Girl power. I sort of hate the term — it brings to mind images of young girls waving pink pom poms. But it works when it comes to describing how I’ve felt since launching Betterafter50. Frankly, it never could have happened without the amazing women behind me.
For years, my friend Meg has been pushing me to write, telling me I must capture the musings that come out of our weekly runs as we clock the miles on the road. My artist friend Amy and I cyber run now, she in Sag Harbor, me in Cambridge, each connected to our cell phones – I encourage her to get to her studio and keep going and her enthusiasm about my writing gives me the kick I need. Lizzy sits with me creating a BA50 video, writing a script and analyzing what works and doesn’t on the new site. This propels me forward. That same encouragement comes from emails with girlfriends when I tap away with news about my kids, my extended family and my training for the next long distance event. I’m always encouraged by my friends’ constructive feedback and unequivocal support of my writing. These women motivate me to keep tapping away at the keys.
I was born into a network of women (I’m one of four daughters) and have always felt grounded by the energy and power of the females around me. Women have been a constant source of connection for me. Upon meeting new faces in business and or social situations, more times than not we’ll grab our iPhones to instantly connect with each other on the 21st century version of the network in to which I was born. Women are everywhere in my life — forever prodding, encouraging, and cheerleading. It’s in our DNA and I have to say, I thrive on those kinds of genes.
Rewind back to November 2011 for an example of how our “She Did It” mantra evolved. I had been working 24/7 preparing to launch a new site for women over 50 for months. Not quite ready to go “live” with the site, I tested and rested its viability, That is, until I held a casual “posting party” at my home to get feedback on the site. There were 12 women in the room – good friends, friends of friends, acquaintances – and yes, we were drinking wine. But truthfully, the women much more interested in what I was showing them on my computer screen than in the feast I had put out on the table.
Once I started telling my story about how I, a former publisher of family magazines turned yoga teacher turned Tufts Entrepreneurship Professor believed there needed to be more honest talk about this latest chapter in our lives, and how I wanted to create something intimate and personal, the floodgates opened. “You must do this NOW, Felice,” each of the women told me. There was so much positive energy in the room that I actually pushed the button THAT NIGHT to go from beta to LIVE . A classic SHE DID IT! moment.
Remembering that night got me thinking that it’s always been the women in the room that propel us forward. We are the hand holders and doers and the ones that stick by each other as we leap. My sisters, my nana, my moms and my girlfriends always listen, and then hold the door open to wave me through.
What I really love, and I know I’m not alone, are the stories of women’s transformations. I’m riveted by how women start their businesses, transform their lives, and move through divorces, losses, sickness, and other challenges. When I hear their stories, I‘m inspired and say to myself, “Hey, if they can do it, so can I.” With over 50,000 page views on the BA50 site over these past 5 months, I know our readers feel the same way.
Life can’t be that good without some sorrow, right? It always seems at every turn, we hear about tough situations with kids, with aging parents, etc. but I’ve always tried to live by this great quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.” I firmly believe that our thoughtful responses to unexpected situations make us stronger, more resilient and define whom we are.
Our She DID IT column has organically grown into a missive for women to showcase what they have accomplished and keep accomplishing – whether it’s starting a new business, overcoming an illness, or challenging themselves to climb higher literally and figuratively. Our editorial focus this week is exclusively on SHE DID IT and sets the stage for our SHE DID IT” feature every week. It’s a landing page for BA50s, a forum to talk about their latest successes. Anything goes from changing your first flat tire to doing your taxes to racing over that latest finish line.
And so we invite you to continue to share your stories. We want to hear them all – be it about a friend, a sister, a mother. We want to be your cheerleaders. And ultimately encourage – yes, I’m going to say it again, but with a different perspective – girl power.
DO NOT MISS OUR BA50 SHE DID IT EVENT THIS OCTOBER IN BOSTON.
Come and listen to a panel of amazing speakers. Showcase your business, sell your products or just talk to and learn from other BA50’s. If you are interested in speaking or sharing your new business at the SHE DID IT event, click here and we’ll send you information.