Why MarDeux is Like the Olympics.

Today marks the official launch of MarDeux into the world. (Insert crowd cheering and flags waving here). That's right I said it- MarDeux Marketing Consulting is open for business.

I have to be honest with you though, the site has been completed for over a month, but I just didn't have the courage to share it publicly. Why? Well... with a "launch" comes some form of official-ness to it. It adds pressure and weight. And if you know anything about Alycia, you know that I don't do things half way. When I jump in, I jump into the deep end and hope that I know how to swim - or that my floaties are properly inflated.

Seeing as how the Olympics have just started, I figured it would be the perfect time to use that as an analogy to express to you my fears, tears and victories with launching this business. So here it goes:

1. I feel like the US Olympics Gymnastics Coach, Martha Karolyi- Since deciding to quit my job and start my own business, I have successfully acquired my first two clients, built three websites and helped friends and colleagues further their own careers. But my website stayed a secret. It's as if I had all the confidence in the world in my team and my coaching abilities, but when it came time for me to hit the balance beam, I started wondering, "What if I fall or land on my face?" The truth is I found it very natural to consult other businesses and apply best practices and research to their business situations. I felt confident and proud when they nailed their dismounts and won the gold. (Go Team USA!) But I also noticed I enjoyed taking the back seat. I enjoyed the safety it provided me because let's face it, if I put my business and my site into the world, and someone didn't like it or didn't approve? Wow. Could I take that? Could I handle criticism? Could I handle anything but perfection? And for the last two months, the answer to those questions was, "No way!"Source Photo

2. I tend to think I'm Michael Phelps- You know the Gold Medalist Michael Phelps? Well, I'm pretty sure I'm him. I know I am a champion and I have the strength of a winner... when it comes to marketing expertise. However, like America's prized Olympic athlete, I don't ever want to do anything and not win. And not only do I want to win, I want to be the best. I want to set world records. I want to change the face of the earth.

So you could probably see why, with that kind of mentality, that launching a website and claiming to the world that I am in business would be absolutely terrifying. By setting Olympic standards for myself as a fledgling business, I can see now why I didn't want to launch it, until it was absolutely perfect. I want to launch the business and win the race all at the same time. I didn't want to start the 100m freestyle only to get a side ache and have to sit on the sidelines and watch my competitors finish the race without me. The thought of starting something and failing was too much to handle. So I just didn't start it. I kept it in draft mode, or even after I had to courage to publish it, I didn't update my LinkedIn, or alert my contacts. If I didn't start, I couldn't fail. And that felt very safe and comfortable. I like comfort- it's soft and warm and makes me feel like I can protect myself from the unknown pains that might be lurking around the corner. Source Photo

3. But today- I'm Wonder Woman. Today, I woke up like any other day. I scrolled through my Facebook feed and landed on a Ted Talk by Amy Cuddy. (Watch it here). Amy's Ted Talk entitled, "Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are" was precisely what I needed this morning. Through her studies, she found that not only can your mind change your body, but your body can change your mind. Meaning, when you take on certain postures, you can change the way you think. Her study found amazing results: after standing in the Wonder Woman position for two minutes, people tended to experience an increase in testosterone (the dominance hormone) and a decrease in cortisol (a stress hormone). Which is a winning combination when it comes to becoming powerful, assertive and confident, while being laid back and non-reactive to stress. So I began my day standing like Wonder Woman for two whole minutes and decided today was the day I would launch my business. No, I am not kidding.

Amy also talked about this phenomenon called the "Impostor Syndrome". The Impostor Syndrome is something psychologists describe as the general thought or feeling like we don't fit in and we don't belong. You can read the full article here, but the Impostor Syndrome hit home for me in a big way.

Amy talked about how for years she lived in fear that she would be exposed and everyone would learn that she was a fraud and didn't truly deserve to be there. As a professor at Harvard, and having to work her way up, she had this nagging feeling that she was never "one of them". Until one day, when she had a student come to her, with tears in her eyes and admitted that "she didn't deserve to be there." She knew at that moment, that she had finally got over that feeling herself. She had somehow crossed the magical thought boundary of "I don't deserve this" to "I deserve this and more." (Photo Source)

4. Mara Abbott and I are Spirit Animals - Now back to me and my Olympic analogy. By not launching the site, and therefore my pending business, I was technically buying into the Impostor belief system. I was letting those thoughts of self-doubt win. I was letting my fear get in the way of going for the gold! That is not very Olympic-y of me. Because the last time I checked, you have to at least show up for the trials to qualify. You can't just sit at home and wait for the committee to call you because they have a hunch you'd be a great cyclist. Life doesn't work that way for most people! Even Kim Kardashian had to put her "self" out there for the world to see. I realized I would have to get out of bed, put in the work and ride like the wind... or like Mara Abbott. Photo Source

Mara Abbott is a 30 year old woman from Colorado and is known as a "climber". Climbers in the cycling world are just nuts to me. Not only do I get sore from riding my bike two miles, but I loathe hills. But Mara? She is known for crushing hills. And we are not talking about a nice slow incline. We are talking about 10% grades that last for miles - weaving in and out of steep roads lined with houses and trees. This was Mara's first time being chosen for the U.S. Women's Olympic cycling team and spoiler alert... after being in the lead for the last 6 km or so, she was passed in the last 100 meters. Not only did she lose gold, but she lost silver and bronze in the last seconds before crossing the finish line. She was passed by three riders who worked together to pass her and Mara didn't even place. After all of that, she DIDN'T EVEN PLACE.

Now this is where the heart-warming part comes in. When they interviewed Mara after the race, she had nothing but amazing things to say. She had a smile on her face. I repeat, she still had a smile on her face. And why shouldn't she? She set a personal record on an international course. Ahhh. Here is where I can relate: a personal record. For some reason, in the Olympics of my mind, I was always comparing myself to everyone else. I would think about well established businesses and think about how I would never get that big, or be that successful. I was taking myself out of the race before I even entered.

But not Mara. She was happy. She was satisfied with her performance. She didn't get a medal, but she set a personal record. This is where I am taking mad notes. If I spend my life never trying things because I might not get the gold, I'd be robbing myself of my own personal victories and the chance to be satisfied with fourth place. Hell, I'd be satisfied to make it anywhere near the Olympics with a ten foot pole.

So here I am, entering the race. With this blog post, I officially submit my application to become the best version of myself. To put aside my fears and to put what I love out into the world. I love marketing. I love helping companies grow and become more profitable. But more importantly, I love helping people. I love helping people be more proud of their website. I love helping people earn more money to spend more time with their loved ones. I love helping moms and dads get more time at home to spend with their kids. I love helping build a sense of community through honest and open communication. I love to work with people who I trust and trust me. I love to work with people who are fun and can see the humor in their everyday lives. I love being a trusted part of a team and helping real people accomplish their personal bests.

And that is what MarDeux is all about, becoming our own Olympians and achieving our own personal records.

Let's do this. Together. I know we can.

Alycia

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