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Sharpe-Jefferson: The Power of Girlfriends

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By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

I recently visited a friend’s shop which was full of fellow entrepreneurs like myself. Once I walked in, the energy immediately shifted for me. I was greeted by warm smiles, friendly hugs and motivational messages made to grace national and international stages to hype fellow entrepreneurs.

The vibe was real, the conversation was authentic and the connection was genuine. Here’s why this was so awesome for me:

It’s been a few years since I’ve been considered a full-time employee and although I enjoyed my more than 35 years working in Corporate America, the nonprofit sector and television news industry, I firmly recognize that time is not now.

I’ve spent the past couple of years working mainly alone in business endeavors. I’m at a place where I can make decisions and choose a lifestyle which allows flexibility, peace and measurable risk (all entrepreneurs fully get this).

I must admit I thoroughly enjoy this season and am abundantly thankful.

Shout out to my husband for supporting me and encouraging me to pursue my dreams. He’s never without an encouraging thought, word or action to help push me into my calling as a businesswoman. But I also discovered something else this weekend; something that was missing from all of my endeavors.

There’s just something about girlfriend power. Our environment is everything.

What I received from seeing those ladies this weekend helped me understand how much I was really missing in connection, conversation and collaboration that can only come from fab females. My thought process (for better or worse) had always been to travel alone on the business path. But being solo in an arena that’s built on right connections is the wrong ideology I believe.

A change in mindset is due for me. Here’s why.

There’s a portion of your business in which no one else can do the work except you. I get that part. But in order to sustain your marketplace endeavors – to buy your product or even offer occasional guidance and inspiration – others are key.

Environment is everything.

I hear those who talk about being self-made. And honestly, I always chuckle when I hear it because unless people support what you do, how could it be something that only involves self?

I somewhat get what their saying – maybe there wasn’t a lot of support initially; maybe they had to believe in their dream when no one else did; or maybe they had to make a substantial personal sacrifice.

But that can only last for a season.

We don’t get rich by our own funds. We don’t get notoriety by our own efforts. Others invest in our idea or dream at some point to help catapult us into wealth and success.

So, no thanks for me to being self-made. I want to leave something so wildly popular in the marketplace that others are compelled to support and partake, and thereby be blessed. And I’m humble enough to know now, I need others.

That walk into my friend’s shop changed everything for me.

For my business owners, are you on team self-made or do you believe in networking your way to success? I’d love to hear from you.

Always remember, I’m cheering for you and if you need to reach out, I’m just an email away.

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisasharpe@yahoo.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.