Lessons From The Girls’ Lounge: 4 Life Altering Shifts

Gillian Stollwerk Garrett (aka “Gilly”) is a multi-passionate entrepreneur. A writer, dreamer, inspirer, “mixologist,” and wellness advocate, you can find this mother of 3 whipping up batches of sugar scrub or taking care of herself and her family. While she is proud of her budding business www.gillysorganics.com, she defines success by how much fun her family and her team are having each day. Gilly’s first Girls’ Lounge was in February 2015 for the IAB - she got hooked that day and has never looked back!

Since I became a Girls’ Lounge junkie these paradigm shifts have truly changed my life for the better. They are…

1. Confidence is real, can be honed, and work wonders in your life.

“Confidence is beautiful,” is one great motto of Shelley Zalis, founder and fearless leader of The Girls’ Lounge. I can’t say that I didn’t have confidence before attending my first Girls’ Lounge, as I had enough to leave the comforts of corporate life to become an entrepreneur. However, there were many times that I second guessed myself, wondered if I said the “right” things, or if my products would be liked. After just one lounge, I changed how I viewed my company. I know the benefits of “owning” who I am now, and what the business is, exactly as is. I have learned to use confidence to go with my gut, to be bold, to ask for meetings, to post something that feels authentic to me, with less fear of what anyone else thinks. I have become more true to me. That is quite a gift. Of course, it’s a work in progress, but p.s. my business is blossoming so it really works!

2. Blending work and life is essential and liberating.

I recognize that this may be harder to implement if you’re not the owner of a company or a senior player in a corporation. However, thanks to advances in technology and the ability to work remotely and be productive, we have more opportunities to make enough room for our family and friends. If you’re in the position to, give people on your team the flexibility to do what they need to do. If you are not, then ASK for it. I believe we can all do some blending to make our lives happier. Maybe you are excited about a cause? Ask if you can start a group to get involved and you be the ambassador. Is networking part of your job? Get your butt to a Girls’ Lounge, girlfriend, and see what all the rage is about! When I am at an event, I am “working” but really, I am living. Wherever possible, I seek out people I want to work with because when you also like them, you’ve won at blending.

3. Sisterhood is a precious, uplifting, exhilarating reality.

Last month I attended The United State of Women Summit and I can only describe it as electrifying and intoxicating! In a room of 5,000 women, representing every type of woman, the sisterhood was palpable. The speakers gave me and my fellow attendees goosebumps. I was surrounded by women who genuinely want other women here and across the globe to succeed and grow. This is the very backbone of The Girls’ Lounge. How do we cultivate this? Well, it’s contagious and if you want to catch it, just stand near Shelley and the women that orbit her. What it takes are the successful women at the top to love and support their teams, and to find mentees to pull up and give attention to. “We are better together,” says Shelley who lives and breathes this concept. I know, because I am the lucky mentee who has grown leaps and bounds since we became “friendtors.” She believes that mentorship is a two-way street and is about friendship and sisterhood (I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have her ask me for my advice)! She has done so much for me, and probably most importantly, she’s inspired me to look out for other women. Find someone you want to help out and give a boost. It’s a magnificent give-and-take and it’s contagious!

4. Saying “No” can be like saying “Yes” to yourself.

I stopped pleasing everyone. I literally stopped. Do not get me wrong, I absolutely care what my family and friends think of me. I try hard to “blend” by volunteering at my kids’ school, or attend a birthday lunch for a girlfriend. The only difference is now, that if it doesn’t fit in the blender for the day, I simply say “no thanks, I’m full.” Flattery used to get me to write preschool newsletters or head up a charity. Today a brilliant woman I am friendly with asked me to co-author a book! Wow. It would be a wonderful achievement, no doubt. However, if I took on this project I would not be happy because my schedule is saturated, and these days I have the self-awareness (and the confidence) to gracefully decline. On the flip side, saying “YES” to things when you have that “heart-beat moment,” as Shelley describes it, is the most natural, exhilarating and empowering thing to do for yourself. These days, I really listen to my heart. It knows best, so trust it. Paying closer attention to heart-beat moments will propel you to do what you’re destined and happy to accomplish.

Written with ❤ by the girls at The Girls Lounge.