Whew! I hope you let Danielle’s hot juicy wisdom sink in a bit, because I’ve got even more coming to ya. Something I learned in my last giveaway is that by posing the same question over and over again, I get incredibly unexpected results. Results that are even better than anticipated.
As you’ll see, Lauren and Danielle certainly delivered in that respect. I love it, because while these ladies’ products both help you along the same path, they do so in different and complementary ways. Oh. And, by the way. Lauren is featured in The Fire Starter Sessions. Which I didn’t realize until I had already reached out to both women…because I hadn’t made my way to page 123 yet. oops.
Alright, now it’s time for me to gush about The Boss of You. I think the best way for me to describe my love for this group is to try and count the number of times I’ve loaned it out. A fool’s errand, really. I give up already.
For years, whenever I have a friend who’s thinking of starting her own business, I jump up, run to my bookcase and pull out The Boss of You. If you have any desire, even in a tiny, balled-up corner of your heart, to start your own business, you NEED this book.
First of all, if The Fire Starter Sessions doesn’t help you get really clear on what you want out of your life and your career (which is frankly inconceivable), that’s where The Boss of You starts. Right there in the first chapter.
But then. Then it goes on to give practical, actionable advice on all those super scary things you need to do to get there. Peppered with case studies, personal anecdotes and frank writing. Packaged in the least scary, most I-can-do-this! way.
Instead of gushing for another few paragraphs, let’s hear from Lauren Bacon, the co-author with Emira Mears, of The Boss of You.
So, I’d like to know. What was a catalyst that helped you define what you wanted out of your career – and what you didn’t? What did you learn about yourself?
One catalyst, huh? Just one? Did you see the Acknowledgements page – er, chapter – in The Boss of You? We’re not very good at narrowing down our sources… and the catalyzing forces in our journey together have been legion.
But I guess the bottom line is, we were each other’s catalysts.
We met while working for another web development firm, and we immediately became fast friends, confidantes, and perhaps most importantly, fervent collaborators. We loved working together, right from the start. Emira makes me better at my work, period. I hope I do the same for her. (I assume I must, since she’s stuck around for 10 years. Or maybe I just make her laugh. I’m good with either.) We trust each other with everything from sharing the responsibility for each other’s financial well-being (no small thing, that) to the emotions that accompany the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
The kind of relationship we have is rare. Like, unicorn rare. I hear tell of business partners that don’t even like each other much, or who share a professional relationship that lacks any sense of friendship, and I don’t know if I could handle that. What we have is a business-first relationship, which is important, because ultimately I need her to be the best business partner she can be and have the ability to call me out, professionally speaking, if I’m not doing my best work. But the personal trust we have is no less deep for that.
When I met Emira, I enjoyed my work and my clients, and knew I had found my calling, career-wise — but I had no inkling of becoming my own boss. I did know I was frustrated by some aspects of my work, but I hadn’t articulated that they all boiled down to not having the power to call the shots. The idea for Raised Eyebrow literally popped out of my mouth before I knew what I’d said; it was only in the resulting stunned silence after I’d said it that we both looked at each other and knew it was what we wanted.
I couldn’t have done any of this without having this incredible woman by my side. I just can’t picture it. She showed me I could tackle greater challenges than I’d imagined before. She helped me define my values, largely by sharing them and reflecting them back to me. I look at her and I want everyone to know how amazing she is — and that makes me better at promoting our work. I want her to have all her needs provided for, which gives me more financial ambition. And she gives me permission to speak my most daring, secret ambitions and go after them.
I’m not even going to attempt to write down what she’s taught me. I have literally filled a book with that! But it’s because of Emira that I’ve learned a huge, huge percentage of whatever I’ve picked up over the last 10 years or so.
It’s to a point where when people ask me questions about starting a business, I almost want to tell them they need to go find their own version of Emira — that is, someone who will be a sounding board, an enthusiastic critic, a sympathetic ear. I know some people find those qualities in fellow entrepreneurs or peer-support groups. I’m just fortunate enough to have that person at my side full-time, sharing the journey every step of the way, and that makes me lucky as hell.
I sooo want to run out and find a business partner now. Who’s with me?!
But, if you’re like me and going at it solo, The Boss of You is a good surrogate.