I had every intention of writing a second blog post related to this because I wanted to think through a concept Jonathan Fields introduced at the TRIBEWRITER Conference I attended in September.
In our journey to hone our voice in writing, but also in our life work, we so often give out, put out, produce only to find ourselves going through the motions, but feeling a void; of running out of ideas, direction or energy. That happens because we are not effectively refueling or putting back into ourselves.
At the recent Tribewriter Conference, Good Life Project author & speaker Jonathan Fields challenged us with the key concept in being successful in life is to pay “exquisite attention” to the important things.
More on that later.
His comments prompted me to ponder this word exquisite. I asked the GHC community what their first thought was when they heard the word ‘exquisite’.Continue reading Exquisite!→
When I finally got serious about writing “Lovely Traces of Hope”, I realized pretty quickly I was in way over my head. I needed help to give structure to my material. Tribewriters was the answer for me.
Are you a writer? Do you sense there might be something you need to say? Then Tribewriters is for you!
Check out Tribewriter’s Conference 2017?
We just wrapped up another Tribe Conference and had a blast! Tickets for next year are now on sale at tribeconference.com. It won't be the same without you.
The Tribe Conference is a marketing conference for people who don't think of themselves as marketers. It's a gathering for writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to grow their craft, share their work, and get the attention their work deserves.
I would describe TRIBEWRITERS as a community of weird, brave and oh so creative men and women who have ‘stuff’. It is the kind of ‘stuff’ that is made up of real, often messy, mostly ordinary people and events in our lives that make up our story.
This is Part 4 of 4 in a series of posts I have been writing called "story to share". It is the last of this series, but not the end of the story. In most ways it is a new beginning for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. If you would like to read the other posts in the series, start here.
Though this is my story, the main character of the Story to Share posts is a woman named Jenn Wenzke; coach, mentor, founder of the So Now Professional Network of Women, and overall, champion of women.
Truly, she championed the woman!
Over and over I have heard women say, Jenn…
listened to me,
challenged me for more
In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve,author Jeff Goins calls this kind of person a “patron’. Often we think of the purpose of a patron is the money they might give to help an artist get started. But this goes way beyond the financial support.
All creative workers need:
influencers that will vouch for the artist to an audience who doesn’t know them yet.
advocates who see the artist’s potential, believe in their work and give them a chance.
The right person/or people to connect the artist to the right people.
I knew immediately as I read Jeff’s description that Jenn Wenzke was my influencer/ advocate/ chance giver/ connector.
She believed in me, challenged me, and supported me. She was a cheerleader, an encourager, exhorting me on more than one occasion to quit making excuses and step up to the mic. She asked me questions others might be afraid to ask and listened deeply as I searched inward for my answers. She wasn’t afraid to tell me when she thought I was off track. Jenn was my coach to the core.
She helped me decide what ‘good art’ in my work looks like and then championed me in the doing of it.
Jenn was my patron!
On June 7, 2017 my friend and mentor, Jenn Wenzke, died after battling the terrible ALS disease that threatened her body the entire time I knew her.
Our last conversation was at her home several weeks before her death. She was so fragile, but still had much to say. We spoke of her health, her family, and of course the So Now Network.. She knew the legacy of that group was in good hands and felt confident it would continue strong. Her one big regret was that her SO NOW COACHING practice would not.
I asked her how I could help. She said, “You need to be coaching leaders. “ I don’t know why I hadn’t specifically identified that before, but it suddenly seemed exactly right.
We continued talking for a while, this time about my business and thoughts I had for my future. I spoke of wanting to create interviews with other women in leadership who could bring value to the women in the GHC community.
Before I got the words out of my mouth, she was shaking her head—actually her whole little body in her great big chair.
“NO!” She insisted. “Your voice. Your message. NOW!”
My breath caught .
I knew this was not just any moment. This was THE moment. The moment that summed up all Jenn had been speaking into me since the first Tuesday SO NOW meeting when we met two and a half years earlier.
Occasionally I will recommend to you a resource that I believe in. Usually it is a book or an author that has really spoken into my life and work.
I invite you to check out this one. If you have ever had interest in blogging or writing a book, this is something you want to look into. If you want to skip the story and go to the bottom for the post for the details, click here.
Otherwise, read on! And yes, I am an affiliate of Jeff Goins. I believe in him and in the Tribewriter course and community. I’m delighted to share him with you- as well as the Tribewriter Course.
Just over a year ago, as Jeff Goins was launching another class of Tribewriters, I found myself desperately wanting IN!
I had been watching from afar for a couple of years, all the while trying to write a manuscript for a book that I didn’t want to write. It was started by my 15 year old daughter, Leisha. We found it in her journal the day after she died in a car/pedestrian accident. She only wrote one chapter, but in that chapter she mostly told my story and ended it with “and then I was born.” I knew this was a book that needed to be finished by me. But I couldn’t imagine how I would ever be able to do it.
Then came Jeff Goins. I signed up for the the TRIBEWRITER Course- and got a ticket to the 2015 Tribewriter Conference. That has made all the difference.
Well, one of the highlights for me at the Tribewriter conference was to meet one of my super heroes. This is Carrie Wilkerson, recently called a SASSY entreprenuer. I have also heard it said that she is the little Texan with the big voice. She was introduced as the ‘small town girl who was able to think beyond city limits” or the ‘big sister in business and life”.
She is also Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive. I know the picture to the right is not very good, but I wanted you to see that she lives up to her name. She came on stage with this beautiful pair of heels, but within 7 minutes of her presentation, she was barefoot. She does this regularly.
Below is a little better picture but you couldn’t see her feet.
I met Carrie about 11 years ago when I first started direct selling with Mary Kay. Carrie did that too for a while, but she was always doing more than makeup.
One of the things I most admired about Carrie is that she has always been about doing what she does ‘Carrie style’.
She’s not afraid of the hard stuff- or I should say she is faithful about doing the hard thing afraid.
She is honest about what the challenges are, but will not let you get away with excuses. She’s done it! We can too!
STOP IT! She will say and did say from the stage on Sunday. “Don’t say you want something different if you are not willing to change your perspective.” Quit making excuses. Start looking at it from a different perspective.
“Don’t be paralyzed by the invisible audience.” THEY can paralyze your effort to pay your bills or invest in those around you.
What you have to offer is of VALUE. If you have something of value that will transform others and you don’t share it, you are a ‘transformation horder.”
If it is of value, you have a responsibility to share it. It is not your responsibility if they aren’t ready to accept your gift. Do it like you need to do but do it!
SHARE IT! PURSUE IT! YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION!
I’ve been listening and coaching with Carrie in different ways for 10 years. She has been consistent in her message, faithful to her own calling and an example in the journey. That makes her a side kick, as well as a super hero!
Yep, she may be 12 or 15 years years younger than me, but this little gal continues to be a ‘big sister’ to speak hope into my life. I am grateful that she is mentor, coach and friend. She even wrote an endorsement for Lovely Traces of Hope. Check it out in my book.
Who is your hero?
How are they also a side kick for you in your super hero journey?
I got to give mine a hug this weekend. How can you say thank you to yours?
This weekend, I attended the TRIBEWRITER conference in Franklin, TN which is a “marketing conference for people who don’t think of themselves as marketers. It’s a gathering for writers, artists, and creative entrepreneurs to grow their craft, share their work, and get the attention their work deserves.”
In my previous post, I shared some of the effects of last years conference; the primary one was the completion of the “LOVELY TRACES OF HOPE” book which I had been working on for several years before committing to finish it.
This year, I am still sifting through the ‘one thing’ i will do because of what I learned. But…Jeff Goins, founder and host of the Tribewriter event kicked us off with a great reminder.
Jeff introduced us to his superhero son, Aiden who is 4. Aiden is Batman. He wanted Jeff to be – not Superman, like Jeff was last year, not Spiderman or The Hulk. You guessed it, Robin, Batman’s faithful sidekick.
Jeff reminded us that often, as business owners, authors and creatives of all kinds, we think our purpose is about being the super hero to our clients and readers.
In reality we are there to be a sidekick to the stories in our tribe. My story is only truly effective as I influence the reader engage with their own story.
I do that by:
Being Present- show up, yes, but more than that- engaged!
Being Helpful- Give first, often you will benefit, but help anyway.
Being Brave- learning to do that next hard thing afraid.
Think like a sidekick and make it about ‘them’. The act of being allows activity to follow identity.
As I sat and listened to Jeff’s comical, but motivating challenge, I read the words on the card at my table. The picture below may be easier to read.
Ok! This is exactly why we need to be present, helpful and brave. If we dare to look into the depth of the world’s darkness, then people will be willing to listen to us as we dare to shine light into theirs.
I’ve never been very good at the super hero role. How about you? Are you a super hero? Sometimes we become one in our story out of necessity. But often it is not because we are super great – it is because we were present for someone, or helpful to them at a time when they needed us to be brave.
But who are you a side kick too right now? Is it your family or a close friend? Maybe it is a client who is counting on you to help them do what they need to do.
Five years ago, I sat down with pencil and paper and began to map out a strategy for beginning a new business and opening a coaching practice.
Five years ago, I thought I knew what wanted for my business. I thought I knew what I would be good at and what I needed to do to make that happen. I had a lot to learn!
But this year, I have more clarity about what is important to me, and what steps I need to take to get there. This is not my entire goal list, but here is a glimpse into some of the goals I have set for the new year.