A story of imperfect courage
I am still in the theme of honouring women in August month. Here is a story of a lady (Jessica Honegger) who chose to move out of her comfort zone and begin something hugely impactful. Her story is summarized hereunder (With thanks to 4 minute book summaries). I trust that the 3 lessons highlighted may inspire your own entrepreneurial journey
Jessica Honegger, the author of Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared, once found her progression and financial situation stagnating. She had a choice to either wait until things got better, or take matters into her own hands and make the money herself.
She was terrified to move forward with an idea she had to help Ugandan women sell their jewelry. But she took a leap of faith and got started.
With supportive friends, Honegger made the endeavor a huge success. They also loved the jewelry, and soon she began her now prosperous jewelry and apparel selling company, Noonday Collection. Honegger found purpose and success by helping people all around the world.
Here are the 3 of the most impactful principles shared:-
- Imperfect courage will always be better than no courage.
- People will relate more to you when you embrace your vulnerabilities.
- Just because you can’t do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything.
Lesson 1. You’re better off exercising weak courage than no courage at all.
People who come from privileged backgrounds have it pretty easy these days. Sure, many of us work every day, but as soon as work is over, we get to relax in the comfort of our home. We don’t have any worries other than what we’re going to have dinner.
Sounds pretty nice, right? The problem is, this isn’t really living.
When you start to step out of your comfort zone fearlessly, you can experience life to the fullest. By being fearless Jessica doesn’t mean running into a burning building to save a kitten.
To her, it was pursuing adoption without the money to afford it and selling jewelry from her home. These simple actions changed her life profoundly. She not only started her successful dream business but now is inspired by women around the world that she gets to associate with daily.
Once we start moving and take a chance, beautiful life experiences will follow us. Purposely put yourself in situations where you’ll be out of your comfort zone. Talk to people from different backgrounds on the train, or start that side hustle. Doing things like this will add purpose and variety to your life. And you’ll get more out of life than watching Netflix on the couch.
Lesson 2: When you are open about your vulnerabilities, people will connect with you.
Part of finding your own courage and pushing yourself is becoming vulnerable. Many people equate vulnerability to frailty or weakness, but the truth us, vulnerability takes courage. Vulnerability means letting your guard down and opening yourself up to possible attacks or criticism.
We try so hard to hide our own weaknesses, yet love seeing other’s vulnerabilities. Many viral posts nowadays are meaningful ones where people get vulnerable. The reason we love posts like this is that they are relatable.
Honegger herself struggled with vulnerability. She was worried people didn’t respect her as a businesswoman or that they wouldn’t think she was the real deal if they learned how she started her business in a spare bedroom.
After inspiration from the many strong women she associated with, she saw vulnerability as one of her greatest assets in creating meaningful business connections.
Now, whenever she speaks in front of large crowds, she is an open book. She tells how she isn’t that great at managing executives; she is just a good side hustler. The more open she became, the more people related to her and her business flourished as a result.
Lesson 3: Stop worrying so much about trying to do everything and just do something.
It’s overwhelming to live in a world where social media seems to be full of perfect families, Olympians, celebrities, and philanthropists. We hear of people going on service trips and donating huge amounts of money to charity.
It’s easy to think that if you can’t do something so grandiose, it’s not worth doing anything. So we stick to our immediate surroundings and stay comfortable.
But as the quote from Anwar Fazal says, “Little people doing little things everywhere can change the world.” It’s true. You don’t need to change the world, just start doing something.
Start by thinking of the small things you can do to improve the world around you. Maybe you love animals and decide to volunteer at the Humane Society. You could be an accountant and might volunteer some time keeping books for a local charity. Maybe it’s as small as recycling.
It doesn’t matter where you start; it’s just important that you do. Once you get the ball rolling, you will find the motivation to do more. Honegger inspires us to believe that anyone can make a difference in the world, even if it’s just by having the courage to start.
Zig Ziglar sums it up when he says, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start, if you want to be great”
Here’s to small, yet significant steps.