Posted by Heather Downes on February 04, 2014
Note about this series.
I love connecting authentically with amazing women with whom I can have a meaningful conversation with and learn from their experiences and wisdom. The feedback I have received on these interviews is that the desire to honestly connect with other women is one that resonates with many of you.
The interviews in this series create a positive space for women to honestly tell their story. They are women I have personally found to be inspiring and amazing in their own way. They are women like you and me who are living life to the best of their ability. Like us, many of them have overcome adversity, worked through challenges, and come out on the other side stronger, hopeful, and passionate about the future. I believe that like the women interviewed in this series we are all amazing in our own way.
This series is meant to introduce you to like-minded women and give you an opportunity to hear their stories to find inspiration to live a successful, authentic, and beautiful life.
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Two years ago, I began a connection to today’s amazing woman. I hadn’t yet started my business, but I eagerly listened to a woman’s voice on a telesummit who was passionate and confident about writing, triathlons, and her dreams. I felt I could relate to this woman, Stefanie Frank, because she left a stressful job to care for her health and follow her heart to start her own content marketing business.
Initially, I loved the great writing tip she shared during that first call (which helped me get through my fear of writing and is something I still use today) and admired the fact that she had taken on the athletic endeavor of tackling triathlons, something I have never done. As I connected more with Stefanie through phone calls, social media, and her blogs I began to see the positive outlook she had on life, her amazing ability to know what she needed, trust herself, and take action. Her personal reflections of thoughts, fears, hard decisions, and successes she shared openly and honestly on her personal triathlon blog also resonated deeply with me. And how can I not mention her wonderful laugh and great love for coffee (two things I absolutely adore)? Thank you Stefanie for sharing your beautiful soul and wisdom with us!
Q: Do you have moments when you don’t feel you have it all figured out? How do you view those moments and move on?
A: 2013 was filled with moments when I would throw up hands and say “what is going on here?” I attribute these moments to what Stephen Pressfield calls Resistance, in his book the War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle. I’m paraphrasing Steve’s words here, but Resistance is rooted in fear, and always comes up when a person is about to do something important. In my case, Resistance often shows itself as distraction from getting my work done.
I’ve stopped trying to fight these fear filled moments. Instead, I accept that I’m afraid to move forward. Accepting the fear neutralizes it to the point where I can take the next step I need to take. Even if it is just the smallest of steps I always know what that next step is. I may not like it, but I know what I need to do to move forward.
Q: When have you felt most successful and what were you doing at the time that allowed you to feel that way?
A: I felt the most successful in 2008 when I was racing in a half iron distance triathlon called Silverman. I had horrendous mechanical problems with my bike during that race. Five flat tires over the course of 56 miles! Despite that, there was no possibility of quitting or doing anything other than moving forward. I was SO emotionally (and dare I say spiritually) invested in that race, that I was able to stay in the moment even as I was at times walking my bike through the desert, out of inner tubes, not knowing how I was going to ride again.
Success for me is the ability to stay present, invested, and filled with passion about what I’m doing. So much that I feel nothing but the desire to move forward. I come back to those Silverman moments a lot because those feelings represent the pinnacle of success. I feel the same way when a piece of writing starts to “gel.” When I get so invested in and excited about how it’s shaping up – when I know it’s not just technically good but when that feeling shows up – that’s when I know it will reach people.
Q: What qualities, personality traits, or attributes do you think are necessary for a person to find success?
Hard work and transparency are two keys to success in my book. Hard work is pretty self-explanatory. You must be willing to work for what you want, whether it’s an athletic goal, a dream job, or your own business. Be willing to do the work.
Transparency has become extremely important to me personally and in my writing work. Observing businesses who are transparent online influences the way I do content marketing for our coffee business. We want to be transparent, and have had to define what it means for our business. It helps to look at startups like Buffer who are pioneers in the way they use “transparency.”
In their blog they write about the inner workings of their business -- stuff you would normally think they should be keeping to themselves. But they have a ton of people who follow them, use their app, and like the stuff they publish! And their revenue is growing (it’s all on their blog) so it clearly works well for them to connect with readers, users, and customers in that way. It’s modern and innovative. I think “transparency” is only going to get more important in 2014 and I find that inspiring.
More about Stefanie.
Stefanie Frank is a writer, entrepreneur, triathlete, and co-founder of Frankly Good Coffee. She is obsessed with content marketing, great TV, and freshly roasted coffee. You can connect with her on her blog at stefaniefrank.com, or on twitter at https://twitter.com/Stefanie_Frank.
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