Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to us by Susan Chen. In addition to starting Soozy’s, the new healthy muffin company we’re all obsessed with, Susan is an expert teacher in Vedic Meditation, a simple and effortless mental technique. Her passion for the practice led her to India, where she spent 4 months immersed in the teaching of meditation and study of Ayurveda. She teaches meditation courses in NYC and Austin.
So, you’ve decided that you’re going to take that leap and go for it. Whether it’s taking the first step in exploring a different career path, assuming a project that requires a new skillset or accepting that promotion you had previously been too scared to ask for, you’re doing it, you’re starting a new chapter in life! And while it took some knowledge that you’re in the driver’s seat to get this far, you may be asking yourself this question: “Now what?”
This is exactly what was going through my mind the day I left my job in corporate America to start Soozy’s. I knew that I had a huge, innovative idea, but how was I going to turn that dream into reality? I have to admit – I certainly didn’t have a complete plan. As with many inflection points in my life, I’ve come to rely on my meditation practice to draw lessons from the Vedas, an ancient body of knowledge from which Vedic Meditation stems. They help me navigate these thrilling yet uncertain moments. And here is what has gotten me through:
Ask for help.
Many of us confuse being independent, confident and powerful with doing everything on our own. I have found that the most competent, successful and inspiring leaders are quite the opposite – they openly and frequently ask for help, and are not afraid to seek assistance from someone in their network who has the expertise they need.
The beauty of asking for help is that our communities and networks couldn’t be happier lending us a hand. We don’t give our colleagues, friends and loved ones enough opportunities to help us realize our dreams. They are there for us – but it’s up to us to make the first move. Being confident enough to ask for help is a true superpower, it pays off in spades and people will respect you more for it.
I experienced this recently first hand. In preparation for Soozy’s official launch with H-E-B (one of our favorite retailers in the nation), I decided to spend a month in Austin to spread the word about our company. Not knowing a single person in town, I landed in Austin and began outreach in a simple and organic way. I sent our team out to message Texas-based brands and other business owners on social media, and to walk into local restaurants and initiate casual conversations with whoever they came into contact with.
Soozy’s was so warmly welcomed that, within just a few weeks, we were hosting events around the Austin area sharing Soozy’s story. Soozy’s and I now have an extensive personal and professional network in Austin that we can call on often to discuss business questions and share experiences as a new business.
Jumping into a new venture or project is an all-consuming task. With so much to accomplish and learn, I often feel stretched for time and resources. While the knee-jerk reaction is to pull back from others at this time of great demand, this is actually the best time to give back to our communities.
Why? Because cultivating an attitude of generosity triggers the same acts of generosity to flow back to us. When we are giving with our time, money and energy, we signal to our communities and to our surroundings that we live with an attitude of abundance. When we put out what we wish to get back, everyone benefits. And being kind and generous to those around us is the first step!
Case in point: I agreed to a speaking opportunity about meditation at a local retail store in Austin as part of their weekly community program. On the day of the event, despite being tired and exhausted from a long week, I arrived with one last burst of energy and an attitude of sharing. The discussion that evening so powerful and profound, I have since become close with many in attendance that evening. The organizer of the event is now a dear friend and one of the biggest champions of both Soozy’s and my meditation work.
Know and celebrate your true self.
Being genuine with ourselves and others is the key to long-lasting success. Whether you are a new business owner or a creative working on an innovative project, connecting with others from a place of authenticity and honesty lays the foundation of impactful relationships.
Whenever I discuss Soozy’s, customers and business partners always want to know what motivated me to start this business. While the actual product is an important part of the story, it’s my journey and Soozy’s beginnings that captivates their interest. Consumers always want to know the “real” person behind the brand – and when I tell it well, it gives Soozy’s life, authenticity and a competitive edge.
Don’t be afraid to show as your true self – your story may not resonate with everyone you meet, but you will build deep, profound relationships with many that “get it.” It’s the quality of the relationships we build that far outweighs the quantity of connections we make.
A bonus of tapping into and celebrating your true story with others is that you affirm your mission, drive and passion with every story you tell. When we feel grounded and confident in who we truly are and why we do what we do, we live fearlessly, charge forth and deliver on our true purpose.