one of the comments that has come up a few times around the lighthouse as a symbol for business is that it reminds people of isolation.
i suppose it is a clue to how i feel in my own business now that i didn’t think of that symbol myself – but i certainly know the feeling well. it feels a bit like you are on a little island all by yourself as you build your business and build a new life for yourself.
i can definitely see how the lighthouse reminds people of isolation.
and i am not going to tell you “well just go put yourself out there. make some business friends. there are local groups, there are online groups, you don’t have to be alone!” blah blah blah.
we’ve all heard it already.
i remember when i first moved to australia and hearing the same thing. “go to a playgroup. make some friends.”
which is all fine: yes you can put yourself out there and make some friends, yes you can get invited to the coffee shop or a play date. but what i wanted was a REAL friend – the kind you can phone in the middle of the day and say “it’s been a shit day and what i need most is to go out somewhere and have a beer. you in?”
it took me a while to find those friends but i did. thank god.
and it is kind of the same in business too.
when i first started, i did find online groups and local groups, and yes there are definitely places where i have friends and i can add a comment and know that i will have comments back and feel that i am liked and supported.
but it is not the same as being able to message a business best friend and say “it has been a shit day and what i need most is to go out somewhere and have a beer. you in?”
so i am not going to tell you just to “go out and find those people”. i know how damned hard it is.
what i will say is that just because you might be isolated, it doesn’t mean you are alone.
we all are connected – each one of us who is working on a dream, building something bigger than that thing we sell, travelling on this crazy journey – we are connected by passion, by purpose… by love.
each time you see a business shining brightly, take that as a sign… a little reminder… that you are not alone.
take it as a message from the universe saying “i see you too, you do shine bright, and i am here holding your hand as you go.”
and in the meantime, do keep trying to find those people… those business bffs you long for.
i know it is scary to go from the “comment & like phase” into the “go for a beer phase”. i know because i am still working on it.
but do you know what has made the difference to taking the leap from casual acquaintance to biz bff?
showing who i really am. being real about what i am really going through. sharing how i really feel.
frick. scary right?
what if i turn people off?
what if i look like a loser?
what if i look totally unprofessional and people see me as a fraud?
what if i put myself out there and i’m still not good enough?
what i noticed is that before i started to open up to people in a really authentic, vulnerable way all interactions felt either like they were on the surface (whether it be making aquaintances with people in business, or having close friendships with people who didn’t get the business stuff – there was something missing), or they were merely strategic (about networking, or forming friendships with people where we could help each other in biz – nice, but still something missing.)
when i allowed myself to be vulnerable and admit things to my biz friends (i am freaking out because i feel like i am on the verge of something great and i think i am about to screw it up) or to my close friends in life (i feel like there is this whole side of me that some of my friends don’t know about or care about or get at all) everything changed.
those people that i was vulnerable with are now my strongest supporters, my loveliest friends, and the people i can, without a doubt, call up to go for a beer.
have a look around you. there is someone who is longing for a deeper connection just as you are. perhaps it’s time to give them, and yourself, a chance?
i am often inspired by music and every time i hear the song lanterns i think of women in biz…
As we walk out, without question, without doubt
In the light that we have found, it is finally clear
Our day has come, and we'll stand for who we are
We are ready, we have nothing to fear
On we march till we meet the dawn
We will light our way with our lanterns on
In darkness I leave, for a place I've never seen
It's been calling out to me, that is where I should be
so just remember, though we may be working on our biz on our own, we are connected to each of those women who are doing the same. let their light be a signal to you… you are not alone.