How a teapot triggered my Upper Limit (and what I did to get past it)

I was sitting on the couch, fresh steaming cinnamon-sprinkled latte in hand, watching my kids tear into their Christmas presents. These weren’t just any Christmas presents, either. These were the first presents unwrapped underneath the roof of our new home, and that in itself felt like a pretty unbelievable gift—one we’d earned together as a family after years of living in tiny homes, crammed into too tight space, making ends meet through a whole lotta hustle.

It was a real moment.

I was brought back from my reverie to my latte and my own Christmas gifts as my husband handed me an unassuming box, “Here, open this one.”

Seeing his excitement, I got pretty damn excited, too. After all, he’d just slayed me with the Peloton to end all other cardio pursuits. His gift game was on point, and I could tell he knew he’d nailed it. I tore in to find THE Dolce & Gabbana teapot I’d been eyeballing, admiring, and damn near drooling over for months.

I should have been thrilled, but… internally I groaned. “Noooooooooo.”

My Dolce & Gabbana Teapot
The infamous Dolce & Gabbana teapot

I left that teapot in its box for months, secretly planning to have my assistant return it for me. Since I never actually told my assistant about that secret plan, she eventually unpacked it and put it on the counter where it sat unused from January until March. March 25th, 2019—the day I saw the caterer for my Glow Up Live event rightfully help herself to some hot water for tea. That fantastic Caribbean chef unknowingly gave me permission to use my fancy designer teapot—and then, for the first time, stop and wonder… why the hell not!?

Shocking, right? I mean, I’m the woman who doesn’t shy away from investing in myself and spending money on the things that I want. I’ve been unapologetic about admitting that I’ve put at least $500K into my business over the years through programs, courses, and conferences. I’m a full believer in leveling up. I mean, don’t get a Mercedes or a million dollar home when you can’t financially manage a Mercedes or a million dollar home, but this whole “Teapotgate 2019” thing helped me realize …

I had a nefarious subconscious belief: it’s okay to buy expensive things and invest, but only for practical purposes.

“This beautiful house is for my children.”

“This Mercedes is a car for business travel.”

“This trip to Italy is a business retreat.”

Sure, I’d been secretly coveting that teapot for months, but I never would have bought it for myself. I even tried to make it practical: “This teapot is… to display on the credenza behind my desk so that I can have a beautiful teapot in the background of all of my videos and also have tea whenever I want it while working.” <— serious side-eye

I was telling myself that it’s not okay to have a beautiful designer teapot just to have a beautiful designer teapot. And that is bullshit. 

It’s okay to want what you want. You don’t need an altruistic reason.

Leveling up can be triggering. The above is a case study in just that. That teapot looked me square in the face and asked me:

“What does it mean that you’re a woman who owns a fancy designer teapot?”

It means I’ve worked hard and it has paid off. It means my husband saw that I desired something I wouldn’t buy for myself and bought it for me. It means that I’ve become rich, which still makes me cringe a little internally to say. It means I’m lucky—but luck isn’t something that just happens. You make your own luck and it strikes when you refuse to punk out.

Listen, I punk out on things, too. I punked out on that teapot. But even when I punk out, I eventually come around. It’s not about NOT being scared. It isn’t about being fearless. You think I’m fearless? I’m not. I’m a real human, and I get scared, too. It’s about being scared and facing that designer teapot, anyway.

You can be scared and you can be successful. And you can have a designer teapot and be a good person.

How are you punking out on yourself right now? It can be as small as a saying no to using that designer teapot or as big as totally revolutionizing your business. The small things are usually hiding in plain sight and at the root of the bigger things, too.


PS: If you’ve got a dream inside you, if there is a next level you are trying to reach, and you are ready to stop punking out and go for it, I have something for you. I am doing a new round of my Glow Up coaching program and it’s 50% off the normal price tag. If you’re an entrepreneur running a service business on track to generate $100k in revenue or more this year, get all the details and sign up here. Judging by how many people signed up yesterday in this small group coaching program, I fully expect it to sell out before the deadline. Don't punk out by putting it off.

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