Believe in possibility.
This week, I stepped in front of a group of roughly 30 prominent business people in my community — including business leaders, former Fortune 500 execs, the mayor, and several other business owners like myself.
I shared an inspirational message and led a workshop for the first time in front of a such a distinguished group.
Somehow I managed to look and sound on the outside like I had it all together, was fully prepared, and knew what I was doing. I was confident, collected, and successfully shared my message under pressure.
What is truly amazing, however, is the remarkable effort it took, as a mother of 3, to pull this off.
The reality of my ability to prepare leading up to my talk was much different than my outside smoothly delivered appearance. My past week has included late nights working, taking my kids out to a museum for a day off school, lone parenting while my husband was out of town (even the night before and morning of the presentation), last-minute scrambling when my printer ran out of ink for printing workshop materials, child care rearranging to get to the meeting early, and an inability to practice my speech thoroughly due to all of the above. Somehow, despite this all, I came off practiced, rehearsed, and even now have two more invitations to lead more inspirational talks just like this!
The point is, as an entrepreneurial mom, it’s not always easy.
In fact, it’s sometimes quite laughable how ridiculous it can be to pull things off smoothly.
Sometimes it requires late nights or early mornings or unexpected panic or a major child care shuffle.
But what it doesn’t mean, to be an entrepreneurial mom, is that I can’t live into my dreams.
It doesn’t mean that we are so held back by the responsibilities, unexpectedness, or complexity of parenthood, that it’s not possible to love our work, live our passion, serve our community and be there for our children.
What it meant to me, this week, is that…
I chose to step into who I wanted to become, rather than letting lack of a similar experience to hold me back.
I used my growing confidence to speak “my truth” that I’ve been discovering, sharing, and being cheered on to do since I chose to focus on this message that matters to me since re-launching my blog as a new business roughly 3 months ago.
And I used my growing understanding of how to lead a room to focus on successful speaking strategies. Some of the wisdom that helped me focus:
“People may forget what you say. People may forget what you do. But people will never forget how you make them feel” – Maya Angelou
And I kept in mind what I’d read recently from Adam Braun,
“Look one person in the eye, and speak to them like they are the only person in the room.”
What I shared with the audience, is that we can choose to be busy, and overwhelmed, and reactionary, or we can choose to live intentionally.
That we choose our path, we set the tone, we create our story, and that no one can take away our right to determine what our next step will be in the adventure of life.
[Tweet “We choose our path, set the tone, create our story & each determine what’s next in the adventure of life.”]
I was intimidated by those in the room, much older and wiser, more polished or stoic – the bankers and men who weren’t typically part of my audience. But I reassured myself, that everyone has a more important why than simply their professional front, and their desire to make more money in their business. We all have family and loved ones, we all have hobbies and activities we enjoy and a desire to make a difference in the world. We all have a why.
We all know that our business can be part of our creative fulfillment but that it is also a means to an end.
Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, a man or a woman, you understand that life is about more than making money, paying the bills, and simply “keeping the fort down,” as they say.
What amazed me most is that I somehow managed to take my desire to be a great public speaker, couple it with a deep passion for my message, and a wave of confidence, and pull off captivating the room.
I share my story because, whether you are a working mom or not, I want everyone to believe in possibilities. A year ago, I was only dreaming that I could become an effective, inspirational public speaker. But through planning, focus, and constant inspiration from others, I am living into that dream.
And the single most effective way that has helped me follow my path, is authentic stories from others doing amazing things and living into their possibilities as well.
My word for the year is just that:
What might be possible for you, if you believe in your dream?