I begin writing this blog post to support an amazing women’s community in Atlanta on a weekend afternoon in preparation for my upcoming virtual course called How to Stay Near to Success Even in Remote Times on the floor of my living room, still in my pajamas, covered in cat hair. As I looked at my sleeping cats and my 8-year old daughter playing with her L.O.L Surprise! dolls, I felt all the feelings, took a deep breath, and gave myself permission to be honest and authentic – personally and professionally. (see my post on the-lola.com)
How To AIM When The Target Seems Unclear
Over the last several weeks, I’ve been having total déjà vu… the highs, lows and working nonstop feel so reminiscent to 2007-2009. At that time, not only was I aggressively working to grow my business in the height of the recession, I was recently divorced, in grad school, had no savings and only a couple of years under my belt as a business owner.
I was flying in the dark with no instruments.
But through the fear and uncertainty, something inside of me kept moving forward. I reached out to organizations offering to teach (to get myself and my company in front of ideal audiences), took damn good care of the clients who I currently had (to keep them coming back) and brought on team members to help me co-pilot so I could do more of what I did best (while hiring others to do the rest). I did a ton of personal work and grew through all the turbulence. In spite of bumpy times, I built a beautiful business and wildly wonderful life.
Now, over a decade later, I sit in my house (not because I want to, but because I have to and it’s the responsible thing to do) feeling the uncertainty ahead. While I’m familiar with unfamiliar skies, this time, I’m on a different plane. I am remarried, a mom, have 2 mortgages, 7 amazing employees, fabulous subcontractors and 20+ clients looking to me for leadership. I’m back to working part-time (as in 12 hours a day) to support my team, my clients and my family and right now, that’s ok.
While I am operating in more of a crisis “take care of my clients, team and family at all costs” mode these days, the gift of these scary times have provided me with the critical clarity needed to prepare for what’s to come realistically and in a more rewarding way.
Know this wild web sisters – you can still AIM and hit success, even when the target has moved.
The lessons I learned from my first turbulent flight have reminded me that now, more than ever, it is critical that we AIM, focusing on:
Affirmation * Inspiration * Motivation
Affirmation is about asserting facts strongly, to yourself AND to others. The first thing I did when the virus reared it’s head was make powerful declarations. I vowed to be a strong leader. I also promised myself that I would use this time to finally get things done that I’ve been putting off for no good reason (like growing my retreats and finally finishing my second book).
While we cannot control a lot of things, we can choose to control our choices and actions. In addition to making positive affirmations, write them down to stay positive and proactive. The mind is for thinking, not storing.
Examples of affirmations include:
“I’m going to emerge stronger after this”
“I’m rising up and owning my expertise”
“I attract clients who value my worth.”
The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.” This is your time to steady your career in ways you might have never imagined. Take a good hard look at your value proposition, what you are offering and how you can be of service in tough times. Or, if you are in the middle of a career shift, use this time to affirm your goals.
On the flip side, look at how you can help provide affirmation (emotional support or encouragement) to others. One of the best things you can do to lift yourself up is to help lift others up.
Take time to journal affirmations for yourself and also to make affirmations to help others.
One of the most valuable things you can do right now to nourish yourself is to stay inspired. The first few weeks of physical distancing (which I refuse to call social distancing since you can still be socially connected while being physically distant) I had to re-tool the ways I found inspiration. Museums were off limits, gardens I love were closed, vacations cancelled and places I loved to retreat to with friends were closed. But that wasn’t going to stop me from being mentally stimulated, inspired and creative.
Online programs that I could offer began to emerge in my mind. Ways to improve my business practices became topics of conversation. I hired a creative company to help me idea-ate and improve some of my brand assets for my retreat business. I cleaned my house, replanted plants, organized and found inspiration in cooking, home making (I know…right??!) and started planning for the future.
And, I’m working more on being inspiring. Inspiration is also about offering emotional support or encouragement.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
You don’t need millions of Instagram followers to be inspiring. This is our time to shine ladies! You can be inspiring to others AND to yourself.
Own your awesome.
Write down things and topics that inspire you. Don’t try to impress anyone, write down what rocks your world. Next, write down ways that you can inspire others. It can be as easy as taking time every day to be supportive in online communities, writing helpful social media posts or making a more concentrated effort to live by example.
Creativity is everything. In good times and in bad, still be inspired and live inspired.
While I have flown through storms before, I’m well aware of the reality that the now conditions are very, very different. Running a virtual business for almost 15 years (my team and I work out of 5 different states, all from home) I am so grateful that we have working from home mastered, and because I love the work I do and have deep relationships with my clients and team, I still feel more motivated than ever to work hard to not just survive, but to thrive in these times.
In wild times, we can wilt or we can grow. Relationships are everything, especially now. If you are feeling motivationally challenged, don’t be afraid to ask for support. The reason I created the WWW Rebel Circle was to create a community where women could get the support they needed, not just from each other but from the team of experts at our company for hands-on support to grow and thrive.
Be motivated to grow and know that that growth means change.
(and nobody grows cuddled up on the couch sipping tea!)
To read another version of this post that I wrote for the-lola.com, click here.