This blog was created to celebrate the 12th anniversary of my business, AG Consulting. I wanted to publish something that would inspire other people to chase their dreams and recognize a few great women that have achieved amazing business goals as well.
The world of entrepreneurs has always intrigued me. I like to think the 4-H swine curriculum was the impetus to this focus.
Luckily enough, I have built a business around this passion by promoting various new technologies and services through public relations. Queue Talking Heads song in the background, How Did I Get Here?
Let’s take a look back at my first business trip. I was working for a start-up, multimedia company and I traveled to Montreal to a gynecological convention. I was managing the computers and AV equipment in a client’s booth. Glamorous, right?
[Frontier Media Group circa 1994. Dang that was good hair!]
With a string of Pig Pen-like debacles upon my arrival including a very scary cab ride to find my hotel, the tipping point was when I fell out of the bus at the very crowded entrance to the convention center. It was at that moment, with skinned-knees; I stopped wearing stockings [can never bring myself to say pantyhose] for good and knew this wasn’t going to be easy; but so worth it.
Fast-forward 20 years. I was planning to make this blog purely business focused. That changed when I opened my 7-year-old son’s book bag a few days ago and found this assignment.
That young girl traveling for work back in 1994, looking at seasoned professionals through nervous but eager eyes, using a friend’s credit card since I didn’t have my own yet, unsure where my life would take me; had no idea the impact three little people, that I would actually create, would ultimately have on every facet of my life.
[The slick cat in the middle is Charlie and he thinks I am the best :)]
That being said, you can’t ignore the big picture when discussing, planning and building your professional career. It can’t be just about business. No matter if you are male or female, marital status, hobbies, personal issues, life at large etc., everything should be taken into account when creating your ultimate life/career.
I have been very fortunate and always grateful to my mentors, clients, family and friends who supported me through this ongoing journey. As I mentioned above, I wanted to provide insight from a few local women business owners who have created interesting, successful businesses and have been recognized by the media for their efforts.
Leigh Woolston: Owner La Petite Fleur http://www.lapetitefleuronline.com/
“I officially contracted the ‘entrepreneurial bug’ during my tenure at a leading global service firm, in my role as Marketing Manager of a start-up division. The business saw exponential growth, in its very first year, because of the efforts of a very small group of agile, strategic thinkers. My experience as part of this team, proved to me that I could make things happen on my own. Not only did I learn that the business model was amazingly effective, but my mentor– a brilliant, funny and kind woman–was the fuel that made it take off. My personal advice to women who want to start something for their own, is to pick something you love (because you will be living and breathing your dream for a while); then find a mentor (or two) who can be a sound board for you; be kind (to yourself and others) ; and most importantly, be honest with yourself along the way. Be willing to self-reflect and be open to making changes that further your personal and professional growth.
Insta-Love! LPF was instantly flattered to be included in Philly Wedding’s post regarding must-follow wedding Instagrams! http://www.phillymag.com/philadelphia-wedding/2013/11/05/19-philly-wedding-instagrams-follow/
LPF’s In-print and On-line! Our oh-so-chic non-floral centerpiece was not only featured in Philadelphia Wedding magazine, but also on the pub’s blog! http://www.phillymag.com/philadelphia-wedding/2013/09/12/photos-gorgeous-non-floral-centerpieces-wedding/
LPF’s Oh-So Cool The couture stationery blog Ink Paper Hearts filled our hearts with joy when it featured the ski-themed mitzvah suite we designed. http://www.inkpaperhearts.com/fishers-ski-lodge-bar-mitzvah-invitations/
Suzie Gaffney, Owner Suzie Gaffney Wardrobe Consulting http://suziegaffney.com/
“Is it hard to have your own business? All the time. There is no point in the day that I shut down my laptop, clear off my desk and close the door. I am always engaged. I’m working to find a better balance so I don’t feel like I am only doing everything 60%. That is a downside. The upside? So many things. The freedom, the flexibility, the pride of something that is yours, all yours. Worried you aren’t qualified? Do what you love. Your passion will qualify you. It will drive you. If I do one day become a huge CEO I’d hire a stay at home mom in heartbeat. Who knows how to fish a tiny car out of the inside of pole on a clothing rack in a Target? This girl! Think what moms can do when all that quick outside the box thinking is put to use in a business structure. Believe in yourself and others will too. The possibilities are endless!”
Featured in: Main Line Today: http://www.mainlinetoday.com/Main-Line-Today/February-2014/We-Ask-Suzie-Gaffney-for-Wardrobe-Advice/
Nicole Tryon, Owner Traveling Gourmet: http://www.mytravelinggourmet.com/
“I love to cook and share food with others, so why not give others the opportunity to do the same. Traveling Gourmet helps families to enjoy dinner and share conversation at the table like I remember as a child. What fun it was to share & hear stories and details of my family’s day.”
Jennifer Opdahl, Owner PowerBeads by Jen, Inc. http://www.powerbeadsbyjen.com/
“Faith, positivity, and hope are the foundation to my business. All are a choice. I kept running across these amazing religious medals that people have rubbed, counted on, hoped and prayed with from births, good times, and bad times. I wanted to upcycle this amazing positive energy in a fashion forward way so people could have a tangible piece to hang on to during those life moments that we all have. Through my business, PowerBeads by jen, inc., I am able to create custom family heirlooms that are personal to the wearer. Combined with natural gemstones that have holistic meanings, these bracelets and necklaces are spiritual statements of hope, healing, and positivity. One of the most amazing parts of my business is the amazing women that I meet. Being trusted with their stories, their pain, their deepest thoughts is such an honor. My inspiration is the cards, phone calls and moments shared with me everyday – talking about the strength that these PowerBeads have brought them. Whether this is a girl getting bullied in school, a breast cancer survivor, a mom awaiting her child’s surgery, or even a momento of a girlfriends trip- these are the people that I see when I have an idea at 2 am for a new piece to create. I celebrate the power of positivity and how infectious it is through a gift of meaning which is my PowerBeads. I am truly blessed and humbled every day.”
Featured In: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20130606/LIFE03/306060026/Beaded-bracelets-soothe-soul
Tip of the week: Peer-to-peer networking and admiration is an invaluable tool, never stop learning from others! Bonus: Interesting article on the myths of women entrepreneurs http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-donlan/3-myths-about-women-entre_b_4638490.html