THOUGHTS FROM OUR ALPHA: You are the company that you keep.
*Every now and then, Jordan, our Alpha, feels the extra push to get real. Pour yourself a glass of whiskey, coffee, or wine and enjoy.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR ALPHA
rants and real talk.
It may not surprise you that I am one of those non-woo gals. Meditation, crystals, horoscopes - none of those are really part of my daily routine. I don’t necessarily buy-in, but I totally appreciate my friends who do. You see, I am spiritual. I do have a deep heart and deep feelings. I just express them differently. In business, I rarely incorporate the woo, but maybe I should. I may eat my words here, but there are times where the business owner rollercoaster has you in a place where you will try just about anything to feel encouraged, to get momentum, to talk yourself off the ledge.
This brings me to a moment yesterday. My heart was racing, I was in a panic, and I was pouring a ton of energy into what wasn’t going “right.” We were hosting our first dinner tour in Raleigh, NC and we didn’t sell out. The investment to host this was high. We had to rent a space, include alcohol, service, food, dessert, and so on. With the dinner not selling out, it would mean that I would need to eat it. It would actually COST me money to host this event. Now, I am all about community, but this is a business and we are trying to make it sustainable.
This dinner tour has been one of those risk moments, a LEAP, but one that we really felt would land. One thing about being an entrepreneur, is that you have just a tad bit of false invincibility. You think things are possible that the average person wouldn’t. You take these leaps, big risks, and you are often more comfortable in the uncomfortable. When we set out to create this community, we knew we wanted it to be digital, a place for women to connect globally. While we were setting up our platform and beginning to reach out to potential members, we kept hearing “where are your events?” or “how many members do you have in my city?” We know that people crave connection. As humans, we are tribal. With the advancements of technology, you can now work from anywhere, you can connect with friends and loved ones across the world. It’s not lost on us that in person connection is un-matched. We can’t really create that exact feeling online, so we decided to leap into 11 cities to meet female founders everywhere.
I was discouraged. I wanted the “viral” reaction to this event. I wanted people to be on wait-lists and begging for the next one. I’ll use a different rant to dive deeper into what we could have done better, but I am reserving this one for the realization that it was exactly as it was supposed to be. And I didn’t realize this until after the event, after I re-read a powerful passage a friend sent to me.
Like I said, when life takes you to a place where you are desperate for encouragement - those woo friends are great supporters. As I was blowdrying my hair and putting my face on for this dinner, I needed someone to throw some positivity my way so I could have a great event even though it wasn’t what I thought it would be. I called Alisha M. Wielfaert. Alisha and I are really different. REALLY different, but we have a great amount of respect for each other, and I really feel like a better person for knowing her. She has opened my eyes to spirit cards and meditation and moon cycles. Most importantly - she finds a way to incorporate all of that into a message that I likely need to hear right in that moment.
Shortly after the call, she sent me a horoscope email that described the current moon and affirmations and all that jazz. This email included my Aquarius charge: "With this new moon, I remember the power of enjoying the company I keep. I surround myself with those that want to place mutual pleasure side by side with respect and integrity." When I read this yesterday, I thought, “yeah yeah.. okay, Jordan, put your big girl panties on and make this event great for the people who DO showup.”
We had 11 women in the room. This was half of what I anticipated. As 6 pm rolled around and a few were running late, I was getting more nervous. By 6:30, everyone was in attendance, meeting each other, and hitting it off. “Phew,” I thought, swiping my brow. Everyone put their cell phone in a basket and turned them off. We had questions around the table from our friends at Ampersand Dinner. The conversations sparked and the voices around this table were all heard. That’s right, we had a room of 11 alpha females, with wine, and everyone spoke, and all 10 others listened. Not only did we all speak, but we spoke about real things, real feelings, how being a woman, and a founder, and a mom, and a spouse, and a partner, and a business leader, and an ever-evolving human impacts us and everyone around us. How those things are all fluid and how we have failed, and how we lead, and how some of us have trained ourselves to completely change our meyers-briggs makeup. We talked about how we have been humbled and what we have learned. We talked about game-changing decisions and goals. And not until dessert, did we actually introduce ourselves as the founders of X or Y business. We all connected over our experiences without knowing each others’ industry, level of business, or resume history.
I drove home with two of the attendees since they lived closer to me than the dinner and I just felt less alone. I met women I had never spoken to. And women that I know and love connected with each other. I thought more about the concept of showing up. Who showed up, in more ways than one? And I honestly felt really humbled and pleased. Did I have to write a massive check at the end of the dinner? Oh yeah… Did it pain me? Oh yeah…. Was it worth it? HELL YES. Would I do it again? Yes, but differently. Instead of jumping in head first and trying to obtain massive reach and 11 cities and 25 women in the room at each, I will start smaller. Because it turned out that this was the perfect number of attendees and the right people in the room. We will find ways to host these meetups that cost less but offer more, and sometimes that’s a better outcome.
I am thankful for the women who have supported me. I am grateful for the women who took a chance on a SheWolf dinner that they knew nothing about, and I am honored to have friends that help me find my way when I am completely lost. This is what the pack is all about.