By 2011, I had been a working woman for 23 years in a couple of different industries. In that same 23 years, I had
been married, had two children, divorced, survived a crazy and unthinkable situation, then met and married my husband today. In 15 of those years, I had changed numerous diapers with a phone to my ear, not to mention the business calls/texts from the bleachers of my son’s baseball games. There had been both emotional and legal issues related to my ex-husband’s activities vying for my time, amidst making sure my children were fed, educated and loved on a LOT, writing/publishing a book and starting a new career in the banking industry.
So, when I got the email that I had been selected as one of the Dallas Business Journal’s Women in Business honorees that year I was honestly a bit confused. You see, I wasn’t a notable entrepreneur and CEO like Nina Vaca, a well-recognized woman diplomat in politics like Kay Baily Hutchison or even a trailblazing female like the beloved Ebby Halliday Acers – all who had, just a few years before, been given this same distinction.
This week, the Dallas Business Journal celebrated the 10th Anniversary of their Women in Business awards program. No doubt, the pool of nominees has grown exponentially, much like the DBJ itself under the leadership of – you guessed it – an amazing woman. Tracy Merzi, who has been with the DBJ since January of 2011 as Market President and Publisher, has increased their digital audience by 1200%. Yep, that is not a typo.
So what’s my point? That Dallas has no shortage of amazing working women exceeding expectations in their respective “work worlds?”
Well, that IS true, but not my point at all.
Having attended almost every one of these Award Luncheons and being included in the exclusive “private dinner” for a reunion with the alumna of this great honor, as well as celebrating that year’s “class” of honorees in the past several years, these women in business are not being honored for just climbing a professional ladder.
Not at all.
Rather, they are being celebrated for the multitude of successes in business as they, in almost every case, juggled, maybe struggled, balanced, sometimes failed, had an incredible career with a personal life, life mission or personal conviction. A successful integration of personal and professional – well, not without its struggles, of course – but of personal and professional worlds colliding.
Something that happens in the lives of professional women daily.
When you look at the list of the few hundred women who have been honored over the course of the 10 years, you might see CEO’s, executives, entrepreneurs, go-getters, innovators, hard workers and risk takers.
But you know what I see? A common theme…
Some women raising/juggling kids with careers.
Some women overcoming personal loss or grief and using that as a catalyst for their success.
Some women hugely involved in their communities with strong personal convictions and missions.
Some women who have coped with failure, either personally or professionally.
Some women who have worked thru health issues or physical limitations.
ALL of them, women who have set their professional world on fire, not “in spite of” their personal life but, more likely “because of” their personal life.
I see women of strength, women who excel in efficiency in managing all that personal and professional lives throw them, women with tremendous endurance, women who get up when knocked to their knees in quicksand.
So, SHE friends, it is thru THIS pair of glasses that I see not only them, but YOU.
Ask yourself not “what are my limitations” but, rather “what will I accomplish today BECAUSE of this thing called life…the personal and the professional, all merged into one beautiful journey.
Note from the SHE Files:
When our personal and professional lives collide, the fireworks show can be magnificent