Friday, March 28, 2014

Love Will Lead the Way

I am looking at the 1st Birthday/Anniversary of Chicago Over 40 Females, the local chapter of a National women's networking group I launched and grew in the Greater Chicagoland area.

I talk about the journey a lot, and I am constantly in awe of what shows up on the road I'm on, or how the road leads me to places I'd never have imagined.

In late 2012, I was working with business coach Christine Gallagher. She pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone to create an event I had been envisioning and that is what led me to launching Chicago Over 40 Females.

At the time, I was terrified. Even though I had been active in the Chicago networking community for 8 years, I worried that I didn't know enough people, that no one would see me, no one would be interested in me and no one would believe in my vision enough to follow me.

Our launch brought 75 women from all over Chicagoland. Many of my friends and colleagues. So many women brought guests, and the energy was amazing.

As I look at celebrating our 1st Birthday/Anniversary, it's funny that it's almost like walking or riding a bike. What was simply terrifying a year ago is like taking a breath today. Running an event comes totally naturally to me, I'm not nervous in the least. I'm not afraid to approach anyone in any business with my invitation. I'm not worried about approaching sponsors or venues and not wavering in the least about my requirements. 

I look at our community and I am so proud and honored to have been instrumental in bringing these amazing ladies together. It's humbling to be among such dynamic, inspiring ladies month after month. 

In 8, almost 9 years of networking in the Chicagoland area, I don't think I've ever seen as much business taking place as I see at our events. But the reason is what makes me proud. It is because of the relationships, it is because of our deep, heart-centered desire to support one another. I see real relationships and true friendships and no superficial or narcissistic vibe. 
Real women making real connections. 

Women met for the first time at this event and were scheduling work together within 15 minutes.

The conclusion I've come to is that the road to success is paved with love. Lead with love and amazing things will come from it.

I'm never quite sure what to call it. Is it a Birthday or an Anniversary? I kind of feel like it's my baby, so birthday seems appropriate, but anniversary does as well (Please share your vote in the comments, I'd love that!)

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