#59 The Shoutout Network Designer

Imriel Morgan is the CEO of the ShoutOut Network the UK's diverse podcast network. Imriel also hosts the Wanna Be Podcast. When she's not planning events or recording, she is a freelance writer, content marketer and brand strategist. Imriel is passionate about helping high-achievers reach their goals. I first met Imi at SheSays Brighton where we were both speakers. I sat in the audience and listened to this talk (video below) and I was struck by Imi's humble attitude and impressive record. Here's what she has to say...

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt over the last year?

I achieved a lot and had some significant wins, but I lost a lot and almost filed for bankruptcy and liquidation of my company which was barely two years old. The biggest lesson I've learned is to trust my instincts and not let fear decide my fate. 2017 was a massive year for learning and development. I am virtually unrecognisable from the person I was at the start of 2017, and that's because I was going through the ringer. What made it worse is that I can pinpoint the exact moment where I could have prevented the situation. 2017 I learned the most but also felt weak, exhausted, drained. My secret shame of smoking crept back into my life. My skin lost colour my hair began breaking I have dark circles under my eyes. I feel like I lost ten years in 2017 and it was because I didn't trust my gut. I remember feeling terrified, disappointed and like a complete and utter failure. I remember feeling like I don't deserve my position and I don't deserve to live - this one haunted me endlessly. I felt this way because I was scared that if I trusted my gut that we'd have to start over, and I didn't want to upset anyone.  In the end, the things I feared the most happened anyway.

On August 6th, 2017 I woke up facing over £20,000 in unpaid invoices. I remember working up to 16 hour days for ten days straight. I collapsed from exhaustion on my 28th birthday. That was my third burnout of 2017. 

I think I would have handled the situation better mentally if it was just my money. My friends and family helped us out a lot during our festival. The fourth burnout came after the community I had been serving torched my business (metaphorically speaking). I remember my mind breaking a few days afterwards; I remember the suicidal thoughts that haunted my dreams, my waking thoughts and my daily interactions. I remember being pulled out of that dark place because friends, followers and acquaintances watched what happened and sent messages asking if I was ok. I wasn't, and very few people would be, most people don't think about the impact of their words or actions on someone's mental wellbeing. You see, I have a history of depression and anxiety. I often take medication to manage it. This is not a secret, and it never will be. 

I can look back now and think that was the best thing that ever happened to me. My growth blows my mind daily. I know exactly how to move forward, and I have learned to connect with my instincts on a much deeper level through daily meditations.

What’s your burning question of the moment?

I could share the questions that I sent to my tarot reader but I won't. I'm flipping between choosing something that might be super narcissistic and selfish or something existential about humanity. I guess my burning question is 'Why can't I focus on just one thing at a time?' Technically I know the answer to that. I'm a multipotentialite- a person that has many interests or pursuits. I like doing lots of things, but my problem is that I can be very forgetful and end up neglecting something I care about. I also love sleep and yet I do so little of it. I guess my real question should be 'Why aren't there more hours in the day?'

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What’s the most inspiring thing you’ve seen/ heard/ read in the last year?

I speak to a lot of inspiring and successful people for my new podcast 'Wanna Be' and people drop so many gems on there that it's so hard to pick one thing. On episode 11 my guest was Emilie Wapnick (she coined the term multipotentialite that I used earlier), I asked her what do you do if you're not very good at the thing you want to do and her response was: 

You don’t have to be amazing at everything that you do. We place so much emphasis on skill, and we forget about creativity and enjoyment.

It was very freeing. I'm a self-proclaimed overachiever, and I always feel an immense pressure to be excellent in everything I do. If I'm not good, I'll let it go. I'm not particularly patient with myself, and I tend to catastrophise because of my anxiety. I'm my own worst critic, and I often feel like I'm very uninspiring and talentless which manifests itself in bizarre ways. For instance, I have repelled incredible opportunities that could have taken me further in my career. After reading, 'You Are A Badass At Making Money' by Jen Sincero I realised that I'm scared of money and success. I also have some warped views and don't believe I deserve these things. It's a journey, and I should probably go to therapy to get to the bottom of these feelings. 

Having said that the Wanna Be podcast had been a massive catalyst for kicking my imposter syndrome to the side. I find it particularly helpful to know that people I look up to and admire also have issues and challenges that they face behind the scenes. 

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What would be your one piece of advice to students out there?

This isn't my advice I got it from my guest co-host Prisca Moyesa the founder of Moyesa & Co. We were talking about procrastination as the main reason people don't turn their ideas into reality, and she said that we have to learn the difference between needing a break and procrastinating. I think that's important for anyone who equates their value to their output to know the difference. I would say don't be so hard on yourself and take stock of the work you have done so far. 

Imriel_Morgan_redjotter_Lauren_Currie

3 hours researching an essay is equally as valuable as 3 hours spent writing it. If you decide to watch a few hours of Netflix in between, that's fine. Sometimes binge-watching TV or cleaning is our brain's way of saying 'I need a break'. Take it from someone who's had four burnouts in a year and just realised that having regular breaks makes you much more efficient at whatever you're trying to achieve.

You can read the rest of our profiles here: 

#58 The Design Club Designer

#57 The Digital Delivery Manager Mum

#56 The Designer of Public Services in the Digital Age

#55 The Little Village Designer

#54 The Podcasting Designer

#53 The Collaboration Designer

#52 The Producer Designer

#51 The Virtual Reality Designer

#50 The Cultural Designer

#49 The in-between Design Researcher

#48 The Chaos Wrangler

#47 The Honest Designer

#46 The Ethical Fashion Designer

#45 The Designer of Power

#44 The Designer of Communities

#43 The Transition Designer

#42 The Drawing Designer

#41 The Ethical Futurist

#40 The Actor-Coder

#39 The Motherhood Designer

#38 The Zoo School Designer

#37 The Thinking Clearly Designer

#36 The Accidental Designer

#35 The Workwear Designer

#34 The Designer of Vulnerability

#33 The Graphic Designer

#32 The Design Graduate

#31 The Service Design TV Host

#30 The Change Maker

#29 The Learning Designers 

#28 The Human Interaction Designer

#27 The Full Stack Strategist

#26 The Design Writer and Doer

#25 The Behavioural Designer

#24 The UX Leader

#23 The Behavioural Researcher

#22 The Service Designer

#21 The Local Government Designer

#20 The Start Up Designer

#19 The Human Centered Designer

#18 The Strategy Designer

#17 The Interaction Designer

#16 The UX Designer

#15 The Data Designer 

#14 The Experience Designer

#13 The Design Teacher

#12 The Creative Technologist

#11 The Creative Generalist

#10 The Hyper Island Designer

#9 The Conscious Designer

#8 The Business Designer

#7 The Networked Designer

#6 The Speculative Designer

#5 The Digital Maker

#4 The Craftsman

#3 The Storyteller

#2 The Dreaming Maker

#1 The Go Getter