Upon graduating from The Ohio State University, I immediately put my engineering degree to work at IBM as a Marketing Representative. The company was known for its world class sales training. If you worked for IBM, you were regarded as the “best-of-the-best.” And, that’s exactly what I wanted. I was suddenly immersed in a world of high rollers. Monthly commission checks of $25k-$30k were common place. Jaguars, Corvettes, BMWs and a certain someone’s Ford Escort lined our private parking garage.
As an engineering student, I was accustomed to being one of a few females in class. Engineering was a man’s world at the time. This was not the case in sales and marketing. The coolest thing about my new world was that there were as many incredibly successful women as their were men. And of course, I expected one of those successful women to take me under her wing and show me the way.
I’d graduated in the top 5th of the Engineering College. I’d been inducted into the engineering honors society with five years of technical and marketing internships under my belt. If anyone qualified for the “ wing” thing, I surely did, or so I thought.
Well, I must have been delusional because the “wing” thing never happened. In spite of all the world class training, I struggled. What did I know about selling Million Dollar solutions? I had technical training in closing a deal but no real life savvy. I eventually figured some things out through trial and error and enjoyed some pretty decent success. But I knew I had the ability to achieve more. Does this resonate with anyone?
Have you ever had a time in your life when you were doing okay but knew that you were capable of something greater and you just didn’t know how to get there? Well that was me, all day every day. And the gap between my reality and my possibilities was exasperating! I needed some help. I needed someone who’d gone before me to care enough to teach me in a moment what would otherwise take months, if not years, to learn.
The best of the best had help along the way
No one can soar to new heights alone. We simply need each other. And more than anything we need to benefit from the wisdom and lessons of those who’ve gone before us. That’s the circle of life isn’t it?
So, back to the “wing” thing.
Have you ever said to yourself some version of “I could be so much further ahead if only I’d known better, if only I knew how to… if only I’d been aware of… or if only someone had taught me?” The unspoken subtext is “I have so much more potential! Can someone help me get to the next level?”
Well guess what? When you can’t find the answer, sometimes you have to become the answer. Over the years, I discovered that my purpose was linked to helping women unleash their potential, ultimately discovering the greatness that lies within them. Shucks! Life is too short and we’re too dog gone valuable for anything less than the fullest expression of our beings. This life would be a cruel experiment by the cosmos if there wasn’t something greater to be created, to be experienced, to be manifested.
The I.N.H.E.R. Circle
So I’ve decided to create The I.N.H.E.R. Circle which is a community of women dedicated to the pursuit of purpose, passion and destiny. (I.N.H.E.R., Instruments of Nurturing, Healing, Empowerment and Resources) We honor the magnitude and majesty of each other’s lives by serving as instruments of nurturing, healing, empowerment and resources. We believe that every human being is a gift to the universe and must be treated as such as we simultaneously challenge one another to discover who we are beyond our titles, to cultivate our unique skills and talents, to find our voices, become our authentic selves, harness our strength, unleash our potential and manifest greatness.
As women, we are tied to one another by our very essence. And we are never alone. You are in my circle. I am in your circle and together, we are I.N.H.E.R. Circle. ”
A dynamic speaker and community leader, Cheryl Carter is known for making impact. A former IT Sales Account Executive, Ms. Carter has spent the last twenty-five years speaking nationally and internationally to audiences on leadership, human potential and personal empowerment. Through the power of the spoken word, she inspires audiences to embrace higher dimensions of thought and action; leading to individual and organizational transformation.