Today’s *shared stories* come from coaches Emelie Rota and Denise Duffield-Thomas
I know what it’s like in the darkness. It’s lonely even in a crowd. It’s terrifying and your universe of fear feels vast and mariana-trench deep. It’s how I felt not long ago. I went to bed at night with nightmares of the work ahead, dreading the morning and hitting snooze snooze snooze until I couldn’t avoid my life anymore. Then… one day I woke up.
I realized that maybe [just maybe] I am the patchwork that can help piece together the crazy quilt of our broken economy. Just maybe, I can be the change.
Thanks to Gary Vaynerchuck’s book Crush It!, I came up with a seedling of an idea in February of this year. I hatched it on my blog, revellish.com. The idea was new, a little tiny spark that set down in my creative garden and ruminated in the rain of my depression… the soil needed to be turned and tilled and infused with nutrients that I didn’t yet possess. But the seed was patient. Strong. Fertile. It started with a dream of empowerment… I envisioned a community of unique women entrepreneurs who would find their stories in mine; who would find illumination and inspiration on the often rocky path of change. I wanted to be a beacon of truth, a breakwater to cull the storm.
First, I had to fertilize and cultivate. Learn from the master gardeners of online marketing. I had to balance the pH of my message and tone down the acidity of my disgust with corporate greed. I had to embody myself. Distill my story. And then reflect that inner essence out into the world so that my tribe, my beautifully symbiotic soul-sister clientele could find me amid the chaos. I got an education. I found my inner fire. I lit myself up.
And then I quit my job.
Now, the seedling of Revellish has roots AND wings… it’s the makings of a new-old growth forest. She is strong and sturdy, blossoming and attracting the right bees to pollinate my future. My dream, Revellish, has morphed into a place where holistic brands are fostered and grown. I’m patching the holes in our economic model by helping build brazen, brave, authentic women-owned businesses that are empowered to thrive. I’ve learned what will grow in my soil conditions and am flexible with what I plant. I want a vibrant garden.
I want a beautiful life. And now, it’s mine for the picking. I’ve harvested an amazing career out of the ashes of who I was. And there is no reason you cannot do the same. It is possible for anyone to wake up one morning and choose to change the world. And then do it. And thrive.
Come and play in my garden. It’s humming drumming thrumming with life and you are welcome there anytime.
I was a born entrepreneur but it doesn’t mean I was naturally good at it.
When I was 9, I had a fluoro bracelet business. The trouble was that I sold them for the same price as the cost of my materials which meant a zero profit. When my school teacher pointed that out, I felt ashamed, whereas before I was just thrilled by the pure joy of selling and making my own money.
That year my mum gave me an electric typewriter for Christmas and it was the best present ever! After dabbling with writing newsletters and short-stories, I went into the forgery business, selling ‘personally signed’ letters from Kylie Minogue for $5 a piece by claiming she was my cousin.
At twelve, I organised a club for my friends, inspired by the Baby Sitters Club, but we called it ‘The Cool Kids Club’ (we even had a song!). We worked on a random variety of projects that we never got around to finishing, like selling horse manure and organising garage sales. I’m great at the ideas, less on the follow up and eventually my mum made us throw out everything we had accumulated. Manure included.
In my teens, I came up with this concept of ‘being brave’ with my close girlfriends. We encouraged each other to get involved in ‘scary’ school projects like the debate team or running for school council. We watched Oprah together and talked about our dreams. It was my first ‘mastermind’ experience.
Undoubtedly from a young age I exhibited clear signs of being a creative entrepreneur, a dynamic life coach (although I didn’t know that was even a job) and an enthusiastic (though occasionally unethical) writer and communicator.
These are all the things I do professionally now, but why on earth did I spend my twenties denying my natural talents and doing everything from waitressing to event management – a total of over 50 random and often very unfulfilling jobs?
Why does anyone waste time living small just to pay the bills?
Don’t tell me you don’t know what you’re ‘meant to be’. I’ll bet there were just as clear signs in your childhood as there were in mine.
When I left my small town to go to University, suddenly I was in a much scarier pond, very far removed from growing up with a struggling single mum in a low-income area. I didn’t realise that people would look down on me, because most of my friends back-home had the same.
I allowed myself to feel ‘less than’ everyone else. In consequence, I failed most of my degree and often felt depressed and frustrated.
So, rather than being the vibrant kid who had zero doubt of her capabilities, I drifted from job to job, trying to find the ‘thing’ when it was completely obvious. I allowed self-worth issues to block that which would have fulfilled me. I sabotaged easy success.
Recently I went back to my old high school and spoke to 25 of the school’s most promising students. Like me, some of them came from struggling backgrounds and had limited imagination to what was possible out of our town.
Here’s what I told them -
Work with your natural strengths
Life is so much better when you give yourself permission to live in your brilliance. Don’t feel guilty because it’s easy and feels good. Better yet if you can find the sweet spot between your natural strengths and your passions. Every combination you can think of is possible.
Believe you’re good enough
I didn’t get this until my late twenties and then some of my natural enthusiasm and creativity came back with a vengeance. Nobody else was holding me back except for me. Give that gift to yourself and be in your own corner.
Continue to set big goals for your life
I’ve seen that any crazy dream is possible, but nobody is going to track you down and say ‘YOU – you must share your talents with the world!’ You have to be clear on what you want.
I wish I could go back in time to meet the little hustling entrepreneur I was at 9 and say ‘keep going – you’ll get there’. But it was my journey and I can honestly say that finally, I’m in a place where I can say – I LOVE what I do.
[Images courtesy of Denise Duffield Thomas. Denise helps is a success coach and author of ‘Lucky Bitch’. Find out more on her website]
See here for more inspiring *shared stories*
Only two weeks to go until The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design featuring Rachael Taylor begins!
Have you secured your place yet? Register here