Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16

Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16
Happy February, Soul Fam!

There’s a lot going on this month from honoring Black History to celebrating Valentine’s love to owning that it’s the year to play a bigger fucking game. OK, I made that last one up but, hey, I’m a rebel and I can do that. (Um, so can you.)

Sorry, not sorry that this newsletter isn’t filled with romantic notions, girlfriend getaways, or 10 ways to spice up your love life. You guys know me better than that! I trust you’ll get plenty of cupid’s care in your feed (should you want it). 

OK, I’m anxious to cannonball into the deep end because this is the first newsletter I’m typing from my cute little winter “beach” pad in Playa Del Rey, California, after a bucket list worthy, cross-country road trip. And it feels so right. The energy, the vibe, my community, and the ocean a 15-minute walk down (and up and down) the street. I’m exactly where I’m meant to be in this moment. And it never hurts to have a killer surfboard as inspirational décor in your house (just watch one of my podcasts on YouTube). 

But, honestly, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows and surfboards. The time I spent in Baja, Mexico last November was a much-needed soul reboot, and also a big kick in the ass. I loved all the messages and affirmations that I was on the right path and was also forced to acknowledge that I wasn’t truly living into my mission in the biggest way possible. I was confronted with so many questions: 
How will I ever reach (or at least get closer to) my audacious mission to liberate a billion souls if I stay focused on 1-on-1 coaching? 
What if Soulbbatical was only ever meant to be a stepping stone to a bigger, more impactful idea? 
What if everything I’m rebelling for is actually in service of rewriting the script of success? 
What programs can I create to liberate more souls every single day – inside and outside of the corporate world? 
How do I need to show up differently in order to BE this movement maker?

These questions both rocked my world and lit me up. They terrified me and inspired me to think bigger. And, most importantly, they left me open to the possibility of what can be (even when I was doubting everything I had created). And that’s really what I want to spend time on today. This idea of what can be when we decide to accept the invitation to play bigger. 

The rest of this newsletter is an invitation to join me in doing exactly that. Rebelling for our own big futures…and those around us…every race, color, creed, and gender identity. Even when the deck doesn’t seem to be stacked in our favor. 

I’m putting my arm around you and saying, “I got you.” So, let’s go…
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16

fascinating

WHO OR WHAT IS INTRIGUING ME AT THE MOMENT

Well, if I needed another sign from the Universe that it’s time to step up my game, I got it in spades last week. Forbes (yeah, that freaking Forbes!) named Soulbbatical #1 on its 21 Books to Read in 2021 List. I mean, pinch me and pick my jaw up off the floor. This was an unexpected and radically appreciated recognition. Maybe even a career-making one. (And rumor has it that another biggie is on the horizon…)

But here’s the truth. I thought my book baby was dying on the vine when the sun set on 2020. Sales were slowing, reviews were plateauing, media appearances were few and far between, and the world seemed doomed to be in lockdown forever. Simon & Schuster wasn’t returning my calls or initiating any conversation about a paperback release (the next obvious step for a “successful” book). It’s a kind of heartbreak that I haven’t spoken out loud…until now. 

But I never stopped believing that Soulbbatical is destined to have a greater impact in the world. As Brené said in her UT commencement address last year, “what starts here changes the world, but it will not be on your terms and it will not be on your timeline.” (Read that again and really take it in.) 

I’m sharing this as a reminder to never stop rebelling for what you believe and showing up like the rockstar you are (who already made it happen). Please keep putting your abundant intentions into the Universe (even, and especially, when it feels impossible). Arianna Huffington is next for me. Then Brené. Then Oprah. Because how else am I gonna make a dent in a billion souls, right?!

I’m curious, what’s next for YOU? What intentions will you set for playing a bigger game this year? 

P.S. If you haven’t watched Brené Brown’s “Don’t Be Afraid to Fall” 2020 UT commencement address, gift yourself these twenty minutes of inspo.
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16

underlining

WHAT’S GOT MY ORANGE HIGHLIGHTER IN OVERDRIVE

Being a first-time author is a big freaking deal, you guys. It’s incredibly vulnerable to put your story, message, and/or life’s work in permanent ink for the world to see (and rate and review). It’s deep soul work. A labor of love. A courageous act of walking into the arena without armor. Nothing about it is easy – not the writing, the editing, the pitching, the publishing, the promoting, the selling. I know from personal experience – this past year as a first-time author in midst of a global pandemic has been a wild ride of fabulous, faith, and fuck-it in equal proportion. (And I still wouldn’t trade it for anything.) 

But there’s one thing I will do differently. I vow to celebrate and support the hell out of every author I call a friend and soul sister/brother – whether it’s their first or fourth book baby. I’ve been doing it organically, but it’s time to double down. And I’m inviting you all to do the same. Let’s get more of our Soul Fam in Forbes, on the bestseller lists, and in Reese’s and Oprah’s book clubs! 

This month I have not one but TWO (!!) incredible soul sisters who are launching their first book babies into the world. I’m bursting at the seams, turning cartwheels across a dangerously small living room right now. Both women are advocates for authenticity, stellar speakers, and mic-drop movement makers. Just hit “pre-order” and thank me later. 

February 15th: Erin Hatzikostas, former corporate CEO turned Professional Pot-Stirrer, is hell-bent on her mission to help people have the big career they deserve, without compromising everything else. And she’s funny as hell. Her book is called You Do You-ish: Unleash Your Authentic Superpowers to Get the Career You Deserve 

Pre-order your copy (or copies!) here. You might recognize the endorsement on the front cover. 😉 

If you want a little preview of what you’re in for, while you’re waiting for the book to arrive, here are two fun options:

Erin’s hot-off-the-presses TEDx Talk which already has over 15,000 views after only a week-ish online. So REAL and FUNNY. You go girl! 
My conversation with Erin on the Rebel Souls podcast where we dig deep into the essence of authentic leadership.

February16th: Jessica Zweig, Forbes Personal Branding Expert and Founder of SimplyBe Personal Branding Agency. No one will help you turn authenticity into a superpower in the magical way Jess and her team can. (I know, I’m a client!) Her book is called Be. A No Bullsh*t Guide to Increasing Your Self Worth and Net Worth by Simply Being Yourself. Pre-order your copy (or copies!) here. She’s offering all kinds of juicy exclusive bonuses with pre-orders right now so it’s a no brainer, my friends. 

If you want to experience Jessica’s light while you’re waiting for all your goodies to arrive, start here:

She and I jam about authenticity on the Rebel Souls podcast and she offers a peek into her proprietary branding framework and some of the themes in her book. 

One of my pod faves and weekly must-listens is The SimplyBe. Podcast hosted by Jessica. Find a conversation that speaks to your soul here. I was her guest on Episode #40 (How to Become Chief Soul Officer of Your Own Life), but there’s so much more to explore. Her guests are trailblazers of all stars and stripes. 

P.S. I’m also a member of her SimplyBe. Society. It’s GOLD. Just sayin’. 
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16

experiencing

WHO/WHAT/WHERE IS GIVING ME ROCKET FUEL

You all know that I preach the importance of community on this journey and, holy shit, did the Universe just deliver the community I need in this exact moment of upping my game. Woah. In late December, I announced that I was complete with 4PC, an extraordinary community of top coaches and entrepreneurs that has served me powerfully for the past two-and-a-half years. So powerfully that I named the founder, Rich Litvin, and every member in the acknowledgements of my book. 

I declared that it was time to let go and create spaciousness (my word for 2021!) for what’s to come. The thing that I can’t even see yet; the thing that I might be unintentionally blocking with my busyness or Hell Maybe versus Hell Yes commitments; the thing that would electrify my body and spark my soul like nothing else in my life today. (Anyone else feeling that right now? This story will convince you to let go.)

It happened – unexpectedly – within 48 hours. I was catching up with my mission-driven soul sister, Christina Glickman (more on her below because if you don’t yet know her, you need to). I mentioned leaving 4PC, creating space, and wanting to turbocharge my mission in a more feminine, less masculine way. I couldn’t put it into words at the time, but I knew I needed the support of someone(s) who would help me harness my bigness, the force of nature that I am, in even more powerful ways.

And create a “Play Bigger” business model that will amplify my mission and message. Enter Abbey Gibb. Christina had been working with her and was privy to a brand new, invite only community of ten female movement makers that Abbey was about to start. It’s called the Divine Feminine Leadership Academy. Hello, goosebumps. Suffice it to say, yours truly quickly became the 10th and final member of this power posse. Working directly with Abbey and alongside soul-driven leaders like Christina. Feeling so honored (and at home).

Check out Abbey’s most recent TEDx talk, Share Your S.H.I.T.. It has over a MILLION views. And for good reason. This woman is a divine fucking badass on a mission to help us all share our authentic stories, connect deeply, and turn our messages into movements that heal the world. And she’s leading the way so powerfully. I cannot wait to share more with you as we co-create together, Soul Fam. There will be new juicy ways to engage with me and dive deeper into your own Soulbbatical and Rebel Leadership journeys. 

Huge shout out to Christina Glickman for the intro. She’s the author of Xtra: The Art of Being and heart-led leader of xtra: love army. Check her out on the ‘gram. I guarantee you’ll become obsessed. She’s the embodiment of style, soul, and substance. Oprah meets Gucci. I can listen to her drop nuggets of wisdom ALL DAMN DAY. Speaking of which, Christina was on my Rebel Souls podcast last year for her book launch. The conversation on unapologetic confidence is masterclass material. ICYMI: here’s the link

As a fun little aside, Christina and I are co-hosting inspiring, soul-led conversations every Friday morning at 8a PST/10a CST on Clubhouse, the new-ish audio-only, drop-in social media sensation. We’re newbies making it up as we go (seriously). Our teaser is “imagine the conversation at the intersection of Oprah meets Gucci and Brené meets Bike Babe. Soul bombs, F bombs, and lotsa inspiration.” If you’re curious about CH, and not yet on the platform, I have five invites for the first five takers! DM me on IG or email me at shelley@soulbbatical.com with the subject line CLUBHOUSE. Hope to see you on Friday mornings!
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16

listening

PODCAST EPISODES, VIDEOS, OR WORDS OF WISDOM
FROM MY TRIBE

Abbey has me all fired up about the power of Manifestos (and what I can potentially create from my Rebel Leader’s Manifesto.) For inspiration, she recommended that I watch Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDx Talk called “We Should All Be Feminists”. It’s a brilliant – and funny – manifesto that calls for dismantling gender expectations in favor of women stepping into our truer selves. And it has almost 5 million views! I feel like I’m late to the party – am I the only one discovering her this late in the game?! What a gem. 

I also just ordered her short book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, which captures some of the same principles in a beautifully written letter to a friend on how to raise her baby girl to be a feminist, i.e. a strong, independent woman. In my parlance, a badass rebel soul! BOOM! Give this one as a gift to every young woman you know, Soul Fam. This is how the ripples become the wave. 

Chimamanda’s Feminist Manifesto has also been on my mind as part of honoring Black History Month. But I can’t in good conscience stop there. This year’s celebration seems even more necessary and urgent and pivotal on the heels of the bright spotlight shone on racial injustice last year. Of course, this injustice isn’t new, but it is time to move through and forward, together. I’m still committed to all the anti-racist learnings and actions I highlighted in last summer’s “We Can Do Better” newsletter
I’ve also taken a pledge to end racism in this generation. I’m ALL IN on the movement my soul brother, Justin Michael Williams, is leading. Last month he authored an epic, game changing Manifesto called, “Ending Racism: How to Change the World in One Generation.” It’s the next gen “I Have a Dream” speech, you guys. And it’s premised on the powerful idea of moving towards ending racism versus fighting against racism. (I hear echoes of Rebelling FOR!) So please pause, watch it here or read it here, and then take the pledge. Share the manifesto and pledge with everyone you know so we can help Justin reach his mic-drop goal of 25% of the population or 1.9 Billion souls committed to ending racism in this generation. An impact billionaire after my own heart. 

(FYI – I also donated to his Dream Bigger Foundation to help support individuals and organizations who are living and spreading this message of love. Your support is greatly appreciated if you feel called. You can also stream Justin’s tune called “The Turning” on any music platform and the proceeds will go straight toward the mission to end racism. Put that sucker on repeat and hear the drumbeat of change!)

Lastly, have you heard that Amanda Gorman’s show-stopping Presidential Inauguration Poem “The Hill We Climb” is about to become a book?! YIPPEEEEE. I’ve already pre-ordered her genius and hope and vision for this country. I encourage you to do the same here. Cheers to a very bright future. Let’s be the light, Soul Fam. 
 
I’m here for each and every one of you. Shoot me an email and let me know what lit your soul on fire, what shifted your perspective for the weeks or months ahead, and/or how I can support you in any way. And, if you’ve read Soulbbatical or listened to Rebel Souls, I’d be so grateful for a review on Amazon, Goodreads, or your favorite pod platform.  Reviews are a vote of confidence that encourage kindred souls to make the leap!
And don’t be shy. If you love what you’re reading in this newsletter, please share it with friends, family, clients, and colleagues who need a little more Soul Fuel in their lives. I mean, in this day and age, don’t we all? 

Stay safe and soul-full my friends. And please do whatever you can to make a difference in whatever part of the country or world you’re in. I appreciate you all. Sending lots of rebel love your way. 


Soulfully,
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16
Playing a Bigger Game in Soul F.U.E.L. v16
TRANSFORMATIONAL LIFE + LEADERSHIP COACHING (1:1)
Ready to play big? Longing for a life that’s more authentic, courageous, and fulfilling? Then it’s time to make an investment in you. Email me what your soul is longing to do and let’s chat about possibilities.  
GROUP COACHING & MENTORING PROGRAM
Are you looking for a magical combination of coaching and community? This is an intimate opportunity for a group of six like-minded souls to be coached and mentored by me while also connecting with each other on the journey. Email me if this sparks your interest. 
SOUL OF BUSINESS COACH-SULTING
Are you a progressive leader who wants to do the deep work of defining and developing the soul of your organization and the leadership culture required to make it happen? Are you committed to developing courageous and wholehearted leaders? This is the best of my business brain, coaching soul, and  Dare to LeadTM facilitation combined. Email me your vision and let’s talk.  
SPEAKING AT AN EVENT
Need an inspiring speaker for your conference or corporate event? I’ve had the privilege of studying Improv Comedy and speaking in front of audiences of thousands in the corporate world. Email me and let’s talk about how the lessons of Soulbbatical and Rebel Leadership can transform your audience. 

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