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SBWW

#sbww14 pt 2

If you missed part 1, catch up here.

It's a truth universally acknowledged that every small business owner is in search of great wine. - SH

Joel, my mom and pretty much the other half of every person I've brought to the small business meetings thinks we get together to enjoy some fine wine. I'm not going to say that is wrong, it is just concealing the full truth. Our meeting do being with opening a bottle or two or three and an obscene amount of cheese; but it's the conversation that follows that matters.

The conversation is energizing. It's motivating. It encourages each of us to push our comfort zones.  It helps each one of us look at our business with a different lens. Through our conversations several of us have questioned why we do what we do, decided to go full-time with our business and have started working on plans to take our plans to the next level.

SBWW14 covered many of these favorite topics. But instead of just hearing our own voices, we had guest speakers, coaches and new faces that were added to the group. We talked about the hardships of working for yourself. The difficulties that we will face or are facing. How do you stay relevant? How do you recognize plateaus and when you need fresh ideas? Then we moved onto marketing.

Oh, marketing. The deadly M word. I work in the marketing field in my day job, but marketing your own business is a touchy subject. You are attached. You are full of emotions. You see things completely differently than your customers. So how do you move behind these hurtles? Each of us came up with a different strategy with action times that we are going to act on in the very near future.

I'm not sure what I would do without my business group. I love hearing about how the other ladies in the group are doing. I love seeing how their businesses grow, stumble and exceed all expectations. We cheer each other on and are a fantastic support system.

SBWW14 was a fantastic event for me. I can't wait to see what happens in the next year and where our next retreat takes us.

#sbww14 part 1

A few years ago, actually, not that long after my surgery; I met this blogger named Jane. I'd been following her blog somehow. (I really can't tell you HOW I found out about her.) Fast forward to the weekend of the Super Bowl, and there was this blogger meet upScreen Shot 2014-02-10 at 9.09.14 PM I had just started working on taking Old Town Suds to market so it was a good time to test out some selling points. I met a few other bloggers and we have all stayed in touch in carrying degrees. But - what spawned from that informal meeting at Caffee Amouri surrounded by uber delicious coffee, was a small business group.

Over the next few months our meeting grew from every so often to monthly to "omg I need a relief from the show schedule let's get wine after the show".  We've become known for our coffee and wine habits. Which later turned into coffee, wine and detox on scrumptious juice habits.

This past summer, our meetings included our husbands. They started to wonder what we actually accomplished at our meetings. Was it just to hangout? (yes) Just to cheer each other on? (yes) Consume mass amounts of cheese? (hell, yes) But from weddings, births of first babies, unexpected loss (be prepared to ugly cry), and huge business wins - we've been there to support each other as we grow our businesses.

This past weekend, we gathered for our first overnight retreat. We'd always talked about doing something but understanding the handbag pockets only go so deep (and I'm rather picky about hotels), we ended up a Housman B&B, otherwise known as my dining room and guest rooms.

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Stay tuned for Part 2.