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  • Writer's pictureEmily Stone

Women Win Differently

Last night I participated in a business pitch competition sponsored by Michigan Women Forward and Consumers Energy, for women small business owners in Michigan. And I won 2nd place/$5,000 in the startup category! That should be the headline, right? The highlight is winning the money. Except...that wasn't the best part.


Early in the day I set an intention for myself, "You've already won."


Throughout the day, this was confirmed over and over again, as I received messages of encouragement and support from friends, family, and colleagues -- "You're going to do amazing!" "I'm so proud of you!" "You've got this!" "We'll be watching you tonight!" Even some encouraging words from my 11 year old son! Oh my goodness, to have this amazing support network in my corner. THAT is a win.


Leading up to pitch day, I had opportunities to meet the other women participating, learn about their inspiring businesses, and make valuable connections. The program provided us a top notch Communications workshop and matched me up with a fantastic coach, who has opened doors I didn't even know to knock on and has been a nonstop cheerleader even when I was feeling some imposter syndrome. THAT is a win.


After I pitched, and then after I won, the supportive messages kept coming!! I felt like I had done this somewhat scary thing and reaped the benefits for ALL of us. My whole extended village. I cannot imagine feeling like a winner, if I weren't able to share it with all of these people. I'm so proud of all the women who participated in the competition and can't wait to see where we all are a year from now. This is just a sliver of the female entrepreneurship happening in Michigan -- the future is bright! THAT is a win.


Today I'm celebrating by sending gratitude notes to some of the people that helped me get where I am--poised to launch a business I'm passionate about with shiny new investment funds and unlimited growth potential, as well as leading a thriving consulting business AND ENJOYING MY LIFE WHILE DOING IT. THAT is a win.


This type of winning feels uniquely feminine; it is not zero sum. It is expansive; it is a blooming and a rising tide that lifts all boats. When I am successful it means that things we didn't know were possible are possible. It means the world is ready for a better, more holistic and compassionate approach to pregnancy, birth, and new motherhood. THAT IS A WIN.









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