As women embark on new unknowns in the business world, it's more important than ever that we Keep the Faith in ourselves and in each other.
Women respecting others. Women listening to others. Women encouraging others. Women standing together.
This is how we progress. This is how we move forward. This is how we weather tough times.
So if you don't have a community of women in your support circle, BUILD one! It will change your life. Promise!
When I ejected from corporate America twelve years ago, I did not have a support system in place of women in my community. I found being a business owner was even lonelier than being a Peace Corps Volunteer in a developing country had been!
The businesswomen I knew were all 'corporate types,' as I had been for ages. And they didn't have a clue how to support me. Some thought I was crazy to have left the 'security' of my J.O.B....
So I went looking for a community.
I joined - online, sight unseen - the National Association of Women Business Owners, aka 'NAWBO.' In it, I found my first support circle of women who understood precisely what I was going through. [Full disclosure - I have been an active member of NAWBO for 12 years, served locally as chapter president and Board member, served on the National Board of Directors, and as Chair of the Presidents' Assembly leading the presidents and presidents-elect of our 60 chapters across the US.]
My NAWBO Sisters showed me generosity and openness. Frankly, it was a new experience to find people who were so abundance-based, not fearing that if I had success that it would somehow jeopardize theirs. Furthermore, they wanted me to succeed, and held out their hands to help.
Not every woman out there does this. But it was a delightful surprise to find how entrepreneurs show up and support each other! Case in point, here's one of my favorite pictures from a bunch of members of our original CEO School for Women™ group, supporting one of our sisters at the launch of a new business.
Build Your Own Circle
Your circle doesn't need to be so formalized as a membership organization. You can find a small group of women in your neighborhood or as close as your nearest coffee shop. It can be as few as three people who are willing and committed to a common purpose.
What is important is that you agree on what outcome you're looking for from your relationship.
Accountability, support, lead sharing - as long as your purpose serves each person, you will all benefit. You can meet regularly -- weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, whatever frequency fits your needs. You might meet face-to-face or virtually online (even with wine - yes!). Keep checking in with each other to see that the direction your group is taking is serving each person. The relationships that develop will become gold as you build the trust and love for one another.
Join Our Circle
If you don't have access to such a group, or your current situation doesn't permit you to form one, you're not out of luck.
You have access to any number of groups on Facebook. And that includes our CEO School for Women™ VIP Sisterhood! We have a growing community of generous and experienced entrepreneurs eager to listen to you and share. You can learn more here!