In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring 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.

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, 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.

When I started to get curious about why I had been asking, for oh-so-long if people were sure they didn’t want X-Y-Z, 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?”

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 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 way 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.


In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring 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 MagazineThe Huffington PostEtsyNewsweekFreelancers 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.

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring Julie Daley

Julie Daley is 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.

In the Spotlight with Tanya Geisler, featuring Dr. Michelle Mazur

Michelle Mazur, Ph.D. delivers audacious breakthroughs for speakers who want to stand out, be the best-in-class in their field, and position themselves in a category of one. She is the CEO of Communication Rebel and the author of Speak Up for Your Business. The speakers she works with have gone on to book speaking gigs across the United States, raise 3x the amount of money expected for the launch of a charity, and speak in front of world leaders and First Ladies. She lives in Seattle, WA with her adoring husband, 2 obsessive felines, and a huge collection of Duran Duran memorabilia.