Have you ever stepped back to look at how far you have come since you started your business? Or how it has evolved since your initial business idea?At our recent sales workshop, one of the participants asked me similar questions and as I reflected on my answers, I realized that Company of Women has evolved and changed, just as I have. Why? Because right from the start I was my target audience.When I started Company of Women back in 2003, I’d had my consulting business for two years. It was really successful, with one contract leading to another. But I found it isolating working at home. My friends didn’t get it and I missed the water cooler conversations.
As I have often explained to those who ask, I didn’t start Company of Women with any far-reaching vision. I was not that altruistic – I frankly wanted to make some new friends – like-minded women who were on the same path as me.When I got 165 women out to that first meeting, I knew I was on to something! Back then I would bring in speakers who were women with an inspiring story to share. These were women who motivated us to keep going, even when the going got tough.
Now right from the start, I was looking at Company of Women as being a sideline to my main business, but in 2005 I got diagnosed with cancer again, and as I questioned my purpose in life, the answer was clear. I closed my consulting practice so I could focus on building Company of Women. Making a difference was my driver.
Fast forward a few years, motivated yes, but I didn’t really know what I was doing all the time – so that is when we started to include more educational sessions, with speakers providing practical tools on how to run and succeed in business.
After the research and writing of our book, Good Enough, it became clear that if you don’t have confidence in yourself, it is hard to succeed in your business, and that’s when we started to weave wellness and personal development topics into our programming.
And then last year we started to add leadership sessions to our offerings. Why? Again, because that’s where I am at. I have a team of ten and I need to be better at leading my tribe. (So you see, it’s all about me)
I joke, but because of the different stages of running a business, I’d like to think we’ve kept a steady pulse on what is needed.
Other groups come and go, but no matter the content offered, we have stayed true to our roots – that we are here to help you achieve success on your own terms; that we are a community of women invested in ourselves and each other; and that together we can make a difference.
What I do know for sure, is after 16 years of running this organization, I’m proud of where we have been and where we are going. Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of women on their path to success. My thanks to all the women who’ve come along for the ride. You make it all worthwhile.
Company of Women
I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.