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.
I don’t know a single entrepreneur who doesn’t struggle with putting themselves out there in the world to shine a light on their work, their expertise, their ideas.
We all want to be braver — at least in some form or another.
I have worked so hard in my 10 years as a creator and entrepreneur to be OK with the discomfort that comes along with doing courageous things.
It’s not always easy work for some of us.
When I was a child, my best friend and I would run around my grandparent’s huge 50 acres of forest, or her family’s rural farm pretending we were supergirls with special superpowers that protected us from everything.
We were fearless.
We climbed rock walls and trees.
We lept from rock to rock in the creek.
We ran through fields imagining we were chasing villains and saving the world.
Oh, if only all that was possible as adults.
Our superpowers must have worked wonders because we always managed to rise up from the pitfalls of our adventures such as the ravenous teeth of dogs chasing us through the woods or even my great fall squarely into a manure pit, losing a shoe in the process.
We were fearless and confident and anything was possible.
Why You Should Consider Cultivating Greater Courage as an Entrepreneur
I have been writing and creating online for 15 years.
And I remember the first webinar I did — and how terrified I was to go before hundreds of people on camera.
Now, that is easy for me.
If you want to play bigger, create more boldly and feel more confident by taking up space in the boardroom or a zoom room, you are likely wondering how you can be more brave.
One of my favorite personal development and coaching tools is focusing each morning on my own Brave Yes Power Tools. These are the tools I have selected that will help me be more me, be more confident and be more brave.
Because I’m not that fearless little girl anymore. I have to work for my courage. It’s a journey. A practice. A set of tools to use every single day because life has a way of taking over as we grow up and as we gain more and more responsibilities. Even when we know better, even when we know something needs to change, we become afraid to take risks.
We need courage now more than ever.
We need ALL kinds of courage because the market is saturated, the world is burning in many ways — physically and metaphorically.
Change is needed — and at every level.
And if you don’t step up and shine a light on your expertise and knowledge, you will be glossed over.
As a coach who literally empowers female entrepreneurs to play bigger in their business, I help you get unstuck so you can make necessary courage moves to grow your business.
What it means to be Brave as an Entrepreneur
Brave isn’t always big.
Sometimes — and often — brave is quiet and hidden from the world around you that only you see it and know it’s unfolding.
My Brave Yes CEO clients are focused on isn’t jet-setting and taking physical risk — though one of my more quiet clients did just brag about breaking a board in her karate class! Many of my clients are approaching midlife, raising families and don’t have the time or energy for big, physical risk-taking.
They want to be influential in their work and industry.
They want to serve deeply with heart and soul.
Inside my Brave Yes Coaching Program, I work with you on operationalizing The Brave Yes Power Tools — a set of powerful tools, practices and exercises to boost resilience, courage and well-being. These are the tools we need to be more courageous, to be women of influence, to be authentic, brave creators and changemakers are necessary.
From my research and coaching work I have identified (at least) 10 types of courage you can apply in your life and business as an entrepreneur.
Here’s 10 Ways to Be More Courageous in Your Business
DO YOU NEED SPIRITUAL COURAGE?
Spiritual Courage is actually one of my favorite areas to focus on in coaching as I have been inspiring women to leave their spiritual comfort zones for many years. Plus, as a longtime creative and creator — it takes a lot of trust to put your work out into the world, especially brave, authentic work that showcases your own ideas.
Spiritual courage is needed most when you need to take a Brave Yes Leap in your life — a new habit, a new attitude or perhaps a long overdue change that is scary yet exciting and liberating. You need spiritual courage when trust is needed as much as — or more than — taking action. Examples of this could include leaving an abusive or oppressive job, relationship or even a church. But it can also be a powerful practice as well if you simply want to expand your own spiritual beliefs or practice.
This kind of courage is also needed when you are ready to try something brave and out of your comfort zone — you know what you need to do but you are afraid nonetheless. Spiritual courage is also needed as you learn to trust yourself more or listen more to your own needs and intuition after years of not putting yourself first.
DO YOU NEED CREATIVE COURAGE?
Creative courage is a powerful yet fun focus area of courage — and one that I use often as an online creator, coach and writer. Creative courage is so needed in this world in order to stand out and make a splash in the busyness of the information highway.
We need leaders, artists, makers,, changemakers and creators to feel free to play and experiment with your full range of creativity and possibility. You need creative courage to write or even to dream of writing a book or becoming an author. You need creative courage to become a better painter, a prolific potter or a puppeteer (I actually have had a client whose husband did just this).
It takes creative courage to come out and practice your passion and to own it — such as one of my clients who is a clown but hadn’t done clowning since becoming a mother.
Physical courage isn’t just about running a marathon or signing up for Ironman — though it can be, for sure. It can also be about finally knowing that you need to make that long overdue dentist or mammogram appointment.
Physical courage is needed when you need to re-learn how to love yourself, take up space with your body and even give up on diet culture and learn how to love and listen to your body.
Physical courage is also needed when you are ready to leave your comfort zone and start to try new things — such as the time I finally swam in the sea for only the second time in my life. It might be ziplining or jumping out of an airplane but it also might be using your body to create a human wall during a protest.
DO YOU NEED EMOTIONAL COURAGE?
Emotional courage is used when you are afraid to show your emotions, afraid to reveal your emotions or afraid to talk about your emotions — or other people’s. This is all about how you allow yourself to be in emotional discomfort as well as practice leaning toward positive emotions.
I’ve been working with women for years on what I call the messy middle — the very uncomfortable space between places or the the midst of change that hasn’t fully happened yet — and this is a place of emotional upheaval, which makes it the perfect time to practice emotional courage.
Emotional courage is about embracing and honoring all of our huge spectrum of feelings that course through us in a single day or week or month. Learning to embrace our sensitive nature is courageous.
This kind of courage can also be about learning to love yourself, finally believing in yourself and your self-worth or accepting all of yourself.
Social courage is about being authentically you in every way and not being afraid to stand out, stick out or look different from others.
It can also be about taking risks to make friendships — or to end toxic friendships.
I love working with my clients on social courage as it’s all apart of our journey toward taking up more space in this world — because this is about walking into a room and feeling like you belong no matter what.
And, just as important, is practicing social courage when you want to network, connect and uplevel in your career. Reaching. outto build new relationships can feel very risky — and yet it’s essential to moving up in your career.
DO YOU NEED MORAL COURAGE?
Moral courage is about speaking up and leading your life based on your beliefs and values. It is beautiful to see people practicing moral courage more and more these days.
Of course, this is also what has divided people so it’s one that is super tricky and generally a challenge for humanity. And so moral courage can also be about listening, compassion and being kind in difficult circumstances.
When we are led by moral courage, we stand up and speak up for those who do not have a voice, we use our power to effect change and we do what we think is best based on our values and beliefs.
Sharing publicly that I support Black Lives Matter and other human rights causes is one way that I practice moral courage. I also have begun to plant trees as a 1:1 initiative for every client I work with.
Moral courage is an essential ingredient to use in the Brave Yes Life since it is values-led living and leadership.
DO YOU NEED INTELLECTUAL COURAGE?
Intellectual courage is hard to quantify but it can be as simple as learning more about an issue or cause that you are interested in. It can also be more complex like trying to understand a concept that is hard for you.
I work with my clients on deepening their intellectual courage all the time.
You need intellectual courage when you feel like you are not being stretched enough to use your mind, your brain or your ideas. You may feel bored by your job or your business. You may be bored in life, in general.
Intellectual courage is often more needed than we think and is such an easy one to work in to your everyday life. But choosing where to dedicate your learning energy is important. You want to focus on something that is going to truly capture your attention.
DO YOU NEED FINANCIAL COURAGE?
Financial courage is having the audacity to face your money story and your money struggles.
This type of courage is needed when you have been afraid to open your bank account and deal with the situation perhaps because of lack of enough money to do all the things you want in your life.
Financial courage is needed most when you need to have a better understanding of your financial situation and have possibly had your head in the sand over where your money is going.
You need financial courage when you are ready to uplevel in your life or lifestyle and take control over your money and your future.
DO YOU NEED IDENTITY COURAGE?
This kind of courage is about being willing to change a part of your identity — or a long held belief about yourself — that is no longer serving you.
If you have a sense that you are being held back by childhood conditioning or a relationship, you may be feeling a need for an identity change. You may need identity courage if you feel like you are ready to transition to a new gender or even to release all binary definitions of yourself. This may also be needed if you are uncovering a new understanding of your sexuality.
Identity Courage is often a huge Brave Yes as it relates to leaving a bad marriage or a bad job. It may mean changing who you hang out with or the kind of work you do or the business you’ve been running. It may also be all about upleveling and rising into someone of influence rather than hiding and staying quiet.
You need identity courage when you want to be braver as you head through a life change that means letting go of some — or all — of who you used to be.
DO YOU NEED SELF-AWARENESS COURAGE?
Self-awareness courage is about making the time and space to finally start knowing yourself and taking care of yourself.
This is often needed most when you are trying to make space for yourself, your needs, your joy and your pleasure after years of denial and hiding yourself.
Self-awareness courage is needed when you need to figure out who you are and what you are about and what brings you pleasure. Sometimes this kind of courage is about breaking bad habits, starting new rituals and routines or knowing finally what you really want for yourself.
This kind of courage is important because the fear of never knowing who you are and what brings you pleasure and joy is real. And, self-awareness work takes courage because it often brings up tender, difficult feelings. But it always leads you to a greater understanding of yourself so that you can be more brave and take up more space.