Did you watch Pippi Longstocking as a child? I loved watching these series. So fun, free, creative and imaginative. And didn’t we all want to be like Pippi? The brave, spontaneous and strong-willed girl, who had no fear, and lived all by herself with her horse and her monkey. I definitely did not want to be like goodie-two-shoes Annika, the girl next door, who was scared of everything and just wanted to stay in her comfort zone. Did you? Who did you feel was most like yourself? It’s an interesting metaphor, but one that deserves a little attention. What does it say about you? And if you are actually more an Annika than a Pippi, does this mean you won’t make it as an entrepreneur?
One of the things I do with my clients, is personality tests, and looking at what their core values are in life. This is important when you build a business that is fully aligned with who you are, and is sustainable in the long run. You don’t want to copy someone else’s model, you want to craft something that is truly you. Oftentimes, we think we know ourselves, but diving into our own personality traits a bit deeper, will bring insights that you can use to your advantage when making decisions as an entrepreneur. We are all told to be brave and bold as small business owners, but it’s easier said than done. It takes time, and the right support network to bring out and cultivate this side of you.
Programmed to be good girls
I would like to think that Pippi’s core values are much like my own: freedom and creativity are my number one values, followed closely by kindness and honesty, and optimism. I can be a bit of a rebel sometimes, and usually do the opposite of what other people are doing. I am an enneagram type 7, which is a personality type that is curious, positive, adventurous and highly creative (oh – and rather impatient). But even while I think I am not like Annika at all…this is not entirely true. Why? Because I also sometimes doubt myself, have insecurities, and want to be valued. I also feel a bit scared when starting something entirely new, and I wonder what people will think.
Maybe you feel that you actually have a lot of Annika in you too. And you know what, I reckon that most of us behave a lot like Annika. Because many girls especially, have been taught by parents, grandparents and school teachers ‘to be good girls’, not to climb too high up in the tree or we may fall, and to stay safe. Don’t run, or you may trip. Don’t show off. We are taught that it is ‘better to be safe than sorry’. To stick with what we know, not pretend to be better than anyone else, not to draw too much attention to ourselves. Don’t be silly. Follow the rules. Be nice. Meet expectations.
Does this resonate? Then it is no wonder that we find it quite scary to leave employment and become our own boss. Because it goes against the grain.
Running your own business is everything Pippi, and not a lot of Annika. You have to be brave, make your own decisions, take risks, climb on the roof top and shout about your offer, not be scared to draw attention to yourself. That is a big step when you’re used to working for a boss, and being the ‘good girl’.
Bringing out your inner Pippi
But even if you have been very much like Annika until now, it is clear that Pippi lives inside you as well. She has just not been given a center stage yet. Even Annika is drawn to Pippi’s fun life loving attitude, and gets braver and braver in the series, trying things she’d never tried before, stepping out of her comfort zone. She may be a goodie-two-shoes, but her own inner Pippi is slowly coming to the surface.
And this is what most budding entrepreneurs are feeling like: scared to start but willing to give it a go with the right enouragement and a supportive friend by their side. If the excitement is bigger than the fear, that is the green light to go for it. Pippi brought out the inner rebel in Annika, and you too have this fire in your belly to break out of your chains and create something truly amazing. You are long done with feeling nice and comfortable in your job, or at home, working hard and fulfilling expectations. Are you still ignoring that burning desire to be free?
The trouble with our inner Annika, is that she creates a barrier on the road to building our dream life. Because she will always tell you not to do anything silly, to wait a bit longer until you are ready, to make sure you feel completely safe.
“I have never done it so I think I am probably able to do it”
This is one of Pippi’s famous quotes. It is a quote we should all take to heart as business owners. Because we are way more capable than we give ourselves credit for. Most of us are thinking for years about being our own boss and setting up a business, or making any big change in life. We want to work everything out first, so we feel fully in control and won’t make a mistake. Another year goes by. And then another. Life is OK, your job pays the bills, but that desire to do something different never goes away.
You are probably somewhere in your mid to late 30s, or 40s right now, right? Most of my clients are. You have worked hard, met expectations, done what people advised you to do, got diplomas, promotions, got married, had a family, bought a house. You’ve ticked all the boxes on Annika’s list. But what happened to crazy Pippi?
You have landed on my website because something is calling you. You clearly don’t want to go through the second half of your life doing the same old thing. You are seriously considering going for it, but it’s likely the fear that is holding you back. Now ask yourself; do you want to look back at life thinking, I am so glad I stayed within my comfort zone? At the end of the day, what matters is that you give it a try. Sure, you’ll make plenty of mistakes, and it will require a lot of effort. But the alternative is to never know what it feels like at all. And I promise you, the feeling of freedom and creating your own small (or big!) business, is something you will NEVER regret.
As a creative business coach, I can be your Pippi as your buddy by your side, bringing out the best in you, and encouraging you to become braver and more confident. I believe in you.
Book a free coffee chat with me if you like the idea of working with me.
This is me, age 9, dressed up as Pippi!