Friday, December 28, 2012

Girl Time

It started with one of those emails, you know the one where you have to forward it to eight close girlfriends.

I sat in front of the computer and struggled to come up with eight names.  How sad is that? And how different from a few years ago, when my challenge would have been how to narrow it down.

So what has happened since then to impact my friendships with other women? Much of it is really part of the normal progression of life – some have moved, others are retired and we no longer share the same interests; sadly a few have died and then there’s a couple where we just fell out, and we’ve never tried to repair the damage.

Sad really. It also speaks to a busy life where much of my focus has been on running my business, being there for my family and keeping my home relatively organized.

But this whole process of naming friends has made me realize that setting aside time for girlfriends is all important and in 2013 that is just what I intend to do.  And it is not just the existing friendships, but making an effort to reach out and make new ones too.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tis the season to be jolly, but not for everyone

As I busy myself getting ready for Christmas, my heart isn’t altogether in it this year.  Several friends have lost a loved one in the past two weeks and then there is the situation in Newtown where so many young, precious children and their teachers were struck down and violently murdered before their lives had hardly begun.

Christmas is so synonymous with family and friends, and for those whose loved one won’t be there it serves as a cruel reminder of their loss, of the glaring hole in their family.  It has been glibly recommended that the family start new traditions, and yes, maybe in the years ahead they might, but it seems to me that following their usual patterns for the season may actually be comforting in a world where everything has changed for them.

While I may be gathering around the fire to celebrate with my husband, children and their partners, I am only too well aware that others are not so blessed. 

My thoughts are with you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Change is vital

 Like many citizens of the world, I have been horrified at what happened last Friday at that small school in Newtown.

As a parent with two adult children I can’t even begin to imagine how the parents of the victims – both children and teachers - must be feeling.  That it all happened just before Christmas just deepens the tragedy.  How do you get over something like this?

The answer I fear is that you don’t.  As I looked at the photos of the children – they seemed so alive, active and happy.  One little guy looked like a bundle of fun and pure mischief.  How can his parents ever fill that void in their hearts where they held him so close? I grieve for the families involved and hope that with time their pain will lessen.

Perhaps because I grew up in the UK where our police officers don’t carry guns, I have to question why the rules in North America are so lax.  Anyone can get a gun, and they do.  All these shootings of late just prove that there have to be stricter rules about gun ownership.

When someone suggested that if the principal had had a gun, the outcome could have been different – I’d say yes, a lot worse.  Imagine a young child “playing” with that same gun and shooting a friend by mistake.  No.  I don’t believe having more access to guns so you can “protect yourself” is the answer.

You have to hope that both Democrats and Republicans in the States can put their differences aside, and for once, take action for the common good.  They need to come together to do something about gun control and about the mental health system. And it has to be both; doing one without the other won’t work.

There are too many people out in the community with serious mental health issues that are just like a time bomb waiting to explode.  We need affordable programs and services to identify and treat them.  And I am not sure prescribing strong anti-depressant drugs is the answer either.  Too often patients take themselves off the drugs cold turkey and the outcome can be tragic.

As parents we also have a role to play in terms of what our children watch, read and play.  Too many movies, TV shows and video games are focused on violent activities.  We have a responsibility to censor these activities; otherwise children become insensitive to the violence around them.

I remember years ago touring a social housing complex in Chicago, where the psychologist explained to us that every day someone was murdered in the complex and as a result, when children heard a gun shot, they didn’t run away but carried on with what they were doing.  It was a regular occurrence and they were desensitized to it all.

We must not get like that, where we take for granted that shootings will happen.  We need to take action now while the memory of December 14 is still with us.  Only then will there be a positive outcome from this tragedy.

Monday, December 17, 2012

My word is my honour

What do you do when someone asks for a reference or a referral and you are not totally comfortable providing one?

I get asked a lot for references from speakers, suppliers and people I don’t really know and with this new endorsement program on LinkedIn, you start to feel obliged to reciprocate when people have endorsed you.

But I have actually decided with the endorsements that I am just not going to go there … for anyone.  No, the tougher ones are those who have done a so-so job or the dilemma I face right now, where the person actually owes you money and you question their ethics.

Without sounding vain, well maybe a tad, my recommendation can carry some weight and so I am reluctant to sully my own reputation by ringing the praises of someone I have reservations about or who I feel I will be condoning their bad behaviour.

I know when I worked in Human Resources and we were taking up references, it was often what was not said that was a clue to the true character of the individual being researched.

So I am keeping quiet.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Three words to live by


In 2012, instead of making New Year resolutions that I never keep, I decided to pick three words to live my life by.  What were they?   Health, acceptance and authenticity and as I reflect back on the year, I can honestly say it worked.

My choices were very much influenced by a couple of factors.  First I had started the year with some virus that lasted months and so the focus on health and getting better made sense. Frankly I had run myself ragged and needed to listen to my body.

Second, I chose acceptance because I knew, in going back to being a solopreneur, with no staff in the office, I was going to have to streamline or let go of some processes and lower my expectations of what I could achieve on my own. I have been on a steep learning curve on all things technical but have actually been impressed with what I have been able to juggle and do.

As for authenticity, much of that was influenced by my determination to be real, to be true to myself and to say “no” when I needed to.   

So given the success of this year’s three words in shaping my direction, I have decided to give it another try for 2013 and it’s interesting because I am not picking the same three words. 

No, my picks are, once again, indicative of how I am feeling and the stage I am at both professionally and personally.  So this year I am going with energy, creativity and connectivity.

Why?  After a shaky start to the year, I’ve found this fall that I’ve got my mojo back and have renewed enthusiasm and energy for what I am doing, which leads me next to creativity. I love finding new ways to bring people together, and want to facilitate more creative connections in 2013.  On a personal note, I also want to make more time for my writing and who knows, maybe I will start working on my next book.

As for connectivity, I have come to realize that I know a lot of people, but like any relationships, you have to stay in touch, stay connected. So in 2013 I want to build on those relationships, look at ways we can work together and continue to link like-minded women. 

So there you have it.  Of course, you know what I am going to ask - what three words would you choose?  Let me know.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Santa came to town

As women arrived armed with gifts for a member of the Herbert family, I was touched by their generosity and the care with which they had picked presents, not just for the children but mom too. 

A couple of us shared that we hadn’t gone shopping for children in a long time, and I know I for one was somewhat horrified at the price of toys! I also learned that you can buy toys at Chapters, who knew.  Mind you by the time I had reached there, I had made my main purchases so I would have been annoyed if their prices were lower – whew, they weren’t.

My girls were chuckling because one of the items Savannah wanted was a Barbi type doll, which I got, albeit reluctantly.  You see when my daughters were growing up, I was at the height of my feminism, so I would never buy Barbies for them.   

My father was a toy buyer when I was young, so Christmas was always amazing as I got the latest and the best.  Yet it was the board games that I enjoyed the most, perhaps because it meant that my parents had to play with me. And in my recent search for gifts for the children I was pleased to see that Scoop, Clue and Sorry are still around.  What did you like best in your childhood?

There are so many choices now, how do children pick what they want from Santa?  And how do families afford it, especially if there is more than one child?

Sticking to the Santa request can be tricky too, especially when the child keeps changing her mind, and you’ve already made the purchase based on a previous choice.  That’s when I used to say that “Santa shops early because he has so many children to get toys for.”

Then one year, in our wisdom as parents, we decided to ignore one of the requests, believing our daughter was getting too old for dolls, and we bought something else.  That gift stayed in the box and was never used, and there were lots of tears, especially when her younger sister got a doll.  Not one of our finer moments. 

But it is a fine line and hard when children want something that is a “flash in the pan” or just not appropriate or worth the money.

Then there’s the Herbert family, and what do they really, really want for Christmas?  To have Savannah and their mom home.  Now that’s when you get a real perspective on what is important for the season.  Let’s hope their wish comes true.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Building your business - the old-fashioned way

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing Jian Ghomeshi read an extract from his new book 1982.  In it he was describing for the younger readers, how the old fashioned landline phone worked, cord and all, and how as a teenager, it was really hard to have a private conversation.  Sure took me back but hard to believe that a whole generation just wouldn’t know about our old phone system.

Just as it’s hard to believe how much we rely on email, text and social media to communicate with clients. But as one entrepreneur shared last week at the WEConnect Conference, sometimes you have to rethink how you do business.

It was a simple question from her mentor, that propelled Shantal into action, and as a result her business grew by 500 percent.

Got your attention?  I am sure, because we all want to grow and build our businesses, and 500 percent has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

So what was the question?  Her mentor asked her how many clients she’d met with face-to-face in the past year.  Her answer?   None.  And with that prod, she set about meeting up with her clients.

Seventy flights later, she’s proud to report that it worked.  Now she was quite strategic in her visits.  What she didn’t want was for clients to feel that a) she was desperate for business or that b) the purpose of the visit was to solicit more business (which of course it was really).

No, she positioned the visits as her way of keeping in touch; of learning more about the pressure points in their industry and how she wanted to build a stronger relationship with her client base.

Now one of her first hurdles was to get past the gatekeepers, and she would start by phoning and saying she just wanted thirty minutes of their CEO’s time.  Invariably it would be longer, but they all said yes.

Once the meeting was established, she determined a set of open-ended questions, and instructed herself to sit and listen, and not to take notes, as that would negate the atmosphere she wanted to create.  She would write it all down after the meeting so she could capture the information while it was fresh in her mind. 

What did she ask?  Questions about what was happening in their industry, how her company could help them, their wish lists and what they wished suppliers and service providers would do better.

Because it was not a “sales call” people opened up and seemed more willing to share their thoughts and experiences.

Suddenly she and her company were viewed more as advocates and thought leaders and she would willingly give some free advice where she could.  As a result of these meetings, Shantal’s company was approached at the outset of a project and they would  get in at the ground level.

This strategy to meet face to face with clients, changed her sales cycle and she now views this personal touch as the standard of care for her customers.  She’s found that it is all about finding and providing value to clients who have since become her company’s biggest advocates.

So… let me ask you the same question, how often in the past year have you met face-to-face with your clients or customers?  Yes, it takes time to do, and you may not have the budget for all the travelling, but as Shantal found, maybe it is time and money well-spent.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Not giving up my day job

This fall my girlfriend Anne and I embarked on a new business.  We called ourselves The  Antique Annies.  Truth is we had lots of “stuff” we wanted to get rid of and so we decided to participate in a local antique show.

After we had done the clean out, we did our homework, making up an inventory of what we had to sell and visited antique stores to get an idea of prices.

So when the evening prior of the antique show rolled around, and we had to set up, we had our antiques priced, higher to allow for the negotiations, after all that is half the fun when you’re shopping for antiques.

I had arranged for a friend, who was a real antique dealer, to lend us a tent and when we looked at the weather, we were glad we’d been forward thinking, as it was pouring with rain, damp and cold.

And then we learned some classic lessons as novice dealers:

1.    Read the small print.  I hadn’t really checked out the actual size of the booth.  I had ordered two tables thinking that would be sufficient for what we had to sell, so you can imagine my surprise when we got there – we had 20 ft x 25 ft to fill – for those of you who are visual – that’s room for three SUVs to park next to each other and still room to spare.   

2.    Double check everything is in place.  Now I did phone my friend the night before to check on where and when we could collect the tent from him.  He’d forgotten and given the weather, needed the tent himself for his booth.

Now he did honour his commitment to us, and went off to purchase a tent for us but given it was the end of the season, there wasn’t much available, so he came back with a small postage stamp size tent that looked totally lost in our booth space and could really only keep the two of us dry – forget the antiques and furniture.

As we glanced around other dealers had almost marquee size tents on the lot, which just added to the humour of it all and further emphasized our novice status.

3.    Bring gloves.  Wearing gloves would have been a good idea – not just to keep your hands warm, but to protect them while you carry and move furniture. All day the sky would darken and threaten rain, and while it was damp and cold, it never did.  With all our space, we were actually able to park Anne’s SUV, so we would take turns sitting in the car so we could thaw out and get warm.

4.    The people you meet are interesting.  One story that comes to mind is the European woman who purchased my mother’s fur jacket.  She looked stunning in it – like a movie star and it was so cold, she walked off wearing it, thrilled with her purchase.

5.    People want a real deal.  There was not as much interest in the actual antiques we had to sell which surprised me.  The focus was much more on getting a bargain.  As a result, we ended up almost giving away some really good pieces as I was determined not to take them home again. 

I did cover my costs and made a small profit – so all told, it was worthwhile.  Would I do it again?  Not so sure.  I’d almost want a written guarantee that the weather would be fine.

But it was fun and is an eye opener into a world where I am usually on the other side, negotiating for a deal and maybe that’s where I will stay.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Giving back - women helping women

We all start our businesses for different reasons – we spot a gap in service, a niche market or we want to pursue our passion, but most of all, I think as women we want more control over our lives.  We want to determine our own destiny, and on a more day-to-day level, be in charge of how we spend our time and when.

But lately I have observed another driving factor – we want to make a difference; to leave a legacy or to get in touch with our innermost thoughts.  In other words, we are looking at soul-based entrepreneurs, which may seem like an oxymoron but maybe not.

Making a difference has always been a driving force for me – whether it was when I was running a charity, working for government and now, leading my own organization.  I therefore find it gratifying and exciting to see that other women are recognizing the value to themselves and their community, of getting involved.

And we can make things happen.  Take the plight of the Herbert family where little Savannah is fighting her cancer battle at McMaster with her mother Brandy by her side.  Brandy’s decision to be there is not without sacrifice – she’s a single mother with two other young children and since August has chosen to be with her daughter and so her salary is not coming in.

As soon as I heard of Savannah’s story from one of our members, Carla Zabek, I knew we had to get involved.

So… here is the plan.  At our Eat. Shop. Play. event on November 20,  a portion of the proceeds will be going to the family; as well we will be holding a raffle.  But more, I want us to rally round and make Christmas happen for the Herbert household, and am asking you to provide gifts for Brandy (mom), Savannah (3),  Dakota (6) and Cody (9).  I will be posting more information on what they would like from Santa.

Let’s just do it. Let's make it happen.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

You know you are getting old when....

Along with 500 other women bloggers (and three brave men), I attended the Blissdom Canada conference last weekend. 

Having blogged for seven years now and turned my blogs into my book, Day by Day, I thought it would be fun to learn what I should have been doing.

I think it would be safe to say that I was the oldest woman there, spying only one other silver-haired blogger in a sea of young faces.  And if I wasn’t convinced of my status, it was quickly reaffirmed for me by the Kraft online tool we had to complete in order to get a goodie bag.

Keen to sample the products, I lined up with others to fill out the form online.  Naturally they wanted lots of information, including date of birth, and that is where I came undone.   

My year of birth wasn’t listed, the options didn’t go that far.  So I did what any honourable woman would do, I lied.   

I am now six years younger.  I joked about it all with a young girl next to me and she was quick to tell me that her grandparents were tech savvy and how silly of Kraft not to realize that.   So I am now feeling six years older!

As for the fancy dress party and karaoke on the Saturday night, I gave that a miss.  After all, as a “senior” it was way past my bedtime.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Talking to your customers

When I worked as a community developer, I would bring groups of people together to discuss common issues  they were facing, in an effort to find some practical solutions and ways that the social services sector could help.

 The challenge was often the professionals believed they knew best about what families needed, and were locked into the programs they delivered instead of being responsive to the needs of their clients. It ended up being the same old, same old. 

Now I am not so sure it is any different  in the private sector, where we deliver programs and services that suit our needs, make us the most money, without really checking if this is in fact what the customer needs or wants.

All of this came to mind after hearing Marg Hachey speak at our Oakville breakfast.  What a wealth of information she shared.    As someone who owned a $50M business, she knew only too well how to listen and be proactive, and this ability to take the pulse of the sector and act promptly was one of the secrets to her success.

When her customers would ask her if she provided a certain service, she would quickly reflect on whether there was  business potential – and usually there was – and promptly say “yes, we do.” She would then set the wheels in motion to make it happen.  Her rationale was that if this customer needs this service, so will others.

Even when she had a huge team behind her, Marg kept in touch with her customers so they knew her door was open and they could approach her with a concern, or better still, another idea.

When we keep delivering the same old, same old, are we really delivering what our customers want, or more what we want because it fits our needs, particularly financially.  I am constantly asking myself that question.    I am always looking at what we do and how we can improve so we truly meet the needs of our customers – in our case, small business owners. 

 When we get caught up in playing the numbers game or where the greatest profit margins can be had, we may be missing the boat. Yes, you may make more money, but are you building customer loyalty?  Whose needs are you meeting?  

 Sometimes we have to give, to gain.  When we do something more as a bonus or added service which doesn’t bring in the same revenue but is valued by our customers, we build a stronger customer base.  

How often do you check in with your customers?  How often do you actually pick up the phone and call them – not to sell anything, just to see how things are going?  My sense is that if we did, we’d have a stronger customer base, and be more in tune with the marketplace out there. 

 Because at the end of the day, if we don’t listen and provide what our customers need and want, they will just go elsewhere, so it behooves us to be flexible and nimble so that, like Marg, we can pick up a new idea and run with it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

What advice would you give yourself?

It was International Day of the Girl on October 11, and CNN, to celebrate and honour the day, asked different celebrities what would be the one piece of advice they would give their fifteen-year-old selves.

Food for thought.  When I was fifteen, I had just moved from Edinburgh, Scotland to London, England.  Now this may sound exciting, it was the time of Twiggy and Mary Quant, and London was a hot place to live.  But as a teenager with friends, and more to the point, my first boyfriend, the move was traumatic.  I remember very dramatically, as only a teenager can do, telling my parents that my life was over!

Recognizing I was homesick for my friends, my parents very wisely let me go back for a visit about three months after we’d moved, and I learned a hard life lesson. When you’re gone, you’re gone.  Nothing was the same. My friends had moved on and I was history.

It took me some time to settle into my new school.  I had this broad Scottish accent, so no one could understand me and wanting to be accepted by and sound like my peers, I worked hard to get rid of it. 

It was hard too coming mid-year into the school as friendships were already established, cliques formed and so making new friends took time. For months, I felt very much the outsider.

That said, what advice would I now give my fifteen- year old self?

1.              Be yourself.  Don’t change who you are just to fit in.

2.              Be proud of your heritage, don’t hide it.

3.              Nothing lasts forever.  People change. Relationships change.

4.              Don’t take stuff too personally. 

5.              Be flexible and open to new opportunities.

Not bad advice for any age really.  What would you tell yourself?

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Do we value brilliance?

There is some truth to that saying that travel broadens your mind.  Our recent getaway to Barcelona, certainly opened my mind to another world, one full of wonderful architecture and design.

I’m loath to confess this but prior to this trip, I’d never heard of Gaudi, yet his presence and buildings dominate the landscape in Barcelona.  Touring his not-yet-complete Bascilica of the Sagrada Familia was the highlight of the trip for me.

Perched on a hill, it looks down on the city, all majestic in its glory.  Once you get closer it is easy to get swept up in its grandeur, simplicity and structure which may sound like a contradiction in terms, but every detail and aspect of the building had been considered and covered, with complex and simple designs co-existing together.

But what is really amazing is that Gaudi who died in 1926, started building his dream cathedral over a hundred years ago and today it stands, almost complete, as a testament to his vision and forward-thinking. He was ahead of his times.

The building is breathtaking, with stain glass windows that are colourful, modern and meaningful.  Each scene in the windows depicts an aspect of nature – light, water, the sun, for example and Gaudi had left directions on the light he wanted to create in the building.

Despite being designed over a century ago, the building is modern and Gaudi wanted it to be a testament to all religions.  It was also to be a haven for those seeking peace and tranquility; a place where they could meditate and be at one with their spirituality.

We left the cathedral with a sense of awe and fascinated by the talents of Gaudi, made a point of visiting the other buildings he’d designed.   When he was tragically hit by a tram and died at the age of 70, he’d devoted  40 years of his professional life to pursuing his dream.  Much was written in the Spanish newspapers and it was like a royal funeral.  He was so revered by the Spanish people.

It does make you wonder whether we would show such respect to someone today who seemed so forward thinking.  Steve Jobs, maybe.  It makes me question whether  when someone is so talented, and so visionary in their dreams for the future, do we accept and support their ideas or do we dismiss or ridicule them? 

Food for thought.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Top ten lessons learned

It’s hard to believe that Company of Women just celebrated its 10th birthday.

As I reflect back on the past nine years, I admit that I’ve personally come a long way – from someone timid about speaking in public to someone comfortable on the stage. To someone who didn’t like to drive on the highways, to a person who will mix and mingle with the best on the 401.  Now driving in Toronto, that’s another story, but guess I am still a work in progress.

But apart from the personal fears I’ve overcome, I have also learned some important lessons about running a business, and admittedly, some the hard way.

1.  Dig deep and know your target group

I’ve often observed that while we think we know who we want to reach, we don’t dig deep enough to analyze the who, what, or why.  This summer I went through a marketing exercise and had to actually name my target group – Audrey, Stephanie and Caroline. It’s funny how once you put real names to them, they become real people and as a result, your strategies to attract them become more real too.

2.  Can’t please everyone

Like many women, I tended to be a pleaser, ever keen to keep everyone happy.  I would look at evaluations after events and wonder if people had been the same event as they rated a speaker.  Some would think she was fantastic and others felt she shouldn’t give up her day job. So I quickly realized it was impossible to satisfy everyone.

I was also super-sensitive so when someone didn’t renew their membership or made a negative comment, I would take it personally, feel rejected and get defensive.  These days I have come to realize it is not about me, it’s just business.

3.  Date first and get it in writing

I would leap into a business relationship, because on the surface it seemed like a good fit, then when the “honeymoon” period was over, discover we didn’t share the same values and vision, or how we would achieve our not-so-shared goals.  Now I like to “date” first before moving in with someone.

And while I would believe that we’d discussed everything and it was all clear, often it wasn’t and when assumptions were made, it would come back to bite me.  So I have learned to spell it all out and put it on paper, so there is less of a risk of miscommunication.

4.  Realistic expectations  

Everything takes longer than you think, especially when you are doing something for the first time.  When finding your way in unknown territory, it can be so easy to get lost.

I’ve also observed that sometimes people have unrealistic expectations on what they will achieve in attending a networking event.  Many come thinking if they hand out enough business cards, they will leave with business. If only that was true. 

It takes time and it is all about building relationships, not how many cards you have collected. Nor can Company of Women promise to deliver you business if you are part of our group, that is up to you.

5.  Involve others, delegate

I guess I bought into the myth that women can do it all and I sure would try.  Looking back I realize this was a big mistake because I would end up undertaking tasks that just weren’t my forte and not a good use of my time, plus errors would be made.

Reluctant to give up control, I would not delegate to others for fear that they wouldn’t do it to my way.  A rather self-defeating attitude which meant I ran the risk of burning out, fast. I also missed the opportunity to discover that doing it differently might actually be better.

Being driven and focused on business, I would sometimes work silly hours just to get something done.  Keep that schedule up for too long, and it catches up with you – and it did.  This past winter, I got sick.

So this year we’ve set up committees to plan big events.  I am relying on others to share their expertise and provide feedback on what would work for them.  And you know what, it’s so much better.  By sharing the responsibility, it lightens the load.

6.  Surround yourself with positive people

This leads me to my next point – that no one achieves success on their own.  You need a team of people to make it happen.  The key is to surround yourself with positive people who are supportive of you and believe in what you want to achieve.

7.  Don’t get complacent, change your game

We’ve been going strong for nine years now, but when we started we were the only game in town.  That’s not the case today.  You’re only as good as your last event and there are plenty of other groups out there now offering events to support the small business owner. So it is important to listen to your customers, ask them what they want which may well be different to what you want to deliver, but it is not all about you.  Be flexible and nimble when opportunities arise.

8.  You are never too old to learn

With social media there is always something new to learn.  I find I just master one aspect such as Twitter, and along comes something else.  But you know what, there is a sense of accomplishment when you grapple with and learn a new concept. 

The brain cells welcome the opportunity and while you may feel your hard drive is full, maybe it is time to download some of the old way of thinking, and free up space for these new ways of marketing, because they are here to stay.

9.  Givers gain

Are you a giver or a taker?  Sadly over the years I have met my share of takers, who pick your brains, get what they want out of a relationship and then disappear never to be seen again.  Mind you that part is OK, because do you really want to be around people who just take?  No. 

It’s like friendships.  I have a couple of friends who I meet for dinner once a month.  We’ve learned to “share the air and care” but if one person has a challenge, we focus on her.  Another month, it could be someone else’s turn but the help and support is reciprocated.


It is all too easy to get caught up on what didn’t work, and what went wrong, but be clear on what success looks like, and celebrate and honour those moments.  It can be little things. 

I like to think I am a connector (matchmaker) bringing women together.  For me, when I connect two people and it works, now that’s success, and it feels good, really, really good.

When I embarked on this journey with Company of Women nine years ago, I had no idea where it would take me.  But what I do know is that I am glad I did, because I have met some wonderful women who have become close friends. And it can’t get much better than that.