The Power In Community

October 02, 2019

The Power In Community

 

Something that has become increasingly important to me as a solo-founder is establishing a sense of belonging during my work hours.  It can get pretty lonely when you are faced with the challenges of starting a business and you are the ultimate decision-maker.  Granted, I have excellent mentors, advisers, coaches, and team members but you often are pushed to make a final call that could be transformational or detrimental to your business and that can be nerve-wracking.  That's what it means to be the CEO and founder of a growing company.  I’ve found that re-thinking ‘belonging’ has been instrumental.  While my business is too young to have a corporate board, it’s never too early to set up a bunch of ‘board-like’ relationships with various groups of people.

For instance, about 6 years ago, I started a Lean In group with 9 awesome women each from different industries.  We talked about everything from personal to professional trials and tribulations and it was a powerful form of peer mentorship.  Several members of the group were not familiar with one another but we resolved to share openly in order to propel each other. This was my first foray into leveraging the power of committed groups. 

Photo:  Me and some of my Lean In sisters.

I recently moved to California (well it’s almost been 2 years but it still feels new) and didn’t have any friends when I got here.  Yes, I have a husband and three kids (ages 9, 7, and 5) but there is nothing like being in a community of women.  Fortunately for me, my alma mater was starting an alumnae circles program quite similar to the one I had started.  Didn't take me long to sign up and it’s been such an awesome opportunity for me to make new friends.  Sometimes you want to moan about how hard it is to be a female founder or to fundraise or whatever and shared experiences make for empathetic ones.  It’s been great for me to plug into a group of women who are focused on “leveling up” for themselves and supporting each other along the way.  Missy (in the photo below) is a fellow solo-entrepreneur in the group and it’s been really powerful having someone to talk to about the challenges and quick hacks of early stage startup life.

 

Another community that I’m grateful to be a part of is the wonderful Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center as a Milestone Maker.  Please check them out as it’s been a great experience for me so far.  The community here is both female and male and we are all entrepreneurs in varying degrees of startup life.  What unifies us is our desire to create sustainable value in the world (no matter how big or small) through business. Being able to openly share your wins and “Ls” is a key ingredient to feeling a sense of belonging when you don’t have the budget for a 30 person team and a swanky WeWork office!  That's the cohort of amazing business leaders that I am proud to be a part of in the photo below.

 

These are some of my belonging hacks that help me survive the rigors of leading my company and living a full life beyond work.  They have worked for me.  Please let me know how you deal with belonging issues in the workplace in the comments below.

Sincerely,

Aisha

While you're here, shop the HOLIDAZZLE Sale!

 



Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in The Bossy Blog

Meet Vidya Nagarajan - Our newest advisor!
Meet Vidya Nagarajan - Our newest advisor!

April 27, 2021

We just lucked out by having Vidya Nagarajan join Bossy Cosmetics as an advisor and we can't keep calm about it!!  We are growing our team with thoughtful additions as either full-time hires or key advisory appointments to enrich the process of designing products, content, and experiences that delight ambitious working women all over the world.  I am personally thrilled to have someone of Vidya's professional calibre and personal enthusiasm on the team!  She'll be enriching our journey into leveraging technology to become a true community that creates synergies amongst various groups of women.  We are truly excited for what's to come!

Read More

Talking Equitable Design with Aubrey Blanche
Talking Equitable Design with Aubrey Blanche

March 17, 2021

I fully expected Aubrey to be amazing and knowledgeable about Equitable Design but I wasn't quite prepared for her to be so darn likable while doing it!  So it does help that she showed up to the IG live with beautiful pink hair, a cool pair of glasses, AND wearing our HUSTLE lipstick.  She then proceeded to drop real gems about what it's like to live and operate at the highest echelon of the tech industry at the intersection of being a Mexican American woman with indigenous roots recognizing that she is white-passing while identifying as bisexual and living with bipolar disorder.  When I tell you that it was a refreshing and really open conversation about how you effectively use empathy and lived experiences to design processes and systems within companies that make them work for everyone - IT WAS.

Read More

Wishing ourselves a HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY!!!
Wishing ourselves a HAPPY 2nd BIRTHDAY!!!

March 08, 2021

Thank you for being a supporter, friend, and Bossy loyalist.  I am truly grateful for this community.  I hope to continue to create products, content, and services that are worthy of your delight and adoration!

Read More