Our 2015 People with Panache parties! The top is the whole crew in Milwaukee at the Ruby Tap. Bottom is the Panache women in Chicago at Beauty and Brawn Art Gallery and Think Space.
People with Panache just celebrated our third birthday! So we looked back on our year, and some themes popped out: Courage. Creativity. Commitment. And, of course, compassion.
The women we’ve met through this adventure traversing the Midwest aren’t doing what our culture would consider “realistic.” If there are rules related to what they’re doing, they’re breaking them. They’re setting their own paths, sticking to them and making plans that become reality. Beyoncé’s not the only one, ladies.
Whether your dream is to have a solid job so you can take your two weeks at the turquoise-iest beach a plane can reach, or you will not stop until you start the business that puts your values out into the world, we are with you. Continue reading →
Erika also started the WTF Institute, where coaches and speakers can license award-winning content (created by Erika of course!) for two to three years and present it. It has three modules in a nice progression. She wants women to understand that they’re not valuable because of what they DO, but because of who they are.
Erika Gilchrist is a woman of juxtapositions.
She grew up in a large family with a packed house—but is an introvert who needs a lot of alone time. She absolutely adores children—but has no desire to have any of her own. She’s been performing on stage practically since birth—but merely the thought of being squished in a large crowd makes her anxious. And she’s happiest when she’s helping other people—but also feels that it’s selfish (in a good way!).
As we sat in Erika’s favorite park on one of the last beautiful fall days in Chicago, we ruminated on many other aspects of Erika and spent a long time talking about communication and how people so often get it wrong.
“It’s a balance—understanding how other people operate so that you’ll know how to communicate with them, even if they’re the polar opposite of who you are,” she says. “That whole thing about treating people the way you want to be treated… I’m like, No. Treat people the way they want to be treated.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately: The tug of war between introverts and extroverts can be exhausting—one wanting to hang out all the time (E), the other always wanting a night at home to relax (I). With better quality communication, this struggle isn’t necessary. I opened with Erika’s quote because as you read the rest of our story about her, this notion permeates so much of her actions, thoughts and advice—finding success in any job or industry or business endeavor is about engaging and activating your human network. And that is what Erika loves to help people do.Continue reading →