In the weeks and months after I began a deep dive into my Personal Fear Story — and this was this was several years ago now — I was doing a lot of reading on how to be more courageous.
At the time, I had a really wonderful business that had six figures but then kind of plateaued and I wasn’t sure where to take things from there.
I knew that I needed to take some risks but I really was afraid to do what I knew I needed to do.
In fact, I laughed a lot because while I was so busy not changing a thing, my business mentor at the time — and somebody who has actually kind of opted out of the business world since — was literally pivoting every five minutes it felt like. Seriously, every year she was rebranding or changing up her business model here I was slogging along with the same old model.
In 2020, I reached a point where I was like OK I cannot keep doing this – in fact, I believe the words that came out of my mouth was “if I have to do this for another year I am literally going to lose my mind.”
So when I threw the backpack over the wall in 2020 and burned down my first business, I am not being fully transparent.
There was so much more to the story.
There was a spiritual component to that move and I was spiritually and emotionally ready. I had done the work.
I’ve been doing a lot of work to get to that point before I burned down the old business and started my new one.
This idea of “feel the fear and do it anyway” was the most common advice that kept popping up as I was researching courage and bravery.
It kept coming up … fear the fear and do it anyway
fear the fear do it anyway
But I immediately knew that that was never going to work for me or my work or my clients it is rooted too much in toxic masculinity which I reject 1000%. I reject toxic masculinity, which promotes being tough powerful and hard on yourself.
Small goals often have a fast turnaround and lead to small outcomes.
Bigger goals — dare I call them impossible goals — require more — more time, more patience, more courage, more confidence.
As a coach for entrepreneurs, I work with my clients on the Brave Yes Journey, which is almost always about playing bigger in their work, taking up space and making bold changes for greater life alignment.
I encourage my clients to set stretch-y goals — not for achievement purposes but because personal transformation happens just beyond our comfort zone.
When we do something that seems nearly impossible, our courage and confidence grow exponentially.
My story alone is proof.
Listen to this Brave Yes CEO episode here — or keep reading below:
One day, more than 10 years ago, I began to consider what it would look like to do what seemed impossible — to build an online business.
That day, I went deep into a rabbit hole and never returned.
I learned everything on my own: how to build a website, email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, SEO optimization, and, of course, online course and program development.
I remember thinking moving my website from wordpress.org to com — or whichever it was — was a huge undertaking. I remember thinking hosting a webinar for a few hundred people was intimidating. I remember thinking I’d never reach 10K email subscribers.
It was all impossible.
Until it wasn’t.
With the help of some amazing coaches and mentors, a few courses and masterminds and a whole lot of just figuring it out … I made it happen within a year, building a Facebook page to 35K, website traffic above 100K. Until 2020, it was hard to explain how I operated an online business serving women around the world and yet I’ve been doing it for a decade — nine years full-time. Long before Zoom even existed.
All along, I was going into other rabbit holes, learning and training and developing my skills that led to weekend retreats. online retreats and ultimately coaching.
Then, I began to unlearn almost everything because everything is different now — the whole market has changed and how to survive in it is different. The rules are different.
The way the online world works is different. We change. We evolve. We pivot.
Now, I coach entrepreneurs to cultivate the confidence and courage to put yourself out there and really grow your authority and take up space with your dreamiest ideas and most unbelievable offers.
The Brave Yes mission is always impact.
We do this through my own Brave Yes CEO coaching methodology — capacity planning for your unique life circumstances, courage coaching and soulful and aligned business mentoring.
Never forget that the impossible is always just on the other side of grit.
Never forget that the impossible is on the other side of resilience.
Never forget that the impossible is just on the other side of curiosity.
Never forget that the impossible is just on the other side of play.
Never forget that the impossible is only possible once you see it, feel it, taste it, touch it and believe in it.
Now, most mornings, I try to live by the “6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast” rule we learned about in Alice in Wonderland.
What’s your impossible thing?
When your goals are too small, you may experience stagnation rather than stretching into the spaces where your confidence will grow, where your personal growth will happen.
So ask yourself this: Are my goals too small?
If you aren’t sure, check-in on the timeframe.
Are they going to take a few days or weeks to master? A weekend?
Or, are you working toward a more ideal future you that pushes you outside your comfort zone a bit — that’s going to take a few months, or even a few years?
It’s always good to be working toward both immediate goals — and a Brave Yes goal, something that is aligned with your future self and life that you long for someday.
Either way, breathe deeply on this journey to the impossible — to your YES, to your Brave Yes.
Because while it may seem impossible right now — I assure you it won’t always be.
I would love to talk to support you on your Brave Yes Journey.
This month, I’ve been focusing on the importance of investing in your capacity as a CEO and entrepreneur — because in order to be braver, be bolder and do braver work in this world, we must have the capacity for it all.
Without capacity we are left exhausted and floundering. We never set our best intentions forward when we are burned out an exhausted.
Capacity ebbs and flows but at the end of the day, the number ONE capacity stealer that I see over and over in my work with entrepreneurs is this → a lack of self-worth.
There is no bigger drain on our creativity, our energy, our wellbeing than not believing we are good enough.
It just so happens that I have been coaching, studying and building a body of work around enoughness for years and it’s a huge part of my coaching program.
The market today — never been easier to start a biz — also never been harder, in my opinion.
Enter The Great She-cession or the Great Resignation — So many people have quit their jobs to start up their own path to freedom.
Some of those people will make it.
Others will not.
Time will only tell just how their unique business model will work — or if in a year they will be back to the job search.
I personally am pretty unemployable at this point — having been out of the mainstream workforce for almost a decade.
So even thought the market is so much harder now than when I started, I am so much smarter and so much more skilled.
I am now devoted to coaching and mentoring other entrepreneurs who want to make this work AND feel tended to and cared for by their business.
MY ENTREPRENEUR STORY
To tell you my entrepreneur story, I must first tell you that I am a writer through and through. I began my life telling stories and “podcast” on an old cassette recorder in my grandparent’s back bedroom. I wrote — and still write — non-stop in my life.
And to tell you my story, I must also tell you that I learned everything I know to be true about the world and how to help my clients from being a journalist, from going into people’s homes and learning from the grieving and the grittiness of being human.
And to tell you even more is that I never dreamed of doing what I do now. I didn’t know it was possible. Because it wasn’t when I was dreaming of the life I would have.
Thankfully, things changed. After burning out in journalism, I went seamlessly from freelance writer to blogger to creator. And then ultimately from creator to CEO and Coach and defining my own Queendom that defies all typical business rules.
For one thing, I am absolutely a multipossibilitarian entrepreneur — this means I am passionate about a lot of issues and causes that I weave into my work like artwork.
Now, I could talk business all day and thankfully my client load has been filled with other entrepreneurs as well so I can.
I’ve begun exploring what it means to be a Brave Yes Entrepreneur and researching the traits that are required to have a successful, creative business model. You can learn more on my brand new newsletter — The Brave Yes Entrepreneur
For me, as a Brave Yes Entrepreneur, I stand for:
Creative and lifestyle Freedom,
Living and leading with my values and strengths
Making offers that are 100 percent in my integrity.
ON BEING A BRAVE YES ENTREPRENEUR
Being a Brave Yes Entrepreneur is all about doing things your way — not the shoulds way. I tried for so many years to put my square peg style of running a business into the round holes of the business world — only to never feel like I was doing anything right.
The Brave Yes seems like it’s just starting — making that choice. And it is a The Big Leap for sure. I remember that day I walked out of my 9-5 to freedom and a very uncertain future.
That is absolutely one Brave Yes.
But to build and grow and expand — and survive — you have to do many Brave Yeses along the way.
Starting is just the beginning. Being a FT business owner is not for the faint at heart. There are no breaks. Until you have a solid team in place, you are hustling for all the departments of your business.
And when things fail, it’s all on you.
Until I realized that the only way to do business “right” is to make sure you are living and leading from your strengths, your self-worth and your integrity.
Everything else is clutter.
It’s not only possible but beautiful to see an entrepreneur misfit — like me — create something beautiful that someone in this world needs.
I want to see more creativity, more love, more deep service and more SOUL in business in 2022.
Let’s create a whole movement around Brave Yes Entrepreneurs.
THE UPS AND DOWNS AND ALL AROUNDS
There were times in the last 9 years I was ready to give up.
I was ready to quit.
Like many I know, I would do a quick job search, see nothing that resonated with my skillset and passions in life and root down to make my business work.
And with those big ups and downs came a lot of learning, growing, evolving and lessons learned. Here’s what I know to be true about making your business work no matter what …
9 LESSONS LEARNED FROM NEARLY 9 YEARS OF FULL TIME ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Bolster your resilience now — business requires more courage than you think AND courage work requires resilience and self-care.
Focus on What You Do Want: Don’t try to please everyone. it will never work.
Be supremely patient — and fluid. NO matter what the ads and gurus are telling you there is no magic bullet to have 5-figure or 6-figure months. There is a lot of trial and error. And courage.
Don’t start small. When my business began, we could focus on high traffic, low prices. The online market has changed and now it’s so much easier to focus on higher end offerings. Being accessible has always been my biggest goal but I’ve come to learn that I can’t work with beginners anymore. I have been doing this work for 10 years. I’m a dinosaur.
Don’t go too big either — taking on more projects than necessary creates overwhelm for you and your clients/buyers. Doing one thing at a time may feel like you are setting yourself back but you will get farther, i promise.
Diversify — there are many ways to bring in income. Find your Brave Yes Offer and then find your Brave Yes path to ease. Get creative. Get resourceful. Get gritty and scrappy.
Focus on investing in clarity and trust practices ASAP — coaching is key to making progress. In my work as a coach we can work on making sure you know what you need to be working toward for your highest good and all the details along the way. A business pivot? a new offer? A clear marketing strategy? A networking methodology that works for you and your strengths?
Keep it Super Simple — and sustainable. Focus on what you need right now not what you might need down the road or what you could offer down the road. This doesn’t mean ignore long term projects — it just means don’t get distracted and take on complicated projects before you are ready or before you can afford a team. I hear a lot of people wanting to start a membership community. You need a plan for that. A starting plan and an exit plan. Trust me.
Your capacity is everything. Your energy is everything. Especially in this market where marketing burnout is real.