Happy International Women’s Day! I thought today would be a perfect one to post about why I created Strategy Girl, so here it goes.
I created Strategy Girl because I wanted to see if a community for strategically-minded high school, college, and early career women committed to empowering each other through knowledge-sharing, networking, and mentorship—a community I could have used early in my career and even now!—could be beneficial to young women today. I also wanted to do something to continue to “pay it forward” and spread an adage I believe in a lot: that by helping others you help yourself (and not just in the “helping other makes me feel good” sense). This type of giving doesn’t need to be rooted in selfishness, either. It can come from a place of thoroughly understanding that we can do more together than we can individually.
I want Strategy Girl to get young women thinking differently about setting and meeting goals, and that progress—educational, career, wellness or otherwise—does not have to be a road that is traveled alone. In my life, assisting others has meant giving my time and expertise, whether it is reviewing a resume, cover letter, application essay, or making an introduction to someone in my network, without wanting or waiting for something in return. However, in time, I have gained friends, colleagues, clients and so much more. These are returns you can’t always negotiate up front.
From my experience, giving in small increments can have significant long-term impacts, and volunteering our time, energy, and expertise is a starting point. I created SG to be that starting point. Through intentional knowledge sharing (educational and inspirational), mentorship, and developing a mindset that emphasizes the reciprocal benefits of a giving, all of its members help each other get ahead and reach goals. It is this focus that I hope differentiates Strategy Girl from other education, career, and wellness-centered forums.
Although Strategy Girl’s primary focus is currently the distribution of educational and inspirational content on our blog and social media, I hope for it to one day grow into an interactive online an in-person forum for asking for and offering help, where together, young women can not only re-imagine what they can achieve but also achieve it.
As we work toward our mission, our current focus is on:
- Posting educational and inspirational content on the blog and social media written by experts, women with wisdom, as well as peer-contributors (aka high school, college, and early career women), including answering individual questions submitted to us (via Ask Strategy Girl)
- Sharing free resources such as worksheets and planners, and hopefully, in the future, useful services as well as products (through giveaways)
- And by the end of the year, creating and facilitating a mentor-link program
Lastly, I want to talk a bit about how Strategy Girl needs to work if it is going to work. To get enough quality content, contributors, collaborations, etc., there need to be people involved who understand the benefit of a forum that is based on both giving and receiving.
Contributors, collaborators, and anyone who has something to give through SG—by sharing their expertise, a product, service, or a personal story/experience—seeks to gain:
- The benefit of sharing their voice and experience (i.e., they are heard)
- An opportunity to increase their network and name/brand exposure
- The knowledge that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves
For example, if you are an aspiring leader in the wellness industry, and you write a wellness-related article for our blog and do a corresponding IG takeover or giveaway—you are likely inspiring or informing someone else with your story, and at the same time getting exposure for your personal brand, product, or expertise.
Community members—by reading our content and accessing the other resources and tools we provide—seek to gain:
- Inspiration and support
- Access to a network of strategic, driven, altruistic, and career-minded women with whom they might not otherwise be able to connect
I want to end on how I plan to continue living out the mindset SG was founded upon. For every submission we receive that we decide to post, I am going to contribute a piece. And for every collaboration we undertake or donation we receive to include as part of a giveaway (planners, coaching sessions, other products, etc.), I am going to contribute something too, such as 30-min education or career planning session to be offered during a subsequent giveaway, that I hope benefits our members.
I challenge everyone who reads this to think of a way that they can do the same, on a scale that works for them given their other commitments (school, family, work, and so on), and to come up with their own strategy for supporting high school, college, and early career women. You don’t need to look any further for an excellent place to start!
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