When I made the decision to leave my comfortable job in nonprofit, I was scared. I’d been in the field for almost 20 years, as either a volunteer in my organization or as a leader and key employee. I’d given a lot, I’d received a lot, and I was running on passion. Leaving anything is scary, but moving from nonprofit to the big world of everything else was so scary! I managed to get a job where there was no job opening. I broke into an industry that I was moderately prepared to be in. I started working and got myself through the anxiety of each day by living by the mantra “Do one scary thing each day”. This was working! I was successfully naming the scary things, mustering up the courage and strategy, and doing what needed to be done.
At some point, the power of the ‘scary things’ started to have diminishing return on investment. My numbers were not awesome (everything is sales related) and I was realizing that all that glitters isn’t gold. I could feel something shifting and was preparing myself for a scary thing.
A few months prior, I was introduced to an incredible woman who was doing big things in her business and demonstrated bravery in every step along the way. Leaving a well-paying job in Corporate America. Pursuing a Ph.D. Starting her own company. Stepping off the path and carving on of her own. It gave me courage and calmness just being around her. And she was generous with her network. She introduced me to a group of women who truly brought out the brave in me.
I left my job (propelled to move through scary things) and secured my next employment during the drive from office to home. I joined a firm that required grit and grace every single day. Doing one scary thing each day wasn’t enough. Doing brave things was required. Being brave was necessary. Living in bravery was like breathing. I was grateful. I was grace-filled (not graceful). I was going to make this work.
This bravery club was meeting virtually on a weekly basis in some way or another. Whether it was two or three of us, we connected. Like a sponge, I soaked up their energy and courage and showed up with my firm. I learned from the incredible pair that I worked with. I leaned in and gave more than I thought I had in me. It was working.
But something else was happening. This ‘brave women project’ was taking shape. I could practically see it coming together. A network of women supporting each other. Outdoing each other in kindness, generosity, and encouragement. A community of women making moments count. A village of brave warriors who were in it for each other, not themselves.
And the #BraveWomenProject was born.