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I realize that it is a cliché to say this at this point, but I am just going to say it: 2020 has been a year! There has been this tension of trying to get through the year while also trying to focus on our goals while also dealing with what is happening around us in our culture while also taking care of our families. It is a lot. There are many well-intentioned, encouraging messages that are preached at us, especially women. Things like “you are enough”, “you can do it”, and “you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps.” Those are well-intentioned, but in the end, often leave us feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. My guest today is trying to restructure that narrative with a counternarrative that helps women understand how to overcome adversity and live with confidence. Alli Worthington is known for her straight-talking encouragement and practical tools that help women reach their dreams in business and in life. She’s a business coach and the co-founder of Called Creatives, where she coaches writers and speakers. She is also the author of The Year of Living Happy, Fierce Faith, Breaking Busy, and her most recent book, Standing Strong: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity and Living with Confidence. Alli is also a well-known speaker and host of the popular podcast, The Alli Worthington Show. I’ve been a big fan of Alli for a long time. It was such a treat to have her on the show today, especially at such a time as this.
Alli lives outside of Nashville with her husband and 5 sons who range in age from 5 to 21 years! She is a speaker, author, business coach, and entrepreneur. She got her start in blogging in 2007 while she was a stay-at-home mom. In 2008, four weeks after her 5th son was born, her husband had also been out of work for a year.
Alli and her family ended up moving out of their home after their savings ran out, and their home went into foreclosure. They lived for a summer with Alli’s grandfather while her husband applied to jobs and Alli Googled “how to start a business.”
Alli knew that if they ever fell on hard times again or if there was another recession, that she could contribute to helping the family financially. She worked hard and God opened doors. Before they knew it, Alli’s husband had a job, and Alli’s business started to take off.
When her company grew big enough, Alli and her husband knew it was time for one of them to focus on the kids and the other to take over the role of breadwinner. Alli became the breadwinner while her husband stayed home with the kids.
7: 25 – The Blissdom Conference Transition
In the same year that Alli lost everything (2008), she started a conference called Blissdom. In 2012, she was attending a leadership conference and she felt the Lord calling her to step away from Blissdom Conference to pursue other things He had in store for her. In 2019, God allowed her to bring it back to help women come together in community to learn about how to influence the world for the better through work.
In November 2019 at the end of the conference, Alli felt God say “don’t do this (conference) again.” It was a bit startling after just bringing the conference back. After a lot of prayer, Alli knew that the conference wasn’t meant to happen in 2020. She still wrestled with the decision to step away so soon after bringing it back for one year. God knew a pandemic was coming, but Alli did not.
Alli has been a Christian since she was 16 but says she didn’t hear from God until she was 30. We all hear from God in different ways, and often we don’t think we’re hearing from him unless we hear from Him with a big, obvious sign.
It’s very individual and easy to fall into the comparison trap. Alli says she recognizes God’s voice because it will tell her things that she wouldn’t tell herself. It’s never shameful, and she prayers over the moments she thinks she’s hearing from God.
God often speaks through our friends. Alli’s friends have called her in times where they fell God is telling them to talk to her about something, and it’s always exactly the thing she’s been wrestling about with God.
The heart of the book is about women’s identity, what God wants for women, how to partner with Him, how to move past the obstacles that hold us back, how to gain a real confidence about partnering with Him, and to move forward with strength.
Women are bearing the brunt of this global pandemic whether having to quit jobs to take care of children, women balancing educating their children and managing working from home. It’s important for us to recognize it and not be shocked by it because that takes so much of our emotional energy.
We may not know what we’re walking into tomorrow or next week, but we can partner with God to get through it and he will give us the strength we need as women to get through this season.
With every book she writes, Alli stops and asks God what her next book is about. With Fierce Faith it was fear, with Standing Strong, Alli was reminded of a prayer that her mom prayed over her. Alli’s mom prayed that she would be “a great woman of God, strong in her faith, and fearless as she faces the future.” God told Alli Standing Strong would be about being a “great woman of God.”
A few weeks later she asked God again what the next book would be about and the answer was “I already told you.” She spent the next 6 months unraveling what God wanted to say to women. She had a feeling that times were going to get difficult, but God had a vision for women partnering with Him to bring his vision to the Earth.
Every day we are bombarded with the self-empowerment, hustle messages, but it can feel exhausting for many women. When we can hand that over to God, knowing it’s not sustainable for us to hold it all, the weight of expectation to hustle constantly can lift.
When things fall apart, women will not blame the “hustle” message, they will blame themselves. These messages are leading women down a road of destruction. God created us to do good, hard work, but there’s a key difference between partnering with Him and feeling like we’re the hero of our own story. We have to do heavy lifting, but God directs our steps. God has something new and exciting for us in every season if we’re paying attention.
There are societal voices that temp women to think that our time has passed if we haven’t done something by a certain (young) age. The truth is, when we get older, that’s our prime time! Alli says that in her 40s, she is still gearing up for her prime time.
The longer we’ve been at it, the more equity we have whether it’s wisdom, financial, relational, confidence. Women in their 30s are even still figuring it out and often don’t have the decades of built up relational and financial security. It’s important that no matter our age, every season of life matters.
Alli didn’t publish her first book until 10 years to the month from when she first had her idea to write a book. Now she’s written four books in four years. Sometimes women feel like we’re being selfish when they have a dream. If there is a dream in our heart that hasn’t gone away, it’s because God is reminding us that He has something for us to do.
*Tune it at 39:51 for a conversation about Chapter 5: When You’re Afraid of Disappointing Others. *
You can find Standing Strong wherever books are sold. Find more about the book on Alli’s website HERE.
Tune in for some fun get-to-know-you questions with Alli like what song she’d choose as her walkup song, what she wanted to be when she was growing up, how she’d prove she’s from the future if she could travel ahead in time, what she thinks people will be nostalgic for in 40 years, and of course, what it means to Alli to run a business with purpose.
6:47 – “I am obsessed with what women can do using technology. I like to say that with God and Google, we’re unstoppable. We can learn anything we want to learn, we can build anything we want to build…and we don’t have to get anyone’s permission.”
7:06 – “Women being led my God can change their world and the world around them for the better using technology.”
15:11 – “When we make ourselves available to (hearing God), He becomes louder and louder in our lives.”
24:55 – “When the fruit of the hustle ends up not being good, when what they (women) are doing falls apart because they’re not leaning on Jesus, the true source of strength and wisdom, they will not blame the faulty message, they will blame themselves.”
26:39 – “I’ve crossed a hundred finish lines, but God doesn’t lace up my shoes for me. I’ve got to lace up my shoes, I’ve got to run, but it’s God who directs my steps.”
36:15- “When women are over 40, when we have a few years on us, we tend to financially be more secure, we have more experience, we have more connection…that’s where opportunity comes from…”
39:09 – “I believe if there is a dream in our heart that hasn’t gone away, it’s because God is reminding us that He has something for us to do.”
39:25 – “Just because it seems hard…it doesn’t mean that it’s not your dream, it doesn’t mean that it’s not your calling, it just may mean that the calling is going to come to life in a new season.”
ABOUT ALLI WORTHINGTON:
Alli Worthington is known for her straight-talking encouragement and practical tools that help women reach their dreams in business and life. She’s a business coach and co-founder of Called Creatives, where she coaches writers and speakers. Author of The Year of Living Happy, Fierce Faith, and Breaking Busy, Alli is a well-known speaker and host of the popular podcast, The Alli Worthington Show. Her no-nonsense, guilt-free take on business, family, and balance have led to appearances on TODAY and Good Morning America. Alli lives with her husband, Mark, and their five sons outside of Nashville with the only golden retriever who refuses to retrieve.
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