A few days ago I received word that Kathryn the Grape ranked #40 out of 200 awardees for this year’s StartupNation Leading Moms in Business Competition. This is just wonderful news for me personally, and for the people who I’ve invited to contribute their talents to helping me do the purposeful work being done through Kathryn the Grape.
Receiving recognition through awards is always an interesting reality for me, and I always go into a little cocooned place of personal discomfort whenever I receive one. In fact, when the light is shined on me, I feel weird because recognition is not what motivates me. Through many failures and expensive lessons learned over the years, I am finally at a place of sitting comfortably in honoring and trusting that with purposeful perseverance, I can and will manifest anything of which I set my intentions on. It is that feeling of perseverance that motivates me.
I remember the feeling of perseverance after finishing my first marathon. I had trained for 10 months and had to say “No” to many invitations to go out with my friends and attend after work happy hours. I remember my diligence in focusing on my goal, and to achieve my goal, I needed perseverance.
I remember the feeling of perseverance when I birthed my son after 3 1/2 hours of pushing, and the challenges my body faced with having him stuck in the birth canal. I remember the feeling that came over me when the doctor told me that I could do one more push, and if my son did not come out, they were going to wheel me out for a c-section. In that moment, with a room full of doctors and nurses and silver delivery room medical devises, I found myself “laser focused” on my greatest heart’s desire to deliver my son vaginally because all I wanted to do was to hold my newborn son kangaroo-style right after birth…and that is not something that happens right after a c-section delivery. I wanted that moment with my son, I yearned for it, so I pushed hard and I persevered.
I remember the feeling of perseverance when I held my first published book. I recalled what it felt like to create and draft the original story, and then the tremendous amount of time and energy that was invested into reworking, rewriting, and editing it until it felt right. I recall what it felt like to carry the creative vision and the financial responsibility for the entire project, while also launching a new children’s brand in the process. I knew my purpose was to bring Kathryn the Grape to life, and so I persevered because it mattered to me.
Flapper Dress Memories of Perseverance~
When I think about some of the first moments of experiencing that feeling of perseverance in my professional career, I always think about my first career focused job. I worked as a corporate sales recruiter (headhunter) with an 100% commission results driven compensation structure. It was entirely up to me to decide how I was going to “succeed” with the opportunity laid out in front of me. Financial earnings were based on results, and with results came recognition.
I earned many awards during my employment with that company, and while the recognition I received by earning awards was great, it was not my motivation. The awards represented a feeling inside of me that I still feel when I think about what it took for me to achieve those awards.
I will never forget what it felt like sitting in my flapper dress at my desk, as the last day of October was coming to an end (and after having celebrated Halloween at work, clearly), and I was only dollars away from being ranked #1 in sales within the entire company. I remember how it felt to pick up my phone one more time, with the hopeful determination to close the deal that would catapult me into the #1 Sales position.
I also recall what it felt like to doubt myself. I remember how I had tried to close that deal on two separate occasions, and had been unsuccessful. I recall doubting if the third time could actually be the charm.
As I sat there in some layers of doubt, I could have decided to go home with the ranking of #2, as that was also a big deal. But, #1 was so close to my grasp, and I knew that if I just tried one more time, persevered one more time, maybe, just maybe I would get a “yes” and be able to finally close the deal.
I wanted to try one more time… so I did.
I made the call, I closed the deal, and that evening, as I drove home wearing a feathered headband and fringed white flapper dress, I felt proud of myself for trying. For going for it. For being fearless one more time. For persevering.
That feeling can never be replaced. For me, the award is a reminder of that feeling.
The awards I have earned during those years represented the countless hours of hard work that I had put in every week (45-55 in the office during the week plus 10-15 hours waitressing on the weekends), the fearless determination in hearing “No” everyday over and over (easily 25 times each day), and the internal belief that I could achieve my goals if I believed, and did the work necessary to persevere.
I worked at that company for three years, and to this day, (over 12 years later) I am still friends with many of the people I worked with. Why? We have respect for each other. We were in the trenches everyday working hard, motivating each other, and helping each other succeed. There are very few people on this planet who have understood what motivates me, what drives me, and what inspires me…and some of those people are my friends/co-workers from that season of my life. They cheered for me, as I did for them, when awards were earned because we knew what it took to get there. They witnessed my struggles and my perseverance, and were included in my selfless team mentality, which also helped them thrive as well. Those memories, relationships, and life lessons learned are priceless.
Honoring Perseverance ~
So upon receiving an award, I find myself reflecting to that time, because it is with that same level of struggle, perseverance, and selfless team mentality that has contributed to me being able to move past the discomfort of a shining light, and into a comfortable place of honoring the perseverance. Because I understand that honoring the perseverance also honors the journey, and that is important!
In the past three years the Kathryn the Grape journey has been all about trusting, believing, and persevering. There are days where the workload feels overwhelming, and the risks I’ve taken feel far greater than I ever thought possible. But, when the Universe opens up and provides me breadcrumbs of clarity, and illuminates bright shining lights of affirmation (like in awards), I am reminded that the purposeful consciousness shifting work that my team and I are doing matters, and is making an impact. This in turn, provides me with endurance to keep going.
A Conversation With My Son ~
One afternoon in January 2012, I was standing at my kitchen counter and boxing up some books to send into the Moms Choice Awards, when my son asked me what I was doing. I told him that mommy was boxing up books to send into a contest, in hope of receiving an award for Kathryn the Grape.
Then he asked, “Are you going to get a trophy?”
I replied, “Well, I don’t think we would get a trophy. But I do hope we get an award.”
As he stood there next to me while I taped up the box of books, I looked down at him and said, “Do you know why mommy wants to get awards for Kathryn the Grape?”
He responded, “Do you get money?”
I laughed and said, “No, I don’t get money. But by receiving awards, Kathryn the Grape gets attention, and that means more people will know about Kathryn the Grape. When people know about Kathryn the Grape they receive our messages of love, and that’s why I do what I do. That’s why mommy works so hard.”
His eyes lit up with understanding as he exclaimed, “Mommy, let’s get lots of awards and help lots of people!”
I just smiled, bent down, and gave him a big hug as I said, “Yes, let’s do that.”
My son gets it. He understands.
On those days when I feel stressed out and checked out, I am thankful for my little wonder of a son who reminds me that he matters, children matter, the work I am doing with my KTG team matters, I matter…we all matter.
May we all dwell comfortably in experiencing the feeling of perseverance while honoring ourselves through honoring our journey.