Core values shine through ‘Accomplished’ women

Jessica Swanson is the editor for the Vancouver Business Journal.

While the annual Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished & Under 40 isn’t focused solely on business accomplishments – and the winners certainly are not weighted by gender – I was pleased to see so many entrepreneurial women will be recognized at this year’s event.

While the annual Vancouver Business Journal’s Accomplished & Under 40 isn’t focused solely on business accomplishments – and the winners certainly are not weighted by gender – I was pleased to see so many entrepreneurial women will be recognized at this year’s event.

I was particularly struck by a nomination letter for one of our winners submitted by a friend of hers since seventh grade. This nominee launched her own business this year, after two years of planning and began marketing and networking heavily in the business community. She helped design the retail and service space – her business is a yoga studio targeting mothers – and completed the tenant improvement on schedule, immediately starting classes and workshops. During all this, she continues to teach yoga, as well as raise her two young children along with her husband and business partner.

But the nomination letter. Not only did it say glowing things about the nominee – what friend since seventh grade wouldn’t have nice things to say – but it highlighted the places in this winner’s life where her entrepreneurial spirit could have taken a back seat to life’s many demands.

"The first was when she got married back in 2000 to her wonderful husband," the nomination letter reads. "At first I thought she was going to become the picture perfect wife and just focus on enhancing his career and forget about her passions. Well, I was totally wrong…. Everything that has happened they have done together; his career has grown incredibly and her dream has come true."

It goes on.

"The second time I thought would change her was when she had her first child in 2002. She fell so naturally into motherhood, I just assumed that she would devote her entire time to being a mother. Well, now she has two children that are in a very happy home, a husband who is a rock and a dream business and she is still growing."

What this winner does right – and what I believe will keep her in business – is not necessarily prioritize work, home, family and community, but rather apply her core values to each piece of the puzzle so that they do not compete with each other. These aspects of this winner’s life support each other, rather than take away from each other. I ran into this winner on her way to a Women Entrepreneurs Organization meeting – where she is up for Rookie of the Year – and I have to admit, she seemed a bit, well, overextended – but focused on the aspects of her life that truly feed her.

Another thing that impressed me about this nominee and number of the other female nominees is their commitment to supporting other women in business. These folks play key roles in organizations like Women in Action, WEO, the YWCA and Women in Commercial Real Estate. There is a women’s magazine publisher among them and a half dozen women in executive level professional roles. They are busy women with careers, community obligations and families. But they are not to busy to set an example of the rest of us – at work and in life.

Comments

comments