You can’t wake up in a bad mood when an 11 pound ball of furry love and glee pounces on your stomach and lunges to give you too many kisses. Meet Athena, my 24-7 reminder that the world is good and fair and there’s always room for love.
The thing about dogs is they love you no matter what–when your hair looks like a bird’s nest, when you’ve gained weight, when you’re grumpy, when you didn’t pay your Nordstrom bill on time….dogs are truly woman’s best friend.
New age woo woo names
I obviously have a new age woo woo fondness for goddesses as I’ve named my dog [Athena] and my business [Artemis] after them. And you know what? I just prefer to walk on the new age woo woo side of life–because it’s a softer more fun and much funnier side of life where we can reflect and consider our spirits and our feelings. So back to my fondness for goddess names, I will also tell you one of my best friend’s names is Aphrodite. I don’t know why it happened this way with the goddess theme in my life, but it did! Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite….oh my!
Athena–in Greek mythology–is the goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. Women who start their own businesses arguably have to encompass all of these traits at different times. We have to use our intuition to know when to use what tools in our toolbox, who to trust, who to learn from, and how to trust ourselves to drive. While my dog Athena knows nothing about driving, she can provide some important life lessons on how to live. Athena teaches me something new every day. Here she shows us some important lessons that will help us be happier, stronger and emotionally wealthier entrepreneurs.
Here are Athena’s six life lessons for female entrepreneurs.
1. Have playtime.
Women are great entrepreneurs because we work hard, we’re great multi-taskers, and we are passionate about our work. At the same time we have a habit of getting very much “in our heads.” That means we can’t see the big picture because we’re so caught up in the day to day. Most of us have our best ideas when we’re doing something mindless like taking a shower, going for a run or chopping veggies. Having hobbies outside of work–and tme for play–will help get the creative juices flowing, and give us important time to breathe. By adding play and whimsy into our lives, not only will we find we’re more productive when we do sit down to work, but we will come up with better problem solving for work related things. Additionally doing things with friends is very important to our sense of belonging and feelings of self worth.
2. Spend time with the big dogs.
It’s not surprising that very successful people want to hang out with very successful people. However, I believe that mentoring newbies is very spiritually rewarding and gratifying. I would encourage more established women entrepreneurs and executives to spend time mentoring the young-ins. Also if nothing else, it makes you grateful for how far you’ve come! Young-ins, it’s so important to have mentors, and to spend time with people who are where you want to be. Try and find good people who are smart, established and didn’t cut corners to get to where they are–learn from them. Ask a lot of questions!
3. Work what your mama gave you [also known as use what makes you different to your advantage].
It’s often the very thing we try to hide that makes us special or unique. When we realize that it’s important to “be yourself, because everyone else is taken” [thank you Oscar Wilde] we start to attract people to us. Despite how hard the media and ad industry have tried to make us believe that people are only attracted to a very specific cookie cutter mold, the truth is people are attracted to other people that are vibrant, that shine. We attract what we want when we are excited about what we’re doing, and we are feeling spiritually wealthy and joyful. That “sheen” comes from living your life, being you–flaws ‘n all. People are attracted to authenticity and passion. Wear what your mama gave you, and don’t try to hide those “flaws,” instead use them to your advantage. “Women are never stronger than when they arm themselves with their weaknesses.” – Madame Marie du Deffand.
4. Go for it!
Over analyzing every detail of a move can slow us down. Sometimes the very thing we’re afraid of is joy and success. When you don’t give yourself time to noodle over something for too long, you will be more prone to do it. As Bill Cosby once said, “First, decide what you truly want. Then, decide that you want it more than you are afraid of it” or let’s learn from Amelia Earhart who said, “The most effective way to do it, is to do it.” Athena tells us “just dive in.” What doesn’t kill you ultimately makes you stronger. Or at least provides some funny stories/blog/book material.
5. “Every morning we are born again.” -Buddha
My dog freaks out every time we go for a walk. She wags her tail back and forth like a ticking clock and smiles a big toothy grin! When we walk, like a true connoisseur she wants to smell every piece of grass, every flower, and every dog we meet along the way. She has pure pleasure from even the most simple activity–being outside on a walk.
Something goes awry with humans in the process of growing older–we lose our sense of whimsy–and become desensitized to life’s small pleasures. We become unaware of the sheer miracle of being alive. Every day is a chance to enjoy something new, learn something about the world, about ourselves. My dog reminds me every day to be a softer, gentler human being–one that walks with gratitude.
It’s an important part of life. Give yourself time throughout the day to be quiet. It is said that when we quiet down, we truly hear what the universe are trying to tell us. Often we already have the answers we are looking for, but we can’t hear them with all the noise. We all need to go out of our way to provide time for quiet and rest (most times that also means no television–no engagement). Remember life is not a race, it’s a marathon. We need time throughout to be quiet.
And with that please feel free to share with me and Athena what your suggestions are for being a better female entrepreneur. We’re all ears!