This week, we were proud to present our story of how Forge Gone Conclusions got started to the Women Business Opportunity Connections (WBOC) (https://wboconnection.org/) group of Syracuse, NY.
I wish I had known about the WBOC group years ago as a female engineer in a male dominated environment. All the women in the group are inspirational and leaders in their businesses and the community! I would have loved to have joined the group earlier in life just to have some companionship and amazing role models and mentors!
Although the presentation was live, below is some of the text that was used as a foundation for the presentation.
My Journey to Entrepreneurship
It was October 23, 2020. A gorgeous sunrise painted the horizon in brilliant oranges, yellows, and reds. It was also going to be the ceremonial start to my new life. At 11 a.m., I was laid off from my “traditional job” and thrust into the sea of adventure. I can’t say I was shocked, because I had seen it happen to countless other people through the years, and now my time had come. But rather than hitting the job boards, I reached out for something greater in life.
I knew immediately I was going to try out the entrepreneur route—maybe for a month, which stretched into a few months, which is now at six months and counting. And having been a project manager, I knew what I needed to succeed. I immediately started assembling a team—a coach from the WISE Center, a SCORE mentor, an SBA advisor, and countless other business owners who could quickly tell me what I needed to know to start a business.
And having been an engineer for over 12 years (in a male-dominated environment), I was released from those chains and found refuge in relationships of the many women I was meeting. Women role models who were missing from my life for so many years just started appearing from all directions to guide me on the journey. The coach from the WISE Center (as well as a fellow WBOC member), Barb Stone, has been so instrumental in changing my mind from “is this something I can do?” to “you got this and can succeed.” And then there was my conversation with Cindy Ormond, also from WBOC, who shared with me her life journey into the DJ and entertainment realm and some advice about networking with others. And Rina Corigliano-Hart, who provided not only a general overview of insurance, but also gave me all the fine print to peruse upon my request.
As a newer member to WBOC, I have only been able to attend a few meetings, but the women I have meet are truly remarkable. I love finding out about “niche” businesses that I had no idea existed, such as Rent a Chicken by Lisa Stevenson, who lets people rent chickens for the summer, or Heat Effect Life Coaching by Belinda Porter, who addresses a topic considered too “taboo” to discuss. Then there is MathematiCUSE by Jennifer Snyder, which helps tutor kids in math, and Orange Housing by Donna Glassberg, which I wish I had known about years ago, so I could have helped out some co-ops. Or the wild surprise when I found out that I knew Jen Liddy from many years ago under her maiden name. And there are many other businesses represented by WBOC members—enough that when looked at as a whole—provide a wealth of knowledge, resources, and opportunities to network, connect, and grow as an individual and as a business.
Throughout all these interactions, I realized that the definition of success is no longer black and white. What most people think of success—a good job with a big paycheck—is not the only goal in life. Or for some, it isn’t even a goal. Success comes down to what is making you happy and excited about getting up each morning. These past six months have opened up so many opportunities that I would never have found as just a traditional 9-to-5 worker. I have learned more about the community, the programs available to people from all walks of life, and the world of social media and web design, and have met so many awesome people. These past six months have been so rewarding and successful!