I used to believe I was a pioneer; an independent Girl Boss who prided herself on never asking for help. And then I got my first ‘real job’ my senior year of college and had a boss who was such a generous bad-a that she single-handedly paved the way for my career. It was during that time that I wised up and realized I had never actually done it alone. There were always people pushing, supporting, paving the way for me. Which was both humiliating, humbling and empowering.
To me, power and influence has been most evident in my life and career when I’m able to get real with myself and the people in front of me. You know, just lay it all on the line. While I’ve been fortunate to have people in my tribe who help me despite my character flaws and aversion to assistance, I find the most impact comes when I’m not resisting their offer to participate in my dreams. And even more so when I am invited to participate in theirs.
What Ruthi, “my sister-wife” and co-creator of the START booklet, and I do is meet monthly to see how we’re doing on our deadlines and action items. We challenge one another to try different methods if we just aren’t making progress. And, more importantly, we give one another permission to reprioritize and change our minds when things don’t work. It’s nice to pair these meetings with alcohol, caffeine, a little exercise and/or carbs.
So here’s how I’ve accidentally developed a practice of achieving goals in my life via the persistent involvement of the people I call my tribe:
- I got married. I obviously didn’t get married to have a built-in accountability partner. In fact, I thought marriage may be the end of my independence … until my husband practically forced me to quit a job I didn’t like anymore to start my own business. Not wanting to disappoint him has turned out to be a big motivator for me to do more than I ever did on my own. Ironically, it took my status as Miss Independent to a level I didn’t even know existed. If you aren’t in the marriage boat, you can still have this level of accountability with someone you trust. Someone who knows you better than you know yourself. This works best with people you respect, who have seen you at your worst (and still advocate for you) and who have a track record of being brutally honest with you, especially when it’s not convenient or fun for them.
- I got vocal. I used to say things like, “I’m going to be the CEO of a company.” I chose that statement because I actually wanted to lead an organization and because it was a safe thing to say out loud in my early 20s since I clearly had a few decades to actually achieve it. I never meant to be an entrepreneur so, in my mind, I still had to climb the corporate ladder, get more pant suits and chop off my hair. What you need to realize, is that sometimes vocalizing what you want is one of the most powerful steps in achieving your goals. If your tribe is solid, they read between the lines and start making some phone calls way before you think you’re actually qualified for the life you want. While I didn’t think I was creating my future when I opened my mouth 9 years ago and vocalized those words, it ended up being the pivotal moment that began moving me into the life of a CEO three years later.
- I got intentional. The way some of us set goals is adorable. We obsess about them in our heads and then moan about how nothing is going right for us in our careers, relationships, life, etc. It’s hard to get serious about goal-setting. First, you have to know what you want. What do you really want? What’s the desired outcome? Have you ever sat down to process through your answer? Those questions send me straight to my Instagram feed in a hot second just so I don’t have to deal with the fact that I have no clue what I really want out of my life. But if you begin to answer these questions, realizing your answer may change as you go along and gather new information, you can start putting realistic timelines and action items in place. You know I have a husband, but what you don’t know is that I have a sister wife too. She’s way easier to talk to about specific action items than my husband because it’s far less personal. It’s strictly business, not, “OMG. He thinks I’m a failure because I didn’t hit my quarterly goals so obviously he’s bummed he chose me as a wife.” What Ruthi, my sister-wife and co-creator of the START booklet, and I do is meet monthly to see how we’re doing on our deadlines and action items. We challenge one another to try different methods if we just aren’t making progress. And, more importantly, we give one another permission to reprioritize and change our minds when things don’t work. It’s nice to pair these meetings with alcohol, caffeine, a little exercise and/or carbs.
- I got knocked up. Before I begin, this can be a very sensitive subject for many. It is not lost on me how fortunate I am to have been able to conceive. There are numerous people in my life where the subject of parenthood and conception is just so painful. I know you don’t know me well, but hear this: I don’t take this responsibility lightly and feel overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to carry a child. That said, the immovable deadline of birthing a child has put my goal setting on overdrive. I don’t think I realized how many goals have felt completely flexible just because there wasn’t anything to really make me commit. There’s nothing like the pending birth of a child (who doesn’t give a rip about my excuses for not tackling goals in a timely manner) to get you moving. I think other things in life can serve as equally alarming motivators: moving states/cities/neighborhoods, getting a new job, turning in your resignation letter and knowing you’re on your own in two weeks, going on vacation, etc. While I don’t advise getting pregnant just to have an immovable deadline that serves as motivation, there’s something to be said for creating your own deadlines to light a very real fire under your butt.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do this alone or that people don’t want to be a part of your goal domination. Nothing makes this world more interesting than a bunch of scrappy people with some crazy ideas coming together to move one step closer to the life they’ve always wanted.
No matter where you are on this quest to dominate goals, I would highly suggest tapping into your tribe as a place to begin the process. Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can do this alone or that people don’t want to be a part of your goal domination. Nothing makes this world more interesting than a bunch of scrappy people with some crazy ideas coming together to move one step closer to the life they’ve always wanted. You’ve got this!