There’s something about mowing the lawn and inspiration. You know, like those insights you get while you’re in the shower – the ones that disappear as soon as you grab the towel. Here’s what happened to me one day while mowing.
A little context
Four years ago I had just started my coaching business. Here’s how I started it: I decided to be a career coach, informed my school I wasn’t coming back, told my friends what I was doing, put it up on Facebook, and someone referred my first client to me.
In other words, I decided to change things up, then talked about it to some people. One day someone said “be a career coach,” it resonated with me and I became a career coach – which is basically how I move through life. I get bored; I need something new; I find it (or create it) and I’m off to the races.
The day that changed everything
So, one day I’m on my old, green John Deere lawn tractor mowing the lawn (2 ½ acres of lawn plus 1+ acres of pasture), with my iPhone hanging out of the pocket of my shorts, listening to podcasts in my double ear protection – gun range quality, hunter green ear muffs over corded aquamarine earplugs. I know, right? It was a total fashion statement.
I’d recently discovered podcasts and had subscribed to several aimed straight at entrepreneurs – you know, those people who start new businesses, fail, then go on to the next thing. This particular day I had been listening to Unmistakeable Creative and Hack the Entrepreneur, one episode after another.
It begins to dawn on me
After listening to about 5 episodes of Hack, I began to realize something. Every person that Jon Nastor interviewed had a story that reminded me of mine – interested in lots of things, not particularly afraid of failing (or starting), and always, always looking for ways to make things better. I think I listened to a couple of the episodes twice because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Every single person Jonny interviewed was happy with the trajectory of their lives and their work. Every. single. person. They liked looking for the next thing and figuring out how to make it work and work better. They craved challenges and tension, and they learned to work through the failures.
I’m better than ok
And it slowly dawned on me that there was nothing wrong with me – nothing at all. All of those things that I struggled with: working at one place on one thing, staying interested in what was in front of me (I can have the attention span of a squirrel), and being satisfied with where I was at any given moment – were the exact same things these entrepreneurs struggled with. Then they stopped struggling and harnessed those very attributes to drive their success.
I realized that if those entrepreneurs on Hack the Entrepreneur could harness their “crazy,” so could I – not only that I could – I must. Therefore, I am.
I embrace my ability to see solutions where other people see problems. I treasure my varied interests and use the knowledge I get from pursuing them to fuel my work. I relish my tendency to look for the next thing and use it to identify new opportunities to spread my work out in the world. I harness my restlessness and challenge myself to create more strategies for more women to recognize the power of their work.
I discover I’m artful (truth)
I realize that my coaching is most powerful when I deploy my best traits – I know, rocket science. For example, my favorite assessment (which I discovered at the same time as the podcasts) identifies me as the Maverick Leader. It tags me as pioneering, irreverent, entrepreneurial(!), artful(?), and dramatic(!!!). Does overuse of exclamation points = dramatic?
My favorite line in the report describes me as “independent, confident, and perhaps a little eccentric.” Perhaps a little bit ….
When I read the report the first time, it felt like a benediction – it was actually soothing – like I could relax into being me.
I finally understood that being irreverent and dramatic are key to my success and my appeal. I understood that it is imperative that I have crazy ideas and then go make them happen. Manifesting those ideas is what makes me unique. And the strategies I create for clients are my art.
Where I wrap it all up
On that summer day 4 years ago, I heard something that changed me forever. My constant search for more information and more knowledge and more voices led me to Jon Nastor and Hack the Entrepreneur. Jonny’s voice also led me to start my own podcast to broadcast my own voice to anyone who cared to listen. It led me to Diana Bader, my podcast co-host and, now, close friend. It opened up my world in ways that I’m still uncovering.
So, thank you, Jon Nastor. You changed my life, and by changing my life, you have changed the lives of all the people I encounter.
And, Jon, I still owe you a video.
Friends, go out and be ferocious. If you need help, I’m here.