I’ve been in the women’s empowerment space for several years now. It started with the natural hair community and then transitioned into leadership development, women’s ministry, community service and then business coaching. (Feel free to ask me about any of these topics, by the way!)
In this line of work, I’ve had dozens upon dozens of opportunities to speak to various audiences. Sometimes I’ve been on panels or programs with multiple speakers; most times I was the only one presenting.
One of my recent posts talks about how I’ve learned how to say “no” to opportunities, based on whether or not they meet my needs at that particular time.
Instead of just saying “no,” and moving forward with my business, I now try to reach back and offer another sister/friend/colleague the opportunity.
An example of this happened a few months ago. I was asked to speak on an entrepreneurship-focused panel at my alma mater.
I knew that it was a busy week for me—in fact it was my birthday week—so I didn’t want to overload myself with late evening functions. But I knew that I was going to be leaving my job not too long afterwards, so I thought that maybe I’d say yes and see what came of it. I figured that it was a good sign that I’d still be invited to speaking engagements, even if I wasn’t connected to that specific organization.
As the day approached, though, I felt myself getting more and more uneasy. I should’ve listened to my gut and not given a “yes” before I was certain.
Anyway, as the story goes, a friend/classmate came to mind who might be a better fit for the panel. Her clientele is women of color and the event was hosted by a Latin sorority.
Surprisingly, when I reached out to her to share the event information, she was elated! She had even been praying for an opportunity to speak again before the year was up!
I connected her to the event organizer and sent her my well-wishes.
She had a wonderful time at the event and students were filled with questions about her work!
To me, that was such an eye-opening experience.
Here I was, stressing over whether I was going to stretch myself thin to make it to the speaking engagement, while there was another woman, willing and excited to take on the opportunity!
And honestly, she was probably the better choice anyway.
At that moment, I realized that I didn’t want to hoard all of the gigs anymore. I wanted to share the spotlight. It was such a beautiful experience to share with someone else!
As the saying goes, “What God has for you is for YOU!” Nobody can take your blessings.
So, the next time you turn down an opportunity, think about a sister in your circle who could be praying for the very same thing you turned down!
Until Next Time,