The word “thrive” means different things to different women business owners—depending on where we are in life and business, how we define success, what things we value most, etc. But the dictionary defines it as “to prosper, be fortunate or successful” as well as “to grow and develop vigorously and to flourish.”
We can thrive financially, because as we know, smart money management can make the difference in whether our business survives or thrives. Are we charging what we’re worth, making strategic decisions, effectively managing cash flow and planning ahead with money in mind?
We can thrive creatively, because we are trailblazers and innovators and understand the value and process of creativity and what it can mean for short and long-term success. Are we setting aside enough time each week to think and brainstorm? How about to refine ideas and figure out next steps?
We can thrive with purpose, because we have a lens through which we can view the big picture and everything we do every day. Are we always keeping our “why” in mind? Do our team members understand and share in our purpose? Is our work meaningful and does it make a difference for others?
We can thrive with a voice, because we are experts and thought leaders in our industries and communities, and on legislation that impacts us as women and small business owners. Are we using our voice to create positive changes? Can we partner with other voices to amplify our impact?
We can thrive personally, because we have balance and a full life outside of our work doing things we love, whether that’s spending time with family and friends, gardening, traveling, writing, exploring food and wine, etc. Is there anything we can do to have better mental and physical health and balance?
We can thrive by defying expectations, because good enough never is. As women business owners, we hold ourselves to a higher standard and always want to delight our colleagues and customers. Are we always evolving, thinking outside the box and setting trends? Are we learning from inevitable failures?
We can thrive with one another, because while we each bring something incredibly unique to the table, we are better together. Are we regularly connecting with other women entrepreneurs through an organization like NAWBO? Are we encouraging and advising one another and giving honest feedback? Are we celebrating successes?
For me, thriving is when all these things and more come together and I have an overwhelming sense that I am in a good space, surrounded by good people and yet still chasing dreams, learning and growing. It’s never perfect—there are highs and lows and everything in-between—but I am supported, inspired and moving forward.
With Thanksgiving upon us, I’m thankful not only for all the ways I am thriving right now, but also for the tremendous progress NAWBO has made this year in Leadership, Advocacy and Education, all three of which comprise our NAWBO pillars.
Let’s keep thriving together!
2023-2024 NAWBO National Board Chair