It's the Summer Solstice here in the Northern Hemisphere - the longest day of the year.
But for solo-preneurs like you and me, even the longest day can feel too short.
I don't mean to start this month's message on a negative note, but let’s face it. Business can be a grind.
We wear so many hats. Often, our to-do list becomes really LONG.
When this happens, it’s tempting to become task-masters with ourselves, disconnecting from our hearts so we can move full steam ahead.
When our business is reduced to grinding out the mechanics, we start losing hope it can be what we dreamed it could be.
And that can lead to stress and burnout.
But what if being productive didn’t have to involve disconnecting from our hearts?
Here's where a trusted guide can help.
A skilled guide, coach, or consultant will hold space so you can let go of the taskmaster and soften into possibility.
It’s like a caterpillar inside a cocoon. Part of its transformation involves turning into goo before becoming a butterfly.
Do you know this gooey feeling? You may mistake it for failure. But it's not failure at all - it's a necessary process of growth and change.
So I want you to know – it takes courage to surrender and let ourselves become goo.
As women, we're built to hold space for others. But It’s hard for us to allow someone to hold space for us. We often resist letting go of outcomes and surrendering to process. Our cultural role dictates that we become problem solvers, fixers, and pain-alleviators.
But when you allow someone to space for you, amazing things happen in your business - and life.
A truly transformative guide will help you construct a reliable cocoon, bear witness while you melt, and help you find your wings.
~ • ~ • ~ • ~
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Those of you who follow me regularly know how much of a nature lover I am. And now that summer's here, I've been hitting the trails as often as possible.
Recently, I took a hike with my family to the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve near our home. There, we spotted this adorable toad resting among the leaves (look at its cute little legs!)
I'm amazed we even saw it, given how well it blended into its surroundings. I marvel at the creative lengths Mother Nature goes to in order to protect herself and her animal kingdom.
And that's how the idea for this article was born.
While camouflage is great for survival, it’s a terrible marketing strategy.
But that’s exactly what so many of us are tempted to do.
Play it safe.
Don’t draw attention to ourselves.
It's embedded in our DNA.
But if our business is to survive, we must be willing to stand out. We must stop playing small.
Time and time again, when I sit down with clients to write their brand stories and websites, we discover they are hiding their true magic.
As women, one of our deepest fears is that we'll be shunned for shining and showing our true colors. We'll be kicked out of the tribe, judged, and hated. That's heavy stuff. And it's also B.S.
I want you to own your fierce brilliance, without losing the connections you hold dear. I want you to find that delicate balance between shining and connecting. As women, we’ve been taught that we must dull our shine in order to “fit in” or “be liked” by others. But I want something different for you. I want you to shine AND feel loved. To be your boldest, bravest, and truest self WHILE deeply connecting with others in ways that feed your soul.
There's no better place to practice this than your marketing. Sharing your brilliance does not have to put a wall between your and others. Your brilliance is a beacon that draws them to you. In her book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson writes, “who are you NOT to be brilliant?” It’s in each of us. Our brilliance wants to be made manifest through us. Our playing small does not serve the world.
As entrepreneurs, we are risk takers. Yet, we often stop short of risking our comfort zones for our brilliance. Our very survival seems to be linked to blending in. What I want for you is to leave that behind and bring your full self to the world.
This is our work together.
Summon your courage.
Get support to help you figure out what makes you stand out.
This will open the flow of clients to you – I promise.
Let's leave the camouflaging to the toads. Women, it's time for us to shine.
* * * * *
If you’re ready to make marketing work for you, and get clear on your message – with fun and full integrity – let’s talk.
Click here to visit my online calendar and schedule a no-cost 30-minute consultation. Together, we'll discover what you need to get this turned around.
Are you hiding these days? Why or why not? Comment below and let's talk it out.
At first glance, I’m not a big fan of endings. Whether it’s a relationship, project, or year, I have a hard time sticking around until the end.
It’s normal for things to run their course, but for me, when the ending is on the horizon, my first instinct is to bolt.
Why? Because the final phase is uncomfortable. It requires a tending to. It necessitates a letting go. It invites a sense of loss, which often brings sadness. And rather than face these things, it’s often easier to leave prematurely.
Allow me to share a recent experience to illustrate my point.
This fall, I participated in a writing circle that lasted for 13 weeks. At week 11, we had a public reading of our work. Energetically, this felt like a culmination of the class. After that, I was ready to be done. But, by design*, we had two more classes remaining to gather, process our experience, and say good bye to our writing mates.
These last two weeks, I found myself not wanting to go. Why? Because the structure of the class allowed room for conscious closure, which contains an element of laboriousness. Conscious closure requires a knitting up of loose ends, which can feel tedious. At a basic human level, most of us would rather just get on with the next thing.
Despite my resistance, however, I chose to show up. I sat my ass on the pillow and rode out the diminishing energy of closure. I tolerated the sentimentality of goodbyes and gratitudes. I even named my resistance aloud, and discovered I wasn’t alone. This affirmed to me that difficulties with endings may be a common challenge of the human condition.
Experiences are like stories, in that they follow an arc. Simply put, there’s a beginning, climax, and ending.
The beginning contains rising action in which tension and anticipatory excitement builds.
The climax is where the action comes to a peak.
The conclusion is where the energy tapers off and the story comes to a resolution.
A year can be seen in this light, too. We begin each year with anticipatory excitement, new intentions, hopes and dreams for what we will create in the months ahead. Our year may contain one or more climaxes, peak events such as a vacation, a success in our work life, a birth, or a wedding, to name a few. And then the year winds down to a close. The Winter Solstice is the darkest night, an invitation to turn within before we transition to the increasing light in the new year.
It’s interesting that exchanging gifts at year’s end is a tradition. I think there’s something about this ritual that helps us see that there is beauty in closure. If we rush ahead or run away to avoid it, we miss out on these gifts.
So I invite you at the close of this year to stick with it until the end. Look back at the story arc that unfolded for you over the past twelve months.
BEGINNING: What were you hoping for early on?
CLIMAX: What were your peak experiences?
ENDING: How is your year resolving as it draws to a close?
On the final day of my writing circle, we did a beautiful gift exchange. Each woman was invited to bring a small gift to offer. We wrote notes from our gift to be read by the recipient. Then we did a random exchange in which each woman serendipitously received the gift that was meant for her. The gift I received was a beeswax candle in a glass votive surrounded by 4 delicate seashells. The note attached read:
I am a light bearer.
I bring with me the sweetness of honeybees, the saltiness of ocean beaches, and the warmth of a fireside.
I have appeared to tell you that this, too, shall pass out of your life,
But its season will come again in a way familiar or new.
I bring you light for the journey.
I’m so glad I stuck around until the end.
*This writing circle followed the model of Women Writing for (a) Change®
If you're an entrepreneurial woman who would like to explore your creativity in a group that incorporates practices of conscious community, I'm offering a book study/writing circle based on Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert, starting January 18, 2018. We still have a few spots open. You can check out all the details here.
Author and Branding Consultant
I am passionate about helping mission-centered business owners share their message through compelling written and visual content.
My memoir, What I Gave to the Fire, is available in both print and Kindle formats on Amazon.com.