Golden Nuggets for Women Entrepreneurs, Especially the Single Moms Like Me: Lessons Learned from My First Quarter of 2010

Topic of the day:  my biggest lessons from first quarter of 2010.  As many of you know, as of January 1, 2010 I committed to refocusing my entire business around business coaching for women entrepreneurs.

In fact, last week at my first Dynamic Women’s Springtime Tea (more on that in a moment), I realized I’d like to be known as THE coach for single mom entrepreneurs.  We are a special breed of brave and tired women, and it’s time for us to have our own community of support.  So my three top lessons of the quarter are for me, for women entrepreneurs everywhere, and most especially those of us entrepreneurs who are also single moms.

Lesson 1:  As a coach, my biggest bugaboo is my “golden nugget” (thanks to Master Coach Heather Dominick for this term).  In other words, what I’m here in the world to learn is also what I’m here in the world to teach.  So what’s my biggest issue of last quarter?  I want to be taken care of.  There, I said it.  I’m independent and a feminist but I want my mommy.  Deep in my heart, some days I wish for someone to swoop in and take care of me… bring me a no-spill bottle filled with ice water with lemon, straighten up my desk, or tuck me into bed.  Hmmmm… if I can admit I want this, perhaps I’ll find I’m not the only one?  How would you like to be taken care of?

Lesson 2:  It’s time for me to release my need to get approval from experts.  Yes, I value expertise.  Yes, I know and respect many experts in various fields.  Yes, I happily pay for services from many of them.  But I am the one and only expert on my voice, my brilliance, my power.  So whether or not I have vetted all my thoughts and plans, I’m going ahead and putting them out in the world.  Hence, my speed blogging system was born.  Is there anything in your life or business for which you’ve been waiting on your permission slip to arrive?  What next step would you take if you were certain it was “right”?  Maybe it’s time to take it today.

Lesson 3:  My mantra of the quarter, perhaps the whole year, perhaps the rest of my life, is “progress, not perfection.”  I rarely live up to my standards of what I expect to accomplish in a day.  But I frequently make progress.  And drum roll, please, for my a-ha…. that is enough!  Again, my speed blogging system comes in handy.  Minimal editing, minimal time, putting my voice “out there”, imperfectly, to cultivate insights and community.  If you could drop your standards a wee bit, on what would you happily make progress?

Uh-oh, last minute on the clock.  A quick note, my first Dynamic Women’s Springtime Tea was a blast.  Thanks to Jenny McFadden, Ginger Burr, Kelcy Roth, and Jessica Zambarano (pictured above, left to right) for participating.  New connections and new sources of support generated among some outstanding women entrepreneurs, all in a beautiful and luxurious setting.  Can hardly wait for the second one this week!

14 Comments

  1. pina

    Love your tone, your honesty, you courage. This speed blogging thing adds a zip to your poignant observations and insights. I am inspired. Love progress over perfection. Look forward to the next post!

  2. Pina

    Love your tone, your honesty, you courage. This speed blogging thing adds a zip to your poignant observations and insights. I am inspired. Love progress over perfection. Look forward to the next post!

  3. Chris

    Awesome blog post, Debra. Congratulations on putting yourself out there and doing so brilliantly : ) Can't wait to read your next post!

  4. Chris

    Awesome blog post, Debra. Congratulations on putting yourself out there and doing so brilliantly : ) Can’t wait to read your next post!

  5. Debra

    Stef, you are a hero to me for transforming yourself from non-athletic to a successful tri-athlete. It’s valuable to know how an important factor in that experience was having the *right* coach for you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  6. Debra

    Stef, you are a hero to me for transforming yourself from non-athletic to a successful tri-athlete. It's valuable to know how an important factor in that experience was having the *right* coach for you. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  7. Debra

    Here's another comment someone had trouble posting, so she sent it to me via email. By the way, I just added Intense Debate to this blog, so that beginning with my next post all comments should be threaded, therefore easier to read.

    "All the above and more — what a wonderful new chapter in your life and a beautiful thing for yourself and…ultimately….your children."

  8. Debra

    Here’s another comment someone had trouble posting, so she sent it to me via email. By the way, I just added Intense Debate to this blog, so that beginning with my next post all comments should be threaded, therefore easier to read.

    “All the above and more — what a wonderful new chapter in your life and a beautiful thing for yourself and…ultimately….your children.”

  9. Stef

    Your second two points resonate with me! Working with experts right now is KEY for me in business, in sport and soon to uplevel my image. 🙂 Yay!

    You are so right about not needing the approval of the experts we work with. I "needed" approval from my first triathlon coach, because I had no confidence in my self or my abilities.

    That was the main reason that that relationship didn't work, kept me from getting what I needed, and did not finish one triathlon in all of 2007. That was a long year.

    With my second tri coach I was feeling so desperate and at the end of my rope that I dropped any need for her "approval" and just did the work as if my life depended on it (and it a way it did).

    That, combined with a better "fit" personality wise is what lead me to so much more than I could have ever fathomed, in sport, in business, in confidence level, in everything!

    And progress not perfection should be everyone's mantra in my humble opinion. I strive for excellence, but not perfection. I learned this lesson from Liz, my tri coach, as it relates to workouts. It also applies across the board.

    Thanks for the post!!! I've no doubt you ARE THE coach for single mom entrepreneurs.

    NO doubt. 🙂 You ARE!

  10. Stef

    Your second two points resonate with me! Working with experts right now is KEY for me in business, in sport and soon to uplevel my image. 🙂 Yay!

    You are so right about not needing the approval of the experts we work with. I “needed” approval from my first triathlon coach, because I had no confidence in my self or my abilities.

    That was the main reason that that relationship didn’t work, kept me from getting what I needed, and did not finish one triathlon in all of 2007. That was a long year.

    With my second tri coach I was feeling so desperate and at the end of my rope that I dropped any need for her “approval” and just did the work as if my life depended on it (and it a way it did).

    That, combined with a better “fit” personality wise is what lead me to so much more than I could have ever fathomed, in sport, in business, in confidence level, in everything!

    And progress not perfection should be everyone’s mantra in my humble opinion. I strive for excellence, but not perfection. I learned this lesson from Liz, my tri coach, as it relates to workouts. It also applies across the board.

    Thanks for the post!!! I’ve no doubt you ARE THE coach for single mom entrepreneurs.

    NO doubt. 🙂 You ARE!

  11. Debra

    Thank you, Michele! I'll check out that link from Kendall's call. Also, I'm now following you on Twitter and your blog so I can learn more about what you do! Perhaps we will find ways we can communicate with our niche together. All the best with your new phase of your business!

  12. Debra

    Thank you, Michele! I’ll check out that link from Kendall’s call. Also, I’m now following you on Twitter and your blog so I can learn more about what you do! Perhaps we will find ways we can communicate with our niche together. All the best with your new phase of your business!

  13. Michele Little

    Hi Debra,
    I am on Ginger's call and loved hearing your story. I also work as an Image Consultant and loved how you used your personal colors for your website! I hope you don't mind but I wanted to share some information with you. I am transitioning my business, One Chic Mama, to focus on female entrepreneurs after focusing on moms for 2 years. I see that your niche is single mom entrepreneurs. I listened to this great call last week with Kendall Summerhawk and she had some great things to say about niching your business (http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com/niche-information-thankyou.html). You may be interested in hearing what she has to say about this niche. She advised me a few weeks ago to shift my marketing and I look forward to launching my new website. All the best to you!

    Warmly,
    Michele Little
    One Chic Mama, Inc.
    http://www.onechicmama.com

  14. Mary Michele Little

    Hi Debra,
    I am on Ginger’s call and loved hearing your story. I also work as an Image Consultant and loved how you used your personal colors for your website! I hope you don’t mind but I wanted to share some information with you. I am transitioning my business, One Chic Mama, to focus on female entrepreneurs after focusing on moms for 2 years. I see that your niche is single mom entrepreneurs. I listened to this great call last week with Kendall Summerhawk and she had some great things to say about niching your business <a href="http:// (http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com/niche-information-thankyou.html)” target=”_blank”> <a href="http://(http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com/niche-information-thankyou.html)” target=”_blank”>(http://www.kendallsummerhawk.com/niche-information-thankyou.html). You may be interested in hearing what she has to say about this niche. She advised me a few weeks ago to shift my marketing and I look forward to launching my new website. All the best to you!

    Warmly,
    Michele Little
    One Chic Mama, Inc. <a href="http://www.onechicmama.com” target=”_blank”>www.onechicmama.com