“Minding” The Messages
Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone. I pitched a business idea…live…on the internet…for all to see.
First, talking on any kind of camera doesn’t light me up. It scares me silly. Funny right? I’m a photographer but the camera pointing at me is terrifying. Second, putting a business idea out to the world is scary.
They might think it’s stupid. They might STEAL it!
Those are the messages that screamed at me when I first considered applying to pitch. They could have stopped me in my tracks and silenced me completely.
Shun the “spotlight.” Protect your idea.
2017 is my year of Mindful Living…so that obviously wasn’t going to work!
Thank goodness for mindfulness tools!
Instead I acknowledged the fear. I acknowledged my passion for this new business and what it will do for others. I got in touch with empowerment: “Women get shut down every day and someone is giving you the opportunity to speak! HELLO!!!!”
Just days before I’d been essentially silenced by two men in business that could help me with my business pitch and with connections. Instead, they dismissed me. One assumed I didn’t know what I was doing and that I wasn’t prepared. You need this, and this…oh, and this. Yes, thanks, I have all that. I’ve written my business plan. I’ve researched my target market. I’ve calculated my revenue. I’ve even designed the commercial space and figured out average monthly lease requirements in my top 3 target locations. But, he still dismissed me.
I’ve done my research. I know the statistics on funding opportunities for women. If you don’t know, mostly they suck. This man dismissing me is part of why they suck I’m sure. We aren’t always taken seriously. AND, we listen to those messages when they are sent and we stop.
I could have taken all these internal and external messages and stopped. But, I didn’t. I stared in the face of fear, doubt and attitudes and I acted. I stepped up for the opportunity to step onto a bigger stage. And guess what…it worked! “HELLO!!!”
I was one of three women entrepreneurs invited to pitch.
Before the pitch I engaged my mindfulness tools. I did a Mindful Coloring activity the night before to center and focus. I listened to the messages that came and took in the visual that emerged. I sat quietly and meditated before the pitch to calm my nerves and focus my attention. I set my objectives for the event. Objectives that were win-win no matter the outcome.
And, pitch I did! And, overcoming nerves I did! When I started to pitch my idea the nerves and anxiety melted away. The passion for what I want took over. The support of the women in the group was palpable…even though I couldn’t see any of them. Yes, this was mostly a women-focused event. It wasn’t harsh. It wasn’t judgmental. It was real and genuine…how many women do business. How I do business and how I want to continue to do business.
Focus and Awareness — Gifts of Mindfulness
Without my mindfulness practice I might have let my mind’s original objections dim my light and shut me down. I wouldn’t have taken the opportunity that was given to me. The opportunity was a gift. My mindful way of approaching it was a gift. The business idea, in itself, feels like a gift that was bestowed upon me from something bigger than me.
I’m not in the habit of refusing gifts and when someone gives me a really special one, I feel responsible to take care of it and nurture it.
What are you responsible for? What are your nurturing?
What, more importantly, are you not?
Melissa McClain has over 15 years of experience in the crisis management industry and has worked with international travel and hospitality companies to prepare for and respond to mass casualty and major disaster events. Her focus was on ensuring effective and compassionate support for employees, survivors and families. During her career, she supported organizations through several major terrorist attacks and natural disasters. Melissa is building her fine art photography portfolio with unique collections like her signature Water Colors and others that bring abstract, modern creativity to traditional nautical and landscape photography.
Melissa is an avid student of mindfulness practice and through her Mindful Coloring Workshops she teaches clients how to use coloring and mindfulness for self-awareness, personal growth and reduced stress. Click here for more information on workshops and a coloring and creativity e-course. Learn to tame the inner and outer chaos with mindful coloring.