January 5, 2018 celebrates my fifth year in business. This is somewhat of an arbitrary date as I had been consulting to it prior, but it's an important date to me. My business, after all, has been the longest intimate relationship I've ever been in. In small business standards, the seven year mark is statistically significant as you have a higher likelihood of succeeding. What started as a dream sitting at a table with a glass wine and would continue at more then one dinner table has now lasted through three re-brandings, an incorporation, and most recently an office remodel. This is just the surface...
Alright well, I get it, I have an intense personality type. I am an ENTJ, which I wrote an entire blog about. A rare personality type that is well, incredibly intense mainly because the individual is trying to accomplish success no matter what, challenging themselves and others beyond belief. A excellent make-up for an entrepreneur. People don't like it and frankly I could give a crap. I tell those who are the future of entrepreneurship that as soon as I stopped caring about what other people thought was the moment I started becoming successful. I'm a highly genuine and honest person. That being said, we all get rattled or sensitive from time to time. I admit that I used to be incredibly volatile and brash, but have learned over the years, especially in the last five, how to better communicate. I'm still sarcastic as hell. I don't need everyone to be my friend, client, or colleague. I will say over and over if I was a man it would be totally acceptable to post and share my successes, boost myself up, and relish in my accomplishments. Because i'm a woman i'm cocky, over zealous and at times bragging (there is actual data about this by Lean In).
This is where my 2017 story started. Let's just start by saying the #MeToo movement seems to be and indication of my entire year. If you'd like to know more about my personal backstory you can refer to my past blogs, but i'm not going to re-iterate it here. Women have gone through this their entire lives and careers...EVERYONE of us! This was also a year I was recovering from severe depression and suicidal thoughts, but I managed to take the heat. My character is such that I do dwell for a day or two, but realize everyone who made ridiculous accusations about me are people I have no personal respect for. While they may have a successful career as people...as humans they are clearly lacking and there is nothing I can do about that, so I don't.
Many men can't handle a confident outspoken woman. And well women reinforce this by being in constant competition with other women...almost always within the context of a man, a lover, a boss, or a prospective. I actually get more push back about that statement by women than anyone else, but seriously, how do you argue with that? There is in fact data about this now! Don't you think if women were open and supportive things would be different? C'mon!!!! This is a real issue! We all have inherent biases and it is time to check them all. I started in college when I found myself judging women solely based on their looks without any regard for their intelligence, interests or general character.
This is where it starts. My relationship with men has always been interesting. While it is clear I have a terrible picker when it comes to dating men (and this year was no different), I have always had many male friends. In the workplace I have also worked with many men, mostly because of my accelerated career for my age given that men still hold most the executive roles in private, public, and not for profit entities. It wasn't a cake walk. I have always been outspoken and committed to my craft including always doing the right thing. I thought I had overcome the discrimination with my new found notoriety and recognized expertise (right i'm being cocky now), but this wasn't true and everything this year brought it to life. Luckily, some support was added to my fight as my struggles were in concert with the nation at large. Us women somehow found this unity and synchronicity to suddenly call out all those men who had taken credit for all our work, inhibited our success, harassed us, or even assaulted us in the past. This year everything came to a head for me.
Those who follow me on Facebook, know the extreme verbal abuse I experienced this last year from both men and women picking at my character. Besides my failed dating life that always hurts at some level; the comments that hurt most were those that threatened my professional life and being in general. I was told I was negative, dramatic, not supportive enough of women, a racist who's never checked my privilege therefore making all my work null and void, a nut case that someone would never work for (ok you absolutely could never work for me with that attitude), and someone who can't run a company. WELL THEN!? This is where I had to channel my inner Rey and metaphorically blast these people out of my life with my graceful tact and strategic strong action or non- action.
I've been bullied my entire life. While it always drove me to want to be a better person, I wish I could tell younger people it ends, but it just doesn't. We live in a culture where men still dominate the food chain while women are stomped down to their looks and niceness (and we can never win with that either). Now do I buy into this, no...do I think it's an important conversation to have, absolutely yes. We all keep beating around the bush as if it isn't issue, but IT'S HAPPENING. It's happening all around us, every day. And i'm not saying men don't have their own struggles and expectations, but I'm not one so i'm not about to comment on that.
I don't at all consider myself a judgmental person. I make jokes and observations, but that's not how I assess my opinion of people. I don't say, 'Oh look at that chicks outfit...she's a bad person.' That's judgement. This has been misconstrued to the point where we can't make any observations, comments, or say anything about people. I was raised to believe that there are always higher and lesser beings. That is how the world works and therefore you can never really be the judge of where you fall and why would you want to? Do you want to be a self fulfilling prophecy telling yourself a certain story and therefore sticking yourself somewhere in the grand scheme of life? I mean, by the way, I'm not talking about confidence...true and real confidence isn't bad and is encouraged. With that; however, one isn't telling themselves false stories. Don't get me wrong, i'm no zentastic shaman who has all the answers, we all have an ego and we all have moments of weakness, but it becomes dangerous when it defines our general being. Everyone has their story and we all need to spend more time listening.
I refuse to respond to the current political environment, you can look up my radio show if so inclined (video can be found on the DG the 30 Something Facebook page and soon at www.domenica.ninja), but here we are. My goal this year was to "be the 27" which I feel I greatly accomplished. The number 27 in numerology speaks to collaboration, philanthropy and change. I'm confident I did this, but I hit the hardest road I've ever traveled. It never ceases to amaze me how much people rather continue doing something wrong than to make changes to do things right. This can change you or even someone else's life! I had several people try to ruin my career, slander my name, and threaten me this year, but frankly..in the end it was all worth it because doing the right thing will always win the race. And well, haters are always going to hate...
I did also have MANY great times this year. I started a radio show that has brought me down many amazing roads! I met many new people and got to experience new things and beautiful places. I also have the best friends. I really can't complain about my amazing network. They always pick me up when i'm feeling down. They always check in and look after me. I always appreciate everyone who has helped me through this journey. The tears, the anger, and the literal exhaustion...thank you, I couldn't do it without you all! I tried to make an effort this year to tell everyone directly.
I want to be a better person, every day of my life. One of the only ways to achieve that is to remain my genuine and honest self while blocking my tendency to be hyper critical of that self, not judging my instincts, and letting others get into my head. I'd love more regular recognition for what I've done, but also understand it's my job to channel and believe that personally. That is where the power is. I have a great support system who builds a Trump like wall against all the negativity (don't worry, someone else paid for it). So then, what is the answer...
This is the point where I set a goal for 2018 and it is very clear...cut the fat off! Purge clothes, things, past emotions including anger, and the people who don't serve me anymore. I don't mean this as a insult to people, sometimes two people just don't meet eachother energetically. I always give people several chances as we all grow throughout life and sometimes timing is everything. I have to admit that everytime someone comes after me I do get upset, in some cases for days. I catalog everything they said and everything I said in my brain. This is never productive. I want to stop this cycle! I want to believe it is ok to be confident, know my work is valuable and that my reputation, I've worked so hard for, precedes me. Everyone who insulted me this year has known me for different amounts of time and at different levels, but whether it was a romantic slap to the face or a blatant assault on my career, it's a thing of the past.
In 2018 I want to bring the garbage to the trash bins to the sidewalk and watch the drama as the garbage trucks claws pick it up dump it in, and feel empowered to simply be me....simply me, on a higher level than I've ever experienced. I want to be more true and trusting in myself than ever.