Do you know who you are?

As the mother of a newly minted four-year-old, I have been over exposed to the new Disney princess, Moana. I will admit, this does not really trouble me because the movie is smart, female-centered and empowering for young women everywhere and the music was written by my favorite musical genius, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Each morning, after we have dropped her sisters off at school and are on our way to daycare, Scarlett requests the Moana soundtrack. I get to listen to Lin rap and that makes me happy, so I say yes. But inevitably my favorite moment is when the song “I am Moana” comes on. The song opens with Moana’s grandmother singing and encouraging her to step into who she truly is. The lyrics move me to tears nearly every day. I am moved to share these lyrics with you today and ask … Do you know who you are?

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I have listened to these lyrics over and over. I have written them down and said them out loud. They connect deeply with me because there is always the potential for our journeys to leave a scar and we cannot know the future in front of us -- yet we must still soldier on.

I am reminded of my personal transformation. The journey was terrifying. I was unsure who would support me or if I was making the right decisions. I knew it would be difficult and painful, not just for me but for those I loved. Throughout it all, however, I truly and deeply believed that what was on the other side was worth it. I chose the empowering side of fear. It’s true that everything we really want is just on the other side of uncomfortable and, let's face it, fear is extremely uncomfortable. So I embraced the fear and pushed forward. And yes, the journey left scars.

Over time those scars have begun to heal and now I reveal them to you all a tiny bit each day, one by one. They are my personal map. They mark my life experiences, the lessons I've learned, the things that did not go well and those things that were brave and exciting. When I speak to you, it is from a place of total truth and honesty. The journey has not always been easy -- it often still isn’t -- but is has been so very worth it!

“The things you have learned will guide you and nothing on earth can silence the quiet voice still inside you.” Listen to that voice. Let it take you to places unknown. How can you ever truly know your limitations if you never try new things? Fear not what the scars will look like; they are just a byproduct of a fulfilling life. 

What new journey are you hoping to take? Share in the comments below and let's support one another. Everything is more achievable when you have a cheering section behind you. I see you. I see your scars and I admire you for them. 

Thoughts on no longer having a three-year-old

In less than a week, I will no longer have a three-year-old. In fact, I will never have a three-year-old again until I am a grandmother. I have four children. So, I've had a three-year-old four different times — and the idea of not ever having another three-year-old is a concept that is unexplainably and uncontrollably heartbreaking to me. 

I'm not sure what it is about the age of three that is so enlightening and magical. Perhaps because there is still such childlike wonder but the brain has started to develop so they're funny and they communicate and they're becoming tiny little people while still being your little baby. 

As I sit and ponder my future without a three-year-old, I start to think this is something like having a successful business. Not quite as emotionally intense, but when you start your own business and you work so hard for it in the beginning, there's no sleep and it cries and it needs everything you have to give it. You just keep loving it and caring for it in every way possible. 

Then you start to learn its cues and it starts to learn your voice. You then enter the toddler years where every once in a while, it can walk on its own but you have to stand by because it's going to fall on its butt eventually. Then it turns three and you start to realize it needs you less and less. It's got its own personality. It's funny, but it’s still your baby and it still wants to crawl into your lap and snuggle sometimes. It still needs you to read it a bedtime story and make sure it takes a bath. 

The thing is, that development continues and the next thing you know, your three-year-old is 12. Yes, I have one of those too. And, at the age of 12, they're really quite capable of doing everything on their own; they sort of run like a well-oiled machine. You've done all the hard work to get them ready and now you mostly get to sit back and watch them function. But, sometimes they like to snuggle too; so there's that. And you need to make sure to monitor their social media use because you never know what a pre-teen's getting into these days. 

So, the reality of it is, having children and having a business really aren't that different from one another. Throughout each stage, they need different things and, sometimes, they need the same things but maybe in different ways. You have to listen and pay attention and do the things that are new and exciting because if you don't grow with them, they'll grow without you one way or another. For a business, this could mean it grows right out of your hands. It could mean it dies. For a child, it could mean it doesn't need you anymore or doesn't want you around.

The important thing to remember is that in business, like parenthood, the most important thing is to love and nurture. Be real. Be authentic and make sure they always feel loved and supported. And don’t forget to enjoy watching them flourish and grow, it happens fast!

Choose intention instead of regret

Trust me when I tell you, you are not too busy to take action.  In fact, it is so imperative that you do these things, these things that you don’t really think you have time for but nag at you.  The phone call, the visit, the new business, the hug, the kindness, the generosity.  Whatever it is, that in the back of your mind pulls at you and says, “I should do this” and you think “I’ll do it later, I’ll do it next week, I’ll do it next month, I’ll do it next year … there’s time.”  But time goes whenever it wantsOne second you wake up and there’s no more time. 

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