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Celebrate someone’s light like it’s your own.

“To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girlfriends.” - Ben Franklin

Ugh. Groan.

Ohhhh Ben, your misogyny is showing.

But truth is this: As a woman of public profile, most assuredly someone’s going to come after you. And nine times out of ten, it’s a woman.

It.just.is.

And honestly, there are no words that need to be wasted on that nonsense. We know why it happens. (Hey hey patriarchy that tells us there’s only enough room at the top and we all know who that spot is saved for...dudes that look like Ben Franklin.)

We can, and must, do better. We can’t let comparison, envy and hero-worship get in the way any longer. It’s a distraction that is keeping us from changing the mess we’re in.

I’ve written about putting away the scissors before. And I’ve conceded that not EVERYONE wants you to succeed.

But YOUR people do.

And so today, I have some requests of you.

Be someone’s cheerleader.
Be someone’s hoist UP.
Be someone’s presence.
Be someone’s open hand.
Be someone’s wish come true.
Be someone’s radiant mirror.
Be someone’s point of connection.
Be someone’s ear without feeling the need to fix or heal. (Anne Lamott said “help is the sunny side of control.” Huh.)
Be someone’s spotlight on their genius and talents.

And celebrate someone’s light like it’s your own.

Because you know what? It IS.

Don’t believe me? Well, it’s true – even if you can’t see it.

Lauren Bacon and I are going to be talking much much more about this, and about how to see your own light reflected back while you celebrate others – that’s all part of our free Beyond Compare webinar at 2pm today. And so my last request is that you join us here.

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In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring Lena West

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler is a weekly live show that shines a light on some of the biggest mindset challenges facing leaders and entrepreneurs today in their lives and in their work.

This week’s guest is Lena West. Lena is the leading expert on how women entrepreneurs can successfully and sanely grow a business on their own terms. She is also the Founder of Crescent: The Mastermind Experience, the only business growth mastermind program created specifically for women entrepreneurs over 40 and CEO DNA, a custom methodology for helping entrepreneurs determine their most effective business model based on personality, values, strengths, and other self-knowledge factors.


WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT:

  • Many people (especially entrepreneurs) still believe there is a one-size-fits-all road to success. 
  • You don’t have to fit into a formula to be a successful CEO. You can create your own brand of CEO.
  • If we don’t know who we are and what our strengths and gifts are, we might end up “hiring ourselves” and failing to execute our vision.
  • Be willing to meet yourself for who you really are and don’t beat yourself up for what you are not.
  • Be aware that some people will cling to you because they want to siphon your energy.

LENA SAID//

  • Everyone has a gift of marketing. You just need to find out what your gift is.
  • You can be your own brand of CEO. Don’t exclude yourself from that pool because you’re not a dude who’s working in Silicon Valley. The definition of CEO has got to change.
  • For the past two or three years, women have really been stepping in and stepping up, and I want to continue that onto the business front. I want to say, “Listen. You can be your own brand of CEO. Whatever it is that you want to be your brand of CEO, it can be that for you. It doesn’t have to be somebody else’s stiff, cold, patriarchal definition of what someone who runs a company looks like and is like.
  • [Your personal CEO DNA] gives you the freedom to walk away from things that aren’t working and embrace things that will work. It is not based on my opinion of you, it is not based on what I think you can do, it is based on who you are.
  • You don’t have to suffer for success. You don’t have to do the “should’s.” 
  • You can build your business however you want. Are there best practices? Are there rules of thumb? Absolutely. Are there guidelines? Sure. Does success leave clues? Absolutely. But you can build your business however you want.
  • I want women to release the feeling that they have to do things a certain way.
  • You don’t have to do a damn thing you don’t want to do. I tell people all the time: I do a lot of things I don’t like to do, but I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. And I don’t want that for anybody else.
  • People will want to be around you not because they love you or because they love who you are, but because they want to siphon. They want to draw from your energy because they have not yet learned how to cultivate their own. It’s your job to as the CEO to protect your confidence and to really exercise discernment.
  • We hire ourselves because we don’t know who to hire and we don’t have a system for hiring.
  • When you’re an entrepreneur, you’re not a “finisher” typically. Some people are “finishers” but I think there's a lot of shame… There’s a lot of articles out there that say, “You need to be able to execute, and you need to be able to get it done, and you should be able to wake up early in the morning, and you need to be able to finish your projects, and you need to be able to ship.” You don’t need to be able to do anything other than figure out how to get the stuff shipped, okay? Sometimes that’s you and sometimes, that ain’t you. Sometimes that’s you delegating the shipment to somebody else on your team.
  • [The person you hire] needs to be able to execute if you’re not an execution person. If you hire yourself, who’s executing?
  • Be willing to meet a side of yourself that you’ve never met and be willing to accept her, be willing to leverage her, and don’t resist anything that you might see that may be different than what you thought you knew about yourself.
  • People who want to drain your energy say things like “I just want to be around you. I just want to talk to you. Let’s just talk about anything.” Nope. If you just want to grab onto the coattails of my energy, I can’t have that. I need my energy for me, I need my energy for my family, and I need my energy for my work. 

TANYA SAID//

  • One of the things you said [to me in my own session] that has been really helpful was, “Be mindful of the people who just want to be around you just because of your energy.” That has been tricky and it has been extremely helpful and clarifying for me..
  • From the impostor complex lens, people pleasing (super tricky, it’s one of the coping mechanisms for the impostor complex)... For the people pleasers that also have this kind of DNA, it’s tricky [to discern].
  • I think that oftentimes we give being in [our head] a pretty bad rap. Sometimes it’s appropriate to be in the head. Get into your body. 

FIND LEN:

Add Lena on Facebook and send her a message to book your own CEO DNA session!


Each week Tanya and a guest star (an expert in their zone of genius) take on a topic that is UP in their work, or in the work of their clients. (Can’t step into your starring role when perfectionism, procrastination, boundaries, comparison, people pleasing, diminishment, and overwhelm are in the way, right?)

We’ll take your questions and bring our best answers. It’s part coaching, part exploration, part Q+A, all delicious.

It is hosted on Crowdcast and simulcast to Facebook Live.

Are you sure?

One month ago today, I made a decision to engage in a thought experiment of sorts.
 
I decided that I would no longer ask the question:  “Are you sure?”
 
Are you sure you don’t want me to buy a watermelon?
Are you sure you don’t want me to shift around some calls and take you to the appointment?
Are you sure you only want to charge me that amount?

 
Because here’s what I had started to notice. 
As I was asking the question “are you sure” I had started to discern varying degrees of hope that  the answer would be “Yes, I’m sure.” 
 
Because when I would get really really brutally honest with myself, the truth was:
 
I didn’t want to buy the watermelon that would sit uneaten on the counter attracting fruit flies.
I didn’t want to reschedule my calls.
I didn’t want to pay more than was initially requested.
 

Now...as always, there are exceptions. And the exception is this: If you really want it, I will do my best to make it happen.
 
You want that watermelon? It’s yours. 
Me taking you to the appointment will bring ease to your life? I’ll be there fifteen minutes early.
You’re aware that you’ve been undercharging and are ready to make it right? I’m here for paying what’s fair.
 
But if I have to talk you into something I’m not really feeling?
Well, that’s resentment just waiting to happen, isn’t it?
 
Yes indeed.
 
“Are you sure?” was becoming the refrain of the martyr.
 
When I started to get curious about why I had been asking, for OH-SO-LONG if people were sure they didn’t want xyz, I also noticed that there was something else here too.
Arrogance in a presumption that I know better.
Clearly you are not hearing me and clearly I know better so how about you reconsider your response.
 
For one month, I’ve not asked “Are you sure?”
 
And here’s what I’ve noticed:

  • My social contracts have become cleaner and clearer and far more efficient. You say you want this. I say I want that. Let’s meet in the middle. 
  • Now when I make someone an offer, I know I need to be sure it’s pure and true. 
  • People are learning to take me me up on what I offer right away, striking while the opportunity knocks, knowing I won’t ask twice.
  • If the door has closed on the offer I made, they have the agency to come back and ask for it. And I will respond as is appropriate to me and the new circumstances. 

 Clean. Clear. Done.
 
And best of all, I’m noticing people around me are also shelving “Are you sure?” suspending the ever-prolonged dance of the polite. Especially my daughter. In one scant month, I can see her giving much more thought to making offers and receiving offers. The equivocating and qualifying and apologizing has been scaled wayyyyy back.
 
Win.
 
I invite you to shelve “Are you sure?” too. Try it for a month. See just how better your own social contracts feel.


PS - I give thanks to Lena West and a CEO DNA session we had several weeks ago for pointing out to me just how vital clean social contracts are to my well-being and to my success. I suspect the same is true for you too. She will be guest this week on In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler. Join us here.
 

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring Michelle Ward + Laura Simms

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler is a weekly live show that shines a light on some of the biggest mindset challenges facing leaders and entrepreneurs today in their lives and in their work.

This week's guests are Michelle Ward and Laura Simms.

Michelle Ward, PCC, has been offering dream business guidance for creative women as The When I Grow Up Coach since 2008. You may have seen or heard her in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career List or 100+ other media outlets. She's the co-author of The Declaration of You, which was published by North Light Books, and the teacher of Create Your Dream Career and Ditch Your Day Job, which were watched by tens of thousands of people live on CreativeLive.

Laura Simms is an expert on meaningful work who challenges conventional wisdom by asking people to ditch their passions and start with purpose. She left her dream career to help people quit their dead-end jobs, find careers that feel like home, and start businesses that make a difference.


WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT:

  • The number one reason why people don’t start a business
  • Everyone experiences doubt when launching, but the people who DO build businesses are the ones that confront the doubt
  • The strengths and personality traits we gain from significant life events show up in how we run our business
  • It’s important to get paid for your best work so that you can keep doing it
  • You can launch your new services without being an expert

MICHELLE SAID//

  • They might convince themselves it’s money, it’s time, it’s my unsupportive partner, people don’t understand me… No. It’s your own impostor complex that you are not enough, you don’t have enough to offer, you’re not adding anything new to the conversation, you’re not different enough, you don’t have enough experience.
  • If you’re smart, you bring [your character and personality traits] into your business, you bring that into your branding, you bring that into your copy.
  • The best thing I’ve ever done for my business is to put myself on the page, everywhere.
  • I learned as an actor that when I tossed out all the rules… all of a sudden the energy of the room was different. People leaned in and noticed me. I was getting more auditions. More callbacks.
  • Your personality traits and personal experience all need to come into your business in order to build the type of business that you want, working with the type of people that you want to be working with. That’s where the gold is.
  • You getting paid for your best work that is of service to other people and the way you help the universe the most allows you to do more of it. If you don’t get paid for that, you do less of your best work and what the world needs and wants from you.
  • We have to take the pressure off of ourselves to be an expert before we start.
  • It’s hard for the impostor complex to show up big when you’re [working with] another brain.

LAURA SAID//

  • Most people who want to start a business care so deeply about wanting to help people. One of the big fears is… Even though I really want to do this, what if I can’t help people? What if I try to help people and I can’t get them all the way there and not only am I a fraud and I feel bad about myself, but what if I let them down? ...I want that question to propel someone towards excellence, not stop them from the pursuit of it.
  • The person who starts the business has the doubt. They choose to engage it, find out how to tackle it, they test things, they grow small, they get positive feedback, they get proof that they can make a difference. The people who won’t even engage that question? Those are the people who won’t start the business.
  • It’s so hard to see the value of these things that are just so inherent in who you are.
  • If there’s a monetary exchange [for your services], it doesn’t diminish the transaction. Sometimes it actually enhances it. Charging for it actually helps the other person make that change and transformation. 

TANYA SAID//

  • Failures we want to amplify, but successes we want to discount. That’s when we’re aware that it’s the impostor complex.
  • Actual impostors don’t feel like impostors.
  • If you experience the impostor complex, then by definition you have strong values of excellence, mastery, and integrity.
  • Understanding what your brand of joy is, is critical. It’s your how… How you launch your business, how you speak about your business, how you do everything.
  • There’s something really powerful working in collaboration with somebody else. It’s not the giving over of power… it’s the joining of forces.

LINKS + THINGS MENTIONED:


Each week Tanya and a guest star (an expert in their zone of genius) take on a topic that is UP in their work, or in the work of their clients. (Can’t step into your starring role when perfectionism, procrastination, boundaries, comparison, people pleasing, diminishment, and overwhelm are in the way, right?)

We’ll take your questions and bring our best answers. It’s part coaching, part exploration, part Q+A, all delicious.

It is hosted on Crowdcast and simulcast to Facebook Live.

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring Julie Daley

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler is a weekly live show that shines a light on some of the biggest mindset challenges facing leaders and entrepreneurs today in their lives and in their work.

This week's guest is Julie Daley, an educator, writer, consultant, and leadership coach who's led hundreds of people from all walks of life to develop their creativity and authentic leadership skills. Julie guides individuals from around the world in discovering and uncovering their authentic nature as creative human beings. She offers one-on-one coaching, courses and consulting in creativity and innovation, compassion and collaboration, as well as authentic feminine leadership.


WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT:

  • As young children we are often embodied, full of life, and free until something or someone causes us to question ourselves.
  • As children, we easily know the truth about ourselves and what we want. As adults, it seems to be harder to identify what we want.
  • As adults, we tend to cover up who we really are and cut off our own power to better fit into society.
  • The body remembers everything, what it felt like to be young and alive.
  • We have to wake up and live embodied, but sometimes we are afraid of our true expression because it is powerful.
  • As the cells heal in the body, our ancestry lines also heal.

JULIE SAID//

  • The heart, when it’s awake and alive, is faster than the body. For the heart to be ignited, you’re talking about your entire being ignited.
  • Nobody is paying any attention to me, they’re just dancing themselves. Why am I worried about it? So I started to let the joy come.
  • The body is in relationship to everything: to others, to self, to the earth, to nature, to animals… and right now, with you. Just looking in your eyes, seeing your smile, it’s like there it is again. It’s like everything is showing us and reminding us of what we are.
  • When I got shut down as a little girl, I stopped connecting in the way that I did because it was too painful. I made a choice that I would… believe the stories others were telling me rather than believe the story I knew was true.
  • Feeling your emotions, feeling what’s been stuck, feeling anger all the way to a ten out of ten…. Letting yourself have that human experience is another way you wake up.
  • I will pretend to be something else so that I am more palatable to society and culture.
  • Anything you do to cover [your true expression] up… is truly an “impostor-ized” way of being. It’s just not real. It’s not true. And then we become so afraid of the truth of ourselves that we believe the voice of the imposter. It’s dysfunctional and we believe it because we become so afraid of what we’ve forgotten we are, because it’s powerful.
  • The truth is not duality, it just is. It doesn’t even have a problem with the impostor. ...Like when you’re little, you’re just the truth.
  • Each cell of the body has the light of the divine in it.
  • We are healing a lot of that ancestral suffering and unconsciousness the more we wake up.

TANYA SAID//

  • That’s the same tension: it shows up when you’re walking around the dance floor.
  • I saw a picture of my house on Google and I recognized that the picture was taken three years ago. I said to myself, “That was a blink ago.” And then I realized, in another blink, she’ll be 16. And in two blinks, she’ll be 19. And I just sat there and just said out loud, “I’m sad.”
  • You’re always that person who’s like, “Can you feel it a little bit more?” And I go, “No, no, no! I’m too busy! I have too much stuff!” And you’re like, “Can you just feel it more?” And then we do. And we cry and we laugh and it’s a beautiful thing.
  • We are so terrified of this true self that we are.
  • The truth feels like a lightness, what exists without the veils and the shrouds and the guardedness.

LINKS + THINGS MENTIONED:

FIND JULIE:


Each week Tanya and a guest star (an expert in their zone of genius) take on a topic that is UP in their work, or in the work of their clients. (Can’t step into your starring role when perfectionism, procrastination, boundaries, comparison, people pleasing, diminishment, and overwhelm are in the way, right?)

We’ll take your questions and bring our best answers. It’s part coaching, part exploration, part Q+A, all delicious.

It is hosted on Crowdcast and simulcast to Facebook Live.