5 years ago this week, The Productive Woman (the podcast and the community) was born. I am grateful beyond words for all that’s happened in the past 5 years.
Celebrating 5 years of lessons learned and relationships built
Those who’ve listened for a while know I’m big on milestone dates. To me, this is a big milestone. When I launched The Productive Woman podcast on July 1, 2014, I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I just knew I wanted to start, to put this out into the world, and see if I could connect with a community of women who cared about making a life that matters.
As I approached The Productive Woman’s 5-year “podiversary,” I did what I often do at milestones: pondered what I’ve learned and considered where I want to go next. I wanted to share a bit with you as well as invite you to be part of this episode. So here are 5 lessons I’ve learned, 5 dreams I have for the future, some feedback from the TPW community, and 5 questions for you.
5 lessons I’ve learned
1. What we have in common is more important than our differences
There are amazing women all over the world who want to make lives that matter, who think about how to balance the various roles they play, who want to reach their full potential and make their best contribution to making the world a better place. Although we each have our unique traits and come from different countries, religions, backgrounds, and life stages, the things mentioned above seem to be common among us in the TPW community, and I think it’s important to remember that the things we have in common are far more important than our differences.
2. There is enough time to do what matters most
We tell ourselves otherwise, but the truth of what matters most to us is in what we actually do. I don’t say that as a judgment; it’s just a reality. If I’m not taking action toward accomplishing something I really want to do, then it’s because something else–such as sleep, security, avoiding fear, ease, or time off–is more important, whether I acknowledge it or not.
3. I’m not the only one who cares about making a life that matters, nor am I the only one who struggles to manage it all
I’ve heard from so many of you, both in the Facebook group and via email, on coaching calls and in mastermind groups, sharing your struggles and hopes. Honestly, this has consoled me when I struggle to do the things that I want to do. I don’t wish the struggle on anyone, but the truth is . . . struggle is part of the human condition, and there is comfort in knowing I’m not alone. So I appreciate you sharing your struggles and concerns in the community Facebook group, and that we can support and encourage each other in the journey.
It’s okay to be vulnerable and open about who you are. Doing so opens a way to true connection and gives us the opportunity to learn from each other and grow individually and together.
4. I was right when I thought women could come together in community and support each other.
The TPW community amazes me. I love it when a woman from somewhere in the world reaches out to the community and others from all around the world jump in with a word of encouragement and suggestions even before I have a chance to give feedback.
I am also so pleased to see women from past mastermind groups who’ve connected so deeply that they continue, months and years later, to support and uplift and encourage each other and hold each other accountable.
5. You don’t have to be perfect or an expert to make a difference
I am neither perfect nor an expert, yet you have told me that what I’m doing has made a difference in your life. I encourage you to do whatever’s on your heart, big or small, and let it make a difference to those in your world.
Feedback from the community
One of the things I wanted to do for this episode was to give you a chance to share what this podcast has meant to you, and how it has helped you. (You’ll have to listen to the episode to hear what the TPW community had to say!)
Thank you to those who shared feedback with me:
Jude from New Zealand, Kimberly from Pennsylvania, Gerrianne, Carrie, Jana from Norway, Sharon, Lydia from Mexico, Lyra Ng, Angelica Garcia, Tammie from England, Carolyn
5 dreams I have for the future
1. Continue to serve the TPW community
I thought I wanted to give up practicing law to build a business around The Productive Woman, but I’m not so sure. I find it difficult to charge money for this work of my heart, and lately I’ve begun to think maybe the right thing to do is keep practicing law to help provide for my family so I can give what I can to this community without having to worry about monetizing it.
It’s a challenge because, like many of you, my job takes a lot of time, energy, and attention, and I get tired. I think about quitting sometimes, thinking maybe I’ve done all I can do. But you are such an important part of my life and you are on my mind constantly, and I want to continue to find ways to serve this community and help you in your journey to making a life that matters.
2. Find new ways to connect members in the community
- Retreats with teaching, conversations about goal-setting, and individual relaxation and planning time
- Reactivate the TPW Book Club
- Mentorship program – connect women with experience and expertise in one area with others who want to learn from them
3. Meet more of you in person
- I’m hoping to schedule some informal meet-ups when I travel to other parts of the country (or the world)!
- Let me know if you come to north Texas
4. Improve my skills as a podcaster
I want to improve not only talking skills but also my skills to put together topics that are relevant, important, and valuable to you, the listener. I do this for you and I want it to be worth your time.
5. Write the book
5 questions I have for you
- What are you struggling with?
- What are you dreaming of, and what steps are you taking to make that dream come true?
- How can I best help you?
- What do you wish I’d cover on the podcast?
- Is there a service or product you wish I’d offer that would be meaningful to you as you seek to make a life that matters?
What do you think?
- To my amazing husband (and podcast editor!) Mike and my wonderful assistant Sarah for their help and encouragement
- To every sponsor that’s supported this show over the years
- To Daniel J. Lewis, podcasting pro, for his support and wisdom over the years
- To members of the podcasting community
- To every guest who’s shared her time and wisdom with us
- To the women who’ve participated in TPW masterminds or coaching
- To the women in the TPW Community Facebook group
- To those of you who’ve written to me (including those who reached out for this particular episode), shared your stories, offered me encouraging words at just the right time
- To each woman and man who listens to the podcast
I would love to have your help!
- Subscribe, rate, and review The Productive Woman in iTunes or subscribe in Stitcher.
- Join the conversation at The Productive Woman on Facebook.
- Your feedback matters to me. Please share your comments, questions, or suggestions.