By Angeline May, April 18, 2021
Let’s look back at where we have been to see where we are headed. In 2016, I was working as a business development and marketing consultant, helping clients reach their business goals and building implementation teams that make things happen. I own my business and work with clients in long-term engagements of 6 months to several years at a time. Many team members were fellow sole proprietors like me, who, as self-employed women, know it’s hard to juggle all the competing priorities at once. In addition to meeting client needs, some of us are daughters taking care of family members, some are mothers with expectations to help at school, many serve on a non-profit board or with community projects. It’s not easy.
We all struggle to find balance with the competing demands. We feel a shared comradery and often help each other out. We did not solve ALL the challenges but we did come to deeply depend on one another in working through how to handle business challenges. How to collect unpaid invoices – where to find a great technology vendor – when we had a chance to refer business to each other, we did.
As independent business people, we do not have a team to back us up or problem solve internally, so we need help working on our business and in our businesses. We found exciting relationships forming - helpful and supportive relationships with fellow solopreneurs.
In 2017, I decided to get us together for our first summit. It was AMAZING. We opened it up to new people and brought women together from all sorts of background and areas of expertise. Some women were executives with 20-30 years of international corporate experience; others were artists or designers; women in law and finance, there were owners of multi generational mom & pop shops and new retail businesses on main street. It was a mix of all areas you can think of! We came together to talk through the barriers and challenges and struggles we faced in these environments as leaders, as business owners and as community builders - and Women Willpower was born!
Since then, the organization has touched the lives of hundreds of women, year after year. We have experienced the amazing space that is created when we come together to support one another in growing our businesses, in becoming leaders, and in supporting our communities. We are committed to helping one another thrive ... and the result is that so many of us have found incredible success in our businesses or other areas of passion. We have developed beautiful relationships, and most significantly, we have found incredible strength within. We feel more comfortable speaking our value out loud and we’re stepping into greater influence.
These core components of Women Willpower will not shift or change as we move forward and make this next pivot. They will continue to be the fundamental and core components of our culture and will support our mission to create equality and equity for people of all genders.
What does the future hold for Women Willpower? What is the Pivot?
Back in the heart of the pandemic, in September of 2020, I was honored to have Dr. Christine Martey Ochola with me to discuss making a successful pivot in business at our monthly gathering. We talked about how to address disruptions in the marketplace and how to find opportunities using the innovations at our fingertips. We discussed what the process looks like to move successfully through a pivot. How to assess your viability in the marketplace, how to think about agility, what types of mindsets may need a reset, how to put a solid plan in place and then how to do the actual launch. Following the gathering, Christine and I worked to put this five-step process into a business development program that we tested out in late 2020 with beta participants (now open for enrollment.) We then put this organization, Women Willpower, through the Pivots, Profits and Growth program.
We determined that the WWP of the future will embrace what has already been built - a safe place for us to support one another in growing our business, in becoming better leaders, in serving our communities – and - in helping each other speak our value and step into greater influence. We also recognized that a new era has arrived and we will pivot the organization to better embrace a focus on creating greater stability, more growth and ensure opportunity for all.
Through our work, Christine and I identified four primary drivers of success. We went back and reviewed our conversations and your contributions over the past 3-4 years, and confirmed the transformational power of these four FOUR fundamental drivers:
We believe these four areas will have the greatest influence and impact on the growth of our businesses and careers, and on our financial stability. Our members can contribute their expertise to one another along these lines while we look to solve problems, internal and externally, to ensure opportunities for all.
WE WILL POWER the future, together.
For Each of these four fundamental drivers, three key concepts rise to the top.
Stability, Growth, and Wealth Generation.
Communication, Thought Leadership, and Relationships
Environmental, Social and Governance.
(ESG is a management framework used in the business world, that has proven evidence of tremendous growth and success for the organizations and entities that embrace the frameworks.)
Developing partnership capacity across these drivers will deepen scalability and sustainability.
In 2021, Women Willpower will elevate stability, growth and seeking greater opportunity for our members. The road to success is through a sharpened focus on strengthening finance, influence, ESG and partnerships. We will PIVOT to bring more intentional focus on growing the profitability of our businesses, on our ability to lead and on creating innovations in services & products. As our collective influence expands our impact is felt across our communities, we achieve a more equal share of the marketplace and we support equity and equality for all.
WE WILL POWER the Future - Together.
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