The first six months
Last September, I picked nine cards out of my deck of Crazy Sexy Love Notes and lined them up on my coffee-table-turned-headquarters.
Breathe deeply. Pause. Listen to your body. Notice the blessings. Believe. You are loved. Offer your love. Risk it. Make waves.
Then I hit “share” on my big announcement: my new venture Realize Change was live, and after 15 years working in the non-profit sector, I was now an entrepreneur.
Over the next few weeks, I had coffees and phone chats with dozens of people, sharing my vision and figuring out how, exactly, I was going to go about making it work.
I was putting myself out there, keeping a sense of excitement and possibility, even confirming my first paying client!!
Then one day, I had a conversation that really threw me for a loop. This person was trying to be helpful and supportive, but unfortunately, the effect on me was just the opposite. I was hurt and fuming. I felt small and incapable.
And at that moment I faced a choice: I could fall into old habits of stewing and licking my wounds, waiting for some external circumstance to come along and cheer me up. Or, I could do things differently.
Here’s what I did:
Turning on “Roar” by Katy Perry, I summoned my inner tiger and actually, well, roared.
I looked at nice notes people have given me over the years and took in their sentiments, feeling grateful for these relationships, and for being seen and appreciated in my unique contributions to the world.
Then I took out a stack of notecards and penned my own messages of thanks to people whose kindness and trust in me were key to getting this venture off the ground.
But my fledgling resilience needed more practice to grow stronger and really “stick.” Over the course of the fall and winter, through leadership trainings, coaching sessions, reading, movement, and journaling, I continued to do the deep inner work I needed to do to be successful in my venture.
There were rocky moments, profound moments, and exhilarating moments. Poetry ensued. I resolved on the deepest gut level to finally let out my authentic creativity, so that my soul could thrive. I put my coaching offer out there through listservs and workshops, and brought more and more clients on board. I adopted new money beliefs, and set income targets that sounded something like a salary. I shared 15 years’ worth of original songs with a packed house of friends and family, and with the entire internet. And, oh yeah, I took up the cello.
Among other sources of support, one of the most most helpful things has been a professional peer group called the Creative Changemakers Circle that my friends Kelsey, Gabriella, and I created for ourselves. We’ve met over video conference each month to celebrate wins, seek support and suggestions, and set goals with accountability. It has been an ideal antidote to the loneliness of solopreneurship, like having really close colleagues again, even though we’re pursuing our own handcrafted paths independently.
Now I want to offer all this to other women entrepreneurs. I’m bringing together the most powerful and effective tools I’ve found — along with years of facilitation, community building, innovation, and mentorship experience — to create an enriching, transformative experience for women with important and soul-centered social change visions that need to be realized.
I truly believe that the world needs you, and your authentic contributions. In the words of my friend Rabbi Laura Bellows, “May the longing of your heart be met with the longing of the world for your unique awesomeness, your radiance, your struggles, your truth.”
Learn more about the Women Realize Change Cohort here.