There are some entrepreneurs who just blow me away! Lynn Baldwin-Rhoades is one of those people. She’s the founder of Power Chicks and helps thousands of women connect and share their business successes, trials, and questions. You are going to love this interview we had with her!
In case people don’t know you and your amazing business, would you mind sharing what you do?
Sure – that’d be groovy! I have a company called Power Chicks, which helps entrepreneurs not only do work they love but do it successfully. I collaborate with business experts, connect women with resources and blog about entrepreneurial life.
About 6,000 women worldwide are connected with Power Chicks, so apart from the business-y side of things, it’s a community whip-smart, heart-driven women doing meaningful work.
Why do you believe group support is so vital to business growth and success?
As humans, we need each other for survival; we’re hardwired for connection. Can you imagine life without those who love and support you? I can’t – no way.
But in business, we take this stance – a persona, almost– of the hardworking, independent, can-do, wears-all-hats entrepreneur. As if doing it alone is a badge of honor that proves our metal.
This approach can work for a while, but then isolation, discouragement, and lack of happy mojo starts to impact us. Despair can come as a small but constant energy drain or roar toward us, a towering tsunami of perpetual crabbiness. Either way, come it will.
Unless, of course, you’ve got your tribe, your supporters. They are those who understand the highs and the lows, the guts and the glory, of doing meaningful work – because they’re doing it, too. Our individual ventures differ but our experiences of success and struggle are similar.
The camaraderie I have with dear friends who are also entrepreneurs is so important. Many, of course, I’ve come to know through Power Chicks. Without them to call upon for support, advice, cheerleading, deep listening, and their ability to tell me to my bum moving as needed, well, I’d be tsunami -drenched every day. Instead, I’m richly supported and I’m able to support others in so many ways. All good!
You’ve teamed up with coaches and offer an outstanding array of resources for your Power Chicks. What inspired you to collaborate so extensively with others?
Did you hear that screech of my soapbox as I dragged it across my maple wood floor, so I could stand tall and pontificate? Collaboration is key. KEY! (Some things deserve a shout out, and I do mean a literal one.)
Like I said, we need each other – both emotionally and practically.
The practical level is why I collaborate so broadly with others. See, women kept asking me for referrals to folks who could help them build their businesses. They knew my connections were wide and deep, and I was happy to point them to just the right resource.
After umpteen requests, I realized that by partnering with vetted companies founded by people I knew, like and trusted, entrepreneurs could easily find exactly what they needed. Win for them, win for those they hire, and win for me, too, because I love supporting women!
What advice would you give a solopreneur looking for a support group that is right for them?
Think about what you need and want. Do you need to network? Need to expand your skill and knowledge? Do you prefer online support, face-to-face time or maybe a mix of both? Knowing what will best serve you is the first step.
With the Internet, we have so much support available to us. Could there be a better time to be in business with the technology we have at our fingertips and opportunities to make connections with, literally, anyone we want?
Thanks to so many brilliant women in my community, my brain’s a bounty of resources. Readers can feel free to ask for specific support-group suggestions in the comments below or ping me directly.
You and your business have evolved so much over the past few years. Was there ever a time when you worried about failing or met a hard obstacle? How did you overcome it and push forward?
Oh yeah – of course! Obstacles are par de course and always will be. I expect obstacles. I don’t like them but I do expect them.
Just today, I came across quote by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with Wolves: “Don’t waste your time hating a failure. Failure is a greater teacher than success.”
This big-time resonates with me. See, I’ve hated my own failures, those obstacles on which I’ve stumbled and bumbled. But I’ve also learned that in judging myself, I invite my inner critic to have a hullabaloo in my head, which is not only unproductive, it’s crazy.
So, I try to learn from obstacles. I give myself permission to have a pity-party first; I’m a fan of those. You know, the whiny, poor-me feelings that come up? Yep – I give into them for a bit of time, but then get to looking at what a so-called “failure” can teach me.
I’m also tapping into my own intuition more these days. You know, that ultra-wise part that knows things before our logical minds do? Listening into my own deep core helps me overcome obstacles much more quickly and easily.
Bottom line? Being an entrepreneur means giving myself grace to make mistakes and trusting that I’ll learn and grow every time I flub up. And I always do. Acknowledging that seems, in some way, like a bit of grace itself.
If you want to join the Power Chicks, I urge you to check out Lynn’s site and see what you can learn from other entrepreneurs.