We are gearing up to grow here at Women on Bikes SoCal with our second big fundraising push. We not only want to be able to host our "Street Savvy" adult bicycle safety education classes for free to underserved areas of Long Beach and beyond this spring, summer, and fall, but we're also gearing up to host an innovative new advocacy + media training this summer, and a very cool "Arts & Crafts Architectural Tour by Bike" this July with the very talented Maureen Neeley of Houstories.net.
By nature or nurture asking for things for ourselves doesn't come easily for many women. I have found it much easier to ask for things when I could ask on behalf of someone else - say a friend or an organization. How about you? In my twenties and early thirties I was a successful sales executive this way (complete with a wardrobe of suits with padded shoulders), and have found it fun and exciting to place clients in the media this way as well. Now, however, it's time for me to learn to ask for something that includes my own needs as the Editor and Executive Director of this organization, as well as my creative team so that we can put all of our great ideas into play. I have to admit it's not a task I've been preparing for with ease, but I'm now at a point where I'm beginning to relish the opportunity.
For inspriation and courage I've been listening faithfully to Martha Beck's Joy Diet, and today I've just finished up reading about Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and catching up on the food movement's talented word-smith champion Michael Pollan (like Jim Brown Executive Director the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates I too feel the food movement has much to teach bicycle advocacy) in April's Oprah Magazine.
Do I feel 100% confident? No. But I'm ready to do it. I believe in this program and this wonderful synergy we're creating and most of all I believe in the diverse and talented group of people (both women and men) who have gathered together to make it happen.
We are now in the wild west of the "opportunity" economy and while I'm on this roller-coaster for my role at Women on Bikes SoCal I've decided I absolutely want two things as my constant companions: 1) A creative brain trust I adore collaborating with and 2) The ability to create new opportunities for women of all ages, races and backgrounds to become professional advocates, new media professionals, and spokeswomen (get it? SPOKESwomen?) as advocates for bicycling and active living advocacy.
Whatever other types of industries and economies develop in this new fast paced age it is absolutely imperative for the health of our nation and world that we have talented, dynamic, diverse female voices advocating for the fun and well being of a fit life by bike.
So my assignment to myself as I gear up for all of this has been to focus on what women so excel at - relationships. Over the past month I've made a commitment to get out of my little studio, out from behind my computer, and connect live and in person both with old friends and people I've been wanting to meet for some time now. And guess, what? Fascinating things are unfolding from this effort, one of the most exciting is that I was finally able to spend time with the delightfully effervescent energy that is Shelby Sanchez. And because of this in person connection, this new relationship, we now have a brand new columnist! I hope you'll take some time to read about this fascinating young mother here.
So what about you? How are you on asking for things that you want and need? And if it's been a challenge for you to do so how are you addressing that challenge and finding ways to move forward with asking anyway? I'd love to hear about your adventures.