The best part of my trip to France took place in the second half: A retreat with my mentor and eight other women in the wine-making region of Provence. Our mentor, Fabienne Fredrickson, had arranged for us to stay in a charming villa in Menerbes with a spectacular view, a wonderful kitchen, and excellent accommodations.

The women I was with were amazing — on the same wavelength as me, they’re all building their businesses and working very hard at it. We shared, we explored, we loved, we danced, we cooked, and we ate.

We also worked every day for six hours — we went deep. I learned a lot, but the realization that resonated with me was that we, as women entrepreneurs, are taught to lead with our masculine side. Everyone has part masculine and feminine energy, but because women are almost always sitting around the boardroom table with men, we’re taught at a young age that we have to be “strong” like men.

I began to wonder about women business and political leaders — are they just mirroring the masculine energy they see around them, or are they offering something new? There’s so much hate, negativity, and gossip in the world, it dawned on me that we as women have an opportunity to forge a new way, from the ground up. The old ways of doing things just don’t work anymore. To be successful, we have to open up our hearts — and lead with our hearts.

I’m so grateful for the women who helped me realize that I’m free to try out new things and see what works — and what doesn’t. They helped me fall in love with myself and unleash a more feminine energy. We laughed, we cried, and we shared some intense stuff that none of us had ever shared with anybody else before.

I would never have been able to accomplish what I have without the help of my network, coaches, and mentors. Your journey to self-realization begins whenever you want — but the addition of a support system is what makes it “stick.” I recently began my money coaching program and that’s where I found my passion — helping young women learn how they can have financial independence and not make the same mistakes I did.