Romi Neustadt, best-selling author of Get Over Your Damn Self, provided invaluable lessons throughout her account of launching a business. Lessons that I believe to be applicable to all walks of life.
Lesson #1: “Life begins at the edge of, and keeps expanding outside of, our comfort zone.”
Lesson #2: The “They’re not that into you” ideology. Romi says, “Just because you were raised or trained with social graces or business etiquette, doesn’t mean they were. Don’t take it personally. Don’t let it drain you.” Romi is referring to the No’s (both the insensitive and the pleasant). In this section of her book, Romi points not to the No’s, but how the No’s get us all closer to the Yes’s, and “…closer to the people who are way into you”. Her coaching point here is simple: If you talk to enough people, you will find the right ones.
Lesson #3: “I’m not being pushy, I’m being professional.” Such. An. Amazing. Line. Men who consistently follow-up are more often than not seen as tenacious, persistent, fearless, go-getters, whilst women are oftentimes seen as annoying, weird, sketchy, and pushy. However, as Romi attests, as business owners, we have to be hungry. We have to believe in our most grandiose of goals, and aspire to achieve them.
Lesson #4: One of my absolute favorite chapters of this book revolved around “Go-Giving”. Keep connecting with others, without an end goal in site. Connect simply to connect, and really listen. As Romi says, “It’s all about how you can serve.”
Lesson #5: Failure. Romi quotes Sir Richard Branson, “Failure is simply indispensable to the entrepreneurial experience,” and “Nobody gets everything right every time, and it is how we learn from our mistakes that defines us.” As Romi concludes, “To all the people who didn’t join me in business, or did and then quit, you taught me just as much as the success stories, and I’m grateful.”
Lesson #6: Success. Romi says, “The truth is, we each have everything within ourselves to succeed. But in this business, you have to have a few other really important things. Hunger. The willingness to be completely coachable and learn how to do this. Consistency. The willingness to be uncomfortable. And the resilience to keep going in the face of No’s and disappointments.”
Lesson #7: Fear is the only thing holding us back. Fear of what others will think. Fear of being told “No”. Fear of failure. Romi writes on fear, “It’s our job to act in spite of it.” She proceeds to quote Maya Angelou, who I also look to for inspiration: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” In accordance with Angelou, Romi says: “What scares me more than anything is not living the life I was meant to live. Not touching the lives I was meant to touch. Not teaching our kids to go after their dreams and live their truth… You’re going to have fears. We all will. But make the biggest, loudest ones revolve around this: fear of what you’ll miss out on if you don’t go after your dreams.”