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Prescott CollegeWhen I was in college, I took a class called Outdoor Education and Recreation (yeah, I went to a total hippie school!!). One day, we went out on a high ropes course. We put on rock climbing gear, hooked up to safety lines, and had to climb a telephone pole. Once at the top, we were supposed to stand up (with nothing to hold onto), and jump off to catch a hanging trapeze.

I was flipping terrified.

To make matters worse, most of the people in the class were, shall we say, rather buff jocks. I was always the last one to the top of the mountain when we climbed, or the last one down the mountain when went skiing or biking. I was intimidated, scared, and I didn’t want everyone knowing I was feeling like a wimpy, freaked out chick.

But something happened that day that forever changed me as a person and as a leader. Our teacher, Julie Munsell, took one look at that telephone post and guess what she did?

She cried.

In that moment, the entire class rallied around her, and helped her overcome her fears to complete the task. And suddenly, the rest of the group transformed because of her willingness to be vulnerable. These tough guys softened up - they also were scared. It was suddenly OK to be afraid. And it was ALSO OK to push forward and overcome the challenge no matter what.

To this day, I know the only reason I climbed that pole was because I knew my leader was just as scared as I was - but she did it, so I decided that could too.

Some people don’t get very personal on their blogs. Some people don’t share their challenges with their readers, fearing that showing a little bit of weakness may discredit them.

I disagree. I get personal on this blog and I share my challenges with you because of Julie Munsell. Julie changed my life forever by showing up as a leader with her real emotions.

So when the ever-wise Monk at Work Adam Kayce asked me the other day, “What Would Make You a Better Person?” I decided it was a great time to share with you what I’m working on behind the scenes - the areas where I’m feeling a little challenged right now.

Work Life Balance

When I’m working on kicking off new projects (such as the blog, and my new blog to debut next week), I allow myself to get sucked in - I mean really sucked in. I work long hours and I work weekends. My family doesn’t dig it too much - and rightfully so. Pulling back from work is always a challenge for me because I’m so damn passionate about what I do.

Getting Help

Even though I was not-so-gently nudged by Ponn and Geri a few months ago about the fact that should be outsourcing more of my work, I still haven’t done it. I’m a very experienced entrepreneur. I’m a very experienced leader. But I’m not experienced at hiring people or managing them.

It would help my business grow exponentially, I know, but I’m not so sure I want employees - or even an intern. It would dramatically change the face of my business and I’m not so sure I’m ready for that yet.


My blog finally started making real money only a few months ago. When I started this business, I thought it would take 6 months at the MOST to get back to the income level I left behind. Frankly, I don’t think I’ll get back to that full income level for another couple of months.

We’re now playing catch-up for all the time the business has been in start-up mode. And we’re in that transition phase where every cent that comes in goes right back out. This will soon pass - and it’s been pushing me to the limits of my positive thinking capabilities. Every day I have to focus on what I want (6 figures again!) rather than what I don’t want (a pile of bills!).

So what about you? What would make you a better person? Where do you need to grow? I’ve done a lot of tagging lately, so I’ll leave this open ended - whoever wants to play along - I’d love to learn from you!! :D

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    On May 4th, 2007 at 12:44 pm, Adam Kayce : Monk At Work said:

    That’s awesome, Wendy.
    (You’re awesome, Wendy.)

    When you write about being personally revealing and willing to vulnerable, it’s really genuine, and genuinely touching. It’s a testament to your success, too, in my opinion.

    On May 4th, 2007 at 1:35 pm, Sue Olson said:

    Funny you should ask.
    I was just thinking this morning that I need to STOP thinking of all the things I CAN’T get doen while the kids are home with me and focus on how to incorporate them into what I’m doing…easier with the 2 yr old not as easy with the 4 month old.

    Getting back to a regular exercise routine would do wonders for every aspect of my life. Especially during this time of big fear and change - being laid off and trying to create a new career for myself.

    Turning off the TV in the evening would be huge! It would give me more time to read, meditate, talk to my husband. I always have the resolve to do that until its 8:30-9 and we JUST got the kids to bed and my brain is fried. The only thing I can think of is that vegging out is what I need.

    Eating healthy - also a huge thing right now since I am an emotional eater.

    There you have it.

    On May 4th, 2007 at 4:38 pm, Neena said:

    Sometimes thinking long term leaves me frustrated. There are so many things that I need to accomplish and not enough time to do it.

    I have a lot of “mommy” guilt when it comes to the kids. I always wish that I could do more with each of them individually - it’s hard when there are four. But, to be honest, in this aspect it is not the time factor that is causing me guilt - it is the energy (I don’t have enough).

    In terms of blogging, I have lots of energy but my time is limited. My blog is relatively new and I need to build traffic. Writing quality content and aggressively pursuing traffic is a full time job.

    If I divide my tasks into managable pieces I feel a greater sense of accomplishment. Everyone starts with baby steps.

    Yesterday I played baseball with my son and completed a redesign of my blog template. I am on the right track.

    On May 4th, 2007 at 5:01 pm, Simonne said:

    I’m not sure what would make me a better person.
    Money? I don’t think so. Two years ago I quit my well-paid (and nauseous) job and even to this day I’m not at that income level again, nor I do care about that (although the savings are running out quite fast).
    Balance? Maybe. I discovered you thanks to a post that you wrote on your personal blog, about an alcoholic husband. I face the same issue, I left home last summer, but he’s too addicted to this stupid habit. He promised to stop if I go back home. Two weeks later the promise was broken; one year later, I’m still here, caring less and less, and witnessing the dawn of a great love story.
    Children? For sure. Children are a blessing for every home. They are the best motivation for a mom to become a better person. I was so proud of my mom when I was a child! I still remember that warm, cozy feeling that I had the best mother of all.

    On May 4th, 2007 at 8:37 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    Wow - such wonderfully touching and heartfelt responses from all of you! Thank you so much for being the real you when you come to my site.

    I’m quite honored. :)

    On May 5th, 2007 at 12:23 am, Jenny said:

    THAT would not have been me. Anywhere near a telephone poll. Especially if I had to climb it. But I totally get what you’re saying. :)

    On May 5th, 2007 at 7:20 am, Sherri Caldwell - The Rebel Housewife said:

    Hi Wendy, I’ve always found, in writing, the more I open myself up, the more positive response and reassurance comes back. It’s still scary, though, every time. I’ve been working through the imminent death of a friend in my life, and on my blog. It’s really made me re-examine everything, as I approach 40. We’re on the same wavelength, I think:
    Live, Love & Laugh, Sherri

    On May 5th, 2007 at 8:08 am, Armen said:

    Thought provoking post Wendy. Sometimes our weaknesses are actually our strengths, but the world around us won’t allow us to think like that.

    On May 5th, 2007 at 12:43 pm, Mark Silver said:

    Hi Wendy-

    Absolutely! I’m so glad you posted this- it took me a long time to get up the courage myself to be messy and vulnerable in front of people.

    I went through a complete business melt-down and crash in a previous business- it took quite a while to get out from under the debt. But, one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is what you’ve shared- that it’s okay to make mistakes, be vulnerable, and show up as I am, no matter how terrifying it is.

    Every time I’ve done that, I’ve gotten amazing feedback from clients and customers. And now, it feels -almost- comfortable. ;)

    I hope many people soak this bit of writing in. That it’s okay to need help.

    I’m going through the outsourcing thing, too. so empathy there. You will DEFINITELY be happier when you do- at least I am, and everyone I know who has done it is. It’s related to this entire post- is it okay to need help?

    The idea of a successful one-person business is a myth. You’re getting successful- I send my support and empathy that the transition to outsourcing and accepting help be as graceful as possible.

    On May 5th, 2007 at 4:27 pm, lornadoone said:

    I will have to give this some thought. When I try to figure out what would make me a better person, it kind of leads to me disparaging myself for how I am right now. Sometimes you have to rebreak a bone to get it to heal properly, I guess!

    On May 7th, 2007 at 8:50 am, Amanda said:

    I’ve started focusing on paying my debt. All the money I get from any part of my website I keep track of in a columnar book, and once I get it, it goes directly onto a bill even if its only $6 dollars.

    My site has made me quite a bit of income b/c of consulting however that job is almost done and I need to get out there and do more but its about figuring out how to do that :(

    On May 7th, 2007 at 10:28 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    Amanda, what kind of consulting are you doing? I’m sure I could steer you to a couple of resources (depending on what kind of work it is). - W

    On May 8th, 2007 at 4:03 am, David Airey :: Creative Design :: said:

    I need to read your articles over again to get a better insight into how you’re earning from your blogging efforts.

    My girlfriend would agree that I spend long enough on the computer without blogging simply because I love creative design. ;)

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