In my late teens and early twenties, I was obsessed with reading every book in the personal development aisle. Always the classics: Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Eckhart Tolle, Stephen Covey,…
Eventually I moved into autobiographies of business people, but that’s where I found a disconnect. Don’t get me wrong, the life lessons were there and powerful, but listening to someone at the end of their career meant they had forgotten the nuances of being in the trenches.
The advice of “Just Do It!” is easier to stomach when you already have a few successes under your belt. Telling a kid to get on a bike and “just ride!” is easier when you’ve been riding a bike for decades.
I remember a specific day in 2013, sitting at a bookstore, flipping through Richard Branson’s autobiography—pondering if I should buy it or not—and making a commitment that I would fill that gap. I would document my full journey so no one else had to sit at a book store, flipping through autobiographies of millionaires, trying to figure out how to go from a deer in headlights to an industry maven.
I know why that gap exists, of course. We never feel worthy of sharing our journey until we’ve “made it”, and then once we’ve “made it” we forget the nuances of what got us there.
The compromise I made to myself that day was to start sharing my journey privately in my daily journal. Like a new mother capturing special moments with her newborn, knowing the details will otherwise be soon forgotten. I wanted the option of teleporting back to the trenches of my career growth. My promise was to write for thirty minutes every day, to spill my guts, and to share my messy progress, so that when I “made it” I could go back and share the guts of my career evolution.
I think with this newsletter, I’m slowly building confidence in myself—and trust with you—to skip that middle step of a private journal and just share directly here. The guts of my business on this very day. All the self-doubt that’s keeping me playing small, the thought work I’m doing to recognize it, and ways in which I’m nudging myself to step into my power.
When you’re someone who is secretly ambitious, you always have many creative ideas whizzing around in your head. But releasing them into the real world? It’s no joke. Those ideas have lived so peacefully in our minds over the years. That half written book. That detailed outline for a new blog. Maybe even the first few posts already written.
There’s no “just doing it” for us. The patriarchy is working hard to remind us at every moment to stay small and doubt our ideas. It speaks to us in our own voice, so we assume we can trust it.
I’ve stopped trusting the voices in my head. They’re not mine. It’s some little asshole in there who wants to shut me down. Instead, I pay attention to my energy. If I’m buzzing and excited, I move forward.
When I wrote my farewell email to my Shopify colleagues in early January, I ended it with: “My plans for 2021? To throw myself into the entrepreneur rink and add more creativity, adventure, and growth into my life.”
I sometimes go back and re-read that email. The god damn energy behind that email! I was levitating out of my chair writing it. So proud to finally step into the unknown for my own growth.
I had that same buzzing excitement sharing my website with all of you just a few months ago. I wasn’t planning on it, my perfectionist brain obviously had plans to re-read and re-write it about 100 times more before sharing. But I woke up one morning in early January and decided yolo I’m releasing it into the wild this week. Since then, I haven’t even tweaked it that much. That’s the funny thing, once it was out of my head and into the world, my perfectionist brain wasn’t as crazy anymore. It accepted defeat. I was able to actually start enjoying my website, not overthinking or shaming myself about every tiny detail of it.
This week, I found myself overthinking a new business idea…
Personal Branding Mentorship for Professionals.
It’s something I’ve been doing for years with my high-end clients, but tailoring the framework to professionals is a new idea I’ve been tinkering with.
I’ve even started coaching several wonderful women over the past few months. And yet, my brain is telling me to keep it under wraps. To keep it a little secret on my website that has to be found.
Even as I write this, I can see the limiting beliefs that have been keeping my dreams small. My former “secretly ambitious”self trying to hide something I’m proud of… surprise, surprise, we meet again!
Thankfully, I’ve anointed 2021 as the year of being audacious enough to dream big. I also happened to stumble across a podcast episode with Brooke Castillo who shared something that I clearly needed to hear: that happiness is not the goal to strive for. That happiness is actually quite boring… happiness is a cat lying in the sun all day. Do I want to just lie in the sun all day and do nothing else with my life?!
She then shared that the real goal is ALIVENESS. Filling ourselves with moments that fire us up, that push us past our Negative Nancy thoughts, that make us levitate in our chairs because we just fucking did that thing. It’s that underlying core of wellbeing that comes when we show up as our magnificent selves with no apology. A deep happiness that doesn’t need to be called in, but is just there—even when we’re alone with our thoughts in the middle of the night.
That’s what releasing a new idea into the wild feels like.
So here’s to aliveness. Instead of writing about it in my journal, I’m spilling the guts of my April 9th, 2021 business idea in real time: a fresh new page that I added to my website…
My former twenty year old self would be gawking in disbelief right now.