Just One Person

As entrepreneurs and individuals who want to bring value to the world we often think about impact in terms of scale and magnitude. We share our stories with the hope that a lot of people would be affected and inspired by it. But sometimes it is okay to just affect that one person, knowing fully that what you shared resonates with her to the point of her committing to make a difference or change in the work that she does. This is what happened to me today when I was invited to speak in front of female CEOs and top leaders at the Global Summit of the Dentsu Aegis Network. I spoke about my entrepreneur journey as a woman as well as what my participation in their Female Foundry program has opened up for me. I shared candidly and wholeheartedly with the intention of inspiring these leaders to start their own Female Foundry programs in their respective countries. But as I talked to them individually it dawned on me that the impact doesn’t always have to be huge and expansive. Sometimes one little heart that burns more brightly and strongly is enough.Today it was a lady from China who shared with me tearfully about how she is struggling to find herself as she devotes her time to husband, kids and business. She welled up when she started to talk about her desire to also take care of herself and think about what it was she really wanted to do while making sure that she provided for all the needs of her family. She just needed to talk about it and be reminded that it’s okay to think about her wellbeing and to take care of her needs too. Her story made this whole trip worthwhile and I fervently told her that the lines of conversation would always be open so she may just holler and reach out.Amidst all these women empowerment programs what is essential is really just a safe space to talk. Also equally important is an authentic desire to listen to what each one has to say without any agenda to fix nor to critique. Simply being there to listen is a gift we can give. Sometimes that is all that’s needed. And so today I spoke but I made it a point to also deeply and wholeheartedly listen to every single person who went up to me to share.

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