When it comes to bravery and courage, we tend to give a lot of credit to the hero.
After all, it’s the protagonist in the story who slays the dragon, crosses the finish line or defeats the bad guy.
We applaud their courage and their acts of bravery. We celebrate the victor. We give them awards and shower them with praise.
And yet, if we look closer, we’ll see that most stories of bravery and courage are not, in fact, a one-person job.
Behind every hero there is almost always a sidekick, a team or cheerleader. They are the hero’s greatest supporters and they provide help and encouragement on the journey.
Think about it.
If you look at every epic tale of heroism, you will see it.
In the Hobbit, Frodo had Sam.
Luke Skywalker had Hans Solo, Leia and Chewbaca.
Harry Potter had Hermoine and Ron.
In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy had the scarecrow, tin man and lion.
Sure, Frodo was the ring bearer, but he would have NEVER gotten to Mount Doom without Sam (or the fellowship of elves, men, dwarves and a wizard who helped along the way).
Sure, Harry Potter defeated Voldemort, but Hermoine and Ron were critical to that quest. As were a host of other friends and supporters.
Sure, Dorothy threw the bucket of water on the wicked witch, but she would have never made it to Oz without the lion, scarecrow and tin man.
The heroes definitely get all the credit, but without the cheerleaders, sidekicks and teammates, the hero would never save the day.
In my interview with Alexa Hulsey on episode 10, she said something really powerful…
“Bravery isn’t always the hero alone on the battlefields slaying the giant. A lot of times, bravery comes from a tribe of people who are pushing and cheering you on.”
Heroes don’t win without a team
You would be hard pressed to find any story (real or imaginary) in which the hero journeys alone. Because every hero needs help. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to go it alone.
Think about the story of the Wizard of Oz, what would have happened if Dorothy’s teammates weren’t there when she fell asleep in the poppy field? She would have never made it out without the help of the scarecrow or the tin man. The story would have been over.
The same goes for the Hobbit. When Frodo couldn’t make it any further, it was Sam who picked Frodo up and carried him the rest of the way.
Without a team of support, the hero has to rely completely on himself. There’s no helping hand along the way. There’s no one there to pick you up when you fall. There’s no encouragement when you want to quit.
Not only would the road be extremely difficult on your own, it would be a lot less enjoyable too. That’s why having cheerleaders in your life is so important.
If I look at every story of bravery I’ve shared on this podcast so far, there has ALWAYS been a team of support behind the courageous people highlighted on this show. Oftentimes, their stories are only possible because someone in their life encouraged them or helped them along the way.
And the same is true in my life too.
My biggest cheerleader
I’m lucky to have a mom who has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams. And I have friends and family members who help me celebrate success and provide support when I fall.
And there is no greater supporter and cheerleader than my husband, Garth.
We’ve been married nearly 15 years, And together, we have started two businesses (one of them for the second time). We have faced job losses and financial hardship. We have stood side-by-side as we faced cancer, infertility and IVF. Together, we have become parents and experienced the joy and challenges of this role.
I can’t imagine encountering ANY of this without him by my side.
He is my greatest supporter. My rock. My cheerleader. My teammate. My partner.
Every time I get some wild idea, Garth is the first one to tell me to go for it.
Ten years ago, he encouraged me to start Blue Kite, my branding and marketing business. He was patient when I worked the nights, weekends and long hours when the company was just a side hustle.
He works hard so that we can always say yes to the next crazy thing I want to chase… just like this podcast. In fact, when it came to starting Make it Brave, he unflinchingly told me to do it. Even though it didn’t seem to make sense. Even though I wasn’t sure when or if this would ever be a profitable venture for us.
Garth believes in me even when I don’t believe in myself. He sees my potential, even when I don’t. He encourages me when I feel like giving up.
Any amount of success that I achieve belongs, in part, to him as well. I honestly, couldn’t do it without his support. I think it’s important to acknowledge that.
Celebrating My Biggest Cheerleader
There’s a big reason why I want to share this message today.
Not just because my biggest cheerleader deserves to be celebrated. He does.
But, also because today is Garth’s birthday and he turned 40 today! And I want to publicly wish him a happy birthday and also celebrate him and all that he is today.
He is the most kind, loyal and supportive person I know. I am darn lucky to call him mine.
And I can’t imagine going through this journey without him. He makes my life so much more fun!
And, I want the world to know just how much he means to me. None of the work I’m doing would be possible without him. So, I want to say thank you. And I love you.
Who Are Your Cheerleaders?
Do you have someone in your life like that?
Maybe it’s your spouse.
Maybe it’s another family member. Your mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin, aunt or grandfather.
Maybe it’s a friend.
Maybe it’s a colleague.
Maybe, if you’re lucky, you have more than one. Or, even all of the above.
I really hope that’s the case.
Because if you want to do brave things in your life, you don’t want to go it alone.
You need people in your life who will love you no matter what. Who will be there to lend a hand. Pick you up. Offer guidance. Give encouragement. And even celebrate alongside you when you win.
So, stop tricking yourself into believing that everything rests on your shoulders or that you have to do everything yourself. It doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, life is a whole lot better surrounded by people.
So, if you don’t have a sidekick, team or cheerleader, it’s time to find one.
I’m betting if you look closely, you will see that there are people who will support you if you are willing to be vulnerable and let them in. If no one knows the battle you are facing, how can they cheer for you? If no one knows about your journey, how can they join you?
So, open up. Let your biggest fans know what you’re up to. I’m betting that once you do, they will be glad to offer support.
And if you’re struggling to identify that person or people, start cheering other people on. It’s like that old adage, “the only way to have a friend is to be one.” So, if you want to have other people cheering for you, start by cheering for others. You’ll quickly find that they will be willing to return the favor.
Here’s Your Community of Support
Throughout my years as an entrepreneur, I’ve found that surrounding myself with fellow business owners and like-minded people has been incredibly powerful for me.
Although having support from family and friends is critical, it’s also helpful to connect with people who are in a similar situation. After all, entrepreneurship is a lonely road. And it’s important to connect with people who understand what that journey is like.
And if you’re listening to this podcast, chances are good that you want to build the courage to do life and business a bit differently. Whether you want to start a business, chase a dream, reach a personal goal or even raise your kids in a different way, it takes courage and guts to do that.
That’s why I’ve created a new community where you can get support for your journey. This Facebook group is a place where you can connect with like-minded people, get feedback, offer and receive support and even celebrate the wins along the way. The Make it Brave Community is a safe space to talk about our fears and the brave things we are doing to tackle them.
I’ll even go Live once or twice a month so you can connect with me directly in the group! So, it’s a great way to get access to me and put a face with the voice behind the microphone.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, leader or someone who has a dream they are chasing, this group is for you. Join the group here.
I really hope you’ll join me there. One of the biggest downsides to podcasting is that it can feel very one-sided. My hope is that this will be a space where we can get to know each other and where we can support each other’s dreams and goals. I can’t wait to meet all of the awesome people who are listening! And that includes you!
I think this is going to be a lot of fun! So, come join me!