How Women Who Want Other Women to Succeed is the Blessing the World Needs.
I was in Denver last week at a sales conference for women who wanted to learn “the art of soft sales”. What I learned instead was that there are two types of women. Women who want to see you succeed, and women who only pretend they do.
I am the owner of Bodie& Ryan, a boutique writing company that helps beautifully empowered women tell their story. I went to Denver with the promise to myself that I would not apologize for my power. What I mean by that is that I would not shrink myself, or hold myself back, to make other people feel more comfortable. It’s a bad habit I’ve learned through life, and I’m trying to get rid of it.
We were given a list of emotional reasons why people buy from you so that your business speaks for itself, and you don’t have to convince people that you’re awesome. They told us to write down which ones we are good at, and which ones we need to work on. It was a motivational exercise, but instead of being motivated I became overwhelmed at how much I’m not doing. Right before my eyes, the mountain I’m climbing to become a successful business owner suddenly grew thousands of feet steeper right in front of me. It was if all of my unapologetic power and hopes and dreams were actually in a glass ball this entire time… and it cracked.
Then we were paired up to practice a sales conversation. I have no training in sales, and I showed up messy. But I didn’t apologize for it, even though I was lost in the script and stumbling over my words. I stayed in my power. My partner asked me if she could give me feedback, and I said yes. I expected her to say something along the lines of I needed more practice. So with a sympathetic smile on her face, she told me she would never buy from me because I look too sweet and too young to be an expert writer. And then her smile got bigger, and more sympathetic, and she laughed and said, “I bet you want to hit me right now.”
My glass ball shattered. It was as if I was sitting in the middle of the room with a spotlight on me, and I was being laughed at because I was just a small child who was playing dress up as a business owner. I didn’t know how to respond because I didn’t want to be as rude as her, and suddenly I was drowning in her perception of me and I couldn’t decipher between truth and insecurity. And the worst part is that I apologized for my power to ease the tension! To make her feel more comfortable I smiled and I nodded… and then I agreed with her.
As soon as the conference was over, I ran up to my hotel room and I lay down on the bed and I cried. I had allowed myself to be placed inside a box I don’t even belong in, and all I could see was defeat. Other people’s perceptions can linger on us longer than we would ever wish to admit, and if we’re not careful we can let them define us.
And this is where the beauty comes in to this story. Because there was a knock on the door. There was a telephone call. There were women who saw my defeat and told me their own story about how they were told they couldn’t either because of how they were perceived. They told me how as a woman in a corporate world they were insulted and attacked in order to keep them from speaking up again. They told me how because they were kind and trustworthy despite their power, other women put them down in order to keep themselves a step above. And in these stories, I saw their strength, like a light in the dark, and emotionally, my heart reached out and grabbed on to pull myself out.
Because of these women not accepting another woman’s defeat, a fire was lit inside me on my way home. They showed me that I can forgive myself for stepping into that box I didn’t even belong in, I can forgive the woman who put me in that box whether she did so intentionally or not, and I can celebrate that I was able to step back out. They say that God does not give you any hardship you can’t handle simply because He always gives you what you need to get through it. This experience was one I needed to have. Because of these women, I saw how important it is to build a foundation for my business that not only speaks for itself but is strong enough that I can stand on it when others want me to fail.
Now imagine if those women didn’t say anything. Imagine if they just told me it would be ok and never actually took the time to tell me their stories. But because they did, they became the blessing that I needed to get through this experience stronger than I was before.
I built Bodie & Ryan on the belief that a story can change someone’s life. To be honest with you, I don’t want to help women write a book who put other women down to make themselves feel more comfortable. That is not my ideal client, and I’m honestly not afraid to say it out loud.
The world does not need more grandstanding negativity. The world needs more women who have paved a path to stand up and allow their own struggle to have a purpose outside of themselves. To say out loud, “It’s ok. I’ve been there. Follow me.”
That’s what Bodie & Ryan does. This is the part of your journey that I am here for. I help women just like you who have stopped apologizing, who have shown up messy, who have been told they can’t and did anyway tell their story in the form of an emotionally powerful book.
If you’re the kind of woman who feels proud or excited when you see other women succeeding, I’d like to invite you to a bucket-list level experience where you will write your own book in a safe and encouraging environment surrounded by other beautifully empowered women who also have a story to tell.
In September, Bodie & Ryan is debuting an exclusive six-month program for ten women who want to write a book, but who struggle with everything that actually goes with writing a book. We’ll begin at a writing/meditation retreat in Lake Tahoe where you will learn the fundamentals of writing and build your plot so you have a road map to follow. Throughout the rest of the six months, you’ll be writing from the comfort of your own home with weekly writing goals designed so you can write more in less time, and by the end, you will have a polished draft that is ready to send to the editors for publishing! To be completely honest with you, I’ve designed this program to be everything I would ever want as a book writing experience, and I am so excited that I get to share it with ten amazing women!
If you are interested even a little bit, listen to that tug in your heart and reach out to me at email@example.com. We’ll schedule an inspiration session together to talk about your story, the impact it could have on this world, and decide together if I can help you write the beautifully powerful book that is already inside of you.
Maggie Ann Ryan