• Can Business Women Really Get Along?

    Maintaining Friendships as Women in Business

    Featuring Lori Cade


    I wanted to talk to you today about the ins and outs of maintaining friendships while being a woman running a business, with my bestie. I chose this topic because with our new interns at Freedom, I got to thinking about the stereotypes about women in business together. Personally, I really love helping people grow, especially in their careers and in life. But that’s not how most women are perceived. So I wanted to talk to someone who recently started their own side hustle and has been dealing with forever!

    I’ve had several clients that struggle with maintaining friendships while they change stages in life. So if this is you, this will be a great conversation, we dropped a lot of gems.

    Nadie: Hi Sister! Introduce yourself and tell everyone how long we’ve known each other.

    Lori: Hi Sisterrrr! Thank you for having me. Yes, my name is Lori, I’m 30 and I currently live in Dallas. I’m from Houston. I’ve been married almost 5 years. And I have an 18 month old son, who has changed my reality, and enriched my life in so many ways. In my day to day I work for a global food company as a food safety and quality product manager for Pizza Hut Corporate Office. It’s a huge responsibility that I do not take lightly.

    When Covid hit this year, my husband was laid off.  So for a while I’ve been thinking about starting something, but it’s been a challenge just to go all in.  An opportunity what presented to me, that enriched my life more than I initially thought, and now I am independent business owner with IM Mastery Academy. Basically our goal is to enrich lives, and empower people to learn financial skills that we don’t typically have access to. Now retail trading is more accessible, and you can create an income for yourself with these new skills. So I learned it and I also love to share it.

    And how long have we known each other?  We probably met in 2008, so about 12 years. We were in a group together in undergrad. I knew you were ride or die when that night I snuck out to hang out with my boyfriend, and you didn’t snitch on me.

    Nadie: What’s it been like for you to maintain the friendships you already have as you grow this new business? What are the good things and the challenges?

    Lori: The challenges, there are always growing pains when you embark on new challenges. For me it was time management. I didn’t realize that I didn’t know how to manage my time. When embarking on this I said I was going to go all in, 100% full speed ahead. And there wasn’t real good balance. I was still going to work. And then my husband and my son also need my time, so I am being split in several different ways. So having time management, a schedule, I can finally implement blocks of time. It’s been challenging but it’s also been really important and really key so that I can have time for friends too.

    And then keeping my friendship with you. Honestly hasn’t been as difficult maintaining friendships with my girlfriends. I know that in groups of women that are hustlers, business owners, everybody is doing their thing and just touching base when we can touch.

    Nadie: We do understand each other, as hustlers, because we do have all different sorts of lifestyles. It’s like we all understand what we have going on, and not to pressure each other to hang out. And maybe that’s a disconnect that some people have. They take it personally when someone doesn’t have the same amount of time they used to have. So they start to feel neglected or not as cared about. But we tend to not be that way. We’re more like, ‘you do you, I want you to be great, and what can I do to help?’  We don’t have to see each other all the time.

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    Lori: But a good thing that has come out of it for me is I’ve become more of a positive person.  And it’s because of being part of this business, a big part of it is having a focus on gratitude. You know, being grateful for what you have, now, will fuel what you will have in the future. It’s a mindset shift. Like everyone has been focused on how 2020 has been a horrible year but in actuality it’s created opportunity for so many people in so many different ways. And its forced us all to stop. We were all on this treadmill, just running.

    N: The Universe, God, was just like, y’all need to sit y’all’s butts down. Everywhere. Across the world.

    L: Right, and really realize like what are you doing with your time? Do you like what you do?  Do you want to do more? And for me, I’ve been wanting to do more and I’m about to run with it.

    N: Like you said, it’s a mindset shift. You really gotta step back and look, you know, there are some benefits, some good things going on. And also you examine your relationships. Now that you’re home more, do you like the person that you’re with all the time, do I like me. Do I love myself? Do I love the people that I’m with? And you do have to have the right mindset to see the good in it.

    N: So you’re meeting all these new people, your doing all these new activities, what are your thoughts on the idea that you shouldn’t help build other people’s businesses or you shouldn’t promote. Or the idea that there is a saturated market. Or that if you do try to lift others up that you might give up your spot.

    L: The idea that the idea is saturated, when there is literally billions of people on the planet. All with different mindsets, values, views. So why shouldn’t I lift up my homegirl to my left and my homegirl to my right. I actually highlight on my IG other black owned businesses. I’m big on supporting black owned businesses, I’m big on supporting friends and their businesses. And the market will never be saturated. The saturation is only in your mind. If you have an abundant mindset, there will never be saturation.

    N: Right, there’s enough people, there’s enough to go around. Everybody doesn’t like the same thing, or want the same things. You might make the same thing that someone else makes, but you make it your way. Think about Nike, Adidas, Puma, Rebooks, and all them, all make shoes, and you can buy all of them. And people do!

    L: Companies do it all the time. Let’s say Nike, for example, they have 30% of the market, so that means there is 70% available. If I have 1000 people in my business, does that mean I have all the people? It’s over?  No! So to me, as women, supporting each other is paramount. I don’t think it shouldn’t be optional.

    N: Right, so we can all get there. And we can all get higher and higher and climb the ladder, and try to create wealth.

    L: I subscribe.

    N: Same applies to all the industries! So, how do we support our entrepreneur friends or people that have side hustles?

    L: What we’re doing here is one example. Having conversations. Public conversations, engaging conversations. Being transparent and not being afraid to share. I mean, it was awkward for me to share that I was going to therapy. But, not only did I share, but I supported 2 women therapists. Thinking who can I take with me, who can come along is a better mindset. If we all thought like that, we would all be better off.

    N: Yes! I like that idea. Like who can come with me. I’m on a certain journey, who else can come along with me. I agree, the conversations. Like pre-COVID, we had in person programs and such, but it was much more exclusive due to location. Now, anyone can join in these conversations. I think people of color worry about supporting others with their money. What if you don’t have the money?

    L: You can share that person’s business.  I know an awesome therapist here’s her link. You can say I know someone who knows how to exchange in the foreign exchange market. My services might not be for everybody, but they’re for somebody.

    N: So, like for me and you, friend to friend, how have we supported each other in our growth and our businesses individually?

    L: Originally I had like 400 followers on IG, I didn’t really care about what I posted or how often. Not really caring about sharing with others, or being transparent and vulnerable. I didn’t know anything about that. But joining the business brought light to so many things that I needed to understand. And then you told me you took a course, and it was this amount, and I was like, how much? And you were like, it was worth it!

    And then you started taking pictures for me, I mean about 70% of the pictures on my feed, were taken by Nadie. I really should give you credit, if you wanted to do photography. And then just talking about marketing, what types of things do you do online to market. Like you are expanding your business quickly, what types of things could you do to expedite those things. We really talk about business a lot.

    N: Yea, even just talking about it is supportive. Bouncing ideas off of each other, having a place to do that. Because it’s weird. You have a business or a side business, but nobody else around you is doing anything like that. So just having the space to [exchange ideas] with others.

    L: And it’s important to the people who are friends with those people. Just because we are busier, doesn’t mean we can’t be supportive. It doesn’t have to be monetarily, but there’s other things you can do. It’s not like you remove that friend. I don’t feel the need to do that, but if you just ostracize me, I mean, I’m on a journey, why don’t you support me?

    N: It goes both ways. Like I said earlier, people can take it so personally. Instead of feeling like someone doesn’t have time for you anymore, maybe see if you can help.  That’s your friend. You are not in competition; you are not adversaries. Y’all are friends, so reaching out to see what you can do is beneficial. I think people do have to shift their mindset. People that own the business also may not feel like they are getting support that they think they want from their friends.

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    N: So, last thing – Dealing with all of the ups and downs. What do you think makes some friendships last and some don’t? Some people think it’s how long you’ve been friends.

    L: I think that neither of us has ever been hard on each other. I think that we’ve always operated in a spirit of openness. And acceptance of each other. Even when we do things that are not the greatest. I mean we have a lot of secrets.

    Another thing is, business is a giant. People don’t know it until they start doing it. From the outside looking in, Nadie doesn’t have time for me. But I’ll insert myself, you never have to worry about that with me.

    N: You’ll be like, “Why are your posts so sad?”  But without the judgement. I agree though, It doesn’t matter how you evolve and change, because I know your core. The openness and acceptance as the growth and change happens, is how friendships last.

    We met when we were 18. And now we are 30. We are not the same as we used to be.

    L: that’s how we’ve always been, I appreciate that. When I was getting married, then having a kid . . . let’s roll with it. It’s not over

    N: Its shifting your mindset. Abundance. For example, Beyonce can cuss now. She has grown.  Let her cuss!

    N: Do you have anything going on that my audience should know about?

    L: Yes, I have a growing team that is willing to help you learn how to be financially independent. We have a promotion going on, that ends soon, if you want to dive in and learn. Please message me on Instagram. Our company is expanding, diving into ecommerce launching our Ecommerce Academy. Just reach out to me if you’re interested. And just give me a follow. I love meeting new people and creating new relationships.

    Last thing is, Love languages are not just for relationships. Friends should know each other’s love language as well. Think about that in your friendships as well as your relationships!

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    You can also watch the video of this conversation here


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