The Emotional : I have shed so many tears this past month that I am honestly feeling drained. I know that being an entrepreneur is not the easiest job in the world – but I had no idea that the month of March would have been so emotional.
When you grow your business, it’s common to face ‘new devils’ on the way up the ladder. I use the term ‘new devils’ to mean new challenges. For me, it became personal this month when I was involved in a project on International Women’s Day in Johannesburg followed by a workshop I delivered for entrepreneurs. The level of interest, enthusiasm, and participation – coupled with the appetite for learning – was beyond what I have ever experienced. I offered a scholarship for a coaching program with me and was quite excited at the prospect of working with one of these women over the course of the year.
I did not expect the application process to be so daunting in that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those applicants deserved the scholarship – based on the effort put into the application.
Resolution – choose 2 candidates instead of 1 – and, that way they will have an accountability partner in the process. All is well. Tears (of joy) happening now.
These emotional challenges happen in life, too – all the time.
I faced it again when my (step)daughter, Kristy, was heading to Myrtle Beach to attend her first business mastermind meeting. A little background information here – Kristy is/has been a Pharmacist for over 20 years now. She has always had an interest in health and wellness in the holistic sense of the word. For many years, she has also represented a certain brand of health supplements. This past year, she decided that she wanted to step out into the world of business and step into her power as a Health & Wellness Coach.
As a business coach, Kristy would call me and we would have a few conversations about being an entrepreneur and whether or not it is something she should do. In the course of conversation, she acknowledged that she would need a business coach and I agreed and offered a recommendation to her – because it would not be in our best interest for that coach to be me.
Flash forward, and Kristy has been in the coaching program for a number of months now – and it’s time to head to her first mastermind meeting. I had the opportunity to attend – and we agreed that I would so she could have some support in this new experience.
What happened there was beyond my wildest dreams… (as a step-mother, as a coach, as a human being). Kristy and I discussed arriving in Myrtle Beach a day early so we could spend some time together – some 1-1 time- which has never happened in our adult years. I was thrilled and more than happy to do this. Then she asked if I wanted to share a hotel room at the resort we would be staying at – I NEVER share a hotel room at these meetings – but I said YES.
The lessons that came from this time together are what I wanted to share with you – because being in business is not just about the technical, logical, financial and geographical aspects.
LESSON #1 – BE AVAILABLE. After having just returned from my trip to Africa, I really had no desire to hop on another plane and head to the USA for more meetings. But for Kristy to express an interest in having me there – after all these years as her step-mother and having left the marriage to her father – was an incredible “ASK” and I absolutely wanted to be available. I knew I could and I knew I would – I wanted to. Bring on the plane!
LESSON #2 – BE OPEN. There are times in life and in business when we need to be vulnerable and be open. Being vulnerable is the commitment I made to my own business coach this year in efforts to double my business. Being open as a support to my step-daughter was an honor and a challenge. We’ve always had a good relationship but it hasn’t always been a close relationship. I recognized this as a huge opportunity and not one I was going to miss! I was not disappointed.
LESSON #3 – LISTEN. I know that I know more about business building than Kristy does. I also know the importance of listening. I did that a lot in our time together. The most precious opportunity came in the evenings when we were tucked into our own beds, ready for sleep – and yet having the most wonderful conversations. I listened, a lot. I learned, a lot. I am loved is what I learned.
LESSON #4: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE. I have been Kristy’s step-mother for 35 years. That’s a long time. I planted a lot of seeds during those years to create the kind of mother-daughter relationship I always dreamed of. If you have heard my story (and read my new book), ‘compromise’ was my middle name – I was good at it – settling for less and selling out on my own dreams, one of which was to have my own children. It IS never too late – the bond that we have was strengthened and validated. I am grateful.
Yes, there is an emotional side to doing business. It may not show up in the way that my story unfolded above. But it wi