Though I am constantly looking ahead and making plans, I took some time to reflect and celebrate year two in business. Some pretty amazing things happened in the past year, and I have to toot my own horn a bit.
Stepping up to Lead
In October 2018, I was appointed to the school board to fill a vacant position. I had the opportunity to run my first campaign in 2019 – check out cathyolig.com, the website I built so Falls residents could learn about me. It was a good way for me to learn the new WordPress editor, Gutenberg and try out a new theme.
I was honored to be elected by residents to serve a full three year term on the school board.
Building my Tribe
As I mentioned in Lessons in Entrepreneurship, I’ve learned to ask for help. This past year, I have focused on building my tribe or support network by joining several groups and participating in a leadership development program.
I joined Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce last June, and it’s been a great way to connect with wonderful people and promote my business. I even received a scholarship from the Greater Menomonee Falls Foundation’s Arnold Trust to participate in Leadership Menomonee Falls (LMF). We worked through the Clifton Strengths Finder, which was really accurate, and provided insight on how to leverage strengths. I really enjoyed getting to know and learning with my fellow classmates at each LMF session. Together as a class, we raised over $7,500 to support the purchase of a LUCAS 3 chest compression device for the fire department – that was an awesome accomplishment!
Based on the recommendation of a Leadership Menomonee Falls classmate, I checked out and became of member of Polka Dot Powerhouse – Milwaukee Chapter that meets here in the Falls. It’s a positive group of strong women who provide professional and personal support.
I’ve also been working with a mentor, who encouraged me to find my why. This has brought more clarity to my mission and purpose that is interconnected with my strengths and how they play out in both my personal and professional life.
Last, but certainly not least, I joined Women in Manufacturing (WiM) to help re-launch the Wisconsin Chapter. Women in Manufacturing® (WiM) is a national association dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. Since I have worked in manufacturing and continue to support clients in the B2B and manufacturing space, I am excited to connect with and learn from women in this group.
Raising Awareness of Appeal Marketing
Within the last year, I have led my first presentation, participated in my first vendor event, and received some really awesome press from UW-Madison School of Business Update Magazine.
I’ve also been creating more videos to keep putting myself out there so people can get to know me a bit more. I shared my resolution (be more present), talked about prioritization during the polar vortex, and recorded my Why. I went live on Facebook for the first time too (and lived to tell about it). Expect to see more of me on video in the months ahead.
Having Fun Working with Great People
Simply getting my name out there through networking and promotion has helped me gain additional clients and build stronger partnerships with sub-contractors and fellow entrepreneurs. I even recruited some friends to be part of an entrepreneur’s panel for high school students in my district. We shared perspectives from our work in web design, hosting & development, IT support, marketing, advertising, and branding services.
I also feel blessed to work with numerous clients month after month for one year or more. I get to attend meetings where wine is a beverage of choice and visit an office that often has their sweet dog there. Most importantly, I am partnering with wonderfully kind people, who are working hard to grow their business, support their staff and clients, and give back to the community. I’m really proud of this.
It’s been a positive exercise looking back and celebrating a lot of “wins” in the past year. I’ve started a gratitude journal as well, and I’m constantly writing that I’m thankful for balance in my life – for the opportunity to be a mom, wife, friend, volunteer, school board member, marketing consultant, and small business owner (in no particular order). I look forward to wearing all of those hats, continuing to learn & grow, and sharing it all with you all. Thanks for your support!