We often don’t see what is clearly in front of us. We’d like to do great things, have brilliant ideas and follow our hearts but somehow those ideas stay hidden as we keep pursuing all the small stuff feeling slightly uninspired and underwhelmed.
That was me two and a half years ago in the early days of January of 2016. Having founded DrivenWoman three years earlier I was wondering how could I take our brand and our message to the next level. We were running a handful of LifeWorking groups in Central London but couldn’t afford any PR and quite frankly, it was me, myself and I as the core team, so resources were scant.
Since starting this journey to build DrivenWoman I had started to move from the mindset of ‘hard work equals success’ to ‘being connected to your true path equals success’. I talked about this transformation in my previous blog and how it’s hard to start trusting your journey if you are used to expecting certain outcomes.
The key ingredient to success, I had learned, was to have peace in yourself and to allow your truest, the most exciting ideas to surface.
But I was used to filling up my day from start to finish with ‘doing’ therefore I had not been in a state where these authentic ideas could emerge, and perhaps deep down I didn’t want them to. It could just be that the next idea I would have could be as earth shattering as it was to start DrivenWoman, which, at the time, had meant stepping outside my comfort zone — a big time!
We don’t have great ideas because we are too scared to let them emerge from within.
One person who have massively inspired me and influenced my work is Chris Guillebeau. He’s the author of many best selling books including The Side Hustle and $100 Start-Up. I had followed his journey for many years and I was in awe how he had built The World Domination Summit. The weekend seminar brings together people from all walks of life celebrating authentic choices and not living life to what others expect. I loved it! He was speaking my language, but it was in Portland, Oregon, so I was not going to travel.
Also, I had noticed that most (well, at the time, all) women’s empowerment events seemed dead boring and not at all celebrating our authenticity, but rather how we could succeed the patriarchal way. DrivenWoman is about making things happen. But I felt that the empowerment events were a lot of talk and very little action. This frustrated me and also, I didn’t want to put together a seminar just because everyone else was doing it.
Have a big, scary long term goal and take immediate, uncompromising action.
Just one week earlier we had done DrivenWoman’s Vision Board exercise (with action points) and I had a picture of a TED talk on my board. I announced that I was going to give myself 10 years to get there, but at the same time I was acutely aware that the practise had to start immediately. I had done quite a bit of public speaking but it was time to take my craft to the next level.
As I started (immediately) putting this idea into action and contacted public speaking coach I admired the most, Emma Stroud, founder of Truth Works. Of course, she doesn’t come cheap (the good ones never do!) so I had to find a way to justify my investment and calculate ROI. So I did.
Here I was, carrying this huge inspiration in my heart. Trying to think how I could do something in a bigger scale, yet be different to other seminars. And how I could make my return on an investment towards my long term dream.
Looking back, the answer was of course staring me in the eye.
On one Sunday morning as I was driving up to the Kent countryside to ride my horse, instead of listening to yet another podcast (to maximise time!) I decided to just ‘be’ and not do anything useful. I relaxed and enjoyed the drive. About half way into the drive it hit me — it’s a festival! It’s Festival Of Doers!
I really don’t know what had been so difficult, but often we simply make things so. Keeping busy, educating ourselves with yet another podcast or a self-help book so that we wouldn’t have to actually experience our own creative power.
It’s so much easier to keep looking for the answers than to trust that we already have all we need within.
As the idea landed, I almost cried. So obvious it was and perhaps subconsciously I knew I had been hiding from it.
It was going to be a new type of event in Europe, drawing in the most amazing and authentic female speakers with exciting and varied backgrounds, and a room full of attendees who’d engage and create a real change.
It would be a day like no other. A day when we’d laugh and we’d cry. We’d make commitments to ourselves we’d keep, and take steps that would ultimately end up changing our lives. I’d bring in fresh faces, women who were succeeding in their own terms breaking the status quo. And I’d be showcasing that success can mean all sorts of things to people and only you can define yours. And that you could make big things happen even when you didn’t have any resources at the starting blocks.
As things go when you are fully connected with your purpose, the Universe has a surprise awaiting for you. When I got home from that drive I went straight onto my computer (yes ladies, you must stay with your inspiration and act without delay!) and started googling for the most inspiring women in Europe and came across Geraldine LeMeur, founder of LeWeb (the biggest tech event in Europe at the time) and investor in LinkedIn etc. At LinkedIn I found out that I had a 2nd connection to her via a friend who knew a friend who knew her. And within three days was I not only connected to her but she had agreed to come and speak at the first ever Festival Of Doers! And all I had to offer her was my idea.
What now? Universe! Do I really have to make this happen!
Yes, the answer was — oh yes! And again, I was ready to step outside my comfort zone and create the most empowering day of the year without any previous experience in organising big events.
I ended up engaging many wonderful speakers and great sponsors, being in Huffington Post and London LIVE TV . And, only on its second year, we took Festival Of Doers to Zurich in 2018.
I’m super thrilled. Zurich was a smashing success and now we are back in London for year three on 7th June 2019!
And I believe you have some big ideas you are carrying inside without you knowing.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid to listen to your own heart’s calling?