Every single one of us has valuable stories inside of us to share.
Enjoy the journey, you have the story to tell, but if we’re rushing it all the time, which I tend to do in my own life, then you miss the story. You miss the lessons. The tactical thing that I learned is, I wish I had hired help sooner. The faster, you can get some assistance and help in your business, even if it’s putting your children to work for you, you know, or your neighbor, your babysitter, which is what I, how I started.
I literally employed my babysitter first., and then just eventually have worked my way up to some employees now that has been crucial to free me up. To go and create and do more things actually create and do the things that I genuinely love doing and less of the things that totally bog me down. You’re kind of always going to tell yourself you can’t afford it, you know, but you really can’t afford it. Getting help in your business. And that could be hiring coaches and mentors, and it can also be just hiring staff for virtual assistants, whatever it may be.
If I can do this, I can do anything. And so can you and I speak to a lot of women because our customers are primarily women and, you know they really identify with that belief. And this was my path. those beliefs in those doubts are such a killer, it slows you down and mindset is everything and business, especially as an entrepreneur because you get tested every single day. And you got to get out of that
This is coming from someone who’s super risk-averse, which by the way, doesn’t go hand in hand with being an entrepreneur. But that’s what they teach you as a lawyer is to spot risk and avoid them. So that those beliefs, you know, those doubts, those restrictions that I’ve put on myself, It really, it takes a lot to get there through them, but once you do, and once you build that, you have those little wins that build the confidence that you get.
I mean you can always things start snowballing as George likes to say that you get momentum and then you get that confidence and it grows, but anybody who’s experiencing that self-doubt or. I don’t have the training that allows me to do X. I mean, I’m just a perfect example of why you should just throw that belief out the window.
And I think if you don’t shift it, it is the slippery slope of just going downhill. I think that any entrepreneur would tell you that the awareness was step one. just really figuring out where some of these and unpacking were these limited limiting beliefs came from was pretty powerful for me. So you gotta do that work. I think it’s not only recognizing them. It’s figuring out why they’re there.
And so when it comes up, I pause and it is really that moment where I pause and I go, this is that ego or that belief, and it’s popping up. And I take some really deep breaths and it sounds corny, but it is just a way for me to reset. Cause if I don’t do that, it will just keep crumbling in someone who I can get really anxious about finances, which by the way, if you own a startup or any kind of business like that, obviously all the damn time. I know it’s coming up and now I get to pivot. And then I just think about something really freaking positive. I have to switch it up to be able to turn it off and then I can just kind of plug through my day.
It’s not just something you can do and just recognize that limiting belief and then stop it. It takes practice. If you don’t practice, then you’ll sabotage yourself.
Empowering though story telling.
Quite honestly, even though we are more prone to storytelling and we’re probably more prone to kind of sharing our stories with each other versus men, to your point, they still, we still have this filter that we run everything through of what are other people going to think. what, if I’m not enough? What if my story doesn’t matter? What if it doesn’t have an impact or what if I scare the crap out of somebody that tells them they’ll my truth.
I think that we still have this really huge filter that women and this is really what I try and love to do at light Beamers is trying to help women walk through that filter and get on the other side of it so they can share their story very boldly and brightly and in a positive way. I have found that I know when I’m hitting the story, either for someone else or even myself when there are emotions.
And when there’s a real vulnerability we are tapping into that thing into our stomach, that just makes us feel so fearful of what are others going to think, or what if this is too much or what if it’s not enough. And all of those, what-ifs, those are really like powerful things to pay attention to. And that vulnerability is usually a signal that you’re tapping into your truth and that truth should be shared. It’s not too much, it’s not sharing, things that are not appropriate. It’s sharing honesty, your truth your real power, or what the light that our stories hold. Once you share and you turn around and see the reaction it’s going to get from your audience there, you’re going to draw so many people closer to you because once you share your truth, it gives someone else permission, or at least takes a step towards sharing their own.
And so it’s just, it’s the thing that builds us up in the community. It’s the thing that connects us. And so it’s the vulnerability that real pit in your stomach that. This makes me so nervous, but here’s the real barometer. Ask yourself if not sharing it is an option, right? Are you going to feel suffocated and silenced and muzzled? If you do not share that story. And the answer is, yes, you really know that’s the story that needs to be shared. The story is everything and our voice and our story are what creates a possibility for other people. And I feel like the playing field needs to be leveled. It needs to be human.
I want to be relatable because of my story to help other women. and they can see how Jgenuinely passionate and I am about powering other women and making sure nobody’s left out and inclusivity and propping other women up, that is what I stand for. So if that isn’t not coming across, like that’s doing myself a disservice, cause I am so passionate about it. I’ve had to take some steps to try to like, peel back the layers and put the wedge in cause some cracks and come out a little bit and it’s taken some work. It’s taken some really hard emotional work and I’m still doing it, but I’m committed to it because I do want to be related relatable and feel that people see me as being authentic rather than just like, you know she’s not really feeling it.
Checking in and getting your story that pit in your stomach I think that’s the difference between sharing your authentic voice and creating a voice. And I think what we see a whole lot of now is we see a whole lot of checkboxes when it comes to a marketing business.
How to be like you versus like what the world wants
For marketing and branding which a large part of this audience is probably interested in that topic. There’s definitely a piece of you that wants to show up on the brand and on message and polished and the things that were taught and is attractive. And I believe we also can share that behind the scenes, pull the curtain back and be real. And so I don’t think I don’t really subscribe to a philosophy.
It needs to be all one way or another. I believe in some sort of balance. Sort of teaching formula to my clients about T I C S and I’m like, look just create content and share with your audience stories that can teach and inspire connect and sell or think of sharing instead of selling and selling makes you nervous. so if you show as the branding person, the expert in your field, you can teach, you can share high value and share the brand message and then you’re inspirational and you’re connecting content and posts and emails and marketing can be more of like behind the curtain. I’m just going to be who I am today and share with you and maybe share some of my fears. Share with you something that I’m experiencing right now that feels like a failure. Something that isn’t as pretty and can be in the messy middle. It’s not really polished and ready for that brand statement and it’s going to go out on the website. But it can still be part of who I am. I am. And so I think it’s important. This is just what I subscribed to. I think it’s important that not only like brands and solo-preneurs and entrepreneurs and small businesses, but I would really love to see larger corporations and organizations doing this more.
There are a few out there that I think to do it really well, but I still think by and large our culture in this country subscribes to the former. Like we’ve got to be buttoned up and polished and we can’t really show our cracks because if we show our cracks, no one will trust us and want to hire us. I’m thinking it’s really the opposite. If you went to show your cracks and show that you’re human, they’re going to fall in love with you even more and they don’t even care what your prices are at that point. They’re going to choose you over the RFP, they just got in the mail. It’s a good sign that I can be around for a while. Teaching what I teach, because there’s plenty of people that still need to learn.
At the end of the day what I think most people forget, like sales is a transference of energy. Which means in order for a sale to happen, it has to be human to human, which therefore marketing is just a human being, showing up authentically to attract another human being. And then that’s what allows the possibility for it to happen.
Be a man in a man’s world as a woman
It’s been liberating for me. Just to go back where when I was interviewing to work at, this big law firm, which was a great job. I have to put on the resume that I studied abroad. And I was actually scared to do that because I was like, Oh, they’re not gonna want to see that they’re going to want to see like total dedication student government law review all this stuff. It turned out and most of them said to me, God, I wish I would have done that. I was so concerned about what my resume looked like. I wish it would have done that. And look, that didn’t flip me right then.
So when I stepped out of that and dove headfirst into this. I was like, I’m going to become the anti-corporate no more pantyhose. I’m not wearing a suit. We are going to have fun every day. A lot of our marketing is cheeky and sassy. Cause I could never be that way at the law firm. I had to be very serious and professional. I’m still professional but I have to have fun. Otherwise, why am I doing this? For me, one of the first things we did, it was really spending a lot of time identifying our core values. Our number one core value is empowering women. Like every, everything that I post, I look to our list and go, does it meet one of these and it’s not like I’m checking it and really worried about it.
My most recent example I’ll give you, cause this is totally fitting here is. There was this facebook challenge for women, you had to be invited by another woman to post a picture of yourself. And it was this women’s empowerment, social media thing. I was like, what about all the women who don’t get an invite? And I was pissed and I had to like, Step back and go, okay, I have to write a post about this because I am feeling very emotional about it and it’s strong. And when that happens, I really do want to write about it because that’s important for me in my growth process.
But I also realize that the feelings I had were the antithesis of the reason for the post. it was supposed to be women’s empowerment. And I really had this struggle of am I going to be seen as this person who’s bashing, what’s supposed to be a great thing because I have this issue with the fact that it doesn’t apply to all women. I had to say something about it. I wrote an invitation to everybody in the world to post that. Cause I was like, you don’t even invite, I don’t want you to be sitting at home, waiting for an invite and feel like. You’re not included. And so for me, it’s, those things are very powerful and it’s therapeutic for me to write that go through the process of writing the post that I did and actually put it out there and how it’s going to be received. But I am my brand and not everybody’s going to love me, but what was interesting about that experience is I had about 10 women text me personally and say, Oh my God, I read your posts. I felt the same way. I just didn’t want to post about it. There is so much power in that, like these women off the hook and there’s nothing wrong with not saying anything, but how cool that there were people out there who related to me.
I spent a good portion, really the first half or frontload of my career interviewing people. And so my job was to be a bystander and emotionless similar to an attorney apparently. To be emotionless and just be a vehicle with that story could be shared. And so I spent so much time and energy pouring into other people’s stories. When I started building my business and especially using social media and, building my brand, so to speak online, it was really funny to me that I was like, Oh, I actually have to start sharing my story now. No one’s ever interviewed me to find out how this works for me. And that has been such an interesting thing because suddenly I could more deeply relate to my own clients now.
I know the magic that the story holds for other people, and I’ve always been focused on the audience what they’re going to get out of it and what it can do for the person who shares that story. but when I actually had to start doing this myself and really tapping into my own vulnerability, It was hard as hell and it still is. It’s not Something that even though on a so-called storytelling expert or that I do this, and I’ve been doing this for 25 years, plus doesn’t mean I’m immune that I just get a free pass and that it’s really easy. And so it’s those same things we’ve been talking about when I get that pit in my stomach.
When I feel that vulnerability when I feel my emotion.I have to examine it. And I just, I try to say, is this useful? I have a motto that when we share our stories, we shine a light. And I just think to myself, if I share this, would it be helpful for someone else? And if I can kind of run it through that barometer, then that’s my free pass to share. Even when I don’t have it all figured out, it might be a little messy. It makes me extremely nervous and so that has given me free given me the freedom to share my story more, even though I’m still applying my own technique to myself, to pull out my own stories, to share if I can run it through. There are still pieces of my story that I’m struggling with. There are pieces of my story that I’ve never shared.
But it takes guts. So share your story. And it takes bravery. I did a whole symposium this last year with women and it was all about stepping into your brave and we have to step into our brave to share these moments in our life that feels so scary. It feels scary to share what we’re really thinking inside. So some days I went to that and some of them I’m still working on.
When you share your stories. You shine a light that light shine for someone else and little secret sauce, it shines for you, the brightest. Our stories are healing that’s why sharing the story can be the most healing thing that you could ever do for yourself, regardless of what it does for someone else because you will get such clarity and peace. And that is really such a freeing feeling to feel liberated. And so we can get liberated from our own chains that years of storytelling have been holding over us from things in our childhood, things that we’ve experienced relationships that we’ve had. If we can break those chains free. Then that’s, what’s waiting for you on the other side of sharing that story. it can be about your audience and yes, it can grow your brand, and yes, it can help you bring in money to your business. And yes, it can help you do all those things, but more importantly, more than anything else, it will show you what you’re capable of and how powerful you are. Just because you owned that story. You learned to harness the power of your own story. At that point, instead of letting the story have power over you.
To be yourself….
The hardest part for me was allowing me to be myself. I had this thought that I needed to portray this image of a leader and that meant professional and serious. Then I knew I was getting away. I knew I didn’t have to wear a suit anymore, but I just had this belief that people gonna buy my product if I’m really myself, and are they going to think I’m serious? All of these questions were going around in my head. And so it took a while to migrate over to I can be totally fine. Making a total ass out of myself on any. Social media posts, or even though it still scares me to go on and basically live.
It was really just giving me permission. Like it’s okay. It’s okay to be myself and. What I was finding as to the more and more I would do that. And I would be authentic and I would share things. It’s like when you’re a teacher and you’re in the room and someone’s afraid to ask a question, but it turns out 10 other people have that question the same. I would start posting about things that were personal and people would actually engage with me. And I realized that this stereotype of a leader that I had learned and had been sort of ingrained in my mind for so long maybe isn’t wrong, but it just wasn’t me. It just wasn’t me. So when I was not offensive or when I was trying too hard or when I was not being myself, which by the way is how I felt my entire career at the law firm. I just didn’t feel like I’m right then I didn’t really feel satisfied. I didn’t feel fulfilled.
I get grounded every day and my mission of helping other women. But if I am not being authentic, it almost, it’s like a can’t. I can’t achieve that balance where I feel like I’m making progress and really honoring what’s important to me.
What to Change?
I would change the, just the nonstop pounding of mixed messages that we get and that we are overwhelmed by. and I’m kind of raising both hands over here because I suffer from it. And I also know that I’m also sending signals out there. So I struggle with that because I know I’m out there trying to get my message heard and I’m out there playing the game and I’m also on the receiving end and everyone else also trying to do that, so I wish, or we could come up with a way that we could filter our news feeds in a way that those names out there they’re like Facebook and Instagram don’t get to control because of money. That we get to control because that’s really who we want to be here. I’m just in out balance, so I’m trying to figure out how to be a voice in this space and taking up space with someone else and being really cognizant of time and energy that someone is spending with me consuming my content, making sure that. I try to give as much value as possible because I understand they’re also being pounded.
I think one thing I’ve noticed recently, and even with myself is of course there’s a lot of fear and there’s a lot of negative feelings right now people are unsettled, unclear what the future holds and they’re scared. And. I’ve seen a lot of people just become paralyzed and have made the decision that like, I’m not gonna do anything. I’m just gonna wait it out. I’m gonna live in inaction for a while. And I actually think that’s the worst thing we can do right now. Like rather than letting this situation and environment define me I’m choosing to define,, take control of this situation, and to find it myself. I think inaction is the worst thing we can do right now. I think waiting it out. taking that action, join a challenge, like work towards something, be inspired. I think you right now, though, less and less of that is falling in our laps and we have to make it happen ourselves.
We want it to happen overnight, but it all starts with a single step and we can sit here and we can regress. We can go backward. We can atrophy or we can grow. And what we’re all being called to is a different level. And the way that I looked at it, I was like, I don’t think there’s any way to lose the game. If I make a commitment to not to watch one fucking minute of Netflix and to read a book and to write something, to post something, and to do a challenge and to do it. And so we get to make the most of what all of this is, and we’re going to come out of it either stronger, or we’re going to of it in the same spot.
Checking your barometer
I started out as a journalist and I worked in television news and I was tasked every day. With going out and telling bad stories, not in terms of quality, but in terms of the context. And so I was chasing fire trucks and police cars and criminals and corrupt politicians and, sticking microphones in their face. And that’s what I did. And I didn’t like it. And I made a very conscious decision probably at the age of 29 years old. When I left that world after clawing my way into it that I was no longer going to allow be a vehicle for sharing stories that were negative. And I drew a line in the sand very clearly.
And I have made it my mission, which is really how all of this work comes about to never. And I don’t say nuts to say I don’t ever, cause I fault her on this just like any human, but that’s the barometer that I run my content through with any kind of reaction that I might have to some. Stupid political post or something that’s happening in the news. And I want to say something derogatory being pissed off about it. I just remind myself that I spent a good chunk of my career early on the day of sharing stories that were negative. And I just choose consciously not to do that anymore.
And so I remind myself of my own mission that I want to be a voice of positivity and I want to be poised of the voice of encouragement and hope. And so whatever I’m feeling in that moment, there might be something I really want to do say, but then I just try to pull back and then what’s the positive side of this, or what’s the encouraging side of this, or what’s the educational side of this that I could share. And so it forces me to take a pause and not be reactive.I wish more people would listen and learn that because that’s part of the problem on social media is everybody’s so reactive and so judgmental and then pointing fingers instead of just listening and part of probably who you should be listening to more than anything else is yourself.
So I remind myself constantly that I did that and I didn’t like it. It didn’t feel good. I didn’t enjoy making a paycheck that way. It felt very heavy. I had extreme anxiety. I come home at night though. Like I have an 800-pound elephant on my chest and I never ever want my words or my, or the way I communicate too to represent that again. I have missteps all the time, but I yanked myself up pretty quickly when I recognize it.
I think it’s really important too that you remove the attachment to what it looks like. Like we get to share like we are companies, we are entrepreneurs. We are solo-preneurs. We are influencers. We are people that have an option or have actually made the decision to the voice. And I don’t care how big or small you are. We’ve made the decision to have a voice. And everything that we do is either contributing to the problem or it’s creating a new solution.
Charging and Empowering
I had been so lucky to be able to integrate my personal mission of empowering and helping other women that goes. A long time back many years ago and it’s just been building and compounding and to be able to put that in my business.
So every aspect that we do is to help women, all of our foods designed for women based on feedback from women. We work with nonprofits, we partner with these nonprofits that help women and girls. And honestly, on my worst day, I think to all these really powerful moments, Where we’re going into a building where these underserved victims of domestic violence, these women are doing work for our company, and it’s like, everything just fades away. so what we really try to do is just help women in a variety of ways and that’s really my guiding principle.
Your Story as a Lighthouse
My favorite type of story to share and to tell and the ones that I think have the biggest impact or any type of transformation. So think about your own life and where have you walked through something before looked different than the after and examine those transformational moments, those transformational lessons that you probably have experienced or learned, or gained wisdom from and just start sharing that, just start sharing pieces of that with other people.
It could be people in your community, it could be. just people in your family, like really, what would that even look like to share a story like that with your children? To let your children know you’ve walked through something, and this is the lesson that you learned from it. And then obviously you can take it into marketing and social media and building a business, building a brand, building an audience and do it on virtual zoom calls and teach it and share it and all of those things, on your channels.
The power that it holds is not only again that it can shine a light for someone else. But as we talked about earlier, it really ultimately helps you turn on your own internal light and it helps you gain so much clarity. You can be yourself, you can share your emotion To even discover, how can you share more of your emotion because you locked so much of it away for so long. So you’re getting to learn through the experience that’s the light being shined back on you. the more our world is going to lift up in consciousness and that the more connected that we’re going to be. Listen you share the story and then open up your ears to listen to someone else’s share theirs. every single one of us has valuable stories inside of us to share.
And it’s so powerful when we dig in and hit that person at their core and find out what their real truth is it just builds a connection and a bond, like no other. So if we’re feeling alone and we’re feeling not seen, and we’re feeling isolated, I did, and depressed and all those things. Start looking for some stories that you can share in your own life and start bridging the gap and shining your light. And start sharing that story with yourself. One of the most powerful things you can do is get it out of your head. Write it, read it recorded on a video to hear yourself, and start filling your tank. no author has ever written a book and no one has ever told a story without knowing who they were.
Don’t let your limiting beliefs by about yourself, get in your way just take it. Getting out of your own way is the first thing. don’t let this situation that we’re all going through define you. If I let this situation define me, I can’t imagine what I’m going to look like when I come out. Then try something new. This is the perfect time to try something new and get out of your old habits start forming some new ones
Light Beamers & Empact Bars
The best easiest, and its freebies place, the easiest place for women to share their stories. And we have a lot of examples in our world of being attacked and criticized for our words. And the light Beamers community is a place where you can come and never be criticized or attacked. For exploring the power of your own voice.
EmpactBars helps girls that fall through the cracks of the foster-care system and help women on a daily basis.