“Have you ever heard of The Superwoman Summit?”
This is a question I have gotten often living in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, of course I have heard of the it, I always think. I’m not living under a rock. It is an annual women’s conference that is held in my city and every woman seems to know about it. The first year that I had a SPARK event in Portland, I found myself feeling a tinge of jealousy every time someone would ask “Is your event like The Superwoman Summit?”. So I did what any respectable woman would do…I started digging around to see who was behind this oh-so-popular conference. Within minutes I was staring at a picture of Jessica Williams on Facebook. There it was again, that icky feeling of jealousy. She was gorgeous, polished and successful looking, and her branding was more on point than mine. I could see her in my mind, sitting in a corner office at the superwoman headquarters, surrounded by a large team of super-employees who were effortlessly planning the next super-summit while I was struggling solo to manage planning SPARK Portland all on my own. She was seemingly 10 steps ahead of me, and I found myself feeling small and full of doubt. Why would someone come to my event if they can attend her event just two months later? I bet she’s a better speaker than I am. She probably does yoga too.
Thankfully – I persisted on and SPARK 2018 was out-of-this world extraordinary – doubling in size from the first SPARK event in California the previous year. The feelings of jealousy dissipated and life went on…until I got a voice message from my friend, Erin. “Rach, I just met the most fabulous woman and I just feel like you two need to know each other. Her name is Jessica and she runs the Superwoman Summit. Can I introduce you?” F***, this chick again?! What makes her sooo fabulous?! Feeling that rush of jealousy wash over me, I stopped myself mid-thought. Wait a second…who was this judge-y woman that kept taking over my body? I love watching women succeed…in fact, helping women succeed is the driving force behind everything I’m doing. I’m constantly telling women that we need to stop judging each other and start supporting one another…and here I am hypocritically feeling jealous because a woman is better at something than I am. Time to put the big girl panties on Rachel. “I’d love to be introduced”, I messaged back.
Yesterday I had lunch with the superwoman herself – and guess what? She is as delightful, beautiful, and overall as fabulous as I had feared…I mean, as I imagined. Over a tuna melt sandwich, we shared our stories behind why we created our events – and all of the highs and lows that go along with chasing big dreams.
By being open and vulnerable, we realized that we have a lot in common.
- Escaped the corporate world in search for something more.
- Lost a lot of money putting on our first events.
- Donate our proceeds to a non-profit benefiting women.
- Have a deep desire to serve the women in our community.
- Started off solo and have slowly expanded into adding support teams.
- Have similar big dreams and goals
- Have similar worries and struggles
- Are about to have our 3rd conferences – a benchmark most events never reach
We gave each other advice, support, and the gift of remembering that we are not alone in our journeys. It can sometimes feel isolating to be going after big crazy goals. Not everyone understands what it’s like to leap off a skyscraper and trust that you’ll learn to fly on the way down.
Women…we do this all of the time. We are constantly measuring ourselves against others and we’re taught to compete against each other from a young age. Want proof? Think about how many women you “check out” on any given day versus how many men you look at. Not because we are necessarily attracted to them, but because we are seeing how we measure in comparison. I even know better and I still come down with comparisonits. I had been making assumptions about Jessica and her event, comparing myself to those assumptions and judging myself against them.
I did the same thing when I read the book “Girl Wash Your Face” – and I’m not proud of my initial reaction to it. I was pissed off. Rachel Hollis not only has the same name as me – she runs women’s conferences just like I do, owns her own company like I do, and now has a book that is similar to the one that I am writing. Like me, she also has four kids. I felt jealous and defeated – like someone had just beaten me in a race. It took a little time, but I finally realized that Rachel Hollis and I were never in a race to begin with. Though we have a lot of similarities – we also have a lot of noticeable differences. She is very faith-based and I am much more spirituality driven. She references personal stories and life lessons that are very different than my own. I share crazy sex stories, details about my divorce, and the behind-the-scenes of having a blended family. She married the man who took her virginity and she adopted a little girl after having her 3 boys. She has personally dealt with anxiety and I have a child who struggles with his mental health. People love Rachel Hollis because she’s relatable, honest, and real. I believe that I am all of those things too, but I am also going to relate to women in a totally different authentic way. I now have so much gratitude for her. She is a trailblazer, allowing other women to follow in her footsteps with a new kind of “self-development” book. Because of Girl Wash Your Face, women are craving more books like hers and that means more success for us who rise along with her.
If we stop trying to constantly compare ourselves to other women and start cheering each other on instead – incredible things will happen. We will have:
- More friendships
- More collaborations
- Less self-judgement
- More action
- More impact
Soooo much time is wasted measuring ourselves against other women. Put down the pencil and step away from the comparison chart. Instead of feeling insecure when a woman with a great body walks in a room – tell her how beautiful she is. Rather than assuming that person you admire isn’t struggling, open up room for conversation by being vulnerable with your own battles.
We are so much more alike than we are different.
Jessica and I left lunch yesterday as new friends, motivated and inspired by each other and eager to support one another. So much so that we have decided to sponsor each other’s events! Jessica is now the presenting sponsor of the 2019 SPARK Summit and I will be supporting the Superwoman Summit by having a booth at this year’s event in October. In fact, she even gave me a discount code to share with you – get 40% off your ticket using the code SPARK at https://superwomansummit.com.
I’m raising my glass (of coffee) to all of you beautiful, bad-ass women who are striving to make a difference in our world. Launch the event, write the book, create that podcast, share your message! There will always be women ahead of you…but there are a whole lot more who are behind you, waiting for you to blaze the trail and lead the way.
In love and Gratitude,
PS, We are 60% sold out for SPARK – get your tickets HERE