Bad Girl, Good Business

Be Kind

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best.

“Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.” 

I also like this quote from a random blog about kindness:  “Kindness. It doesn’t cost a damn thing. Sprinkle that shit everywhere.” Not particularly poetic, but silly and honest.

Kindness has been oh-so-important as I’ve settled in to my new home in Arizona. Despite all my social media, blog bravado (blogvado?) and photos of sunrises, exotic cacti and Southwestern salads, moving to an all-new place is lonely and scary at times — especially at my age. I’ve now written 10+ “chapters” in the saga of my relocation and rebooting.

What has made a huge difference is not just the myriad business gatherings and LinkedIn likes, but the real-life kindness of total strangers and colleagues.

  • One of my fellow Tuesday’s Children board members just gave me the names of three people he thought should be in my professional inner circle. I just came back from a Tuesday’s Children event in New York and heard stories from children and spouses of people killed on 9/11. They reinforced how kindness can build hope and resilience after tragedy.
  • My new friend/colleague Laraine (who shares my passion for tech and for changing the status quo) is a constant wellspring of community insights and humor when I’m feeling blue.
  • This week, one of my NY buddies not only offered me a great business lead, but also connected me with one of her Southwest friends. (She has a very cool new business. If you’re an author and looking for distribution for your book, contact me. I promised her I would help spread the word as a thank you. Kindness goes both ways.)
  • My new buddies at Regus/Spaces have welcomed me with open arms (and cubes) into their co-working (or, in my case, co-madding) community, introducing me to new people at their grand opening party and filling me in on the best spaces to hang out in until my “real” Spaces opens in the fall.
  • Take time to be kind to yourself. Exercise, social activities, a fun splurge — all can lift your spirits when you’re blue. Working women sometimes forget self-care. Don’t! If you’re not kind to yourself, no one else can be.
  • And then, of course, there are my Minneapolis girlfriends and colleagues, who text and call me periodically to tell me how much snow is on the ground and reinforce the fact that I belong here and not there. Yep…they are still getting snow in mid-April. I also met Nicki (a MN transplant) before she was married and hadn’t yet signed the lease on her bakery. She now has a baby and a thriving business. Having some continuity has been good for me. I also re-connected with my New York friends this past week. A little bit of history is a good thing.

Although I use social media in all aspects of my life, I’ve come to realize that liking a post or sending an emoji takes mere seconds. Remember to reach out and connect with those you really care about. That is true kindness.

In short, I’m re-learning that the little things — a smile, an invitation, a “How are you doing?” e-mail or phone call — give me strength and confidence and renew my (sometimes faltering) faith in the human race.

You were a wise dude, Ralph!

More about kindness, etc.

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Some cool happy stories about the kindness of strangers.
BGGB_ShakingHands I may need to add this book to my reading list. Although thinking of kindness as “currency” makes it sound a little trashy.
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred The cost of mean people in business, according to Forbes.
BGGB_Pointer Let’s not forget the “silly” part. The WSJ opines on humor at work.

 


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