Monday, September 24, 2007

Launch of magazine

This has been an exciting week with the launch of our magazine, Company.

Like any business venture, you worry that you are on the right track, that you’ve accurately sensed the pulse of your “community” and that the product you develop is both user- friendly and professional .

Well… judging from the instant response, it would seem we are “on the money” and everyone seems to love the magazine. We’ve heard that you like the size, the length and content of the articles, and that it is relevant and meaningful to you. Whew! Just keep the feedback coming – this is your magazine and we want it to meet your needs.

It’s been kind of a heady experience as we had coverage on CHCH TV, interviews with Media in Canada and Masthead, the magazine for publishers. As a novice at this, I felt a bit of an imposter. What is it that they say ….just fake it until you can make it. But as one member observed, this is intuitive. I know what I want out of a publication and I reckon that other busy women in business feel the same way. Time will tell. Meanwhile, we're reprinting so that we can keep up with the demand for copies!

My thanks to Chris Desforges who did such a wonderful job on the design, and my team of writers for pulling this off in such a short timeframe. And a special thanks to the advertisers who had faith in us, and came on board.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Power of Networking

Talk about the power of networking! Last May at a retirement party, I bumped into someone I knew from another life. We chatted and updated each other on our projects and as a result I got invited to attend an International Trade Mission with a group of women from Africa. It was just a couple of days prior to our first conference, so I went but could not devote too much time to it.

I really enjoyed meeting the women and as a result, four of the delegates chose to attend our conference. Their involvement just made the conference experience that much richer. I have always believed that it doesn’t matter what business you are in, the issues are the same and after spending time with them, I’ve come to realize that it also doesn’t matter what country you are in, we all face similar challenges.

One of the women, Aoko joined Company of Women, making her our first international member and I have kept in touch with others from the delegation. I am working on ways to link my members with women entrepreneurs in Africa as I believe we can learn so much from each other.

So it was wonderful today to receive an email from Kuena to tell me that our conference so inspired her that she now wants to offer a similar learning experience to women in her country and she’s pulling together a committee to make it happen! Now how cool is that.

Just goes to show that you can never tell where one connection will take you.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What are we waiting for?

Last week at my friend’s funeral, friends and family spoke of her determination, her courage and her love of life. As her husband shared, in the four years since she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, she’d been crazily optimistic and packed a lot of life into those four years – learning to ride a motor bike and getting her license, taking up golf, participating in the 60K walk to end breast cancer twice, succeeding in a high powered job with a major corporation. No, nothing was going to stop Val from living the life she wanted.

It does make you wonder what you would do if you were given the same prognosis – would you work as hard? Would you try to spend more quality time with family and friends? Or would you, like Val continue to learn and grow, perhaps travel to broaden your horizons?

What holds us back from doing all this in good health? Why do we have to wait until it is almost too late to achieve our dreams?

In a recent article, life coach Gail Blanke asks a similar question – what are you waiting for? She observes that we tend to put our power on hold until we get a signal or an invitation that this is THE right time to change our lives, that all the stars are aligned to make it work. It is almost as if our fear of failure holds us back.

She tells a poignant story of a young woman who aspired to be an intern with a famous opera maestro and she had written to him to explore this possibility. She got a letter back but her fear of rejection held her back and she never opened it. It sat unopened for years until his death, and only then did she discover that he had been willing to take her as his intern. What a missed opportunity. After that, she vowed she would never shortchange or sabotage herself again. She encourages other women to recognize their self-worth - “Don’t be a smart girl with dumb fear. Fear is nothing more less than False Evidence Appearing Real” she tells others.

How do you embrace your power asks Blanke. She encourages us to add up the times we’ve showed up big, not the times we’ve messed up. What’s your big dream? What’s holding you back? As Blanke asks – what are you waiting for? Go for it.