So there’s this gal I know and she’s kind of awesome.
I met her during my first marriage through my then husband. But I was not looking forward to the meeting to be honest. We were living in Manhattan and meeting his “sleep away camp” friend and her husband for dinner.
We lived on the UES, which may as well have been the burbs compared to her funky apartment near the meatpacking district. I already had a preconceived notion that because of said apartment, she was cooler than me and I was dreading a dinner where I would have to pretend to be interested in this couple and fake being engaged in obligatory conversation. Just put me out of my misery, I was thinking.
Then the weirdest thing happened.
We TOTALLY hit it off. I’m talking about sparks flying pretty much from the first hug hello. I can’t tell you what it was, but there was just this instant chemistry and I knew I liked her. I went from dread, to not wanting the night to end, in about 6 seconds. And just like that we developed a bond that grew into an amazing and unexpected (at least from my end…she probably thought I was awesome before she met me ) friendship.
Then when I got divorced, that thing happens where your “couple friends” pick their sides. And I’ll be honest…I thought for sure I would lose her. She was his friend first after all. But I didn’t!! She played Switzerland like a boss and maintained a real friendship with me. It’s not easy and I don’t know how the eff she did it, but I think that’s when this fiery redhead with major moxie stole my heart.
She also happens to give the most sound and insightful advice I think I’ve ever received. It’s equal parts supportive and realistic, never sugar coated and always authentic. So it makes sense that she (a lawyer by trade) chased her dream and a vision to become the most incredible entrepreneur, coaching women to create work/life synergy and fulfill THEIR dreams.
Stacy Boegem, my dear friend, was born to do just this.
When she launched her business, I wanted to help wherever I could (partly to support her and partly to physically see her do her thing because as I’ve always said about her…when she talks, you listen…to every damn word.) I videotaped her first event at a small kid’s playspace in boca, wrote some media pitches for her, and last year registered people at her CRA Live (Connect Relate Activate) event and then watched in awe as she took the stage. She’s so smart, charming, magnetic and knows how to command the shit out of a room.
And while this post may sound like a Stacy Boegem lovefest (ok it is a little), it’s so much more. But I feel so strongly about giving you the context of our backstory instead of just passing you a link to an event and telling you to check it out. Because in addition to a wonderful friendship, I don’t even know if she knows how much she has helped me professionally, and that it all came to a head at last year’s CRA Live. I have never really sat down and discussed it with her. So she’s kind of hearing this for the first time like you.
(If this were a movie, there’d be some wavy lines and trippy music designating a flashback moment…in 3, 2, 1.)
Last year, I sat at the CRA registration table handing out name tags and checking people in, and when the room was full (and it was), I took a seat with other attendees at the table. In the interest of full disclosure, I was not intending on learning anything that day. Yes I was miserable at my job and yes I had been blogging for a while. But I had no “career” path in sight, so a transition just wasn’t top of mind for me. I knew I wanted to leave my job at some point but it felt soooooo far away, like a pipe dream.
I listened to Stacy. I listened to her other speakers. I watched other women furiously scribble notes and excused myself from most of those exercises because I just didn’t think it applied to me. I was there to help not really participate.
But then, I wrote something down.
Right then and there, I decided I needed business cards (because in my head, that’s one of the things that make you an “official” business. And I also came up with my own kitschy title.) It may not mean much to others, but it was a moment for me.
Then came a point where we were asked to write a letter to ourselves in the future talking about where we thought we’d be. Here’s mine dated January 2018.
Guys, it’s barely 2016 and I have literally checked off every single item on that list. Every. Single. One. Yes, some are ongoing, but seriously, I mobilized like a mofo after this event. Consider me “Activated”!
Was I scared? Yes. Shitless.
Because let’s be real. Hopes and dreams do not pay the mortgage. And I like my house and living in it.
The day after CRA, I hired someone to design a logo and ordered business cards. And from there it just snowballed. I started collaborating with people, submitting guest articles to really big sites, growing my social media presence and putting myself out there.
All while working at a job I hated that was slowly sucking my soul out of my body, praying for justification to leave.
One day, after a harrowing experience at work, filled with all sorts of public humiliation, I lost it. I came home sobbing. Snotty, ugly crying. I was inconsolable. Lost. At the end of my rope.
I called Stacy and told her I couldn’t take it and I was quitting the next day. She basically told me she understood where I was coming from but under no circumstances should I quit. I had no business built yet, and while she had no questions about my desire and ability to succeed on my own, it just wasn’t time. She asked me questions I didn’t even have answers to, and that’s when I realized she was right.
So, I listened to her. I spent the next several months busting my ass after full days of work, to build my own little “side business”. I would come home and put feelers out to people I had already been doing some freelance writing for. After some old school hustling, I had 3 paying clients. I was burning the candle at both ends just waiting to be “ready”to pull the cord and become a full-time writer. Those clients sent me other clients and before I knew it…it was time.
I took the leap.
I now run my own one-woman shop. I get to write everyday for clients who are appreciative and productive. And, I also get to focus on my own blog and writing as well. It’s a win win and the fire was totally lit under my ass at CRA Live 2015.
So, naturally, I am going back to CRA Live 2016 for seconds, to support my friend (and this time purposely learn even more so I can do some next level shit). And here’s the best part…you too can go, and even get a discount if you use the code WHINE during registration.
So, join us at CRA Live 2016!!! (It’s in Fort Lauderdale on April 7th and 8th).
Registration closes 3/23 so get on it and register here: www.CRALiveEvent.com.
And don’t forget to use the code WHINE for 20% off. (I’m hooking you up like cable)
You may not know it, but you totally need this fiery little redhead in your life. Trust me.