It’s My Bizaversary: What I’ve Learned in 20 Years

It’s My Bizaversary: What I’ve Learned in 20 Years

Cue the Tony! Toni! Toné! It’s my bizaversary.

20 years.

It’s been super easy and smooth sailing the whole way.

Ha! If you believe that, may I interest you in my favorite bridge down the street?

Like Lisa Roth, founder of Rock-A-Bye Baby, I’m an accidental entrepreneur.

I was removed from a job (translation: fired) I loved but had stayed in too long. That night I was commiserating with colleagues and I don’t know what came over me but…I blurted out: I’m starting my own business.

I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have a business card, a computer or even my own email address (!) but I knew I was good at something – spotting and nurturing talent – that people needed and were willing to pay for.

I am intimately acquainted with quaking fear and its siblings doubt and shame. I have cursed the universe more often than I care to admit and demanded to know, Why Me??

Things I’ve learned along the way:

The Reinvention Tour never ends. The world continuously moves forward and it’s up to you and me to adapt and grow with it. Embrace life-long learning. Stay curious.

Read, read, read.

Forgive yourself. You are perfectly imperfect and right where you are supposed to be. Look for the lesson and learn from mistakes. Be gentle with yourself. The energy you spend blaming yourself could be much better spent moving forward.

Don’t judge yourself by your cash flow or your bank account. This is not easy but it’s essential. And it goes both ways. You are no less awesome with a negative balance than you are the s**t when someone writes you a big check. Enjoy the moment but don’t buy into your own hype. While you’re at it, let the Joneses do the Joneses. You do you.

Permission slips. Keep a stack handy for when you feel scared or bewildered or…simply human.

Live in alignment with your values. Get clear on what truly matters to you and hold onto it. It will see you through.

Practice self-care. As a mom with toddlers when I was dealt my hand, this was challenging.  Working on a documentary I met ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their communities and they all had one thing in common: Daily self-care = sustainable impact. Huh. I started meditating in the shower because it was the only time I had to myself. Game-changer.

The Pomodoro Method. Learning to chunk my time increased my productivity while decreasing fatigue. I wrote my book in 25 minutes per day because I was never going to get 3 weeks off (and wouldn’t I go to the beach with my family?) but I could reclaim less than a half hour every morning.  Oh – and it’s free!

Pause, reflect and regroup but don’t quit. It’s 100% mindset and it’s entirely up to you.

Listen to your body. It’s talking to you. Take note of physical sensations – the anvil on your chest or tightness in your throat (and what causes it) as well the joyful feeling of a weight lifted and be aware of your emotions. You can’t outrun your subconscious. Sit still, go deep and admit your resistance (to anything). Take time to unpack it. It’s worth the investment. Always.

Ask questions and challenge assumptions. Replace why (see above) with how and what…

Embrace you are in sales. We’re all in sales. When a wise someone told me sales = enthusiasm transferred I got it.