Melissa Martin - Boldly Courageous

Cultivating Female Relationships

Hey there, sweet friend! Welcome back to Boldly Courageous, a podcast created for you — the ambitious woman who is ready to take action and step fully into the life you’ve always dreamed of.

Girl time is the best, right? There’s just nothing like sipping prosecco, smearing clay masks on your face, and chatting for hours with your favorite gals. Healthy female friendships aren’t something I enjoy from afar, like a long lost memory from college sorority days. It’s something that I enjoy right now, and they help me become more of the person I want to be! In fact, I just spent several days in Tulum, Mexico, with five of my closest girlfriends celebrating all things life, health, abundance, and success! 

I have received so many messages asking how to find and have female relationships. So, we decided to take the opportunity of being together in the same place to chat about how we learned to cultivate female friendships as adults and business owners. 

Today, I get to share this conversation with you! We’re going to cover the three types of friends every female entrepreneur needs, how to decline an invitation graciously, and three steps to find your soul sisters. You’ll receive nuggets of advice from all five of my good friends: Jessica Glazer, Jenn Kennedy, Samantha Kozack, Lauren Salaun, and Taylor Simpson. When we finished creating this episode, I realized that it was the perfect “healthy female friendship guide” that I wish I had years ago. I know you’re going to LOVE it! 

Are you ready, babe? Let’s do this. 

Three Friendships Every Female Entrepreneur Needs

When I think back to what motivated me to find close girlfriends, I remember being incredibly unhappy. The old me would have blamed my partner or circumstances, but I saw a pattern: The same type of person kept showing up in my life over and over. Guess who the common denominator was? Myself. I knew then that I needed to change myself — not my girlfriends if I really wanted things to change. 

As I began working on myself, I realized that there are three different kinds of friends we all need:

#1. Friends Who Make You a Better Person

These are our besties. You know when you find them because you just click. You can talk with them about life and business and relationships for hours on end. They’re the friendships we envision when we think about soul sisters.They are life-giving and worth fighting for. These are essential friendships because they bring us joy, hold us accountable, and create a safe space for us to grow!

I’m not going to go on and on about them here because I think this is the ideal for all of us, so we’re all on the same page. The last section of this post is all about how to find these kinds of people. So keep reading until the end!

#2. Friends You Don’t Talk About Business With

These are the people in our lives who we value and enjoy hanging out with on occasion. They aren’t our business besties, but that’s okay because we’re humans before we’re business owners. In these cases, Jess said it’s important to set personal expectations:

“There are certain people that sort of stay in your life. And for me, it was like setting expectations — my own energetic boundaries. So when I’m going to be with that person or those people for a weekend, I go into it knowing, ‘Okay, so this weekend we might talk about the glory days in high school, and I can’t get mad or triggered. … And when I leave, I can’t be angry if we didn’t have these higher-level conversations.”

Jess Glazer

When you know you’re just going out with your friends to have a good time and catch up instead of expecting to have deep life-altering conversations, you can enjoy yourself and the people you’re with more. Not only is it okay to step out of your business world for a few hours, but it is also important! After all, you are human, and you need carefree time with other humans!

#3. Friends You Leave

These are the friends who pull you down, make you feel less than, and put you in a box. It is okay to leave these friends, because like Lauren said, “Certain friendships are not meant to last forever:”

“There [are] certain chapters and seasons and lessons that we get from certain relationships. So being able to look back on those relationships with love and compassion and also be able to let go of them in the present was a big lesson. It has a sadness to it. And I think a lot of freedom.”

Lauren Salaun 

Letting go of friendships is sad, but it is also super freeing. Not just for you, but for them, too. Because here’s the thing — if a friendship is exhausting or frustrating to you, it’s probably the same for the other person. Sometimes letting a friendship go means not texting or hanging out, but sometimes — like Samantha — it looks like moving:

“My friends were all, either doctors and lawyers, or they had corporate jobs. They were getting married, having kids, and I’m over here, an entrepreneur. … It just felt like no one took me seriously. Like, ‘Oh, when is Sam going to grow up?’… When I was [finally] like, ‘I don’t want anything that what you guys are doing. I’m on this path, and I know what I can create.’ And that’s when I literally picked up my life and actually moved out of that city and started over.”

Samantha Kozack

Babe, the people you spend time with have a powerful influence on your life. If you have a friend who is dragging you down and constantly making you second guess yourself, let them go. I know it might feel hard and scary, but you won’t know how abundant your life can be until you let them go. 

Whether you need to spend more time with soul sisters, adjust your expectations when you hang out with your non-business people, or let someone go, give yourself permission to become the woman you feel called to be!

How to Decline an Invitation with Courtesy and Confidence

Relationships take time and energy — even friendships with your soul sisters. As I said, we’re all in Tulum right now, having a blast, but it took money and time away from our businesses and families to be here. We tend to think of only unhealthy relationships being draining, but even healthy relationships can be draining in different ways. 

Sometimes, you’re not even hanging out with someone who drags you down. You could be in an environment that exhausts you. Maybe you’re going through things in your personal life that require more downtime for you to process. Or, you want to be more of a social butterfly at a party instead of being stuck in one conversation. 

All of those feelings are valid and okay. But all of those experiences mean you need to be in tune with yourself so that you can be in control of your energy. Like ____ said, you don’t have to say “yes” just because you were invited:

“It’s [about] being in control of your plans [for] your energy. Like, like you don’t have to say ‘yes’ just because you were invited.”

Jenn/Taylor

We discussed three different way you can control the plans for your energy: 

#1. Only Schedule “Hell Yes” Events

The way Jenn controls the plans for her energy is by only scheduling things that feel like a “hell yes” to her. If she’s on the fence about an opportunity, she already knows she will decline the invitation. 

“I always say, my time is the most [important thing], it’s the one thing that we can never get back — ever. And we can never buy more of it. It’s the most precious thing on this planet. And so [in] my calendar, my time is only filled with people who really lift me up, lift my energy up, and are a match for me. That makes me happier, more fulfilled — everything. If somebody invites me to a party, and my gut is like, ‘uh,’ then I say, ‘no.”

Jenn Kennedy

I love Jenn’s method of deciding what goes into her schedule and what doesn’t. Can you imagine how amazing it would feel to only have ‘hell yes’ things in your calendar?! 

#2. Decline Invitations and Suggest Alternative Get-Togethers

Another tip I’m adding to my friendship skills is the way _____ declines invitations when she enjoys the person, but the atmosphere or timing isn’t right: 

“[Last year, a new friend] invited me to a birthday party at a club, and I was like, ‘No, I’m in my thirties. I don’t go to a club but like twice a year.’…[So, this is what I said to her,] ‘That sounds like so much fun. Thank you for inviting me. But I would love to grab coffee with you directly so we can get to know each other and not be at a loud bar with like a bunch of strangers.”

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That being said, if you don’t want to hang out with the person who sent you the invite, don’t offer a different get-together and decline the invitation. It is okay not to hang out with them or attend even if you are free that night! Got it, babe?

#3. Prepare Transitional Phrases to Leave Conversations

Have you ever been at a party that was a “hell yes” when you scheduled it, but then you get stuck in a conversation, and you see other people who you want to catch up with? Yeah, not my favorite, either. So when ______ explained her system of being prepared with transitional phrases and good questions, I knew parties were about to become much more enjoyable:

“[Two things I think you need to have when you get stuck in a conversation are] knowing good transitional phrases of like … ‘I’m glad we had this conversation. There are so many other people here that I’m excited to meet. So I’m going to go have another great conversation. Thank you for your time.’… [ and also] asking better questions can oftentimes help you lead to a deeper connection. So instead of just talking about the weather, [try asking], ‘What are you excited about right now? Tell me something that you’re navigating through. What is something that most people don’t know about you?’ It can help [a conversation in big ways].”

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Staying in conversations that you’re not enjoying to be polite doesn’t serve anyone. Because when you stop enjoying the conversation, you stop bringing your full energy and presence to the moment. Do yourself and the other person a favor by shifting the conversation with a quality question or transitioning to a new conversation. 

Before we move on to the next topic, I want to acknowledge that the skills shared in this section are not comfortable or easy — especially in the beginning. None of us naturally only schedule “hell yes” activities, smoothly but clearly decline invitations, and transition out of conversations with confidence. It was so scary and hard when we started implementing boundaries to protect our energy that most of us wanted to cry and crawl back into our beds. Taylor nailed it when she said that it has taken all of us a lot of growth to navigate relationships the way we do today:

“It can be scary when you first start [declining invitations and shifting conversations]. I remember when I first started doing that, I was like, ‘I’m gonna throw up because they’re gonna hate me. They won’t be my friend anymore.’… All this took us work to be able to do. You’re not just born knowing how to honor yourself because we all grew up doing the opposite. … So anyone listening, [just know] it’s going to be painful and really uncomfortable [when you first do these things], but it’s a muscle, and it’s unlearning and then relearning, which allows you to serve both yourself and the other person equally.”

Taylor Simpson

All that to say — if you feel discouraged and scared or like you’ll never be able to implement all these tools, remember that it’s a journey. You’re going to mess up along the way, but as long as you’re trying, you’re going to get better. It’s about taking care of your energy to the best of your ability so that you can show up as your most abundant self. So cut yourself some slack and remember that these tools are here to help you not trigger a panic attack!

Three Steps to Finding Your Soul Sister

If finding your soul sisters was easy, I wouldn’t have received so many messages from you all. So, as we start this next section, I want you to know that you are not alone in your search for besties. While it is a challenge to find women who elevate your energy, inspire you to be everything you can be, and hold space for you to be human, it is possible. So, without further ado, here are the three steps we took to find our business besties:

Step #1: Make an Ideal Friend Avatar for Yourself. 

Many of us go through exercises to find massive clarity on who our ideal client is, right? You can do the same thing with your ideal bestie. What are her values systems? What is she interested in? What type of extracurricular activities is she doing? Samantha said that answering those kinds of questions led to finding those exact friends:

“I did something drastic. I moved and … I was in charge of designing my dream life. So I now was able to be in charge of, ‘Okay, what type of woman do I want surrounding [me]? What type of friends do I want? What type of relationship do I want with my significant other?’ And I was able to really plan out everything. So I wrote down what I wanted life to look like and what I wanted to feel like. Which now five years later turned into the manuscript and journal that I was able to manifest in my life.”

Samantha Kozack

Many of us don’t have the kinds of friends we want because we haven’t gotten clear on what kind of people they are. Your personal relationships deserve as much intentional energy as your business does. So, if you really want to find your besties, sit down this week and create your Ideal Friend Avatar!

Step #2: Be the Kind of Person You Want to Be Friends with.

Have you ever thought, “If I had a soul sister, I would attend more networking events, laugh, and enjoy life more?” That might be a valid thought, but that thought keeps you stuck. More than likely, the kind of person you want to be friends with is a happy person who is growing their business. In other words, the type of person you want to hang out with is already in her positive energy. 

You’ve heard me say it before: Like-energy attracts like-energy. So, stop waiting to be the kind of person to call in your soul sister and be her right now! Taylor said it’s a lot like manifesting your soulmate:

“For me, it’s just like manifesting your soulmate. Be the person that you expect to receive. … You’re only going to get matching energy.”

Taylor Simpson

Since you’re only going to receive matching energy, it’s really important to have an Ideal Friend Avatar so that you can embody the kind of energy you want to attract! 

Step #3: Show Up in the Places Your Soul Sister Would Be.

Finding your soul sisters comes down to a willingness to grow and recognizing that, “I’m in a place right now where the women in my life aren’t. I’m not getting exactly what I want or need. So I’m going to get out there and do the work to find them.”

That doesn’t mean finding your besties is going to be easy. During this conversation, more than one of us shared that we felt like we were going to shit our pants or throw up as we visited meetups, joined masterminds, and attended events. But you know what? It was worth it. I mean, look where we are now?!

Here’s a list of the different things we did to find the friends we have today:

  • Visit Meetups
  • Host our own MeetUps
  • Join a Mastermind (this is actually where we all met)
  • Have real conversations with women
  • Attend a live event
  • Send a DM

Sending DMs is Taylor’s favorite tool. The best part is, people don’t think it’s weird! 

“So my tangible tool is literally DMing people. … Just text them, send a voice message or video like, ‘Hey girl, I love what you’re doing. It’s so much fun. I would love to get on a call with you to learn more about who you are and to maybe be besties.’ [Almost every time they’re like,] ‘I’m down for a new bestie.’ They don’t think it’s weird.”

Taylor Simpson

If you’re on the lookout for a new bestie, know other people are looking for a new bestie, too! So reach out, go to events and have real conversations, or host your own gathering so others can find their soul sisters, too! 

Why You Need to Cultivate Quality Female Relationships Today…

Babe, you are not doomed to isolation. Just because you are an adult and a female business owner or network marketer does not mean it’s impossible to find soul sisters. Will it take work? Yes. But the work is worth it, and it will absolutely change your life. If you’re feeling like finding your bestie is never going to happen, you might need to change the story you’re telling yourself just like ______ did:

“We all hear, ‘It’s hard to make friends as a woman — as an adult.’ Right? And that’s a story we’re telling ourselves. So for me, it was kind of like taking ownership of that story and changing the narrative.”

Unknown

Babe, it’s time to take ownership of the relationships in your life and rewrite the story you’re telling yourself. Take intentional action to manifest your best life yet — business besties and all! Your soul sisters are out there looking for you. Do the work to find them!

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us today, babe! Here’s where you can follow each of us: 

  • If being reminded to protect your energy with boundaries was a breath of fresh air, Jess Glazer is your gal. Follow her on Instagram, @jess.glazer, and learn about what she does on her website.
  • If you are going to add some of those “decline an invitation” and “transitional phrases” to your relationship toolbox, follow Jenn Kennedy on Instagram, @thejennkennedy, and learn more of her practical tips on The Jenn Kennedy Show !
  • If you just moved and are starting over in a new place, you’re kindred spirits with Samantha Kozuch. Follow her on Instagram, @samanthakozuch, and check out her website.
  • If you needed to hear that some friends are only meant for a season and it’s okay to let them go, follow Lauren Salaun on Instagram, @laurensalaun, and see what she’s up to on her website.

I am beyond grateful for you spending your time with me today and this fantastic community we are building together. It is my mission to get this message out into the world and empower others to step into the life they’ve always dreamed of. So it would mean the world to me if you would join me in this mission by taking a screenshot of this and sharing it on Instagram! Tag me @themelissamartin and let me know what your favorite tip was! 

I’ll catch you later, babe. Until then, keep living your boldly courageous life!

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