Empowerment. Tell your story. Be real. Be accountable. Be bold. #bethechange
Preface: I’m sharing my story in chapters. 1) Everyone keeps telling me to, they say it’s inspiring and helps them. Well, I want to help humans, I love humans, I believe in humans, so yolo, let’s do it. 2) I have directly seen how it inspires and impacts people over and over and over again (this was reinforced even further in Bahrain a couple weeks ago) 3) I want people to stop pretending and to start a movement where we talk about the shit that no one talks about. Stories are empowering when shared authentically, with accountability. Humans are empowered by authenticity and inspired by bold vulnerability. We are human, not machines. Startup Life (and life) struggles are real and scary and hard. And we all lose hope at times. But there is a way to the light. Share struggles in such a way that we empower one another — not judge one another or blame one another, yourself included. Society dictates vulnerability as weak, so don’t look weak and admit that your startup failing, better to say we are always “crushing it”. Stop pretending. Start living. Free yourself. Empower yourself. Empower others. Inspire with truth and without making others wrong. Empowerment and Vulnerability is about WE, not ME. Share in such a way that WE can all grow.#wearethechange
Last August 2015, following a very intense time in my life, I publicly announced via this post that I got a divorce and as a result I had to depart with my business as well. Here’s an excerpt:
It’s no secret that the past two years or so have been overwhelming and challenging for me both professionally and personally. Now that I’m on a powerful path to rebuilding, it’s time to clear the air.
I got a divorce, which was brutal by itself, and my involvement with my business, Coloft, is also over — a significant ripple effect of the divorce. This is my first ‘public’ announcement since my departure from Coloft, and I apologize that I was not able to be more transparent throughout this time — this situation was a gray area for what felt like an eternity… and deeply painful for me to talk about.
When I filed for divorce, I was fired from my company.
I was fired from what I thought I owned. I had the option to purchase it, but that would not have been a viable or sustaining option. I went through my savings thanks to attorney’s fees and attempting to save what I thought was my identity. “I can’t lose my marriage and my job. And raise my boys? What’s going on? How did all this happen? Stop it. It’s too much. Just go away.” Complete loss of power. I was dealing with the ugliness of the world all at once and it was overwhelming and really hard. So I did what many do when we’re in pain. Go into survival mode and retreat. I went silent. I went numb.
I was paralyzed by fear and in the fetal position in my bed. In a downward spiral of pain, doubt, hate, resentment, anger, emptiness, loneliness, and it hurt so damn much. My life as I knew it was over, and so was my identity. I was depressed. A zombie. A prisoner in my bed. I was surviving. Incapable of speaking. Incapable of a simple email or text message. I was so afraid, I literally wanted to die.
I couldn’t even speak to my attorney that I was paying a lot of money for. I would go with reinforcement in the form of my father or brother. Someone who could speak up for me. I put the Power outside of myself. I went through six attorneys. Six. That’s how I lost my savings in the process. I lost my marriage. I lost my company. I had to start over. At 33. I was naked in the Universe. With two little innocent angelic boys depending on me. And I was really really scared.
My divorce finalized March 2015. A year later, my life is unrecognizable. I’m free and empowered to be myself. I have a voice. A loud one. I am working with the US State Department as an Expert Speaker — I spread the message of peace in the form of power — specifically entrepreneurship. I just returned from Bahrain a couple weeks ago where I had the honor of being hosted by the US Embassy. During my brief stay, I interacted with Royalty, the US Ambassador, Parliament, inspired future leaders to be unreasonable enough to change the world, and spoke at the Bahraini International BusinessWomen Society Exhibition. I get to travel the world and inspire people. I get to help people. I no longer put the power outside of me. And I owe this to Jasmine. I am also launching a new company, a Human Accelerator, called CoAccel (coaccel.com), a powerful three month program that accelerates you. Through your work. I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through and Jasmine and I have created a bullet-proof solution.
During my downward spiral, I was blessed to encounter an angel on my path. Jasmine. She’s a well-respected, globally renown intuitive counselor to high-level Politicians and CEOs with clients in five continents all around the world since 2001 woth a 99% success rate. #badass She saw something in me, and I remember asking myself why this incredible, powerful, angelic lady who built up the worlds most powerful people, believed in me — but it kept me holding on. She would repeat the only words that got me through the darkest time of my life, “I believe in you. You must believe in you. I am with you. You will be happy.” Her belief in me, her unique method and light-hearted approach, her incredible gift of knowing and revealing barriers, and her invaluable guidance is what allowed me to see what I didn’t — my blindspots — and she does it in an empowering way. As soon as I found her, I never felt alone. Never lost hope. Someone understood me. Someone heard me. Someone loved me, even if I didn’t love myself back then. Her guidance is the reason I know I can be anything I want so long as I believe in my power. She made me understand the power of believing. The power of our thoughts. She gave me the tools, resources and support that I so desperately needed; and I did the work. She helped me discover my power in a completely new light that made me understand myself at a level that I may have never understood. Had I found her long ago, I would’ve saved myself a lot of time, money and most of all, A LOT of heartache. Now we are partnering to bring this work to more people through a new venture called CoAccel: The Human Accelerator ™. I want everyone to have a Jasmine. And in conjunction with my experience in building entrepreneurs and ecosystems and technology expertise, having worked directly with over 4000 Entrepreneurs and 650 startups, this will be a highly unique program that will accelerate you,you are the ultimate product.
“Be like water.” — Bruce Lee
I’ve learned to be agile, like water, in this story of life. It’s empowering to know that I have full control of one thing in life: myself. Life happens. External circumstances are not in our control. However, we are in control of ourselves and our reactions. Once we understand the absolute power of this statement and you realize anything is possible, and that no one can make you anything. You get to decide. We become “unfuckwithable”.
Detachment. Seeing things as they happen in reality not in our mind. Nothing added. Nothing taken away. I no longer blame myself for it. Or anyone for that Matter. Once I understood what I am responsible for, I was able to forgive myself and everyone else and not feel shame. I accepted. I detached. I am free. With detachment, our failures become powerful leverage to rebuild from a new, free place with endless opportunities. And we can share our failures and struggle without fear of judgement because we aren’t judging anyone anymore ourselves. That’s Empowerment. Take responsibility for our part of the equation, without blaming or making anyone wrong, from a detachedPOV, resulting in you regaining your power and the cherry on top is that when you share without blame or judgement, strictly facts, people listen. They may see something they did not previously see. And then they take new actions. Those actions may just make a huge difference in their life. Inspire others by being vulnerable.
…to be continued.
CoAccel is the first Human Accelerator. We build powerful, mindful leaders. We accelerate you and your success through your work. Our core product is a 3 month 1–1 immersive program. We all need support and we all want to save time. Find out more by entering your email at Coaccel.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.