As I mentioned in my last blog, I was inspired by three woman who recently made decisions to follow their true selves and walk through fear as they do it. Now I have the opportunity to thank them and give them the credit they are due:
Jennifer Ferber – Jenn is someone I have really come to know by taking her Spin classes at Ride+Workout in Lakewood, OH. www.RideandWorkout.com For those of you who follow me on twitter and Facebook, I will often mention I take her Sunday 4pm class. Not only does she play a great mix of music (all played LOUD, with the lights dimmed), she talks about the class being an active meditation: You’ve taken the time to get there, now focus on your intent. You need to get beautiful from the inside out… if the ‘outsides’ are pretty but the ‘insides’ are nasty, no one’s going to want to be around you anyway!
The other great thing about Jenn is that she started spinning only a little over 2 years ago, as she was going through a very nasty divorce. She said that the support of the spin class and the process of taking that time for herself got her through some really bad times. It was a natural progression for her then to start teaching classes and I have seen her grow as an instructor. She also met her now-fiancé, Scott (a GOOD guy) in spin class and they are going to start teaching a tandem spin class Fridays at 6pm to demonstrate how the energy you get from a good spin partner can really help propel you to keep going, and how the energy can just flow between the two of you.
Not only is Jenn taking on this new class in 2010, but she has made a big decision for change in her fulltime job. She recently decided to leave a “safe” position with a company where she had worked for quite a while to take the risk with a new company in Business Development. She stands to earn more in the long run, but more importantly, she realized it was time for her to challenge herself, and she believes in her ability to accomplish her goals. If you’d like to reach Jenn (she’s not on twitter – bummer) but you can email her at SpinGirl1968@yahoo.com.
Gini Dietrich (@ginidietrich on twitter) Gini is a truly driven business person. I came to know Gini strictly through twitter (we have since connected twice in person). I had put out a general question on twitter about Vistage, (the company for which my father has been a Chair of groups of CEOs to improve their business and personal lives), my old college roomie Diane (@ChicagoDiane) said that I had to speak with Gini; that Gini was a Vistage member (and CEO of Arment Dietrich PR). I inquired with Gini (who is in Chicago) if she might know of anyone possible members for a Cleveland group where my dad was based. She didn’t, but we began following each other on twitter.
I think our relationship is a healthy example of how to connect on twitter – I don’t really remember how it all evolved, but it seemed to grow very naturally. That, and Gini would often tweet things that would make me laugh! But then she did something really brave, she posted a blog about mistakes she had made; it was brutally honest and open. She was honest about the things she didn’t know, she admitted to crying, she discussed her self-doubt, until she began to see it was ok to fail http://www.spinsucks.com/leadership/mistakes-made-in-growing-a-business . I was amazed at her candor. More importantly, I was amazed at how she addressed the failure and turned it around. The quote that inspired her blog post was from Confucius: “It’s not in that we fail, but in how we pick ourselves up when we do.” Wow. That’s one worth posting over my desk.
More recently, Gini has made the decision in going into 2010, that her “PR” firm is no longer going to be a PR firm – it is going to focus strictly on social media and communication. Gini explains it better here: http://www.spinsucks.com/spin/arment-dietrich-is-no-longer-a-pr-firm . Bottom line, Gini is doing what she feels is right to build her business AND for her to be satisfied in her roll as well. You should follow Gini on twitter @ginidietrich- she recently reached her goal of over 10,000 followers! Oh yeah, and she spins (the exercise) too!
Heather Acton (@HeatherActon78) – Heather is a new twitter friend. I’m not even sure why I had started following her - she may have been suggested by one of my Chicago connections (Heather is also a Chicago gal), or maybe someone had retweeted something from her I had liked. We had not connected much on twitter, then late one night just a couple of weeks ago I was scanning my Tweetdeck, contemplating many of the great questions of life (something like ‘what do I do next?’ ‘why me?’, or ‘I feel lost…’) and though I did not tweet any of those questions, I came across this tweet: VIDEO: Heather Jumps Ship! http://tmogul.com/tweet/bYPjL 12:44 AM Jan 5th. So I watched this video Heather had just posted. She discussed her decision to leave her engineering job at Proctor & Gamble so that she could focus on her kids and grow her own home business.
I immediately tweeted back to Heather, giving her my support and telling her of how I had just read Gini’s blog only hours before about her decision to change direction and how I had also just made a big decision to leave WNCX (albeit only part time) to be truer to my ‘personal brand’. We began frantically DM-ing each other back & forth about how it can be scary but also so invigorating to make big changes and take a risk.
Heather has had her last day at P & G, and is now building her home business of web site development, marketing, and online business development for individuals, organizations, and businesses. Check out her website and blog at www.HeatherActon.com. I definitely plan on connecting with Heather in person on my next trip to Chicago.
So who do you know who is facing fear and taking on new challenges this year? Are you supporting them? You should! This is the new economy and how we can grow both personally and professionally. Let me know of an outstanding individual in your life an I’ll try to feature them in an upcoming blog post. Remember to keep moving… crawl, walk.. run!