As long as I can remember I’ve really liked “the guys.” I’d rather drink a beer and watch the game than sip something fruity and gossip. I find that many women are intimated by me and I’m ok with that. Quite frankly I don’t have the time nor desire to deal with their issues. So, when my corporate mentor gave me the action item to join Plaid for Women, I threw up in my mouth a little bit.
The last thing in the world I wanted to do was go hang out with a group of glorified stay at home moms. I didn’t desire to see their looks of pity when they heard I worked in the corporate world. I didn’t want to hear their long plights about temper tantrums, housework and their silly little side business they owned. But I trusted my mentor more than I detested this idea. I pulled up my big-girl panties, took a deep breath and forced myself to the first meeting. That was 18 months ago.
Now the second Thursday from 8:00 – 10:30 in Flower Mound is my favorite place to be. I’m fortunate that my boss lets me have that time to use for growth, development and networking. The women in this group are leaders in their industries, active members in the community, goal-driven, kind-hearted and inspire me every day. I was such an egotistical, self-righteous fool! Shameful! I didn’t dislike women, I just didn’t know the right women. This group is made up of business owners, corporate leaders, coaches, mentors and most of all friends who truly care about each other.
Joining Plaid has brought me to a whole new level personally and opened a world of possibilities. I can think outside my “CPA box” and look at my life with a new perspective. Because I have a strong corporate background and I revel in the details and execution, I have underdeveloped skills of Big Picture strategy. I am strong at developing and executing a plan, but I was missing the why. Exposure to these women who dream big and have no limits, inspires me to develop that perspective. In return, I have found my place in the group as an “Executer.” Tell me your plan and I can help you with the steps to get there. I’ve never met a list I didn’t like.
I have discovered a network (whatever you need, I know someone who can help you with that). I have made friends. Not acquaintances, not Facebook friends, not fake side-hug friends. Real, true friends that I feel I can call on when I. Simply. Can. Not. Deal. They have helped me brainstorm corporate work issues, plan a wedding, deal with my teenagers’ behaviors, get over a divorce and place a dog in a new home. I’m so grateful for the outside sources I’ve gained through Plaid too. Some of my favorite mentors (Marie Forleo, Darren Hardy, Dr. Mark Hyman) I discovered through Plaid contacts.
They have introduced me to health and wellness products, business advice, kickboxing, beauty supplies, financial and insurance advice and many other things I didn’t even know I needed! I have used their businesses to clean my house, thrive in my life and cook tortillas with my step-daughter. I believe in some of these products so much, I even sell some of them. My 16-year-old daughter, Emma, has gotten a job as a personal assistant and she’s figured out her own career goals by attending Plaid meetings. I am proud to introduce Emma to these strong, fierce women and call them my friends. It’s a blessing to illustrate successful women who “have it all,” but want more. Want better. Want the moon.
I’ve been connected to non-profit organizations which I now serve on committees and have developed an undeniable passion. My passion didn’t originally come from the predicaments of the people. It came from being inspired by women who were passionate and I was drawn to be more like them. Eventually the needs of the people became my passion as well. I hope one day I can be that inspiration for someone.
About Passion……Let me be clear. I love my corporate job. I’m good at it and it fulfills me. I work with wonderful people and I’m driven to excel for them, the company and myself. I would have been fortunate if that was my whole story: a career I’m proud of with people I respect for a cause I support. Exposure to Plaid women brought to light a part of me that was missing. I didn’t even know it was missing! I started really digging into my passions, my dreams, my legacy.
I discovered I wanted more. I wanted to stretch to encompass all parts of myself. I wanted to give back and share my knowledge. I found I have information that could save many other people from paying the Stupid Tax I paid. I cannot describe the feeling when you realize you have a GIFT and you could help other people by simply sharing it! It’s all just so divine. I know about some things. I can share those things to help others. I can grow and learn about myself and others through the process. The result is a fulfilled spirit, a legacy, a give-back to the world. (Hell…if things go well, maybe it’s more travel, earlier retirement, ability to help my kids and more generosity to the causes I support.)
Here’s the catch (the dirty little voice in my head). I have NO IDEA what I’m doing. None. Zero.
But guess what I DO have?
I have access to brilliant women, mentors and coaches who HAVE done this or are doing it now. People who don’t give up and don’t set limits. I know experts in EBooks, blogs, subscription training, marketing, social media, videos. Even more…they are here to encourage, support and brainstorm with me.
At Plaid, I’m able to break out of my day to day grind. I’m preparing myself for C-Level by developing skills in marketing, selling, relations, productivity, leadership and friendship. I always leave Plaid better than I came. So that’s why the second Thursday is blocked on my calendar. It’s a non-negotiable.