For the past few years I've been reading an entry from Oprah Winfrey's book, What I Know For Sure, every morning. After I finish the last entry, I go back to the first one and start again. I've read the book 13 times. My favorite passage is right in the middle: "Time is fleeting. Those of you with children are ever cognizant of this fact—because your children keep growing out of and into themselves...The whole point of being alive is to become the person you were intended to be, to grow out of and into yourself again and again."
This week I launched a new venture. In doing so, I grew out of and into myself again.
The company is called The Cru, because every woman needs one. It's a peer coaching service for women looking to accelerate their professional and personal growth. I had the vision for it last May, but like a typical human I let my fears prevent me from fully making it reality. I can't because I don't have an MBA. I can't because I don't have business partners. I can't because my family is dependent on my income. I can't because...you get the picture. Fortunately, I have a life philosophy that forced the timeline for this week's launch. I firmly believe that if you're blessed with something, whether it's new shoes or a business idea, and you don't act on it in 12 months—you have a responsibility to throw it back to the universe. Those unworn shoes should be donated and you can't be a hater when another entrepreneur announces a new product that was "your" idea.
Four weeks ago, the one-year anniversary of my vision of The Cru was fast approaching. I knew I needed to birth it into the world, but one of my fears was paralyzing me. I don't have a team to execute the launch. Thankfully, one morning Oprah's wisdom reminded me that in order to grow, my thinking would need to evolve. I may not have employees, but I have a Cru and I have people in my life who are deeply invested in my success. So I spent a couple hours one afternoon creating a spreadsheet that outlined everything I felt needed to happen to launch The Cru on May 14th. Then I filled the "Who" column with people who were skilled in each area and added deadlines for each task. I shared the spreadsheet with each person and asked them if they'd be able to complete their assigned task by the deadline. Every person said yes.
The Cru launch was incredible. We exceeded our application goal for the first round in just three days and women from 25 states have already answered the call. The most humbling press was this piece from Refinery29. There is no way I could have achieved these results without the following individuals who stepped up when I needed them: Amanda Schumacher, Carmen Rita Wong, Damali Elliott, Gabi Tudin, Jasmine Lawrence, Jenny Groza, Kathleen Harris, Kojo Dufu, Maia Gantcheva, Nathan Bjornberg, Tasha Eurich, Candice Cook, and Trinity Crigler. I'm sharing their names to say THANK YOU and also because I want everyone to know that behind every successful woman is a village of support.
Each of us has been blessed with something we're holding onto. It could be a book inside of us, a beautiful singing voice, an app, or our gift of enabling others. If a twelve month deadline for acting on your blessing would create too much anxiety for you, please #droptheball on that philosophy. But know this: time is fleeting and the universe conspires to buoy people who make the leap. Don't let your fears prevent you from experiencing the point of being alive.