When I woke up this morning my first thought was, “I need a pep talk.” Then, “I need a personal cheerleader.” And finally, “I need a whole cheerleading squad.”
I imagined a whole varsity squad with puffy hairsprayed bangs and ponytails, dressed in black and gold (Go Tigers!) filling my office with personalized cheers:
“Go, Christie! Go, Go, Go, Christie!”
“Design! Design! Christie, You Design So Fine! Go, Christie! Yeah! Go, Christie!”
Then I remembered I do have a personal cheerleading squad.
While they don’t show up in my office to shake their pompoms and fire me up every morning, they are the reason why this year’s roller coaster mix of ups and downs, with a few extra whips and turns and highs and lows thrown in for good measure, doesn’t feel as threatening to me as it has in the past.
Last year I was feeling completely alone in my business. I wasn’t reaching out to meet new people. I was afraid to tweet. I had no confidence in my ability to make the money my family needed to support itself.
Heck, I didn’t even have a professional website (even though I’d designed and written professional sites for other people). I wasn’t sure I even wanted to be a designer anymore.
Rich, Happy and Hot
I was looking around trying to find some way to get myself out of my shell and interacting with the world and I found Rich, Happy and Hot B-school, an online business coaching class, with Marie Forleo and Laura Roeder. I just had a hunch that that program could be a catalyst for moving toward a better version of me.
So, I pulled out my credit card and plopped down money I didn’t have and made a promise to myself that I would put my all into the class.
For two months, I interacted with other people in the class, I tweeted and I participated in conference calls. People from the class responded, encouraged me and tweeted back. All the interaction made me realize how much I love helping women create their businesses and how important it is for me to be surrounded by positive people.
Since then, I’ve been actively building a better support system for myself, a cheerleading squad of my own, by reaching out to others instead of sitting here feeling sorry for myself.
Christie’s Cheer Squad
My squad is a mix of new and old. I have a husband who always listens to me talk business and answers all my very stupid tech questions. Two girls who know the names of my favorite clients and are now old enough to understand why they need to be quieter when Mom’s on the phone. I have wonderful new clients who see me better than I see myself and encourage me to grow my business.
I have online friends I’ve made by simply reaching out to say “hi!” Friends like Jenn, Liz and Lisa who are making their own marks on the world. I have a wonderful coach (@sallyhopesays) who gave me tools to deal with that negative voice in my head and encouraged me to set big, big business goals and to go for them.
I know that I can keep building my support system and finding cheerleaders. So, what about you? Who do you talk to when you need a pep talk? Who tells you you’re on the right (or wrong) track? Who encourages you to pick yourself up and keep trying?
Build Your Cheer Squad
If you don’t have support, get out there and build your support system. It won’t build itself.
How to do it:
- take a class
- comment on a your favorite blog
- start a conversation and tell someone what you do
- tweet at someone you admire
- hire a coach
Don’t let fear stop you. There are people out there who will get you and support you and cheer you on.
Having trouble? Send me a tweet. I’ll tweet back and who knows I might just be the cheerleader you’ve been looking for.