It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I thought there is no better time than International Women’s Day! I never imagined God would have placed me in a position to be a foster mama to a teenager, a mama to a beautiful baby girl, a very blessed wife, and a CEO of two companies, all before age thirty.
I must give credit where it is due. I was blessed with leadership from an amazing father who also taught me about relentless faith in my Heavenly Father. I am so thankful that He has planted me in a position to be a leader to many and I’m proud that our nation allows me to fulfill my calling.
So let’s talk about calling. As a child, I followed my dad’s path in a lot of things. At around six or seven, I remember quite vividly waking up early to sit with my dad while he read scripture; I took little sips from his coffee cup. (This was probably where my love for coffee started.) As I grew older, my greatest joys were spent helping him with animals in the barn, learning how to craft things out of wood, learning to write, and learning to lead. I sheepishly joke with my mom today about how I spent way too much time with my dad and lost my opportunity to learn how to cook and garden. Luckily my husband is exceptional at both of those things.
We live in a time where this mold for women is continuing to evolve. I have come across a few people who are still under the impression that boldness is meant for men and meekness is meant for women. While there is nothing wrong with those qualities, my favorite comment to these traditional thinkers is that if they took a moment to listen to a bold female and a meek man, they could learn a great deal from both. Meekness and boldness have no reason to be bound to gender, yet both are qualities that are required of a good leader.
So how can both meekness and boldness be packed into one person? It’s about harmony. I recently had conversation with our business development consult, and I asked him about the work/life balance. His words were, “No. Not Balance. Harmony.” His words resonated with me. As females in particular we put so much stress on the work/life balance. We are told we cannot have a family and a career. We are told to put one before the other. We are expected to stay at home and take care of the home and the kids. We are also expected to go to work because it is nearly impossible in today’s economy to sustain a family on one income. That’s not balance; It’s tug-of-war.
But harmony is different. Along with my business degree, I also have a degree in French horn. It’s a degree that looks basically pointless on my resume, and is strictly the result of me not knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up. (I just knew for certain I wasn’t going to be a music teacher when I got into my class observation of six year olds banging on drums). Even though that degree doesn’t seem the most useful, I cannot tell you how many times I have used it. As an entrepreneur, my job revolves around composing constant symphonies. Each employee plays a different instrument, and my job is to look at each individual motif that puts each person in place for the larger image of a beautiful, creative, functional business. And when it is functioning well, we have harmony.
So as I sit here today, a twenty-nine year old female with a teenage girl, a four month old baby, 50+ staff, dozens of families and stakeholders, (and by the grace of God, a husband who can cook), I know God is not done with me yet. I am constantly learning how to allow this harmony to encompass all of the pieces I’m honored to play. Yet I encourage every female reading this to remember that your life is not about the hectic balancing act. It’s about working with your team to create a harmony that makes this world the best place it can be. As a composer of life, you have to let your family members, your coworkers and your friends excel in their skills so you can also soar in yours. Be meek in cultivation and bold in initiation, but mostly be the best you. In the words of the late and lovely Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for others.” So ladies, wherever you are in you walk of life, I implore you to find the harmony to achieve both.