I’m going to tell you the truth. I had no intention of speaking about my business turning 11. It didn’t really feel like much to celebrate as it’s not really where I want it to be. I look at peers who started before or after I did, and I’ve seen some amazing work that I celebrate for them, but sometimes, looking at my business makes me feel like I haven’t done enough, even though I’ve actually done plenty. It’s been 11 years of amazing clients, so many industries, so many successes and tons of failures, women starting businesses and having their lives changed, and lots and lots of networking. So much networking. So while my natural inclination is to feel shame about where I am not, I am so proud of where I am, who I am, and what’s to come. I’m grateful for this journey, and I’m looking forward to showing up courageously for the next steps.

PLUS, I couldn’t resist the way the 11 fits in the name. 🥰

For every year you did not give up, for every failure that felt like the end that you overcame, for every single personal growth bump, and for every tearful moment that made you wonder if this was really for you or if you’d made a mistake, I’m so proud of you for moving forward, being strategic, getting stronger and getting help. The work of creation, maintenance, and growth is a big undertaking, so to not just dream about it but work daily to become it is something that deserves celebration. I’m celebrating us all this month. Thank you!

Here Are Some Lessons I’ve Picked Up

  • It’s ok to fail – I used to hate hearing the words “fail fast.” It always felt like a perspective I was not allowed to have – failure was a shame, and shame was to feel alone. Even though you feel that “you should know better,” there is no reason that that is true. You should be learning, which requires more than repetition and working to be perfect – it requires failure so you can learn to fill in the gaps and find new ways to iterate and grow.
  • You have to take care of yourself – none of this matters if you are unwell or disconnected from those you love. Spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, and relational maintenance matters in order to make it all worthwhile.
  • Some people won’t like you, and that’s perfect – if you truly stand for something and are showing up and doing your best, there will be people who dislike you. They are not your people. A large part of attracting the right person is repelling the wrong person. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you or them; you just don’t connect.
  • Show up as your true self – giving people a facsimile of something they want will never get you what you want in the long run.
  • Do the work to root out shame and manage fear– they keep you stuck, seeking perfection and unflappable safety. There is no such thing as perfection, and instead of seeking safety, create ways to have soft places to land for when you do take risks (this is mainly about emotional safety through a support system, see community below)
  • Things will trigger you; make sure they are triggering you upwards – as far as your responses, your triggers are your responsibility. Find people who are also doing the work to manage their triggers and be in communities where we are learning together how to grow and manage the parts of life that hurt and remember that a big part of growth is the pain that we experience on the way and how we then respond to the inevitable growing pains.
  • Hustling is a start; it’s not the end – at some point, we have to adopt strategy – it’s not just the what or the how; it’s also the why and the why not. Hustling doesn’t take a lot of introspection; it’s doing every and anything that comes to mind to meet the need of the moment. Both needs and moments change – we cannot be beholden to something constantly moving. We have to dedicate ourselves to a strategy that speaks to wholeness – work toward the vision and stay consistent.
  • If you’re worried about the competition, you’re worried about the wrong things – You’re running your own race. When you have your own barometer – your mission, vision, and values – you only need to ask yourself daily what you’re doing to meet those things and what help do you need to get there. It’s easier to look at everyone as a potential collaborator when you think this way. Obviously, you still have to use wisdom about who to engage, but you still don’t really have competition; just keep going and growing.
  • No is a loving response; you can say it as much as you need to – when you have a chosen direction for your life, you’ve said yes to something very important, which means you’re going to have to say no to other things. No is care. It frees you to do the things that need to be done, and for the person that you say no to, it frees them to find the real or right and enthusiastic solution to their problem. If you can’t give an enthusiastic or strategic yes, the answer is no.
  • Community is everything – having people in your corner with whom you can be real in the good and bad times is necessary. Sometimes you’re in a community, and it feels like it should fit, but it doesn’t; it’s ok to find your people and make sure they are talking about, working toward, and looking like the future you want for yourself. They understand what it takes to grow.

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