Some moms spend hours every day searching on pinning on Pinterest. I’m not that mom.
Some moms pin their own recipes, crafts, and décor with their own photos from their own lives. I’m not that mom.
Some moms make cute little signs for their kids’ first day of school. I’m not that mom.
Some moms cut their kids sandwiches into shapes like stars or monsters. I’m not that mom.
Some moms make eyes, noses, and mouths on said sandwiches. I’m not that mom.
Some moms pack their kids’ lunches full of colors so it looks like the bento box threw up a rainbow. I’m not that mom.
All of us think we have some idea of who we really are. We may be a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend. We may be a teacher, a doctor, an office worker, or a stay at home mom. We may have been told that we are fun, funny, a good listener, and kind. We may have been told that we are cold, selfish, controlling, judgmental. It runs the gamut.
Where did our sense of self come from? Primarily from our thinking…a collection of thoughts about our selves. Our thoughts about ourselves include who we think we are, and what other people tell us. We have developed an identity from our childhood experiences, our ideas from our parents and siblings, and from our culture.
What we often fail to realize, is that who we think we are, actually begins when we are first figuring out the world around us, and how people in our world relate to us. As a child, we don’t have an understanding of how the world works. The beginnings of our sense of who we are, and who we are not, start to take shape when we are about three or four years old. That’s pretty scary when you think about it! Our three and four year-old selves are starting to form opinions about how important we are, how loved we are, whether we are smart enough, how much we think we matter to others. And not only are these beliefs becoming a solid part of our sense of self, but it is these early beliefs that will play a huge role in almost every aspect of our lives, from our self esteem, to the people we choose to be in relationships with. And it all starts around three years old. Yikes!
I find Beyonce incredibly empowering. She is fierce, fabulous, and not afraid to speak her truth or be vulnerable. I wish I could bottle that shit up. When I’m in one of my funks, I might ask myself (don’t laugh), what would Beyonce say right now?
I’m leaving for Campowerment tomorrow. I’m unbelievably excited to return to the place that changed my life only 6 months ago. I can’t wait to see what camp has in store for me this time!
So in honor of my upcoming trip to Campowerment this week, today’s post takes the form of affirmations in Beyonce Lyrics…because let’s face it…Beyonce and Campowerment? Both bad-ass!
I’m back with Dawn Andrews–mom, business strategist, life coach, and successful entrepreneur. Today she talks about women getting into business, what holds them back, and how to juggle being your own boss and the boss of your family at the same time.
What Holds Women Back
Permission is the biggest thing. I find that for many women, it’s almost as if they are waiting for someone outside to tap them and say “Yeah, you can do this. Go for it!” Thankfully, because of growing up in an entrepreneurial family, and I’m not saying I don’t experience permission issues in other areas in my life, but when it came to that “go make your own thing,” that has never been an issue for me in terms of getting something started.
Pretty, Polished, and Perfect
The phenomenon is that men, because they don’t generally have that permission issue, just go out and do stuff, ask for stuff and forge forward with an initiative without much concern until they bump into something. They they figure out how to get around the rock that got in their way. Women want to have everything laid out. They want to know they have a clear path ahead of them before they even begin. And no path is every going to be clear. So we will spend time spinning, making sure everything is pretty, polished, perfect, and organized, so we know all the steps. But that isn’t how life works. What kills their possibility of going into business is that they’re looking for a sure thing and anything that is worth pursuing, as everyone who is a mother will know, is a dam hot mess.
Meet my good friend and expert Dawn Andrews, business strategist and life coach in the world of entertainment. I immediately connected with Dawn this past spring at Campowerment and recently participated in her new small business incubator, Grow Your Big Idea. Read on to find out how you too can join the Grow Your Big Idea community, why Dawn thinks more women need to get involved in business, and how she doesn’t find balance between being the entrepreneur boss of her own company and being the mom boss of her house and two boys, ages 7 and 9.
A Business Strategist and Life Coach
The main reason people come to a business strategist is because they own a company of some sort and have reached a plateau in their development or growth. What’s unique about the business strategy that we do is that we help business owners take their businesses from personable to sellable. A lot of people start their companies and grow organically and they’re growing on their own energy, ideas, and enthusiasm, but they don’t have the wherewithal to create a business plan and put together something that actually has value beyond just the monthly revenue they make. As a business strategist, I look at people’s businesses, predominantly service and creatively-oriented or businesses in entertainment and help them strategize growth and what their exit strategy would be. The life coaching part comes in handy because usually any time any of us are growing, we come up against our past history and psychology. The life coach part helps businesses deal with their own personal roadblocks.
Becoming a Coach
I was a director of marketing for an entertainment company and I grew up in an entrepreneurial family. The best way I can put it is that I always grew up in an environment where making your own thing was more desirable to being employed by somebody else. I don’t think I consciously knew that at the time, but as I got into my late twenties and thirties, there was a time when a lot of traction was happening in business—lots of lay offs and smaller companies were being bought by larger companies. I just looked around and thought, “This just seems silly.” Why am I sweating it that I’m going to be in the next round of layoffs when I can just do something myself.
I am a teacher.
Often, I have to repeat those words to myself. Roll them around in my mouth for a bit and let them slide off my tongue. Breathe them in and then out again.
Let them settle into my brain, my soul, my heart.
Especially my heart.
I have to do these things because, in an age where teaching has been reduced to collecting data and preparing for standardized tests and completing evaluation paperwork and beseeching the public to offer support instead of criticism, it’s easy to lose sight of the reason you got into this job in the first place. To become downtrodden by the political and corporate takeover and decimation of education. To consider giving up and finding some other way to pay the bills.
My yoga instructor read this at the beginning of class last weekend. It really resonated with me and was just what I needed to hear at that moment. Recently, I’ve been finding that in my complicated, chaotic, hot mess of a life, yoga is simple and something I have control over. I control whether I show up on my mat. I control the work I do and the strength I build. On my mat, I can shut out everyone and everything for 75 minutes each day. 75 minutes just for me…to relax, recharge, reflect, and accept..to feel powerful…to grow stronger…to breathe…to just be me.
So I’m stealing the words and sharing them with all of you. Maybe it’s what you need to hear too…because YOU ARE NOT BROKEN and either am I.
You have all the power, resources, capabilities and abilities to change anything about yourself that no longer serves you. You have zero power to change another human being, including your own children. This journey of self-awareness is about you and only you—not because you are selfish, but because you understand the need to be whole in order to fully give.
How Clarity Leads to Having the Life You Want
Lily Tomlin said, “I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.” Lily was of course being funny. But, she’s right.
I’m often asked by women, “How do I get from where and who I am, to where and whom I really want to be?” My first reply is to ask them what they truly want. Many, many times they don’t really know. All they know for certain is they want something else, something more, something true and purpose-filled. Coming up with a concise true response to that question (what do you really want?) seems simple until someone asks you, or until you ask yourself. Try it.
Here’s what I know. Having a true and clear answer is very empowering. It’s the beginning of everything. The greatest starting point in living an empowered life is having clarity around what you want. Your ability to develop a clear and detailed picture of what you want is paramount in embarking on the journey to getting there and creating the life you want.
It’s All About Your Attitude
Yes Ladies, attitude is everything! You’ve likely have heard the phrase “fake it till you make it,” and yes, at times it can be a good strategy in business or the start of a great marketing campaign while you’re building and establishing your brand. However, “faking it” is not the greatest idea when it comes to your own personal attitudes. Just the opposite, authenticity, is the foundation for an effective attitude.
Your attitude about your life determines the quality of it. That is a fact.
Numerous health psychology studies show that the quality of life is very often the result of one’s attitude. It’s been six decades since social psychologist Gordon Allport broke ground by saying that attitudes are “probably the most distinctive and indispensable concept in contemporary social psychology.”
Yes, they are that important!
Allport described attitude and change in attitude as a cognitive process. The way I see it, this simply means you are in control of your attitudes; they don’t control you. Knowing this is very empowering.
Some moms think pushing a baby out of their vagina is the most beautiful experience. I’m not that mom.
Some moms would rather die than send their new baby to the nursery during the hospital stay. I’m not that mom.
Some moms live to breastfeed. I’m not that mom.
Some moms puree fruits and veggies, making homemade baby food for their little ones. I’m not that mom.
Some moms cook a homemade meal for their children every night. I’m not that mom.
Some moms tell you that having a child is the most amazing experience they have ever been through. I’m not that mom.