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Fearless Femmepire Project • Big Magic (November)

fearless femmepire project big magic entrepreneurs sam vander wielen legal templates for coaches

Have you ever had an idea floating around in your head for so long that you kept hoping and wishing would magically happen? Me, too. Ever since I started this business, I really wanted to find/create a community full of fearless women entrepreneurs. Over the last year, I’ve attended so many conferences, meet-ups, networking events, festivals and more. At each one, I walked away with the same thought: I want more of this.

I can’t really define or describe what “this” is, but if you’ve ever attended an event with a room full of dozens or hundreds of empowered, fearless women entrepreneurs, I think you know what I’m talking about.

fearless femmepire project big magic entrepreneurs sam vander wielen legal templates for coaches

But even though I had an idea of the type of community I wanted to create, I couldn’t bring myself to actually move forward and create it.

“Maybe it’s a silly idea,” I thought.

“What if no one joins?”

“I’m sure someone’s already doing it and she’s probably doing it better. So why bother?”

Can you relate?

So I sat on the idea of creating my own fearless community for months. It’s not like I wasn’t doing anything! I built this beautiful business, created my own website, started working with dozens and dozens of clients, wrote for lots of publications and appeared on radio, podcasts, and magazines.

But I kept seeing “my” idea everywhere.

Every time I saw another online entrepreneur start something related to ‘my’ idea, I thought, “Oh no! Now I really can’t start a community for online entrepreneurs. It’s already been done. {insert mopey face}”

But that’s not the way I play ball. I’m not that kind of girl. I truly believe we all have our own unique voice and there’s enough room for all of us. That’s why when my clients ask me, “is the market already too saturated to start my own ___ coaching business/online business?” I always reply the same way: “It’s not saturated with you.”

It’s not that we’re better than someone else doing the same or a similar thing, but there’s only one us. Only one person on this planet with our exact experience, vision, and voice.

And that’s when I remembered a book I’d read before I ever started my business: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I got crackin’ on my own online book club and community (a way to bring about my core business values + interests + specialities), Fearless Femmepire*. With over 100 women in the group in just its first few days, I knew we had created something special.

Fearless Femmepire Project

I knew I wanted it to be more than a Facebook group, too. I wanted Fearless Femmepire to be a year-long project, where I chronicled our reads, what we learned, and some lessons along the way. So voilà; here’s our first month’s post in the project.

Each month, I’ll start out with a post just like this about that month’s book. Then, at the end of month, I’ll come back with a reflection post about how it went, what we learned, and how it influenced us in our businesses.

What’s Big Magic about?

Big Magic is about living a life of creativity, one that’s driven more by curiosity than fear. And she doesn’t mean “creativity” as in the paint, art, draw kind (because if that’s the case, I’m done.) Instead, she’s referring to Gilbert’s argument isn’t that we need to try to kill off our fear. Rather, it’s that we need to make space for fear because it’s a natural part of curiosity, creativity, and yes, entrepreneurship. When we say “yes” to fear, we can receive ideas that try to find us (part of Gilbert’s “ideas have agency” argument) with respect and curiosity, not drama and dread.

Why are we reading it?

Big Magic is the perfect way to start a book club and online community for fearless entrepreneurs because it tackles something that affects each and every one of us: fear. I don’t think I’ve had one client or prospective client not mention fear in our call together. They’re afraid they don’t have enough credibility, that the market is saturated, that people won’t like them.

And if they’re aware of their fear, the next thing they’ll typically say is “I just have to stop being afraid and just go do it!”

But we have it backwards. We don’t have to stop being afraid, we have to stop being afraid of fear. We have to stop fighting it, or else it will grow into a big, ugly monster. It’s not realistic to have no fear at all. Wanting to abolish our fear completely leaves us feeling inadequate — like we can’t control ourselves and just stop worrying.

That’s what I love about Big Magic. It doesn’t encourage us to stop being afraid. It encourages us to learn to live along side it, giving fear room to breathe.

Fearless + Fear

Funny enough, I don’t think being “fearless” means you can’t ever experience fear. The actual definition of “fearless” is “free from fear; brave.” How amazing would that be? To be free from fear. Not necessarily never seeing or experiencing it (because we’re human), but feeling free from it. Not letting it control us and whether we go out and bravely try to conquer the world.

What I’m Hoping You’ll Get Out of Big Magic

I’m hoping by the end of this month, you’ll be better able to spot some of the thoughts you’re having about your business and where they come from. Is putting off that dream project you want to complete just fear rearing its ugly head? Is putting off starting your new side venture just a way to keep your creativity hidden and safe?

Like nearly everything in life, progress starts with being aware. Being mindful and aware of how fear affects us, how it’s holding us back, and how much we need to value and explore our creativity.

Here are a few things I’m hoping to explore in FF as we read Big Magic together:

  1. Creating projects, content, etc. for the sake of creating it, because we’re passionate about it and love what we do.
  2. Recognizing where fear comes from and how we can give it space to sit along side us.
  3. What happens when we say “yes” to fear.
  4. Being more thankful for the process, instead of focusing so much on the destination.

So, tell me, are you looking forward to reading Big Magic? Tell me in the comments!

*The Fearless Femmepire Project is no longer active as of 2021
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