First off, I’d like to say thank you for your patience and consideration as I return from a hiatus; you’re all so compassionate and I love you for it. While I had hoped for much rest and relaxation over the holiday, I spent more time and energy trying to manage my time and energy, with all the holiday events, celebrations, and family engagements. I’m excited to be back, connecting with you all, and I’m looking forward into 2015 with excitement (more on that later).
I wrapped a fashion/style-based entrepreneurial networking event (that’s a mouthful) in December, and I needed some time to recover from all the time and energy and effort I had put into that. This experience pulled me right out of my comfort zone and taught me some valuable lessons, which I share with you below.
This empowering, liberating, and sexy term seems to be the best way to really sum up everything I learned – and in two words no less. The powerful “B”, the commanding “O”, the hissing “S”, and the punch-packed “ED”, the alluring “U”, and the smacking “P” – it’s truly perfection.
In November I sat down at a table with a team of 3 other young entrepreneurs – notebook full of ideas – and proposed an event to rival all previous events. As the ideas leapt from the pages and into my eyes, and left my lips, the white board was no longer a blank canvas but a vision for “Styl’d 4 Success” – an event with the intent of supporting a good cause, and showcasing local fashion and style, while empowering young entrepreneurs and professionals to look and feel their best; afterall, that is very much a part of what the It Just Got Reno brand is about.
I had surprised myself with the way I handled everything and articulated my vision, and I had apparently impressed everyone else, because they agreed to let me spearhead the project, and so the planning, coordinating, and team building began.
There’s something about working on a team and executing a vision that brings forth a lot of… colour. You begin to see the depth and complexity of yourself and of those involved in the creative process, and there’s beauty and value in the way these colours bleed together – complementing and clashing – a beautiful mess of sorts. The end result – a masterpiece to be reflected upon.
Sure, I had worked on fashion events before, but not in this capacity and with this many duties – I dove right out of my comfort zone and face first into uncertainty. See, you’re never really going to be ready, and confusion, concern, fear, and hesitation are all part of the journey. They’re not there to stop you, they’re convinced they’re protecting you, but that’s not always the case, which I quickly learned.
As I continue to swim deeper and deeper into the ocean that is the world of entrepreneurship, I learn more and more about myself, about people, and about what it means to “boss up”.
No failures, only lessons.
I’ve learned that when people reveal who they are the first time, you must believe them – this is neither good nor bad, it is simply a fact. I’ve learned not to “bleed” around “sharks” (I’m a bleeder, so this is particularly difficult). I’ve learned to trust my intuition and instinct – my heart, my soul, and my gut. I’ve learned the value of my intellectual property and the importance of protecting it. I’ve learned that asking for help is okay, and that it’s okay to not have all the answers. I’ve learned to embrace being powerful, and that it’s okay to express my power. I’ve learned to speak up and be honest and open about exactly what it is that I’m thinking and feeling, and to leave little to no room for ambiguity (when unnecessary). I’ve learned to take some things at face value. I’ve learned to plan, and plan, and plan again – every little detail matters.
I’ve learned that “Please,” “Thank You,” “Sorry,” “Love,” and “Light” are some of my favourite words. I’ve learned that due diligence is a must – dig deeper. I’ve learned that leadership, delegation, gratitude, and authenticity are an entrepreneurs best friends. I’ve learned that team work makes the dream work, and that team meetings, and clear, safe, and open lines of communication are essential. I’ve learned the importance of making sure that you “get yours”, because you better believe that everyone else is hustling to get theirs. I’ve learned that in business strength and toughness are required, but there’s still a place for love and light. I’ve learned that there’s a place for assertiveness, and that assertiveness does not make you an asshole – being an asshole makes you an asshole. I’ve learned to measure twice and cut once. I’ve learned the value of friendship and relationships, and that people really do show up for you when it matters most.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that in the thick of all of this, it’s important to remain grounded in your truth, and to remember who you are, what you value, and what you’re capable of.
It becomes very easy to get lost in the chaos that is life and business, and suddenly realize that somewhere along the way you fell out of touch with YOU and what YOU value in life. I once spoke of the value of existing like the tree – “affected by the wind, and my roots firmly planted in my foundation – love light, and liberation” – and I believe this metaphor is a beautiful visual for how we might begin to experience life.
Somewhere in the chaos of organizing, coordinating, managing, styling, and emceeing an event, and the technical difficulties that would ensue, I realized the extent of my potential, and how powerful I become when supported by passion, vision, love, light, and a team of amazing people to support myself and one another on the journey. Delegating became natural, and the natural-born leader arose – like a phoenix from the ashes.
Then it hit me: I had always been “bossed up” – I just needed to be reminded.
With Love, Light, Liberation, & Style,
What’s coming up for you as we kick-off the first month of 2015? How can I help you, or be of service?
Also, I’m eager to hear how 2014 was for all of you! Please do not hesitate to share, as you and your stories are nothing short of inspiring.
What would make 2015 a transformational year for you? Please share in the comments, on Facebook, or Tweet me!
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