So, it’s been a while. In fact, Happy New Year! Now, you may be into New Year‘s Resolutions or you may be the type to just improve as the need arises. Well, I’m a little bit of both; feeling that the beginning of the year is a great time to re-evaluate where I am and what I want to do with my life and choose to set some new goals, let well enough alone or maybe pivot altogether. The latter part of “when the need arises” literally arose for me the second half of 2018 when I decided I wanted to invest in myself and hire someone to help me really find my voice.
Now those that know me know that I’m hardly ever at a loss for words. I’m usually the one who walks into any room with a somewhat causal greeting of “Hey! How y’all doin’?” (My mother still can’t figure out how in the world I have a southern drawl and cringes at some of my phrases) and begin chatting it up. But I alway knew I had something to say. Like, really SAY. I had my story to tell but whenever I was asked, “So, what’s your story?” I’d get hung up! Stuttering and stammering like I’d never been asked before. I’d get nervous. Like someone wouldn’t believe my story. Like it wasn’t good enough. Or better yet, like I wasn’t good enough to share my story. The more I began to realize my passion for helping others the more I knew I would need to share my story and I would need the confidence to share it.
I had always admired those who could share their story without all the “um’s” and “uh’s”, be able to literally capture you in their highs and lows, all while having you on the edge of your seat like a good mystery novel as if you’re not looking at their bi-product!! It amazes me!
But as for me, I felt trapped. Trapped by my own self-sabotage that no one wanted to hear me. I had nothing really important to say. My story wasn’t special. I tried for years to beat it myself, struggling through a handful of not-so-great speeches that got feedback like, “It was good, but kind of scattered.” Or “Well, you seemed really nervous. But it was good.” That’s the LAST thing a girl with a fear of speaking needs to hear! So I decided to swear off sharing my story anytime I taught or facilitated. I would give a quick blurb about me, turn the conversation around and make the introduction all about the participants with an ice breaker and go right into the content. This was my Safe Zone. But over time, what would my students or workshop participants eventually ask me? “Nicci you seem to know so much! So, what’s your story?” [Cue stammering, stuttering, and cold sweat]
That’s when I knew I needed help. If I was going to take my desire to help people to the next level. I needed to learn how to share my story. I ran across a few courses but I knew they weren’t for me and that I needed more of a one-on-one approach. Enter Lori Kirstein with the Goodbye Good Girl Project. Her company seeks to eradicate the “good girl” societal normals that keep women from speaking up or out and being the boss babes, executives, presenters and speakers they really are (my words not hers; but there’s a link to her website: https://www.goodbyegoodgirl.com)!
She was a student in one of the entrepreneurship classes that I facilitate. I will never forget the night we were practicing pitches for our community-wide Pitch Night; she presented the Goodbye Good Girl Project, sharing her story, drawing me in with every high and low. And I knew I needed her help. I pulled her to the side after class that night and whispered in a guilt-ridden, confession-like manner, “I’m Nicci and I’m a ‘Good Girl’”. I’m a jokester so she immediately thought I was hysterically funny as she stared at me in disbelief (clearly, I’d been doing a pretty good job with my aforementioned avoidance management). “Nope, it’s true,” I said, “I really need your help.”
Less than a month later Lori and I were meeting and within our first session I was already able to write from a place I never had before!! She gave me homework and really helped me deal with how both my environment shaped my beliefs about myself and my internal sabotage. It was deep. She worked with me for 5 more sessions, 6 sessions in total and I could see and feel an improvement after each session.
Well, the only way to see if it really worked was to test it! So I took my new found confidence for a test run scheduling a 1-hour webinar sharing my story about how I started my event child care company Party Sitters building it from scratch to a 6-figure business. I will tell you, ever fear in the world and every reason not to came up. But Lori had given me strategies on how to handle it. So I sent the invitation and a week later I gave my first speech as a “Bad Girl”!! I thought I didn’t do too bad but when I had participants wanting to work with ME, scheduling appointments with ME all because I shared my story... WOW! It was the greatest feeling in the world! I felt so free! I felt so EMPOWERED! I have shared my story several more times since then and even started this blog because of Lori. Try to shut me up now! HA!!
I thank Lori from the bottom of my heart for her gift and her company, the Goodbye Good Girl Project. If you desire to speak as a part of your business I highly recommend Lori with the Goodbye Good Girl Project. Even if you’ve been speaking for a while, contact her. You never know what you could improve upon. Use her company as an investment for yourself and your company. The return will be well worth it.