Let's talk smart. Smart women. Like you. Like me. Like the women on Nurturing Big Ideas Today.
Smart women bask in the warmth and glow of being with friends and family.
Smart women build community.
Sometimes, smart women stumble along trying to build community, make friends, make connections, sell products or services, because being a smart woman is never easy.
Community is a much used word these days. We have our local communities, where we live in neighborhoods of other people who might or might not be like us. There is no qualification on "being this way or that way" when you buy a house in a particular neighborhood. You merely want a roof over your head, in an area you have decided is worthwhile living in. Or, in an area that has housing you can afford.
We have our city community. This encompasses all the people in a general location, often miles away from us. City communities are broken into neighborhoods, and don't often reflect exactly what I mean by building community.
Beyond the city, we move to state and regional communities.
All of that is important, given that we live in a society governed by state and local politics.
But, smart women entrepreneurs out to show the world their magic, build different kinds of community.
Forged in Iron
We build connections that spark with talent, excitement, laughter, tears, emotional bonds that are forged in iron! These are connections that will not be broken. When you forge something in iron, it builds tensile strength and beauty in one glorious piece of metal.
Women are not often associated with metal. We're all flowers, and satin, and butterflies. And that's okay. Because flowers are nurtured by the sun to grow into spectacular colors bursting with joy! Satin is a weave of yarns, not just one simple fabric. The beauty of satin strikes the eye with its glossy appearance - reminiscent of water - the substance we are made of, the essence of our very lives. And butterflies - oh yes! We are all proudly butterflies, wrought from the magic of a cocoon, to be reborn, reinvented, remade as creatures of flight, with gossamer wings.
When you look at these elements, the womanly things society suggests we are - wrapped in pink and cotton blankets - you see a strength wrought of waywardness and tenacity. You see power and purpose. You see toughness - you see Wonder Woman.
You see beings who may have begun as one thing, but evolved into another.
The Tools of our Trade
I submit that we women of today, of the 21st century, no matter what century we were born in, we bring a deep commitment to building strong communities.
The tools of our trade are:
- emotional intelligence
Yes, this is the story of me but I hope you see yourself in parts of it because all stories are both personal and universal.
Let’s talk about that last word: Wayward. Here' s why it’s important to me and why I feel it lives in your soul, also.
I have a sign in my office that reads, “The Institute for Wayward Young Women: Making Bad Girls Better.” You can read more about it at the link above.
Can you imagine the building it must have hung on – back in its day? A solid, brick building with the drapes closed on the windows; a place that took in wayward women. You don’t need me to tell you who the wayward women of the early 20th century were…nor how each one of us might have been one but for the grace of God.
Dictionary.com says wayward folk are:
“…a little stubborn and independent – determined to find their own way – not easily controlled.” Sound like anyone you know?
Wayward also reminds me of a favorite quote, from Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, which says: “Well behaved women seldom make history.”
Well, I’m here to make history, aren’t you?
And in making that history, we must collaborate. We must connect. We must build community!
It's in the very nature of our being wayward and stubborn and determined and full of passion that we attract like-minded souls. It's in our desire to build a better world for our loved ones, that we forge ahead with an iron will.
I Will NOT Be an Afterthought
Not I. Not you. Not our friends. Not the members of our community.
The years of standing behind someone else, of shying away from the spotlight, of holding our thoughts and comments in, are gone!
We will prevail. Our community, our growing group of talented, smart women who lift us up every day; who speak on behalf of the under-served; who work with the men in our lives, smart men who recognize us as the astute minds we are; these are our people.
It's in our every day work, the meetings, the discussions, the social media work, the ebooks (and novels and business books) we write, the conferences we attend, our very approachability, that we create daily invitations and beckon others into our community.
I like this quote, below, from Virginia Woolf. She is most often quoted for her essay on writing, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." But, as a feminist, Woolf would be a proud member of the wayward woman society, I think.
While the quote pertains to writing, and likely fiction writing, let us take it a step further and look at it as a statement of truth - we write, speak, create, become one with our purpose and our talent, as it winds itself around our hearts and into our very soul.
And that is why, I tell you, women are made for leadership. We are more than silly voices giggling in the corner somewhere, as many may describe us.
The days of giggling in corners, hoping no one would hear, are gone.
These days, the days of today and going forward, we are community builders. We are smart women. We are determined.
Leave your bashfulness at the door, please. Proceed with boldness. Wear your pride on your shoulder. Bring us your best, most self-assured smile.
Know that when you enter a room, you are there to build community.
Be the Queen of that goal.
Now, share it with us. In the comments here.