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Collaborating with Women in Business Enhances My Business

When I started my business in 1997, I had no idea what I was getting into. Failure was never an option for me.

I was a jump in and figured it out later, kind of gal (still am), sure it was more complex than I originally thought…

But with the right support system around me, I kept going even if my confidence wavered.

Running my own company has challenges and has brought me closer to other women entrepreneurs. Women who have been through similar experiences—and we are all stronger because of it!

In today's post, I'm highlighting one of these relationships to celebrate my friend and her 40th birthday on January 5th!

Have you met Dr. Wilhene Zwanepoel (AKA Dr. Z) from Captivating Aesthetics?

Stefan Zwanepoel and Dr. Wilhene Zwanepoel of Captivating Aesthetics in Grande Prairie shot by T.Sedore Photography
Stefan Zwanepoel and Dr. Wilhene Zwanepoel

The first time we worked together in 2016 was to take business portraits. Since then, Dr. Z became my doctor, closed her medical practice, and then became a cherished friend and frequent collaborator.

Captivating Aesthetics has experienced rapid growth over the years. We're frequently capturing staff photos for the expanding Wellness Centre.

Did you know that women own less than 16% of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada?

Why? This chart from Statistics Canada may shed some light:

The conclusion reads, "Over the period from 2005 to 2013, women-owned enterprises remained underrepresented in the Canadian economy, especially in the eastern provinces, in goods-producing industries and among larger enterprises.

However, women-owned enterprises experienced faster growth relative to men-owned enterprises over the same period in all provinces and territories, in most service industries, and among smaller enterprises."

Women need access to peers and mentors who encourage them to reach for new goals, cheer them on when they stumble and provide resources for their success.

Peers and mentors are invaluable sources of encouragement, support, and information. They can help you set goals and stay on track when the going gets tough.

In my experience, they provide resources to help you achieve those goals, whether it's advice on how to get past a challenging situation or connections that can open doors for your business.

Peers and mentors may have a broader perspective because they have experience working in multiple fields and industries. Their advice often comes with helpful suggestions on how to use your skills in new ways and strategies for handling problems that may arise along the way.

Of course, not all peers and mentors are created equal. For example, you may prefer having one overarching mentor and a small group of peers who advise you throughout your career. In contrast, others find it more beneficial to work with several different mentors and collect networking connections like Pokemon cards.

Finally, others find value in switching up their network periodically. Hence, they learn from various sources each time around!

Grande Prairie is a small community with a thriving entrepreneurial space. I encourage all women-owned businesses to find other women to be in connection with on their journey.

Taking on new or more extensive projects can be difficult without support from fellow entrepreneurs or potential partners, suppliers and clients.

When starting a business, taking on a new or more significant project can be challenging without support from fellow entrepreneurs or potential partners, suppliers and clients.

Women in business need to find connection and comradery when possible. It's even better if your connection is another woman. Building relationships can help you work through problems and provide encouragement during rough patches.

You can find local groups or online forums with passionate members who will listen and offer constructive feedback on your plans.

If you're like me, the first thing that springs to mind when you think of networking is a sea of business cards and awkward introductions.

The Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic organization for women entrepreneurs seeking connections in Grande Prairie.

The Chamber facilitates members to connect on a deeper level than is often possible in places like social media. They can also be more accessible and less intimidating than other in-person groups—a win-win!

I encourage you to seek out support in other ways too. I've invested in coaching throughout my career.

In May I attended a retreat hosted by Heather Alexander from Grato Coaching. The retreat was inspiring, impactful and such a fun get-away! In addition to attending I was honored to photograph the event, too!

I even met my new marketing gal, Tara Trottier from Tara On Demand while I was there. Check it out:

Entrepreneurs need trusted colleagues who can give them a little push or encouragement when needed but are also there for support when things don't go as planned.

As an entrepreneur, you need trusted colleagues who can give you the encouragement you need. In addition, you want to be sure that people in your network are willing to be there for support when things don't go as planned.

Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with ups and downs. So women entrepreneurs need to have support around them at all times. Including those who understand them and have their back when they need it most. We're statistically more likely to experience mental health concerns like anxiety and depression just because we own businesses.

Entrepreneurship should always be looked at as an opportunity rather than a job because it gives individuals freedom over how they carry out their work. From team building to coaching retreats, I encourage you to get the support you need.

Dr. Z has built an amazing team of dedicated, passionate staff!

Whether you're looking for advice on how to get started or have a specific question about the best way to deal with a problematic client, these groups are there to help you out!

Finding the right support network can be challenging when you're in business. This is even more challenging for you if you're a woman in business. Many of us need extra encouragement and reassurance when learning something new or taking a risk.

Groups and forums are an excellent way to get support from other women who have been there before! You will learn from them and gain valuable insights into how they manage their businesses. Dr. Z is a huge Tony Robbins fan, so don't count out online communities, books, and similar resources. They can make a huge difference.

You should grow by seeking mentorship from others who have already been where you want to go (and maybe even gone further). Access to opportunities like these is invaluable because they provide opportunities for connection between people who may never meet.

Women often need an extra dose of encouragement and reassurance that they are not alone!

You may be feeling alone and frustrated with the amount of work you have on your plate. You have so much to do, and you're overwhelmed by all the responsibilities, but you need help figuring out where to start or how to get it all done in time.

It's easy to feel like no one understands what we're going through as women in business, even though many of us can relate! But unfortunately, it's a common problem that women face at some point during their careers, whether they are just starting out or have been working for years.

Dr. Z, Stephan, Adam and I at the lake

When I'm feeling overwhelmed and stressed about not finding time for myself, it's helpful to reach out and connect with other women who understand my struggles. I know others feel the same way as me. But then, somehow, those feelings don't seem as big anymore!

You don't have to be in this alone. Let other women inspire, drive and motivate you.

​On Tuesday, January 3 Captivating Aesthetics is offering 25% off ALL packages and 20% added value to gift cards for treatments only. This does not include Sculptra, Accutite or Mini Eye lift. You must have your first treatment by December 31, 2023.

Want to collaborate with us? Enter your details below to be added to our list. You’ll be the first to know when I'm looking for local collaborators!

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