Photo credit: USWNT on Instagram
I’ve felt tremendously proud of the U.S. this summer. It was wonderful to watch the U.S. National Women’s Soccer team dominate the World Cup in France, bring Americans together, and give us a reason to be proud of our country. I’m still not over them winning the World Cup, then letting us into their victory parties, all while they advocated fiercely for their own equal pay. There are lessons here for us as entrepreneurs and as advocates for equality and equity.
There’s also lessons for how to celebrate your wins. I feel like I’ve done OK with celebrating obvious wins – awards and new launches – recognition from the outside world that I seem to be on the right track. As the US Soccer Team shows us, even in the midst of celebration, we can also be gearing up for the next challenge. They rode in a parade with soccer officials they are currently suing for equal pay and used their lawsuit as confetti along the route. Their victory came with unabashed pride and joy and didn’t let us forget about their next challenge.
Watching those celebrations, even vicariously, was cathartic and also prompted a little reflection. What are my next big challenges in living up to the mission and vision of 12PointFive?
I’m a member at Hera Hub, a coworking space in DC, and at one of our member lunches another member asked about how I came up with the name for my company. I explained that it signified the feelings I feel when I’m at the Lake in the summer – the feeling that I want to bring to my clients. Interestingly, the woman I was talking to offered a different interpretation than mine. She noted that my cousins and I built a house on a property that hadn’t had a proper house on it in quite some time. The area where we build the house was part of another property so we simply called our place “twelve and a half” referring to the long standing house that was there and the fact that we just sort of settled in behind it.
My business owner friend noted that we built something new to expand the pie for my ever growing family members. We expanded the refuge to include a new generation of people to carry on the traditions and make new ones. She pointed out how that idea aligns with 12PointFive’s mission to include more business owners and expand economic opportunities. I love the idea that the metaphor of 12PointFive works on several levels. Even more, I love that someone saw something in the meaning of 12PointFive that I hadn’t seen myself.
I don’t take the idea of expansion and inclusion lightly. As the President continues to promote his myopic vision of what America is and of who counts and who doesn’t, I am reflecting on what I am doing and what I can continue to do to be expansive and inclusive in my vision and my actions, both personally and professionally.
So as we rush between the highs and lows and the just mediums of our everyday lives, the US Women’s Soccer team reminds us to take time to have a champagne soaked party (literally or metaphorically) with the people who helped us get to where we are and will be there to get us to the next level. A celebration like that doesn’t slow you down; it gets you geared up for the next game.