Happy Friday! As many of you all know, March is Women's History Month and all month long, I'll be spotlight amazing millennial women that are trailblazers and changemakers in their communities. Today's Millennial on a Mission is a young woman that I've admired for such a long time. Not only is she a business woman and mother, but she has created an amazing platform for women, This Is Her Way, which represents the power of the collective. On March 14th in Washington, D.C., the event "Leadership Her Way" will bring together 100+ professional women for a remarkable networking experience. (You can register for the conference by clicking here.)
I'd like for you to meet Sherry Williams.
Hailing from Bronx, New York, Sherry attended a technical college in Manhattan where she obtained a degree in business. While New York City has been a place she's known and loved, her perspective soon began to change. "It wasn't until I became a mom that I began to look at life through a different lens," Sherry says. "There was now a little person depending on me, and what that meant was I needed to get my priorities in order." When she moved to The District, Sherry started redefining her purpose, and asking herself hard questions to ensure she was really ready to take on such a big step. "I told myself that whatever I decided to do, if I couldn't be myself while doing it, then I’m not going to put forth the effort. If it doesn't reflect me, then whose story am I telling?"
CC: Who/what inspired "This Is Her Way?" What have been some challenges in launching this awesome movement, and what have you learned from them? What have been the best mediums in order to grow your community so rapidly?
SW: It was the legacy that I wanted to leave. Not just for other women, who too are thriving in purpose, but for my daughter. It’s an ode to my lineage and all those who came before me. Living in the age of digital media, we are more connected, yet disconnected and I wanted to change the narrative. I wanted to cultivate an opportunity for women to connect in an authentic way. A way that was not just transparent but a way that allowed us to be who we are unapologetically.
The biggest challenge for me personally is work-life, balance. Being a mom and business woman takes a special type of courage and resilience. I’ve learned that making a commitment to invest myself, my time, and my energy, has to be intentional and something will have to suffer. When you are dedicated to a mission that is bigger than yourself, you have to earn your distractions. What I’ve learned though is just because I am great at many things, doesn’t mean I have to do everything. I’ve learned to ask for help. To give myself mental breaks, practice digital wellness, to unplug, and to do it all without regret.
The best mediums has been in authentic relationship building. Making myself available to others…when they need it most. Being unselfish in my own mission that allows me to be there for others.
CC: How does a young woman define her life "Her Way?" What are her dreams and aspirations? How do you hope to inspire other millennial women with this powerful movement?
SW: When I stopped asking myself, “What would Oprah do?” – that’s when I found me. A woman begins to define her life, Her Way, when she recognizes she has had the power all along. When she knows that public acknowledgment does not validate success. And that everything she is striving for, she is worthy of.
When she steps outside the box and does the unpopular thing, because it’s the thing that she believes in. That’s when she defines her life. When she knows that no matter where life takes her, she is and always will be enough.
My dream and aspiration is to live a life that is fulfilled, and I hope to inspire other women through action.
It’s not enough for us to just speak about change and have creative ideation, but it is in how we choose to show up. Women need that!
To Sherry, a Millennial On A Mission is someone that is dedicated to their life's agenda. They've not only created a framework for their personal path, but are intentional about the steps they need to take to get there. One common piece of advice Sherry gives to all young entrepreneurs is that 'fear is the one constant in life,' and that it will always be present. "It is about recognizing that it is there and developing a different relationship with it," she says. While striving for greatness isn't meant to be easy, Sherry believes that it is definitely possible. "It takes an uninterrupted flow of determination to get what you want. You also have to be realistic about your process and trust it...all of it!"