4 Steps To Cultivate Magic & Real Connection | RTWOS EP 8 – Shamelessly Ambitious Episode 133

Filed in All Episodes, Business Strategy, Leadership Development, Releasing The Wounds Of Success Series — December 19, 2023

Hello my friend. 🥹 I’ve got something special for you – a recap of the incredible journey we’ve had through the Releasing The Wounds Of Success series. Wow. I created this series to dive into deep conversations with other entrepreneurs who were willing to witness themselves (extremely vulnerably) to create a space for you to feel seen, validated, and welcomed in your entrepreneurial journey.

As I conducted the six interviews that made up this series, I was obviously very present in the conversation, relating to & empathizing with their stories, and thinking of my next question to ask. I got a lot out of the interviewing process, but what I didn’t expect was how much more I’d get by relistening to the episodes as they went live. Just — all I have to say is wow. I truly hope you felt something by tuning into this series with me. 🫶🏻

The Power of Witnessing Yourself

On that note, if you’ve been tuning in, you know we’ve explored the rollercoaster of entrepreneurship – the highs, the lows… the constant duality. It can be a lonely road, and that’s where the power of being witnessed comes into play. You know this (probably because I preach it constantly), but we crave belonging, and that’s why I love creating spaces like this, where you’re not alone and can be truly understood.

I’ve heard from many of you about the impact of these conversations mainly due to the sense of not being alone in your struggles. That’s why I want to dig deep into the transformative power of being witnessed and witnessing yourself.

I had a client reach out lately and ask how I’m able to keep a pulse on my groups — whether those be masterminds, miniminds, or something as simple as a Voxer intensive. But it got me thinking… && not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty good at intentionally creating spaces with mind-blowingly deep dynamics. Truly, I was reminded of this after I hosted a second retreat for my CEO mastermind gals in Savannah, Georgia earlier this fall. My team and I asked the ladies in the mastermind for a video testimonial and the overarching consensus was that they’ve never experienced a dynamic in a group the way I create one. Two things came up for me of feeling so accomplished in the goal I set out to create, but also like damn, I’d hope so because the tone I’m able to set doesn’t just happen by fluke. There are four things that I use to allow me to hold space like I do.

A Little Caveat

Ok, a little back story because you know me, I love a little caveat. One of the reasons I love hosting retreats is because I’m all about spoiling highly ambitious women. Let’s face it, we struggle with self-care. As achievers, we need intentional spaces to rest, to just be, and to nourish ourselves. I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I found this was even lacking in my daily life. In the mornings, I wake up and instantly go into “high-drive mom mode” from getting kids dressed, making sure their teeth are brushed, packing snacks & lunches, and making sure they actually get to school. Then I come home and find myself immediately gravitating into my office. I do this because I want to optimize my time so I can pour into my clients and connect with my team, but when I do that right away in the morning, I notice my self care slip. So now, I’ve created a sacred hour for myself every morning, just being with my coffee, away from work, and enjoying a stupid show or a smutty book. It’s been a game-changer. So, if you aren’t taking time to nourish yourself, I highly encourage you to do so.

So back to the retreat. Creating intentional spaces for these women to have one-on-one conversations, to truly relax, to eat good food, and get deep sleep – it’s about healing and love. && the most powerful growth I witnessed in them came from self-witnessing and allowing themselves to be witnessed. 

How do you keep the pulse alive in group containers?

Jumping all over the place, but I hope you’re following me. I feel it’s necessary to paint the picture of what an intimate group container looks like with me so you understand how I’m able to set that tone. First off, acknowledge that there will be ebb and flow in your containers. Dead seasons happen, and that’s okay, but that leads me into my first point or “strategy” if you will.

1. Trust the Process

There ought to be a deep trust that a space will be what it needs to be. You can’t force constant vibrancy. I will go first in saying that I have had groups that are very lively for a week and then they aren’t the next week. Even in my most thriving communities, there have bee seasons of drought. You don’t want to end up carrying a sense of anxiety and the constant feeling to drop things into groups because you want them to be lively when they’re not meant to be. I’m going to be so real and say that this is probably the hardest tip that I’m going to give you. Because I’ve been there. I’ve had groups that are more quiet and I start to feel all the feelings and get up into my head. That’s when I exert caution and ask, “what is an internal trigger that I’m having because this has nothing to do with me, but I’m making it about me.”

That is radical responsibility.

2. Create Themes or Focuses

This falls more on the strategic side of things, but this is something I love to do when heading into my containers. Every month or week (depending on the logistics) I like to have a predetermined theme or focus to create ongoing engagement. I think a big problem with leaders who are creating group containers is that they don’t have intentional engagement. A lot of times I hear about or have personally experienced someone saying something that’s extremely broad like, “come with all your questions,” but the problem with that is the people inside your group will feel paralyzed because there are so many different topics they want to ask questions on.

3. Have Clarity in Advance

Set the tone early. Rather than getting into the middle of your contract where things start to fizzle out, ask what you can do in advance. What are you doing in the actual onboarding process? You can curate a relationship, but that takes some thought ahead of time to get clear on what you want the experience to look like, what relationships you want people to have after the fact, etc. This isn’t to set expectations too high, rather to get radically clear on what you want it to look like, why, and how you can carry out your vision. Your clarity will really set the tone on whether people are able to connect or not.

4. Go first. Always.

    This is so important. This is also a huge reason why I created the RTWOS series because if you are not taking the time to witness yourself & to get in the room yourself to have conversations that create vulnerability for yourself, “going first” is going to be a really hard and uncomfortable thing for you.

    But this is the thing that makes or breaks it all. I cannot expect my clients to be vulnerable if I’m not willing to show up vulnerable first. In fact, my ability to be vulnerable and to share is going to be the thing that cracks them wide open. For example, in a group container I would initiate the conversation with what I’m struggling with first. I can’t go into a conversation expecting my clients to air out their dirty business laundry right away, but what I can do is share my experiences and hope that they connect & feel seen to share their experiences with me. That ensures that I’m humanized. That they’re not coming into a space where they feel uncomfortable to be vulnerable with someone that’s perceived as perfect. Now, I’m not saying that all clients think that, but I’ve heard it a lot and especially in a leadership role, clients look to you like you have all your shit together when most of the time — that’s not the case. So, go first.

    && that brings me to the REDEFINE Mastermind – my baby. The four steps I listed above are what initiated and helped me to curate this mastermind. It’s not your typical one-size-fits-all coaching program. It’s about creating relationships, community, and supporting you emotionally and strategically. Picture it as a therapy for your business committed to your capacity, contentment, and success. For the woman who doesn’t want to be rushed or desperate, rather desires something different. 

    If you do not have community or somebody who’s personally got your back at a level that sees you so much deeper than you’ve been willing to see yourself… you are missing something huge. I get it. && I get you because I am you. 🫶🏻 Sounds so cliche, but it’s true. 

    But why emotional wellness for CEOs? It’s having practices and habits that create that resilience so that you can adjust during all seasons of entrepreneurship. Without faltering on your values. Entrepreneurship does have seasons. There are ebbs and flows that you hear me talk about all the time. But, there are things that you can do to feel good during all seasons. And that’s a big thing that we’ll focus on inside of this mastermind. Hurry & save your spot.

    Also… I want to thank you for being you, for embracing vulnerability, and for making this community what it is – a space for growth, connection, and authenticity. You’re one of a kind.

    Xo,

    Ash

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    Building a business without restraint because big bold moves equals big bold results

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    I am the definition of duality—I swear like a sailor and break rules like it’s my job, but I also hold incredible space for my clients and work my ass off to help them achieve the success they’re after (but faster).

    My background in counseling and my experience founding three multi-6-figure businesses gives me a unique perspective on what it means to show up and serve as an ethical and successful CEO. Leaning on my experiences, along with the experiences of the hundreds of women I’ve been honored to work with, I offer founders a psych-backed and human-first approach to scaling their legacies—both in and out of the office. 

    I don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything, but especially business. Because at the foundation of any profitable, sustainable, ethically sound business is one thing: humans being humans. And to do anything without first considering the human behind the action (i.e., with intention and vulnerability) is to remove our most powerful predictor of success—ourselves.

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