The Nitty Gritty:
- How Dyana came to call herself an oracle (plus why she initially resisted that label)
- Why she does not offer refunds on her work — and how she decided on that policy
- How the Woke Up Knowing Experience came to Dyana and how she beta tested it among her existing community as well as critics to grow her confidence
- How Dyana created a structure around her offerings
Dyana Valentine is an oracle. As esoteric or “woo” that might sound, Dyana says that it’s really not. Just like any service provider, Dyana develops and beta tests programs and works with clients one-on-one in a way that suits her strengths.
In this episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit., Dyana shares the nitty gritty of what it means to be an oracle and how she develops a structure around what she does. Dyana also talks money and how to grow confidence in what you do to serve others.
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On naming your work… and having others do it for you
I didn’t name myself oracle. I didn’t use that term and I resisted it for the first probably three or four years of the work because it’s much like other terms that are used in specialized sort of astral plane or other plane.
— Dyana Valentine
For some creatives, it’s hard to nail down exactly what you do in a single word. You may flip flop from one title to another through your years of work — and eventually, something sticks.
Sometimes it’s your clients who do the naming for you.
One of the first public titles Dyana received was that of instigator. She admits that she was initially offended by it, “because in my life, being an instigator was not a compliment.”
When it came to defining her work, Dyana heard not only instigator but also evangelist and oracle. She admits that she resisted them at first but soon realized that the people giving her these names were the same people who were paying to work with her — and that there must be something to it.
Squashing self-doubt and growing confident
I dreamt for people who gave me questions and languages I don’t know. I dreamt for people who were huge critics and cynics and never did anything woo. I actively recruited people who were hostile to the work. I worked with young people, old people, people from different cultures, and I took notes and told myself: “If it works over some period of time, then I’ll keep doing it.” And when it got to that time, I extended the deadline by another year and another year.
— Dyana Valentine
When you’re creating something new, it’s common to experience self-doubt — and wise to put the work in front of people to get their feedback. Dyana took this approach but she took it another step further by inviting her critics to experience the work, too.
She did this all because she needed to grow her confidence. As she mentions, Dyana extended the deadline because she thought that maybe this work was too wacky or weird — but she felt a calling to it and did it anyway.
While this particular situation of beta testing with both her community and her critics, the process of beta testing a new offering is always a smart choice. Especially when you’re launching something new, beta testing grows your confidence and puts some of your self-doubt at ease (and provides you with valuable feedback to make what you offer even better.)
Creating structure around your work
I pay attention to tracks of information or data tracks that other people don’t pay attention to or haven’t practiced in. I look at it very logistically in that way so I feel like a technician yet I think my work is not seen as technical work. But I see it as technical work because I practice at it and I’ve created structures that help me make sense out of this work so that I can actually use it for good.
— Dyana Valentine
While Dyana’s work is nontraditional, it doesn’t mean she can’t create structure around it. What I loved most about this part of the conversation is Dyana’s metaphor for placing a structure around anything: it simply comes down to what you do with the knowledge you have.
For example, a dentist is going to look at your x-rays and your dental record to make a sound recommendation the same as a cardiac doctor might review your echocardiogram before implementing a treatment plan. It’s all about what they do what what they know.
The same goes for your business. You are the curator of the experience with your client — and you are the one with the specialized knowledge in what they’re seeking. As Dyana says, understanding what she’s doing as an oracle and what her client is doing. “That sets a framework for people who I really enjoy working with,” says Dyana, “who are straight shooting, ambitious, curious people who are not afraid to be told the truth.”
It really is that simple.
Listen to the full episode with Dyana Valentine to hear more about the work she offers as an oracle, why she doesn’t offer refunds, and how she attracts clients.