|Brooke Shields via Elle.com|
Yesterday I spoke in front of about 25 young girls (4th-5th grade) about being an entrepreneur, or glamtrepreneur if you will. The event was given this special word to snazzy up bland business talk.
Upon being asking to talk, I immediately said yes. I was totally psyched to talk to these girls. It was fun imagining myself as a dazzling and successful entrepreneur, even if it was just in my head. But as the speaking date drew closer, I realized I needed to come up with something worthwhile to say…
“Just tell your story,” the organizer advised me. Well the truth is, that was exactly the problem. My story is just getting started…
However, after rolling it around in my head a bit, I decided I’d share a few basic principles for living confidently that will help anyone’s ideas to take root and thrive.
Here are the three nuggets of wisdom I offered the girls:
1. Be brave. Or better yet, Be Fearless!
I know that looking back on my life in 5 years, I want to feel proud of myself. I want to be able to say, Hey girl, you tried something! The possibility of failure is always looming, but failure is merely the word we give to very valuable feedback. It tells us what works and what to change. Failure is never a Stop sign, but rather a road map.
BONUS: Two tricks for being fearless and feeling more confident:
1. Self talk
When I am feeling unsure, or when that little voice in my head starts to chime in and say, you won’t be able to do that. People won’t support you in that. Who are you to do something like that? I quiet it with deliberate self talk. You can look in a mirror or you can close your eyes, but ALL of you should be talking to yourselves more often! Just say “Hey. You got this.” or “Kaley, be fearless!” Three simple words put the pep back in my step. Because honestly, that tiny voice that tries to test your confidence? He’s not really helping anybody.
2. Power posturing
This one is weird and awesome. Have you ever heard of power posturing? It’s very simple, and VERY powerful. It works like this: When you stand in a power pose (hands on hips, chest puffed out, or arms to the sky) for two minutes, the cortisol levels in your body drop and your testosterone levels rise, making you physically feel more powerful and confident. It’s an amazingly simple way to trick your brain that works on a physical level! Let’s try it!
2. “Go for it” or “Fake it till you make it”
This is one of the reasons I am here. Oh, you don’t feel like a successful entrepreneur, Kaley? Well fake it till you make it, woman. Stand in front of those girls with all the confidence of a glamtreprenuer and magic will happen. (Here again, utilizing self talk!)
You CANNOT create anything in your life if you don’t have the thought and the vision for it first. Harness your vision and your desires by acting as though they have already come to fruition. You’re not crazy, you’re creating.
Don’t underestimate the power of faking it.
3. Educate yourself!
You don’t know how to run a successful digital marketing campaign? Doesn't matter. (Fake it till you make it!) Don’t ever let the “not-knowing” hold you back.
Really, there’s no excuse:
- The resources out there are endless - educate yourself! Read books or articles, read blogs, watch videos…. Take the initiative to learn what you want to learn and empower yourself with that knowledge.
- Most importantly, you can talk to people. Talk to people that have done what you are trying to do, or that do parts of what your are trying to do. You’ll be surprised by how willing people are to help you out. There are brilliant people all around Austin, brimming with knowledge. Ask for meetings with them. Sit down for a chat. Listen. Allow yourself to learn through their experience. It’s never a waste of time to hear someone else’s experiences and make connections with smart people.
Solid advice right?
I truly thought this was revelatory information. These girls lives would be changed! But as I spoke, I watched the girls eat happy meals and color posters with magazine clippings of dogs or high heels pasted all over it. They couldn’t care less that I was standing up in front of them. Granted, the power-posturing practice seemed to be a fun break from their oreos and markers, but in all honesty, they didn’t relate to anything I was saying.
I went in assuming they needed to learn how to be confident, how to overcome roadblocks and thrive in the world as young inexperienced women. In hindsight, I think all they really need is the chance to figure all of this out on their own. To have exposure to the world and learn from their own pitfalls. How many 10 years olds already have a business vision? Very few. And this is probably how it should be. Let them live, let them grow, show them all that’s possible and when the time comes, they’ll be the ones that end up teaching us a thing or two.