You’ll do it when the timing is better.
Right now, you’ve got to put your own wishes aside. You’ve got a family; you’ve got bills. Starting something new at your age would be foolhardy. What if it failed? How could you put your family through that?
So you stick with what you know. With what you’re good at. Your time will come someday. Just not now…
It’s time you met Donna and Cheryl.
Donna Elliott and Cheryl Lee had exactly the same thoughts you did. They’d been kicking around the idea of their own business, but it was just an idea. They were working 10, 12-hour days in the corporate world. Life was busy. But then something happened that changed everything…
Find out what it took for Donna and Cheryl to finally make the leap and start their own business.
They discovered that what was holding them back wasn’t anything from the outside, like money or support. It was something on the inside. Something that might be holding you back, too.
If you don’t believe you’ve earned your successes, if you’ve got an inner voice telling you to stay in line, if you believe that obstacles are a sign you should quit, then this week’s YBTV interview might just change your life.
What You’ll Learn
What’s holding you back from following your dream?
Is it money, time, resources, professional support, personal support?
Donna and Cheryl think the answer is something else entirely.
The Limiting Beliefs Holding Us Back
You may have internalized so many rules about who you are, what you can do, and what roles you can take on that you don’t even realize those are limiting beliefs. It just feels like how life is.
“We don’t want that!” Donna exclaims. “We want you to wake up and go for the life of your dreams and not compromise.”
Cheryl adds, “Quite often, you won’t even let yourself dream that this could be possible.” Even if you see other women achieving success, you attribute it to them being luckier or more talented than you. You don’t think it’s something you can do.
These limitations often come from the roles you’ve fallen into that have inadvertently held you back.
For example, have you compromised your own ambitions so your partner can achieve his? So many of us put our “wishes and dreams and wants and desires on the back burner until his needs have been met.”
On top of that is the pressure we feel as mothers to put the bulk of our emotional energy into raising our children.
Would running a business mean we have less to give to our kids? What if changing things meant our kids couldn’t enjoy everything they’ve grown accustomed to? What if it meant taking fewer holidays or fewer toys under the tree at Christmas?
Women tend to “catastrophize all of these negatives rather than just thinking there could be so many positives,” Donna says.
“Generally speaking, in our experience, when the women have spoken to their partners and said, ‘Look, I’m not really happy. I want more, and I think if I’m happier, I’ll bring more to the table…’ most of the time … the men say, ‘Thank god for that! I’ve been saying for years you’re not happy. I can tell you’re not happy, and I want you to be happy.'”
That’s not to say he won’t find it challenging. He might be concerned about how it’s going to work. So lay the groundwork first.
“Once you are really confident in yourself about what it is that you want or what you’re going to bring to the table, it’s easier to have the conversation,” Donna explains.
When is the Timing Right?
So how do you know it’s the right time to launch that business or follow your dream?
Cheryl laughs. “We wouldn’t be sitting here today talking about our business if we’d waited for the right time!”
Donna and Cheryl had been thinking about working together, but they hadn’t made much progress until personal tragedy struck. Cheryl’s father passed away. It was a reminder that no one has infinite time here on this planet.
Donna had a realization:
I sat and thought, literally, now is the time. If we don’t do this now, what signs are we waiting for? What has to happen for us to think it’s the perfect time? Because guess what? There is no such thing.“
When there’s a sense of urgency and rightness about your goal, pay attention.
“Some of it is intuition,” Cheryl explains. “When you’ve got this burning, and you realize what you want to do and what you want to pursue, it takes over the decision-making … because you just know that’s what you were meant to do.”
When the Going Gets Tough
But what if life throws one obstacle after another in your way?
Isn’t that a sign? A sign you weren’t meant to do this?
“We believe that obstacles are detours in the right direction,” says Cheryl.
Every time an obstacle or challenge is thrown in your way, you have to ask the question – not ‘Why is this being done to me?’ – but ‘What is this here to teach me? What can I learn from this experience?'”
Hold your vision of what you want to achieve so strongly in your head that obstacles become nothing more than problems to be solved.
“If you come across obstacles and it makes you want to give up,” Donna says, “don’t give up. Just take a rest.”
“If some of it doesn’t work and we have to pivot, that’s okay,” she adds. “At least we’ll be trying and doing something that is coming from the heart rather than just turning up to a job” where you’re working your heart out for someone else.
“Most of us are conditioned when we grow up to not celebrate who we are and not brag about ourselves and not feel great,” Cheryl says. “If you do that, it means you’re big-headed and arrogant.”
That’s what Donna and Cheryl want to change.
“We want women to celebrate themselves,” Cheryl says. “To have this knowing that they are good at what they do and they do deserve the life of their dreams and they do deserve to fulfill their potential—and not have to apologize for feeling like that.”
What does it take to break the habit of putting yourself down and playing small?
You’ve got to stop identifying with the “crazy lady” inside your head.
For Donna, every time she got a promotion or a raise, she worried she’d get spotted by what she called the talent police.
“I was thinking, ‘Any day now somebody’s going to come and say, ‘How have you got this job? How are you leading hundreds of people? How did you get that?’ I just couldn’t come to terms with that success.”
Everything shifted for her when she learned about imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome affects high performers and high achievers. “Things are just never good enough. You’re very hard on yourself. You don’t believe your success, and you certainly never celebrate your success, because you don’t actually believe it’s real.”
Once Donna understood what she was doing, she started calling the voice inside her head the “crazy lady.”
Once I realized that this was just part of my identity, part of my fear, part of my struggle to be successful … I went on this real journey of discovery, of finding out who she was, what she was about, [and] how I could deal with her.”
Today, Donna and Cheryl are passionate about educating women about the crazy lady inside. They offer a free video training on imposter syndrome.
They want you to know that “you’re not crazy. It’s just a voice, and it’s your inner critic. She will try and keep you in your place, because she’s worried that you’re going to get hurt. She’s trying to keep you safe and protected.”
Breaking free starts with “hearing that voice, acknowledging it, identifying it, and going, ‘Okay, that’s not who I am. That’s just this voice in my head, and I can choose to do something different.”
Now Is Your Time
Donna and Cheryl launched their business after all.
They called it Now Is Your Time, after the insight that led them to take the leap.
They offer group and one-on-one coaching on topics ranging from starting a business to weight loss.
Their current group program is called The Real You. It’s about “helping women find their authentic selves [and] helping them reconnect,” Donna explains.
“Because a lot of the time we feel really lost. We’re second-guessing ourselves. We’ve got all these thoughts going around in our head.”
Donna and Cheryl help their clients dig deep and work out for themselves who they are, what’s important to them, and what their values and mission are.
For us, this is about how powerfully we can serve women, how we can help wake women up to what their potential is, how we can empower them with the tools and strategies to live into that potential, and to just dream big and go for it!”
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:26 How limiting beliefs hold us back
3:22 Why women put their dreams on the back burner
4:55 Getting your partner/family’s support
7:18 When is the right time?
9:36 What if obstacles keep getting thrown in your way?
11:38 Birthing a business
13:56 Imposter syndrome
17:16 Group coaching
20:08 Be apologetically you
Donna Elliott and Cheryl Lee
After over twenty years in successful senior leadership roles in the corporate world, Donna and Cheryl now run their own coaching services business, Now Is Your Time. Clients working with them go on a journey from being stressed, burned out, and doubting their abilities … to finding balance, confidence and more happiness than they ever imagined. Their work with individuals and organisations is personal to them, so they ensure that their coaching services are exactly the right fit for you, your people, and your vision.
Let us know what you think!