You know that feeling you got when you attended camp when you were younger? You were so nervous at first and then by the time the week was over, you were crying hysterical because you didn’t want it to end. Right? You met new friends. You bonded over crazy fun adventures. You really got to know your new friends because there were no “device” allowed. You had new best friends and you promised to keep in touch by writing letters and when you said your good- byes, you were crying your eyes out before you even got in the car. Your family asked you how camp was and you said it was so awesome. But they just didn’t get how awesome & amazing it truly was. They just wouldn’t understand because they weren’t there.
Well, last week’s Permission to Hustle Retreat was this feeling times 1000. I was there as a sponsor of the conference (thanks to GoGo squeeZ) but had received the opportunity to also participate in the working sessions and masterind sessions with these 22 amazing ladies that were invited to the conference personally by Walt Disney (World).
But that feeling… the feeling that I didn’t want this weekend to end was just overwhelming when the conference ended. I have attended many blogging conferences and social media events in the past 15 years, but this group was just different. It was truly like camp. We all met up for the first time on Thursday, and by Saturday morning, we were crying together, sharing our biggest fears, our dreams…we were all free for a few days just to be. To work. To experience new things. To share our experiences. And by Saturday, I left with 22 new best friends. Friends that I truly want to see succeed. Friends I would cheer for from the sidelines. Friends that actually get the work I do. I get the work that they do too. They hustle like nobody’s business. And I felt honored to be a part of it.
This weekend, Walt Disney World had invited this group to experience the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom. It was truly a weekend to remember. But the best part of the weekend happened when we got to talk about the real way we make everything happen. The walls came down and everyone told the truth behind their hustle.
I have been in marketing for over 20 years. I have been a blogger for 15 years. I have owned my own company for 10 and am now back to corporate using all my skills, hustling harder and learning every day. And I get it. I get the hustle. I get the social media. I get the business side of this work. I get the relationships. I understand the struggle. I get the Moms and women whom I have met that are truly trying their hardest every day to juggle the kids, the morning routine, the work, the deadline, the family, the cooking, the laundry, the carpool, the baseball practice, the blog writing, the Girl Scout meetings, the PTA, the child with disabilities, the Instagram posting, the healthy meals, the bedtime and herself (maybe if she isn’t asleep by the time her time comes along). This is the truth behind the hustle.
Sometime the perfect picture isn’t us. And we know that. Sometimes there’s the feeling of I’m not doing enough or what I am doing isn’t good enough. I AM HER. SHE IS ME. And that made us all truly realize no one was alone.
The feeling that together we weren’t alone was a relief. To all of us. None of us had finished to do list. None of us had had problems that were just “ours”. We all know what it’s like to not feel like we belong. We all had that feeling that even our closest friends and family didn’t truly understand us. But in this retreat this weekend, inside that safe space, we all knew we weren’t alone. We weren’t being judged for sharing our love of the blue milk or for changing outfits 4 times for a picture for Instagram. It’s part of the job. And we all know that. Because we live it. We know this. And we typically are doing it alone, in our own home and are sometimes so scared to push the publish button. But you know what? After this weekend, I’m pushing that publish button with confidence because my new friends will have my back.
And unlike any summer camp friends who are now only a distant memory in my childhood dreams, I’m home now and I can find my new friends online all the time and keep up with them just like they lived next door. And I can’t wait to have a reunion and see them again IRL. But until then, I know the truth behind the hustle. I respect it. I respect them and I know that the feeling is mutual.
This post is dedicated to all the bloggers who are the hustlers. Keep doin’ what your doin’. You are not alone. Find your tribe and hustle with them by your side. The journey will be that much better.
Thank you to the Permission to Hustle team (Audrey & Vera) and Walt Disney World for hosting the #PTHDisney & #WDWFall media event. GoGo squeeZ was a proud sponsor of the first Permission to Hustle Retreat at Walt Disney World.