Stingy Love: The Dirty Secret of Jealousy

 

IMG_0150-2Stingy Love.

Authentic feelings.

Integrity.

This past week, I felt a feeling that makes me uncomfortable. It was the ping of jealously. Then, I felt guilty for feeling it. Then, I felt mad. Then, I felt resentful. I was jealous of another woman’s success. There. . .I said it out loud. True confessions. I was looking from the “outside” at what I thought was somehow “better,” and I was getting caught up in the “Comparison Chaos.”

None of this feels good. It actually made me feel nauseous. I felt “yucky.”

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.

The truth is, I want you to be successful. I want to celebrate your success as a person, as a fellow traveler on the path of life. I want to cheer you on and have you cheer me on, too. But I have to remember that you cannot read my mind, and that it is not under my control what you do or don’t do. I have to remind myself that all that glitters is not gold, and that what I see on social media is not the entire picture. It is one snapshot moment. I have to watch out for the snare of envy. When I am caught in that snare, I am not doing the work that God has called me to do.

It is my job to do my work, clean up my side of the street, and love you with no strings attached. It is not my job to watch you do your work and talk about your work and wonder why my work is not looking like your work. Get it?

It is not my job to get you to like me or love me, to patrol you, to coerce you or to force you. It is my job to love you and do what I have committed to doing for you—regardless of the outcome. It is my job to cheer for you, pick you up, cry with you if needed, and love you along the messy path.

Be willing to give love.

Be willing to share the victory.

Be willing to let go of expectations.

Be willing to be vulnerable.

Be willing to be generous with your praise.

Be willing to cheer for your sister in Christ.

It is time to release yourself from your own bondage. Be you. There is no need to compete with your authentic, true, gorgeous self!

diane-nacwesignDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

Speak Your Truth in Business: Using Speaking to Reach Your Ideal Client (Part One of Two)

 

DianeHeading1Speaking is about communication, the sharing of information. Even more than that, it’s about the relaying of your testimony, sharing your passion and your heart.

My speaking experience dates back to my college years. In undergrad, I earned a Communications Degree. I went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Counseling. After that, a large part of my career depended on my ability to speak well. I worked as a Domestic Violence Counselor, a School Outreach Counselor, an Addictions and EAP Counselor, and worked with private practice counseling groups. I had to be able to communicate effectively and professionally in all of these positions.

Even outside of the counseling world, I used my speaking skills in every position I held. I worked as a Candle Lady selling Partylite, as a church leader for 40 Days of Purpose, and, finally, as a Life Purpose Coach and Speaker.

I created NACWE in 2010, and my speaking opportunities multiplied. Along with speaking engagements from the organization, I also focused on making my own opportunities. I started using BlogTalkRadio.com in 2008 to create my own radio show. There, I was able to share my thoughts and interview others. I also started using YouTube and other similar video services in 2008, and I’ve received 23,454 video views since then. For more private speaking engagements, I began using FreeConferenceCalling.com, which offers a way to record your calls.  I now speak weekly on webinars using ClickMeeting.com to capture training for members of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs.

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every aspect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.
—Ephesians 4:15

Are you speaking?

What is holding you back from sharing your story in your business?

What is your message and area of expertise?

Everyone has a unique message. What’s yours? You are an expert in something. What is your expert topic?  Or topics?  Right now, think of 2-3 main speaking topics you are confident in and write them down. Focus on who you will speak to and when.

You want to speak to your ideal clients, people who will truly benefit from listening to your message and will provide you with potential opportunities. Ideally, you also want the chance to offer an invitation or call to action. What is your offer? Finally, you want to have a goal. Look back at your journey and all of the speaking you have done. Where do you want to go from here?

Figure out your speaking boundaries now before you get asked to speak. How far will you go? For what pay? For how long?

There are many tools available to you to help you share your message and use your voice. Many of these tools are free to use! Use your personal webpage, your Facebook fan page, or use a vanity URL like: www.inspiredwomentv.com (a page that links to my YouTube channel). Some useful paid tools include webinars and speaking bios. Most importantly, use these tools to use your voice.

Above all else, practice being authentic. Learn to share your heart. Be real. God is walking by your side and will help you as you continue to share your message!

(Join me next week as I share more about speaking in part two of this message!)

 

diane-nacwesignDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

10 Simple Ways to Use Your Expert Knowledge

Yes. You are an expert, and you need to recognize that. We get caught up in looking at the areas we need to improve and don’t see what is right in front of us. This is the “grass is always greener” concept and, for us as entrepreneurs, it is also the “shiny object” syndrome.” I mistakenly think I need what you have or what you know in order to succeed. Well, that is garbage! You have knowledge, training, skills, education, and life experiences. Stop talking and start doing. Use what God has given you.

What is an expert? According to FreeDictionary.com, an expert is a person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject.DianeQuote1

Here are ten simple ways to use your expert knowledge to build your business:

1. Speak it. This could be on a stage in front of an audience of 50 or 500. This might be at a networking event where you have 30 seconds to introduce yourself. Or, this could be in a group of five women, which is one of the ways I got started. When I moved to Wichita Falls, Texas in 2006, I found that the networking scene needed a little help, so I connected with two other women. Together, we started our own Women’s Networking Lunch. I had only been there for three months, but it worked; one person invited another, and so on. That group has been going for eight years now. Be willing to step out and do something new.

2. Write it. This could be in your weekly blog, your ebook, your newsletter, or your book. Get your message out, share your journey, tell your story, give your perspective, and then get that written word out to all people you come in contact with.

3. Teach it. This could be to someone sitting across from you at Starbucks or to the masses on a live webcast. This could be “how to train a dog,” “ways to increase your confidence,” or “how to create a hand-stamped necklace.” Teach your followers how you “do what you do.”

4. Duplicate it. This could be the manual you create on success tips that can be taught to ten people on a group telecourse instead of meeting each individual person. Figure out ways to reach more people by increasing the number of people you can share your information with virtually. Allow them to listen when they can or to go at their own pace. This is exactly what we do at the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs with all of our calls and webinars recorded and archived for the past four years.

5. Broadcast it. This might be on a free online radio show you create. I found out about BlogTalkRadio in 2008 and got started right away featuring other coaches and clients. Find your voice and share online with a live broadcast. Go check out all of my archived and current interviews at www.inspiredwomenradio.com.

6. Record it. This could be on your very own TV network using Youtube or Vimeo. I now have over 100 videos and more than 20,000 video views.  Don’t worry; it gets easier the more you practice (if you don’t believe me, go see some of my earlier recordings). I have someone come and help me record my videos, and I often record six short tutorials and inspirational messages in a 60-minute period. Check it out at www.inspiredwomentv.com.

7. Share it. This could involve you being interviewed for a local newspaper or by colleagues on their radio shows. Say yes to any and all features and interviews that can get you in front of a new group or crowd. Share your message.

8. Post it. This is our fabulous free friend, social media. Post your expert info, tweet your knowledge tips, link your words of wisdom, and pin your visual images that help us understand it all! Link your expert info back to your blog and/or website so you can get us to come over and visit you there.

9. Sell it. Take any of these ways I have just listed and make it into a product. Record the interview and sell it. Write the ebook and bundle that for sale along with a video tutorial. Teach the class as an online workshop.

10. Be it. Remember, you are you and God has given you a unique set of gifts, experiences, and knowledge that no one else has. Trust Him and allow His plan to unfold. Be willing to be vulnerable. You will end up being an expert in things that you did not ever anticipate as a part of your life journey. I can now claim that I am an expert in divorce survival, infertility, lawsuit, plane crash survival, and more. Share your story.  Be you!

The bottom line: do it. Look at this list and figure out ways of sharing your expert information that work for you. Go from there. It won’t be perfect. Get it out there anyway. If I am not an expert in your topic, how would I ever know?

DianeYellowDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane on her Facebook page for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

Running for My Life

IMG_0519Fast. I like to take things fast—find the quick way, get things done, get there early. My highest strength on the StrengthsFinder 2.0 is the ACTIVATOR strength. Often, my clients hire me for this strength and gift.

Lately, I feel like I have been running fast.

We just finished our book launch for the book Rock Bottom is a Beautiful Place. We wrote and published the book in four months from enrollment to launch. The book is now an Amazon bestseller. We had 3,655 people download it for FREE during our 3-day promotional period. I was running. . .and got 28 women to run with me. (Get the book HERE!)

During this week, the distractions hit me from every side. My air conditioning leaked on the second floor of my house and created water damage through the flooring and into the living room. One of my toilets stopped working. I was running to catch up to all of this and I’m still trying to get these things fixed.

I also run half-marathons, and I was supposed to run one last Saturday after all of this. I made the wise decision to skip it. I had been running for days—actually, for weeks.

In the book, we shared our vulnerable gut-wrenching truths. I ran from my addictions for many years. I ran from my authentic voice. I wanted to be who I thought you needed me to be. I wanted you to love me. I have learned that I am me and that I am okay whether you love me or not.

I have learned that running means 3 choices:

#1 I can run from things. I can ignore them, hide from the feelings, ignore the deadlines, and see what happens. This tactic doesn’t seem to work very well. I have tried it many times.

#2 I can run towards things. I can embrace them and dive in. I can seek to know, to find, to understand. This works well often but can also get me into trouble in certain parts of my life (such as dating).

#3 I can let God run the show. This is always the foundation. He is my boss, my guide, my mentor, and my coach. He knows where He needs me. My job is to pause, to listen, to refuel. In order to run the race He has set before me, I need rest, food, water, time, peace.

Running for my life is a good thing. I run to set myself free. I run to surrender. I run to hear what God is saying to me. I run to save my life.

DianeYellowDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at her Facebook page for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.

Peeling Off the Layers of My Fear

 

photo (1)I am afraid. You might not see it, but it is very real to me. I deal with it well, because I am used to it as an entrepreneur. I have learned to manage it and walk through it daily. I walk through it with my business. The chaos swirls around me, and I clear away the dust and shine bright!

Yet, it is still lurking. It is in the back rooms of my personal life that it comes out in a load roar. The fear is bigger there. It captures me.

I am loveable.

I am valuable, loveable, worthy to be embraced. It is my fear that holds me hostage. It is my wondering if you can handle me. . .the real me. . .the secret me.

The me that is hungry and loud.

The me that has dishes in her sink, papers and binders on her office floor.

The me that talks a lot and wants attention.

The me that is afraid of being vulnerable, because she is the one that is a leader for the public group.

The me that wants you to know that I need help, and I don’t know how to ask for it.

The me that hates spreadsheets, can’t cook, and really cares less about politics.

Will you love me? Her? That girl?

Or will I be “too much” or “intimidating”?

Can you keep up with me? I am too tired and can’t drag anyone with me anymore. . .been there done that. I have a lot of the t-shirts.

I am committed to embracing the hundred forms of fear. They will not win, and they will not steal my life from me.

At a recent retreat I attended, we had an exercise on fear. We were asked to name our fear and write down it down in sharpie on a rock.

My rock says fear of being alone and fear of being loved.

These two might seem like opposites, but they are both very real and true for me. As I walked through the feelings, I had to come up with a first step to write on the other side of the rock. The other side of my rock now says let myself be loved.

I am ready. I am willing. I am peeling off the layers. The right person will love all of me—the good and the bad (or the parts I think I need to hide).

Thank you God for creating me, loving me, and always helping me get to the next place!

DianeYellowDiane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. Find out more about NACWE and why 165 women joined in the first year at www.NACWE.org. Connect with Diane at her Facebook page  for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.