As Seen in The Huffington Post:
The world is made up of two types of women in business: the competitive meanies who won’t let you sit with them, and the smart, savvy, successful ones who fully embrace the benefit of a girl gang.
I have zero time to engage myself in the former and much prefer the latter. In fact, I am living proof that aligning yourself with the right girl gang can be the winning lottery ticket when trying to build a brand or start a business. Even when the girls in your gang are your direct competition…
So, what exactly is a girl gang and why is it important to have one?
A girl gang is fiercely loyal, tightly knit support system of women who you can count on for help, advice, strategy, and a shoulder to cry on when navigating the often-rocky road of being a female entrepreneur. The women in this girl gang know that there is strength in numbers, that it takes a village to create anything worthwhile, and that there is no “I” in team.
I was recently at a networking event for professional women. I was SO excited to finally be in a room full of ladies who would understand my mission and dedication to hard work. Of the 30 women in the room, about twenty-eight of us openly chatted about our businesses and ideas, gave each other feedback and insight, and commiserated on the challenges of life as female entrepreneurs. The other two gals? Sat alone, separately, checking their phones and rolling their eyes.
Guess which category these ladies would fall into? Such a shame right? A waste of a day and some good cocktails, in my opinion. Those of us who stepped out of our comfort zones to ask questions, share stories, and actually seem genuinely interested in what the others had to share were the girls who left with a fist full of business cards and a whole new network of ladies to learn from and grow with. Success. So much success.
I feel lucky to have learned the benefits of uniting myself with other professional women instead of alienating them in hopes to “get ahead first.” Just a few months back, I came across a blog that was so perfectly written, so intelligently-crafted, and so damn funny that I actually laughed out loud. After spending hours reading all of this genius-girl’s material, I realized exactly why I loved her work so much – it reminded me of my own. Clearly, with such similar writing styles, likes and dislikes, and snarky humor, this chick could have become enemy numero uno as I was gearing up to launch my own writing business. But instead? I reached out. I told her how much I loved her work. And then, even riskier, I shared it. Because that’s how much I appreciated this girl’s voice. Sure, many people commented on how our writing sounded so similar, but it only made me smile. I felt grateful to had finally found a writer I connected with.
I don’t remember if the love was instantly reciprocated at first (or how long I stalked her before she decided she wanted to be my friend considering we were direct competitors in our field), nor does it matter now – the bottom line is, my support became a huge win for me. For both of us actually.
I actually ended up hiring her to design my web page, and she has been instrumental to my business-launch success. I write for her, give her feedback on my ideas, and together we are growing. Hard and fast. Strategically and with the support of one another to boost the good ideas and shoot down the shitty ones. And it feels amazing.
This is exactly why I’ve decided to align myself with the biggest and baddest women-in-business movement ever to hit my local area of South Florida. By lending my talents and insight, and presenting my story to a convention center filled with like-minded women at the first-ever Women Empower Expo, I will have the chance to preach this theory, in hopes that all women everywhere begin embracing one another’s ideas, strategies, and philosophies as a learning tool for success.
So now I ask you, wouldn’t it feel better to embrace the competition, admit that you always have more to learn, room for improvement, and love in your heart for the gals sharing your struggle?
Thought so. And for every win you have on your path, pay it forward by sharing some tips with the next girl. We’ll all be better off for it, promise.