Recently, a number of Greene team members had the opportunity to learn from five successful and influential female entrepreneurs who call the Triangle home at the Virtual Raleigh Chamber Professional Women’s Luncheon. Below, we share some of our greatest takeaways from this inspiring event.
Bridget Harrington, Executive Director of Innovate Raleigh admitted, “It is really hard to set boundaries,” especially when your living room and your workplace become one. Bridget went on to explain that the only way she has found healthy work-life boundaries in the middle of the COVID pandemic is to learn how to prioritize tasks and responsibilities and figure out what is truly important. Priorities and needs are ever evolving. They may look different for you than they do for your neighbor, and they may look different for you tomorrow than they do today. The important thing is to not lose sight of the “Why?” behind your top priorities. Maggie Kane, Founder and Executive Director of A Place at the Table gently reminded everyone that to show up for the people around you, you must first show up for yourself. Maggie reminded us that it is okay to cry and it is okay to feel the depth of your emotions. Often, as women, we feel the insurmountable pressure to hold it all together while juggling the many hats we wear each day. We were given the gift of feeling a full range of emotions; so, feel free to make yourself a bowl of ice cream and leave out the side of guilt, go dance on the living room furniture, go on a run and leave your timer at home, journal your most honest feelings, and remind yourself that you were not made to suppress emotions that come natural to being a human.
PRACTICE SELF CARE
First, self-care is a phrase that is often thrown around when talking about wine, yoga, or Saturday brunch- but what does self-care look like between 9 and 5? How do we take care of ourselves while also taking care of others? Tarryn Henry, CEO of Tarryn Enterprises challenged everybody to, “prioritize therapy, exercise, and being with friends.” Self-care often is a set of practices that we build into our schedules over time, rather than a one-time quick fix. For some, self-care may look like going on a socially distant walk or having a virtual happy hour, while for others, self-care looks more like running a bath or diving into a new book. We need to foster a healthy relationship with ourselves to even begin to listen to what we need. We are taught from very early on that our bodies are not trustworthy. However, when we choose to count our bodies as trustworthy and honorable, we are able to listen more clearly when it warns us about red flags in our day to day lives.
Our world has shifted to a mostly remote, socially distanced world. It can feel daunting to attempt to foster an authentic connection while remaining 6 feet apart. It may seem discouraging to think of the opportunities and experiences you may be missing, but actually, we are learning that people are placing a higher value on authentic connections now. Tarryn Henry suggests that “authentic connections are easier to do in a pandemic because people want to have real connections now.” We are being challenged to show up for our people in new and creative ways – send a letter to a friend, send your co-worker $5 to go buy a good cup of coffee, remember important dates in people’s lives, and never underestimate the power of simply asking how someone’s day was.
GIVE YOURSELF GRACE (and lots of it)
Jess Porta, Executive Director of Raleigh Founded talked about her experience becoming a mother this year. She shared that she constantly feels the pressure of being the absolute best at every single thing in her organization. Jess noted that she has learned over and over again that the point is not to be the best at everything, but to surround yourself with people who are better than you, and be willing to admit that you cannot do it all. Next, Jess shared that it is tempting, as a woman in leadership, to feel the pressure of continuously taking on more and more responsibilities to prove you deserve a seat at the table. Fortunately, we can trust that we already deserve a seat at the table and we deserve to take up space.
So, let us encourage you, women! Our journey will look vastly different as we navigate our virtual world. We encourage you to know that you are valuable, you are important, and we need you in this world.