Mark Twain once wisely advised: “Keep away from small people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
It was in the summer of 2013 and I had been asked by Amy Luther, Director of Member Strategy and Engagement of Camber Outdoors (Formerly Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition) if I would consider being a mentee in the pilot launch of the cross-industry, cross-company, mentoring program for female leaders in the active lifestyle markets.
This was an opportunity that I almost turned down. Looking back, I am so glad that I didn’t because this experience was a game changer in my career. I was matched up with Elysa Walk, who currently serves as General Manager for Burton Snowboards. At the time, Elysa was General Manager for Giant Bicycles and I was at Black Diamond Inc., working as an International Account Manager.
In our first conversation, she told me in order for this experience be beneficial for both – we needed to have honest conversations. She quickly asked, “Ready to just pull the band-aid off?”
I wasn’t ready rip the band-aid off. I didn’t really want to feel uncomfortable when it came to questions around my career. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go through being asked the tough questions and being exposed.
It didn’t take long and the walls that I had built around my career had nowhere to go, but down. The self-deprecating thoughts that followed me into work every day, I could now see in the rearview mirror.
I ripped off the band-aid and everything changed.
I applied for a job that I thought I wasn’t qualified for.
I got that job.
I quit that job and a brand that made me feel that every day I was hitting my head on the “glass ceiling”.
I joined a new brand and in the last three years, I have been promoted every year.
Dear readers, is it time to take the next step? Applications for Camber Outdoors mentoring program are due October 10th and you can apply here.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me directly. Look forward to connecting and inspiring the next wave of female leaders in the active lifestyle markets.
See you on the trailhead!