Tag Archives: inspirational

Arm Yourself with the Best

iGnite team

The iGnite team during our 2015 summer boat outing

Point to Ponder:
Are the five people you spend the most time with causing you to give up on your dreams, or do they nurture your dreams and your life?

“If we surround ourselves with people who are successful, who are forward-moving, who are positive, who are focused on producing results, who will support us, it will challenge us to be more, do more and share more. If you surround yourself with people who will never let you settle for less than you can be, you have the greatest gift that anyone can hope for.”
– Anthony Robbins

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

It was just over nine years ago that my short, yet colorful life journey began making sense. All of the “who, why, and what for” puzzle pieces created a vivid and crystal clear picture of my purpose, which is when I created iGnite. The process wasn’t sophisticated nor predictable. Rather, it consisted of a few meetings with a dear friend and mentor at Starbucks where I revealed my heart’s desire and vision, coupled with challenging questions and critical thinking. Within a few weeks I answered his tough questions, though my business brainchild remained nameless. We both recognized that the name had to be something I loved, and that conveyed an inspirational, energetic and timeless message. As we tossed around different ideas he said, “it sounds like you want to ignite their lives!” “YES!”, I shouted. He smiled, I wrote it down, and the rest is history.

I love to share and reminisce about that story simply because of its spontaneous nature. There are also many more stories like this, all of which have provided me with unforeseeable lessons and growth opportunities over the past nine years. One of the most important pieces of advice that has provided me with the most personal and professional value, is “Be intentional with whom you surround yourself with, and arm yourself with the best.”

iGnite began the first Monday in October of 2006, and by February I had hired a professional business coach, Michelle Ewalt, who I worked with for three years. She was aware of all of my thoughts, plans, and ideas for iGnite, which for a one-woman show was a giant feat. She also knew that Russell and I wanted to have children one day, so during a meeting she suggested I spend my time determining the five, non-negotiable characteristics I wanted in an iGnite leader. I explained that I wasn’t interested in sharing this business with anyone else, simply because I couldn’t imagine another person loving and caring for our members and aligning with the vision as I did. But what she knew that I didn’t know at the time was this; “no branch can bear fruit by itself, it must remain on the vine.” (John 15:4). I realize this verse has much greater meaning beyond my situation, but Michelle knew that on my own, the mission would not be fruitful. She also knew that if I wanted to see my personal goals come true, like having a family, forming a team was essential. And so, that exact day I identified and wrote down the five, non-negotiable characteristics of an iGnite team member. Within one year, the inspiring and wonderful women began appearing, and continue to, which currently make up what I think is the most beautiful, talented and special team in all of Austin and beyond. As a result, our membership is a mirror-image of our team, making up a spectacular community of love, health and kindness. The fruit is rich and we are blessed!

One of the unforeseeable lessons I learned is that in order for me to give my gift, which is the ability to personally and professionally give and be the best Neissa and pursue my dreams and passions, it can’t happen alone, and I must arm myself with the best. Per the words of the late world class track athlete Steve Prefontaine, “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.” I’ve decided that I don’t want to sacrifice my gift, and so with intention I not only arm myself with those who are the best at what they do (both personally and professionally), but I also arm myself with people who are better than me (personally and professionally) so I can up my game, grow, and become my best. As the late Jim Rohn says, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”

This week I invite you to be intentional with me and arm yourself with the best so you don’t sacrifice your gift. And, so we can be our best, we must constantly be evaluating and asking ourselves the following questions from Jim Rohn: “Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question. Is that okay? Life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.”

Action Item:
Make a short list of the five characteristics of the people you want and need in your life that can help you become your best.

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Live With No Guarantees

Vulnerability pushed, I pushed back. I lost the fight — but probably won my life back.

-Brené Brown

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

As mentioned a few weeks ago, myself and eleven other iGnite leaders and members attended the Texas Conference for Women. Brené Brown, an inspirational researcher and story teller, was one of the keynote speakers who spoke on the power of vulnerability. I must be honest, my first reaction to vulnerability is weakness, because if you’re vulnerable you are weak and cowardly, right? But, it wasn’t until Brené described it in her terms that I completely grasped the full power and potential of vulnerability, which is brilliant!

One of the stories Brené told was about a young man who randomly stopped her after watching her talk on TED.com. He explained that her talk inspired him to tell his girlfriend that he loved her; however, his vulnerable moment didn’t turn out as he had hoped. His girlfriend did not return the enduring gesture and told him they should see other people.

Unfortunately, this young man’s story didn’t end the way he had hoped, but I absolutely think he did the right thing. Obviously, this girl wasn’t the one he was supposed to be with and, as we all know, experiencing a broken heart is part of life and what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Furthermore, if we lead and live our lives with our whole hearts, meaning we get out of our logical and non-risk-taking heads, disappointment and heartache may certainly be an occasional result, however we will live with no regrets nor “what if’s” and live a life filled with joy!

In essence, whether or not we lead with our heads or our hearts, life will always be filled with distressing moments that can and will harden our hearts and cause us to avoid taking risks and experience potential failure. However, to use the words of Brené, which are also heard in the video of the week, “Stop controlling and predicting, and do something with no guarantees.” Dang that’s good stuff and I highly encourage you to take the twenty minutes and watch this life-changing (and funny) talk!

Point To Ponder:
Do previous disappointments prevent you from taking risks and enjoying life to the fullest?

Action Item:
Do something that you have always wanted to do but fear has prevented you from doing so.