For weeks now, my five year old has been haphazardly hiding presents around the house like some sort of Christmas Elf in training. She’s wrapping anything she can get her hot little hands on in scraps of paper and bits of ribbon, and then squirreling them away in corners with a finger to her lips and a loud “Shhhh” to anyone who catches a glimpse of her makeshift hiding place. I’m not sure she’ll even remember where they are come Christmas morning, but the joy of having a gift to give…and the anticipation of getting to give it…it’s practically more than she can stand.
I can relate, of course. The older I get, the more excited I am about giving gifts than I am about receiving them. I love the feeling of having the perfect thing wrapped and ready for someone when they don’t even know it.
In fact, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling at work lately!
This year I’ve been really aware of how many women feel alone. We are more technically connected than ever before with social media and smart phones, but too many of us are struggling to make meaningful connections in our everyday lives.
I hear it in coaching, I hear it from friends and colleagues, I feel it myself.
Just a few months ago, an idea started to twirl around in my mind. It was an idea that felt like it would help connect like-minded women to one another so they could build real relationships and find support in designing a life in which they shine both at work and at home.
At first, the idea seemed a little bit ambitious (even for me!) but when I shared it quietly with a few trusted friends and confidantes, their response was warm enough to set my wheels in motion.
Journals were scribbled in.
Packs of colored Sharpies were unwrapped.
A manifesto was drafted.
Dreams were shared.
And finally, one by one, a team was assembled….and that is when things really started to fly. You know that scene in Oceans Eleven when Danny is recruiting all the players he’ll need in order to pull off the heist? Picture that only with an all-female cast and the absence of an impending felony.
Once we had a team, what had once been wisps of ideas took shape in words and pictures. When I saw the first rendition of my original Sharpie-sketched vision online, it took my breath away (I have an amazing designer on this team!). Our little crew, gathered around a table, high-fived and cheered and oohed and ahhed…and then we took a deep breath and got right back to work making it even better.
The excitement around here is palpable! I can tell you without a doubt that this is my favorite thing I’ve ever built. And it’s all for YOU.
This past week we launched a private beta for just a handful of lucky women so they can see what we’ve done so far and help us take it up another notch before we open the doors to YOU. And when we do, I hope you’ll love it as much as we do!
We have just about 45 days till the doors open. Between now and then we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and do all the things that come in between. Through it all, my own little band of elves will be working to finish this project and wrap it up in ribbons just for you.
You, and the rest of this amazing community of women who read my blog and who have faith that there are in fact other women out there who believe what you believe and want what you want – you will be in our hearts as we do our work.
I can’t wait for you to see this….
I hope you’re ready to #SHINE!