Meet Tana Gygi 💃 Founder + Lead Dreamer of The Social Age
Soul-Inspired Branding + Web Designer, Lifelong Learner, Lover of Momma Earth + Art
Minneapolis MN US
“Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats
One of my favorite quotes came to me as a freshman in college, sitting in my very first philosophy class. The professor wrote a Latin phrase on the chalkboard that read,
“Cogito Ergo Sum.”
It translates to, “I think, therefore I am.”
The quote is from French philosopher, Rene Descartes.
From the moment I heard the translation, the simplicity of the quote, created a sacred complexity within me, inspiring, at large, most of my personal and professional progression since.
Descartes’ quote is a statement of self assurance in regards to his own existence. It helped him understand that his reality was not an illusion, and that his questions, thoughts, and opinions were real. The concept of his realization is so simple, yet so profound. During times of self discovery and growth, I’ve relied on this quote as a reminder that although my ideas, thoughts, and dreams are only that, I am in fact thinking them, therefore they have the capability to exist.
Learning from Others’ Successes
For so long in life, I followed other people’s narratives. I thought riding the coattails of someone else’s success was my success, as if I wasn’t worthy of more. (Disclaimer: I cannot reiterate enough how wrong I was about this.)
Through two major career changes and starting my own business, I slowly learned these lessons and found myself faced with infinite growth and reminders to continue forging my own path. Just as everything in life has its ebbs and flows, so does your own growth.
It wasn’t until recently that I discovered I was still allowing my ideas and dreams to fall to the wayside. I admittedly was letting myself use other’s models for business, life, and everything in between to rule how I was running my own business and life. The reality was, I realized I wasn’t betting on myself.
For the last two years, I’ve run a successful social media marketing agency, and loved it. That is until recently. This fall, I swallowed the hard truth that I wasn’t passionate about a career I’d cultivated for myself, a business I built to so I could be fiercely independent, and an industry I was so proud of calling my own.
I had to wave a white flag and call in help. I was so prideful about admitting the fact that my business was no longer my passion, that I had lost my sense of joy for it. It got to the point that I’d forgotten why I owned the business and even started job searching.
Can you even imagine: An entrepreneur hitting the “rock bottom” of updating their resume and searching for jobs.?
It felt like I lost a part of who I am. It felt like grief but with a manic stage mixed into it. From the overwhelm of over ten other people’s feeds during an election, to surviving a pandemic running primarily small business’s accounts, I was burnt out. I saw other social media managers thriving during this and wondered why I felt this way, yet they didn’t. I compared and contrasted every aspect of my business with theirs and failed to find the missing links, until one day it hit me. My soul was no longer aligned with the career path I thought I was meant for. I realized the idea of being a social media manager had been fed to me for years, and although I loved it and chose to pursue it, it wasn’t truly what I wanted to do.
Throughout fall + winter, it took me weeks to find the courage to hire an assistant to help dig me out of the overwhelm of work and help clear my plate so I could find clarity for my business. Throughout all of this, I continuously found myself thinking of my favorite quote, “I think therefore I am,” but interpreting it differently this time.
As I gained clarity, I remembered why I started my business in the first place. I began interpreting Descartes’ quote as a reminder that if I can think it, it can be, but I allowed myself to go deeper than that.
I began interpreting it as – if I think of me, what do I see?
What do I feel when I think of myself? How do I want to feel? How do I want my friends and family to feel? What do I want my clients to feel when they hire me? What do I want them to see? What do I want their experience to be? I realized that, if I thought it, I have the divine power to create it.
This quote helped me evolve personally and professionally in quantum leaps and to remember that every “weird” or “uncommon” part of me is actually abundantly aligned with my purpose.
After deep self reflection, grounding, and self care, I found myself coincidentally at a place I tried earlier in my career but didn’t fully pursue: Branding and Web Design. It’s a career I’ve faced time and time again but never had the courage to pursue, constantly doubting my abilities, my eye for design, and my ability to run a business.
After two years of running a successful business, I graciously accepted the challenge and have been happier and more successful since. I realized that after all of these years of thinking I wanted to pursue branding and web design, that a career in those fields did, in fact, exist for me.
If you’re feeling stuck or are ready for a change, I encourage you to do the same.
Whether it’s this quote or another, find something that reminds you that you are worthy of change and pursuing your desires and dreams.
The fact that you are thinking about them has already kick-started their fruition.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn is that you absolutely cannot wait and hope for things to happen to you. You must take action. You can journal about your dreams every single day, but if you don’t take one small step in their direction, they will be just that, dreams. Success doesn’t fall into your lap, responsibility does. I invite you to take divine responsibility for your personal and professional growth and follow your dreams.
If you want change, action is required; and if you think it, therefore it is.–
More About Tana
Hi there! My name is Tana (like Montana), and I’m the Founder of The Social Age.
I’m a vibrant, passionate, and creative entrepreneur living in Minneapolis. I grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin, and when I say small, I mean it. My graduating class was thirty people. Crazy, right?
Needless to say, I always knew there was more out there for me. I found myself constantly searching for new and creative outlets through arts + crafts, social media, and the internet as a whole. There was an entire universe out there I didn’t even realize existed. How magical is that?
After graduating with a degree in Marketing + Philosophy, freelancing social media marketing for the past five years, and leaving a position as the Creative Manager at a local marketing agency, I realized it was time to start my own thing.
My special sauce is helping soulpreneurs create and cultivate their stories in an authentic way through branding and web design.