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!
In last week’s blog post (posted above), I started to tell you the story about a woman, a champion, in my life by the name of Jenn. We talked about our value in that post- yours and mine. The three questions Jenn asked me on our very first meeting were…
Do you know your value?
Do you offer value to those in your world?
Are you getting paid what you are worth?
(If you want to know what we said about that, check the link above to that blog post.)
But I also said that when I hemmed and hawed with my answers to those questions, the next thing she said to me was,
“When you are done making excuses, you can get down to your business.”
Yep! That was the bottom line! I was making excuses about why I wasn’t being successful or seeing the kind of difference I wanted to see.
Are you doing that- making excuses instead of doing the things you really want to do?
Isn’t that true of most of us though? We don’t know our value because we don’t realize who we are. I thought I did. I had spent a great deal of time and money going to workshops, reading and researching personalities and strengths seeking to understand, and to help others understand who they were made to be.
Yet here I was…
Continue reading More Story to Share 3
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…
And when the challenges and losses of life threaten us, it is hard to feel safe.
And when we don’t feel safe it is hard to trust that God is present, let alone in control, let alone good.
Oh we might night say it, but our behaviors often reveal that we are not sure we believe God is who he says he is.
I’m not immune to the struggle. A few days ago Continue reading I Don’t Feel Safe
Yesterday I shared a post about heroes and side kicks.
Well, one of the highlights for me at the Tribewriter conference was to meet one of my super heroes. This is Carrie Wilkerson, recently called a SASSY entreprenuer. I have also heard it said that she is the little Texan with the big voice. She was introduced as the ‘small town girl who was able to think beyond city limits” or the ‘big sister in business and life”.
She is also Carrie Wilkerson, the Barefoot Executive. I know the picture to the right is not very good, but I wanted you to see that she lives up to her name. She came on stage with this beautiful pair of heels, but within 7 minutes of her presentation, she was barefoot. She does this regularly.
Below is a little better picture but you couldn’t see her feet.
One of the things I most admired about Carrie is that she has always been about doing what she does ‘Carrie style’.
She’s not afraid of the hard stuff- or I should say she is faithful about doing the hard thing afraid.
She is honest about what the challenges are, but will not let you get away with excuses. She’s done it! We can too!
STOP IT! She will say and did say from the stage on Sunday. “Don’t say you want something different if you are not willing to change your perspective.” Quit making excuses. Start looking at it from a different perspective.
“Don’t be paralyzed by the invisible audience.” THEY can paralyze your effort to pay your bills or invest in those around you.
What you have to offer is of VALUE. If you have something of value that will transform others and you don’t share it, you are a ‘transformation horder.”
If it is of value, you have a responsibility to share it. It is not your responsibility if they aren’t ready to accept your gift. Do it like you need to do but do it!
SHARE IT! PURSUE IT! YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION!
I’ve been listening and coaching with Carrie in different ways for 10 years. She has been consistent in her message, faithful to her own calling and an example in the journey. That makes her a side kick, as well as a super hero!
Yep, she may be 12 or 15 years years younger than me, but this little gal continues to be a ‘big sister’ to speak hope into my life. I am grateful that she is mentor, coach and friend. She even wrote an endorsement for Lovely Traces of Hope. Check it out in my book.
Who is your hero?
How are they also a side kick for you in your super hero journey?
I got to give mine a hug this weekend. How can you say thank you to yours?
DO IT! PURSUE IT! YOU HAVE MY PERMISSION!
Want to know more about
Kathy’s new book,
Lovely Traces of Hope,
check it out at Amazon.com today.