In this episode of VulnerABILITY, host Marisa Donnelly jumps into a conversation about facing fear, stepping away from the need for approval, and pursuing your dreams with Jacinta Gandy, founder of Social Circle. As these two business owners discuss their ups and downs along the road, they speak candidly on the need for authenticity and taking each part of the (often crazy!) journey one step at a time.

Highlights From The Episode:

[3:30] “What I didn’t know at the time [of starting a business], is that I was going to embark on a very personal journey and go through a lot of self-exploration. And that journey was necessary in order for me to launch my business.”

[4:20] “The reason I’m so passionate about self-empowerment is because, you know, having a successful business—although there [are] tons of books, and courses, and things that we can learn from a practical standpoint—a lot of our ability to believe in ourselves and have confidence and have a network of people who can tell us to go for it.”

[5:45] “I think people always say, ‘You can be whatever you want when you grow up.’ But as we grow and evolve, we learn (or at least we have experiences) that force us to believe that’s not the case. And so, when someone says, ‘Follow your passions!’ or ‘Do the things you’re passionate about!’ a lot of times that seems very foreign to what we’ve been doing our whole lives.”

[6:20] “We grow up believing that it’s so important to be secure and steady. And then being an entrepreneur or being a business owner is sometimes the exact opposite of that. Sometimes you’re just fighting through the mess to…stay afloat as you build, and as you grow, and make mistakes, and figure yourself out. It’s kind of a counterintuitive experience but it’s one of the most powerful because you’re really learning to align yourself with what matters.”

[7:15] “I also struggled with the need for approval. I wanted to make the people in my family, and in my circle that loved me…I always wanted their approval. And so I think that was another reason why I was scared to launch my business because I kept going to people who weren’t in an entrepreneurial mindset and saying, ‘I want to do this. What do you think?’ And they were like, ‘I don’t understand.'”

[7:55] “Once I realized this isn’t about me, [and] I don’t’ need to have these people’s approval, I just have to step out and believe in myself and do it… then you realize those people end up being your biggest cheerleaders.”

[8:35] “That need for approval or acceptance is so deep-rooted in us as humans. So to get past it and move along the path that you’re supposed to, is really hard.”

[9:00] “It was just one step at a time. I don’t think the fear ever truly went away or goes away because as business owners there’s always going to be new hurdles and new challenges. There’s always going to be new things that push you out of your comfort zone.”

[11:15] “Your brand just validates the legitimacy of you. People actually care about you the person and your story, and your experience. And a lot of times, because we know that story, we’re like ‘Eh, that’s boring. Nobody cares.’ But the more you put that out there, front and center, the more it really allows people to build a deeper connection with you and take things to the next level, where they are, ‘I want to work with YOU.'”

[12:20] “You, as an entity—whether you are a brand, or business, or whatever—people want the connections. They want to know the face behind the Instagram posts. They want to know the real stuff.”

[12:55] “I think, sometimes, we get caught up sometimes with social media, and the search for approval, and all these other outside things—the fear, the expectations, [the] ‘how to I compare to other people?’—we get so caught up in that. And we forget that, at the core, being vulnerable and talking about the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, the failures, everything—is what brings people in. And that connection is really the core of what it means to have a business.”

[13:55] “I kind of got used to doing the things in my business that I was comfortable with. And that’s what I stuck with for a very long time… It wasn’t until I started working with a coach who said, ‘You have to be more visible.'”

[15:15] “Even when I had in my mind, ‘Yes, I’m going to launch the podcast,’ I had to deal with six months of resistance, six months of: Why in the world would I star ta podcast? Who’s going to care? There are millions of podcasts already out there… I made up all the excuses as to why it was a bad idea.”

[18:40] “It’s one of the things that people don’t talk about with being an entrepreneur or business owner — sometimes it’s really lonely.”

[23:15] “I think it’s helpful for us to keep things in perspective and remember that [Instagram] is just one small moment of a person’s life… No one ever knows the backstory.”

[24:50] “You have push against that fear and just go for it. One step at a time… Just think of that first little step, and then take one more, and one more, and one more, and you’ll get there.”

[27:40] “It’s all part of the journey. I know the expression is ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway,’ and I know a lot of times that’s easier said than done, but I feel like the major takeaway from this episode is take it one step at a time. You’ll push past that fear and be successful.”

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