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Celebrating one year of empowHERed

Hi friends,


Today’s a big day for us. It marks one year of empowHERed. At least, one year since our first official Instagram post. It’s actually more like a year and a few months since we created a Google doc and began filling it with ideas and having daily conversations about what we wanted this company to look like. Since then, empowHERed has grown almost as quickly as that Google doc (which ended up being 20+ pages, lol).

 


What a year it’s been. We’ve had a lot of highs – signing new partnerships, planning events, and developing relationships with members, mentors, and advocates in sports. But we’ve also had our fair share of lows. We developed an event with an incredibly difficult partner that didn’t treat us as equals, didn’t value our time, and drained our energy for weeks. At times, we struggled with the burnout that comes from trying to handle every aspect of a growing business with just two full-time employees. And we learned to get real comfortable with rejection.

 

Yet in the interest of practicing what we preach, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate some of the wins, both tangible and intangible. So in reflecting on the past year, here are just a few of the things that we’re most proud of:

 

  • Zero penguins – When we were first getting started, we wanted to make sure that becoming business partners wasn’t going to jeopardize our friendship, so we set up some ground rules. For example, no work-related texts or calls after 6 pm. (Admittedly, we’ve failed at that one, especially when we have evening webinars). Still, we felt that just having those boundaries was important to make sure we didn’t start to resent one another or lose a best friend as a result. We also developed a code word to be used if we ever felt too overwhelmed, stressed out, or just in need of a break from the other. We told each other that if we ever reached that point, we’d simply text “penguin”. If you received the code word, you were to back off and leave the other person alone for the rest of the day or until she reached back out. A year into this, we’re proud to say that we have never had a penguin situation. Sure, we’ve been stressed and frustrated at times, but we’ve always found a way to talk things out. We’ve also made sure that our friendship has continued to come first, even while working long hours. We’ve been there for each other through illnesses, family situations, and personal life drama, with one of us always picking up the slack for the other from a work perspective.

 

  • Community-building events – empowHERed was built with our younger selves in mind. We wish that we’d seen more women in the roles that we wanted to be in and that we’d had the opportunity to create a strong network even before getting into the industry. We’re grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to do that for other women. Over the last year, we’ve hosted close to 30 webinars and Zoom workshops for members and mentors, including networking sessions, educational panels, and mental health seminars. In February, we also hosted our first in-person event, a She’s the Man Networking and Movie Night. A month later, we hosted a Leadership Development Summit with the Philadelphia Union. Both left us feeling energized and (no pun intended) empowered by the incredible women (and men!) in attendance. It was our first time getting to meet many of our members in person and we’re so excited to doing more in-person events in year 2!

 

  • NWSL partnership – If you would have told us that six months into launching we would be announcing a partnership with a league while speaking on a panel at the championship game, well…we probably would’ve believed you because we’ve always had this really strong belief in ourselves as a duo (if only extended to us as individuals, haha). But still, we did have a “pinch me” moment while in San Diego watching the NWSL title game after an incredible weekend. We’re so grateful to have the opportunity to do this work and help players prepare for their post-playing careers.

 

There are so many more moments, memories, and connections that we could point to as highlights. The truth is though, none of this would be possible without all of you – our members, mentors, friends, family, and advocates. Thank you for supporting us along this journey.

 

So cheers to year one of empowHERed and here’s to many, many more!






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