By Susan "Honey" Good
Two years ago, a man in his 40’s in advertising asked me to invite a group of women over 50 to my home. He was curious what made them tick. I had 72 hours to accomplish this feat to be held at my home in California. I was still in Chicago, flying out the following day. He was still in Colorado.
I had never formed a focus group. I had no idea how women would react. Would they be open to expressing their feelings or would they clam up? Would they accept my invitation or refuse? Who should I ask? I am not a groupie. I am a floater, therefore, I knew a wide range of women I felt comfortable phoning.
I sat down with pen and paper, deciding to invite eight women from different groups.
I chose women I admired for different reasons.
I chose women who would be straight forward and honest.
I chose women who had strong opinions about a woman’s life after 50 and also respected the opinions of others.
I chose women who were good communicators
I chose women who had a commonality.
To sum up my group… It was made up of women over 50 and from different cliques who, though all had strong opinions, would not over power the other.
To sum up the meeting… I am happy to say the group left my home invigorated. They spoke openly and acted like sisters.
For the next few weeks, I thought about this group meeting. I felt the women had a compelling desire to form relationships with their peers to discuss this passage of their lives. And though my plate was full and overflowing, I decided to form a group.
I invited twelve women because I assumed ten or less would come due to travel, etc. And I decided that we would meet on the first Monday of each month at my home from 10am to noon and I would serve coffee, tea and muffins.
I wrote up a list, decided on my ‘elevator pitch’ and I swear… not one woman turned me down.
THE ELEVATOR PITCH
My elevator pitch was from the heart.
I said, “Women need women to discuss this passage of life with its many hills and valleys. We all have a need to share our feelings, learn from one another and realize we are not alone. Please join me at my home monthly and become part of the conversation. I value you, your opinions and your manner of interacting with others. Please join the sisterhood.”
We formed our group two years ago. We will be starting up again in December when we return to our second home away from home and year three promises to be better than ever.
We made one promise to one another — nothing we discussed would leave the four walls of my home.
I am going to start a Honey’s Sisterhood on honeygood.com in the near future because I know we need one another. I know this because in the wee hours of the morning when all are asleep in our home, I open up my laptop and answer all of you who message me through email, Facebook and my site. I am already attached to some of you. I know your names, your faces and who you are (a little) by the large photo you have chosen for your page. Many of you love gardens, your grands, the sea, travel, your pooches, etc. I know and I get such pleasure out of answering.
It is called relationships, darlings! And we all crave them. I am smiling.
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If you have something to say about this story… let’s talk! I want so much to hear your opinions + feelings. I also want you to speak up so that women our age remain visible. I think we have a responsibility to share our wisdom, don’t you? Share yours either in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.