Something New Is Coming for Smart Girls Group

Have you ever noticed that when you are the oldest in your school–an 8th grader, a senior in high school, senior in college–you can’t help but think: “I don’t look as old as the class that graduated last year”? I often wonder why it feels like that. Like the whole world around us is changing. Growing up. Transforming into a more defined version of who they really are. Yet, somehow, we think we remain the same.

Every time I see a picture of myself from high school, I think, “Yep. I haven’t changed at all.” And, yeah, that’s what being very short and having a round face will do. But you get what I mean.

My dad called me last week and said, “Em, you really need to change your voicemail.”

Of course, I had no idea why. After all, why would I listen to my own voicemail? I created it once and never thought about it again. Then it hit me: I have had the exact same voicemail since I was a freshmen in high school, when I got my very first phone.

So I listened to it. Yep. It was different. I sounded like, well, fourteen.

It reminded me of the class question. We don’t think we change because we are doing it in real time. We aren’t watching it through #TransformationTuesdays on Instagrams or reading about it on someone’s LinkedIn page. There’s no pause button where we can take a second to reflect on how much we have changed.

It’s been four years to the day since I first wrote the book for my sister that started all that is Smart Girls Group. It’s a weird thought. A lot has happened in four years. But through it all, I only stopped to be grateful. I never stopped and thought much about change–how the business was changing and how I was as a result.

That’s been a little different lately. For the past year, I kept noticing moments where I just knew that change was coming, both for the brand and myself. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I figured I would just keep waiting for the signs. And they came in many forms. Advisors’ suggestions. Books I just stumbled upon. Words written in the sand (no really, I’m serious).

I have always heard that entrepreneurs feel like their business is like a fifth limb because they are so close to it. Because of the nature of Smart Girls Group and what it represented, it felt more like an extension of my soul.

So I took this coming change as both a message from my soul as well as something I needed to fiercely protect, aware of what it could achieve if done correctly and what it could destroy if executed poorly.

In the past four years, whether I noticed it or not, the business has changed and so have I. What hasn’t changed, though, are the intentions of the brand and all that it represents. I’ll never stop thinking about this brand in terms of how it will help the Sophie’s of the world rise up to meet their potential. I never want to think about it in any other way.

You may be wondering where I’m going with this. For months, the Smart Girls Group team and I have been hard at work. We’ve been asking questions from readers about their lives; their trials and triumphs. We’ve been creating vision boards, filled with bright images that scream girl power. We’ve been in business-y rooms with long tables, drawing out maps of what is to come. We’ve been reading and researching everything from case studies on happiness to the history of design. And we’ve been having a ton of fun while doing it, which I’m taking as a sign as well.

Whether it is a new school year, a new voicemail, or a new chapter, I hope we can embrace newness together and listen to whispers of change. I really hope that you know how grateful I am that you have allowed Smart Girls Group to evolve over these past four years. I’ve had the privilege of growing up thanks to this space and all of the people that helped create it.

This blog will be my space to take you behind the scenes of our next adventure together. Also, please pardon the bugs in this page or on our website. We are working on some changes and are testing some things out. There’s more coming so stay tuned please!

For more blog posts by Emily, check out the From Emily’s Desk series.