I have met so many dedicated and talented women in the last few months, it boggles the mind. Painters, photographers, designers, stylists, accountants, coaches, coordinators... the list goes on. I am blown away and truly inspired by all of the women in this small town who have dedicated themselves to the soul satisfying, and terrifying goal of self employment. I can only imagine how many women, outside of this community, are paving the way for their own dreams and ambitions.
I would gamble that we have all isolated ourselves behind some antiquated expectation that we must hide our failures, and to a certain extent our successes, from one another for fear of appearing unprofessional, prideful, or weak. The truth is we are all on this struggle bus together. The masks we wear to appear perfect to the world work both ways, and it is high time someone forced us to take them off and embrace the imperfections behind them.
As solopreneurs, our businesses are deeply personal pursuits that feed something inside us. A piece that requires giant leaps of faith on the regular, and thrives on that terror that propels us forward when all others would breathe a sigh of relief at knowing exactly what their place is. We are lost in this pursuit without one another. It is okay to admit that you need a pat on the back, or better yet a resounding round of applause! We deserve a community to support and lift us up as we strive for greatness, or remind us of our worth when we unnecessarily beat ourselves up over something that is entirely common. And what better community is there than A.) Women and B.) Fellow entrepreneurs who can relate to all of the hardships and accomplishments inherent in carving our own paths.
Enter Lauren Caselli. Her presence in my life is well timed, serendipitous, and all too welcome. As is often the case with strong women I meet, I was simultaneously intimidated by and in love with her energy and drive. My nervous anxiety over making a good first impression was quickly replaced by a massive desire to just know more about this amazing woman and share in this journey with her, and I am so glad that I am. I have been taken on a crazy and satisfying journey through the wilds of female entrepreneurship, and I can now safely say I am not alone.
Lauren has facilitated introductions in this vast array of strong women. Through the advent of the Boss Ladies Club and Boss Ladies Bash, she has made possible the assembly of a community of women who are willing to lift one another up and listen with hearts unburdened by judgement. She has managed to create a safe place for sharing all those "shameful" missteps alongside the well deserved triumphs, and somehow lend necessary structure to a group that desperately needed someone to take the reigns for a short spell. We may be well versed in managing our own trajectories, but letting our guards down and embracing a community that offers support rather than competition is uncharted territory.
I am honored to count myself an original Boss Lady. This most recent Bash is just the beginning of something really beautiful and necessary. I can see Lauren's achievements unfolding in the months and years ahead and I am so proud to say that I was there at the inception, and that I played even a small part in her wonderful story of self acceptance for all independent women. I raise a glass to you Lauren, and all my fellow Boss Ladies, for checking your fear at the door and walking into the great unknown time and again armed with nothing but passion, commitment, and drive. You inspire me, and I can't wait to lift you up just as you have lifted me!