Earlier this month, I had the great fortune of joining about a dozen other women business owners in Nashville for an intimate workshop with Alli Webb, serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of DryBar, Adrian Koehler and Dan Tocchini of Take New Ground, two of the most incredible coaches I’ve ever encountered, and personal branding expert and agency owner, Jessica Zweig of SimplyBe Agency.
I can’t really articulate why I applied other than (don’t hate me for this) it just “felt” necessary.
It did. I can’t really explain it other than that.
And truthfully, I had no idea what to expect, wasn’t even clear on the exact agenda, didn’t know who was coming, just felt that I was supposed to be there.
So I applied. I interviewed. I got accepted. I showed up.
I called my fiance before everyone initially met up and confessed that I was nervous.
“Everyone is so beautiful and glam and next level, what am I doing here!?”
And he, very sweetly, reminded me that I had just as much right to be there as anyone else. And that it was fine if I wanted to wear my hoodie to a networking event. (Which I did.)
And he was right.
My imposter syndrome was kicking in HARD. But then I realized that pretty much everyone else was in the same boat. So here are my key takeaways from this weekend that, for another reason, I can’t quite articulate, I think will change the trajectory of my career:
- Ask the hard questions and openly listen for the answers. Please note that both parts of this statement are equally important. It takes courage to ask hard questions, but it takes equal courage to be open to what the truth might reveal.
- Surround yourself with mirrors (people) whose reflections you can trust. I think this was the thing I needed most from this workshop. I needed to be surrounded by other ambitious women who were trying to build something that aligned with their purpose and wasn’t afraid, to be honest with each other. Be honest with yourself and one another. Those truth mirrors are some of the greatest gifts.
- Find your community. Be ok if it looks different than you thought it would. Sometimes we can clearly articulate who and what we need. Other times we can’t. Be open to finding what your soul needs in places that might be unexpected. The world can surprise us in delightful ways.
- Be courageously vulnerable and willing to trust. I’ve been working on this a lot and now I know I’m not alone in this quest. Being in alignment with yourself and owning your truth and trusting that you can show up exactly as you are and that it won’t backfire. That’s brave. And the world needs more of that.
- Do the work on yourself. It all starts inside. Seriously. It’s so true. And it’s a journey. It’s a PROCESSSSSS. Like damn. And I don’t think it ever ends, but do the work on you. Be raw and open and honest with yourself and create space for things to shift. Allow for alignment to happen.
- Speak up. It’s less lonely. We’ve all gone through some shit. We all shared war stories during this workshop. And ya know what? We are SO FRICKING STRONG. It may not feel like it when we’re in it, because we think we have to handle it alone and shoulder that burden solo, but we don’t. Speak up. Chances are someone else has traveled a similar shitstorm path and can offer words of advice or at least an embrace of empathy. But do not forget how fricking strong you are.
- We go farther faster together. Partner up. Collaborate. Share. Promote. We are so powerful when we band together. We move mountains.
- Keep investing in yourself. You’re your greatest ROI. This was a big “aha moment” for me. And I know it sounds dumb, but it was. I am the greatest investment I can make. No one can take that from me. The economy will not shift and make my investment a commodity or decrease its value. I will always be my greatest return on investment. And so will you. Invest in yourself.
- Ya gotta fill up your cup. I won’t go into the burnout rant because it’s been done, but it’s so true. Every single person had confessions of being burned out or having been burnt out. Everything from completely shutting down their businesses and moving to a farm to banning themselves from social media to having too much business and not enough people to manage it to losing their marriage. As I said, we’ve all been through some shit and the consensus is clear - you have to fill up your cup before you can fill up anyone else’s. So fill’er up.
I had a tough 2021, so this workshop just seemed to be the relatively immediate immersion I needed to find clarity for myself. It was a very intentional decision I made in pursuit of determining what I wanted, who I wanted to be, how I wanted to show up, and what I needed to do.
And in doing so, I slowed down. I listened. I shared hard truths. I asked scary questions.
I showed up even when I didn’t feel like I belonged.
And I am so much better off because of it.
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Small Business, Life
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life
Executive Coaching, Small Business, Life