Audre Lorde (Photo credit: K. Kendall)
Every Monday, I drop off my 2 year old at a nursery play program for speech delayed toddlers (which he is). He screams and cries even before we get there and it is excruciating to take him there and to let him go for 2 hours while I wait outside the door, hearing his cries.
The third time this happened, I asked the director of the program why I should continue to put both my son and I through this weekly torture. She smiled and gently said “you are giving him a gift by bringing him here. Here, he learns how to adapt and be more sociable. This is a strength for him and only you can help him get that.” She then suggested that I move to a waiting area on another floor to avoid hearing the screaming.
I installed myself there in trepidation and looked up on the wall as I was waiting. A picture of an African American woman’s face was on the poster with this quote:
When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.
Audre Lorde- author, poet, human rights activist in the ‘50s
And wow, did that ever bring it all together for me. I am constantly thinking about my clients and the hard things I ask them to do each and every day. Like public speaking in front of people, like asking for the sale, like changing their sales strategy. I know it’s as excruciatingly difficult for them as leaving my son screaming for 2 hours every week.
But I also know that my clients were born with a gift that only they can give to the world in their own unique way and by letting their fears keep them back, they are not able to realize their vision of serving others.
So I ask you, the small business owner to look at what you’ve been afraid of doing and I ask you to dare to be powerful in the service of your vision-whatever that might mean for you.
With kindness as always,