Over forty years ago, a Cosmopolitan Magazine editor asked, “Can women have it all?” Since then, the question has refused to let go. It causes the goal line to continually inch forward, always just out of reach, threatening to steal the joy from our victories. It tempts us to hoard accolades for our own gratification.
Here at Propel, we found a better—and more eternal—way to process “having it all.” It comes from a woman whose success in a male-dominated industry has gone hand-in-hand with her passion for helping the exploited and disenfranchised. A woman who never stopped finding ways to connect with her family, even when her commute took her across continents. A woman who is undoubtedly accomplished but has kept her feet firmly planted on the ground. No, I haven’t described a mythical creature. I’m talking about LoriAnn Biggers.
The daughter of a Syrian immigrant and a fifth-generation Texan, LoriAnn dreamed of becoming a professional musician. Instead, she took her father's advice and pursued mathematics and business. She persevered and made sacrifices, eventually establishing herself as a leader in the global finance and insurance industries, equipped with a unique ability to manage risk. She’s also the CEO and co-founder of a global diamond and design company.
And who could blame her if she stopped there, content to let these accomplishments be her legacy?
Propel recently caught LoriAnn between flights to glean from her hard-earned wisdom. After all, who could be better qualified to provide insight into “having it all"? But LoriAnn astonished us when she flipped the entire concept on its head.
LoriAnn’s secret is this: Having it all isn’t the hard part.
The hardest part of “having it all" is knowing what to do once you’ve got it.
LoriAnn takes what could be limited to personal attainment and inward focus—and instead chooses to embrace outward-facing, people-centered passions. “Whatever you have, you have a responsibility to steward. Having it all, for me, means having a full life and doing what God has ordained me to do.”
She’s been faithful to use her success as a platform to affect positive change. She didn’t stop at having it all. She made the faithful choice to give it all, all of herself and her abilities and influence. Her passion for helping women and children in crisis has led her to work with the National Board of Prevent Child Abuse America for the last twelve years, actively working to improve legislation to protect the abused and neglected. She’s also sat on the boards of a half dozen organizations that fight human trafficking, empower women, and support tomorrow’s global leaders. She humbly credits God for the capacity to live up to her calling.
This isn’t a laid-back, sipping-a-Pellegrino-on-the-beach kind of life. She’s not counting down the days to retirement. This is forward motion—an acceleration of a life that allows one person to truly make a difference within her passions and spheres of influence.
But LoriAnn is quick to point out that having it all is different than doing it all.
“Say yes to what is great and say no to what is just good.”
“I love the term juggle,” LoriAnn clarified, "because that’s what we all do. My father told me when I was a little girl, ‘Sweetie, when you grow up, you’re going to have a lot of balls to juggle. Successful people identify which of those balls are crystal and which of those balls are rubber. You let the rubber ones bounce and you keep the crystal in the air.’”
We’re inspired by LoriAnn’s example. She hasn’t held on tight to what she achieved. She uses whatever platform she has as a means to give more of herself, with remarkable vigor and focus.
She is, indeed, a Propel Woman.