You know what I thought would be coolio-moolio?
Because you really are the best tribe I could ever have wished and dreamed for, I thought I’d do a little blog-style Q+A and go back and answer some questions I’ve received that MIGHT just maybe possibly apply to oodles of you, and not just the one gorgeous soul who was brave enough to speak up and ask.
Because isn’t that how it always happens? The question on your lips is also in the hearts of a bunch of others who just hadn’t found the words yet.
Sound good? Yes? AWESOME. Here we go!
How do you work as a solo-preneur/entrepreneur from home and NOT feel isolated?
I work alone most of the time. And often feel very isolated. I have a home office but often will take my work to a cafe just so I can be around other peeps.
I think ALL of us just starting out in business (or even rocking it with a biz that’s going strong) have felt this way.
Because nobody knows your business like you do.
Nobody cares SO MUCH about what you care about.
And if all your friends/family/partners/cousins/etc. have day jobs and aren’t walking this entrepreneur path that you’re on, they just don’t get it, do they?
But here’s the superdy-duperdy important part:
YOU have to take action to get out of isolation.
Going to a cafe to work is a good start, but you’re really still kind of isolated unless you’re striking up conversations with strangers over your chai.
I’m saying go one step further. It’s crazy ridonkulous important to have a circle of like-minded biz peeps who know what you’re going through, who’ve been walking this path with you, who have maybe been there before and know the way.
As a matter of fact, I think it’s pretty much essential. One of my 10 lessons of building a heart-centered business is to surround yourself with peeps who are advancing souls.
You must must MUST be around people who are headed in the same direction as you.
If you’re the only person you know who is doing this amazing work, trying to change their life, trying to be more positive, trying to start a business, trying to grow a business or whatever…
Is it any WONDER you feel pretty dang isolated?? You’re missing out on a huge chunk of motivation, companionship, support + masterminding brilliance that comes from having that business camaraderie.
I have gotten so much out of my mastermind groups that I’ve belonged to. I know in my heart that they have been a huge key to my success.
It doesn’t matter what you call it — a mastermind group, an accountability partner, a biz goddess circle (my personal fave) — a community of other entrepreneurs to support you is ESSENTIAL to your business success.
How to find your own Biz Goddess tribe:
So, this is that action I was talking about. You have to make the first move. If you’re feeling this need in your life for community, you’ve got to go out and find it.
It’s a little like dating, but you don’t have to worry about whether or not to kiss at the end of the night. (I HOPE!)
Here are some good Biz Goddess Circle pickup lines and tactics:
- First and tops is the Amazing Biz and Life Academy because this problem is pretty much exactly one of the problems it was created to solve! If you haven’t checked it out, it is a veritable LOVE FEST of amazing biz goddesses who are on the same path as you! It doesn’t matter what you do or where you live, there is a group in there for you — and if by some CRAZY MIRACLE you don’t immediately see your peeps, create a group and I assure you they will flock to it.
- Go to an in-person networking event. But for the love of Petunia, be choosy about which ones you go to. Some of these are just AWFUL with a capital AWE because they’re mostly insurance guys and real estate agents throwing business cards at each other. YUCK. Check out Meetup.com and see if there are any biz events that sound like the might resonate with you.
- Look for Facebook groups for entrepreneurs in your area. Lots of times they start on Facebook and then spill out into the real world in coffee shops and cafes and bookstores. Excellent place to find your people.
- Co-working spaces are a hot thing now, and if you don’t have an office, they might be just the thing. They’re popping up in big cities especially, but all over the place. They’re basically a big space where entrepreneurs come to work TOGETHER in a community. Totally amazing.
- Do you know any other small biz owners or entrepreneurs in real life? They don’t have to be in your field or your niche. In fact, sometimes it’s better if they AREN’T because they’ll have a different perspective on things. Ask them if they want to go on a biz date with you! Have a beverage and talk about stuff! And if it’s a good fit, you’ll feel it and be able to figure out what to do from there.
That last one could be a bit scary, couldn’t it? It absolutely shouldn’t be. Because just like there are other people who wanted to ask this question about being isolated, there are other entrepreneurs out there looking for connection.
If you need a little push, here’s what I would say:
I so respect the way you’re running your business and your life, and I was wondering if you’d be interested in getting together sometime to share and connect and mastermind and brainstorm together about our businesses. Would that resonate with you?
And if they are as amazing as I suspect they are (because you wouldn’t pick them if they weren’t amazing) they’ll say yes!
Don’t wait! Reach out right now if you’re feeling isolated.
LET’S MAKE IT HAPPEN!
All my love and good connecting juju,
Just me again.
With another one of those funny, short cheerleader videos. You know, those ones I do with tips and shit about how to be happier + make more moolah + magic in the world. You know, if you actually LIKE that sort of thing.
You can watch it if you want. Or again, sea sponge yourself in the eye because you’d rather be a grumpy, broke, perpetually-procrastinating, eternally-burnt out fluffy duck.
You totes have free choice in da matter.
You can think of these little ditties as PRODUCTIVITY VIAGRA.
But cheaper. And potentially less shame around the whole thing. Oh I don’t care. Judgement free zone around here.
I will stay pregnant. For at least the next minute.
Until my waters break.
Nope. Still pregnant.
Suspenseful, isn’t it?
While we are waiting for me to pop a baby, just watch the video okay?
Then go do your important shit.
And take care of you. Because you = the most incredibly valuable, rare resource you’ll ever have.
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I wrote this post a year ago. It remains true today. Even truer than ever.
Worth recounting. Worth resharing. Worth adding to (in italics).
This is for you who has struggled in your relationship.
This is for you who has cried in pain at the heart’s longing to unite with another’s.
This is for you who is begging to be understood, loved and celebrated.
This is for the pragmatic, the romantics, the idealists, the dreamers, the jaded.
I woke up this morning,
rolled over and squinted through bleary eyes at my soulmate.
“Happy Valentine’s Day”, I whispered.
He groaned and pulled the pillow over his head.
It’s way too early for these kind of shenanigans.
And yet he’s still my best kind of Valentine ever.
This morning I woke up and I forgot it was Valentine’s Day.
So did he.
He’d let me sleep in, just as he has every morning since I became ill with hyperemesis gravidarum a life time ago, at the beginning of this very long pregnancy.
I walked outside, did my morning ritual hurl, walked back inside. Made toast. We sat together and talked about all the big changes in our life and how we are going to navigate them.
Using our words as leylines, tracing each other back to the same place, the same page, so we could understand most fully what was on each other’s hearts, and our own.
And then we made up a lunchbox together for our daughter’s first “drop-off” day at kindergarten. The first day she would be in the care of someone other than her parents or grandparents.
We drove to school together, the three of this, and this bulging belly full of arms and legs.
And I smiled to myself.
Soon, our threesome would become a foursome.
And we could call ourselves The Awesome Dawson Foursome!
It was only later, much, much later, after we’d sat in the quiet of our house for the first time, alone, together, in close to four years, that we remembered.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, darling. I love you more than ever.”
I thought to myself this morning:
I love you even more
because I’ve hated you as well.
I’ve judged you and I’ve misunderstood you and I’ve argued with you.
And I know I always find my way back to loving you
just like you do for me too.
I thought to myself this morning:
I love you more deeply and impossibly and thoroughly than I did a year ago.
The Leonie who wrote this post didn’t know then that nine months of a horrific, difficult pregnancy along with all manner of other calamities
would birth the most beautiful thing in the world:
a partnership of soulmates, two souls who had finally learned what it was to be a team, to face the world together, to want the very best for each other, to understand each other implicitly.
Two people who’d learn to live the vows they’d spoken.
Husband and wife. Soulmates. Parents. Through thick and thin. In sickness and health.
Because my ego is no longer at war with yours.
I no longer have to be right. I just want to be understood and to understand you.
I did a teleseminar this morning, and did rounds of laser coaching for beautiful, spectacular souls.
One of them said:
“I feel jealous of you sometimes, when you talk about your soulmate. I wish it could be that good and easy for me.”
And I laughed, because it’s
NOT always good.
And it certainly has never been easy.
And yet he is my dearest Valentine.
It takes shit tonnes of communication.
Of talking it out.
Of misunderstanding each other and not listening and then finding a way to hear each other.
Of sometimes going in completely opposite directions only to find the tension between us too tight, and finding ourselves flinging back together again.
Love is sometimes shitty. And gritty.
And it forces you to grow up. Get over your shit. Forgive. Let them not be perfect. Accept that you’re not perfect either.
Get better at communicating. Get better at loving. Get better at loving the shit out of yourself.
Get better at being your own best friend, your own soulmate, your own Valentine first.
Want to know the secret to long lasting relationships?
Two people being motherfuc*ing stubborn about having a long lasting relationship.
Two people deciding to grow and heal.
Even when it doesn’t look or feel easy or graceful.
We didn’t buy each other presents or cards or flowers today.
Sometimes I want them, so I buy them for myself.
Or if I do want something, I tell him simply and clearly what it is I want.
He doesn’t need to prove anything to me:
his love, my worth.
That shit’s pretty damn clear.
What we gave each other today was this:
He stood up for me. He told me that all he wants is for me to be happy and at peace. That no matter what, we can work anything out, because we are a team and he is on my side.
Then he trolloped off in boot and hats to fight never ending battles with tropical grass that becomes jungle in the blink of an eye, and weeds that fuck like bunnies and spread from yonder to hither.
And I sang to him “Living and a-working on the land” and he liked it.
I told him that I didn’t care what anyone else’s opinion of him or us was. At long last! At long last!
Leonie’s seek for approval has ended. And all I know is that I believe in him, and his goodness, and how dearly I loved him.
Of course, I didn’t always hear the ways he told me he loves me.
We speak different love languages:
I’m verbose and showy,
he is not.
But yesterday the toilet was blocked so he spent an hour in the blazing midday sun chipping away at concrete and unglugging our lil farm’s septic system.
It was his first time doing it (he of the city-boy-ishness) and I couldn’t have been prouder or more grateful to him for having the cahones and nasal stamina to do it.
On Valentine’s Day, he gave me an unblocked toilet.
Which is kinda perfect really… this being the day of celebrating love by getting over your own shit.
I had dreams about love before I met him
Dreams where he was like TOTALLY Dawson (from Dawson’s Creek).
Where he’d know me better than I knew myself.
Love me so I could love myself.
Make me feel like I was someone special.
That he could see into my eyes and see exactly what I was feeling without me ever needing to express.
How he’d take care of me for me.
And then I did meet him.
And his last name was Dawson
but he definitely wasn’t like my dream.
Because I learned:
the world’s leading expert on Leonie is… Leonie.
that wanting someone to love me so I can love me is like putting the chicken before the egg.
That knowing that I’m lovable and special is my job, not something that my love gives to me.
That taking care of my self and communicating my emotions and needs… is my job.
What’s more, it’s my sacred job.
The way things really need to be.
I’m so grateful I learned all these lessons.
I don’t look for my husband to save me, or tell me I’m beautiful, or that he’ll love me forever.
Because that has always been and will always be MY job.
It’s my job to be my own saviour, my own knight in shining armour, my own cheerleader.
That then leaves him the job that he was born to do: be himself.
The most I can give my love this Valentine’s Day is:
a woman in love with herself.
a woman who is willing to change and grow with him.
a woman who is okay with the fact that her one true love is splendidly and achingly human.
And I know he gives me just the same back.
And that’s all that’s needed.
Other glorious things you can do this Valentine’s Day to celebrate the shit out of love?
Learn more about love.
Start talking about it. Get educated about it.
Most of the time, the only education we get about love is from peeps who haven’t got it worked out.
So we need to recircuit ourselves to discover what love really is, what it means, what work it takes, and how to get it shining.
My favourite books on love, sex + relationships:
Other favourite relationship resources?
- A relationship counsellor who makes sense to both of you
- Use the talking stick when communicating with your love (it doesn’t have to be a physical one!)
- Look at what communication blockers you use… and consciously begin to stop using them.
And the best gift you can give your love?
A person who is utterly in love with themselves.
A woman who keeps cultivating her passions and her dreams and the things that light her up.
Who decides to see herself everyday as the goddess she is.
Who is whole and happy and true.
And even if she doesn’t feel like that all the time… she sure as shit keeps growing in that direction. Keeps knowing that it’s possible for her. And that life is for living and loving the shit out of!
(It’s the best gift you can give yourself TOO you know. Funny how that works! What’s good for the gander is good for the goose!)
Most of all
May you know that you are loved. Deeply loved. So loved it is swirling all around you.
Can’t see it?
Imagine you were a fish in the sea.
And you tried to tell that fish about water.
And it would be all:
WHERE IS THE WATER?
Because it’s just THAT surrounded by it.
The same is true for you, lovebug.
You are swimming in a great ocean of love.
Deeply and truly,
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I am tired and pregnant and I’ve spent a lot of today cleaning up spew that just for a change WASN’T MINE. (My poor little girl has her first ever stomach bug.)
So I don’t really know if I have it in me to give a good intro to this video and tell you why you should watch it.
But if you wonder how I make so much shit happen… how I managed to create a million dollar a year business while working 2-3 hours a day (less when vomming like a pregnant woman who is bearing the Holy Daughter Of Queen Vomatron)… and how I did it by the age of 31…
you probably SHOULDN’T watch this video. You should go stab yourself repeatedly in the eye with a sea sponge instead.
Or watch it. If you like. I’m too pregnant to care to be honest.
If you grow tired of the sea sponge stabbing caper, you can watch this and see the behind the scenes of my million dollar business and how it has doubled in size each year.
Word to your mother,
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