At Thrive Virtual we have worked with well over 1,000 women over the years who are called and compelled to create an extraordinary life with not only financial independence, but emotional fulfillment. As we traveled along with our ladies on a mission, we discovered something quite interesting: many have unhealthy expectations of what it takes to successfully build their business.
However, that’s no one’s fault. A woman starting on a business journey also has the complexities of her modern life to juggle, the expectations and pressures of society, the tough critic inside herself, and the complexities of online business.
What is the Heroine’s Journey?
After witnessing what women were going through, we came up with a way to create a healthy expectation of what starting a business is going to be like, and how to embrace the natural process that occurs. We call this the Heroine’s Journey.
The Heroine’s Journey helps us understand the landscape of business, and more specifically, the identity transformation that happens when we go from defining a goal, to achieving that goal. This is especially true when we’re first starting out and creating something new. When we declare our intentions and start to move forward, we may not be entirely prepared for the emotional and personal transformation that happens. Comparing a woman’s path in business to a Heroine’s Journey helps to shed light on the evolution that occurs.
The Steps of the Heroine’s Journey
- Receive the Call. This is the beginning of the journey. A woman has the idea for her business and feels the exhilaration around the positive changes it could bring to her life.
- Resistance to the Call. The doubts start creeping in . . . she doesn’t know if her dreams are really possible. Plus, she may look at her current situation and see comfort. She may start to think: ‘maybe I don’t really want to rock the boat’. But the heroine is driven by what could be. Once she’s received the call, it’s only a matter of time before she answers it and starts to move.
- Meeting the Mentor. Early on, someone comes along and lights the way for our heroine and her vision becomes more compelling than her fear. She starts to think: ‘If they can do it, so can I’.
- Decisive Action. At this point, especially after the encouragement of her mentor, she decides to go all in and commits to moving forward with her goal.
- Supporters and Challengers. Just as sure as the heroine will have great supporters of her dream, there will also unfortunately be some that don’t believe or support her, or who she’s becoming. On the bright side, she will also develop friendships with other visionaries. This is so helpful as they are on same path as she is, and not only believe in her, but inspire her.
- Beginning of Difficulties. At this stage new problems arise; things may not be as easy as she thought they would be. She begins seeking solutions.
- Facing the Shadow Self. This important step in the journey ultimately decides the difference between women who create their desired result, and those who give up on their dreams. After facing many difficulties there are a few distinct choices the woman has:
- Continue to focus on and struggle with problems that don’t need solving.
- Give up the dream entirely because it seems too hard to accomplish.
- Come face to face with her Shadow Self. This means facing the real problem: herself. She discovers it’s her inner belief that’s stopping her from creating the results she wants. This can come in the form of a belief or underlying attachment that’s like a mental roadblock. She may think she’s not strong enough, or worthy of success. But when the heroine goes into the darkness and meets her Shadow Self she reconciles and renegotiates with herself, which emboldens her to move forward. The woman who stands up to face her Shadow Self is the woman who makes a difference and is successful. She’s empowered through business, and that’s the whole reason she started down this path in the first place!
- New Insights and Awareness. After facing her biggest fears our heroine now sees new insights, trusts herself, feels powerful, and takes ownership of her journey. She’s not going to let things stop her as they did before, and she no longer looks outside of herself for approval or guidance. She also renegotiates her relationship with her mentor. Up until now, she leaned on her mentor for confidence and certainty. Now, most beautifully, she has that inside of herself.
- Seeing Tangible Results. This is a wonderful step to reach as the heroine feels proud of herself, her efforts, and the income that she’s generating.
- Resistance to the Work. In every journey, there’s a time when self-doubt creeps in and the woman asks herself: ‘will it always be this hard?’
- Surrendering to Service of Your Vision. At this point she remembers and realigns to her vision. She remembers that it’s no longer about her because she’s already proved herself. Now her work has become about the difference it will make out in the world. At this stage she recommits to the mission and vision of her service.
- Return with Wisdom. She sees and accepts that she’s a powerful creator and brings that wisdom to others.
- Worthy, Confident, Successful Entrepreneur! The journey is complete!
A Sustainable Roadmap for the Future
Part of the beauty of the Heroine’s Journey is that if she decides to stay in maintenance mode for a while, rinsing and repeating her successful process and generating income, she doesn’t have to go on that transformational journey each time she repeats the process. She’s already done it and believes she can create it.
This is powerful.
The reality for many entrepreneurs is that maintenance mode is only compelling for so long. The heroine may be called and compelled to go on the next adventure! She may want to expand her business, or go in a different direction, and she can use the Heroine’s Journey as her roadmap again. She can self-identify where she is on the map and that helps alleviate the pressures she used to feel.
Giving Yourself the Space and Time You Need to Grow
Let’s face it: transformation and growth are messy. If you have healthy expectations of what you’re doing you will recognize the difference between necessary struggle and unnecessary suffering.
The Heroine’s Journey helps you understand what has to happen in order for you to grow. Think of the beautiful butterfly, still evolving inside its chrysalis. If someone comes along and just forces the chrysalis open before it’s ready, they are actually sabotaging the butterfly inside. It will never be able to fly. The butterfly is on its own journey and instinctually knows the time to emerge. The wings beating up and out of that chrysalis release the power inside of the butterfly that allows it to fly.
It’s through the struggle, that growth happens.