Last Saturday marked the three year anniversary of the SheHive. It’s hard to believe it’s already been three years. It’s also hard to believe that it’s only been three years. I feel like this community of women have always been a part of my life. And, I guess, in a way they have - I’ve carried the dream of them in my heart for far longer than the three years they’ve existed in my reality.
Opening any business - but particularly a business like the SheHive where there’s no immediate frame of reference to benchmark off of - brings so much uncertainty. It’s easy to lose sight of the lessons you are learning from the business when you are so mired in the day-to-day of the business.
But milestones like anniversaries and birthdays have a way of bringing about a sweet gift of reflection. Which is why I felt like it was very important to sit down tonight and take some time to reflect on what three years as an accidental entrepreneur has taught me.
So, without further adieu, three important lessons from three years of the SheHive…
One. Every “no” is a nudge in the right direction.
Last week we had to cancel our Fall hayride event because of the weather. There was a time when cancelling any event threw me into a complete tizzy - particularly one we had pre-paid for. Every time a class or event didn’t make it across the finish line I felt like a failure - often like I had personally been rejected.
Three years later, I’ve come to learn that every cancellation is a gift from the universe. Hindsight always reveals that it didn’t happen because the facilitator really needed a day of rest, or the right people couldn’t be there that day or that it just wasn’t the right event for the SheHive.
Whatever the reason, every “no” is a lesson pointing towards a different - a better - direction.
Two. The right people will show up at the right time.
Throughout it’s three years, nearly 100 different women have stepped in to the role of Board member, KeyHolder or Business in Residence - each one excited about the community and ready to contribute. Yet I can count on one hand the number of women that have been with the SheHive since the beginning. The reasons they leave are many - they move, they change jobs, they can no longer afford the time or monetary commitment or, in some cases, they simply discover the SheHive isn’t their place. No matter the reason, every exit stings, but it’s always the right decision.
Every woman, no matter how long their tenure, shapes the community for the better in some way. And every exit makes room for someone else that needs to be in their place. It’s as it should be - the strongest communities are made of equal parts history and new ideas.
Some people are with us for a reason, some for just a season. And all are necessary.
Three. It won’t be what you thought it was going to be. (It will be better.)
I started the SheHive fully committed to the idea that it was going to be a dream shared, a steered by, many. And that meant that my vision would have to be married with the ideas of others.
Save a few non-negotiables: we lead with vision; we focus on strengths; and shame/should has no place at the SheHive, how we go about our mission of connecting and empowering women, is open up to interpretation by many.
Sometimes it’s a gut check when others’ interpretation doesn’t match up with what I thought the community was going to be. But if I can put my ego aside and get curious, the “stuff” others bring to the mission almost always enhances my dream and crafts it into something so much more than I could have ever conceived on my own.
Releasing your dream into the world to be cared for by others isn’t for the faint of heart, but it is so very worth it.
Bonus lesson. Money isn’t the only way we are paid.
I started the SheHive thinking it was going to be j-o-b. I soon learned some things about business - and particularly about the type of work I wanted to do - and realized that the SheHive was never going to be my main source of income, that I would always need to practice my craft elsewhere too. So I shifted my thinking and decided the SheHive was a social club.
But I soon found myself resentful. Did I really have to work this hard just to create a place to hang out with a bunch of cool women? I hit a dark period where I just wasn’t sure what purpose the SheHive was serving for me.
But like I said, the right people always show up at the right time, and a long-time client turned close confidant and friend showed up and coached me to some realizations - particularly one that highlighted exactly what the SheHive was to me… a living, breathing, learning lab. It fulfills my curiosity and provides a proof of concept of the magic that can be created when one learns to trust the universe, trust others and, most importantly, trust themselves enough to share their dream.
It’s worth more than any amount of money.
So thank you for sharing this journey so far - and thank you for being part of it going forward. I can’t wait to see what the next three years bring us.
With much love and gratitude,
P.S. We’re going to try the hayride again this Saturday because I need to get out in the fresh air and laugh with my tribe. If you want to join me, I’d love to have you along for the ride! Tickets are $20 - or pay an extra $5 and bring a friend along with you. Dress warm and prepare a night of nature, s’mores and more giggles than you can possibly imagine.