When it came to selling my previous company, one I had nurtured from a seed of an idea into an internationally known and respected entity, I was anxious, almost like a mother watching her youngest leave home. I remembered some advice give by a mentor many years ago about entrepreneurship and letting go. He told me that the biggest mistake made by entrepreneurs is failure to realize when they have grown the business all they can; recognize when it is time to bow out and let someone else take over. Tough, though - that letting go. What if the new owner rejects some of your ideas; what if, what if...the list goes on. And it's the same with an idea - if you attach yourself fiercely to something and resist change, your great idea most likely will languish. Growing a business, watching the germ of an idea poke through the earth takes humility, flexibility and stashing the ego in a back closet, pushing it back and slamming the door shut when it threatens to escape.
Last week at Connections For Women, we had two plus days of intensive meetings with Peltier Effects, the team that guides us through the maze of statistics behind the site. Terms like spiders and spambots were Greek to me a few months ago. Now I am acutely aware of what the "spiders" like ; what words drive traffic to Connections For Women; how long people stay. We analyzed what visitors are reading; what they skip and, both Genny and I had to accept that some of our personal favorite topics were not necessarily big hits. Suck it in, I told myself, be a big girl, scrap what the readers don't like, listen, learn and grow. Hurts a little bit though because despite a business sensibility, an element of self goes into creating something you love. Taking ego out of a product is not easy and neither is working in a partnership unless all involved have the ability to do the same.
Fortunately Genny and I have a shared vision and goal with Connections for Women and slowly and surely we are snail-pacing our way to that dream realization line - but not without some hardheaded pragmatism lighting the way. Womens' health issues ; realistic and topical legal subjects ; matters of relationships, Jim Duzak in particular, Lorie Marrero's Clutter Diet - all are hits and, so are many more of the regular columns by generous, bright, creative men and women.
Our next bold move is to open the bulletin board pages and to grow the Your Voice section. A fun, oft times difficult and expensive journey but I'm delighting in seeing this new baby grow up.
As for my e mail frustrations - almost resolved but sad to say with no assistance from Comcast (and I wonder how many other people out there are having the same migration issues). I took Big Mac and Baby Mac to the "Genius Bar" at our local, swank, Apple store...genius of the hour was all of 16, or so it seemed. No joy. I resorted then to the secret weapon. I dragged everything along to the MAC retail source in Tucson owned by Simutek. The genius' there prefer to be called 'all round good guys' and they are certainly not under 20! Outcome was close to two hours of patient sleuthing by General Manager Rich Meindl and EUREKA! I'm up and running again. Still a few annoying bugs courtesy of Comcast but I'm connected and I have my address list back. For the record, I bought my first ever computer, a Vernon, from Simutek in 1982. Wonder if the customer service I received this week is what has kept them in business for so long.
The first steps in my Life Reimagined - When AARP approached me to do a trial of their Life Reimagined program, I saw it as an excellent opportunity to hear some fresh voices other than the ones ...