Mergelane Blog

Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Celebrating Success in Times of Crisis

My friend Joel Holland, who happens to be one of the best entrepreneurs I know, is having an incredible year. His newest venture, Harvest Hosts, is growing exponentially. The company he founded prior to Harvest Hosts, Storyblocks, was acquired last month. He and his wife are expecting their first child in December. 

I asked him if it was hard for him to talk about all of that good news at a time when so many are suffering. He said that it was easy to share the news with some, but not with others.

It made me wonder why he felt comfortable sharing the news with me and whether the other people in my life feel comfortable sharing their good news with me.

Paradoxically, another one of my friends is having the worst year of her life. On the day she found out that she had fallen victim to a very sophisticated Ponzi scheme, her best friend called to share that she had just secured the best contract of her career with the quarterback Tom Brady.

I asked my friend what it felt like to receive that phone call. She said that she was so grateful to be able to be there for her friend’s success. She and her friend made a pact at the beginning of their friendship to celebrate each other's successes, no matter how those successes compared to the other’s.

I've been thinking a lot about the qualities of successful entrepreneurs. I touched on this topic on my podcast in Episode #28: Finding BIG-Thinking and Executing Entrepreneurs with Dick Rothkopf. These recent conversations with my friends reminded me of the importance of building a culture of success. Somewhere in my childhood, I learned to hide and feel guilty for my and my family's success. It wasn't until recently that I realized how much that inhibited my ability to actually achieve success.

I thought about how I felt when Joel shared his good news. I was genuinely happy. I like hearing about good things happening to good people, especially in light of the current stream of endless bad news. I am honored that he feels comfortable sharing his wins with me. 

Admittedly, I felt a twinge of jealousy. I am ashamed of this because I want to be in full alignment with my friends’ successes. However, my jealousy also lit a bit of a fire in me to work harder toward my goals and to revisit my definition of success. As my colleague Leah Pearlman recently pointed out on the Inside Coaching Marco Polo Channel, the things we resist can often result in the things we want to achieve. 

I'm revisiting some of the questions I like to ask myself on the topic of success, and I’m sharing them in case they're helpful to you:

What does success look like for me?

What unconscious and conscious beliefs prevent me from actually believing I can achieve that success?

Am I afraid to talk about my success? Why?

With whom do I feel comfortable talking about my success? Why?

Who in my life feels comfortable talking about their success with me? Why? 

If I could shed my unconscious and conscious beliefs and become comfortable talking about my success, what could I actually achieve? 

I'd love to hear your answers to these questions. Thanks for reading.

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