A tale of five cities

By: Stella Orange

The second Monday of each month, our B’s Knees Council gathers via videoconference to talk shop. 

Council is different from other business groups and masterminds. For starters, we create a personalized plan for each member, outlining what she needs to do to reach her unique vision for her work (and life). Second, the members don’t advise one another, as you sometimes see in other groups. And third, there’s no official “agenda” for me, Rebecca, and Sarah—other than to support each member in the way she needs, in that moment. 

And given that the three of us have a range of talents, personalities, and skills, that’s really saying something! 

We limit the size of each Council to six people so each person can speak and receive the support she needs. One of our Council members recently completed her work with us, so there’s an open spot. 

Making this week the Tale of Five Cities.
(Side bar: We’ve got two members in the American Midwest, one currently on vacation out West, another based in a small town in New South Wales, Australia, and one who, as I write this, has just landed in Europe for work and to visit with old friends). 

Although each member has her own plan for how she will grow her business her own way, there are some common threads, and common practices. (In this family, we’re big fans of cultivating relationships with allies and prospective clients. We’re also all about building a business that’s aligned with one’s ‘right work’ in the world). 

But every time we meet, there’s a wide range of reports and requests from our Council members. 

This week, they came with updates: “I finally found my own way to talk about what I do so the right people are interested!” 

They came with dilemmas: “Do I focus on client acquisition, or let myself coast a bit for the next few months while I travel and buy a house?” 

They came with opportunities: “Do I take on this side hustle?” 

They came with confessions: “Maybe I’ve pushed myself too hard – and I actually need to back off on this.” 

They came with declarations: “My writing is what’s most alive right now – it’s the #1 thing I can do for my business. It will help me find my way.” 

And we talked with, listened to, adjusted course, and held council with them all. 

There was this moment at our meeting this week, where I looked around our virtual room at the face of each woman — a coach who works with women who are sensitive, a spiritual advisor, a therapist with a specialization in trauma support, management consultant, and corporate coach – and felt a sense of peace. 

What a relief it is, to have a place where you can come as you are, and get what you need. 

How rare it is, to have a checkpoint to bring your updates, dilemmas, opportunities, confessions, and declarations, and know that you will be seen, heard, understood, and supported. 

And, from where I (Stella) sit, what an honor it is to cheer, console, conceptually mud wrestle, and be with people who all share a common commitment to do the work in the world that’s uniquely theirs to do. (And to love the ride, warts and all).    

Stella is cofounder and copywriter at Las Peregrinas, a creative and consulting agency. As our resident word nerd, she writes copy and points out the stories everyone is living and telling through their work. She is also fun at parties.

Get letters like this one, plus updates, insights, and invitations, delivered right to your inbox every week. Here’s the sign-up.

Want to read more?