Sunday is International Women’s Day, a day that’s been observed since the early 1900s. Society has changed a lot since women marched through the streets of New York City in 1908, demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights, so although women have not achieved full equality with men in all areas, International Women’s Day has evolved from a day of protest to one of celebration.
On that note, I’d like to tell you about three women who have had helped me to reach my current level of success.
I met Heather long before I had any thoughts of starting my own business. When I started my government secretarial job in 1990, Heather was one of the vocational rehabilitation counsellors I supported. She seemed to have a lot of respect and admiration for my work, and continued to come to me for help after she left the department. She also arranged for me to do some transcription work on the side for her husband, who had his own business – I guess that was my first taste of working as a VA! Since that time, Heather has also left the government and started her own business, and she has not only hired me for her website design and admin work, but recommended me for the Face to Face Job Fair team, a project I’ve enjoyed working on for the past three years.
Marie and I became acquainted when I started my business and began promoting it by posting to various local websites. She saw one of my posts and emailed me personally to invite me to one of her networking events. Since that time I’ve become an active member of her People in Connection networking group, and we also attend many other local events together. She has always been very generous in sharing her website design and search engine optimization strategies with me. For the last couple of years, we’ve been taking morning walks together when the weather allows it, which has provided a great venue for brainstorming business ideas and discussing challenges – not to mention helping both of us to combat work-at-home weight gain!
Julie is one of the many professional organizers in my online network, and I honestly don’t remember when or how we first connected. When I re-launched this blog last summer, she encouraged me to sign up for Twitter so she could help me promote it there, and I reluctantly did. It took me a few months, but I think I finally understand Twitter (see my recent series on Twitter Basics), and am starting to reap the benefits of it in terms of new followers, blog readers, opportunities, and even clients.
There are many others who have influenced me: Leesa Barnes, who talked me into starting a blog, Janice Byer, who introduced me to the concept of virtual assistance, and of course my sister Kathy Stinson, who has supported me every step of the way. It would take me hours to list everyone! I am so delighted to live in a place and time where women have the freedom and the power to run their own successful businesses, and I hope I can have such a positive effect on even just one other woman.