My first BPW meeting was on April 7, 2015.
I timidly entered a room where I knew at most, one person. I was nervous. Actually, more than that…I was feeling out of my depth. My brain snapped to just one thought…You aren’t enough. The little voice in my head was in control, “You have no business being in this room. Seriously, you should just go home before you embarrass yourself.”
I’m glad to say, I didn’t listen.
I took a breath. Found a seat, relatively close to the door just in case my nerves got to be too much and I had to make a dash for it. I cased the room like an experienced detective looking for clues, who were the women that looked the least bit intimidating.
Less than a minute after sitting down a vivacious woman with the hippest haircut I’ve ever seen sat next to me, hand out and said, “I’m so pleased to meet you, are you joining us for the first time?”
Uhm, was it that obvious?
We struck up a conversation. It took around 20 minutes before I let me guard down just enough to really enjoy the deeply insightful conversation I was engaged in. Looking around the table, we were all experiencing these types of connections. I knew at that moment, these women were on a level I wanted to be on. They wanted to talk about the heart of what drives us, why we all do what we do.
I felt, well, at home.
I returned home that night and remember sitting down on the couch and my husband asking me how it went. I looked at him and said, “This is where I fit. This is better than any other networking I’ve done before. I can see this being a great thing for myself and my business. Those women are confident and self-aware and so engaging!”
I signed up as a new member the following week.
Three years have now passed. My business network has continued to grow and my involvement with BPW has gone from volunteering time with the Membership Committee to taking on Membership Director to being elected Vice President to now, President. To say things have changed a lot in that period of time would be a rather large understatement.
But why have I continued?
It’s the same reason as why I first joined. I was inspired. Seeing the diversity of women; those starting in their careers to those exiting their careers, women who owned business, women who were in corporate offices; stepping into a greater purpose, going against the grain of competition and embracing connecting with others was incredibly inspirational to me. It still is.
Now, I’m one of those ladies who is the first to reach out my hand and say “I’m pleased to meet you, are you joining us for the first time?”
No matter what fear you are facing, at BPW, you are amongst friends.
BPW Saskatoon President