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The Undeniably Fierce Crew Part II: Assemble a Mini-Coalition of Women in your Industry to Elevate Your Level of Performance

One of the questions I frequently ask clients is, “who are people calling if they aren’t calling you?” I want them to get really clear about their “competition,” so they understand the variables that will go into not just “making them known,” but turning them into the “preferred choice.”

I believe that “competition,” can be an extremely motivating force. However, like all coins, the “competition coin,” has two sides.

The other side includes: “healthy competition, the power of “collaboration,” and the unrivaled benefits that come from developing relationships with industry peers.

Let me introduce you to a powerful example. A group of women, all in the health and wellness industry, that have joined forces to support and elevate one another. Meet: Monique Washington-Jones, Shelley Sharkey, Julie Reisler and Faith Wildesen. They, along with one other person, I haven’t had the privilege to meet yet, assembled a small industry peer group.

They held regular sessions where they discussed goals, they supported one another’s dreams, they championed books and opening of new locations. Two of them (Monique and Julie) even collaborated on a side project: Called Be (an inspirational t-shirt company).

Ironically, even though three out of have been clients of mine in the past, and the fourth was an unofficial mentee, I had nothing to do with their introduction or collaboration. However, I have benefitted immensely watching from the sidelines.

Two years ago, I had time to reflect on the power of this group, when I received a very special invitation to have lunch with four dynamic entrepreneurs (one has since returned to corporate) as an appreciation for what I had done for them individually.

During our lunch, I listened to the stories, discussed their plans and walked away motivated, inspired and optimistic about girl-power. Here are three things that all women can learn from this powerful group:

1.     Peers Matter: The reality is, unlike anyone else out there, those who do what you, simply get it.  They understand the nuances of your industry, the pressure and obstacles that exist and can help you with short-cuts, introductions and resources others would have no idea about.  Take-a-way: Find your peer group and nurture those relationships.

2.     Show Up For One Another: How many times have you planned something and dreaded the fact that the rain or bad weather might prevent anyone from showing up?  When you have a group that gets together for sole purpose of supporting one another, you never have to worry about experiencing that feeling, because you know your girls have your back.  Take-a-way: Make it a priority to show up for those in your life. Make it a life principle so you no longer get caught up in how you feel that day. Instead you operate from the principle, “I show up for those I love.”

3.     Introduce Like-Minded People: The way that this group unfolded is one person said, “do you know…” Don’t keep your amazing people to yourself. As yourself, who else might benefit from knowing this Undeniably Fierce woman? Take-a-way: Make it a priority to be a connector.

This group has been going strong for several years and they have individually accomplished at lot. I guarantee that if you were to ask them, they would each say the ride has been a lot more enjoyable together.


Julie Reisler, Life Designer and Coach:

Monique Washington-Jones, Owner of WKD Karate for Girls:

Shelley Sharkey, Owner of Miss Fit Baltimore:

Faith Wildesen, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, who has since returned to corporate:


Jennifer Ransaw Smith, a Personal Elevation Strategist™, is the owner of Brand id| Strategic Partners. She equips women professionals, executives and entrepreneurs with the tools they need to elevate their visibility, credibility, influence and impact. Clients hire her when they are ready to “make a name for themselves,” in their organization and industry. She can be reached at or