This is the fifth post in my “Leading Ladies” series. I am excited to present Ms. Jocelyn Aucoin.

Bio: Jocelyn Aucoin is deeply interested in the intersection of art, technology, and community and how these connect us. She’s started several businesses over the span of her career, most notably Lujo Records and is currently involved in Social Media and Community in the Silicon Valley. Follow her musings on her blog and on Twitter at@jocelynaucoin sifting through the mystery of life on #FridayTalk 4pm EST.

Careful Wishes

If you remember nothing else from what you’re about to read, remember this: “be careful what you wish for.” You’ve heard people say it and it’s cliché. That’s because it’s true. What are you wishing for right now in this moment? Stop and think. What is your wish? Now step away from it for a second and ask yourself if you’re okay with that wish actually coming true? What would it mean for your life if it did?


As a young girl, I was allowed to live in the wishes of becoming a wife and a mother. There was plenty of guidance in my world for this. However, when it came to having a career, especially one in business, I had no framework. My mother didn’t work. My father didn’t nurture me in this way. Call us 1950’s, but that was the family I grew up in.


Luckily for me, there was an outside world that spoke a different truth to me and I saw there were options. Luckily for me, I had a journal and sketchbook, and I dared to put pen to paper. I observed those who were doing what I wanted to do in the world. I watched, asked questions. Because, while I might not have been given the framework for how to have the career I dreamed of, I sure as hell knew how to take some notes and make a wish!


But somehow in my note taking, somehow in hearing “be careful what you wish for”, I overlooked the “careful” part. I didn’t take the time to consider what it would mean to have these wishes came true. So, when I came to own my own company, become a wife, become a mother, my learning curve was like whoa. I hadn’t planned for this part and I didn’t have anyone to look to who was doing it or had done it before. Apparently I was still in the 1950s. Thankfully I’m not anymore. Anyway, here’s the thing —


Not having a framework or someone to show you the way means kicking your fear to the curb. It means becoming your biggest fan and worst critic and keeping the peace between both. It means being an expert at seeing into a space that is often dimly lit, if lit at all, which means being brave and a bit crazy. It means existing in a state of constant construction, destruction and reconstruction. It means vulnerability and positivity as ways of life, learning as you go, and eating insane amounts of humble pie. It is the definition of “digging deep.”


It’s gnarly, but it’s totally worth it.


All that digging led me down a path that is uniquely mine. I like that. Not having those traditional players to provide guidance in my career allowed unlikely players to step in and help. This, in turn, has given me a huge passion for helping others find their way. I love that. Forgetting about the “careful” part caused me to do things in my life that many in their right mind wouldn’t do. That’s been tough at times, but I’m way better off for it.


I’m so much better off for it, in fact, it seems as though I almost have a framework worked out after all. Or maybe this is just what I’ve learned so far:

Your wishes are who you are at your core. Embrace them – every one of them.

Learn to be resourceful. Be generous with your resources.

Study up. Share what you know.

Help as much as you can. Learn to accept help.

Say “yes!” They’ll be plenty of time to say “no” when you’re dead.

Lead with trust. Trust is courage not weakness.

Always choose love. Definitely choose it when you don’t feel like it.

Let your light shine bright. We need the light of each other so that we can see ourselves.

And last but not least…

Be careful what you wish. If you spend enough time in your wishes, they do come true!

What would you add to this list?

What core lessons have provided your framework for living and leading in the 21st Century?  

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