A third-generation entrepreneur, Erin Joy has made it her life’s mission to help others succeed. From budding entrepreneurs to leaders heading up multi-million dollar companies, Erin provides women with the resources, services, and support to create the businesses – and lives – they want. Her flagship offering is BDC Mastermind®, a blend of coaching, consulting, and peer support that helps female business owners get unstuck, make solid business decisions, and step up to their greatness. Erin is a sought-after speaker and thought leader. She has spoken at the Midwest Women Business Owners’ Conference, the St. Louis Business Journal Women’s Conference, the Missouri Athletic Club’s Women of Distinction Luncheon, the American Businesswomen’s Alliance, the National Women’s Leadership Conference, and the Women Future Conference. She has been featured in USA Today, St. Louis Business Journal, Entrepreneur Quarterly, St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine, The Women’s Journal, Sophisticated Living, Great Day St. Louis, St. Louis FOX2, KTRS 550am, Biz Women Rock Podcast, and Something Extra podcast, and more. To find out more about Erin, visit blackdresscircle.com.
Founder / CEO
Black Dress Circle
According to research published by Harvard Business Review, women in business must substantially outperform the average professional in order to get ahead. As a result, a ‘yes’ culture has been created. Society tells us that to be seen as a true go-getter, deserving of success, we must say yes to everything that comes our way. We must prove that we’re willing, eager, and capable of doing it all.
The reality, however, is just the opposite. Wielded wisely, ‘no’ is an instrument of integrity and a path to professional (and personal) achievement. Deciding what to say no to requires a serious review of your priorities, interests, and commitments. Actually, saying no provides a sense of empowerment, which is the ultimate key to success in business and in life. The rigidity of ‘no’ counterintuitively allows for the necessary flexibility and freedom to say yes to more valuable priorities and experiences.
According to an analysis of the term “cat-fight” published by the College of Charleston, the notion first occurred in 1854 in an account of the Mormon lifestyle and the practice of polygamy. The doctrine noted that homes were to be built to separate the different wives of a household, in order to “keep the women apart and prevent cat-fights.”
In other words, the term cat-fight was first used as a tool of the patriarchy to keep women divided and prevent challenges to the male-dominated status quo from occurring collectively among females.
Today, this concept continues to color our perception, especially when it comes to business. Women throughout the ages have been ensconced in, and have even assisted in the development of, a culture that perpetuates a portrait of women as driven by jealousy, to the point of seeking the destruction of rivals, real or imagined.
The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way.
It’s safe to say that COVID-19 has changed everything. The way we work. The way our kids learn. The way we shop, interact with our neighbors, hold meetings…even the way we think. For business leaders, this has meant much more than transitioning in-office employees to remote and moving meetings to Zoom; it has meant a realignment of priorities, a crash course in flexibility, and a redefining of strength.
In so many aspects of our lives, the pandemic has forced us to look inward; to reassess our priorities, our lifestyles, and our interactions. Our work – and especially our style as leaders – is no exception. As we have redefined the way we live, the way we work, and the way we connect, the way we lead has changed, too. Gone are the days of leadership in isolation, of closed doors and strict hierarchy. In order to thrive in a business landscape that has radically changed, leaders need to radically change, too.