I had only been on the Skype call with my coach Scott for about two minutes when I felt the tears starting to bubble up like hot little fountains. “Let me grab a tissue” I said, as I rolled my chair off camera. When I came back with a fistful of Kleenex I said, “I think I’ve had this cry coming on for days now, sorry!” Scott’s response was just what I needed to hear. He said, “Hey, you’re allowed to have a moment! Everyone has those times they just feel like nothing is working and it’s too hard. I have them, my clients all have them and you’re having one right now.”
The underbelly of doing big, bold, brave things is sometimes you feel like Wonder Woman and can take on the world, and other days you just need a good cry! On that particular day I had just finished teaching Masterclass and was sad it was over and was feeling overwhelmed with the marketing I needed to for my next class, a sponsor of the Million Dollar Women Summit was potentially pulling out, I had just figured out my new boyfriend and I were probably not the right fit, and my kids had been gone for six weeks between camp and a trip with my ex-husband. I was just feeling like nothing was working, I missed my boys, I didn’t have the support I wanted, and I was the opposite of “fired up.”
What Happens When You Feel Small?
Most of us Type A, high achieving women drive ourselves pretty hard. We set big goals, we take big risks, and much of the time we hit the mark. But not every time, or else we would be superhuman, and kind of boring too! When you are not hitting the mark, or something you fought and pushed for doesn’t come through, who do you turn to? Do you allow yourself that Moment, or do you just soldier on? Part of the challenge of being an entrepreneur is that you are leading most of the time, and when you need support, you aren’t always sure who you can turn to. Our partners, spouses and friends aren’t usually the best people to turn to when things feel like they are spinning out of control.
Having a coach or business partner is a great antidote when you are feeling out of touch with your superpowers. Joining a community of entrepreneurs is also a fantastic way to get support from people who really understand what it’s like to be “in the arena” (you might remember my other crying story from Million Dollar Women – when I couldn’t get off the office couch and my friend Carrie from my Entrepreneurs’ Organization was the only one who could get me unstuck!)
Big Obstacles Mean You Are Thinking Big
Here is the thing: if you AREN’T hitting really big, gnarly obstacles that make you want to cry every so often, you probably aren’t setting big enough goals! In my Masterclass we like to remind each other, “This is not the dress rehearsal.” As far as we know, we are only on this glorious earth ONCE and have this ONE CHANCE to do big, ambitious, bold, community- and sometimes world-changing things. So let’s give ourselves permission to do them, even if it feels awful sometimes.
As a business owner, you are already a super friggin’ brave Wonder Woman. Only about 4% of the population are entrepreneurs because it’s an uncharted path, with gremlins and goblins that jump out from behind trees all day long. MOST people are still staring at the cubicle wall and cursing their boss, and many of them would like to be doing what you are doing. But they are not. And you are. Which makes you really brave.
So if you are having a moment right now, I am here to say TAKE IT. And if you need a little inspiration or extra help staying brave, I suggest you join a community of entrepreneurs who share your values, will help you reach for greater heights, and will be there for you when you are feeling small. I will also share one of my little pick me up tips. I love to watch Game of Thrones whenever I need a little reminder of badass women and their superpowers. Seriously, who is writing this stuff and was he in my women’s studies class at Yale? Ok it was this guy, and no he wasn’t.
Whether it’s Queen Daenarys standing up to brawny Dothrakis who way underestimate her and wind up as burnt toast, or Arya learning to fight like a ninja while she is blind or the “Iron Born” sister setting out to rescue her brother from gnarly captivity, or my recent favorite scene in Season 6, Sansa Stark telling her half brother John Snow “I am going to take back Winterfell. It’s the right thing to do and I am doing it! Are you going to help me or will I have to do it alone?” The poor man had been living in a freezer for five years, had just come back from the dead after being killed by his own men and was so DONE fighting, but one look at her passion, purpose and determination and he was like, “I’m in.”
It’s What Happens After The Moment That Matters Most
So I will always remind you to stay brave (it’s stay, not be, for a reason), and I know you will because that’s what you do. But brave doesn’t mean invincible. Brave doesn’t mean you don’t get to sometimes doubt, and think it will never work, and yes, have a cry. Just make sure you have the right people around you when you have your Moment. Because it’s what you do on the other side of the cry that matters. I got off the call with Scott feeling totally re-energized thanks to how he held that space for me, and while all the obstacles I was facing are far from cleared, my mind is back in the right “water around rocks” place. I am lucky that in addition to Scott, I have many people (including a lot of women entrepreneur friends) who can hold that space for me. If you need a little boost right now, read my blog about Mindset and what you can do to stay in a positive state. Please take good care of yourself and protect your greatest asset: you. If you are having a Moment right now, know I am right there with you and I think you should have that cry! Then, go for a run, make a drinks or brunch date with a friend, drink wine with your partner, take your kids out for ice cream or go download Game of Thrones from iTunes.
And remember, the bigger the obstacles, the bigger the goals, and the sweeter it will be when you get there. Because you will.
Stay brave (but not superhuman),
P.S. If you want to join my community of high growth women entrepreneurs, head over to www.mdwmasterclass.com to find out when our next class starts. Or find us on Facebook at Julia Pimsleur – Female Founders Going Big