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A big ol shout out to Rachel Cook for pulling together this fabulous (and inspiring) tour of folks to tell their insightful stories. Racheal is an inspired business person and believer in the power of community and I’m honored to be included amongst this generous group of luminaries, and more than happy to tell you how I found my bliss in the challenging and scary process of building a business and life I love and creating a community to share it with.

I’ve always considered myself somewhat of an adventurer…

I’m the one who searches for the road less traveled, forgetting about the safety net, map, compass and provisions.

But it wasn’t until I started my own business that I realized I’d only ever really taken very calculated risks. The kind that might have left me physically “worse for wear”, temporarily unsettled or financially set back, but never required anything close to sharing my true feelings, motivations or mistakes.

So making the decision to go into business for myself doing what I love to do felt a little (or a lot) like stepping out on stage stark naked…with a microphone. Nothing to hide behind and only my unique perspective, ability to think on my feet and authentic (and slightly amplified) voice to offer. That was three years ago…

And today…?

Not much has changed.I have that naked on stage moment every time I click “send” or “submit” and every time I write an article or a blog post or launch a new program. The difference for me today is that I know there’s a growing group of you out there who aren’t laughing, jeering or staring at my….flaws. Because you know I’m just like you, and that I’m as interested in supporting you and hearing your stories as you are in mine. And knowing you’re there makes it easier and way more enjoyable to just be me (naked and everything!).

So what can I say are the secrets to finding your soul mates…? Four things. That’s it, just four. And they are…

Push out of your comfort zone

Cliches around comfort zones abound… that’s because they’re true and we are masters at avoiding discomfort at all cost. Truth is there’s no growth without a little (or a lot of discomfort). So pay attention to what you’re avoiding (saying what you really think, charging what you’d like to charge, asking for the sale, owning your mistakes ). Notice those activities, words, and situations that make your skin crawl and your belly flutter. Size up those walls and break through them one at a time. Because they are what stands between you and your supportive and loving community.

Know that you are worthy

Oh how I’ve struggled wondering whether people are all that interested in what I have to say and what I’ve noticed in sharing my struggle with this… Worthiness is a common theme with people. All of us at some time in our lives have felt unworthy of what we’re doing (or are about to do). Deep down comparing ourselves to others is at the heart of it. Thing is each of us are on our own path. At some point we have to own that our experience of living, although different from everyone else’s, is our only way of connecting with and ultimately sharing our gifts with others. That connection alone is often all it takes to inspire, motivate or ease someone’s pain.

Listen & Deliver

We spend a lot of time in our own heads. Especially entrepreneurs. We ask ourselves what’s next and then do that. We wait for inspiration and then act on it. When the words come, we speak them. We run on the energy generated by our own internal dialog.

In my experience creating and being in a community is about reaching out. It’s about being “over there” where they are, mind, body and soul. It starts with listening from nothing (no judgements, plans or preconceived notions). Because the only way to hear true desire is opening yourself up enough to let the desires of your people inhabit your heart. From there all that’s left is to deliver. To show up for your community (and ultimately yourself) in a way that conveys authentic generosity and clearly demonstrates how much you “get” them.

Give your community the opportunity to support YOU.

Share yourself and your struggles as they happen. This one was hardest for me. Sharing my screw ups, confusion and frustrations doesn’t come naturally. But doing it reminds me of my own humanity (yeah we forget sometimes that to err IS human) and speaks volumes about how difficult and valuable it is to let go of judging and embrace authenticity. Real connection can only be made from heart to heart. And when it comes down to it all anyone ever wants is for you to be yourself, because that’s the only way they’ll know that you’re speaking their language.

Yesterday’s piece by Jessica Kuppferman was inspired!  If you’re interested in harnessing the power of Facebook Here’s a link that’ll take you straight to her words of wisdom!

And I am ever so excited to hear what Mallory Hainey, eating coach extraordinaire has to say tomorrow.  You can find her post here

Enjoying the Blog Tour?  Click here to Share your ahas, insights and questions on our Facebook page!

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