Do any of you out there have the crazy habit of always trying to accomplish everything on your own? My hand is raised here because I am guilty of this a thousand times over. Well-trained in the masculine model of getting shit done, I used to be skeptical of collaboration because who would get the credit? How could I make sure my value would be seen?
In 2013, I launched Emerging Women with a Kickstarter campaign – another extremely challenging idea for me. I would cringe every time I sent out an update, or another post reminding people of the cause and the deadline. But while I was experiencing reluctance and shame, my advisors were pushing me to post more frequently, and even to reach out directly to individuals for help.
That advice went against everything I had learned growing up in upper-middle class Andover, Massachusetts:Don’t ask for money, it’s not polite to ask for seconds, accept what you are given, don’t be greedy, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, figure it out on your own, and above all, don’t EVER depend on other people for your success.
Somehow I had it in my brain that if I needed something, I must not be worth investing in. Don’t people want to invest in “winners?” People who are independently successful?
But I did as I was advised, and the more I reached out, the more I found amazing women who wanted to be involved, who wanted to help. In the end, I raised $55k in four weeks – and now I know that I could never have launched Emerging Women without this kind of collective support.
As a result of this experience, I have come to understand that I don’t want to go at it alone. That all those years of “pulling myself up by my bootstraps” left me depleted and more susceptible to self-doubt and self-criticism. When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.
“When I reach out and co-create with the women in our network, I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and more passionate about my work.”
I know I’m not the only one who’s investigating her relationship to asking. Amanda Palmer’s new book The Art of Asking looks into just that. It’s based on her experience as a trailblazing musician who redefined the industry with her ground-breaking Kickstarter campaign (still the highest funded music project on that platform). By reframing “asking” as an opportunity for collaboration and co-creation, by leveraging her huge and tech-savvy fan base, and by receiving support directly from the people she makes the music for, Amanda Palmer found a way to sidestep the middlemen who overrun the music industry. Her campaign (which asked for $100,000) closed at almost $1.2 million. Boom.
One of the things I appreciate most about my life is that I live in an area surrounded by dramatic expressions of nature – Boulder, Colorado. Mountains, creeks, wildflowers and endless hiking trails are just steps away from my front door. But strangely enough, I did not really start to take advantage of nature’s proximity until I learned how well it meshes with my business life.
In this thriving entrepreneurial town, many of my meetings – with investors, media, speakers, partners, sponsors – get to be in person. Lately, about a third of those meetings take place on a hike.
It took some getting used to: I worried that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my vision without my computer. How could I refer to important statistics or relevant studies… and what if I forgot to say something important? But those worries fall away as the connection you feel with somebody when you walk together in nature blossoms.
I could not be more excited to announce that Dr. Jane Goodall – yes, DR. JANE GOODALL – will be joining us in San Francisco for Emerging Women Live 2015. To say it’s an honor doesn’t even begin to express it…
How many of you wanted to pack it up and live in the jungle when you were little girls because of this remarkable woman?
I know I did, and that influence never faded: it was with me when I signed up for the Peace Corps, and it’s with me today at Emerging Women (quite literally, now!).
“We have a choice to use the gift of our lives to make the world a better place.” -Dr. Jane Goodall
From her bio: “It is hard to overstate the degree to which Dr. Goodall changed and enriched the field of primatology. She defied scientific convention by giving the Gombe chimps names instead of numbers, and insisted on the validity of her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions.”
Choosing curiosity and connection over cold calculation? That’s bringing the power of the feminine to science.
For an average of 300 days a year, Dr. Goodall tours the world to share with eager audiences “her reasons for hope that humankind will ultimately solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.”
Those reasons are closely tied to her conviction that we must take personal responsibility for the fact that we each have the power to effect change in this world.
Said Gilbert Grosvenor, chairman of The National Geographic Society: “Jane Goodall’s trail- blazing path for other women primatologists is arguably her greatest legacy. During the last third of the 20th century, Dian Fossey, Birute Galdikas, Cheryl Knott, Penny Patterson, and many more women have followed her. Indeed, women now dominate long-term primate behavioral studies worldwide.”
Watch this video to feel the goosebumps we felt when Dr. Goodall agreed to speak to the tribe this October:
I hope you’ll join us in San Francisco to share in the energy of this legendary pioneer, and many more. Super Early Bird tickets are available until March 31st – so now’s the time to go for it! Register for your ticket to personal and professional transformation HERE.
Did Jane Goodall leave her mark on you as well? Let us know in the comments – we’d love to hear about her impact on your life.
Last week, the Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka called on governments worldwide to “Step it Up” for gender equality. “By 2030 at the latest, we want to live in a world where at least half of all parliamentarians, university students, CEOs, civil society leaders and any other category, are women,” she said. “Real progress requires 50-50.”
“Real progress requires 50-50.”
Since the theme to this year’s International Women’s Day is “Make It Happen,” we wanted to share some inspiration from #badasswomen throughout Women’s History Month to help you step things up and make it happen in your own life. Here’s a taste to start your stepping up right.
These days, I can’t keep the refrain from the O’Jays song out of my head. To be completely transparent, we have big plans for the growth of Emerging Women, and in order to reach our goals, we need capital. Money, honey.
So we’re in the middle of the grueling process of raising seed money to create the next level of Emerging Women. If you’ve done this for your business, you know: it’s a full-time job that consumes your entire mental space – even when you sleep. I’m constantly honing our pitch deck, three different versions of a “compelling-yet-super-brief” presentation which I share in as little time as possible to as many qualified investors as I can get in front of. Continue Reading
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I am SO GLAD I went! I got my money's worth just a day and a half into the conference. Amazing speakers, amazing energy. I'm planning to go again next year!
When you can come together and compare notes on how you’re managing to go through these complications of contemporary female life, then everyone goes back into their own journey better prepared, more informed, and ready to help others.
It felt like everyone was in it together. Speakers, sponsors, attendees - everyone was in unity and really experiencing transformation.