Fourteen years. That’s how long Company of Women has been in existence. I have to confess that I had no idea what I was starting back then. Company of Women was supposed to be a sideline to my consulting practice which was doing well. But was lonely, and saw Company of Women as a way to meet like-minded women, and perhaps make a few friends.
Little did I know that it would not only take off, but grow to become the ten-chapter, 400 member organization that it is today. Last year over 2,500 women benefited from our programs and this year we are offering over 150 events. It just blows me away that so many people are involved in making this happen as we continue to build a positive community for women.
As most small business owners will share when you start out it is such a solo profession – you wear all the hats – accountant, sales person, administration, and program/service provider. Whew. It is such a juggle and some days it works, and other days it is frankly overwhelming.
But it is knowing that you are not alone in those moments of challenge that makes it less intimidating. When I look back over the past few years I am proud of what we have achieved and thrilled when I see women blossom and grow because of the confidence and knowledge they have gained by being part of Company of Women.
I recently was on a panel to talk about Company of Women and what made us different. Immediately I thought back to when we first started and I was interviewed by a reporter on why Company of Women was so successful. I asked her to check in with the women and come back to me. What did she tell me? That the women felt safe in our supportive environment of women.
And that’s it in a nutshell. We welcome you as Suzy or Suzy Entrepreneur – it is Suzy as an individual that interests us. It is Suzy as a woman that we want to support both professionally and personally. It is Suzy that we want to provide the tools to succeed.
None of that has changed since we started, and now I have chapter leaders who continue this inclusive, welcoming approach to women who have chosen to become part of our community.
As for my original goal of making a few friends…. I have a wonderful tapestry of friends who give me strength and who have my back.
Who could ask for more? My thanks to everyone who makes Company of Women special.
Remember to celebrate YOUR milestones.