While I'm certain most of you are reading this post at this very moment primarily because the word unicorn is in the title, I'm still pleased to have your attention. I've been thinking a lot about my personal life and professional life -- the parallels between the two and how they intersect. In short, what I've realized is that there is no disconnect between them. For some people, if their personal lives are something out of an excerpt from "The Notebook," then their careers are plummeting. For me, if all my romantic dreams are on the cusp of coming true, odds are I'm killing it where my work is concerned. In the same vein, if I'm not feeling focused or driven professionally my heart is typically lying dormant in a pit of despair.
So, what I've been doing lately is applying what I'm learning in my personal life to my professional life and vice versa. So far so good. Here are some worthy tactics for both arenas.
I've never gotten anything from being passive aggressive. Never. Sure, my pride and ego have remained in tact, and I've suffered a great deal underneath an umbrella of bitterness. That's about it. Those are the only real results I've ever seen from sitting back, expecting, and waiting for great things to happen. But the times I've been bold -- those moments when I've approached that powerful industry player and made a big ask, or finally worked up the nerve to contact that charming, beautiful guy I find intriguing -- those instances have more than paid off. They didn't always produce immediate results, but sometimes being bold means merely planting a seed. That's always the first step.
Being bold doesn't necessarily equate to being loud. It simply means being clear and purposeful.
Be bold. Be brazen. You're beautiful.
A friend of mine who takes me out for steak dinner and jazz one a month recently told me that I don't let people take care of me.
"What do you mean?" I asked. "I let you take me to dinner all the time."
"That's because you love food and music," he replied. "You don't let yourself lean on people enough."
I didn't believe him and I still don't entirely, but I've come to realize that there must be some truth in what he said because more than a few people have echoed this sentiment. I actually feel like I ask people for favors all the time, or perhaps I wish I could ask them for more support, but I don't. But because I dwell on wanting to ask for help, I feel like I'm doing so incessantly. Make sense? It's a commercial in my mind that I haven't quite yet deleted.
This goes back to the whole being bold tactic. Sometimes in order to receive, we need to make a big request first. We may feel vulnerable and uncertain, but there's profound strength in vulnerability, as it is the great equalizer. It is the cornerstone of any authentic exchange in business and in love. Without vulnerability, we exist in a state of feeling better than or less than our counterparts, and that's no way to build a family or an empire.
I'm currently developing a show called "Magic Makers," which is like "Celebrity Apprentice" but starring genius teens using science and art to change the world. I hired a team to help me fundraise to pay for the production of the pilot. While I call on these individuals regularly and ask them to execute on specific action items, I often need to remind myself that they're there to do this. And before I communicate with them, I have to make it a point to stop myself from taking care of the tasks at hand myself. Some of this is habitual. I've been working on my own for a long time. However, some of my behavior is fear of being vulnerable -- of leaning on others. In truth, leaning on others means leaning back and trusting.
Be vulnerable. You deserve it.
Be A Unicorn
When I look at the world as if it's the first time I've ever seen it, I feel like I'm made of magic. I feel like a sorceress or a unicorn. I suppose this is because when I pay attention to the details of my surroundings, I realize how connected we all are, and that there's so much I still have to learn about humanity -- my own and others. There are no limits to what's possible. That sense of mystery, the grace of the unknown, is what keeps me motivated. It's what keeps me dreaming. It's what makes me see how small I am, and how tremendous we can all be together. And yes, it's sappy as hell, but it works.
Be a unicorn. Be graceful and curious. Be magical. You were made to do this.