This has been my office for the past year. Today was my last day.
It’s humbling to admit, but authenticity demands it. There is no benefit to having a shiny brochure of a website, unless there is substance behind it. I have tried to build a new life online, writing blogs, developing courses, boot strapping marketing, handling website crashes (attacks???), all on my own. All, while driving a bus for a “job.” I found once I embraced this, as part of the journey, not the destination, things flow better. This fact, has been the grounding reminder for me every day.
I wanted to title this post, “falling from grace” because as I’ve processed and thought about it, there is not much grace for leaders who fall. Likely I imagine this will be one of my most transparent and authentic posts I’ve ever written. Though I have attempted, with little consistency, to make my online business, and “pivoting“ of my expertise and experience solvent, it’s not quite there yet.
Re-branding yourself and business is just like starting over. You re-experience all the familiar growing pains of being a start-up. The best way to make ghosts from your past vanish is to make a fresh start. Never let them define you. Speak your truth, and live boldly.
Regardless of why a leader “falls,” the fact that you are no longer in the leadership role you had, is stain enough. It doesn’t matter if allegations are true or not, (…they’re not BTW in case you were wondering). The accusations, media noise, and slander are enough to fuel the flame for peoples perception’s, and definition of you. Forever, there’s a speed bump in your resume that you must navigate with perseverance and resiliency.
Some days, it’s daunting to hold onto the vision. On those days in particular, here are a few things that keep me going:
I am grateful for my family. Specifically, my bride of 17 years who has shown me the embodiment of grace in action. She’s seen it all, and been there when no one else is in the darkness to hear my vulnerability. She has walked with me through all the hips and valleys. My kids, they are rock stars. Their eyes have not lost the wonder and excitement, I’m grateful I still get to be their hero.
I am grateful for my friends. I’ve said many times, you don’t know who your friends truly are until it’s your worst day. I have been amazed at the ones that have stayed faithful, and encouraging. Some have surprised me by how they have shown up. Likewise, I’ve been disheartened by the ones who I would have thought would stick by our side, but instead throw stones to tear us down.
I am grateful for the work I get to do. I believe that our passion comes from our pain. Who we are is determined from how we rise. We are all more valuable than the negative choices we make on our worst day. It is such a blessing to walk alongside leaders, who from the outside, “have it all together” yet on the inside they are dying. Integrating who you are into what you do requires authenticity, courage, and vulnerability; traits that are not valued as often as they are talked about in leadership.
There are a few other traits that are key for me. I’ll be sharing them soon. Over the following days and weeks I’ll be launching a number of courses and online resources that outline not just ‘how to’ integrate these into your life, but also ‘why’ it matters to do so. Until we live in a way from the inside out that is in alignment with who we are, we will not make the profound impact we were created to make.