When I met Lauren and first heard about Why Not Girl!, I immediately resonated with the concept and became enthralled with the idea of approaching life with a Why Not! attitude. As I thought about it though, I realized just like I’ll never be naturally thin or have naturally straight hair (a girl can dream), I’m not naturally a Why Not Girl! In fact, you’d be much more likely to find me stressed out chewing on a pen cap agonizing over a decision with pros and cons lists than you would to find me impulsively saying Why Not! to any given situation.
When I thought about contributing to Why Not Girl!, naturally I felt nervous. What could a person who is most certainly not a Why Not Girl! contribute here? I pondered, I considered, and I worried. Worrying is kind of my thing. I worry constantly, and have even been known to wake my cat in the middle of her afternoon nap just to make sure she’s alive. That’s how much I worry. Somewhere in the middle of my worry, though, I got back in touch with the mission of this site and thought, Why Not!. That’s when I knew this concept worked. When you’re afraid, when you’re nervous, when you’re worrying, what better mentality could you have to overcome those fears than to throw your hands in the air and say, “Why Not!”
Through my long history of worry and over-analyzing, I began to ask myself if there were other accomplishments in my life that came from saying Why Not! and as you can imagine, I found quite a few. Even the Why Not! worrier has a few great Why Not! moments. So to introduce myself to all of the Why Not Girls! out there, I’d like to share with you some great moments in my life where my worry temporarily suspended and the bravery of Why Not! took over.
- Going on a date with a guy I met on Twitter. Somewhere in mid 2009, I came to follow a witty guy on Twitter (I’m still not sure how or who followed whom first). Over the course of a few months, we began to chat a bit on the new social media site, both of us being early adopters as we are. So when he asked me on a date, you can imagine I had a huge list of reasons why I shouldn’t go out with a random guy from Twitter. He might be dangerous, he might be creepy, he might be 600 lbs. All valid reasons to say no, right? Instead, I said some version of Why Not! and agreed to meet him (in a public place, of course). Less than two years later, that guy from Twitter would become my husband. Definitely a top Why Not! moment!
- Moving to Chicago Without a Job.When my boyfriend (who would later become my husband) interviewed for and accepted a job in Chicago, I had the perfect plan mapped out. He would move first, and I’d stay in Minneapolis long-distance searching for a job. Once I found one, I’d join him in Chicago. Somewhere between point A and point B, however, my plan dissolved. It became clear to me that finding a job in Chicago required putting my “boots on the ground” so to speak. In that moment, this Career Girl left an incredible job and a great paycheck behind to take a huge leap and say Why Not! to a city I would come to love and a man I would eventually marry.
- Becoming an Entrepreneur. In November 2011, I hired a professional coach, knowing that my time in consulting needed to come to an end. For months, I met Beth every week and we talked about a number of different versions of my future. All of them at some point led back to launching Career Girl Network, something that had been a dream of mine for many years. In a moment of truth, it wasn’t me who said Why Not! but instead, my coach Beth. After weeks of having virtually the same conversation, she asked me to name the reasons I was staying, not the reasons I wanted to leave. There were none. And when there are no reasons to do something, the only option left is Why Not!. A little over a year later, Career Girl Network has reached over 100,000 women and was named to Forbes’ List of Best Websites for Your Career. Not too shabby, and all because I said, “Why Not!”
The moral of the story? Maybe I’m not such an unnatural Why Not Girl! after all. Somewhere in the middle of my worry and at the end of my pros and cons lists, you’ll find the right answer. Hint: it’s usually Why Not!