Make Friends First… A Novel Concept in Interesting Times

Just last week, I held the last Women in Business (WIB) event of 2016. Why is that significant? It rounded out 10 years of a WIB Program that I founded and have had the distinct privilege to grow and coordinate over the course of this decade. Some may wonder what the “secret to success” has been for the longevity of a program thatimg_1407 brings together entrepreneurial, like-minded women on a monthly basis to do one simple thing: build friendships. The decade-old mantra that is shared often with our 1000+ members is this: “Make friends first and the business will follow.”

When I was asked to write a short blurb about the WIB Program updates for our Veritex Bank Fall Newsletter, I considered coming at it from several angles. I could write about upcoming events scheduled for 1st quarter of 2017. Or I could write a bit about the fun events we enjoyed these last couple of months. But amidst those considerations and given so much “unrest” in friendships across our country, I chose to write about gratitude. Not necessarily gratitude for the honors that have come with the WIB Program or the business it has produced. No, SHE-friends, the point has never been anything other than aiding women in building cherished relationships.

So as we enter into Thanksgiving week and since I will be “taking a blog break” next Sunday to enjoy my family ALL being under the same roof for 5 days, let me express gratitude for friendships, in WIB and beyond:

I am thankful for the “lifers” – those friends who I have known since grade school/high school. Thankful for those who know the kid I was and don’t hold it against me 😉

I am thankful for the besties – the ones who have been there for me in the darkest of img_1086times in my adult life and in the joyous of times. It is when we are on our knees in quicksand that we find out who our TRUE friends really are. Not to mention, you are the friends I will grow old with…just the thought of the future mischief we will have makes me laugh!

I am thankful for the work family I have both at Veritex Bank and at India Hicks who have become friends and confidantes. When some days are hard and you have to go to work and smile thru your pain, you are always there for me.

I am thankful for my WIB friends that I have made over the last decade. We began our relationship as fellow “networkers,” but many of you have become so much more than that. You mentor me, you inspire me and you make me appreciate the great strides we, as women, continue to make in the business world. Let’s rock 2017 together!

I am thankful for my two millennial children. I have parented you as best I know how and am beyond proud of the young adults you have become. The sky is your only limit and I am thrilled to be going into your “next phase in life” more as your friend and advisor, than as your money tree and governing body.

I am thankful to be waking up next to my very best friend every morning. I am thankful for my husband, who is thoughtful and kind, who makes me laugh ‘til it hurts and who challenges me to be the best version of myself I can be on a daily basis.

Friendship. It is one of life’s necessities. It is one of life’s blessings. And if it is true, honest and authentic, there is NOTHING that can destroy it.

Friendship. Take care of the one’s you cherish most.

Happy Thanksgiving, SHE-friends. I realize that for some who are in the midst of hard times, loss or grief, it is often hard to find something to be thankful for. Look around you. We are here.



Note from the SHE Files:

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”

— Oprah Winfrey


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5 years ago

Darlene – thank you for this article, for 10 fantastic years of LWIB, and most of all for your friendship. I hope you and your family have a fantastic holiday season!