Article written by Sybriea Lundy
Being a “boss” isn’t a goal or a life choice, it’s your birthright.
Women are hardly the weaker sex as previously branded. You are the creators, the providers, the nurturers, the backbones, and the glue. You are the bosses. And you always have been. The divine feminine energy that you each possess is the seed of badassness. You are strong. You are adaptable. You are a survivor. You’re a boss wherever you are. No matter the circumstance.
Unfortunately, strengths can become weakness. Loyalty has the power tie you to unhealthy business relationships, among other things. I came to this realization sitting on a prison bunk with a considerable span of years ahead of me. Questionable lifestyle choices and business decisions had turned a former High School Valedictorian into inmate #1008183. And I thought my entire life was over.
Turned out, I was still a boss. I just couldn’t see it at the time. I learned some very important lessons in my time at “rock‐bottom” and I’d like to share those with you now:
1) To pivot is priceless – you can change your direction whenever you choose.
2) It is never too late to elevate – you can step your game up and take it to the next level at any time.
3) You are ALWAYS networking – being a kind and professional individual is universal. It has the power to transcend all kinds of barriers, both physical and perceived. Your soft skills are one of your most valuable assets and nobody can take them from you.
What I had thought was the end of my story just ended up being the start of the next chapter. I walked out of Swannanoa Women’s Prison with a job as a paralegal and a job writing web content. Both of these positions arose from networking I’d done in a most unlikely place. Because sometimes, being a boss is all about making the best in a bad situation.
I came home ready to elevate; but life still wanted to teach me flexibility. My five‐year plan had me graduating college and securing a career.
But what I’ve achieved in six years has been:
- 2 Children
- 2 Degrees
- 1 Certificate
- Successful Career in Non‐Profit
- I actively advocate for incarcerated women
- And I even sit on a board for one of the yoga/wellness programs that helped me survive incarceration
I’m not sure what life plans to throw at me next, but I’m here for it.
As women, we are even more powerful than we can comprehend. And it’s shocking how much we can survive and overcome. The biggest limits to our potential are the ones we place on ourselves. The self‐defeating narratives of by‐ gone eras no longer hold sway. Groups like LBI are here to level the playing field and change the game. Because when women come together, we become a force of nature.
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