Five strong, intelligent, business-minded women are each a force when they work independently. But what do you get when they come together, both in business and in their personal lives? In this instance, you get the Frisco Five: Lisa Jolley-Masquelier, Jenae Hibbard, Stephanie Pickett, Michelle Rails, and Carissa Peacock.
One is a Lonely Number
Operating just 25 miles apart and having joined N2 as Area Directors just a few months apart, Lisa and Jenae couldn’t have known they were the start of something special.
Lisa joined N2 in the summer of 2013, excited about the opportunity to run her own business. She did well in ramp-up – the initial months of building relationships with advertisers and neighborhood residents – but when her first issue went to print, she “completely stalled.” A loss of excitement and motivation for the sales aspect of the role meant the income Lisa earned was not much to write home about.
Jenae joined in the fall of 2013. Despite having professional sales experience before N2, she admits that her first few meetings with local businesses were overwhelming. But she also remembers the reason she was successful in closing her first advertising sale.
“I was writing up the agreement and shaking. But I was successful because I believed in the product and knew I needed to just let go and be passionate,” Jenae said. “I realized my passion wasn’t going to come through and allow me to connect if I was holding on to being so technical. I had to stop getting ready to get ready, and just go do it,” she said.
The Dallas market for N2 Publishing was still fairly small at the time with only about a dozen Area Directors. And something else was very different; there wasn’t as much camaraderie or collaboration between the ADs.
“At the time, it was like we were all living on individual islands, doing our own thing, very alone,” Jenae said.
In search of closer relationships with other women at N2, both Lisa and Jenae registered for the 2015 annual “Girls Trip.” This was the turning point, the reason Lisa first reached out to Jenae. They coordinated and booked the same flights to and from Dallas for the getaway… and it all began to fall into place.
Thanks to that first trip, Lisa and Jenae not only clicked but decided to work side-by-side in their businesses. And with a refreshed mindset, Lisa revamped her business completely. The two ladies even started their second publications at the same time.They were getting a real rhythm together.
“It was truly as if we were business partners and not just fellow ADs. We both experienced growth in our businesses and personal lives due to the bond we formed,” Jenae said.
And Then There Were Three
Stephanie joined N2 in 2016 after hearing about the opportunity from a colleague. Coming from a background in the radio industry, she was used to cut-throat business. After attending N2’s Area Director training, Stephanie went on sales calls with Lisa and Jenae, shadowing the two pros during her period of ramp-up.
For her, this was odd. In her previous career, it was an unwritten rule that you don’t invest a lot of time talking to someone in their first few months at the company because they probably wouldn’t make it. So one day, after shadowing Jenae, Stephanie asked, “Why are you being so nice to me?”
Jenae’s response? She joked, “I can’t do ugly. Jesus doesn’t like ugly.”
“It’s pretty easy to feel alone with what we do and with working from home. Lisa and Jenae helped me feel included, like I was part of a team and not just working by myself. And it is because of them that I became a mentor. I truly want to ‘pay it forward’ and help others the way they helped me,” Stephanie said.
“Stephanie brought a new energy to our group,” Lisa said. “She is a go-getter, full of drive and enthusiasm, and we all pushed each other in a healthy way.”
Now that a trio was assembled, they decided they needed a name. “Charlie’s Angels” was their pick, and they took a photo at Conference to commemorate the nickname… which, coincidentally, is the very reason the group of three grew to five.
And Five Makes Frisco
Michelle worked in the fitness world and then in radio, where she met Stephanie. She was accustomed to a culture where everyone had a “me first” attitude and protected their sales leads. Tired of this environment, she began to look for something else. Lucky for her (and us), Stephanie opened her eyes to the N2 opportunity.
“It seemed too good to be true but I really trusted Stephanie, so that’s when I made that jump about a year and a half ago,” Michelle said. “The mentality was night and day from any other company from the get-go.”
Carissa, who had mutual friends with Stephanie, traveled a lot in her previous career in the financial and private equity realm. Having recently become a single mom, Carissa knew she needed a career change. After all, someone else was essentially raising her daughter while she was so frequently away working. So when she saw the “Charlie’s Angels” photo on Facebook and the bond the ladies shared, she knew that’s what she wanted – but she was skeptical.
“I could see the culture from afar, but also thought, ‘nobody really loves what they do for work,’” Carissa said.
She sat down with Stephanie to learn what was involved in the AD position. They pushed past Carissa’s doubts about being able to manage and create a publication. Stephanie even orchestrated for Michelle and Carissa to room together during their upcoming training.
“Going into it, I was a little nervous rooming with someone I didn’t know,” Michelle said. “But I remember specifically by day two of training just really connecting with her because our stories were very similar. Earl gave a talk the last day about his foundational relationship with Christ and I remember really connecting with her on that level. We shed a few tears together and walked away feeling such a connection – a sisterhood.”
“Meeting Michelle was huge confirmation,” Carissa said. Every conversation we had ended in, ‘Oh me too.’ We really bonded at training and going through ramp-up together; it was a healthy level of competition and cheering for one another. I wanted Michelle to get to print quickly, and I wanted to be right there alongside her with my own publication.”
A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats
The Frisco Five is truly there for each other, both personally and professionally. No one is meant to do life alone, and the motivation and success that has overflowed from this group is the evidence.
They champion each other, take risks with one another, and aren’t afraid to challenge the group when weeks are tough.
“We work together a lot. I love that our market has so many neighborhoods, because if businesses are a good fit for one neighborhood, they are probably a great fit for several,” Carissa said.
“I could see these other women as competition so I’ll ‘have the edge,’ or I could see them as partners and friends to grow together,” Lisa said. Needless to say, she chooses the latter.
Have a Friend, Be a Friend
All it takes is for someone to reach out once for these kinds of lasting bonds to be created. It all comes down to being a friend – something we can all benefit from.
At N2 Conferences, you can see the five traveling and sitting together, but they also enjoy forming bonds with other ADs. No matter what the future holds for this dynamic group, their special closeness will remain the same… even if their name doesn’t. There’s always a chance their headcount will increase. If it does, the ladies say, “We’ll just have to find a catchy name.”
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