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You never know where inspiration and motivation will strike.
For me it was late Friday in a new chiropractor’s office staring at a sign on his wall. Under the emboldened saying were the words: “Five Dangerous Words to Say” and above that were the words themselves:
“Maybe it will go away.”
It doesn’t matter what the IT is. In this wellness provider’s office, it was body pain. But, no doubt, you’re familiar with that thought pattern even if it doesn’t land you in a health practitioner’s domain.
“If I don’t do anything,” it says, “it may get better.” And sometimes that’s so.
Last night, as my computer sputtered and stalled in the Outlook phase of my deskwork, I insisted, “Maybe it will go away.” The dreaded thought I continued to have after I abandoned ship for the night was that what I really needed wasn’t the new monitor I bought and installed last week, but a whole new system. Perish the thought.
This morning, however, I sailed through my inbox leading me to believe it was a connection problem and that everyone in my building was sucking the Time Warner cable lines dry at the same time. I won’t choose to dig deeper until the pain is too great and I have to.
You get to pick your challenges and where to check your foundations. You can sail along in your work/personal life for a long time without feeling the pain. But at some point, it catches up with you, and demands your attention. As it has with the back/leg pain I’ve been enduring for a while now. I know I need to look at the greater system and stop applying bandaids.
Where else that applies in my life is directly addressing issues as they arise and not sweeping them under the rug. It’s seeking out and going to a new doctor, asking for the contract IN WRITING, gently confronting the issue at hand IN THE MOMENT and not hoping it will go away. I’m not 100%, but I’m moving towards the goal of living in the moment, addressing reality and dealing with what is now.
Much of my journey as a Soul Proprietor has been directed by signs from the Universe that I’m going in the right direction. I believe in The Secret, the Law of Attraction and Earl Nightingale’s Strangest Secret. Each of these doctrines points to becoming what you think about. That we attract into our lives exactly what we are feeding our brains. If I am looking to buy a new car and want a Prius, every time I drive on the highway, I see more and more Priuses (Pri-i?).
Since coming up with the idea of starting my Soul Proprietor Community, I have seen multiple signs along the way–reading an interview in Oprah Magazine with Carolyn Myss, quotes from the latest Kripalu publication and in today’s Op-Ed column by Thomas Friedman in The New York Times. Their words reinforce the essence of what I am building and strengthen the foundation of my belief that this Community is vital for not only those who join, but for our world at large. Yeah, it’s THAT BIG!
As Friedman says in today’s article about our changing work environment:
The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
Our world is flatter than ever before. Everyone is connected via the Internet and cell phones. The work landscape has changed irreversibly. As Seth Godin says, “We’re all artists now.” We are each being called upon to ‘make it up’ as we go along–to differentiate ourselves from everyone else.
But where do you find the support for that? We’ve never been so connected yet so isolated in all of our history.
Several dozen women entrepreneurs have already signed up to forge our way together on this new frontier. I’m making it up too. But I’ve never felt bolder, more inspired or convinced that with each other, everything is possible. Join me! There’s still room. You will not miss a single second of this new connection with passionate, curious and intelligent women who are eager to invent, reinvent and continue learning.
I joined La Leche League in my last month of pregnancy with my first child. I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby and needed to learn how. That was the premise of the meetings–to place yourself amongst other breastfeeding women to learn and observe the in’s and out’s of this seemingly natural process.
Here was a wonderful group of young women with healthy-looking, robust infants. The literature said how terrific it was for the well-being of both mother and child, and everything I observed at the meetings validated that. But there was so much more.
Even though the process is supposed to be instinctive, and even though every mother and child looked peaceful and serene, it was the deep down, honest, true-to-the-bone sharing that captured me. “This is harder than I thought,” was a sentence I heard more than once.
I’m launching the Soul Proprietor Community on February 1 for the purpose of providing women entrepreneurs what La Leche League provides for new moms–a haven of support, encouragement and knowledge shared woman to woman in an atmosphere of safety and confidentiality.
This will be a place where you can say, “This is harder than I thought” about being a business owner in 2013. It didn’t used to be this hard, but it is now. And I want to offer a water cooler environment where this difficult truth can be shared, heard and honored. In my business life I have found a safe haven or two to reveal my deep-down truths. But these oases are few and far between.
I am making this offer to women entrepreneurs who identify with the importance of stating what is, being heard, validated and offered suggestions (when requested) to help them move beyond the obstacles and stuck-ness.
We all want to present our best selves and our babies aka our businesses in their best light. In order to accomplish this feat, it’s necessary to have a place to go where you don’t always have to put on “the face.”
Somewhere, sometime, there needs to that haven where you can take off the lookin’ good mask and tell the truth. If you want to find that space too, join me on February 1 to get real and free yourself from the burden of having to look perfect all the time.
Beverly Ellsley hosted our Artsy Girls holiday event at her sumptuous log cabin in Westport, CT last week. There were nearly 30 of us gathered–all creative women nationally recognized, successfully working in illustration, interior design, toy and game invention, quilting, surface design, writing and more.
Ellen Silver, one of our members, sent me this message the next day:
Honest to goodness, the first thing I thought of while waking up this morning was a scene at Jinny Avery’s studio tag sale.The central work table was piled in great sorted lumps of every fabric embellishment, unfinished project pieces, fabulous textiles obviously collected during travels abroad, virtually the detritus of our dreams. The room was pleasantly crammed with quilters, artists, textile designers and confessed fabric collectors; kindred spirits all.
You knew that you could share the joy of a special find with the stranger next to you and they would applaud your selective scrounging. Suddenly from knee-level came a clear and distinct little girl’s voice declaring, ‘This is a room full of happy women.‘
You know the end of my train of thought. That declaration perfectly captured my memory of the night before. I do believe that good vibes are contagious, no matter how much it may sound like a bumper sticker from yesteryear.
Ellen fully captured the essence of the party at Bev’s. We stayed and stayed in this cocoon of joy, friendship, common ground and love. Beverly’s gracious home and effortless hosting was the perfect setting for fostering community and happiness.
I’m still basking in the afterglow of last weekend’s powerful conference at Omega Institute. What matters as much as attending an event like this is what you do with the experience once you’re home. I promised my goal buddy that I’d type up my notes and create three tasks for myself. In addition to what I intend to do personally, I want to add to that list sharing two more of the powerful talks I heard.
Sally Field, who has won not one but two Academy Awards, was mugging like crazy while her introducer went on and on about her credentials. Sally made a gesture like ‘wrap it up already’ as she peaked out from behind the curtain, impatiently waiting to go on. She had us in hysterics before she even took to the microphone.
Her tone and story belied that cheery introduction. I won’t share the very intimate details she revealed to us, but suffice it to say that it backed up her sentiment that “I spent most of my life feeling like a failure.” She made a great case for taking care of unfinished emotional business in order to allow your CORE (what she calls her true self) to come out in all her glory.
Eve Ensler, best known as the creator of the Vagina Monologues, rocked the house with her talk and mission of One Billion Rising, which I plan to fully support, apolitical as I am. I’ll be saying more about this as the February 14, 2013 date approaches.
I continue to hear from some of the outstanding women I met that weekend. My follow up activities are to order Eve’s book I Am An Emotional Creature, to watch Eve’s TED talk on the girl in each of us and also to read an article mentioned by Joan Chittister entitled We Are All Nuns by Nicholas Kristof.
Anyone want to join me for the TED talk?
“There is no work/life balance the way it’s portrayed,” were the opening words of relationship expert and author Dr. Patty Ann Tublin, the third speaker in the Insights from Entrepreneurs series presented at the Westport Library last night.
I had arrived early to ensure a seat, so was quite surprised that there were only a sprinkling of attendees compared to the standing-room-only crowd when Doug Bernstein, of Melissa and Doug, spoke last spring.
“I did research and found out, it’s all nonsense,” she continued. I heartily agree, but tell that to all the women I meet who are still striving for the Holy Grail of ‘having it all.’ Dr. Tublin’s solution is to reconcile–bring opposing things into harmony.
She spoke primarily about the major considerations for moving toward balance – Money and Time. Time, she said, is the key ingredient to success. It’s the one commodity that ‘cannot be printed by a government agency’ and is doled out equally to us all.
As she explained it, her life philosophy or mantra is, “Figure it out” which has the inherent and positive implication that there always is a solution.
Because of the small crowd size, the Q+A part of the evening was lively and personal and added an extra spark to an already stimulating event.
Many of my clients make public offerings and work hard to fill a room. It gives me pause that as venerable an institution as the Westport Library, with all its resources, drew only a dozen folks to this event. No judgment, just noticing…
My goal buddy, Sandy, and I re-connected this week after my July hiatus. It felt great to begin committing my plans to a like-minded woman entrepreneur. I’m so excited about my upcoming Mastermind Intensive being offered to the women I’ve worked with in the past. I told Sandy that I would have my ‘editorial calendar’ prepared by the time we speak again.
In order to accomplish this goal, I blocked out time on my calendar, made an appointment with myself, settled into a comfy chair with my pen and a large pad of paper to mind-map the year ahead.
The hardest part of any task, I find, is getting started. Every email, social media site, mote of dust on the computer keyboard seems more urgent than changing gears and starting something new.
Once I sat down, though, the ideas flowed. Now I’m even more inspired. I will invite experts to speak monthly on topics that are vital to all entrepreneurs: social media, branding, communicating your message, creating joint ventures, financial planning, etc. What got me totally psyched was going through my mental Rolodex (remember those?) of colleagues whom I’ll invite to share their expertise with my remarkable women.
Wouldn’t you know that as I was sitting with this mind-map, my phone rang with one of my most admired colleagues calling me for some advice? I had one particular slot to fill matching an expert with a topic, and her timely call was the gift from the Universe affirming my plan. She’s the perfect person to talk about strategic planning and creating joint venture opportunities.
Do you have a goal buddy to commit your plans to? What forcing mechanism do you have in place to get you out from behind the computer and into pro-active mode?
What do difficult clients and getting root canal have to do with each other?
Well, actually, as I re-read that question, it makes sense to compare the two. They can both be extremely painful, and you probably wouldn’t look forward to either.
But that wasn’t the original connection I was going for. As I was leaving my root canalist’s office last week I glimpsed this jar on his counter. Of course, it made me laugh out loud because as you may remember from a previous blog entry, the dentist’s chair is my least favorite place to be. His decorative urn made me pause to consider what constituted a ‘problem patient’ and if I would be so designated.
As a patient, I never thought of myself as a client, but of course, it’s just another designation for one who pays for your services. I never considered my behavior from the dentist’s point of view, which is how all trying clients must think–not from the perspective of whom they’re impacting, right?
Difficult Clients is the topic of discussion at my upcoming Remarkable Women’s Network session on June 28. I will invite attendees to share their challenges with me as I coach them through scenarios they are facing. Should be a fun night to participate in and also to observe.
I inquired from my gentle and capable dentist, Dr. Honig, if I were a candidate for the jar. “Not you,” he generously replied. He then took a pad of small Post-It notes, held it up and said, “HIPAA prevents me from writing down real names, so I just put their initials on these pieces of paper and put them in the jar.” Evidently lateness and lack of payment are far worse offenses than fear and trepidation.
He’s very patient with me. I spend the first 10-15 minutes of our time together numbing out, then getting my iPod cued up for listening to music while he drills, followed by clutching the arms of the dental chair till my knuckles turn white. The first song to come on that morning was from my Jersey Boys album and it was “Big Girls Don’t Cry.” How ironic.
I’ve just returned to my office after a networking coffee date with Christina Frei, and rather than being exhausted on a Friday afternoon following a busy week, I’m exhilarated.
I’m still marveling at how this whole afternoon materialized. I’d received an email from Christina a week or so ago with a perfectly articulated invitation to join her for coffee at 3:30pm on Friday at Coco Michelle–a coffee and chocolate boutique opposite the Westport train station.
I often advise my clients, and particularly my webinar participants, to reach out to their sphere of influence and meet regularly with people in that community for marketing their new ideas. Today, I was on the receiving end of exactly that kind of an invitation.
Christina and I go back a few years, having been matched up by a mutual friend who thought our interests aligned, which they did. Anyway, I wasn’t sure what Christina had in mind today, but her invitation for a coffee treat was irresistible.
When we met, and after we had ordered delicious coffee beverages, Christina asked if she might tell me about what she’s been up to since we’d last seen each other. I couldn’t wait to hear. She then began to tell me in a most entertaining and informative way about the book she’s written and how this will impact her career, not to mention education in this country.
I was breathless after hearing her story. She announced how ‘on fire’ she is because what she’s doing is a manifestation of what most inspires her–teaching young kids (middle school aged specifically) about our Founding Fathers–not your typical woman business owner’s profile. Her enthusiasm ignited mine, and we began brainstorming and sharing resources and next connections.
This is a powerful example of how to let people know about what you’re up to. Christina took a chance in reaching out and extending herself to me. She sent an attractive offer with a clear plan. She had an agenda which she stuck to. I was honored by the preparation she’d done and was excited to be in her presence.
She is speaking her idea and getting feedback. I’m one of many to whom she’ll repeat this exercise. She is a living example of how to do this right. The key ingredient is was something she expressed during our conversation–that she knows how on track she is because she is fueled by her own excitement.
Christina Frei is a role model of someone who has found her passion, is discovering how to make it marketable and is getting out into the world with her message. I know she’s going to find great success, and I couldn’t be happier to be a witness to her process.
Christina’s target market is middle schools in the US. If you know anyone who is as passionate as she is about educating this segment of our population, particularly around American history, please be in touch with me or Christina.