The Myth in Marketing: Tanja Gardner + Scáthach, Warrior Teacher

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I love diving into another entrepreneur’s inner world. What I often find there is the invisible essence that is being expressed visually and textually through their brand and marketing.

Tanja Gardner of Conscious Introvert Success and Crystal Clarity Copywriting has been a strengthening influence for me since 2012. It wasn’t a huge surprise that she resonated most with a Scottish mythological figure named Scáthach.

Scáthach is a wise woman and a teacher of warriors (as well as their lover), who is known as the “The Shadow” and “warrior maid.”

I see Scáthach reflected in Tanja’s indomitable spirit and excellence as a teacher and mentor.

Your favorite figure from myth and story (or most influential?) is Scáthach. What do you love most about her?

scatachScáthach is definitely one of my favourite figures, and probably the most influential.

She’s traditionally known as “The Shadowy One”, although personally, I tend to refer to her as “Our Lady of the Boot to the Butt”.  She’s a supernaturally powerful warrior (some claim she’s the daughter of the Morrigan herself); but more than this, she’s a trainer and teacher.

What do I love about her?  Well, to start with, unlike many mythical female warriors who appear asexual, Scáthach gets laid. A lot.  She’s not a battle crone like her mother, or a shining virgin warrior like the Greek Athena.

In fact, one of Scáthach’s stories describes her initiating the men she trained into both fighting arts and “the friendship of the thighs” equally. I assume she’d have shared a similar friendship with any female warriors she took under her wing too. That totally resonates with my own down-to-earth, pragmatic approach to sex.

On a less salacious note, I think what appeals to me most about her is her grounded, practical nature. She’s not concerned with complex philosophical issues: she cares about getting the job done.  She doesn’t have a lot of patience for needless overcomplications either, which makes her a perfect counterpoint to my natural inner melodrama queen.

Finally, I love the fact that so much of her work is tied up in teaching and training others.  While it’s still hard for me to think of myself as a leader, I *have* always seen myself as a guide and mentor.  So that’s another aspect of her that I resonate strongly with.

Did she choose you or did you choose her?

That’s actually a hard question to answer.  On the surface, I chose her: when I was training for ordination into the Fellowship of Isis, I had to identify the three goddess figures with whom I most identified. At the time, Scáthach was simply one of them.

And yet.

Since that moment of choosing, she’s taken her place as the primary goddess in my psyche. And part of me suspects that, in as much as I believe in the objective existence of gods, I wouldn’t have chosen her if she hadn’t first chosen me.

She has some kick-ass moves. She teaches martial arts – she’s known for pole vaulting over fortress walls – and is skilled in underwater attack! As an entrepreneur what do you consider your killer moves to be?

Hmmmmmm… you know, I’d never seen myself as having “killer moves” until I answered this question!

Perhaps refusing to believe in “one right way” counts as a killer move? For me, that’s about constantly trying to figure out what’s right for me and forging my own path… and then taking a passionate stand for others to be able do the same for themselves.  I see the people I work with as being the world’s foremost experts in being them, and I refuse to act as though I know what’s right for them better than they do.

Plus, maybe my talent for asking the right questions might count too.  I’ve had clients in both my copywriting and my introvert work tell me how much clarity and insight they’ve gained from simply answering the in-depth questions I ask them.  So knowing what to ask is probably one of my superpowers, and I’ll happily claim it as a killer move here.

How have her qualities of fierceness, sexuality and being a teacher/guide of heroes infiltrated your business?

Scáthach’s is the energy that helps me live my “Fall down seven times, stand up eight” mantra whenever launches bomb and screwups happen.  That same energy also helps me remember my goals and motivates me to me get the practical, day-to-day stuff done to achieve them when all I want to do is slack off.  (Plus, it reminds me that I’m not superwoman, and that if I don’t take care of myself and get enough rest and recharging, I won’t be able to cope.)

And of course, as an introvert coaching mentor, I take on the role of teacher and guide for other people.  So connecting with that energy helps me to serve my clients as best I can.

If you gave her an aspect of your biz to run, which would it be?

I’d start by asking Scáthach to manage my daily task list!  Gods know I need help keeping it to sane levels, and prioritising it sensibly.  I’d tell her my end goals, and what was most important to me. Then I’d rely on her to filter through my eleventy billion task reminders and tell me what I really needed to do each day.

After that, I might put her in charge of purchasing/resourcing decisions too.  I regularly suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome for both business training programmes and tools/resources. I always want to sign up for ALL THE THINGS; and I then wonder why I keep getting overwhelmed.

So I’d give her the power of veto over every single training- or resource-related decision I make. If something didn’t support my long-term goals (or would just overwhelm me), I’d rely on her to be the giant “NO!” voice I needed to hear.

What business advice does Scáthach want to share with entrepreneurs?

Two (possibly contradictory) pieces of advice come to mind when I ask this question within:

  • You can ask for the help you need: Scáthach’s a trainer and guide who helps people become better and more skilled than they ever could on their own.  Likewise, in your business there are people who want to teach you, guide you and support you just waiting to connect with you – but you usually need to reach out to them before they can help.
  • You don’t have to accept anyone else’s way of doing anything in your business: different martial arts styles suit different people, and no one practice fits everyone.  In the same way, there’s no one right way to run your business: you need to figure out what works for you, and make the final decision on whether something’s right for you or not.

About Tanja

tanja-gardner-250px-webTanja Gardner is a deeply introverted (but not even *slightly* shy!) heart-based entrepreneur who started out as a copywriter for difference-makers.

Then she discovered that what she really wanted to do was help fellow introverts build their businesses without exhausting themselves.  So she started Conscious Introvert Success: a treasure-trove of introvert-friendly resources, information and coaching.

To connect with Tanja, follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Or you can check out Conscious Introvert Awesomeness: her free community for introverted business owners to connect and support each other.

[disclaim]If you’re ready to rock your mythological brand as a warrior, faery, mermaid, Goddess Aphrodite or [take your pick] … join me for a FREE webinar on Sept 19th called Magnetize Your Dream Clients Without Being a Sleazoid. CLICK HERE to sign up![/disclaim]

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