I did something kind of scary yesterday. Rather than take a client/prospect to lunch, I asked them to go golfing. Previously, I had only golfed with friends and never with a business associate. As a result, I was very nervous and also quite nauseous. I could have easily “chickened out,” but based on the premise of my new business venture, I needed to be brave and say YES!
Here’s an important piece of backstory . . .
I was standing in line for coffee at a women’s conference in February of 2019. While making small talk with the ladies in front of me, one of them asked, “Why are you here?”
The theme of the conference was “Fearless.” I explained that I had been struggling with why I was so fearless when it came to business, but I was scared to death when it came to my personal life. They introduced me to author Brene’ Brown, and I subsequently devoured her book Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. My copy of that book is now full of highlights and dog-eared pages.
I hear all the time from people how “strong” and “fierce” I am. I won’t disagree with that assessment when it comes to business, but when it comes to my personal life, I was (am) frozen. I’m a psychology minor, so I’m educated enough to know that it’s a lot of (minor) PTSD that has kept me “hunkered down” for years. (And NO . . . I didn’t grow a beard, nor do I look like the Unabomber.)
I had no desire to subject myself or my daughters to another bad situation and feared that if I “put myself out there,” I would do just that. I was incredibly fulfilled and reluctant to mess up the perfect balance that I had created. Again, as a psychology minor, I had convinced myself that I can control my situation.
So after the conference and after reading Brown’s book, I embarked upon a journey to put myself out there more and try to be more vulnerable. I don’t have any spectacular case studies for you about how this resulted in some amazingly fulfilling personal relationship. In fact, the truth be told, I got my ass kicked at first. (Brown discusses this in her book, as well.) Still, the good news is that I did it, and I will make the argument that discussing my personal life in a blog post—this blog post—is vulnerable.
A few weeks back, I was the subject of an interview. I thought it would be a fun morning with my daughters and the opportunity to discuss business and how my daughters inspired me. The videographer asked some really personal questions and (literally) made me cry. But this is what he said to me: “Women all over will relate to this, and it is inspiring. I’m a big believer that you can be the answer to someone’s prayers, both intentionally and unintentionally.”
If telling my story provides some inspiration to another woman to pick herself up and to be more vulnerable, put herself out there, or start a business during a pandemic, then it’s definitely worth it. And I have to keep reminding myself that it’s worth it.
Choosing to be a hermit truly does NOT help anyone.
I am amazed all the time how brave my daughter has been throughout her wrestling journey. Here she was, one of the only girls in a room full of boys and men, and she was fearless. While it is continually changing for the better, the younger girls still have a bit of a struggle. Other girls their age often don’t understand why they would choose this sport over another more “girly” option, and the boys don’t necessarily want them there. I get it . . . their mothers have told them since birth to never hurt a girl. So if they ease up on them and they get beat, then they’ll have to endure endless ribbing from their buddies.
I love how my girls inspire me every day! When I struggled to decide if I should launch my business with so many unknowns due to a global pandemic, I reverted to the premise behind the company: “Just Say YES!”
When I was thinking of every reason to cancel golf yesterday, I again reverted to my daughter and her inspiration. I showed vulnerability and told the other person how nervous I was.
He showed a lot of grace, and you know what? I didn’t do too badly on the golf course!
The moral of the story is a simple one: Put yourself out there . . . and just say YES!