Why “Eat, Pray, Love” Has Struck a Chord With Women Entrepreneurs
So, have you read this inspirational book yet?
Seen the movie? Whatever you do, don’t skip reading the book in favor of watching the movie or you’ll miss all the rich storytelling-texture the book has to offer.
Elizabeth Gilbert has written a book that many women entrepreneurs will take inspiration from. Some will enjoy her fun prose with its mix of intelligence, charm, and wit. Others will resonate with the honest and transparent way she talks about the good, the bad, and the ugly that led her to and through her yearlong journey.
There have been mixed reviews of the book. Oprah loved it and dedicated two episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” to it. Maureen Callahan of the “New York Post” harshly criticized the book and Oprah for devoting so much time to it.
So what does this have to do with being an entrepreneur? You might be surprised.
First and foremost, this memoir about Gilbert’s yearlong travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia underscores just how much a woman’s inner journey affects her outer life journey.
For the woman entrepreneur, it is also her inner journey that makes her entrepreneurial journey worth taking and ultimately determines the success or failure of her business.
Five Quotations from “Eat, Pray, Love” to Sustain You along Your Entrepreneurial Journey
1. “Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.”
That’s a tough one for many women in general and women entrepreneurs specifically. Because women are such community and consensus builders focused on the good of the whole, we often lack the backbone to just stand up and tell it like it is.
In fact, that’s the main thread of Gilbert’s book: Tell the truth. Tell the truth about who you are and what’s important to you. Tell it to yourself and to those important people around you. And when you do, you’ll find you’ve developed the backbone you need to complete the entrepreneurial journey.
2. “I am stronger than Depression and braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me.”
This quotation is part of a much longer one that both calmed and strengthened Gilbert when she was at her point of greatest despair. Alone and crying out for the first time to God, what she heard, from deep within herself, was this: She was never alone, eternally loved, and always protected.
As women entrepreneurs, haven’t we all been there? Alone. Crying out in the dark. Looking more for a relationship than for answers. Whether that calm, all-knowing voice actually comes from God or from within, it is good to know that we are not alone. Together, we are stronger than we ever realized, with a deep reservoir of energy.
3. “‘Tis better to live your own life imperfectly than to imitate someone else’s life perfectly.”
This quotation from the “Bhagavad Gita” is a powerful mantra for women entrepreneurs. Shades of what society once considered women should be perfect daughters, wives, and mothers still color our world today. Yet times have changed. No longer is the right of passage for modern women one of age (from girlhood to womanhood); it is one of thought.
As a woman entrepreneur, you already have a strongly developed thought form of wanting to live life on your own terms. You already have independence, wealth, and wanting to make a difference in the world as your driving forces. This quotation reminds us that the joy of the entrepreneurial journey is when it’s not so perfect.
4. “I am a better person when I have less on my plate.”
What “Eat, Pray, Love” exhorts you to do is fill up our body, mind, and soul with smiles. “Smile from your liver” with what is pleasing to you. From an energetic perspective, what you focus upon is added upon. It may sound cliche to say, “Let go, let God.” However, you must find a way to let go of the little irritations that occur throughout your day and move quickly past that which annoys you to a more pleasing thought form.
5. “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day.
This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
The first time I read this, I laughed out loud! How true. How true! Show me a woman entrepreneur who doesn’t want to be in control of her life, and I’ll show you a woman whose business is struggling.
The key, though, is to select what thoughts to think. “…select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day.”I like how easy this quote makes it sound. After all, controlling someone else’s thoughts is never easy. It’s not even possible! However, controlling your own can be done, can only be done by you, and is well worth the effort.
Gilbert’s book is not the first book of its kind nor will it be the last. However, its popularity means that it struck a universal chord of realization with many readers. As a woman entrepreneur, this book is a present-day reminder to you about how important your inner journey is to your entrepreneurial journey. If you want to run a successful business, first learn to control your own thoughts. Let these five quotations from “Eat, Pray, Love” remind you to select your own thoughts each day, to smile both inside and out, and to stay strong along your entrepreneurial journey.
Susan L. Reid works with women starting up home-based businesses for the very first time who are feeling both excited and overwhelmed at the prospect and haven’t a clue where to begin.