Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved the story about The Little Engine That Could. For those of you unfamiliar - a train carrying a bunch of toys breaks down and can’t carry them over the mountain to the children waiting for them. The toys beg a few different big trains that pass by to take them over the mountain, but each passes on with little more than an upturned nose. Eventually there comes a little engine. She’s tiny and doesn’t look like she’s strong enough to take the toys over, but she’s determined. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can” she says to herself as she tugs and chugs her way up the mountain. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” And to everyones relief, she does! The toys are exuberant, as is the Little Engine.
After recently hearing a report on NPR about how this story was actually one of the first feminist children’s books, it dawned on me just how much this book had affected my life. I’m blessed with parents who always supported me in every endeavor…even the decision to work as an actress in NYC after attending a very expensive university. And through every challenge…auditions in those years, difficult clients as I became a top sales rep, challenging employees as I moved into an executive role, and now, the challenge of building a business from scratch…through every challenge I’ve had that mantra running through the back of my head. “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can”…although, these days, with the knowledge of positive reinforcement I’ve tweaked it a bit to “I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.”
That mantra has pushed me to take on new challenges and not to fear the unknown. I’ve never thought myself “not strong enough”, “not smart enough”, “not good enough”…I’ve always thought: “I think I can”, and I credit both my parents and The Little Engine That Could.
And I know I’m not the only one. As I look around me, there are so many strong women to look up to. So many women challenging themselves and those around them. While many are highlighted here and there in the media - far too many are passed over as unknowns or, don’t even show up on the radar.
My mission with #LadyThatCould is to showcase those women. Those ladies. Because in my opinion a woman doesn’t need to act like a man to succeed. They need to act like a lady. A Lady knows who she is, keeps it classy, and commands respect just by entering a room. A Lady can take on giants and boys alike.
So here’s to all the Ladies who are pushing to make a difference in this world - whether through community service, tech, entrepreneurship, or raising children - they knew they could, so they did.