Written by a Clever Belle and Co-Founder, Cindy Tank-Murphy
Many friends and family members have asked me, “What was that trip you took last summer to San Diego?” It’s something that is hard to explain. I tell them it was a woman leadership workshop, but that doesn’t really describe it, because I have attended many leadership workshops but never walked away this transformed. I have no other way of describing it other than calling it my “leap of faith journey", because it started with making a conscious decision to listen to my intuition and allow it to guide me.
In order to explain it better we must go back in time, because I would have never imagined that from my darkest pain, I’d begin a journey that would transform my life and lead to personal growth far greater than I’d ever experienced.
It was early July 2014, that our family gathered to celebrate my youngest sister and her family returning from Arizona for a visit. We spent the weekend eating, laughing, reminiscing, and dreaming of starting a family business. Little did we know, that weekend would be the last time we’d see our father. He passed away suddenly only a few weeks after our family gathering.
The next six months were spent in shock, anger, sadness, and disbelief over his loss and the realization that our mother needed us more than ever. We sold everything my parents ever owned, including the home we grew up in, packed up Mom’s sentimental belongings in a U-Haul truck, and brought her to live with us. She would no longer have one place to call home, but instead lean on each of us for her physical, emotional, and financial support.
As the new year rolled around, my siblings and I began to dream again about our business idea that began that July weekend. There was something magical about the idea of knowing that our father, a once self-employed businessman, would have been so proud of us. So that spring our start-up, Clever Belle, was born.
By summer we had successfully funded our Kickstarter campaign, and we produced our first run of t-shirts. Our website was up and running on August 23, 2015, our parent’s 46th wedding anniversary. Our idea has always been simple - Encourage young girls and women to aspire to become whatever they desire, and to see themselves as beautiful inside and out.
At the start of 2016, things were moving along with Clever Belle, but I was having a hard time juggling home, career, and a start-up business. I took a leap of faith when I made the decision to listen to my heart and let my intuition guide me. After spending twenty plus years in the corporate world, I decided it was time to leave. Less than a month after ending my corporate career, I received an email about a female leadership event in San Diego that coming summer, in which the event would be recorded for a web series. My intuition told me I needed to go even though my mind was saying, “Are you crazy? A reality show? Pushing your limits and public speaking?” This was not something I’d ever done before, but I was willing to put myself out there in hopes of connecting with other influential business women. So finally I just let go and said yes. I figured I had nothing to lose.
I was mistaken. I had to lose my comfort. I had to lose my personal space. I had to lose my inhibition. I had to become vulnerable in order to gain something much greater and powerful! I learned some of the most valuable life lessons with thirty complete strangers over the course of eight days. So to all those friends and family members who asked, “What was that trip you took last summer to San Diego?” I hope this video explains it better.