Welcome to the last post of this series. We’ve been exploring how women can step up and own their career and professional development. I’m going to end this series with a story about a woman who accomplished something huge 100 years ago… she still inspires me today!
It was 1915… the city of San Francisco was reintroducing itself to the world as a worthy port of call. It took nine long years to rebuild San Francisco after the Great Earthquake and Great Fires ravaged it in 1906. So as a means to showcase their new city, San Francisco hosted the World’s Fair.
All the way across the country, in Brooklyn, NY, there lived a 21-year old bank teller named Effie Hotchkiss. She was a spirited young lady who had a big, hairy, audacious goal… she wanted to experience the World’s Fair in San Francisco.
Effie had a few obstacles in achieving this big dream. Remember, it was 1915… there was no interstate system, no strategically placed gas stations, no Holiday Inns, and Effie didn’t even own a car! How was she going to make the over 4000 mile trek across the country?
Lucky for her, when Effie’s uncle died he left her a small inheritance. She used it to purchase a 1915 Harley Davidson Greyfellow. She was going to ride her motorcycle to the World’s Fair in San Fran.
Riding a motorcycle across the country posed a new set of obstacles for Effie. Society’s norms in 1915 weren’t favorable when it came to women riding motorcycles. I’m sure her mother, Avis, wasn’t thrilled with the idea. Besides, how was she going to defend herself in a barren, unforgiving land?
Effie could’ve just as easily went to Philly or Boston but no… she wanted to play big in her life so she literally rolled on the throttle to her dream. Mile by mile she conquered her obstacles. She wasn’t going to let what other people thought squash her dream. She wasn’t going to allow a flat tire to deter her. Her mom wasn’t even going to stop her! In fact, Avis went along for the ride!
After months of being on the road, Effie and Avis Hotchkiss successfully dipped their front tire into the Pacific Ocean. They were the first women to travel cross-country on a motorcycle. They made it to the World’s Fair in San Francisco!
Where do you want to be playing bigger in your career? Where do you need to roll on the throttle when it comes to your profession? What big dream do you have that will challenge you as much as Effie’s cross-country journey in 1915?
I’m sure you’ll face obstacles when you start to play big in your life. Your inner critic will tell you you’re not smart enough, articulate enough, or strong enough. People around you will not believe in your dream. The fear of failure will paralyze you. You will have no idea where to start. Being status quo is easier than stepping outside your comfort zone. How are you going to afford your dream financially? Maybe you haven’t given yourself permission to think you deserve to play big in your life.
All Effie had to do was start her engine every morning. No matter if it was sunshine or rain, she got up and did the one thing that would get her to San Francisco… she started.
All you need to do is throw your leg over the saddle, start your engine, tap into your power, and roll on the throttle. You might not know where to begin but you begin by starting. Decide what you’re going to do and then do it.
Are you where you want to be professionally? If not, why not? What step do you need to take? If you need help clarifying where you want to go, email me to start the conversation. You don’t need to commit to anything but it’s a place to start. Be bold… take the chance… step outside your comfort zone and reach out to me at Lisa@FullThrottleLiving.com. We’ll start together…