As the founder/owner of WriterGirl and the WonderWriter Academy, I should be a writer, right? The problem is, I’m not. I don’t write. Now I work on the business, not in the business. Which is great. I worked my butt off many years ago, transitioning from a freelance writer to the CEO of WriterGirl, building it from a small writing business into what it is today: a multimillion-dollar business with nearly 100 team members across the country. What a ride.
So how did that happen? Magic? Really hard work? Luck? (Which, according to the gospel of Oprah, is preparation meeting opportunity.) I think it’s been a little of all of that.
Many years ago, I was working with an energy coach who pointed out the obvious to me: My business is me, and it won’t grow until I do. At that time, WG was under a million in revenue.
So once that really obvious lightbulb went off, I went to work. On me. Not on the business. I read more books than I can count, some about business, but mostly about personal development. I worked with a therapist. I worked with a mentor. I worked to peel back the layers of myself, little by little coming to believe that I am worthy – something I had never believed before.
That latent belief, however, served as a foundation for the culture I created for WriterGirl. I know – because of my own experience – that people want to know that they matter; that they would be missed if they left, that the special magic they bring is a vital piece of the whole of which they form a part. So, I worked to create an environment where people know they matter – and this includes employees, contractors, clients and vendors. I frequently say that, as a result of my own insecurities, I created a company that wants to be everyone’s favorite client and everyone’s favorite vendor. It appears to have worked. We have long-term clients (11 years for the longest, I believe) and our employee retention is 100%. (Anyone who has voluntarily left WriterGirl has continued on as a contractor.)
I am proud of the organization I’ve built, but I want to be very clear that I didn’t do it alone. The amazing group of WriterGirls who have been attracted to – and who stay with – WriterGirl are engaged and engaging, funny, bright, creative, relational, self-aware and just a whole lot of fun to work and play with. There is a magic about WriterGirl; it attracts these fantastic people who, to quote our values, are “Empowered. Curious. Kind. Fun.”
I am a lucky, lucky woman.