Everyone has a dream, but do they do the DAMN thing? It’s time to transform your life and make your dream come true. In this episode, Bevin Farrand, the founder of the Take the DAMN Chance movement and author of Your DAMN Manifesto: Discover the Keys to Personal Transformation and Bringing Your Biggest Dreams to Life, talks about the Do the DAMN Thing Method. She also explains the micro-actions from her DAMN Framework and how it could make a difference in creating momentum for your goal. So, don’t just build your dream. Make it happen. Just do the DAMN thing and tune in to today’s episode.
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Do The Damn Thing: Make The Next Step To Build Your Momentum In Life With Bevin Farrand
I am excited to talk about getting unstuck, getting into action because that’s how we’re going to take back time, we’re going to stay in motion. An object in motion stays in motion. That’s what they say. You know that I look for people who have different perspectives, different ways of looking at things, and different strategies. In this episode, I have Bevin Farrand with me. She has some very interesting approaches to getting unstuck.
In 2019, after the unexpected loss of her husband, she returned from a trip with her husband and she founded the Take the DAMN Chance movement and her DAMN framework. That stands for something. I’m not cursing on this show here. The framework has inspired thousands of people to connect with the people that they love and do the crazy things that make all the difference when given a choice to take that DAMN chance. Additionally, she’s a coach who supports women in achieving their goals, even after going through deeply challenging experiences. Without further ado, Bevin, welcome through the show.
You probably said DAMN more in the last fifteen seconds than you’ve ever said in your life.
I feel like a kid.
Anytime I’m introduced to a keynote stage, I like to watch the MC as they introduce me to see how that goes for them.
Were they uncomfortable and a little anxious saying it?
Tell us a little bit about where this came from. I stumbled over the words or whatever. It’s better to hear it directly from you. What happened and why in such a short time did you create this method?
The story starts in 2019. On Mother’s Day, my husband, Mark, surprised me with four bottles of wine and a note written in French. He didn’t speak French, so it seemed a little strange to me. He had purchased us tickets, just the two of us to go to France for my 40th birthday, which would be in November of 2019. It sounds so romantic like, “Six months of planning, how romantic.” We had two kiddos who were 2 and 4 months old, so we started planning right away.
Two months after that, I went in for a promotion and instead, I lost my job. All of a sudden, we are dealing with being a one-income family. We took money out of our savings for me to take a full maternity leave for my son. Two weeks after that, I said, “Mark, I don’t want to look for another job. I don’t want to put the financial health of our family into the hands of any one person ever again.” At that point, I decided to start my own business using what I’d done for the past 10 years for 7 and 8-figure businesses to support entrepreneurs and small businesses who wanted to grow their businesses.
I told him, “Let’s try it as a proof of concept and see if I can make $5,000 by the end of August.” I made $0 in June, $1,000 in July, and then I hit my $5,000 mark in August. By the time we were about to leave on our trip, I had made $35,000 in the business. It was definitely growing, but the trip still seemed a little bit crazy. We ended up going even though we thought maybe we should cancel it. We were going to be in planes for the same amount of time that we were on the ground. We had this great trip in Bordeaux, the two of us, reconnecting to who we were before we had kids and before we got married. Mark looked at me at one point and he said, “I feel like I’m reconnecting to the real you,” which felt so true. It felt like that’s what was happening for the two of us.
We flew home and it was the week of Thanksgiving, which is my favorite holiday. We took our daughter to her first movie theater show. We got ready. He didn’t work that whole week. We spent time getting the house ready. The day after Thanksgiving, I went upstairs to wake up Mark and he wasn’t breathing. He had passed away in the middle of the night completely unexpectedly. We didn’t know he had undiagnosed heart disease. One of his arteries was 95% blocked and the other was 50% blocked.
All of a sudden, I was the sole parent of 2 kids under the age of 3, the sole financial provider with a growing business that had not yet stood the test of time. I did all of it without the love of my life, my best friend, and honestly, the one who was my biggest cheerleader. About a month after that, I posted on Facebook about my birthday, losing Mark, and the trip that we had taken. I ended it by saying, “Whenever you’re faced with a choice, just take the damn trip.”
That resonated with people. I got a lot of messages from people talking about important events they had had with somebody before they passed away, or something was coming up that they were going to say no to, but now they were going to say yes. I started to ask myself, looking back at the hardest things that I’d been through. It’s not just losing my husband at the age of 40, but I lost my dad to cancer when I was 24. I lost my home in a house fire in 2010. My kids are IVF babies, so I’d been through years of fertility treatments and a miscarriage.
Also, I looked at the most amazing things that I’d created, having those kids, building that business, and building a relationship with my husband. I asked myself, “What is it that I do differently than other people, not better but differently, to navigate these situations and to create these things and have some grace and creativity throughout it all?” That’s where I started to come up with the DAMN framework. Yes, it does stand for something. We’re not a little bit sweary today. It stands for Decide and declare, Attend your own party, Moments not minutes, and Now is the time.
For every amazing thing that I’ve done in my life, I have used the DAMN framework and the Do the DAMN Thing method. When I think about creating these incredible things, I call it my biggest boldest dream to life literally using this method of deciding and declaring what it was that I wanted in life. Twenty months after Mark passed away, I gave birth to our daughter using embryos that we had frozen from our previous IVF attempt. I actually am the mom of 3 kiddos under the age of 7. I’m passionate about how we get clear on what it is that we want and then get into action.
We’re good at talking ourselves out of taking that action. Why do we do that?
A couple of things. I think we unconsciously stumble around asking for permission rather than support. We have a great idea and we want validation from other people. We’ll say something like, “I’m thinking about writing a book, what do you think? I’m thinking about starting this business, do you have any thoughts on that?”
People are going to say, “That’s a stupid idea. Why would you do that?”
The reason that’s happening is those people are trying that on for themselves, and if they’re at all uncomfortable, they start to eat away at it because they want to keep you safe. They don’t want to see you get hurt or see you fail. Instead, we ask for support. Once we’ve gotten clear, we’ve decided on our yes and our six-dimensional why, then we say, “I’m doing this thing and I would love your support, but if you’re not comfortable with that, that’s okay.” Their decision about whether or not to support you is not going to change your decision about whether or not to do it.
Do you have a method for people to be able to make that decision? Sometimes it might be not the best time. How does one judge the difference between their gut saying it isn’t the right time or their fear, that it’s resistance because of fear? How do you get somebody to clearly decide?
One of the things I found is that, in general, we have forgotten how to dream like children. We dream like editors. We think about this idea, and then we immediately say, “That’ll never work because it’s not the right time” or whatever the voice in our head says. When I talk about Your DAMN Manifesto, which is that first step, it’s your yes and your six-dimensional why. The first step in it is to dream like a child. It’s to do a fifteen-minute brain dump of all the things you could do, and then get more specific and focus in.
I have four questions that I ask somebody when they’re thinking about their yes. It happens to spell the word TRIP. I love a good acronym mostly because it’s way easier for me and for your audience to remember. The questions you want to ask yourself are, “Is it my Top priority?” That’s the T. “Am I willing to make this my top priority, which means I’m going to have to say no to some other things? Am I willing to Resource it with my time, energy, money, focus, and attention? Is it Inspiring? Is it something that I’m moving towards rather than away from? Is it Personal? Is this my dream?” If you can say yes to all of those things, then that is your yes. That is the thing you want more than anything else right now. It doesn’t mean it’s for the rest of your life. Too often we think, “I’ve failed” when you’re just getting feedback.
I’m a big believer in that as well. That feedback is essential because it helps us to pivot and move accordingly. We need that feedback early and often in order to keep moving in the direction that we want. A plane never flies direct. It’s always course-correcting as it goes along.
Some of it, when we’re talking about getting that feedback early and often, I do think that sometimes we tell the wrong people too soon. I’m a big believer in bringing the right people in at the right time for the right support. That’s the part of the find your DAMN people. The Do the DAMN Thing method is to craft your DAMN manifesto, find your DAMN people, and get your DAMN results. Finding your people is starting with 2 to 3 people that have the capacity to be your cheerleader. They’re not trying to poke holes in your dream. They’re not trying to give you constructive or not constructive feedback.
When I was deciding to have my daughter, Maristella, the first person I told was like, “That’s a terrible idea.” I was like, “She thought I was asking for permission rather than support, so she’s not my cheerleader.” I started a text thread with three of my closest friends from my book club and I said, “Your job if you are up for it is to cheer me on. Just to be like, “You had an ultrasound, that’s great. Yay for blood tests.” That’s their only job.
You then start to expand that circle out to your support team, so some closer friends and family, then more of your network, then more, and then eventually the larger world. What you’re doing is as you increase those circles, I call them layered declarations, you’re also building clarity and confidence so that you are more clear about what it is that you want to bring to life, and you’re building a community that can support you and cheer you on as well.
I want to throw it out there since I’ve recently had some experience with this. Family isn’t always in that cheerleader circle.
No, that’s rarely your mom.
I chose to give an early copy of my book to my hyper-critical family member. With the response I got, there was some gold in it, but the way it was delivered and everything certainly wasn’t in a cheerleader fashion.
It wasn’t helpful either.
It was helpful, but it could have been more helpful. As you said, it depends on the stage that you’re in, but I think whenever we give feedback, we need to be conscious of how we give the feedback because you’re talking about people’s dreams and people’s passions. It’s personal. When it’s personal, we have to understand that there’s emotion attached to it. We have to be honest and give that feedback. I love that you told people, that’s something that I also sent out, it just wasn’t followed but you can be more specific like, “This is how I want to receive this feedback.” If you can pre-frame people to that as you did, “This is how I want you to support me,” that helps to set them up for success too. Doing what you need them to do.
I have three sisters. One of them is an attorney and she’s fairly cynical. She knows this. She’ll tune in to this and be like, “Yes, that’s me.” She’s not the person that I usually go to first with a passion project idea, but I do go to her because I do eventually want somebody to be looking at things with a more critical eye. You want to get that feedback before you put it out into the world and hear it from strangers or hear crickets. It’s all about choosing the right people at the right time for the right support. It can make all the difference.
We’re coming to a little bit of the end of our time together. What didn’t I ask you yet that is important that we hear about? Obviously, I’m going to give you a chance to tell everybody where to go to find out about the program and how they can do the DAMN thing.
We started with how to get unstuck. That was the first thing we talked about. The N of the DAMN framework is “Now is the time.” Just like you said, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. The hardest place to be in any venture is standing still because purely of inertia. Often, we are waiting to get inspired in order to get into action. I want to offer to everyone listening that getting into action causes inspiration. If you have gotten clear on your yes in your DAMN manifesto, then I teach something called micro-actions. A micro-action is the smallest possible action that you will actually take. When we use those, that’s how we start to build the momentum that breaks through inertia. If you find yourself wanting something but you’re still paralyzed, then you haven’t broken your actions down small enough.
I want you to think about something. When you learned how to drive a car, you went through small micro-actions at a time. You got the keys, you opened the door, you sat down, you buckled yourself in, you checked this mirror, you checked the other mirror, and you turned the key. All these small micro-actions because you were just learning how to do it. Now, I’m guessing, at least for me, I get in the car and I drive. I’m still doing all of those same micro-actions, but they become bigger, faster, and easier over time.
If you are feeling paralyzed about wanting to start a business or wanting to sell something and you’re like, “I need to build a website,” that’s too big. Just GoDaddy or Namecheap and buy the URL, and then open a Google Doc and type the first word. The smallest possible action that you will actually take and everything we do is a series of micro-actions done one after the other.Everything we do is a series of micro-actions done one after the other. Click To Tweet
That’s a great suggestion because I can go online and register my URL. Those are little things that we can do now, and then that creates momentum, “Look what I did.” Before you know it, you’ve done 5, 6, 10 of those micro-actions and you can look back and say, “Look how far I’ve come” Maybe not focus as much on the 10,000 other things that you have to do. From there, I’m always a fan of what’s next. When things feel overwhelming, it’s just what’s next.
Instead of looking at the top of the mountain, just get to the first tree, and then the next tree. If you were to set a timer for fifteen minutes and do micro-actions, when that timer goes off, you can stop, but sometimes you’re going to feel inspired to keep going. That’s where that momentum is picking up.
Micro-actions can help us to get unstuck in anything because it’s taking that next step, and then comes another, and then you’re inspired to keep going. That’s simple. We can do that.
Building that momentum carries you further. It’s like those merry-go-rounds when we were kids. Everybody grabbed the bar and the first few steps were so hard. You leaned into it and then you ran faster. When it was going, you jumped on and you spun. When you wanted to keep it going, you stuck your little foot out and hoped you didn’t break your ankle but just gave it a little push. That’s the same thing. Those first few steps are breaking inertia with micro-actions, and then it becomes more fun. Those kids are not waiting for it to be fun before they start. They know what they want. They’re taking micro-actions in that direction, and they trust that the fun will come.
As a last question and then we’ll close out the show, I ask most guests this question. How do you define productivity and why?
For me, productivity is moving in the direction of what I want. A lot of times when we’re not clear on what it is that we want, we’re just moving and it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall. When you’re not clear but you are taking action, it’s chaos. I’m a single mom. I’m a solo parent of three running a business. I don’t always have a lot of time. That’s why I get super clear and say, “The most important thing that I need to get done today is this. If I get that done, today is a win.” For me, that’s being productive.
Thank you so much for being here. Tell us where people can get more information about you and the Do the DAMN Thing method.
Obviously, you like podcasts if you’re tuning in to this one. I have a podcast called All the DAMN Things, where we explore how to use this framework in your everyday life. My book is called Your DAMN Manifesto. You can go to YourDamnManifesto.com, and from there, you’ll find everything, how to find me on social and all the things that I’m up to in the world.
Bevin, thank you so much for being here.
Thank you for having me.
Thank you all for being here because you took action. From this, it’s going to give you the potential to take further action. I hope you took some notes and wrote down what you are going to do now that you’ve heard this and what kind of micro-actions are next to keep you in motion. My name is Penny Zenker. This is Take Back Time. We’ll see you in the next episode.
About Bevin Farrand
In 2019, after an unexpected loss just 5 days after she returned from a whirlwind trip to France with her husband, Bevin Farrand founded the Take the DAMN Chance movement and created the Do the DAMN Thing Method. Her DAMN framework has inspired thousands to connect with the people that they love, do the “crazy thing” that makes all the difference and, when given a choice, to take the damn chance. She is the author of Your DAMN Manifesto: Discover the Keys to Personal Transformation and Bringing Your Biggest Dreams to Life and a coach that supports women in achieving their goals, even after going through deeply challenging experiences.
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