Playing small, and “You might be an entrepreneur if…” – Conversations with Sisters

In today’s Conversations with Sisters, Courtney and Dana unpack last week’s episode with Nichole Lowe. Specifically, why do we think small sometimes to protech ourselves from rejection?  Plus, everybody’s favorite new game, “You Might be an Entrepreneur if…”

If you haven’t listened to the conversation with SoleLife‘s Nichole Lowe, it’s the episode before this one, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast app.



Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana 

Courtney: and I’m Courtney.

Dana: And we are two sisters who love business. On this show we talk about the ups and downs to the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey. 

Courtney: And we know challenges that come with starting a business between operating our buddy venue, doing, speaking, and consulting and starting our luxury wedding planning company. We wake up and hustle every day, 

Courtney: And today we’re talking just the two of us about last week’s episode with Nichole Lowe, CEO and owner of Solelife. Solelife is the first telecoach digital ecosystem to help coaches increase growth and profitability while serving their clients. If you haven’t heard last week’s episode, go give it a listen and come back to hear our thoughts.

Dana: All right, Court let’s get started. 

Courtney: So, I love what I loved about this episode and about Nicole in general is that she has had like many versions of herself, whether it was. A producer, a film producer, or a sales person at a fortune 500 company, and now starting a tech company. Can you even imagine? But she really identifies herself, not as those things, but as an entrepreneur. So, it made me think “you might be an entrepreneur if…” Like a little game. So, dana, you might be an entrepreneur if you have bags under your eyes,

Dana:  you see your team more than you see your family. 

Courtney: That’s true. When you get that big paycheck, you can’t actually spend it. 

Dana: You dream of vacation 

Courtney: What else? You might be an entrepreneur if… 

Dana: you’re worried about taxes all the time, you know, way more like legal jargon than you ever thought you would know in your life. 

Courtney: Oh yes. I cornered a tax accountant at a party the other day, cause I wanted to know all the inside scoop on what’s going on. This is taxes next year. I know, it was a very interesting conversation and lasted like 30 minutes. 

I think that’s it. It’s a good game. Good job Dana. You might be an entrepreneur if… No, I totally identify with that, and there were couple of years ago that I realized that it wasn’t necessarily, well people asking what do you do, right? 

And I put down event planner, and I feel like I realized I was like, I’m not really an event planner like that doesn’t really scratch the surface of what I do, right. I’m an entrepreneur. 

Dana: I loved, I think like visible, there are so many things, but I think another fun, like visual, what she said is when she talked about the blip of life. Oh my gosh. Like I was, I just, yes, sometimes you do get it. And especially being a parent, you feel that all the time, it’s like that you wake up in the morning and you get your kids up, you make breakfast, you put away the milk that was left on the counter. You tell them to put their shoes on, they get to school.

Then you pick them up and just like you, same thing over and over and over again. And I genuinely, I like cooking, I like cooking dinner, like it’s kind of like my chill time. I’ve got on music, have a glass of wine or whatever, but something about like the fifth or sixth day in a row, I’m just like, this is freaking Groundhog Day.

Courtney: You’re Bill Murray.

Dana: Yeah. I totally feel that way about entrepreneurship, like where, and like, just life in general, like where you kind of get into like this vicious circle. 

Courtney: I felt like it was on like a vicious circle of like self, self-talk, right. And then she was talking about where it was like, I’m good at this, so I should be happy doing it. What if, what if, what if right. Well, I’m good at this. So, I should be happy doing it.

Dana: What’s your bullet self-Talk? 

Courtney: I don’t know, you have one? 

Dana: I do. Mine’s just purely related to sugar. That sounds so weird. But like I love sugar, like I love all things sweet. And I genuinely, I try it all the time to just cut out processed sugar, because if I genuinely think it’s addictive, say that, I think it is. Because I don’t eat it. I don’t crave it, but if I do eat it, like, it’s all I want, but it’s this constant cycle of why I’m trying to do it.

And a lot of it has to do with me just trying to like be healthier, not necessarily to lose weight, but just to feel better. And I, and I recognize every single time that I try to cut this out. Like, I feel better in the end, but it’s just this vicious like self-talk talk cycle of like, it’s like deprivation in a way.

And when you deprive yourself with something that you want and you like screw up and you have the cookie or the fudge pop, which is what I eat all the time. It’s like talking to yourself back around into it, like, 

Courtney: I’m going to feel better if I don’t eat this. But I really want it. 

Dana: Yes. And then, or like, oh, it’s not going to make a big difference or I’ll be fine, and then it’s not. 

Courtney: I don’t have a sugar thing. I like salty things better than sugar things. Or alcohol, that’s probably my thing. If I had like a blip cycle, I like to consciously not drink for several days in a row, mostly cause it doesn’t make me feel, but like, I feel like bloated and like lethargic and I don’t like feeling that way, but then if I’m like going a drink that I’m just going to drink, right? Like I’m like, are you going to come over for, I told something the other day, I need to come over for cars and play. Cause the smell that I might have a drink now, like, cause I’m going to drink anyway that day.

So, it gives me to have a drink now and later, but if I’m not going to drink, I’m just going, I’m staying for the whole day. That’s probably like pre alcoholic talk. I don’t know. I do go multiple days without drinking, but no blip of life. I feel like I get stuck in blips when I’m in a really unhealthy mental spot. Like that’s when I feel the blitz the most and I believe things that aren’t necessarily true, and I get into like taking what’s happening in that moment and I apply it to what I perceive is going to be forever. Like, because this person is acting this way or because I feel this way about that I’m going to feel that way forever about it.

And what I’ve learned over almost 40 years is that’s just not true, right. And I think one of the things that was really interesting to me when you’re talking about like emotions and big emotions and you’re just emotional, I’m like, I have emotions, but when I have a big emotion, I always thought it meant action.

Right, because I don’t ever have huge emotions. So, when I felt things big, I didn’t really know how to deal with emotions, right. So, if I had a big feeling, it meant I must do something, therefore it must be true, right. Like that kind of blip thinking and that’s actually not the truth. 

Dana: Yeah, I mean, I guess for me too, like blips of life, for me, probably a lot of it is where I get stuck the most is probably relationships, like people’s intentions versus what I think their intentions are, what their actual intentions are.  I get stuck a lot because I believe actions show intent. And that’s not actually the truth.  So, like sometimes when someone, when I have a feeling about somebody, like they think this, or they have this attribute that I don’t like necessarily, and their actions solidify that thought for me. But then, and then I like get into this cycle of like, I can’t move on. I don’t want to be around this person, but then you are forced to be around that person for whatever reason.

And then you realize, oh, wow. They are actually nice people and they actually are okay, and that really wasn’t what they meant when they did that. And then you get back into the cycle over and over again. I feel like I struggled a lot with that, to be honest, I don’t see very often. Like, I feel like sometimes like, even in our team, like at the C&D team, because we don’t ever see them, we see them on zoom now, like once a month, every other month or something and yeah.

After every team meeting, it’s like, I feel like I understand them so much more. And I understand like the past, like five emails I got from them, you know, because I connected with them a little, but like if I had it and like I’ve had that negative self-talk about like, why, why did they say this?

Like, what’s the intention behind this email that I got, like it seems frustrated at me, or it seems snarky or whatever, when it’s really just, not. Do you know what I mean?

Courtney: I do. Like, I think that that’s where we’ve gotten to, and like this digital society that we live in, like it’s hard to garner somebody’s intention and because you spend so little actual face-to-face time with people, it’s really easy to like make up stories that you believe about, and you are never there to disprove it.

Right. And I think too, like blips are even more powerful in your life when you don’t have anyone speaking into them. And like you think about 2020, like how isolated people have been. It’s probably super hard to get out of your head. 

I agree. I don’t know. This is like, I was talking to my husband about this the other day. Like I do feel that way, like there’s a lot of times I feel like I have a family, obviously my family or whatever,

Or whatever.

Dana: But you are my family. But I think that the last like three years, three or four years I’ve really started to recognize, where my relationships with family and how I’ve come to terms with who I am. Like, I really resonate a lot with her when she was talking about coming into your own because, and like making yourself small.

Cause I feel like not just in business, this is probably where I rec, I see more in my personal life, like I’ve made myself small in a lot of other ways, in terms of like family members and whatnot. And there’s a lot of times when I, I have learned that I can. I can have fun with anybody. I can, you know, talk to a brick wall, whatever.

But when people don’t know who I am genuinely don’t know me. Like someone will say something like my mother, my parents, my in-laws will say something and they feel like they have to smooth it over. Like, I would be offended by what they said. And like, you have no idea who I am. Like, I don’t care that you just said that, like, that doesn’t bother me.

You know, it’s just, it’s so real how much I realize, people don’t actually know like who I am and how much I feel literally like orphan because I can’t connect on that same level. I was trying to explain it to Sam the other night because, and we can provide clarity on it. No, but like we grew up in Florida, we had cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents.

Right. And everything we did this with them, every single holiday, every single birthday, every single weekend. My best friend was my cousin. I mean, it was all we ever knew. And then we moved away and a lot of my anger, my parents wasn’t because my friends is because my family and I recognize how much of who I am is because of my family.

And so, when we moved, we really lost that connection with them, like truly. Like, and so there was a part of me that felt like, so then what became our genuine true family thing was the five of us, right? The five of us became our own little insulated bubble and that’s what we were, but then when they moved to Florida and it was just me and you up here, Like, 

Courtney: She felt abandoned. 

Dana: No, I didn’t feel abandoned. I, when people ask my family is like, my immediate response was just my sister, yeah. Right, like that was it. There was nobody else. And so, and we’ve grown up. I mean, they moved when I was 18. And so, it’s been like, what’s. What is that 18 years, almost 19 years ago? And so, I’ve turned into someone completely different, like I’m person than I was when I was 18.

And so, there’s just not that same connection to that family. Do you know what I mean? And you feel very like, adopted into it, like where they don’t really know who you are. They don’t understand how you think. They don’t know what your values are, and really genuinely like who you are. And I feel the same way about, like I said before, about my in-laws. 

Courtney: You were saying like around family, like, you feel like you’re playing soft?

Dana: Yeah, I do. I mean, I’m not like I do play soft, yeah. I do completely squash exactly how I feel and what I think to just fit in to what’s around me. 

I was really interested in when she was talking about it. Cause a lot of that had to relate to her being like the only female in that environment and like, you know, going, and I cannot imagine what she went through in the eighties and nineties of like, it’s nowhere near where you are now. And I know that we’re not anywhere near equality or there is 

Courtney: Like where we need to be?

Dana: Still, we’re so far from like 30 years ago, like in her being, especially in something as male dominated a sale, like what her experience was,

Courtney:  I can’t even imagine. 

Dana: So, I’m curious, but do you, so the point is, do you feel like you play small because you are a female, like, would you feel differently if you were a male or you think it’s just because of your circumstances?

Courtney:  Well, I’ve never been male so I don’t know that answer, no, I mean, I think like I, I’m constantly thinking and like when someone’s talking to me, my mind is constantly going. I think I’m a lot for a lot of people. So, I think to be able to like fit in and to be more PC, I don’t know, like, I, I totally, I resonated that. I resonated with playing small. I resonate with that too even like on social media, like we’re, I guess it plays into imposter syndrome, really? Like to me, like, who are you to say these things? Like, how are you a thought leader on such and such? And I’ll edit it down, even though I feel like it could benefit them, like from me saying something. 

Dana: Yeah. But I think to you, I think about it, cause her problem was like she was fighting who she was and played small. Like, I think that there’s a lot of truth in that, like, because I think everyone’s afraid of putting themselves out there to truly who they are and being rejected because it’s easier to be rejected when you’re not yourself. Well, and when you have downplayed how you really feel. So, when you post something on social media and you’re like, okay, well I can go farther, but, and then it doesn’t get the reaction or whatever.

Like, well, that’s really not who I am. I was just kind of like, sugar-coating it. Or I wasn’t being real, or I was just downplaying, whatever it is. It’s easier to take that criticism and it’s still hard don’t get me wrong, cause it’s still a part of who you are, but it’s easier as opposed to saying like, all right, truth time, this is who I am laying all out there, and then someone coming back and say like, I don’t like that. Like, you’re a horrible person. This is a horrible thing, why would you ever say that? Like, that’s harder to come back from. 

Courtney: It’s a really good thing I have you as a filter because I can be like true time. It seems like you’re a really horrible person. Like if you were to say that you’re a really horrible person. 

Dana: We will not divulge those conversations for that very reason. But yes, there is a lot of truth time. 

Courtney: No. I love that. I love that playing small and, and I liked how she even expanded that to when you play small, you started to settle and you start to lose things in her life. Like who you are. I remember when I was getting married, and I got married young so there was a valid concern for this, that I remember having conversations with McKayla and I was like, I’m really afraid of getting married and losing like Courtney-ism. 

Like, that’s what I called it was my Courtney-ism, like losing who I am losing my identity, like not being free to be who I am. Cause I felt like I, in fact, I even, so much to not want to lose, like Courtney-ism that I, suggested a hybrid last name. I wanted to hybrid my name and his name. He did not go for it. I wanted to be Kepper cause I liked the alliteration of the Courtney Kepper.

So, like it’s, I think it’s like that’s always been super important to me, like my identity for whatever reason, has always been like super important to me to be true to myself. And you have a best about me. 

Dana: So, do you feel like there was a time when that just happened, like where you played small or you settled?

Courtney: Yeah, I felt that way in my relationship, I felt that way and my relationship with the Kale and I felt that way in my relationship with you, there was times that I played small and I was accommodating and I wasn’t really working to my strengths because I could really easily fall into like people-pleaser mode, right?

Like where it comes down play, down play, down play, whatever you want whenever you want, whenever you want. And it’s not anybody, I’m not blaming it on anybody else. It’s not like it’s their fault that I’m a people pleaser, but I felt like it was the best way to get through a situation because that’s a way for me to play small is survival and it’s not.

And I realized that I didn’t like how people were treating me and it wasn’t because these people were innately bad, it was because I was allowing it. I wasn’t making my opinion worthwhile. I wasn’t even making them think about me, right. And that was definitely a time where I felt like I was playing small.

I wasn’t working to my strengths and I lost a lot of myself. And I mean, we all remember the year of Courtney where it was like, yeah, I’m going to do things that reflect how I feel. And it was super important for me to. Realize that my thoughts were valid and my wants are priority, and I wasn’t going to play small anymore. And I think all my relationships are better for it.

Was there a time that you felt that way? 

Dana:  I really feel like there’s a lot that in the past, like two years, I feel like I’ve been going through with that, and I don’t want to say it’s because I settled and I started losing things. I think that I recognized more of who I am and how I function, which I know sounds weird, but like, I just didn’t really understand myself fully. And so yeah. I think the last two years I’ve been able to recognize my emotions for what they are and who I am, and to really be proud of who I am.

I think a lot of times, you know, and I’ve mentioned this before, like just how much I was told to that I was too much like, that I felt too much. I was irrational. I was angry. I mean, even to the point, I mean, you played a role in this. I think there was like, I think right after Henry was born or something you had like the Dana support club.

Cause you guys felt like I was too emotional, right. 

Courtney: Sam and I did.  It was called “People who Love Dana”, it wasn’t negative. 

Dana: All I know is this negative to me at that time, because it was not people who love me as people had to justify everything that I said or did. So, but it was after Henry, cause it was like Henry was born and four days later we signed on the land and then a year later we started construction. We sold our house, moved into an apartment, we started construction. And so like, I, and I’m not lying to you. And I can tell you, I remember nothing from the first two years of Henry’s life.

And it still to this day is still like the saddest thing, like the most emotional thing for me, because I feel like when I lost those two years, I’m going to start crying. 

Courtney: I know I could feel it from you.

Dana: But it’s real. And so, I feel like. It was a really hard time, and there was nobody there that was telling me that what I was feeling was valid.

They were just telling me it was too much. Like you’re just too much. And that what you’re feeling, isn’t a true feeling. And so, like if doubt, I doubted so much of anything, like, am I allowed to be mad, am I allowed to be sad. And I’m allowed to be angry? And because it was everything from my childhood coming back and telling you that same thing over and over again.

And so, I feel like these past two years, I’ve been freer to say my feelings are valid. Like I’m not a horrible person because I feel this way. I am a person and it’s what I need to process and to get through it. And I can say like, you hurt my feelings. And I can say that, and I can recognize when I’m being irrational.

Like I can say like, look, I know I’m mad for, to you seems like no reason, but there’s a valid point and I just need to get over it. Like I know I need to get over it cause I know it’s not the end all be all I know it’s not going to be the end of the day. No, it’s not going to ruin whatever it is. I just need to feel it.

I need to process it and I need to move on and even let me do that. So, I feel like that’s honestly the best example I can think of. Like,

Courtney:  Well, damn, I’m sorry for the People who Love Dana group. 

Dana: It’s fine. I knew it was, it was a love, like it wasn’t out of hate or mad or anger. 

Courtney: It’s just survival. 

It was just like; it was how we made it a thousand times worse.

A thousand worse. You were so emotional.

Like it was a mess. It was, I think it was a messy time. It was like totally a messy time; I think it takes years to bounce back like hormonally and emotionally from a baby. Like I think it just like wrecks your world more than you think it’s going to, but I’m not saying in positive or negative.

It’s like that whole like identity thing. 

Dana: Yeah. No, but I mean, I do a hundred, a hundred percent agree that, but for Henry it was, it was legitimately hormonal. I mean, it was just, I needed meds. I took meds to get it back to like the second he was born though were like, get out of this hospital room, I need to be with my child.

Yes. I was, I was so angry at when I was in there. Get out. This is my baby. No one’s holding my baby. Leave me alone. Yeah, it wasn’t like I couldn’t bond with Henry and it was actually very bonded. 

Courtney: She was very attached to Henry and Henry was very attached to her. As a toddler, he was not an easy toddler either. He would just follow her around and scream at her. He was a very angry baby. So, there was like, and she dealt with that just fine. Like she just ignored it, but you’d watch it. It would just be walking behind her screaming everywhere she went. And she’d go about cooking the dinner, doing the laundry, doing whatever.

Courtney: All right. I loved how she’s had so many careers. And I loved that concept. I was actually thinking about this the other day cause I love that song. Who sings it I’m not sure, but they sing a song called Past Lives?

And I was kind of like marinating on the concept of past lives, and I think it’s really a blessing to be able to reinvent yourself. Like, I think a life well lived is when you can look back on it and see like all of these periods of reinvention and like constantly evolving. It’s like having past lives within your life.

Well, I honestly, when I, when she’s telling me the story, like she started a career, a business at 24 and first I loved how she had the energy, but not the wisdom. So, it was like, oh my God, that was like us at 24. Yeah, it was us at 22, when we started C&D. We had so much energy, but no, it was, but I think when you, when someone says, oh, I started a business at 24, your natural thought is that they’re still at that business.

It’s still super successful. It’s thriving, and for her to like, say like those ended up not being what I wanted to do. And there’s so much bravery in that. Like, and it’s not quitting or losing the business because of a pandemic or because of there was no business, it’s just literally like this isn’t serving me anymore and I don’t love it and I want to walk away and do something different. I guess, for her having that life and death experience like. 

Courtney: Right, like, kind of puts life into perspective. Like if this is the end, would I be happy doing what I was doing? 

Dana: Like totally gave me goosebumps and she was talking about it because every person is like our parents, like where were you when JFK shot? Like, where were you when the towers fell? I was at school. I was a senior in high school. 

Courtney: Yeah, I was at Meredith college. Now. I remember we were in a, I was in a British authors class. And I remember someone walking into the class and saying a plane just ran into the world trade center. I was like, what? It was like the most bizarre thing. Like, it just seemed like very obtuse. And it was like a 9:30 class, right. This is all happening right at that time. And then someone else came in and said, they’re late a few minutes later, a second plane just ran to the second world trade center.

And I remember them dismissing class and we all went to like the student union. It’s like Tally Student Center where they had that big, huge TV and just like watching it on TV. And it was like surreal. And I it’s like one of those moments where you realize that the whole world has changed in a moment.

Dana: Yeah, so we, I was in Latin and as first period and a principal came on and said a plane, just switch the trade center. And I remember two people having started laughing. They’re like, who can’t fly a plane. Like,

Courtney:  it Did seem like an accident at first.

Dana:  I still think about that. And I’m like, I wonder if that person just like cringes every time they think about it, but that was honestly it, no one knew anything until lunch. And so, because lunch is when we would go and you could like eat into your classroom. And I remember it was Sam’s 18th birthday, and I didn’t have a cell phone. And so, I drove to the gas station for the payphone and called on him on his birthday because it was his birthday. And I was like, happy birthday.

And he’s like, what? I was like your age, you’re 18 happy birthdays. And he’s like, do you know what’s going on? And I was like, no, what’s going on? He said, go back to school and turn on the TV. And he’s like, like the world is like, there’s been a terrorist attack. I said are you talking about the trade center and the towers? He goes yeah. Go back and look at the TV. And then I went and I walked into the classroom where I normally ate lunch, and everyone was just like somber and I watching it. And that’s what we did the rest of the day. 

Courtney: Oh, they didn’t send you home. They ended out college. Like it was done in time.

Dana: Yeah. I’m sure there was like buses and parents and all that, but yeah. But I can’t imagine like, like really facing your mortality on that. Like, I should have been on that plane. Well, I should have been in that building is really what it was. She been in that building. Right, right, right. Yeah. 

Courtney: I know I’m thinking like, I don’t know, maybe that’s a pivotal moment in your life or like, this is what I want to be doing actually. It sounded to me like it was taking a lot out of her relationship, and at that point she realized she really wanted to prioritize this relationship. 

Dana: Well, I think you, I think you just recognize that what’s important are people, it’s not jobs, something, it’s not money it’s people and what’s going to serve you better in life. Is the person who loves you and take this adventure. Like what a blessing though, in a way, like, sometimes you think about when tragedy happens and you’re confronted with that, like that you have the opportunity to experience that in a way, like to correct course. 

Courtney: Yeah, I mean, I feel like to be like really real on here. Obviously, you’re over there crying over People who Love Diana. I’m not minimizing. 

Dana: Or are you? 

Courtney: Really not? I’m just bringing levity to this very somber conversation. That for me, it was a lot of 2020. And I know this is like a touchy subject for us in general, but I felt that way about 2020 and like my marriage, like, it was definitely a moment where it was like, correct course, like you have the opportunity to like correct a course and make a change.

Like really like, dig it out. Make a new foundation pack it back in.  And 2020 was that for me, so like when I look back on the pandemic and I think about that, I think about that time and opportunity. And I don’t think that’s, I don’t think that’s unique to me, right. I think there’s probably a lot of people that looked at it and was like, Correct course like whether it was, oh my God, I love all this time I’ve had with my family or, oh my God, I cannot stand this person who I’m stuck with.

Like if I have to spend the rest of my life in quarantine with this person, let’s just end it now. You know? So, I think for me, 2020 was one of those moments, not as monumental as like I could have been in between the Twin Towers, but definitely where it was like, okay, let’s stop. Let’s reevaluate. What is it? What is it that you want?

What is it that you need? What is it that’s not serving you? What can you get rid of? What can you add on and kind of changing that mentality? It was one of those moments and I’m so, and I’m thankful for it. I’m so thankful for, or what that brought about. And my relationship with that brought about, and me, like personally, like being able to like recognize it and operate outside of yourself in that way. You know what I mean? 

Dana: Yeah. I mean, because I mean, truth be told, like, when you think about it, there was a lot of humbling you had to do to get to that point. There’s a lot of like recognizing that the path you were on, maybe it wasn’t the right one and you know, you’re right. It was hard, I didn’t agree with it. Yeah. I thought it was wrong. 

Courtney: Yeah, jury’s still out. Great. I know she probably has support group for people who live life with Courtney, but yeah, so, I mean, but I, Sarah you can join. 

Dana: I do think that that is, that the pandemic did bring that out in a lot of people like the. I think it’s you’re absolutely right, that correct course, and I think family was a big part of it. You know, for me it was parenting. It was what mom do I want to be in specifically with my daughter. Like who was becoming a pre-teen and who was picking up on so much more than I ever understood that she was picking up on, my attitude about her, the way I talked to her, my expectations of her.

And so, there was like a lot of really good, like mother-daughter time and, really correcting course into how I should talk to her about who she is, you know, and giving her the benefit of the doubt. It’s not like, I’m your mom. I told you. So, listen to me, I’m the boss. It’s allowing her to have a little bit more control of her life.

Like, and this came to fruition somewhat like where it was like, this was like two weeks ago. She’s like, mom, I really need to talk to you about something. And I was like, okay. And, she’s like, can you sit down on the bed? And I was like, sure. And I’m thinking like, what in the world you’re going to tell me.

She’s like, well, I feel like I try to go to bed at eight o’clock when he tells us to, take my melatonin and just not tired. I’m just not tired yet. Like, I really think that, you know, I’m 11 and I get up on time every morning, which is true, she does by herself. I don’t have to wake her up. That I should be able to go to bed at nine.

And if I can’t wake up in the morning, I’ll go to bed at eight 30. We’ll find the right time, but I really feel like eight o’clock just isn’t my bedtime. I was like, okay. Yeah, that’s fair. That’s totally fair. But she would have never done that before that advocate for herself, because she would have never known that she could maybe she just assumed that was always right.

Courtney:  I can feel that, I identify with that.

Dana: Yeah, anyways, as I, I definitely think that I think it was definitely a hard reset for us and like, okay. And then I also like woke up in the middle of the night and I was like, oh my God, she’s only going to live with me for seven more years.

Courtney: Oh, I know. It’s hit me one time. Like Mason is going to be 13 this year. It’s insane.  I give Mason a hug and he’s like hugging a whole person. And if that fills my mind that I’m like, I like carried you and pushed you out of my vagina. And here I am, like hugging this ginormous person.

Dana: How does that baffle you? That’s like people, they grow up. 

Courtney: It’s just so weird. Cause it didn’t seem like that long ago. 

Dana: Oh, you are a biologist. You should know. 

Courtney: I know. I mean, I know how it goes, but I’m just saying like, I don’t know. Cause he’s like literally. Maybe an inch shorter than I am and a good like 30 pounds heavier than I am, like he’s big, big kid. Yeah. The baffles my mind. 

Yeah. I think that the other thing that like 2020 taught me it was about, a little bit more about like mindfulness and like loving the life that you spend so much time crafting. And I like listening to her, it made me think about that. Like, it made me think about how much I would like resent the day-to-day stuff. Like the stuff that you’ve spent your life collecting and doing and building, and yet then you spend the rest of your life resenting it. It’s a very, very weird cycle that we have. And I think that when you’re like an operating at like your full capacity and you’re operating, like where you’re supposed to be, like, you don’t resent those things.

Dana: No, because you and I really, where she said it, she said like, everything builds on itself. It’s like every part of her path was another layer that ultimately is serving what she wants to do. And like, and I know you guys can’t see it, but you can just like see and feel the joy that she has when she talks about Solelife.

And how much she just knows she’s in the right place. And she would have never gotten there, if she had gone in the path she has, and isn’t, and I’m so excited to see what this, this is really becomes and, and, you know, she’s going to be using all the other experiences that she has done, so many skills to make this so successful.

And it’s something so needed. I get literally, maybe like I should call and get a life coach because I think it would really benefit me. So not, I mean, 

Courtney: I am your life coach and cheerleader what are you talking about Dana. I have to send you my bill. 

Dana: You know, I’ve talked about therapy and I think it’s really important.

I think therapy digs to the, helps you get to the root of problems. Like I know the root of my problems, I just don’t want to deal with my problems. 

Courtney: Yeah, and I’ve heard a good thing about therapy, therapy versus coaching, like therapy is healing the past. It’s about dealing with the past issues that are like causing those bad patterns today.

But coaching in consulting or whatnot is more about living in the present and like taking some of those patterns, changing the pattern, changing your mindset to be more able in the present, but it really has nothing to do with fixing the past. 

Dana: Yeah. So, I think for me, like a lot of my issue is not that I want to fix the past, it’s to like understand, because what happened in the past, why I do the things, why I think the things, and I feel like a lot of me is I’m very much just in the beginning, like where we were taught to suck it up.

I just want to get my stuff from you, suck it up and get over this and just move on. And a lot of times, like, I don’t know how to move on. Sometimes I don’t know how to get over the emotion when I recognize that the emotion is too big for me to handle. And sometimes I’m like, is that therapy or is that someone just telling me, suck it up?

Courtney: I think it’s like a mindset shift and maybe it is coaching. So how it’s kind of like shifts your mind into, like, when I feel this, it actually needs XYZ. Or if I feel this, this is how I deal with it in the moment to get to the other side of it. But yeah, I, I totally felt like she was very passionate about what she does now.

And I loved for her middle career when she was talking about how she was like, Sales for a fortune 500, she’s like I’m not a salesperson. She’s like, until I got that first commission check cycle, maybe I am a salesperson. I think money validates everything one, but two, like what entrepreneur is not a Salesforce. It’s totally like, you have to sell it to get money.

You have to sell it to get clients. And then her recognizing her entrepreneurial spirit and how that translates to Solelife. Right. Like, because just because you’re a coach doesn’t necessarily mean you’re entrepreneur, but she’s taking that coach and her ability to be an entrepreneur and helping other entrepreneurs.

Dana: Well, I love that. I mean, yeah. I love the, comradery in the industry in general. Like when you’re like, hey, like I can make this better for everybody, not just for me. But I was, I really loved that Prince story. I know. Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

Courtney: I wish I could’ve met Prince, amazing like Little Red Corvette it’s like one of my favorite songs. 

Dana: I just think, well, he was extremely talented and amazing artists, but I, her vulnerability to tell that story. And like, that’s intense. And I feel like it’s very much like maybe, maybe like ponder, is there a point when I let my pride get in the way of my business and I can think of a couple of instances.

Courtney: Possibly, possibly that we may or may not want to share. Cause there might still be pride surrounding them. 

Dana: I feel like there’s been a couple of like a lawyer thing, or engaged our lawyer over pride. But I just, I really have a hard time with people who are mean to me. Like it’s one thing to be like, unhappy with the service and, you know, air your grievances to settle it outside of whatever. And then it’s another thing to recognize, like, So, this is all related to it happened to us twice actually, in the pandemic, two C&D clients, who like a year after their wedding left a review.

For things that are out of our control. Like one of them was the musician didn’t know the entrance song or something like, even though like there’s literal documentation of us going back and forth about it. And it was just the higher and it wasn’t even like someone recommended something that they had around.

She was upset about, like with the photographer, like, I mean, things that were literally like had nothing to do with us as planners and they recognized at the time to do it in the time there’d be the most damaging is during this pandemic. And to me, I find that to be, I have a hard time settling that. 

Courtney: I think it’s hard when you like, especially at a service driven industry, like where you interface with clients so personally, like as a wedding planner or whatnot, that it’s hard when someone’s unhappy with the amount of effort that you’ve put into it. 

Dana: But I will say this, that with both of those people, they had massive red flags. Yeah, from the very beginning, and what made me the most angry was myself. And you did not like listen to my music, not listen to my gut. And I did not say this is going to end badly because they both ended badly. And I 

Courtney: But you did say I was going to end badly, like you said, it’s going to end badly. We were so afraid of the backlash of ending it early. That we never ended it thinking, okay, we keep we’re good enough. We can pull this out and you can’t fix me. 

Dana: They can’t fix me. And so, I think a lot of that pride really had to do with the anger had to do with, because we knew we were wrong, and it’s hard to recognize that you were wrong. And so, in both of these instances of these reviews, like we shouldn’t have broken up with that client. After two meetings because their writing was on the wall. We weren’t a good fit for them. We were never going to make them happy. I honestly think anybody could have made either of those two happy, but it would have been a problem at that time at that point, you know, so, but we were just, didn’t listen to ourselves and made the wrong choice.

Courtney: I love an episode. I love talking to somebody who’s like, when she is almost 50 and like all those years of experience, you know, like all the wisdoms so much. 

Dana: And I think that she just embodied so much of like her mantra, which I’ll call her mantra is that we’re not meant to do life alone. And I feel that, that, and I think that’s so true. We weren’t meant to do life alone. 

Courtney: thank goodness we have each other. 

Dana: Thanks everyone for gathering with us today to talk about the hustle. To learn more about Nichole Lowe and her business visit or follow them on Instagram at

Courtney: And to learn more about our hustles visit,, and or follow us on Instagram at canddevents, at thebradfordnc, and at hustlingandgather. If you liked the show, be sure to subscribe and leave us a rating and a review.this podcast is a production of ear fluence I’m Courtney 

Dana: and I’m Dana 

Courtney: And we’ll talk to you next time on Hustle and Gather

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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