At the end of 2015, it had been almost 3 years since I left my medical sales career to start HeartStories. All my dreams and expectations for what I thought HeartStories would become, had been crushed. I’d run a grueling, but successful crowdfunding campaign. I’d built an app, to connect women in friendship, from scratch. I’d hosted an enormous “app launch party”, turned full-day inspirational event. I committed to blogging every day as a way of growing myself and serving others consistently. I’d opened, run for a year, and closed, an online shop, telling the stories and promoting the products of women social entrepreneurs. The last straw was creating a gargantuan pop-up shop, with all those products, in partnership with a local non-profit I love, that ended up putting the company even further in debt.
I was exhausted, broke and burned out.
Everything I’d done had served others. It all appeared to be a smashing success. But it wasn’t sustainable. Out of desperation, I took the entire month of December off. I kept blogging, but did nothing else. Then in January 2016, I had my wits about me enough to buy a book, that changed the trajectory of the entire past year. The Quiet Power Strategy is a deep, introspective look at the hard questions you need to answer to do business according to your unique strengths, values, and ideas.
It was exactly what I needed, at exactly the right time.
It required me to dig into who I am as a person – my experiences, what I’m good at, and what I enjoy. Then to take those qualities and apply them to my business. To discover the intersection of my strengths and the needs of the women I’m so compelled to serve.
It was a deep, thoughtful process.
It turns out that intersection was the joy I get from creating fun experiences for friends and the desperate need women have to take a break from their busy lives for a little fun with their girlfriends. The lack of time of energy they have to plan and coordinate intersected perfectly with my love of planning parties and corralling friends to attend.
In January 2016 the idea of the HeartStories GNO was born, in red a chair in the corner of my office.
It was daunting to think of presenting yet ANOTHER idea, of how to materialize my vision for connection busy women with purpose, to encourage them to live the stories, only they can live. But I had a new energy, new hope and new vision.
I knew I had to try.
I knew I had to start small. So in April, I invited some busy girlfriends over to my neighborhood clubhouse to be my guinea pigs. I partnered with Carly, the founder of Tribe Alive (whom I’d met during the online shop jaunt), to share her story with my friends and introduce them to her products. Fifty women showed up. We had a ball. I didn’t lose money!
In June, we hosted the first official public HeartStories GNO event and we’ve been hosting them ever since. It hasn’t been easy. In fact, it’s been incredibly hard. I’ve sat in my same red chair in a puddle of tears. But it’s worth it. These GNOs provide fun, connection and encouragement, consistently, to women who need it.
So for our 1st Birthday, on June 1st, I’m going to do what I do best, and throw a party! 80’s style!
Because it turns out that, when the working day is done, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!
All they wanna do is have fu-u-un.
Sure, they want to grow and connect with more purpose in the middle of their crazy busy lives and we’re going to keep providing that. But this month, we’re going to take a break and just have some fun.
I hope you’ll join us.
Even if you’re not able to join us live, I hope this little excerpt from my story will encourage you, wherever you are. Whatever you’re working on or dreaming of. Your passion has a purpose. It may take a few tries before you figure out how it needs to materialize in the world. So please, please, don’t give up. We need you to do what only you can do.
We need you to hold on, until it’s time to party!
to more love & parties!
P.S. I thought I could just sneak the Facebook Event Page up last night and no one would notice. . . that was a learning experience too! 😉