I've been an extrovert since my first breath of life.
My parents called me a force of nature, and at times, a real handful. Yes, I'm that woman with an outgoing bubbly personality with lots of energy and drive that sometimes gets completely sideways.
But I have a secret for my introvert friends: even extroverts get nervous.
So here I stand (somewhat tired) 10 days from HERWorld17, a vision that manifested as a way to connect women during the downturn to learn online and in person, and that has now turned into a mini-movement. Ok, it's not a mini movement. It's massive and it's about to happen in 22 cities across the globe.
Yes. I'm nervous.
Why you ask? Well what could go wrong? Anything and everything. And like just before any big moment... a birth, a marriage...death...a possible layoff...it is human nature to feel a sense of unease about the unknown. But isn't this the world we live in and a state of mind so prevalent in every day society?
Two years ago I was on the heels of launching Pink Petro unsure of what I was about to do. I took all the money I had in my savings and with two startup clients, Shell and Halliburton took our proof of concept to market (in the worst economic downturn in decades). People thought I was crazy. And I was crazy passionate about fixing a problem we're all tired of reading and hearing about: the gender gap.
In March 2015 just two weeks after our launch, with barely $5,000 in my business checking account, I flew to Boston to sit down with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chairman of the C-Suite Network, and Elisa Steele, the CEO of Jive Software, our technology partner in launching Pink Petro. I was a ball of nerves. I didn't sleep the night before the big day, I was too busy thinking about what could go wrong instead of realizing how amazing it was I was there.
What I learned is what breaks the bank is when you don't take action.
Not taking action means you aren't moving forward. It's that moment you feel paralyzed and unable to make pretty simple decisions. For the runner in me, it's like mile 22 in the marathon when your mind goes blank and your body is lifeless.
So I put my big girl pants (and hair on) and I took the stage. And in that moment when I wanted to run from the lights (because I was sweating, a ton), I just owned it. I took a deep breath and I let the words come natural.
Jeff released his book, Think Big, Act Bigger, not soon after our interview, and I sure wish I had read it sooner!
Thinking big and acting bigger is all about action and attitude: being fearless and bold – willing to put oneself out there, steamrolling obstacles, ignoring perceived boundaries, and even being a little irrational and somewhat pigheaded at times. Jeff says it's about being relentless in all you can do but especially in trusting in who YOU are because YOU can.
So maybe you have an idea, a dream, or a big moment coming up in your work or life? Instead of just thinking about it or dreaming, get out there and try! Success is trying over and over again and getting up to rise to the next challenge. It's that butterfly in your stomach just before the big moment. It's the embarrassment of something going wrong and handling it with grace. Success is when you don't get your way the first or second or even third time, but you still go for the win on the fourth try.
We simply must do all three: Think Big, Dream Big, and Act Big.
Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz spent a lot of time trying to find her way home thinking she needed others and special things (like her ruby slippers) to find her way back to Kansas. Here's the thing. Dorothy didn't need anything but to take a deep breath, trust in her own gifts and self worth, and make it happen.
So when the nerves crawl out, be yourself. Sweat a little. Be okay with being you.
It's the only thing we own today so you might as well start leveraging it.
I cannot wait for you to meet my friend (and the pink cowboy), Jeffrey Hayzlett at HERWorld. He's truly been an inspiration and been a sponsor to me as I've navigated new waters. He'll be in Houston at our MainStage event talking about change, business reinvention, and all of his lessons learned interviewing C-suites and working as the turnaround CMO at Eastman Kodak.
If you are a executive member of Pink Petro, please read more about our partnership here: Pink Petro brings the C-suite closer to members with new partnership