Less than 12 hours after this monumental election and shocking results, I’m finally out of fetal position, out of tissues and out of bed. I was nearly resigned to stay there for the foreseeable future having most of my hope and belief in humanity knocked from under me. Like many, I was feeling defeated and deflated asking myself how can I move forward now that all the positivity, good will and recognition of equality for so many now has a new obstacle to overcome?
It’s that sick feeling you experience when you find out your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner who you believed and loved unconditionally, has cheated on you, only realizing today that it’s half the country that betrayed you and who you realized you never really knew at all.
I’m working through these painful and emotional feelings. I’m finding my voice again. I know, eventually, I will accept that we have walked through the door of this other unexpected reality. The reality that we have a president I didn’t vote for, support, believe in or love unconditionally. I know I need to accept this reality — it’s how democracy works — for better or worse — and stop fearing this new ‘leader’.
“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
I was finally able to get myself to the grocery store. Although in a complete fog and daze (despite it being a beautiful sunny San Francisco day) I was able to stop and pay attention to what I was feeling and thinking in the moment. Notwithstanding shedding tears while walking down the veggie aisle, I also found myself being pissed off and annoyed at even the smallest things including two (who seemed to be) homeless men, taking up space in the store. WHERE THE HELL DID THOSE THOUGHTS COME FROM? My own negativity and anger was making me feel sick. Am I about to become someone who has a closed hearts, no empathy, and a desire to BE only for themselves? Not taking the time to stop and take a moment to understand exactly where people are coming from? I have spent the better part of the past 5+ years consciously focused on leading with love. I don’t want to stop today. Are these election results causing me to lose my ability to come from a heart center? It’s not healthy for me live in a way that is heartless — for my emotional, physical, or spiritual self. I won’t accept it after today, my day of mourning.
As I drove home, a kind driver coming towards me stopped to give way to allow me to pass first as there was a truck blocking one side of the street. I smiled and waved in gratitude. She waved back. That tiny gesture reminded me that people really are good at heart. (Thank you Anne Frank.)
“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.” — Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
So where does this leave me? I can’t just sit around and wallow, be pissed, or obsess over what happens now that Hillary or the democrats are NOT in the White House or congress. I have to do SOMETHING and not feel or sound like a victim. I’m seeing lots of friends who are allowing themselves the day to grieve for the “hatred, bigotry, and misogyny infecting this beautiful country” and then tomorrow we will return to “our optimistic selves and work towards a better world”.
And then I have other incredible friends asking their friends and network to “step up our game” and “stop have these passive conversations about gender inequality and design a real strategy”. That’s when it hit me, I’m already doing this!
My entire career path has always been working towards a better world. Whether is was my time as an educator an Atlanta School system working to provide a meaningful education to underserved 3rd and 4th graders, a safe environment for them to be wildly creative and explorative, or the much needed technology support and hands-on curriculum in a middle school. Whether it was working for over a decade at a corporate foundation with an incredible team providing purposeful opportunities for employees to volunteer in their community or across the world, and to provide nonprofit organizations resources to help them execute their mission — from addressing homelessness, solving world hunger, finding cures for diseases, or access to quality education.
This reflection smacked me hard in the face. It’s EXACTLY what I’m already doing today. Fearing I lost all motivation after the election results, it’s the LAST thing I need to give up on. There’s so much we can do and have been doing. My work now with SheEO Radical Generosity is even more important — on economic, societal, and personal levels.
Economic: Currently only 4% of VC capital goes towards women. So we created a new financing model for female-led ventures and female investors through #radicalgenerosity. Less than 1% of corporate procurement goes to women-led businesses. So we created a network to help make those connections and introductions.
Societal: Less than 5% of female entrepreneurs have mentors. So we created a personalized, guided development program and a network of 1000 women to support ventures. Less than 19% of business news mentions ventures led by women. So we are amplifying the impact of women-led ventures.
Personal: Doing this work, inviting women and men to believe in creating a new economic model, keeps me sane and happy. It’s my purpose. My playful purpose. I get to be a pioneer in creating something new — again — to be on the ground floor. I get to be a part of a group of incredible humans who “get it”. These people with whom I want to surround myself with and connect my heart-forward smart friends. While I strongly dislike asking for money, I find that SheEO is about asking for support an idea and a movement that is a possible solution to something that hasn’t been working for decades. And it’s keeping me hopeful.
To all my friends and friends of friends who are finished grieving and want to DO something that will focus us inward, support each other outward, that will bring us together, and that will amplify empathy I invite you to be a part of Radical Generosity.
What is SheEO Radical Generosity?
With women making 80% of purchasing decisions, are set to inherit 75% of the largest wealth transfer ever and who are starting businesses worldwide 1.5 times the pace of men we have the opportunity to create six million new jobs if female entrepreneurs were funded to the same degree as men.
SheEO Radical Generosity is funded by 1000 radically generous women per city called Activators. Instead of a handful of partners making large singular investments ($100,000+), a thousand women commit to a $1100 contribution, 90% of which will be loaned out to women-led ventures (in a zero-interest loan) paid back over five years, and reinvested perpetually. The Activators select the ventures. Our community is made up of entrepreneurs, executives, public leaders, and everyday citizens.
It may take a village to make a movement successful but it only takes a few to start one. We’re still starting this movement and I ask you to, at the very least, learn more about SheEO Radical Generosity, share with friends and at the very most, Activate Today! (Deadline is November 30th)
(How would you dream differently if you had the support of 1,000 radically generous women? If you are a female-led, majority female-owned venture with over $50K in revenue this year, and are based in either SF/Bay Area, Colorado, LA, or Canada apply to be a 2016 SheEO Venture today. Selected ventures receive zero interest loans, a personalized guided development program, and access to a global network of female investors, advisors and customers. Deadline is November 30th. Welcome to your new tribe. Apply here: