The Power of WIC is in Your Success

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:: For me, 2017 has been one of the shortest years ever. As my first year as president of WIC, it certainly has been busy and fruitful. Previous presidents and board members did some excellent work streamlining WIC operations and costs. This year the board put a lot of energy towards increasing transparency, connecting with members, and driving more value through our programs. One of my personal goals as a WIC leader has been to respond to issues, ideas and questions with positive support, making room for other people to participate and grow, rather than react out of a sense of impatience or frustration. Given that I feel a lot calmer now than at the beginning of the year, I believe I’ve made some progress.

WIC grew in 2017, with more than 30 new members! Our membership is increasingly diverse from all perspectives except gender. If you aren’t already a member – join WIC and make 2018 a year of growth.

We conducted our 15th annual WIC Best Practices survey. Consistently over the last several years, the top two consulting success best practices are

  1. Network to build your business and resources
  2. See and be seen

And one of the most important pieces of advice those who took the survey offered – work on your business, not just in your business. We all need to find the balance between executing projects and effectively managing our businesses.

In order to build programs to support each of you in your success, we need to listen to each other and we need to hear each other when we talk about what we need. In 2017 we did two all-member conference calls and surveyed our members. I’ve personally spoken with scores of WIC members to get their insights on how the organization can better serve your needs.

In 2018 we will celebrate 20 years of women supporting women

Originally called SEWN, the Self-Employed Women’s Network, WIC was born at the first official meeting in January 1998. WIC was founded on the principles of women supporting women — collaborating to build our businesses and sharing best practices.

We started out meeting once a month and by 2017 we offered more than 40 educational programs including:

  • Our monthly general meetings feature a diverse group of speakers on topics ranging from power and gender to standing out as a consultant — building value, increasing loyalty, and driving new business. In 2018 every general meeting will offer an opportunity for each of us to work on our businesses.
  • Periodic satellite meetings on the Peninsula, in the South Bay and in the East Bay (anyone interested in driving a San Francisco or North Bay satellite?). Satellites differ as the culture and needs within each geography might differ – South Bay features speakers, Peninsula is primarily a networking opportunity and East Bay offers facilitated discussions as well as speakers.
  • Workshops – Anne Janzer, an author and WIC member, delivered an awesome workshop on writing a book. Workshops offer more depth on any single topic as well as an opportunity to do guided exercises with peers. The 2018 calendar will have more workshops as well as some very high-value webinars.
  • Mastermind groups – a peer mentoring opportunity where members are matched with others in similar stages of growth. Mastermind offers accountability and support as you work on your business.
  • WIC mail lists – in the words of Amy Huson, “the steady cadence of on-topic and off-topic emails that has been truly enlightening. It shows the power of the WIC network in action offering a trusted referral on just about any topic on a daily basis. Life and business distilled into one steady stream.” We know many of you see high value in the email network.
  • WIC has a strong social media presence, sharing valuable content via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and on our website. We often highlight our members, sharing posts and more. Follow us and we will follow you!
  • The WIC Annual Silent Auction was an enormous amount of fun, raised over $3000 to help fund the organization, and resulted in a substantial donation to the Santa Clara and San Mateo Second Harvest Food Bank. In a separate and ongoing campaign to support Second Harvest, WIC members have donated over $4000 in 2017.

WIC’s vitality is due to the energy and commitment our members bring – especially those who have the opportunity to volunteer. Volunteering for WIC supports the top two best practices – networking to develop deeper relationships with other consultants while being seen through a display of skill. Volunteering also supports the enduring culture of WIC – women helping women succeed.

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences with WIC. Let me know how we can improve our efforts to support your success and let me know where you see the strongest benefits.

May 2018 bring you peace, love, and prosperity.

 

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