We never accomplish great things all on our own. There is so much power in the contributions of others to each of our stories. Since I began my journey as a freshly-minted entrepreneur over two and a half years ago, I’ve been the grateful recipient of advice, mentorships, friendships and collaborations. Every day, I give thanks for these special people. Today, I want to tell you about just one of them. Her name is Beth Clark.
Let’s get something out of the way first: I’m the world’s biggest introvert. In our culture, there is this misconception that extraverts are “good” and introverts are “bad”. Not true. The term that defines you speaks to how you “recharge” and energize yourself. I do a TON of networking and can talk to practically anyone, but I feed my soul every Sunday afternoon by retreating to my favorite chair with a cup of hot herbal tea and a candle by my side, devouring a good book. A lot of people are surprised that I’m an introvert, but that’s how I roll. When I started my business in the Spring of 2017, I decided that I needed to reach out and make more contacts in the community, so I did just that. At the time, I had been a volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for 18 years and I wanted to meet more people within that organization that holds such a special place in my heart. I went to their website and stumbled across the name of their Director of Development, Beth Clark. We had never met, but I sent her an email and asked her if I could treat her to coffee and she was kind enough to set up a date with me.
Beth was lovely. She was upbeat, positive, very knowledgeable about media and promotion and generous with her time. Beth was eager to learn about me and my new venture and was very supportive. While we were talking, Beth asked me about my marketing plan and social media expertise (spotty and dismal, respectively). She shared that her best friend, Carol, lived in Montana, had her own marketing firm and was coming to visit in a few weeks. Would I be interested in meeting her? Would I ever!
Carol was just as great as Beth! The three of us chatted and laughed over coffee a few weeks later. Carol “got me”. She picked up on my love for investing and helping my clients, but also understood my passion for service in my community and how I was trying to live my best life by “marrying” the two drives. Beth and Carol are “my people” and Carol and I signed a contract to do business together. Carol, brought to me as a special “gift” from Beth, has helped propel my business forward since that day and Beth and I have remained friends.
One thing I dearly value about Beth is that she challenges me. Earlier this year, she “called me out” and told me I needed to participate in Big Brothers/Big Sisters “Over the Edge”
event in which community volunteers raise money to rappel off the roof of the Blackhawk Hotel. She knew I was afraid of heights, but pushed me anyway. How could I say no to Beth?! Swallowing all my fears, I signed up. Beth cheered me on during the whole process…all the way to the dawning of event day. Here’s the truth: it was the most terrifying, yet most exhilarating experience of my whole life. Stepping off that roof was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And the whole way down…I could hear Beth shouting words of encouragement and affirmation. At the bottom, she grabbed me in a huge bear hug and made me feel like Wonder Woman! Encouragement, wise counsel, valuable contacts, pushes to drive me to do better: those are all gifts that Beth has given to me. My wish for all of you is to have a few friends like this along your journeys.