Hola gorgeous hearts!
One of the things that really inspired me (+ still does) when I’m down in the salt mines of my business, trying to work out the next step, is listening to the stories of other business women who’ve been where I am + have had an insight that’s helped them along.
With that in mind, I’ve asked a number of gorgeous, inspired, soulful business women to share their sacred AHA! moment – of the thing that changed their business.
Today’s insight is for anyone who is ready to jump in with both feet and yet is also ready to be flexible on the form of the results.
Lots of love,
Lessons Learned is What I Do!
My 40th birthday is right around the corner… in fact, good gawd! it’s so close it feels like one of those bomb countdowns that you see in movies!
Anyway, I’ve been doing that utterly clichéd thing where you look back on your life and sigh and pout and wonder “what-if…?” and think “shouldn’t I be master of the universe by now?”
But when I get in that mode, I quickly remind myself that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be in my continuum! A little over a year ago, I embarked on a small business idea which led me to a totally different small business idea and my current little business was born.
The catalyst for all of it was Leonie’s Business Goddess E-Course.
I won’t bore you with the back story but what I’m doing now is like the perfect storm of all my experiences – both personal and professional. I’m still working a day job but I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and I’m loving every minute!
Learning lessons has always been an important part of my internal guiding mission and it’s become an important part of how I help people in my business. Instead of going all “hindsight” on the last 40 years, today I decided to consider what I’ve learned over the past year – most importantly, from Leonie’s wisdom.
The lessons I’ve learned from Leonie’s enthusiasm pretty much boil down to three things for me. I think these things apply not just to business, but to life in general. I hope you have found the same wonderful inspiration from the Amazing Biz & Life Academy!
1. I must be MYSELF
The word “authenticity” gets thrown around a lot in entreprenuerial and spiritual circles. Frankly I’m a little sick of it because I think it has started to lose it’s oomph. Plus if you look up the dictionary definition, you may find that it doesn’t really mean what you think it does. But I digress…
I’ve simply learned that I have to be myself, no matter what, in order to help my business grow. I can’t try to imitate others who I think are successful. I can’t try to be a person who I think people will like.
I just have to be ME and do the things that are real expressions of ME.
Some people will really get ME. Some people won’t. That’s life. But I know I haven’t compromised anything important by being ME!
And the best part?
I’ve learned that no one else gets to be ME! Because it’s my job to be ME! It’s the same for YOU – there is only one YOU in the world and you get to be it! Isn’t that awesome?
Pretty much everything Leonie puts out in the world – even when she’s sick, stressed out or feeling overwhelmed – supports this lesson.
2. Just do it, already!
Ok, so I know Nike already used that line to death but I can’t think of a more concise way to say it. This sentiment applies to great ideas, dreams and desires, blog posts, artwork, creative efforts, public speaking… and everything in between.
I started my business because I knew in my heart that I had some important stuff to share. Stuff that I hoped would help and inspire other people.
But I’m also horribly human and I get wound up in fear and insecurity and vulnerability avoidance. I tell myself things like: “I can’t put this out into the world… it’s not ready… I need to do more work on it.”
Another famous one is: “I need to think this through more. I’m sure I will come up with another, better idea in the 11th hour!”
Procrastination and perfectionism are excuses. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that ideas don’t need time to develop. Or that I should rush and put things out that are sloppy or low quality.
But when I convince myself not to share the product of my talents and it’s really about being afraid of what people will think, I’m doing everyone a disservice. I’m selling myself short and I’m withholding a gift to others.
Fear and feeling vulnerable are emotions we probably never get over. But I’ve learned what I can do is: acknowledge that I’m afraid, recognize that it’s a valid feeling and then take a deep breath and put my work out in the world anyway.
Leonie’s Wild Donkey Guide was a great lesson in getting over myself and getting things done!
3. Bend like the willow
I think this might be a Zen saying but it’s something that stuck with me from a more scientific explanation. (I love images of Buddhist philosophy but ideas really get driven home for me when I get my nerd on!)
In catastrophic storms with high winds, the seemingly strong trees – like the mighty oak – are often broken and uprooted. On the other hand, soft, spindly trees – like willows – may get battered, but don’t suffer massive damage.
The reason for this is that the willow can bend, while the oak is rigid and stands against the wind until forces become too strong and it is defeated.
This analogy has become a touchstone for me because I’ve discovered my tendencies often run… ahem… contrary to flexible. In other words, I can be a total turd about change or the unexpected.
I’ve found that things often don’t turn out the way we really want them to. Being stuck on a particular outcome causes two problems. First, we don’t enjoy our journey if we are only focused on the outcome. You may not know it, but the journey is usually the best part!
Secondly, being rigid about a particular outcome is a recipe for disappointment. I believe that the Universe is programmed to fulfill our dreams when we are clear about them, and take action to make them happen.
But, the funny thing about our trickster Universe is that it usually fulfills dreams in ways that we least expect. So, I’ve learned that if I can bend like the willow, I can survive any difficult things that get thrown my way.
But better yet, I can easily bend toward the great stuff that the Universe presents to me! If I were rigid I would miss so many wonderful things!
I’ve been following Leonie for a long time and I feel like she’s probably arrived at this idea herself.
Her revelations about parenting and business and the adjustments she made have definitely shown me that she is not only a leader, but a lifelong learner of new and different approaches. That’s a great role model, indeed!
Stephanie is a professional learner of lessons and a great unsticker of stuckness. She resides in Baltimore, MD, USA and, when she’s not wrangling her teenage offspring & bossy cat, she can be found helping other people solve life’s challenges in the Forest of Healing. Become part of the Forest of Healing Friends and Family for inspiration and delightful goodies!
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