One book, two glasses of wine, and 5 women changed my life a year ago.
I was meeting with my newly formed Female Tribe of six one Thursday night. We were choosing the next book to read for our personal development over a couple of glasses of wine. One of my sister-friend, H., suggested Own It : The Power of Women at Work by Sally Krawcheck, a former college mentor she had from her days at UNC. H. knew Sally’s book was coming out and that she was a dynamic influencer and we could benefit from reading her story.
This is where the power of networking gets all “Six degrees of Kevin Bacon-like”.
(For those of you too young to know, this is where any arbitrary actor in Hollywood can be traced back to Foot Loose star Kevin Bacon in six connections or less based on the Six Degrees of Separation Theory. (Every person on the planet is connected through a chain of acquaintances through no more than five intermediaries).
Degree One: Friend H. directs me to Sally’s book- who she knew in college.
Own It is described a “new kind of career playbook for a new era of feminism, offering women a new set of rules for professional success: one that plays to their strengths and builds on the power they already have.”
What I found profoundly thought-shifting was that Sally had created a Global Professional Networking Community where women could grow, expand and support each other and help change the culture of business together.
Networking… ugh. Wasn’t that where you go to a hotel ballroom, drink a glass of chardonnay, and become uncomfortable and sweaty as you try to talk to strangers for two hours?
But I was intrigued.
Degree Two: Sally’s book directs me to Ellevate Charlotte’s Chapter.
So I joined.
I dove right in and offered to be a moderator for an experimental Mod-Squad. Ellevate co-joined a local group of members who were to meet virtually once a week for 30 minutes. (Ok, well this kind of networking didn’t sound so bad…I could be in my sweatpants and have my preferred glass of Cabernet).
Degree Three: Ellevate Connected me with My Mod Squad.
I wasn’t sure what to expect by expanding my circle in this different way. But every Tuesday night, from 8:00pm- 8:30pm we met on Zoom. We took turns “in the hot seat” talking about our careers (all very, very different) goals, and challenges.
Here were women who were in finance, marketing, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, and leadership who had very different backgrounds and experiences, yet most of the themes we discussed and challenges we faced were very similar.
As a result, I instantly had a second-sister tribe who were invested in helping me grow.
Degree Four: Mod Squad connected me with D.
D. and I would have never crossed paths if I hadn’t expanded my circle differently. She is a brainy, beautiful financial-wiz who has passion for connecting and elevating women like I do. D., looking through her finance lens, helped me to see opportunities in my own personal finance plan and helped me and my husband walk through our goals and create a strategy.
D. also encouraged me to go to Tedx Charlotte with her and has pushed me to apply to speak in 2018. Things I would have never done without meeting her. Most of all, she is super fun friend to hang out with.
Degree Five: D. connected me to M.
If D. weren’t a Financial Planner, I think she would be a match-maker. D. knew I was growing my blog platform, writing a book on women’s leadership, and seeking further friendships in this different professional circle for me.
D. knew M. and I had this passion in common. M., a entrepreneur and business owner, hosted a local Women’s Initiative Group, one D. thought would be a great match. She set up a lunch date where M. and I could meet each other and we hit it off. As a result, M. is now a connection, a friend and in my expanded circle.
Degree Six: M. connected me to Sparkle, Hustle, Grow.
This is where the mind-blowing, life-changing stuff happened. Sparkle, Hustle, Grow is a subscription box for female entrepreneurs with “tools, training, and community to help you grow your business”. M. described how each month she received a pretty, pink box full of educational and inspirational surprises such as a book, a class, and pink sparkly pens. (Who wouldn’t think that was a pretty awesome self-gift each month)?
So she shared her link.
I ordered my first box.
Surprise! It also came with entrance into their Facebook group where every day I could have community, inspiration, opportunity to learn, connect and NETWORK with other women pursuing their passion. Most of all, the group was the key.
This is when I thought, “What if”….
What if… I were to create a Facebook Group for my readers who were Empowered Women, Empowering other women?
What if… we could build a Tribal Community of like minded women who every day had words of encouragement, access to articles, motivational videos and a fun place to pump each other up?
Couldn’t we Network Differently this way?
Sparkle, Hustle, Grow inspired me to create Empowered Women, Empower Women.
Surly I could engage at least 40 or 50 women to jump in a join the movement?
60 days later we have 600 Tribal Members! 600!!!
This 6th degree, in a matter of less than a year, changed my life. Most importantly, what started as a ripple in a pond is touching 600 women less than 2 months. Networking differently taught me that when you expand your circle, speak your passion, and open yourself to possibility some pretty amazing stuff can happen.
So, let me be your First Degree today. Jump in and join our Tribe and bring a friend. You never know what possibilities are awaiting you this year.
What are you waiting for? Hop on over to Empowered Women, Empower Women Facebook Group for daily sisterhood inspiration.
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