“Hope…is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but, rather, an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. “
20 months, 22 days, and several hours after the launch of Women Grow we have a lot of hope. Hope for a new industry choosing to do things the right way instead of the easy way. Hope for our community of 50,000 women & men finding the perfect way for their talents to create greater wellness for us all. And Hope for ending plant medicine prohibition in several more states this fall.
Since many of you are on this journey of creating a new business in a new field with us…we wanted to share some lessons we’ve learned about our businesses and about ourselves. We hope you will add your own lessons, stories & questions to the comments.
THE ART OF FEMININE LEADERSHIP
Feminine Leadership is different. Most of us have only been given the opportunity to lead by imitating men. Masculine management tends to use force, authority, and judgment as their core practices. Our feminine community is practicing power, influence, and approval as core tools.
CHECK WHAT IS TRENDING
All of the areas Women Grow touched were on upward trends: cannabis, women, small business owners, local jobs, etc. When you focus on upward trends, your business has the potential for exponential growth.
CONNECTION IS KEY IN EVERY BUSINESSS
I underestimated the importance of connection in a digital age of being “always connected”. Although we have more access to connection than ever before, we were actually feeling more isolated than ever. Women were looking for a way to authentically connect with other women. Not online. In person. This is why we have Signature Networking Events now live in 45 cities across the USA & Canada and growing, so those authentic connections can be made.
FOCUS IS EVERYTHING
Creating something great requires intense focus and every new thing you add typically means something core gets less attention. First cut half the stuff you’re trying to do, then polish what’s left until your core business is purring like a kitten, then take a vacation, and then come back and ask what you should add.
GET EXPERT HELP
If it is not core to your business model that you excel in an area like HR, accounting, marketing, or sales, then partner or buy the help you need instead of hiring. If you’re not going to strive for the best human resource policies, then work with a contracted HR service so you don’t have to become the expert. If you’re not going to master online marketing, partner with a company that already has. Although outside expertise can appear more expensive up front, adding to your internal head count is a long-term decision that will quickly cost more than any contractor. We recommend Women Grow Members as service providers for new businesses all the time.
BUILDING YOUR STRUCTURE
Your legal team is like your company’s bone structure. We don’t think much about our bones but they are the structure that everything else is built on top of. You need that fortified structure to build a sustainable business. We’ve seen many business partnerships self-destruct because they didn’t setup the support bones. Find a legal professional you can trust in the Women Grow Member directory.
Your CFO is like your company’s vascular system. Your CFO will find where money is anemic, where it’s pinched, and where it’s bleeding out on the carpet. You need to listen to their analysis so you can keep your organization flowing. Money is your most flexible form of power, you’ve got to control and concentrate it for the best results.
Women Grow’s national and local teams have given their ALL with only a portion of the compensation they deserve. The mission and your kind words go a long way when the work is uncomfortable. But at the end of the day, a living wage paycheck keeps the stresses of “making ends meet” off our minds and so we can give our all to the work. Every relationship needs to be balanced between effort and return. Your return on investment is also return on involvement.
BUILDING FOR CHANGE
Change is inevitable. You want to build your organization to smoothly allow contributors to enter & exit. One of our co-founders, Julie Batkiewicz, is now working full-time on her new business increasing sales for cannabis brands & dispensaries in Colorado. In March, we welcomed Shanon Melick to the team as VP of Membership to support the community that Julie built. Make sure you focus on creating repeatable processes so you don’t lose momentum when a key contributor exits the team. Also keep great contributors on deck to join your team whenever you have an opening. Women Grow members can recruit our community through our job board.
KEEP LOCAL DECISIONS LOCAL
Some are surprised that Women Grow is not a political action group because the business of cannabis requires participating in the policy of cannabis. The reason why Women Grow does not dictate political viewpoints to our community is because we believe that local policy decisions should be made by the local community. We don’t limit our support to a single perspective so that Women Grow events can serve as a meeting point for differing viewpoints. We endeavor to educate and share at those meetings but we do not make decisions on behalf of our local communities.
BANKING AS A RIGHT
Credit card processors are controlling our access to information. We’ve had multiple payment processing accounts shut down, which has stopped our ability to offer our educational webinars on demand, even though we do not handle cannabis. Our members have had hundreds of bank accounts shut down. We need to start to thinking of banking as a right if it’s being used to control our access to legal goods or free speech. How do you sell something online without credit card processing (on a mass scale)?
As the gathering point for women in a rising industry we see burn out more often than success. Although the press may have you believe that you’re in a green rush…this industry has a long road in front of it. Being the FIRST to do SOMETHING will become less important than being the first to do it EXCELLENTLY & SUSTAINABLY & PROFITABLY triumphs in the end.
Women Grow members get pre-sale for our first Wellness Weekend in Lake Tahoe, August 19-21. This event focuses on rejuvenation to support your growth. Learn more about our Wellness Weekends and become a member to register now.
With Great Gratitude,
Jazmin Hupp, CEO