The Lady Hustle is a podcast and a culture for women entrepreneurs, creators, and makers seeking a path to fulfillment & success, from a place of balance & grace, rather than
attempting to fit themselves into the patriarchal paradigm which currently surrounds much of business and success. (This is shifting MASSIVELY, btw). Round hole, square peg – you get it.
Each week TLH interviews female creators on what it really takes to achieve true fulfillment and impact as a woman in business today. We’ll dive deep into relationships with self, others, business, and well-being.
While I don’t pretend to be an expert in many of the topics we’ll be covering (my life can be severely chaotic at times, just like yours;), I haven’t been able to get this notion out of my head – a concept shared with me as I was going through a purpose discovery process last year…
“It’s oftentimes, what we require the most, that we also have the greatest gift to share with the world.”
To be a part of this conversation, receive from it and share it.
You see, about 5 years ago, I thought I was “on my way”. Married. Amazing son. Successful in my own mind. Multiple six figure income. Learning every day. Amazing mentorship around me. Feeling grateful every day AND playing with the “big boys” in my career.
Just 7 years prior to this point, I began the transformative experience of bringing my son into this world.
Right before that?
I was a cocaine-addicted, anorexic, high school dropout who felt I had little to offer the world…
How’d this happen?
Long story short – A never ending journey of “personal development” and also finding a passion for a space that shifted my focus from myself to serving others. In finding my stance within the personal development space, I was able to see that there is a delicate balance between our connection to everything – each other, the earth, ourselves – and where our ego and personality come into play. By realizing that this balance needed to exist, I was able to continue my personal development in the vein of being able to keep my ego, my character, myself “in check”. This would all come in handy for where I found myself next.
I found the affiliate industry and later the digital marketing space. I invested hours and hours and years;) of learning through events, masterminding, ANYTHING and ANYONE I could get near. I was replacing old stories with new thoughts systems, I was learning everything I could about hacking the subconscious mind. I was hustling. I was grinding. I was going, doing, going, doing.
I had given the finger to the status quo, BUT because of the pace that this all went down, I was severely attached to what I had created and what I made that mean. I had attached my identity to my perception of success, to “being the best” for my son, to business, to my bank account.
While I was aware that there’s no “arriving” and still a student in so many ways, I felt a sense of freedom knowing I could create any outcome around this sense of self by continuing to hack my mind through personal development and doing more than anyone else. Little did I know I was about to get a good lesson in the setbacks of exclusively operating from a ‘personality/masculine’ mindset.
My marriage was crumbling. I was in denial of this. We both were. For way too long. So when it was done, it was DONE.
I also found myself with a web media and consulting business that was paying the bills and more. However, there were some HUGE changes in our market that made it necessary to pivot drastically. I was also realizing I wasn’t really passionate enough about that model to put in the time required to make the shift.
Over the course of several months, I shut the business down, consequentially laying off 14 employees and contractors I loved, appreciated, and admired. A team that was a family.
Worst feeling ever.
While consciously I wasn’t too concerned about this, I knew I had the skill-sets to get by and even financially thrive; I was also licking my wounds post-divorce and struggling with a limiting belief that success/financial abundance AND a relationship simply weren’t possible for me. I was pretty pissed about this illusion, and it reflected in my personal life and my bank account.
A few months of this stagnation/rapid course correction went on and then in the early hours of August 14th, 2012. I received a heart-smashing call from my grandmother that my mother, who struggled with a devastating addiction to prescription medication had overdosed. She was really gone this time.
After seven of the most trying months, I had experienced as a woman, wife, mother, boss, mentor, student, business owner and now daughter…
In that moment…
I broke open.
I broke wide open.
The way back has been a bittersweet and beautiful journey of feeling the ok-ness of being broken wide open while at the same time knowing I’m whole enough to contain every emotion that sets off…
This is still a lesson I’m getting every day. In every moment.
You see, at the time, I had a ton of tools that had helped me grow my personality. Yes, this resulted in a certain level of success. But when it came to THIS, coming back from THIS… I had not one tool to grasp onto that would allow me to feel like I could actually contain the grief.
I hadn’t done any soul expansion, any real spiritual work. Sure, after so many years of being a victim to panic – I had learned to meditate as a way to maintain a mostly anxiety-free state but not so much with the intent to “connect” to source, higher self, whatever you like to call it.
I’ll never forget sitting with a recovery coach I worked with during that time…
“Danielle, do something spiritual.”
After I was able to extinguish the WTF look off of my face and get over my ego, who was screaming, “What the fuck is that supposed to mean? I am SO spiritual. I meditate. Does she see my mala beads?!” I was able to begin to ground myself.
This really was a big wake up call and it wasn’t until I began the practice of surrender, of being an open vessel, of acknowledging my ability to truly receive (all qualities of the feminine) that I began to see any further positive shifts in my life. This was the ONLY option because – Just hustling, grinding and hacking were only leading to giant steps back.
As those small shifts forward began to occur it felt like my nose was being held to the fact that now, more than ever, the only way forward was to act in my life from a holistic perspective and to truly connect.
I could carry on utilizing all of the personality hacks I had learned playing with the “big boys” over the years and create a life that appeared to be successful from the outside, but I’d never be able to truly process and release what was going on inside.
Today, I enjoy life with my son and my wonderful partner along with so much of the lifestyle I achieved before. Like I said, I certainly don’t have it all figured out but this intentional focus on opening up to achieving fulfillment more holistically while also having goals, ambition, and drive is a conversation I’m obsessed with!
And these are the sort of conversations you can expect out of The Lady Hustle.
Real Women. Real Life. Real Fulfillment.
Let’s face it, the “hustle” is a completely different beast for women. And we come with our own set of predispositions when it comes to creating un-balance rather than flow. On top of this, the only clear direction we get on what this “should” look like, from society and media, come in the form of hashtags like #BossBitch, obviously signaling coldness, isolation, sacrifice and the limiting belief that to attain success as a woman, you have to do it like a man.
“Authentic Power: When the personality comes to serve the soul.” – Gary Zukav
Again this is really about shifting focus to creating balance and true fulfillment.
Regardless of your perception of success, I think we can all agree it’s going to take hard work. However, regardless of gender, we live in an age where the fruit is in presence AND action. Simultaneously.
I’m so grateful to be able to pull from some of the more masculine energies I learned from early on in business.
The ability to create and hold space for myself and others.
How far blood, sweat, tears, along with some heart can really get you.
These and many other traits, I call on to this day but I also believe in this time, we’re called to stop operating under the illusion that it’s got to look a certain way and start to truly embrace our inherent gifts to create the new paradigm of what it is to achieve success as a woman.
There’s a freedom that comes from fully owning that the hustle is all pointless if you’re not present in all areas of life.
This is a message that deserves to be heard right now so that we can pave this path. Join us each week as we dive deep into the journeys of women in business and their relationships to self & well-being, love, family & community, contribution to society, etc.
LET’S MAKE SOME NOISE! Leave a comment below for more soulful conversation – I’d love to hear from you!