Permission To Be A Startup

by Lacey Roy-Ciciriello

I hung on every word coming out of her mouth. She was so confident, collected, and calm; I wanted to be just like that and I was in awe of her at that specific moment in time? 

Mid-sentence I stopped and laughed as I realized that particular thought because I was the one talking and being so confident, calm and collected. You know you’re good when you can convince yourself, right?

As entrepreneurs this is expected from us on various levels as we make choices all day, every day in areas inside and not even close to our speciality. Starting a business reminds me of parenting two kids under the age of two. As I had one baby on one hip, I rolled through various options to stop her fussing, there was the other one crawling behind me, noisily asking with nonsense words for attention towards something else while simultaneously crying for me to get the other one to stop making so much noise.

Most of us are taught in business to have it all figured out now. That wavering isn’t confidence evoking and we should have all the answers. We have our passionate speciality on one hip (nutrition and health, serving women with knowledge), crying for attention and nurturing. Then we have our love of business following us with needed details, (“which website host are we using?”), all the while supposedly knowing exactly what we want and how we want it. (What’s a website host?!)

The problem is, I don’t always know what I want and sometimes the way I want it isn’t the best way for the business. Admitting that is best done internally while rapidly shaking our heads, we’re supposed to have all the answers, right? When I was offered a formal mentorship from a woman I admire in business I jumped at it all the while sweating through my shirt, “I don’t have all the answers yet!” swimming through my anxiety. How will I piece together business answers when I’m still building the business?


“It’s OK to not be there yet. You have permission to be in the space you’re in because you have wisdom and experience, you’re already an expert in your field. You’re allowed to be in the start-up phase, Lacey.”

I had never once had permission to be a startup before. My first mentorship meeting with Lisa was the best hour of business I have ever spent, time being our most precious commodity.

Marketing strategies and social media platforms aside, blog posts and business plans edited and reshaped, permission to be exactly where I am was reassuringly dripped through it all. My smile widened and I realized I am confident, collected and calm simply because I can be in my startup phase. Like rays from a pre-dawn sunrise re-shading the hue of the sky, my entire demeanor and approach lightened. I finally had permission to redefine success as happiness in my business in the space and phase it’s currently in and share that. These are the foundational moments towards building my company, Full Bodied Health, so why would I rush over these moments?

Mentorship isn’t simply business mechanics, it’s a relationship of accepting and building where your business is, loving it fully, and taking the next step from that exact space. Whether tweaking a marketing campaign or receiving permission to be confident as a start up, in the start up phase, mentorship is growth for you, wherever that starting point may be.

Take it, embrace it, love it, and grow with it! 

Lacey is passionate about pushing boundaries, thinking differently, and serving others. Mental health and mental illness are turned sideways through her writing on and is inspiring and motivating women with her new company Full Bodied Health, which focuses on nutrition for the health you deserve.