Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Brave Women Weather Success

I was stunned when a woman I’ve considered the epitome of success told me she was filing for bankruptcy. Her chain of successful retail stores was overcome with debt.

I fought the urge to ask her: “But what will you do now?” No need to inflict more doubt, I figured. I listened carefully as she described having to dismantle her life.

But wait. It isn’t her LIFE that’s coming apart. It’s her business. As much as we Americans tend to confuse the two-our work is not who we are. It’s part of who we are.

What really struck me was her take on it all. In answer to my question about how it all made her feel, she said: “I did a brave thing when I opened my first store. I’ve always wanted to brave, more than I wanted to be successful.”

In honor of International Women’s Day, which was this past Tuesday, here’s to all the brave women out there taking risks.


Susan Wilson said...

Well written! Well done! Sad but true and unfortunately far too common. As women, I think we are often our own worst enemies. We carry the weight of the world when in reality we do not have to. I certainly struggle with this and I think you did a fantastic job of telling a conveying a very powerful message. Now SCREAM it from the rooftops!

Patricia Martin said...

Thanks, Susan. We all struggle with this. It helps to acknowledge it and to encourage each other to set down a few of the lightens the collective load.