“You Should Know Her”

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Last year, a woman in Wilmington, North Carolina emailed me. She’d been following Ladies Get Paid and asked how she could bring our programming to her city. I told her if she could get a group of women together and commit to organizing four town halls in a year, I’d fly out and host the first one. 

One month later, I’m boarding a plane to Wilmington when I get a call that would ultimately change my life. On the other line was a fabulous Southern drawl, “I was told I should know you.”

The voice belonged to Deborah K. Ross, a lawyer and member of the North Carolina House of Representatives, where she’d been a staunch supporter of the Equal Pay Act. In 2016, she fought a hard battle to become the Democratic nominee for the Senate. She ultimately lost because as she said, “It’s North Carolina and I’m a Democrat.”

While she didn’t know what exactly we might do together, nonetheless, she drove from Raleigh to see me speak. I was blown away.

One year later, Ladies Get Paid was sued for discriminating against men. Struggling with legal options, Ashley urged me to ask Deborah Ross for help. It took me weeks to finally reach out; I was worried I’d be bothering her.

Silly me. Deborah was extremely generous with her connections in introducing us to a lawyer as well as a professional fundraiser with a large network.

We spoke with the fundraiser, who in turn urged us to reach out to Hannah Linkenhoker, a senior political strategist at a talent agency. He didn’t quite know how she could help us but, in his words, “you should know her.”

When we met Hannah, we instantly connected. While it wasn’t obvious how we could collaborate, it was clear we should be in each others’ worlds. 

As I described my cross country journey, she asked, “Have you ever thought of writing a book?” It’d crossed my mind but I didn’t have anything written. 

“I think you should know this literary agent in New York. You’ll love each other.” There it was again, those words: “you should know her.”

Hannah was right; we did. In fact, we liked each other so much, we’re now working together on a Ladies Get Paid book. (Stay tuned!!) 

The moral of the story? Get over your shit. Pick up the phone. Go with your gut. Say yes. Take the meeting. Ask for help. Tell your story. Be a connector. Follow up. Say thank you. Pay it forward. Hustle hard. Keep going. 

And thanks, Wilmington πŸ™‚

Now go get paid.

x Claire 

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