Women’s History Month: Honoring Women Who Accept Help
Many times I hear entrepreneur spouses talk about the invisible workload of women. I received an email this morning that sounded so familiar.
With permission, I’m sharing her story for validation that it’s okay to accept help. More help. All the help you need to live the life you’re capable of.
*** Kelly, it was so wonderful to meet you in Laguna Beach. I truly meant it when I said, I could leave after your session and feel completed.
I have felt for a while that God was calling me to share more on our marriage and how we have made it work for almost 25 years now.
It takes a lot of hands to lead a big life, and accepting more help is the first step to truly stepping into your power:
One quick story of our marriage that changed my life and the way “I” viewed myself and our marriage.
My husband and I met through the industry (I was his sales gal) and after marriage I immediately started working in his business and we became partners on many levels.
At the time of this story, we had 3 little ones at the time – ages 7, 5, 2.
It was a Friday night and I had worked so many hours that week on a huge annual project. I picked up the two older kids at Montessori and the youngest was at home with our part time Nanny. After I relieved her, I made dinner and went to the laundry room and started sorting the huge piles of laundry. I felt overwhelmed and did not have enough hours in my day to do it all – and I was superwoman and MUST DO IT ALL.
No time to just sit around anymore!
My husband entered the laundry room as I sat there in the middle of piles of dirty clothes and he asked if I was going to come up and watch a movie with him and the kids as he missed the times of us just sitting together. I snapped and said I miss those times too…. But we got married, had kids, work countless hours at growing our business …. There is no time to just sit around anymore and this laundry is certainly not going to do itself so you head on up and relax and I will stay down here and do the laundry.
He stood there and looked at me with such sadness and said… I am so sorry you are this unhappy with our life. I snapped again and said what do you mean unhappy we have everything (healthy kids, nice home, growing business). His response was you certainly do not sound happy or look happy.
“It’s your choice…”
He proceeded to say in a stern but loving voice. I have asked you many times to get more help at the house but you refuse and want to do everything yourself. It is YOUR choice to stay down here tonight by yourself and do the laundry. I am opening up a nice bottle of wine and pouring two glasses. It is my hope that you take a moment to think about this and you will leave this laundry and come upstairs and have a glass of wine with me, cuddle with the kids and be together as a family. When today ends, we will never get it back and I hope you will remember this day as a day that ended happy and not angry in the laundry room.
He left and I felt like I had been hit right in the heart. The problem was ME and he called me out. As he walked away, I knew I had to change. Thankfully I went up and had that wine, snuggled with the kids and will always remember that day as a life changing day in realizing that it is ok to ask for help and that it was not a sign of weakness.
Marriage is not always easy
Marriage is not always easy, it is not always fun, it is not always what you thought or hoped it would be. But for us…. We WORK at it, and sometimes the work is fun and sometimes the work is hard. I think it was you that mentioned the three-legged race…. It was so ironic as years ago in a Bible Study I refereed to our marriage as a three-legged race…. Me one leg, my husband the other leg and God as the middle leg that keeps the others in sync. I give God all the glory for our marriage….
Ladies, you DON’T have to be, do, and have it all. The last thing we need is more exhausted, depleted, overworked women.
The mother of one of the most impactful inventors in history, Thomas Edison says this of his mother:
“My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me: and I felt I had something to live for, someone I must not disappoint.”
One of the more inspirational tales of this mother/son duo tell of a time young Edison came home from school with a note. Unable to read it himself, he asked his mother what it said.
Her eyes welled with tears as she read aloud “Dear Mrs. Edison, I’m afraid Thomas will not be able to return to school. He is too smart, and we are unable to teach him anything further.”
Years later, Thomas, who had already established his genius, would discover this letter in his mother’s desk drawer. It really read:
“Dear Mrs. Edison, I’m afraid Thomas will not be able to return to school. He is too dumb, and he is unable to learn anything further.”
Ms. Edison embodies the feminine gift of LIFE GIVER
She breathed life into her son and his gifts. Not by holding him to traditional standards, but by seeing her son for who he was.
Thomas’s mother didn’t focus on what he couldn’t do; she focused on what he could do.
Nancy Edison maximized the power of praise and today gets the credit for being the force behind one of the greatest minds in history.
Cheers to all the mama’s out there who are the seers. The ones who can find the genius in the madness. The finders of a better truth. The ones who can nurture their kids to personal empowerment. The ones who can hold the light among the shadows of traditional success.
Jada’s Facebook Series, Red Table Talks, have become the go-to destination for some of the most crucial conversations taking place today.
Her topics have covered everything from family and marriage to race and religion. Red Table Talks’ guests have included former friendships gone wrong, self-proclaimed bigots, and victims of high-profile legal battles.
With her mom and daughter as her co-hosts, she covers a wide spectrum of values and a deep multi- generational perspective.
Jada’s knack for exploring divisive topics is a gorgeous example of the feminine gift of bringing CONSENSUS.
Her way of facilitating difficult conversations shows the importance of seeking to understand.
She’s not out to prove right v. wrong.
She listens without judgement and allows her guests to share their truths.
More importantly, she doesn’t shy away from her own truth, and allows both to peacefully co-exist – if only at the table.
Lauren is the first woman in over twenty years to have an album reach Billboard Top 10 on the Christian charts and then successfully cross over to the Pop charts.
Part of her success is no- doubt because of her smoky and passionate voice. The other part is because her lyrics are so relatable, if you didn’t know she was singing about Jesus, you might think she was singing about a boyfriend, sister, or parent.
The genesis of all this success began when she was 15 and contacted an autoimmune disease that kept her home bound for TWO YEARS.
The result of this was developing her Feminine Super Power of FAITH.
While she was home with her illness, away from her friends, she was free from all distractions, except her passion for singing.
God kept showing her visions
In that season, she says God kept showing her visions of tour busses. “These visions of me on tour busses just kept popping into my head and I was like ‘ok God, what are you trying to show me here?”
But her faith didn’t end there. She trusted herself and her talent enough to pursue it.
Often, our faith in our Higher Power can be supreme. We can have all the faith in the world that God is working for us, or that the universe has our back.
But then we doubt ourselves. We doubt our ability, wisdom, circumstances, or worthiness to actually pursue our desires.
Essentially, our self doubt can cancel out our spiritual faith.
This is why Lauren gets the nod for faith.
Once she recovered from her illness, she tried out for American Idol in 2010, 2011, and 2012, never advancing past the first round of Hollywood week.
Lauren kept on trusting her God and her talent
But she kept on trusting her God and her talent and in 2015 landed on the Billboard charts at #1 with her debut album – just 3 years after being rejected from ‘Idol’.
Fast forward 3 more years and she found herself at #3 on the pop charts.
Now that’s some serious faith!
“There’s a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, “Dear saint-please, please, please…give me the grace to win the lottery.” This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, “My son-please, please, please…buy a ticket.”~ Elizabeth Gilbert
It’s the term most people automatically associate with Michelle, so you
may assume this is about her support, encouragement, or grace.
But that would degrade her real super power.
See, First Lady was an identity bestowed upon her by her husband’s dreams, her husband’s pursuits, her husband’s success.
As a result, she found herself smack in the middle of the most powerful
office on earth. All eyes were on her through the lens of her
Can you imagine how easy it would be to
lose yourself to THAT gravitational pull? Being the wife of the most
powerful man on earth?
As a driven, ambitious, successful woman herself, this had to come with some degree of marital competition or jealousy.
And this is where her super power that sets her apart comes in: SELF CARE.
In her book, Becoming, and her book tour that followed, Michelle has
been open about her season of marital hatred toward her husband.
As a new mom, she had left a career she loved and was now “stuck at
home” with her young kids. She watched her husband’s career escalate
while she stayed home, alone, because her partner was gone more than
half the time. She grew to resent him.
So much so that she
hauled him into therapy- CERTAIN their counselor would back her up and
help convince him to get himself together.
Except that didn’t happen.
Instead, their counselor helped her realize that she had given up control over her own happiness.
As women we do that sometimes, don’t we? Assign our partners complete responsibility over our happiness?
And this breakthrough changed the game for her. She explains:
“I was looking to my husband to make me happy. And I realized I’m
responsible for my happiness. I’m responsible for how I prioritize my
life. And I can’t be mad at him because he prioritizes his life
differently and better.”
So when the Obamas took office, she said
the FIRST thing she did was schedule out their priorities. She blocked
their calendar for important family trips, events with the girls, her
workout routines, time with her girlfriends, and all the other
activities that made her feel alive.
Having all this in place
safe guarded her personal identity as MICHELLE. As a result, she
depended less on her husband to fulfill all her needs. She stood as her
own ray of light.
And this is what helped them shine as the united Power Couple that captured the hearts of so many.
Two extraordinary people, one extraordinary relationship. 🙌
Feminine Phenoms #4 are Drs Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields
It’d be easy to tout them for their back-to-back billion dollar successes with Proactiv and Rodan + Fields.
It’d be even easier to celebrate how their life’s work reduced acne and reversed the signs of aging.
But what’s really worth recognizing is the 300,000+ women they have amped up by putting them on the path to entrepreneurship.
They did this with their ability to maximize the basic feminine element for success: CONNECTION.
Women succeeded in circles. Always have. Always will.
We have a natural multiplier effect that compounds when we collaborate with others.
So when Drs. Rodan and Fields sold their first blockbuster company (Proactiv), they returned to the market with a whole new business model.
They skipped the department store distribution and put their anti-aging products- and profits- straight into the hands of their market.
This empowered women to create income by sharing a product that helped them look and feel younger.
It also created a deep sense of community and purpose; something so many women are craving. I love seeing so many women lit up with their passion. Keep it up, ladies! Here’s my perspective on the impact of building a connection-based business:
💰Financial Independence: some do it for extra spending money, others have cranked it into a booming six-figure company, and some have created legit wealth for their families. When it comes to passive income, these women have set their families up for some impressive long-term residuals, even after they’re gone. Get it, girls!
🗝 Entrepreneurship: with a proven product and a turn-key approach, this allows women to grow a business by focusing on connection. No need to spend valuable ramp-up time and money on product development, inventory, branding, marketing, and everything else that goes with starting a business. It’s a really great option for business ownership if you’re feeling the entrepreneurial itch, but unsure where to start.
🤓 Business Savvy: I’m just gonna day it. Soooo many industries depend on getting initial business/ referrals from friends and family. Financial advisors, insurance sales, real estate agents, travel advisors… These women have found recurring/passive earning potential in a booming industry with an established company. I call that smart business sense. Way to be strategic, sisters!
🎉 Community: Have you seen them celebrate one another? I don’t know about you and your business, but no one is rolling up with a brand new Lexus for me when I hit a big goal. Their annual conferences look like a total blast and their group incentives create personal growth by encouraging one another to expand beyond their comfort zones.
🙌 Purpose: I can’t tell you how many of my friends credit Rodan + Fields for rediscovering themselves. For understanding what they are truly capable of. For giving them something tangible to strive for. For expanding into a version of themselves they never thought possible.
A company that can reverse the signs of aging?
A company that can do that AND ignite women to their fullest, best selves?
All👏 Day 👏 Long
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. -Jane Howard
Feminine Phenom #3 goes to my newest celebrity crush: Lady Gaga
I wasn’t always a fan. I kinda liked her, but it was hard for me to find Her under all the makeup, wigs, and costumes.
She revealed in her Netflix documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two that her outrageous costumes and red carpet looks were her way of trying to maintain control in an industry notorious for controlling every aspect of the artist’s lives.
She resisted being turned into a bubble-gum pop star by putting up shields made literally of meat dresses and egg chariots.
And, let’s be honest. That worked. She clawed her way to stardom with all that bold, creative resistance. So yes, her resistance worked.
Until it didn’t.
Completely exhausted and burnt out, it started to impact her passion for creating her real art- music.
The feminine trait she models today is my favorite: SURRENDER.
The Gaga we experience today is a Gaga of surrender.
Surrender is often thought to be weak, passive, unprotected, or cowardly. It’s actually quite the opposite.
True surrender requires tremendous trust, courage, and acceptance. It’s allowing everything and everyone to be what it is. And surrendering to being You anyway. Being You. Any. Way.
By surrendering, she allowed the the industry to remain its controlling, fabricated self. She didn’t try to change it anymore.
She didn’t give in and become bubble-gum pop, either. That’s selling out, not surrendering.
She just doesn’t have to work so hard to to resist it anymore. She doesn’t have to hide her music and her talent behind the cos play.
She put down the shield and just showed up and sang.