If you’ve noticed, I’ve been a little more open with you these last few weeks.
Maybe it’s the separation from human contact that’s making me crave some form of closeness and intimacy.
Maybe it’s just another sign up of growing up and being more comfortable with who I am.
But I’ve committed to sharing more about myself and more of myself, so I thought it would be… fun? Interesting? Scary? Challenging? to share a few things I’ve never really told you before. Five things that might surprise you to learn about me.
These aren’t great existential lessons, or even necessarily profound insights, but they’re things I thought it was time you should know.
Read on, and after these five things, I’ll tell you why this is important for business.
Here we go.
Most people are surprised when they meet me in person for the first time because I’m pretty short, even though I have what I sometimes call, “a tall personality.” Being short used to bother me. In fact, I used to lie on my driver’s license and give myself an extra inch until one day I realized… I didn’t care.
In a weird way, you could say that I grew into my body. I rarely wear heels, and I’m done pretending to be someone I’m not.
I’m TERRIFIED of live video.
Every single time I go live, I sweat. It makes me nervous, I feel awkward, and I worry that I’m accidentally going to say something completely wrong, or suddenly start spouting off gibberish.
I work on myself all the time, so this is something I’m working on. So when I do go live, it’s because I know what I can share truly helps women like you, who want to learn how to land higher-paying clients. When you drop hearts and likes on my Facebook lives, you have no idea how much it means to me.
I dropped a college class so that I could graduate with honors.
This is actually kind of embarrassing. If you’ve ever read Mindset, by Carol Dweck, you’ll understand when I say I had a true “fixed mindset” for a long time, so I really hated doing anything that didn’t come easily to me.
Second-semester senior year, I signed up for a class in Intro to Jazz (hey, it was my last semester of college). I thought it was pass/fail. The day I found out I was taking it was for an actual grade, which happened to be the week before the final exam, I dropped the class because I didn’t want to risk my GPA. I still feel… not quite guilty, but definitely something about this. Like… I cheated the system.
Hey, I like jazz, but not enough to sacrifice my integrity.
I HATE numbers and spreadsheets.
This one feels really big to me because I know exactly how important it is to track information. I teach my students that tracking is important. I do it, but I hate every second of it.
I feel like I should find it empowering like I should enjoy tracking my numbers. But I don’t — possibly because if I don’t look at the numbers, then I don’t know the numbers, and I won’t risk falling short of my insanely high expectations and goals.
Yes, I’m working on it. And slowly but surely, I hate it less and less as time goes on. But it’s certainly not my favorite thing.
I used to hate setting goals.
Hi. I’m Leah, your coach who helps you set goals. And for years I really hate setting goals, because I was afraid I wouldn’t hit them. See above, re: insanely high expectations. In the back of my head, my inner monologue goes something like, Well, if you don’t actually set the goal, then you won’t fall short of it. My default mode was simply to work harder and do more. Thanks to a whole team of people who have helped me – coaches, my team members, my wife – I’ve learned how to set goals and make a plan to achieve them.
It’s all out in the open now. I’d like to say that it feels really good to be honest and open like this, but the truth is that it’s really fucking scary. There’s definitely a part of me that thinks you won’t like me or respect me if you know the truth about me.
But it’s important for me to be Leah, so here we are.
And, it’s important for YOU to be.
As girls, as young women, in college, and in our careers, we’re taught that we need to act a certain way. Look a certain way. Project ourselves a certain way. Or else we won’t be respected. We won’t be liked. We don’t succeed.
And we bring that into our businesses as well.
I talk to women every day who feel like they need to be super-professional, or buttoned-up, and they end up feeling stilted. Inauthentic.
But in your business, you’re the boss. No one is going to fire you if you’re too informal. Or too personal. Or too much. Or too… you.
You can be yourself. You can show up however you like. And you can show up how you really are.
You might serve business clients, but you don’t have to follow the rules of Business (capital B).
You are and you can — and should — show up exactly as you are.
To your success,