Listen To The Stories And Find Your Muse

Photo copyright by  Bryn Bonino

Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino


I stood in front of my taxi on a busy Roman street and my taxi driver got out of the car to shake my hand and wish me “in bocca al lupo” - good luck.

It was one of those moments when everything seemed to come together and I finally realize that I knew what I needed to do.

But for me, I did not find what I needed until I kicked off the structure of my day to day life and took a fanciful month-long trip exploring Portugal and Italy.

Listen To The Stories

I had been side hustling as a marketing consultant for years while I always worked for other organizations. I had grown increasingly unhappy with my job working for “the man”. But I was scared to jump off into working for myself.

I now know this is a common story. But never the less, I was scared.

What would happen to my savings account? What if my plan didn’t work out? What would people think of me?

Then I heard so many stories while traipsing through Europe.

(1) Carlos in Lisbon. My first Airbnb host in Lisbon quit his career and pivoted to work for himself in the growing real estate marketing, specializing in servicing foreign clients.

(2) Phelipe in Lisbon. A Brazilian living in Lisbon. He had traveled throughout Brazil for 10 years, always working as a photographer. He’s now been in Lisbon for 18 months, and says he feels at home.

(3) Ricardo in Lisbon. My second Airbnb host had gone through a tremendous health scare and realized that life was too precious to spend not knowing what else is out there. He was about to quit his job to travel for 4 months. After that he plans to start his own exploratory travel company.

Photo copyright by  Bryn Bonino

Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino


(4) Katie in Rome. She moved to Rome from the Philippines to go to college. Then started her own photography business. Six years later, she’s now started a travel business specializing in trips to Israel.

(5) Jules in Vernazza. She told me she quit her job as a marketing assistant to start a high-end international retreat business for women. She beamed when she told me it’s going marvelously well.

(6) Romayne in Vernazza. Originally from Zambia, she now lives in Helsinki. She’d just quit her job to form a coaching business to empower women to be a more complete form of themselves.

(7) Jess in Vernazza. From South Africa, she now travels the world. She quit her office job to become a social media manager and a photographer. She completed my Vernazza trio meet up and made me think that if she could do it, I could.

Photo copyright by  Bryn Bonino

Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino


(8) Mario in Florence. A Michelangelo expert and my guide to see The David told me that Michelangelo’s masterpieces are all bout the process and not the product. The message of the David is about where fear meets courage. This message is repeated in the Sistine Chapel and in the Battle of Cascina painting. I got chills when I realized this Renaissance master believed so passionately in what I now knew I needed to do.

(9) Kim in Cortona. Kim told me she was traveling solo for several months to celebrate her 60th birthday. She realized early on that her unique talents would not fit well into working for someone else. She’s been a solo business consultant for decades now.

Photo copyright by  Bryn Bonino

Photo copyright by Bryn Bonino


(10) Peter in Porto. A friend of friends, Peter grew up in three different countries and couldn’t be comfortable staying in one place. He created a job where he designed websites and was able to work anywhere and everywhere in the world.

(11) Miguel in Porto. The Uber driver that brought me to the airport just before I flew home. He worked in computer science for 20 years, then quit his job, and was now starting a school to teach people what he knew. I told him what I was about to do, and he told me of a myriad of his friend in Porto that lived a life that they wanted.

Observe The Patterns

When conducting qualitative analysis, my formal education taught me to look for the patterns in the data to find the trends that you can work with.

It took me possibly too much time to realize that I needed to observe the patterns in my own life.

The 11 people that I met in one month in Europe all told me that what I wanted to do was what I should be doing. I had to jump off the cliff and trust that it would be okay.

So I jumped!

As soon as I got back home, I slept for six hours, then I promptly quit my full time job.

The next day I registered my business.

Test Your Muse

Listening and observing is the easy part. Then next step was testing my muse.

This involved split tests on social media, networking with people in my own city, and connecting with my network online.

This has been a journey and now that I’ve gotten over my fear of jumping, I’m enjoying being the manager of my own business - and my own life.

What This Means For You

Because of my own life experiences, I am passionate about helping others find their bliss and test their own muses.

This is why I designed my own business to help 1-4 person service businesses find their ideal client.

To learn more about what I do, see How It Works. If you want to have an idea nugget session with me and see how you can find your own muse, book a call with me.

If you are still pondering your situation, that’s fine. Maybe you want to connect with me on social and start a conversation. I’d be happy to connect!