Photo by Anna van Tuinen

Photo by Anna van Tuinen

One of the best things about leading something like Women Catalysts – and there are a lot of good things – is getting to see the women in our community grow and evolve and support each other along the way. Nicole has been such an advocate for WC since the very beginning – I have literally seen her make friends with a stranger and add them on Facebook just so that she can invite them to an event! We also see that for many of us, it's easier to advocate for others than ourselves. So when Nicole reached out recently about collaborating on an event, I was a wholehearted yes – both because the event is going to be awesome (more below) and because it's a joy to see her do her thing. She's a natural connector who is super passionate about bringing good people and companies together (part of why she's a great recruiter!). 

What are you working on?: I am working on creating a life I love. Recently, I’ve become aware of how infrequently I’ve been asking for what I want and how that has spilled into my relationships, work, and free time. I have either believed that (1) my contribution wasn’t good enough; or (2) I’ve assumed other people can read my mind and have allowed them to make my choices for me. I was afraid of how my opinions and desires would come across and tried hard not to offend anyone. The world I had created around me was not my own.

Recently, I was at an event with my husband and we were invited to introduce our guests on stage. I assumed he didn’t want to go up on stage to speak publically. I was afraid that if I asked he’d say no. I sat in my my seat wishing we could go to the mic. A few minutes later, he tapped me on the knee and said, “can we go on stage? I want to practice using the mic.” The whole time I was hiding what I really wanted, and he was sitting there wanting to do the same thing! I just never asked. From that experience (and many more since then), I’ve realized it’s important for me to ask for what I want. Because if I don’t ask, the answer will almost always be no. And that is no way to create a life I love.

Not until I really got aware of how small I was being by not contributing my perspective, could I really start becoming the author of my life and my choices. I recently took on saying yes to all public speaking events that inspire (and scare) me. I reached out and planned a workshop for the beginning of November and now I have three more events before the end of the year. This is completely new to my life and if I hadn’t asked for it in the first place, I never would have found that I love speaking in public and contributing to others! Life is abundant when we share!

What’s your vision for 2017?: I have really begun to understand that my accomplishments are directly correlated to how much I am helping others around me reach their fullest potential. The more I can lift others up around me, the better my life becomes. For the rest of 2017 (and beyond) I want to continue cultivating my community, nurturing the relationships that I have, and really seeing that strangers are just friends I haven't met yet.

Best thing our readers might not know about you: I have the best friends and family ever and I send them countless handwritten letters, I’m the happiest when on a surfboard, and I’m madly in love with my midwestern hubby.

What brought you to WC: Shout out to Kelly Fitch @Weebly for inviting me to my first Catalyst Conversations! I fell head-over-heels-in-love-at-first-sight with Women Catalysts. During my first event, I was so enamored by the guided networking at the beginning of the event that I never wanted to go to an event without it (and sadly,  I haven’t been to another one like it since!). I get such a sense of ease, relief, and joy when I don’t have to talk about my job, commute, or the weather when I meet someone new.

I also really love sharing celebrations at the end of every event. Who doesn’t want to share about their new adventure or new smudge-proof lipstick!? There are so many incredible women in the WC community, what an honor to hear about everyone’s accomplishments…no matter how “small.”

Where will we see you next?: You can find me leading my first (yay!) workshop: Courageous Careers, a workshop to impress with your resume and nail your next interview. See you (and your friends) on November 1st at General Assembly!

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