I was tuning into an online business podcast last week for some motivation, new ideas, inspiration, etc. The podcast was a replay of a live interview that had happened a few days before between two women. One woman is a thriving entrepreneur working in a network marketing business and the other is a corporate woman who interviews entrepreneurs for her company who provides products and training for the entrepreneurs she interviews. Makes perfect marketing sense, right? Sure.
The woman being interviewed was sharing her "journey" if you will, or her "path" to success as a stay at home mom entrepreneur. She was a night shift nurse who hated her schedule and felt like it was ruining her family and her dream of seeing her two boys grow up. She decided to build a side business in the hopes that it would replace her current income. Typical story if you listen to these kinds of interviews.
And usually I am inspired and take away some key mindset shifts and ideas to mull on through the week. But this time, I was shocked at all the things she kept referring to as "normal" in the journey of an entrepreneur mom. Or as I call them, Mompreneurs.
She used phrases like:
you just gotta do stuff you hate
you need to just be thick skinned
you have to just do what you know you have to do even if it makes your spouse upset
you just have to manage your time so that your family doesn't see your work
you have to have hard conversations
you are going to have to lose sleep
there were so many fights in my marriage along the way
you must stick to your guns and ignore the outside world
people always quit on you, and you just have to keep going
and more of the same types of words and phrases during the entire interview.
The more I listened, the more I wasn't loving this episode at all.
And at the end, the interviewee summed it all up with this:
"In business we are constantly are looking for good people, aren't we? And it's so hard when they keep quitting on you to move to something else. It is REALLY hard to get people to stick around... but that IS entreperneurship... You gotta be thick skinned as you get better and better at finding the people who wanna run with you. You talked about the quitters, those that wouldn't run with you....." and then a final question about what she loves about her life now.
Something in my brain flipped when the interviewer said, "that IS entreperneurship...You gotta be thick skinned...."
I have heard those words in many forms from many different motivational speakers for business. But this time I was NOT motivated to follow. This time I was stopped COLD at hearing it. If this sounds like you and you are ready to change---- I've got some action items to start doing at the end, so stick with me!
What does that mean exactly, to be THICK skinned? In terms of THIS interview it meant to shut off your personal feelings and to basically burry the hard things. REAL life things happening in your life that are HARD that you don't like. In hopes that the success of money and time freedom you are working for will balance it out in the end. The definition in most dictionaries has something to do with be insensitive, and being able to take hard criticism. But the way these women were throwing it around wasn't about criticism or insults. It was being used as means to describe almost hiding from life.
Don't misunderstand me. I DO believe in doing hard things. I believe hard core in staying outside the comfort zone to grow and progress to feel constant JOY and fulfillment in our lives. I DO believe that entrepreneurship DOES bring a HUGE dose of that to life. What is rubbing me wrong, is the part about shutting out or ignoring obvious struggles with the family or with yourself.
My thought RIGHT after turning off this episode was that the woman being interviewed was NOT living her truth during MUCH of her journey to what she has defined as success to her.
Feeling constantly like you are sacrificing? Feeling constantly like you have to hide your work? Feeling like your spouse is in total discord with you all the time and having to FIGHT with you weekly about what you are doing?
If she had been living in TRUTH, there would have been conversations about growth instead of conversations about divorce. If she was living in truth she would see her boys as her assets- her supporters, her co-pilots through change. Not her liabilities to hide her work and harried self from. If she had been living in TRUTH, the people moving on to different vocations or companies would not have been labeled quitters who quit on her- but rather simply, humans. If she had been living in truth, there would have been no "lost" sleep, or "lost" memories. Only choices she chose to live differently than she had before. Do you see that difference?
When we believe what we are doing is our TRUTH, with absolute clarity, we don't take the inevitable ups and downs of business growth personally. We know we are going somewhere we've never been, so it is inevitable that pieces will come and go that we will be unaware of before it happens. Being "thick skinned" to me has become a gross visual of a beautiful soul putting on a cloak of alligator skin. Hiding their REAL light. Shielding them from REAL growth. An illusion of protection, when they NEED to be vulnerable and yes, even wounded to truly grow and change. When we are living in our TRUTH we allow the ebbs and flows of humans who come in and out as the natural way of things. We allow ourselves to be sad, angry, happy, and elated. We give ourselves grace to have the ugly days because we are human- not because we are changing our lives for our futures.
To my ears, this woman being interviewed has deep seeded habits of seeing others as pawns in her journey. This woman has deep seeded habits of bad time management. This woman has a self centered view of the world around her conspiring against her. She believed she had to be "thick skinned" to stop feeling sad when team members would leave her. She believed she had to be "thick skinned" when her husband threatened divorce. She believed she had to be "thick skinned" to succeed. At the end of the day, both of these women felt that they were their own key to success. THEY were the hero of their story. They were ALONE in their push for change.
You are not alone. If I could see this woman face to face I would hug her, and give her permission to sleep. I would give her permission to be a disgrace in front of her boys. I would give her permission to be LOVED by her spouse for who she is RIGHT now, and stop trying to PROVE that what she is doing is the saving grace to their struggles. No matter the amount of money you have, it isn't the money that makes the difference in a marriage. I can tell you this from personal experience. It is YOUR habits and your beliefs that make a marriage and family work. I would share with her that it is her habit to try to do everything alone that isn't making things work. Her "new found success" will be short lived if she doesn't change the belief that she is the reason it has come into her life. That due to her "thick skin" and "sacrifice" some life scenarios changed.
In my faith as a Christian I've recently come to a new revelation regarding a certain passage of scripture that relates to this train of thought we are on. In the bible we read in the New Testament book of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 24:
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Mammon has had many translations over the centuries, but for me I have taken the definition of a false object of worship or devotion. Something that we keep trying to devote time, energy, money, etc to that just isn't going to fulfill us.
In the context of this post, I would love to break this down this way: Mammon is our human desire to be WORTH something. Mammon is this fear that if we are not doing a million things, we must not be doing our BEST. This fear that someone is looking down on us all the time and it is our job to make sure we don't disappoint that person. I suggest that person is US. You and me. This person we keep trying to please is ourself! Mammon is self preservation against something. Mammon is self centered fear and lack of faith that we really will get what we need. This scripture chapter goes on to share obvious evidence that GOD has provided what we need to live. "...Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin..." (vs. 28) And asks us to stop worrying so much, giving SO much devotion to our food and clothes and homes. "Therefore take no thought, saying What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed.... for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (vs 31-33) We are reminded that God KNOWS us. He KNOWS our needs. He LOVES us 100% all the time and will provide what we need but we need to have faith in that! When we try to do all things by ourselves, we are battling what is already in the works provided by GOD against our own will. It creates unrest, discontent, ingratitude and self centered fears to climb HIGH.
I would like to offer that when our will aligns with God, we are living in our truth as His children on HIS errand to bring light and love to our fellow humans! When you are doing what lights you up and you truly LOVE what you are bringing to humanity there is minimal fear. There is minimal struggle for the things you need. You'll find there is a LOT of excitement and amazing ENERGY there! There is minimal feelings of needing to be "thick skinned" or "sacrificial" in your life. You will be fulfilled because you bring light to others and lift others! You are seeking God's will, which is to bless our fellow humans with our love and light that comes from Him. We are His children.
At the end of the day I sincerely hope that my message lifts any entrepreneurs, especially budding entrepreneurs who have heard messages or interviews like this one about being "thick skinned" and having to sacrifice sleep and love and life in the pursuit of something better through entreprenuership. There might be times in life when choices have brought one so low that those things are the consequence of those choices, but not entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship is a journey of living in your light! Entrepreneurship as a Mother is a journey of learning to live with GRACE and Gratitude as you embrace your amazingness and share it with those who value what you have to share alongside raising your babies! It is a BEAUTIFUL way to fulfill your divine role as a mother, AND effectively fulfill a role of lifting an entire sphere of those who find your voice.
Embrace the ebbs and flows, yes. Run with them in GRACE that it won't be pretty or fun all the time, but that is the description of growth. Don't hide your work from your kids. Don't put on a thick skin and turn your back on the needs of your spouse or shield your heart from the departures of fellow humans who have come to serve a purpose in your journey for maybe a short time as needed for their journey. Learn to see their time with you as an orchestration God brought and release with Gratitude. LIVE IN THAT TRUTH! God has things in orchestration for your highest joy going for you. ALLOW your life to be amazing. ALLOW his orchestrations to PLAY OUT for you! Your worry will be SO much less. Your fears will disappear. Your LIGHT will shine SO bright that success will FOLLOW. Rest assured of that.
Action item to start changing your habits if you feel a lot like that mompreneur that felt so dragged through entrepreneurship:
MAKE A LIST of what lights you up.
Like things that are 100% a HELL YES when they come your way.
Things that you will bend over backward to make happen in your day if the chance comes along.
Who are the people who bring out the BEST in you?
What places do you feel SO happy when you are there?
What foods just make you sit back and close your eyes in splendid satisfaction just with one bite?
What activities make you smile and feel ALIVE?
What music makes your body move subconsciously?
What speakers, authors, or conferences help you embrace your POWER and LIGHT?
AND THEN----------> Do more of those things, schedule lunch dates with those people, book the conference, and schedule that trip.
And WHENEVER possible, create your entrepreneurship goals to align with items on this list!
I am grateful to have had this epiphany. This entire weekend I've been thinking about this and honestly hoping and praying that the mompreneurs I am blessed to work with always feel excited to share their light! For me personally it has shifted my mindset regarding my own stressors and how I view them and how I will now change. I started doing more things that light me up after an amazing mentor helped me see the value in that, but only now am I connecting that when we do those things that light us up AS OUR business, does the success start to take shape that we are looking for. The time freedom. The money flow. ALL of it.
What are your thoughts on this? Comment below!
All my love and belief,
PS------> If you are a mompreneur reading this and you'd like to get your business moving faster AND feel more excitement about your business, get clarity on your Customer base. How? Go through my Client Clarity Workbook here. Once you know who you are creating for, things get REALLY exciting! Trust me.