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Wednesday Wisdom: Be the Light

September 29, 2021

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration, Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs and Female Business Owners

Aquinnah Lighthouse on Martha’s Vineyard taken by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

Taking a detour from a previously planned trip, my husband and I ended up in the quaint seaside community of Chatham, Massachusetts on beautiful Cape Cod for our week vacation. There was something magical in the air and water as this brand-new destination unfolded its glorious early morning sunrises, sparkling waves, and perfect, and I mean perfect, 72-degree, sunny weather every day. After four days there we traveled via ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to a place we never been before which is where an adventure began with lessons in humanity spilling out on the roads.

Eager to make the most of this new destination and fueling an adventurous spirit, we decided to rent e-bikes to take us from the old whaling city of Edgartown, on the eastern edge of the island, to Aquinnah, the western bluffly edge of the island. With bike helmets on, $10 in our pocket, and 2 water bottles between us off we went.

Aquinnah Bluffs taken by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

10 miles into the trip on roads much hillier than we imagined, we stopped to get more water and a cookie to split when we realized we didn’t have enough money for the fare. The female cash register attendant grabbed a dollar from her tip basket so we could afford the cookie, even though I had put it back. “No, you must have it. I don’t mind sharing my tips with you,” as I glanced down at my bright pink Women TIES shirt that said, “Women Supporting Women.” We had enough water to continue until we could refill our water bottles at the lighthouse tourist area ten more miles ahead and then let a bus take us and our bikes back to our hotel.

As the old brick lighthouse appeared at the end of the road, we realized all the places to buy water were closed due to labor shortages. We realized we had no way to get drinkable water again with 20 miles to bike back since we found out we had missed the bus. Striking up a conversation with a couple biking with a group called VBT (Vineyard Bike Tours), the woman offered me her bottle of water and said, “Take it, I can share my husband’s water.” Once again, I said, “Oh gosh, no thank you, you’ll need it.”

Biking in Cape Cod? Check out Vineyard Biking Tours

“Follow us,” she said as they biked us towards a VBT van. There a man filled our water bottles, gave us some snacks for the trip back after we told them how far we were going, and wished us luck. As we biked hard up and down the same hilly roads to get back to our hotel, now making it a 40-mile unplanned trip, we smiled and waved to some of the generous people who helped us as they passed by. I instantly feel in love with these giving strangers who made sure we had a safe trip back.

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is really very simple – it is to remind you in business and life, we have the ability to make a stranger’s day or a customer’s day with simple acts of kindness and generosity. A dollar here, free water there, helpful tips off our lips, and sincere community spirit, is so easy to give to those we know and don’t know.

Cape Cod sunset by Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham

As a woman entrepreneur, I’ll never forget the relief I felt from VBT for helping us out and sending us on our way with confidence and resources. What can you do today as a woman business owner to make the same lasting business impression on a stranger that happens along your way?

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