Story time: Tomorrow is my company's two year anniversary. Apamaté, a trauma-sensitive and healing-informed coaching practice for high-performance leaders and their teams, will be 2 years young. For a little over two years now, I've been living into my purpose as a Leadership Coach. I get to partner with leaders, like you, as you break the chronic overwhelm cycle, develop the capacity to adapt to change, lead more successful teams, and prevent/recover from burnout. In this article, I want to honour the ways that my people have helped me get here and share what I've learned about letting your people help you.
Why? There are a million reasons why this milestone represents a massive milestone for any business owner. And. There are many reasons why this is a massive win for a queer, immigrant, disabled, neurodivergent, Latina. In what way? Each of these identities represent certain social barriers to participation, let alone barriers to leadership in general and to business ownership specifically. At the same time, socio-economic privilege and white privilege have afforded me lots of unearned advantages that have filled the gaps for how other parts of my identity could have had an even greater impact on my path to entrepreneurship.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I wouldn't be here without the people who have helped me get here and I want to thank you for being one of them. I also want to acknowledge how hard it is to need help, to ask for it, and to allow yourself to receive it. There's deep violence embedded in our current system, which often demands that you push through and push past your body's cues to 'succeed' in socially acceptable ways. The cost of that is meant to be kept quiet and the loneliness of that weight is meant to be painted over with a great Instagram photo or smile.
Here are 4 ways I've asked for help and what I've learned. Please take what resonates and try it on for size:
1. Ask for feedback:
This thank you goes to my incredibly brave clients who have shown up to co-create a space of curiosity, loving kindness, safety, and ease in our coaching sessions. From the clients who first worked with me as a coaching student to the clients who now welcome me into their company, you've all answered those three key questions to help:
a. What's worked well in our work together?
b. What needs to work differently?
c. What is the effect of our work together so far?
Your answers have shaped my craft more deeply than I could ever articulate. Your feedback is embedded in the DNA of the Apamaté Approach as its impact reaches your life, your family, your teams, as well as those of future clients. Thank you for your time, energy, effort, and trust.
2. Ask for inspiration:
This thank you goes to my family. Resilience and resourcefulness are as much pillars of the immigrant experience as they are those of the entrepreneur experience. In the early days of Apamaté, I lived with my parents who offered me the time and space to start a new career in my early 30s. That stability allowed me to go back to school. Their example of hard work, of being willing to reinvent themselves in their late 40s when we moved to Canada, and of making the most out of any opportunity is embedded in my entrepreneurship style. It's also embedded in the way my brother helped me get out of one of the toughest situations I had ever been in at the drop of a hat. That solution-seeking creativity is as inspiring as it is integral to the best parts of our Latinidad.
3. Ask for advice:
This thank you goes to former and current mentors. When I've felt frozen with the fear of failure, a coaching session or a brainstorming session or a walk with you has thawed at the doubt and created room to anchor in purpose. Without my own coaches, I would not be writing this article. Thank you each for walking the talk and advising me to find ways to consistently do the same.
4. Ask for support:
This thank you goes to my chosen family aka the humans who have taught me more about acceptance and loving kindness than I ever thought possible. Unmasking with you has been the best way I've learned how to ask for support. I've stopped hiding how much chronic pain impacts my life, how my brain works, and how hard things can be sometimes. You've shown me that there is no need for shame with the people who are willing to get you, meet you where you're at, and hold you through it. Every time you've agreed to hang out horizontally or made it okay to change plans or made it normal to talk about the hard parts or laughed through those same parts or gone the extra mile with a call or visit, you've taught me to allow myself to receive help. Thank you.
To you who has read this far, thank you for your time and for your loyalty to tuning into these notes every week. We've got this.
For more articles on how to live into your purpose *your* way, check out the blog here!