My entire life, I’ve been called a trailblazer. I never really believed it or owned it or even wanted to be thought of in that way. Humility is important to me, and calling myself a trailblazer seemed slightly self-serving. I also likened “trailblazing” to getting it right every time, and since I am far left of that “getting it right” center, I just didn’t buy it on myself. Now, Gumption? That’s a different story. I’ve always had gumption.
Gumption is the spunk and initiative that you have within you to blaze that proverbial trail. Trailblazing ladies with gumption are the star chasers; the don’t-hold-backers; the get-in-the-car and-drive-until-you-find-the-right-exiters on life’s old dirt road, highway or whatever path you take. Gumption is what gets you through when you are met with adversity and challenge. When I think of gumption, I think of brand pioneers in life and business like Mary Kay Ash, Coco Chanel, Oprah Winfrey and more. They overcame so much on their journey, and they did it with gumption. In the younger part of my career, I felt invincible. Nothing could stop me. I thrived in that space. In fact, I probably ran straight up and over adversity as if it was a speed bump. Interestingly, I always thought to myself, “wow, if I have this much gumption now…what in the WORLD might I be like in 20 years…”
Now, when I was a bit younger, I wouldn’t have been able to identify that I even had this thing called gumption. Not sure I ever even used the word in a sentence. But, that realization served as the catalyst for opening this agency some 14 years ago and it is the epicenter of inspiration for our newest brand BOSS BRANDS SOCIETY (a member society of trailblazing women in business who inspire, collaborate and help each other grow) to help emerging women in business…maybe even the younger start-up crew of lady bosses to find their gumption and tell their truth.
In my personal journey…and I suspect in the journeys of many women in business…the trail brings with it many roadside distractions, cafes of doubt, life circumstances and misfires (or glass-half-fullers would call these “opportunities”), and it brought me to a personal crossroad. Somewhere long about opening my 3rd business…and if you read my bio, you know that I’m a “Chronic Entrepreneur…” some unexpected circumstances occurred and I opened the passenger door and tossed my gumption to the curb.
I. Simply. Never. Thought. That. Could. Happen.
But, it did. I was questioning everything. A star chaser? Yes. Dream maker? For sure. Risk taker? All day. Trailblazer? Meh. Gumption? What’s that?!
This strange turn of events in life and business served as the proverbial rut in the road that nearly tipped my wagon almost completely over, and it took some true soul searching…to get my wagon back on track. I reminded myself of the very essence of why I did this in the first place. I did this to pacify a hunger for success; I did this because it’s one of the things in life that I am GOOD AT; I did this because I was told long ago that you should find something that you love and DO IT. The one thing you can do when you feel that you’ve lost your gumption is look in the mirror and remind yourself how what you do and why you do it is only your truth. No one on planet earth can tell YOUR story. No one can create what you create. No one’s business has the same soul as does yours, and no one does what they do for the same exact reason you do. It takes a little deep digging in some cases, but my mission in life and business is to help ladies find their gumption and help them trail blaze their truth. Your brand truth is what you trail blaze, and your gumption is how you get there.