I had the privilege of attending a National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) recruitment coffee held for local women business owners interested in joining NAWBO. As we went around the table introducing ourselves I witnessed something quite amazing.

These women shared their experiences and spoke of the fears and concerns of owning their own business as well as the opportunities and freedom which comes with being your own boss. A couple of things each of these women had in common was strength and independence. They had the strength to follow their dreams or create their dreams and the independence and determination to stick with it, even when others maybe felt they should not attempt such an opportunity. They were not resentful towards those who had not wanted them to take the chance, but were poised and well-spoken with the “I knew I could do it” attitude. Women can be successful and take charge without gloating and are most appreciative to those who support and encourage them. One of these women gifted a fellow woman business owner with a shirt to encourage her. The shirt read, “Act like a lady, think like a boss.”

Even when faced with difficult decisions, these women have had the support of their friends. During this meeting, they all seemed to be part of the sisterhood – even those new to NAWBO. Those women who have owned their business for many years (5-40 years to be exact) shared knowledge with those just starting the journey of self-reliance and success. There were stories of the many hours they have worked, learning under pressure, financial hardships they have faced (where they had the strength to hang on), and above all, they offered encouragement to the new and future women business owners.

Witnessing this power in the sisterhood of friends within a group of professional women is a testament to their strength and determination for the success of others and the sharing of their knowledge to the next generations of women business owners. I thank each of these fabulous women for their stories and sisterhood.