From the generous heart of our founder, Jennifer Wenzke and the women of SO NOW, Continue reading The Rewards When You Show Up at the SO NOW Awards
This is Part 4 of 4 in a series of posts I have been writing called "story to share". It is the last of this series, but not the end of the story. In most ways it is a new beginning for me. But I'm getting ahead of myself. If you would like to read the other posts in the series, start here.
Though this is my story, the main character of the Story to Share posts is a woman named Jenn Wenzke; coach, mentor, founder of the So Now Professional Network of Women, and overall, champion of women.
Truly, she championed the woman!
Over and over I have heard women say, Jenn…
listened to me,
challenged me for more
In his book, Real Artists Don’t Starve, author Jeff Goins calls this kind of person a “patron’. Often we think of the purpose of a patron is the money they might give to help an artist get started. But this goes way beyond the financial support.
All creative workers need:
- influencers that will vouch for the artist to an audience who doesn’t know them yet.
- advocates who see the artist’s potential, believe in their work and give them a chance.
- The right person/or people to connect the artist to the right people.
I knew immediately as I read Jeff’s description that Jenn Wenzke was my influencer/ advocate/ chance giver/ connector.
She believed in me, challenged me, and supported me. She was a cheerleader, an encourager, exhorting me on more than one occasion to quit making excuses and step up to the mic. She asked me questions others might be afraid to ask and listened deeply as I searched inward for my answers. She wasn’t afraid to tell me when she thought I was off track. Jenn was my coach to the core.
She helped me decide what ‘good art’ in my work looks like and then championed me in the doing of it.
Jenn was my patron!
On June 7, 2017 my friend and mentor, Jenn Wenzke, died after battling the terrible ALS disease that threatened her body the entire time I knew her.
Our last conversation was at her home several weeks before her death. She was so fragile, but still had much to say. We spoke of her health, her family, and of course the So Now Network.. She knew the legacy of that group was in good hands and felt confident it would continue strong. Her one big regret was that her SO NOW COACHING practice would not.
I asked her how I could help. She said, “You need to be coaching leaders. “ I don’t know why I hadn’t specifically identified that before, but it suddenly seemed exactly right.
We continued talking for a while, this time about my business and thoughts I had for my future. I spoke of wanting to create interviews with other women in leadership who could bring value to the women in the GHC community.
Before I got the words out of my mouth, she was shaking her head—actually her whole little body in her great big chair.
“NO!” She insisted. “Your voice. Your message. NOW!”
My breath caught .
I knew this was not just any moment. This was THE moment. The moment that summed up all Jenn had been speaking into me since the first Tuesday SO NOW meeting when we met two and a half years earlier.Be YOU! Do what you do best! Do it Now! Click To Tweet
Her situation with ALS made it apparent that life was short. Don’t waste a moment!
Her role as my patron had changed. She boldly launched me out to BE ME in the world!
It is time…
To know my value!
To own my voice!
To embrace my story and the message in it!
To get up on my platforms of influence (all different kinds of stages)!
To make my difference!
Over and over, I’ve pondered Jenn’s last words. This is not just a message for me. This is what she has been telling women in many seasons of life. It is Jenn’s challenge to each one of us even now!
This is for all of us who want our lives to count.
I want to be like Jenn- not be Jenn, but like her. I want to be authentic, a patron of women who grows a movement that empowers women to be their authentic selves and champions others to do the same.
This is a lasting legacy that I want to be part of in every way possible.
Join me! Be INSPIRED! Be YOU!
As a grateful tribute to Jenn Wenzke and all she has done to encourage women in her lifetime, this fall GHC is offering an 8 week ONLINE group called
BE INSPIRED to Make Your Authentic Difference
Use your voice, your message, and your influence NOW!
Registration is open, but space is limited. Sign up today!
What kind of a patron do you need; influencer/ advocate/ chance giver/ connector? May I come alongside you in your journey?
In what ways can you be a champion in the lives of others?
Join me as together we get intentional about
- hearing and using our own voice
- embracing our story and sharing our own message
- stepping up to our opportunities to influence
- now! Before life gets away from us!
Go to the BE INSPIRED page! Sign up today!
Let’s make our difference NOW!
I’m talking a lot about VALUE these days. Mostly that is because a woman in my life dared to ask me these questions.
Do you know your value?
Do you offer value to the people in your world?
Listen in as I share with you some of my insights this summer as I processed the answers to these questions. I invite you to answer these questions for yourself.
A few days ago I shared the introduction post above with a promise that I would continue the story. It is a story of my champion; a woman who walked into my life and made her authentic difference.
I learned much from pondering this story over the summer. This post is Part 2 of- well, I’m not sure how many more posts it will take to finish the story. Lean in! Listen close! Continue reading Story to Share 2:The Story Began…
On October 14th, twenty-eight SO NOW Professional Women were recognized for their application to the SO NOW Award program. Women from the 4 chapters in the Toledo area, Perrysburg, Bowling Green, Findlay and Lima were to brought together for a delicious buffet and great conversation.
As part of the award ceremony, 2 college scholarships were presented to young women who exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit and strive to embrace their professional journey.
In addition 2015 Business Awards
• So Now Women in Business Award (up to) $2500
• So Now Women in Business Runner Up Award (up to) $1500
I applied because it is a tremendous opportunity. I have truly appreciated So Now Network because “So Now offers an opportunity for you to give, to receive and to grow in a powerful way.” I also desire to give generously, receive graciously and grow abundantly.
Jenn Wenzke and SO NOW have been a breath of life to me – and to my business. I had been looking for a networking opportunity to help grow my business that fit me. I am so grateful SO NOW has inspired me to connect as a woman and as a business owner.
From the first SO NOW meeting I attended, I felt life infused into the event. I immediately found my place to serve on the welcome team and over the last few months have thoroughly enjoyed meeting new friends, not just business prospects. I am building relationships that are encouraging, inspiring, and life-giving.
As a business, I have been challenged in my presentation of what I do as I search for ways that I can help others do what they do. It has been a win-win so often.
I will use the award money to complete a book project due to be out by April of 2016. This will help greatly as I work to self-publish a story that was started for me by my then 15 year old daughter shortly before she died called Lovely Traces of Hope. It is my desire to share how hope showed up in the messy places of our life and invite the reader to intentionally design traces of hope in their own story.
I also would not tell the whole truth if I didn’t identify that while I have not known Coach, Author, Speaker, and SO NOW Founder Jennifer Wenzke very long, but Jenn’s story has spoken to me of courage, strength, influence and hope. I see it on her face and in her words when she is able to join us for meetings at SO NOW LIMA. I view it on her Facebook page, podcasts and website. I read about it from others in news articles and testimonials.
Jennifer has not quit because life has gotten hard. Every time I have spoken with her personally, she has reminded me of my value, my worth as a coach, and business owner, but also as a woman.
What Jenn has started continues to influence all of us with life- giving, energizing hope! I want to be part of that business for the rest of my life- whether through SO NOW, Green Hope Coaching or just being Kathy.
Thank you Jenn for daring to dream! For bringing others with you! And reminding us all of the transformation that is possible when we embrace the process.
Special thanks to Debby Peters, Nina Corder and their team for creating a delightful evening!