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“I wish I had the courage to…” (new TEDx talk inside)

I have a question for you, have you ever said, “I wish I had the courage to…?”

You might immediately think, “I wish I had the courage to skydive,” or some huge feat. But what about other, smaller moments?

What about, “I wish I had the courage to put myself out there more.” Or, “I wish I had the courage to charge what I really want to make.”

One of my clients, Cindy Solomon, has been studying courage ever since she left corporate America, where she was the first female C-level executive in a Fortune 50 company.

And I’m SO SO excited, because she just did her TEDx talk, and I thought you would find it really insightful for your business. In it, Cindy challenges preconceived notions of WHAT courage is, and she offers ways to use it in your life. Hint: it’s not just for skydiving.

I highly recommend watching it this week and asking yourself, “How can I exercise MY courage muscle?” Here’s the link to watch.

But I have to tell you – I credit Cindy for so much in my own business. She’s not just a client, she’s a dear friend, and she came through for me when I really needed it.

Back in 2014, I had just broken an engagement – we had been partners in business and life, running several businesses together.

The week we split, I lost my life partner, my job, my income, my livelihood, my apartment, and my dogs, in one fell swoop. I felt totally lost.

The months that followed were challenging, even though I knew without a doubt that the breakup was the right thing. I didn’t know where I would live, what I would do, or what my future held.

Everything was up in the air. I was flailing around. I thought I’d start my own startup. Then I’d think I should get a job. Then I’d want to go to Africa for 6 months. I was all over the place.

To bring some focus, a friend suggested that I create a vision board.

So one afternoon, as I was making my board, the phone rang. It was Cindy.

I had met Cindy a couple of years earlier. She and her wife, and my ex and I, we had immediately hit it off. She was an early supporter of Lesbians Who Tech, the organization that my ex and I founded. And she had seen me running the three other consulting businesses we ran, so she knew that I was an operations-type person.

When I picked up the phone that afternoon, I had no idea that call would change my life.

Cindy said she was looking for a Managing Director for her consulting and speaking business. She had been quite successful, but she knew that if her business was going to be truly profitable, she needed help to land higher-value clients and streamline her business operations.

It was a contract position I could do from anywhere. Was I interested?

I thought about it. It would be my first chance to take everything I had learned from running my own businesses, and apply it to someone else’s business. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure if it would work.

What if the strategies didn’t translate? What if I was a one-hit wonder? But I decided to give it a shot.

The strategies worked. In the first year, we doubled her revenue. We streamlined her business development to save the equivalent of 3 weeks per year.

And in the next year, we doubled her revenue again.

One day after working with Cindy for some time, I had an epiphany: If Cindy needed this type of business and revenue help, other women probably needed it too.

That’s when I decided to help other women entrepreneurs implement these same strategies in their businesses. And that’s how Smart Gets Paid was born.

The best part? The story continues.

Cindy’s business is still thriving, and every day, SIGNED students are landing higher-value clients, charge and get paid more for every contract, and mastering business development.

The moral of the story? People may come find you exactly when you, and they, need it.

And when that happens, have the courage to say yes.

To your success,


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