We also discussed a number of other revelations. The oldest of us (in the back half of our 50's), are feeling an unexpected freedom.
- Freedom to change careers and focus on work that makes us happy (whether that work is profitable or not!)
- Freedom to really clean out that closet: give up the formal business clothes that aren't likely to be worn again, get rid of anything that doesn't bring us joy when we wear it
- Freedom to see the people that we want to see and feel no guilt when we decline an invitation. (A favorite old TV line that I think came from Phoebe on Friends is: "I would, but I don't want to".)
- Freedom from judgment. Not that we're not being judged...just that we don't care. This means freedom to have those injections or cosmetic surgery if it makes us happy - but just as free to let our hair go gray, go off the diet and accept who we've become.
A few of my Posse sisters are still fully embroiled in their first businesses. For them, the revelation was more business related: we feel sorry for men who don't have an equivalent of the Girl Group. Groups like the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Center for Empowerment & Economic Development (CEED), Women President's Organization (WPO), Enterprising Women, The Woman's Advantage and similar groups are all places that women share experiences and expertise, ask and give advice in a safe environment. Most of us have firm support from our husbands, families and friends, but there is no substitute for someone who is exactly in your situation: feeling the pressures of running the company, feeling responsible for employees, trying to do your best in your work and personal or family life. Girl Groups do not have to be formal organizations; it's perfectly acceptable to form your own.
Of course, there are some men that are comfortable sharing, and there are a number of general business organizations that are also very valuable like Entrepreneur's Organization (EO), Chambers of Commerce and industry associations. Our biased observation is that men just don't share like women do. For whatever reason (let's don't try to speculate...), many men still hesitate to ask for directions.
So. If you are not yet in your 50's, take heart! You may mourn for your previous body, jawline or metabolism, but you're about to experience an invigorating freedom. And if you are a female and do not have a Girl Group - go find (or form) one now!