A while back a friend of mine texted me, “I need a pep talk.” Less than 24 hours later, I was on her couch. I wasn’t there alone. A text from me to another of our tight, trusted, hilarious, brave, curious, Ladybadass group manifested another shoulder, supporter, nudger, question-er.

I won’t share what we talked about. Share, even with names redacted or changed, any of the information on why I had to hug someone more than three times (this is a big deal for me.) Why both the bottle of wine and the box of kleenex we emptied. That’s not the focus.

Today’s article is about how three strong, brave, professional women found each other.

Six years ago I was invited to be part of an experiment. An experiment that brought together twelve successful women to join forces in an effort to up our individual and collective game. We met monthly for the year with each other and with coaches.

The only rule: Show up.

One of the biggest lessons from this year of ass-kicking: I had no idea how lonely I was. Lonely for people who took similar professional steps that I took. Lonely for people who could see a future for me that was bigger and bolder than I could imagine.

I’ve been blessed with marvelous friends who would drop everything for someone in need. You are awesome friends, and I cherish you in a way I can’t describe. However, this is more about the professional me. The woman trying to be brave all by herself.

I’ve always been out on the skinny branches of life. I need people, women specifically, who are out on the skinny branches beside me.

These brave women tenuously balance while eagerly reaching out and trying not to fall.

The ones on the far reaches of the tree who can see the opportunity dangling within reach. I needed a group of people who not only understood the branch I stand on but have the experience to steady the limb when it started to shake. That kind of lonely. That kind of support.

Roll forward to today, to the room with the three women. This meeting would not have happened without the initial experiment. My friend, my brave, lonely, brilliant, fearful friend, received that pep talk she needed. The initial experiment to bring supportive women together succeeded in its mission.

We found another group of like-minded women to bring along the following year, and the next, and the next. The magic that manifested was friendships across the rings (what we call each group) of women that would have never formed and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Remember searching for mentors, sponsors, teachers, or anyone else you need in life, make sure you’re looking for your belief team. Those people who know how to reach out and steady your branch when it starts to wobble. Those people who understand both emotionally and practically what you’re trying to do and push you along anyway.

You don’t have to be alone.

With that, I say thank you to the people who were instrumental in making yesterday happen. And I’m not talking about the people in the room.

To Mona Sabet – the experiment was her idea. Do you want to understand the power of a building a tribe? Talk to her.

To Delida Costin and Kim Le – you invited me to join. You’ve both invited me to join more times than I can count. Your impact, both individually and combined, has helped me more than you know. And I know I’m not the only one who would say the same. You guys are formidable in the very best of ways.

To the rest of the #ladybadasses of HiPower. No, I’m not lonely. You won’t let me. 🙂

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