I felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room.
I had just shared with a colleague that, after twenty years working for a salary, I was going to start my own company and create my own leadership development programs for women – a women’s leadership skills lab to develop strong women leaders.
He stood there and stared at me, unblinking, with this perplexed look on his face.
Then he just said, “well….good luck with that.”
I could not have felt more crushed.
In truth, it should not have been a surprise. People who have always worked in a salaried, tenured organization rarely have the opportunity to come face to face with an entrepreneurial spirit, and certainly not one who will actually take the leap to designing her ideal lifestyle and producing her own income.
I decided then and there I needed to be very careful about who I shared my goals with.
I didn’t want any more negative energy and doubt to stick to me.
I was entering into a “spooky” unknown world, filled with opportunity and purpose and meaning, and I had to shield myself from the critics, trolls, haters, and naysayers.
When you’re building a business, even the smallest seed of doubt can be deadly!
Women in Business Who Lead From the Heart
“Power partners, that’s what I need,” I decided. “A fast-moving, power team of high-caliber female entrepreneurial gal-pals all building online businesses who won’t think I’m crazy.”
- I attended several conferences where other women in business met and networked.
- I joined a mastermind group that held me accountable and encouraged my ideas.
- I connected on multiple social media platforms with other women who felt isolated working from home.
Fairly quickly, I developed solid friendships that have stood the test of time. We’ve helped each other through the rockiest times of our businesses and lives.
Most importantly, we “get” each other and what we’re trying to do.
Working for ourselves, designing our lifestyles, and making our own rules doesn’t seem crazy at all. In fact, it seems “normal” among others doing the same.
It was like I had my own “women in business association.”
The Most Important Trait
If I were to distill all the fabulous qualities of my power partners down to just the top one, it would have to be their “yes” mentality.
When you start to build your own power team, make sure the people you bring into the fold are people who see the possibilities, not the pitfalls. The joy, not the effort. The love of helping someone else, not the desire to be selfish.
It doesn’t occur to any of my power partners that they can’t do something.
They approach “impossible” tasks as simply those that are possible but will just take a little more time or creativity to accomplish.
They say “yes” to opportunities and then figure out how to make it all work.
And above all, they encourage me to do the same.
Your power team members are the “un-bullies” of your business – the “naysayer slayers” and the ones who douse any flicker of doubt with words as simple as,
“Well, of course you can do that – you’ll be great. How can I help?”
Leading your business can be a lonely job, but you don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with a community of high-caliber women so you can all get to the top together!