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Best of the Web

6 Things I’ve Learned on the Book Tour + Best of the Web

by Kelli Kehler

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The past few weeks have been a glorious whirlwind of traveling across the country in celebration of our new book, In the Company of Women. The downtime after finishing a book can sometimes feel a little blue, because you’ve gotten used to such a hectic pace of work and, in our case, meeting a new amazing woman every day who would inspire and motivate us. So getting to head back out on the road to interview and talk with dozens of inspiring women has been an incredible chance to dive back into that feeling of “anything is possible.” To top it all off, meeting all of you out in your hometowns and watching you connect with others and form new friendships and collaborations at these events has been a literal dream-come-true.

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I’m heading back to the West Coast (and Washington, D.C.) next week, so before I hop back on a plane, I wanted to share some of the greatest things I’ve learned on tour so far from women both on these panels and in the audience. The wealth of inspiration, advice and real-world motivation they’ve shared has been overwhelmingly spectacular. Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend. And I’ll see you next week, D.C. and California! xo, grace

*I’m so honored to have In the Company of Women included in the new Jane Mount “Ideal Bookshelf” print (dedicated to feminist books) at 20×200!

1. DREAM BIG + ASK FOR WHAT YOU REALLY WANT: If there’s one thing everyone on these panels has advised us to do, it’s to set our bar high and not to sell ourselves short. Over and over, across the country, women have been raising their hands to express their unease when it comes to asking for what they really want. But each panelist has reaffirmed how important it is to aim high, ask for what you actually want and to not underestimate your dreams or your abilities.

2. NO ONE HAS IT ALL FIGURED OUT: This book taught me very quickly that everyone, at every stage of life and business, has struggles. Those struggles don’t disappear with time and experience, they just become more complex. In my experience they’ve become more gratifying to overcome, but they never end. So cut yourself some slack — even women who are into their business 20+ years still have bad days (and weeks and years).

3. IT’S OK TO WORK A SIDE JOB, WE’RE NOT ALL FULL-TIME: Most business magazines and books would have us believe that all businesses start with a lot of funding or investment and people quitting their jobs immediately to take a big swing. But we don’t all have that option. And guess what? That’s okay! Lots of businesses start on a shoestring budget (with the help of a side job or full-time job’s income) and still grow, slowly and steadily, into sustainable and fulfilling companies. You don’t need to START big to dream big and do something you love.

4. BUILD A SUPPORT SYSTEM: I dedicated most of my later podcast episodes to the importance of an in-person support group, and each panel has reminded me just what a difference a group like that can make. Having women around you who understand what you do and what it’s like to run your own business (especially as a mom who runs a business) is, in some cases, the difference between a business succeeding and failing. Having people around you to support you, guide you, pick you up when you need help and to remind you of your successes, is absolutely essential.

5. THERE’S NO ONE “RIGHT” WAY TO BE A BOSS: Everyone runs their company differently. Some people swear by boundaries with employees, whereas some only hire people they want to be friends with. There’s no one system that works for everyone, and sometimes you may swap ends of the spectrum over the course of your career. And that’s okay. You have to stick to what feels right to you and for your business. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have to be tougher or softer than you want to be.

6. EMBRACE THE PIVOT: We live in a world where people change jobs and interests more than ever. So why should you be limited to one passion or one project? Our panels have been filled with women that changed careers and interests later in life and still found a way to course-correct (or just change the direction of) their ship with great success. Your first job doesn’t define you and neither does your second. YOU are the real company (thank you, Jodie Patterson, for that bit of wisdom) and every project you do is just an extension of the core company: YOU and what you believe in and love right now.

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Comments

  • Thank you for acknowledging #3. I started my business as a side job, and a year later, it still is. In no small part because it is definitely not generating the kind of cash flow where I would feel comfortable leaving my full time stable corporate gig, but sometimes I feel like other people think its not a priority because its not a full time job. Like its somehow less legitimate!

  • Yes on the pivot! I’m into my second career and fourth degree and sometimes I do feel like I wasted the first part of my life. But hey, it happens. We change course and our first jobs shouldn’t be the end of us if that’s not what will fulfill us anymore. Thanks for reminding me of this.

  • In absolute awe that you mentioned my print at LEIF. I’ve been following this blog like a bible for so many years – seeing my own work on it has made me feel so accomplished! So many thanks!
    Jen Sievers

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