Episode 14: 3 Keys to Success - Risk taking, Failure + Being Vulnerable

It’s Nicole and Jes this week in what ended up being a full-length episode exploring three keys to success for Living Black Sheep.

We started off doing an episode on failure but as the conversation evolved we found ourselves needing to also talk about the role of risk taking and vulnerability in failing. It was a candid conversation where we explore failure in our own lives and businesses. Furthermore, if we #liveblacksheep as #WOC, trailblazers in our families or communities, taking risks, the stakes are even higher and the spotlight shines even brighter and that must be addressed.

As a woman of color, failure can be really scary and really tough because the stakes are higher. You are dealing with double tokenism, you are woman and a woman of color so when you do something and you stand out, you stand out a lot, and that can both be wonderful and also really difficult because if the spotlight is shining on you, not just because of what you are doing, but because of who you are doing what you do, if you fail, there is also that added responsibility of feeling like “I failed for all of us; I am supposed to be paving the way for those of us behind me.” With this can come the fear of hearing, “women can’t cut it” or some bullshit affirmative action argument as to why you failed as a woman of color; not just because sometimes people fail.

Not wanting to only have a conversation about the challenges, we also wanted to leave listeners with some inspiration + coaching including:

Episode sound bites/quotes

“The hard part of talking about failure is that you don’t want to mess with your brand or persona…but done in an elegant and appropriate way it can elevate you in the eyes of the client.” – Jes + Nicole

 “You can’t take risks if you don’t expect that at some point you will fail.” - Nicole

Jes loves this quote- “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”  

“Everyone fails at some point of time in their life and anyone who tells you they haven’t is a liar” – Nicole

“It’s hard to share when things aren’t going well” – Jes

“The failure got me to recommit” – I put more on the line and am taking bigger risks because of the recommitment after failing. I am glad we went through that failure.” Jes

“I am someone who needs to go all in, in order to know if something is right.” – Nicole

“Failing as women of color, the stakes are higher” – Jes and Nicole

“Asking for help is a sign of strength because it shows you know how to be vulnerable.” - Nicole

Coaching: What to do when you are failing/have failed?

1.     Pause and remind yourself that everyone fails. - While we know this, it’s important to be reminded when times get hard.

2.     Share. Talk about it. Ask for help. – You can’t keep it inside, that’s when it becomes bigger and harder to manage. You don’t always have to share what happened, you can acknowledge things are hard and share your emotions or feelings as a result. And, if you are seeing a person who is failing, create space for them to freely talk.

3.    Learn the lesson. – What are you being taught? What can you take for the next time you find yourself in this spot or this emotion? How can you take action earlier to avoid the failure before it happens the next time?

How do you know whom to talk to? Start taking stock now, of who your people are, you need these three:

1.     Tough love – This person gets you in action to change the direction of the failure – no room for wallowing here, just fixing.

2.     Unconditional Love – They will tell you it will all be ok, not to worry etc. etc. and even though it may not be OK, you need to hear that sometimes.

3.     Just Listens – This person just lets you unload all your fears, doubts, pain and perhaps plans for redemption but does not meddle in anyway, just gives you the space to get it all out. Which you need!

They may live in the same person or be three different people.

Grab a piece of paper, open up Evernote, grab a post it and make a note of your three people NOW!

External Resources mentioned:

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – a must read

Community Resources/Free Coaching:

  • FB Live: Jes + Nicole will be on FB Live each week prior to recording. We will send the date/time and topic earlier in the week via email sign up here: www.livingblacksheep.com or like us on FB at www.facebook.com/liveblacksheep/ to be alerted when we are live.
  • Community Video Chat: The date is set, Thursday, October 20th 12pm EST.sign up at www.livingblacksheep.com to be sent the dial in info. Can’t wait to see you there!

If you liked this episode and want to hear more from Jes +Nicole sign up at www.livingblacksheep.com/findyourherd to receive our Sunday digest with love notes, honest shares and free coaching on how to live your best life as a black sheep.

PodcastsNicole Letelier