As I prepare to travel to Dover, Delaware to deliver the keynote address at the Women’s Wellness and Business Conference this weekend, I am reflecting on all of the things I’ve learned over the years while building and growing Women by Choice. Being asked to speak on the importance of building with the right tribe of women is right on time as I have recently come to fully understand just how important it is. When I started Women by Choice, I had a vision that I naively thought all women would see, appreciate, and be in alignment with. When I talked about Women by Choice, I would say that the network is for all women, not realizing how untrue that was. Believing that Women by Choice would be embraced by all women, I made the mistake of trying to promote Women by Choice to all women. Thankfully, I have since realized and accepted that there is a certain kind of woman who will find value in the sisterhood and support that Women by Choice provides. That kind of woman is the only one I am now focused on attracting and building with.
There’s a lot of women that I admire, respect, and would like to one day work with. However, not all of those women are women that I am meant to build with. This was a difficult lesson for me to learn, but I finally got it. The thing is, you can see value in women who won’t see value in you. Those are not the women you are meant to build with. It doesn’t mean that they are bad people, it just means they are not in alignment with you and your purpose. Although I am an entrepreneur who has learned how to successfully run a business and admires other female entrepreneurs who have done the same, I am not the kind of woman who likes to teach or talk about business all of the time. Because I have been successful in entrepreneurship, it’s often that I end up in spaces with or contacted by other entrepreneurs with collaboration requests. However, I have had to do some self-discovery and own that I am more spiritual than strategic when it comes to how I operate. I am driven by my faith and purpose, not popularity and money and not every entrepreneur understands or agrees with that. It doesn’t make me right or them wrong, it just means we aren’t the same people. We belong to different tribes.
Before I understood this, I tried forcing myself to fit in spaces I did not belong with people who weren’t my people. That choice caused me to lose sight of myself and my purpose. It caused me to feel less enthusiastic about the things I was once passionate about. It caused me to start moving in a direction that would have likely destroyed everything that I have built. Surviving that moment in time, made it crystal clear to me that anytime a situation feels forced or fake, it’s a must that I go the other way.
Building with the right tribe of women is essential to your success. You can’t be so thirsty for money or attention that you invite people into your boat who will only drill holes in it. It does me no good to encourage women who aren’t on the same page mentally and emotionally to join Women by Choice because they won’t stay and will leave feeling and/or speaking negatively about their experience. Inviting respectful, professional, kind, and compassionate women who value the idea of sisterhood, genuinely want to connect with other success-minded women and support them, and desire to build strong relationships and empower other women for the greater good of our community is how Women by Choice continues to stand and progress. Giving my energy to those who get the importance of loyalty, integrity, and reciprocity is how I stay full of the passion I need to keep pushing our mission. Although I support all women who are doing positive things, I am only interested in building with those who truly believe that “When Women Support Women, We ALL Win!” Those are my people. That is the tribe that I belong to.