“YAY!” and “WHEW!”

The 2016 NACWE Catch on Fire Conference was April 28-30 here in Dallas, Texas. Now that I've had a couple of weeks to recover--or attempt to recover--from the craziness and joy and inspiration overload, I'm reflecting back on our time together. In my head, I'm saying, "Yay! What a weekend!" and also, "Whew! Glad I can breathe again!" I feel truly grateful for time spent in such amazing company! We learned together, laughed together, cried together, and ate chocolate together. We inspired each other and encouraged each other.

The fire is spreading! And it's a beautiful sight.

Here are some videos from the conference. If you haven't seen them yet, take a look! They really capture the atmosphere of the weekend. Can't wait for next year!

Much love,



A Love Letter to My Business

** Note from Diane:  I wrote this in 2009 (seven years ago!) for Valentine’s Day. I like to revisit it every year around this time, and I think it is relevant enough to be posted again. Enjoy!


Dear Business,

I just wanted to tell you how I feel about you for Valentine's Day. I am passionate about you. I think about you all the time. You bring me joy, you give me courage, and you help me to jump out of bed in the morning.IMG_3618

We have been together a long time now.

Sometimes, it is hard for other people to understand the love we have for each other. It can be overwhelming, even intimidating.

People wonder how we manage . . . how we make it work.

Now, I know we have our challenges. I get cranky with you sometimes. It is hard to see you struggling. I get nervous when you are too busy and we aren't spending enough time together or when our time together isn't quality time. I know I frustrate you when I repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

But the most important thing you need to know is that I am never going to leave you. I am devoted and committed to you. I love you; you are a part of me. Our relationship will change as we grow and learn. We will age, and life will change. We will weather the storms together. I promise you this.

I am committed to you!

In fact, I thank God for you every day. I am blessed by how much He must love me to give me you as a gift. I do not take that for granted.

So, on this day that is all about LOVE, I want you to hear my heart: I love you!  You are my sweet spot, my favorite thing, my heart's desire.

Your beloved,


Join us at NACWE for ongoing LOVE!


Diane Cunningham | Founder of NACWEDiane 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 Ways to be a Great Mentor!

1. Be Honest:  Share what you have learned, both good and bad. Your honesty is what they are seeking.

2. Be Genuine:  Your mentee wants to see the authentic you, not a fake.  Don’t feel like you have to know all of the answers.

3. Be a Resource:  Guide your mentee to information (classes, websites, books, and people) that could be of great value.  Don’t assume they know….ask and then connect the dots.

4. Be Timely:  Be a great example of time management.  Be on time to your appointments.  Do what you say you will do.  Set the pace.

5. Be a Lifelong Learner:  Keep current on your field and others.  Be on the lookout for your next opportunity to learn.  Take a new class!

6. Be Inspiring:  Help your mentee become a better person.  Focus on the strengths you see in them.  Encourage and motivate them with your words.

7. Be Willing:  Be willing to go the extra mile, to ask the hard questions, to give the feedback, to make the phone call.  Be willing.

8. Be a Role Model:  Understand that your mentee will become more and more like you…are you setting the example?

9. Be Consistent:  Show them how to be consistent and stay focused for the long haul.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.  Help them to see it in action.

10. Be Yourself:  Allow your mentee to really see you…the true you!  Most great lessons in life are caught, not taught.  Be you, and keep becoming a better you.



Is This You?

Is this you? You are a visionary leader who is ready to stop hiding and take your business to the next level. You love to learn, to be challenged and to expand your skills while having fun. And chances are you are sassy, spunky and serious about making a difference in the world, and also in your own home. You are a woman of faith…..an entrepreneur or a women who dreams of entrepreneurship.

  • You crave freedom.
  • You yearn for more fun in your life.
  • You desire the chance to really leave a legacy.
  • You secretly hope to create an empire but you are afraid to say that in your groups because of what THEY might think or say about you.
  • You are willing.
  • You are talented.
  • You are capable of learning.
  • You are open to trying new things.
  • You are coachable in the midst of the fear.

You believe that what you do makes a difference. It does. You love your work because it is your calling, your purpose, a gift from God. You enjoy sharing your knowledge and training. You want to understand how to attract clients, make a living and not work a million hours a week. See yourself here? Welcome to the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs! You ARE our sister~ Come join us today for the heart connection and girl talk and business training you need. NACWE_web_banner_JoinUs_1391x400px

3 Steps to Owning Your Inner “BRAVE


IMG_4336Being brave is a daily choice. It is about conquering your fear and walking into the unknown. What exactly does being brave mean?

Brave: (adjective) ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage

The truth is that often being BRAVE hurts.

Choosing the BRAVE response is scary.  It makes you want to run off and call in the superheroes.

Some days, no one will ever know that you did anything brave. Some days, you hide from the brave reply and just walk the other way.

For me, this year is about owning my own version of BRAVE. I am in the midst of it. It is not a sprint; it is a marathon. You don't graduate or get a certificate. You often don't get applause or “likes” on your social media post.

Often, BRAVE is silent.

Some days, being brave is about taking action.

Other days, being brave is about waiting and listening and trusting—basically, not taking action, letting people and places and things move along without controlling or manipulating. All of this is easy to write about and talk about but much harder to do

How do you learn to own your inner BRAVE?


Here are 3 ways that I have learned to do this. 


Brave Step #1: Recognize Your Fear.  I just had a giant fear episode this week, so it is fresh for me. I was on the phone sitting in the parking lot in front of Yogurt Land. I had eaten my little tart yogurt with granola and yogurt chips, and I was on a phone call. I was listening to someone share a part of their life with me. All of a sudden, I felt like a tsunami of fear was rising up to meet me. I felt anxious. I felt like running (emotionally) from the person (even though we were on the phone). I felt as if I could feel every single fear, hurt, warning sign, and piece of baggage from my entire 42 years in that 5-10 minutes. But at least I realized that I was afraid. I actually said to myself after the phone call, “I am afraid. This is what FEAR feels like.”

When I dive in deep, I ask myself....

  • Are you afraid of losing something you think you have?
  • Or, not getting something you think you want?
  • Are you afraid of failing and people finding out?
  • Are you afraid of succeeding and having to maintain at a certain level?
  • Are you afraid of being seen?
  • Are you afraid of being found out?
  • Are you afraid of letting someone into your dark places?
  • Are you afraid of letting go?
  • Are you afraid of the messiness and unpredictable nature of relationships?

Own the feeling. Speak it. Look it in the face.


Brave Step #2: Be WillingIMG_6852

Willingness is a challenge. I often don't want to do things. I don't want to feel things. I want to have my own way, control the outcome, change the “game”, or avoid the entire experience because it just looks way too hard. I want someone to rescue me, and I look around and there is no one swooping in. Tonight, I wanted someone to open my salsa jar that I could not get open, and I had to not give up and be willing to keep working on it if I really wanted to eat the salsa.

I have had to learn to be willing to be willing. I have also had to learn how to not get too far down the path into overthinking and overanalyzing, to surrender my endless questions: What if this happens? or What if that happens?

Practice being willing to be willing. This helps the “brave in you” have room to breathe.


Brave Step #3: Stand Still

“Standing still” does not come easy to me. I am normally racing to reach a goal of my own making, or scurrying off to get to the next event or jumping on my next phone call with a client. Part of being brave is standing still. Don't run. Don't hide in the bathroom. Don't slither under the bleachers. Don't apologize for being afraid or being strong or being loud or being beautiful. Own your journey. Stand in your own process.

This includes learning to share your feelings, asking for help, and surrendering your need to know the outcome.

Stand still and own your own BRAVE, your inner brave.   Allow yourself to be vulnerable.  Stand on the stage and hold the microphone. Then, sing.

Stay tuned as I share more of my brave journey with you as I do things on my Be Brave List in 2015, including riding in a hot air balloon, singing on a stage, getting my passport renewed (and then using it) and any other BRAVE thing that arises.


IMG_6975 (1)Diane Cunningham is the Founder and President of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (NACWE). She is a “business therapist,” plane crash survivor, author of 5 books, consultant, speaker, marathon runner, and fun friend. She is offering a one year Be Brave Today Life Experience for a small group of women.  Find out more about her at www.DianeCunningham.com and discover more about NACWE here: www.nacwe.org. Connect with Diane at www.facebook.com/DianeCunningham for fun updates, silly videos, and lively conversation.