Since yesterday’s Facebook Live was all about money, honey, it’s only fitting that today’s BonBlast kicks off with an Enoughness infusion from my money mindset mentor Denise Duffield-Thomas.

(If you missed my broadcast on “Financing Your Creative Career,” it’s here for you at YouTube and with comments open at my Facebook page.)

Denise — whose new book Chillpreneur came out this week (oh, and I’m in it, baby!!) — posted a prompt at Instagram challenging us to think about what our grandmother would do with the opportunities that we have laid out for us today.

So, of course, that got me thinking about Cleo.

There was a time growing up when I lived with my grandmother, while my mother moved to another part of town to get me in jurisdiction for a better school. I stayed at Cleo’s so I could finish out the schoolyear, and this is when I learned so deeply what spectacular women I come from.

Chillpreneur Bonnie Gillespie's Grandmother Cleo

I have a ton of Cleo stories. A true Rosie the Riveter, my grandmother bucked rivets in the wings of the B-29 Superfortress and she kept all the secrets of the world tucked under the tablecloth of her kitchen table, where she held court for all the visitors who would pass through every day. A pot of coffee was always on and if the Braves were playing, we were betting nickles on how many bases each of our favorite players would get. But my nostalgia about this phenomenal woman is not what this BonBlast is about.

Denise’s post got me thinking about how much fear I’m carrying around about expanding my business this year. We’ve committed time, energy, and not a small amount of money toward an expansion of the Bonnie Gillespie brand and every day, I find myself needing to check my gut, certain that I’m making a colossal mistake… just because of all the NEW involved.

When I considered sitting at Cleo’s kitchen table, the Braves on TBS (TV) *and* WSB (radio), and having her pull a playing card to tell me my fortune, I got this immense sense of comfort over all the stress, anxiety, and FEAR I keep feeling about these big, scary moves I’m making.

This woman filled shells with tetryl powder and then continued to work for decades on an assembly line after WWII was over. The part of my brain that believes I WILL DIE if I step outside my comfort zone needs to take a fucking seat.

I mean!

Charlsie Gillespie, Cleo Simonds, Bonnie Gillespie 1970

Still, the part of my brain that believes I WILL DIE when I step outside my comfort zone? Its seat needs to be at the table.

See, we can’t just *ignore* the part of ourselves that really really really really really needs to fight for things to stay the same, live small, keep safe, never reach beyond what our internal story says we’re capable of making happen.

So what I’ve decided to do is call a meeting of my board of directors. This is my energetic council. My inner circle. My — WAY — inner circle.

I’m there, of course, with all my confidence and brilliance and big ideas — and also with all my fears. Also at the table are my role models and pace cars. My “ideal dinner party” guests. And — turns out — also at the table are my mother the astrologer who built *her* empire from scratch and her mother who would find my fear of DEATH over this expansion hilarious.

Of course, y’all know our worldview is often reinforced by the company we keep.

But how often do we invite in the POSITIVE representatives for these daily meetups?

It’s *super* easy for my mother’s fears to go on loop in my brain. There’s all sorts of ancestral momentum for the negative grooves I can ride along, as I step farther out into the world.

Maybe it’s high time for my mother’s ability — to take us from $8000/yr. in household income immediately after her divorce to enough to get into a house clear on the other side of Atlanta so that I could attend a top public school… and did so on astrological readings recorded on cassette tapes, no less — to join us for these board of directors meetings. Let’s have her chutzpah and grit show up. Not just her fear of being seen.

For sure it’s time my grandmother — sassy widow of a steelworker who fought to unionize labor during a very complicated time — gets to sit with me to provide the most effective reality check for calming my amygdala when it’s so certain I WILL DIE.

Change is scary. Yes. True.

Whether it’s producing your first project, heading into a new casting office, moving to Hollywood, parting ways with your agent, or launching a whole new business off the momentum of your existing one… change is scary.

Our survival instinct says, “Too big a target! Stay safe! Stay small!”

Heh. “Survival.”

CRAZY how the brain sometimes interprets fear, isn’t it?

Just by inviting Cleo and Charlsie to the table, the convos get more balanced than they are when I don’t set out space for their bravery.

Who’s on your board of directors, when it comes to running your business? Making your life decisions? Whom can you invite to the meetings, starting today?

Comments are open just below. I’d love to see who’s on your board!

PS — If you’re a podcast person, mine — THE WORK — is back for season 10 and you can check it out at my website, on Apple Podcasts, or on Spotify! Woo HOO! Thank you for rating, reviewing, subscribing, and sharing! πŸ™‚ It was fun getting back in the studio for a few new eps. Enjoy!

’til next time,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Chloe Russell February 19, 2019 at 9:38 am

    Hi Bonnie! I’d like to post a positive comment here. Your post about your metaphorical board of directors motivating and challenging you really inspired me. It hit me in a spot that needed to be hit – I, too, am going big and it’s scary at times. I’m making changes and kicking ass but there are so many moments where I get frozen in my tracks because I’m laying new ground- and I’m doing it by myself. Your BonBlast today resonates with me. Cheers to stretching outside paradigms.

  2. Ninja Erin February 19, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Hi Chloe! So glad this resonated with you. Cheers to stretching outside paradigms, indeed! Since you enjoyed today’s article, I think you might also get a lot out of this post from Bonnie about staying strong when you’re blazing new trails:

    You’re doing great work! Keep on rockin’! <3

  3. Constance February 22, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Beautiful! Your inner circle energetic dinner party reminds me of Caryl Churchill’s TOP GIRLS (mainly act 1)! The protagonist invites women from history to join her dinner table/conversation as she celebrates a promotion & tries to navigate the world as a business woman & what that means/sacrifices she makes. The “ghosts” also have stories to tell of what they encountered.
    Bringing all of these issues to light is so important. How past imprints impact our lives. And the choices we are fortunate enough to have now, even when making one is such a trigger!
    Thank you, Bonnie! πŸ’‹πŸ’‹πŸ’‹

  4. Alexandra Cohler November 1, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Oh, this so resonated with me when I found it today! So full of next-level fear right now — leaving one job to leave more space for the work I WANT to be doing AND upgrading to a bigger apartment — and this was so what I needed, in such a positive and loving way!!

    Thank you!!!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie November 3, 2019 at 1:27 am

      Oh, I’m so glad Alexandra! πŸ™‚ It’s so important to normalize — gradually — those growth spaces so that we’re able to jump those tiers without backsliding. Congrats on all the upgrades!


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