I’ve come to the realization over the past few years that my most radical growth and clarity comes from wading in the muck. Doing new, uncomfortable things brings up our shit – even the stuff we think we’ve left behind – and that is an incredible opportunity to learn some deep lessons. All of those difficult times challenged me to show up more authentically, to stop hiding. I was brave and I pushed through to become someone I really love. And that’s the type of woman I want my daughter to see and to be.
Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.
Welcome to episode 4 of the Love Your Living podcast. Today, we are talking about legacy, legacy, legacy. Every night when I rock my babes to sleep, I whisper to her, “Sweet dreams, my love.” We pick a place that we’re going to meet in our dreams. I tell her that I love her more than anything. I’m so honored to be your mom. I will make you proud.
My biggest goal in life is to show my daughter what is possible by doing. That is no secret from the previous blogs – podcasts. Since she was born, my mission in life is to live bigger; live bigger to show her what’s possible. I was having a conversation recently with a mentor of mine and we were talking about how much clarity comes from wading in the muck.
I was in this place of peace and it was so crazy to me because just a few short weeks earlier, I didn’t know how I was going to get through it. Things were tough. And she asked me what changed and I said, “Well, during the past few months I took on a lot that I didn’t know, that was new or uncomfortable to me, which always brings up your shit.”
And a lot of that shit, I didn’t think I had anymore. Too often, I don’t give myself enough credit or slow down enough to acknowledge just how much and how far I have come in such a short period of time. I for sure don’t celebrate my successes enough. And I know that the more we celebrate our successes, the more success we have to celebrate. I’m working on this.
But specifically, with this conversation, there were some really powerful and deep lessons that I learned and grew from. I felt free. I felt so much clarity and direction; direction that was so lost just a short time prior. I felt strong and competent. I felt clear, all because I was brave enough to wade through the muck.
I kept going when I was uncomfortable. I didn’t give up when I couldn’t see. Through that, I made some pretty incredible strides; not only in my business, but in my life. I always say that I welcome the hard times, but it isn’t until I truly get through them that I can look back and realize just how much I grew from them.
“So how did this happen for you?” She says. And of course, so much of this has to do with what’s happening in my business. And honestly, this whole scenario and this whole muck that I needed to walk through started with this notion of marketing; something I’ve battled with for years in my business.
Marketing – I hate it. “I’m not a marketing expert.” I would tell myself. “I don’t know social. I don’t know Facebook.” I would say. I mean, seriously, I was like a 90-year-old in a 30-year old’s body and mind. And when I really got honest with myself, the truth was, I didn’t like putting myself out there. I didn’t want to look stupid. What if I posted something wrong? What if I made a spelling error – because I am the world’s worst speller; for real, no shame.
I was never the greatest at school. I loved the social aspect of it, but when I was young, my family relocated and I missed an entire subject in school, a year of school – Hooked on Phonics or some shit like that. and maybe my mom just made this up to make me feel better, but regardless, I’m not a great speller and I’m okay with that now.
So what did I do in this frenzy of I hate marketing and I’m growing businesses? I hired to my weaknesses. I was at a point in my career and in my business that I could hire and delegate some of the things that I wasn’t good at, which to some degree, in business you should. However, this was the easy way out. This wasn’t a smart hire or a place where my business was at where I needed to hire for this specific position. This was me hiding from something that scared me versus something I wasn’t good at.
So I hired someone – and in fact, I have hired many marketing people in my business along the way. Every time, I struggled. I struggled with the staff, I struggled with the images being put out, I struggled with not seeing the return that I wanted. Things weren’t coming together the way that I wanted them to.
It was too soon. In all events, the business and the ideal client wasn’t defined enough yet to pass this very important baton on. And I learned this the hard way. Then, of course, a Marie Forleo episode pops into my inbox and it was on the biggest mistake new companies make in the beginning.
Guess what it was – Hiring out marketing too soon. Yeah, I knew this at the time, but the thing was, it was really hard because I made a mistake that not only cost me money and a lot of time, but I had someone on my team that I really loved and I cared about and I was going to have to let her go. That was harder than the time and the money apart. That’s the tough part about being a business owner.
And through this, I was also very aware that I needed to take on a lot more with letting someone go, a full-time staff person go. And it was a role that I’d been telling myself for the last five years that I wasn’t good at. I knew I needed to do this, especially with Love Your Living, especially in the beginning. I needed to wear the marketing hat.
It was my voice that was missing. And in addition to all of this and trying to carve out more time in a schedule that’s already really full, I had to learn social. It took me weeks, you guys, to log into the right account on Instagram, to post something the right way. I literally didn’t know anything about Instagram six months ago. Four months ago, I probably made my very first post; I’m not even sure.
I had to take over blogging. That was terrifying. But guess what – I did it. I, yet again, got my schedule leaner, I time-blocked my days, I set aside time for creating content. I learned about fancy things such as content calendars – so glamorous – apps to help keep you organized, strategy on different platforms and best practices.
I have to say, out of everyone that I hired full-time, I have grown my audience and my platform ten times and I did it in half the time while I continued wearing all of these other hats in my businesses. So I’m proud of that. that’s something that I should be proud of. But that wasn’t the biggest takeaway.
The biggest takeaway for me was this area of my business is now one of the most rewarding to me. I have fun with it. I love it. I love the creative side of this role. As Beyoncé would say – of course, I have to quote Beyoncé – “My torture became my remedy.” By facing my fears and the fears of judgment, I have gained so much strength, direction and clarity.
So my mentor was like, “Wow, so why do you think this is? Why do you think you love this area of your business so much? What’s changed?” And I said, “Well, I have gained so much knowledge and connection with my audience because am the voice. I hear their feedback, I see their struggles, I learn and I grow from that.”
I really feel that there is power in the story; my story, and no one else can tell that. I gain so much from people that are real, that are doing the work, that have the struggles; the highs and the lows that are honest and real about their journey and their big goals, not the ones that are wearing fucking ball-gowns in every Instagram post. I mean, come on.
And that’s what I want to be for other women. On an even bigger level, every ounce of discomfort along this way has built up my foundation. For years, I have carried with me the fear or the concern of what other people thought of me. Somewhere along this journey – and I don’t even know where because believe me, I have done a lot of coaching around this. But over time and by pushing my boundaries a bit and probably also feeling the love back from the realness has allowed me to show up more authentically.
The quirks, the gangster, the sarcasm, the goofiness, the take no mercy, big thinking – that makes me. I’m learning to love every part of me. And through that, I don’t give a shit about what people think about me anymore. Take no shit, give no fucks. And I am being really honest about that.
As we were both on this high and almost in tears because going back and reliving it and realizing how far you have come is so powerful, she says, “I know. This was me. Like, everybody goes through this in their own way.” There was so much emotion.
As a woman especially, getting to a place where you don’t care what other people think about you, you aren’t going out every day trying to seek approval – rather, you don’t need anyone’s approval but your own – that is freedom. I want every woman to feel this, to stop hiding.
I can tell you that so much of this conversation came from the struggles, the struggles of finding our own personal ways through career and family and balance and outside approval. And I said to her, there are incredible women out there that are truly fulfilled by taking care of their children and their family and being a stay at home mom. And that is an incredible role. That’s beautiful.
I see those women, I know who they are, I can see it in them and I love that. I respect that. the hard part is when I see women hiding behind that role; when I see women not having the confidence in themselves so they’re eager to step into this role because it’s easier or it’s more comfortable, but then, down the road, they regret not chasing their dreams.
And this isn’t just mommas; this is everyone. Our life is too short. It’s so short. I want to keep facing my fears, keep stepping into the discomfort, stop giving a shit about outward approval. Yes, she says. In fact, then of course, I’m all fired up and I’m like, “I’m getting a tattoo. I’m getting a wrist tattoo for my 33rd birthday.” I’ve been thinking about this for three or four years. I never imagined I would be that girl that gets a tattoo because, oh my god, like what are people going to think about me?
What if I’m all dressed up for a fancy formal event and I have a wrist tattoo? How are people going to perceive me? And I want to work with high-end clients and high-end clients don’t work with people that have tattoos. Now, fuck it. I don’t care. If you’re going to judge me based off of a tattoo, we probably shouldn’t be friends.
Then, of course, the next question is, “What will your tattoo say?” I already have it all figured out; legacy. What is your legacy? Our time on this earth is so short – too short to worry about the small things; too short to not say yes. Say yes to every little and big thing that excites your soul. Life is too short to say, “You know, I don’t know. That goal seems a little out of reach. It’s a little too much for me.”
Fuck that – what is your legacy? What do you want? What do you want to be known for and how do you want your kids to remember you? All of this insight and freedom and confidence came from wading in the muck; from being uncomfortable, from facing my fears, pushing through when things got hard.
It’s not easy. This is what builds up our confidence. This is what allows us to stand on our own two feet and say, “This is who I am. Like me or not, but I love me.”
I have a pretty clear vision in how I want Reese to remember me. I want to inspire her. I want to encourage her to fail. I want her to know that love is greater than fear; always. I want to make you proud, Reese. I’m not suggesting that you go out and you get a wrist tattoo.
And if you think I’m trashy for getting one, that’s cool too. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, but I do challenge you to challenge that thought. What is the bigger meaning of it for you, not for me? What are you scared of? What is an area of your life that you’re playing safe; you’re hiding behind the curtain? Where could you play to your edge? That’s a big one for me.
You have to play to your edge. Get a little uncomfortable. Not so overwhelming that you go over, but you have to play to your edge. And, of course, that is your legacy? Take some time and really think about that. what do you want to be known for?
I really do feel, especially as the years pass each year, I know that I’m going to blink my eyes and my babies are going to be grown and I’m going to look back to this time and say, “remember when?” Remember when that was so stressful? Remember when that was so hard? Remember how great life was? I always want to take that with me every single day.
You have to find the good in every day. You have to find the good in the hard times and the struggle because that is when we grow the most. Be grateful. Be grateful for everything that we have. Each day as we’re moving towards our big goals, be appreciative of that.
So, as always, you can check out more of what’s happening in our day to day lives on the Gram @love.your.living – and I just want to let you all know too, we have some incredible things going on this spring.
In just a few short weeks, we have a spring retreat being held here in Madison, Wisconsin, with some incredible coaching, goal setting, resetting, pampering. So if you’re in need of treating yourself and checking out and getting clear on your goals, this would be an incredible opportunity for you. You can check that out on our website.
And if you think we’re onto something great with our mission and passion to help women create a business and a life they love, please take the time to leave me a review on iTunes. I absolutely love hearing your feedback and this will help other women just like you find the show. Visit wordpress-248549-800663.cloudwaysapps.com/iTunes for directions on how you can review the show. Thank you so much for joining me today and we’ll see you next week.
Thanks for showing up and listening to this week’s episode of Love Your Living. If you’re ready to create a business and life you love, or simply take your already pretty incredible life to the next level, head over to wordpress-248549-800663.cloudwaysapps.com/balance to download our five-step guide creating more balance in your life.