As I look back on this year, a vivid display of colors, actions, and snapshot moments inspire me.
The year started with the proclamation from a friend: “This is my year to be brave!” Those of us gathered with her for the turning of the calendar from 2009 to 2010, decided this was a great theme for all of us. We grabbed some scratch paper and instead of writing new years resolutions that we knew would be broken, we wrote down a “Be Brave” list.
Some were easy and some felt so very hard.
I have no clue where my list is now. In fact, I find it hard to throw a single piece of paper away so I am sure I will find my list again someday. But I know that I completed 4 things on my list—which is rather amazing since I think there were only 5 or 6 things on the whole page.
As I journeyed through 2010, every time something on my list arose and caused me to suck in my breath in fear at the sheer thought of it, I knew I should move on it. I even voiced this out loud to those in my inner circle. If it scared me to death, than that meant I should do it!
Here’s a snap shot of what I wrote and the outcomes—a peek behind the curtain so to speak.
Item #1 Flying in a plane with my husband: My husband got his private pilot’s license a year ago. I knew I needed to go up with him in the plane. I did. We did. It was all good. We looped around Wichita Falls and landed. I was his first passenger! This was a “be brave” moment.
Item #2 Becoming a CEO: April 20th 2010, I accepted my own promotion to that of CEO….funny huh? I have had my own business since 2005. And yet I never saw myself as the CEO. I never claimed my own power or the title. I let others decide for me. This is the day that I owned it. Praise God! And funny, that’s who I work for now…. God.
Item #3 On reaching a certain income goal: I decided this year I would make a designated amount of money. I did not reach this goal, but I did increase my income over that of 2009. The brave part was in the setting of the goal then in the letting-go of the goal. I realized that things happen at just the right time and that being a work-a-holic is not the answer. It is NOT the life I am called to live. It is NOT the example I want to set. I am right where I need to be: Moving forward, trusting the process, with no debt, all bills paid for my business.
Item #4 Launching an Association: On May 11th, I launched the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. I got my first member on May 8th, thanks to Tammy Kniffin, because she believed in me and claimed her spot as the first member. So many brave moments later, we have 125 members all over the United States and Canada. We became a registered Trademark. We have a team. We are planning and preparing for our first annual NACWE conference. Brave moments throughout and more every day.
Item #5 LLC: After 5 years in business, I decided to take the leap and become a Limited Liability Corporation. I made it official. No more DBA for me. This ‘brave’ moment came as I joked with my friends that it felt like I was purchasing “air”. I am now Diane Cunningham Companies LLC. Feels big and brave and real.
Item #6 Karaoke: I love to sing and I can belt out a tune. But karaoke in front of a crowd of 50 is something a bit different. I did it anyway, and it is amazing how a song you think you know pretty well, gets to be a bumbling mess when it’s just you and the microphone. Oh well, I did it. I was brave!
Item #7 Moving: This summer it happened. I had the joy of moving my office and my home in the same 3-4 week time period. This was a brave experience. I would not recommend it. I learned to “mud” a wall, and really embraced being sore and dirty on a daily basis. July was a blur of boxes. We survived and got settled into both new places.
Item #8 Writing a book and NOT writing another book: I wrote a little mini-book this year called Dear Female Entrepreneur my Friend. Many of you might have a copy. It is a member benefit of joining the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs. I also had to make a brave decision to stop working on a book with a co-author that was not the right fit for me. I was frightened if I made this decision, I was facing career suicide. But after wise counsel and meeting with a fabulous coach friend, I made the decision to end the process. It turned out to be the best decision in all directions and gave me the freedom to move forward that I needed.
Item #9 Losing the weight: Losing weight is hard—I have done it over and over again in my life. It’s also hard to keep it off. It is hard to do the ongoing work. But let me tell you a secret….it is hard to let it go as a good excuse. To lose the weight and be in a comfortable range for my body is a brave thing to do. And it has so much to do with standing up for myself and stepping up to the plate in my business too. I don’t have to hide or be embarrassed anymore. I can no longer use this excuse as a mental time waster. Or energy drainer. Or money stealer. I am taking care of my God given temple with exercise and the right food for me.
Item #10 Hiring people to help me: It is a brave step to invite people into your inner workings and have them help you. I did this in lots of ways this year when my vision expanded and my expertise wasn’t a good fit in some of the new areas. I had to be brave enough to let go so that I could soar higher.
There you have it, 10 ways that I learned to be brave in 2010.
What a year it has been! I am thankful for each “be brave” moment. Now, I look forward to all that I will learn in 2011.
Want To Use This Article In Your Ezine or Website? You have my permission, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Diane Cunningham is the CEO of Diane Cunningham Companies LLC and the president and founder of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (www.nacwe.org). Under the same umbrella she is also the owner of the high-level coaching and consulting company DianeCunningham.com where she coaches clients to get their own breakthrough. You can visit Diane, access her free report, and stay connected through www.dianecunningham.com. Diane lives in Texas with her husband and her furry child.