That was my reaction to the fabulous NLOWE Conference we just attended. So many people had similar responses. Why? Was it the dynamic speakers? The energy? The people?
I feel that it was a combination of all of the above. To me, it was also all about the CONNECTIONS!
- Friends – new and ‘old’!
- Industry leaders
- New ideas
- Different ways of doing things
I believe that women business owners can often feel overwhelmed at the monumental list of tasks that need to be accomplished in establishing and growing a business. Connecting with other women who are experiencing similar challenges and rewards can be so empowering! Knowing that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and that there are OTHERS WHO WILL SUPPORT YOU is incredible.
A friend attended some of the conference sessions for the first time. She was so impressed by the fact that so many women were incredibly supportive of each other. She worked in a field where there was much more competition between co-workers. This is a testament to the women involved in NLOWE. I do believe that the organization does foster these supportive relationships.
I was 43 when I had my daughter. I was in early menopause, suffering from post-partum depression, and very sleep deprived. I thought I would lose my mind! The reason that I am sharing this is that it wasn’t until later (after some sleep) that it occurred to me that I suffered needlessly. There were so many friends that I should have reached out to who would have been more than willing to help. In fact, I was told off by a few once they realized how bad it was.
My point, is that it is essential to make those connections. Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever not connected to a support system when it was available?
“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they
feel seen, heard and valued.” – Brené Brown
Why are those connections with others critical to us?
- Our sense of well-being. We are social animals, who thrive on interaction with others, especially those that nurture and support us.
- We can get different perspectives on issues that concern us. I feel that when we are caught up in our challenges, that it is beneficial to get input from others who are not directly involved. They can provide options and suggestions that are often not immediately apparent to us.
- They can provide support which is critical to our growth. I am fully aware of and appreciative of all the incredible support that I have received and continue to receive. I had to learn to reach out and ask! We are not superwomen. We do not have all of the answers. I feel that our strength manifests itself when we are willing to be able to admit this and reach out to others for help and advice.
- Healthy relationships that we develop are reciprocal – we give and we take. It is sometimes that the process of ‘giving’ ends up being incredibly rewarding. We often receive much more than we give.
- We learn. We share. We can establish relationships that can turn into lifetime friendships and support systems.
Thank you to all of my friends. You are appreciated!
Andrea Sharpe is the President of Karlande Designs Ltd., a jewellery design and manufacture company located in Clarenville. They custom design jewellery for fundraising opportunities, for corporate gift giving, and for individual customers. For more about Karlande Designs visit their website, www.karlandedesigns.com or check them out on Facebook, Twitter, orLinkedIn.