Our Newest Creative: Brooke and her thoughts on risk-taking
How does an animal-loving classical musician become a content writer for a marketing agency in Canberra and the Riverina? Our newest creative Brooke Prendergast shares her journey of risk-taking and following your heart.
‘When an opportunity comes along, and just the mere thought of it lights a fire inside us – this is our intuition letting us know that taking the risk and abandoning our position of safety is the way to our true path.’
Brooke Prendergast has moved to a different city 15 times since 2011. Despite what some may assume, she’s not running from anything. Rather, Brooke is a self-proclaimed opportunity junky. This is a pretty common habit among freelance orchestral musicians, and Brooke developed quite a severe case when she began studying French horn performance in her hometown, Perth. Opportunities in such a niche field are few and far between so young musicians tend to have a ‘never say no’ mindset.
Brooke has studied music at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Hobart’s Conservatorium of Music, and at the Zürich University of the Arts in Switzerland. Music also lead her throughout Austria and Germany, before returning to Australia in 2015. The following year, she moved to New Zealand to take up a contract position with the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra.
While Brooke continues to work as a freelance horn player throughout Australia and New Zealand, the sporadic and unpredictable nature of being a freelance musician forced her to open up to new opportunities. This wasn’t easy for someone who’d been so focused on classical music since her teenage years, but through some soul-searching, she soon came to realise that music was only one aspect of who she was. She’d created her personal identity around such narrow ideas and had been holding on to it for far too long. Yes – Brooke is a musician, Brooke is a horn player – but she was ready to become so much more.
She asked herself:
‘What else do I care about and how do I walk my authentic path?’
‘What else am I good at that can earn me money?’
‘Do I need to learn new skills? Get other qualifications?’
‘What kind of lifestyle do I want?’
Developing an interest in health and fitness, Brooke decided to become a certified personal trainer. At the same time, she completed a Diploma in Business before moving from Perth to New Zealand (again) at the beginning of 2017 to work at a gym that specialised in plant-based nutrition. Something that appealed to Brooke who is also vegan.
‘When an opportunity comes along, and just the mere thought of it lights a fire inside us – this is our intuition letting us know that taking the risk and abandoning our position of safety is the way to our true path’ said Brooke.
Naturally, the thought of helping people get fit and thrive on plants lit a fire inside – making the move seemed like a real no-brainer. This opportunity provided Brooke fantastic skills and a deeper insight into what she wanted – and what she didn’t want. It was around this time that Brooke began to explore the concept of a ‘digital nomad.’
Brooke believes, ‘People get stuck – they hold on tight to the identity they’ve crafted for themselves, and despite their wildest dreams, remain where it is safe, certain and familiar. If you want freedom to travel the world, and the freedom to dictate your own lifestyle, working when you want and wherever you like – you need to take risks and break the rules you’ve set for yourself.’
Stumbling upon the world of digital marketing by chance, Brooke got her first writing gig when a friend tagged her in a social media post. She was in Thailand at the time, on a cycling trip – and the post on Facebook asked for cyclists to contribute to a blog. Everything snowballed from that moment, and word-of-mouth has seen Brooke working with sensational Startups and inspirational CEOs. She took a paid internship, where she learned the ins and outs of copywriting and content marketing, and revelled in her ‘behind the scenes’ experience of many businesses, new and old.
The possibility of having her own business one day had long been a more attractive prospect than regular employment, and through taking a risk, letting go and branching out, Brooke began to feel like she was on her right path. Music was no longer the centre of her attention at all times, but with the financial pressure removed from horn playing, practice regained its long-lost essence of fun. Working online brought new freedom – freedom to perform in other cities, travel, and stay open to future opportunities.
‘Forget comfort and security! When opportunities come, no matter how uncertain and scary they may seem – take them. Stay open to change, discomfort and excitement – because this is living,’ she said.
Brooke has long held the belief that aligning our actions with our deepest core values, is essential for basic human happiness and wellbeing. So when it comes to helping businesses achieve their goals and thrive, Brooke loves to work with people who are on a positive mission. In particular, Brooke wants to connect with businesses on a mission to raise awareness about important issues – like environmental sustainability, animal rights and mental health. She feels inspired and motivated to create for businesses that truly practice what they preach, and stick to their mission without sacrificing their core values, which resonate with her own.
Brooke’s mission is to tell their stories, help them thrive, and create global communities around positive change.