I still have the note of thanks that the CFO of International Dairy Queen wrote me 13 years ago when I worked for Oracle. You can probably guess sales reps don’t get too many notes of praise from their clients!
Well, I got a doozie of an email this week to add to my “praise file”.
It’s from a client, Brynn Breuner, who’s in my Evolve Accelerator. She sent it to me with the intention of sharing it with you. So here goes… unedited.
For a gal with perpetually redlined bank account I had no reservations about ponying up [for Evolve Accelerator]. None. Still don’t, think it’s one of the smartest things I’ve EVER done in anything and without hesitation the best thing I’ve ever done for my business.
If I could pay you more I would.
I feel like I’m finally learning things about how to run a business that I simply never knew before. If I’d gone to business school? Maybe, maybe not. But I know without question that this course is giving me the best chance for a long-term successful outcome.
I wish other entrepreneurs I know could afford it—I think of it like an entrepreneurial MBA. Each time we have a call I realize that I couldn’t afford NOT to do it.
I have a clear plan (ok, still evolving but it’s right there on the tip of my mind) about what I want my business to accomplish. Totally new!
I have for the first time a strong sense of working ON my business and not just IN it. I’ve read about that for a long time but doing it is like f*cking pure business oxygen. And I’m not gasping for breathe, I’m breathing deep and calm for the first time ever.
Sure sometimes I still get scared, but now I have things I can DO about it, and that beats the fear back into place and grows the capable, savvy badass.
Instead of being super positive and super enthusiastic and pushing the same old buttons while I work harder and harder and am still broke—now I’m super enthusiastic FOR A GOOD REASON. The difference is staggering.
You somehow make it possible to realize where and how I’ve been a complete idiot for two decades but not feel like an idiot—I feel like a normal person who just didn’t know and didn’t know how to find out.
It makes it hard to stay in the closet of shame when the door’s open, sun is shining, and a very smart, very savvy pro on the other side is there to help me kick my own ass into gear and have a ball doing it. In fact the relief I feel to not be making the same mistakes as I was is so huge and so sweet I feel almost evangelical.
You said once, “Hope is not a business strategy” and you couldn’t have nailed me better. Except to add Crossing your fingers isn’t a business plan either. Got it. Oh boy do I got it.
You’re getting me out of my little safe hiding place of mediocrity and challenging me to challenge myself to get my f*cking big girl panties on and make this thing happen.
And the guru thing. I don’t feel like I have to Be Like You to make this work—the opposite in fact:
I have to be like ME or else I’m sunk.
What a relief! And I don’t have to go to groupie parties or getaways or feel like I’m not good enough b/c I didn’t get invited to them. I just have to stay real and stay on it.
Know what I love? You don’t get 3,000 Facebook comments when you buy a pair of shoes or go to a restaurant or take a yoga class. I feel like the whole point isn’t to become a Carolyn disciple or wannabe, but to be me.
The value you offer doesn’t come from cookie cutter teacher worship (which ultimately makes me feel like I’m not good enough to do it on my own)—it comes from doing the damn work with other women who put it on the line, and hold my feet to the fire as much as I hold theirs. This alone is worth gold.
And the other people in the group? They’re gold too—and surprise, surprise, no matter how “far ahead” of me I think they may be in terms of experience or skills, it continues to amaze me that we all offer and find value in each other’s experience. In fact, of course our shared journey (however different we are) drives the learning far far deeper than I would’ve been able to take it on my own.
You want accountability? Honesty? Feedback? PROGRESS?? Join an Evolve group and get to work, sister!!
If Brynn’s letter speaks to you, apply to be a part of Evolve Accelerator. I want to get to know you. Visit the intro website to complete your application for an interview today.
If you feel like you’re making the same mistakes and want to stop circling success don’t stick this in your “think about it” or “get back to this later” files.
I look forward to hearing from you.