I, Michelle Ward, The When I Grow Up Coach and supporter of all creative women pursuing their business dreams everywhere, solemnly swear to never sugar coat anything.
In this spirit, I will tell you: Becoming a business owner is not easy. In fact, it can sometimes feel very, very hard. You will be met with a ton of resistance, both internally and externally. But, I’m sure a wise woman once said: “The only thing you can control is yourself” — so let’s tackle the internal resistance, a.k.a. The Vampire Voices.
The Vampire Voices are what I call the thoughts that live in your head and suck all the good stuff out of your brain. You know them. You hate them. They feed on motivation, inspiration, creativity, optimism, and faith. They’re here to hold you down, push you back, and they are not — I repeat, are not your friend. Most importantly, they’re not right, either.
In the beginning of my business coach career in 2008ish, my Vampires usually said a lot of things like:
“You’ll never pull this off.”
“You’re setting yourself up for disappointment.”
“You’re not (smart/pretty/good/knowledgeable/talented/special) enough.”
Like I promised, business babe, I won’t sugar coat it. Sometimes, I can still hear them. Sometimes when I’m gearing up for a new launch or struggling for a perfect solution to a new client challenge, I hear the Vampires slithering in.
But today, I know what to do. I know what to say. I know how to shut them out.
Here is what works for me, and I think it could work for you, too…
I ask myself if *not* doing whatever the Vampires are trying to talk me out of would turn into a regret in a few years time. I do what I can to envision if I’d feel sad or angry or wistful when I think about The Thing I Think I Can’t Do in two-ish years, and then I respond accordingly.
I try to come up with the Worst Case Scenario and see if it would really be anything I couldn’t handle.
I talk it out with my husband and my colleagues and my friends and my coach who are the exact opposite of the Vampire voices. They are supportive, thoughtful, kind, empathetic, analytical/critically thinking and, oh yeah – real.
I look at the financial growth I’ve seen in the 10+ years that I’ve helped women find their heart song businesses. I review my Year By The Numbers posts. It is tactile, visual proof that my Vampires were and still are wrong. I can and AM doing this!
I check in with my gut and my heart.
I see how equal the fear and excitement measure out. (I firmly believe that when they’re about equal, you’re in a win-win situation and you gotta follow through!)
I look at my calendar and project management system and see when there’d be time to do The Thing I Think I Can’t Do.
And ya know what? Sometimes, I decide not to do it, or have it wait. And that’s OK. I let it go, and I know it’s not because I can’t or I shouldn’t, but because it’s not that important based on the other things I’m working on.
But often? The Thing I Think I Can’t Do is exactly what I need to do for myself – to learn, to grow, to keep stretching and taking risks and get closer to the life I envision for myself and Luke and our sweet girl, Ramona.
And dear business dreamer, here is the last detail about the Vampire Voices I need to tell you: They are sneaky and they can evolve. Just when you crush the Discovery piece of your dream business, the Launch Vampire shows up. Just when you stifle your Launch Vampire, the Build Vampire tags in. The voices never go away (again with the non-sugar coating), but with experience + time they get quieter and you get stronger.
So, you must remember as you go along your business-building journey: You and they have been here before. And they were wrong. And you were right.
The amazing news is Vampire Voices are almost powerless when you match them up against a business support system, such as myself and the other incredible network of women I’m fortunate to have around me. Discover Your Dream Business is waiting to invite you in with all the loving & supportive arms a Vampire Voice wishes it had – and a big summer sale discount doesn’t hurt, either. Let’s take these voices on together — come and get us, Vampires! We’re so not scared of you.