if you are missing some knowledge? You can create the resources you need, take step back and see what resources you might not have right now but are very much in your reach.
I am motivated by wanting to be happy, sustain myself whilst being happy, many of the things I have done for fun have ended up becoming resources that I have been able to draw on for my business and career.
When it comes to realising that your skills and talents are resources, how do you know how to turn those into successful projects and businesses? How do you manage to going from it being an idea in your head to being a reality? What would you advise someone who is about to embark on undertaking something that to them feels a little bit ambitious?
My advice would be to first think about the end goal and why you are doing it. If you know exactly what your end goal is going to look like you can see what kind of stakeholders need to be involved. You will be able to think about training, people, documents, resources, materials, venues, funding – all of those types of things. If you can brainstorm this with someone you can think about who you could partner with to give you more information about everything you would need at the end stage. Then you can start making a timeline and a checklist of things that would need to be done to get to there. Get your dream and goal looked over by other eyes to give input. It doesn’t matter how comprehensive you are you will always miss something an extra pair of eyes can catch. Figure out why you are the best person to do this and figure out what knowledge or expertise you might be missing. I won’t begin for a while because I spend a lot of time to write things out, picture it, write down notes as I go until I reach the point where I have visualised every aspect. I have mind maps and documents with lots of details and as much contingency planning as I can think of. That means that when I get going it goes very quickly.
It was such a pleasure to interview Kelly about how she finds inspiration and sets her plans into motion to become a reality. There is this wonderful energy in conversations about hopes and dreams so it made me feel so excited and hopeful just hearing from her. So much so that I wanted to share the feeling with you through making the little book of inspiration. Huge thanks to Kelly for passing that "pool of light in the sky" on to me in this conversation.
You can find Kelly at https://www.grammargoblin.co.za/ and https://dreamingtree.co.za/about-us/ .