I am still aglow after our birthday party this week. It was so lovely to see some familiar faces and friends from the past, all gathered together to celebrate. But it speaks to some of the main lessons I have learned over the past 17 years.
- It is all about the people. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, care about you and have your back. Nurture those relationships.
- Build your tribe. Get people with different skill sets on the bus with you, making sure they are in the right seat.
- Be prepared to let people go if they don’t “get” your culture. It may be hard at first, but you are doing everyone a favour.
- Stay connected. There were several former chapter leaders at the party. I have stayed in touch with them.
- Show an interest in people’s lives beyond what they do for you. Be there when they need help and support.
- Not everyone is going to like you. A hard fact to face, especially when you are pleaser. Sometimes it is not even about you, but more what is happening or not happening in their lives.
- Be yourself. Wearing a mask is tiring and it takes too much energy to be “performing” to suit others.
- Be kind. It costs you nothing, but can make all the difference in someone else’s life. Remember the small things about people, it shows you care.
- Be clear on your values and what you will and will not do. This makes decision-making so much easier.
- Hear what people are saying and then decide how to respond.
- Ignore the naysayers. They will only drag you down.
- Mentor young women. They are our future.
- Give back. Helping others succeed is rewarding and it feels good.
- Delegate. You can’t and shouldn’t do it all.
- Pace yourself. If you burn yourself out, you are no use to anyone.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep your sense of humour. It will take you a long way.
- Have fun. Party with girlfriends. Laugh.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.