I Joined and I Conquered
As a new business owner in 2002 (my business was 2 years old), 32 years old, and desperately searching for like-minded people, I Googled “women business organizations” and up popped NAWBO San Antonio! I decided to look at the NAWBO website, where I signed up for my first event – the Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards.
Elise Cox, owner of Ad Graphics, was the President of NAWBO-SA. The awards were presented at a luncheon, and I went by myself, just to see what was up. Those who know me might be surprised to find out that I was petrified of going completely alone to an event where I knew no one. Immediately I felt welcomed and included by this great group of 300 women entrepreneurs. Seeing Elise Cox at the podium leading this assembly was impressive! I loved all the awards, but the most memorable was the “Member of the Year Award”, given to Barbara Greene. I had no idea who Barbara Greene was at that time, but in the following years I would find out all about her greatness.
After the ESA awards luncheon, I decided to take the plunge and spend the money to join NAWBO. I was having some trouble at my office at the time – I had recently hired an older, male, architect who I thought would bring a lot to my company. Wrong! It turned out that he thought he would “teach me all about it”. But the truth is that if you are truly an entrepreneur, it is in your core, and you should follow your “gut” instincts. Business acumen comes partly with experience, but partly with instinct. I knew that what he was telling me was not current or useful, and would ultimately be detrimental to the firm. But what was I to do? The thought of firing someone scared the heck out of me. How could I do that to someone?
I went straight to the President, Elise Cox, for advice. I was very distraught, a fact not lost on Elise. After my tale of woe, Elise gave me the best advice I have ever received: The minute you feel you should fire someone, you must fire him. She was so right! I had known that I needed to fire him months earlier, but had taken no action. After letting him go, I “saw the light” and realized the wisdom of Elise’s advice. Wow – think of the time and heartache I would have saved if I had fired him the minute I felt I should fire him.
NAWBO has continued to be a guiding force for me in business, and I can’t wait to share more stories of other fabulous NAWBO women who have positively affected my business, my career, and other aspects of my life.
Madeline is president of Madeline Anz Slay Architecture, a full service architectural design and project management firm. She is currently serving as president of NAWBO-SA.
Posted by Madeline Slay on 11th January, 2011 | Comments | Trackbacks
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