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!