Women Can Have it All
I have been really super duper lucky the last three days! I have been in Noosa for the Commonwealth Bank Women in Focus conference. We have listened to two days of jam packed sessions with the most amazing people teaching us what they've learnt on their road to success and 120 women in the audience who shared their stories of ups and downs.In going to Noosa I felt MAJORLY out of my depth. I knew of some of the women going and they are well out of my league. One thing that really stood out was that although some women have built these multi million dollar companies, they are so generous with their knowledge and no one did it easily. Everyone was willing to share their stories and ideas in order to help others see different perspectives and help them to grow.
Most of the women I spoke to had families and one of the biggest issues was combining a life of business that they loved along with their children and husbands. It's a delicate balance and one that was not the same for any two women. Since I've had my children, a lot of my struggle has been internal (as well as some external criticism that I try to ignore). It's battling with absolutely loving my work and the need to be with my children and be witness to their life and milestones. My children make me happy. I have more love for them than I ever thought humanly possible. I love my work. It makes me feel alive, challenges me, provides for me, energises me and gives me opportunities and endless possibilities. What may be totally normal in my mind is completely different for someone else.
One of the amazing speakers was Terese Rein who said successful women in business 'have an inadequate notion of the impossible' and a completely different perception of reality than the rest of the population. It is a trait that was prevalent throughout the women I spoke to and it's time to own it instead of being ashamed of it. I am often told that I need to be more realistic and stop dreaming. Bugger that! I love thinking that there is no limits to what I can achieve and that anything is possible if you do the right thing and work darn hard.
Wendy McCarthy (look her up, she’s incredible), spoke about the feminist movement and everything we can now do that women once weren't able to which really makes me realise how lucky I am and how many opportunities are now available to women. She has managed to live a full life of career and business building on her own terms, raise a loving family and at 71 years old, still be madly in love with her husband of 49 years. She is responsible for so many things that we as modern women take for granted. Definitely someone to take notice of.
As I've tried to grapple with the internal conflict of the juggling act, I have sought the advice of many mentors, advisers, business coaches etc. on what the best way to combine the two are. The main thing that I have taken from the conference is the road to success is difficult, but so much more fun and rewarding than sitting idly by and watching the world tick on without fully participating in shaping it. It's a journey and a completely different one for everyone taking it. As women in business, we want to have it all and can have it all.
What is most important is defining what your all is. It doesn't have to look like someone else's, but needs to be the right balance for you and suit the way you want to live your life. It's a compromise and give and take. The simple fact is you can't be in two places at once.
It's your choice what you choose to do with your time and what roles you want to play. Ignore the rest of the world, listen to your intuition and live a big life, it's the only one you've got.