Happy Valentine's from Jack and I
Isn’t it interesting when the lesson you most need to learn presents itself? That is precisely what happened to me in January. In getting ready for a panel discussion for Empowered Senior Series, I got a whack to the head realization that I’ve been stuck. This probably isn’t new news to you, since I made this confession in my newsletter last month. (Missed it? Read Feeling Stuck here.)
So, I’ve been doing a ton of soul searching. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the Finishing School is that when there’s something that isn’t working in our life, we can change it. Teaching the Embracing Change class last week was just what I needed. The conversations and the insights from other Modern Women are my favorite things about our classes. I learn something new every time.
One of the things I’ve been pondering is what to do with the Finishing School for Modern Women. I started the Finishing School in 2015, after the painful end to a 24-year marriage. Although it took me a while to figure out, this project has been a way to reinvent myself and find my new normal.
I am grateful to everyone who has been part of this journey with me. It has truly changed my life. I have met so many incredible people and made what I know will be lifelong friendships. What has touched me the most is the trust I’ve been given in sharing intimate thoughts, laughs, and tears.
I’ve come a long way over the past five years as Headmistress. I am in so much a better place; it helps me see things in my life more clearly. It feels like someone has turned the light on, now that that liar Depression isn’t as intense a part of my life.
This clarity also makes it easier to ask myself the hard questions like, “Do I still want to do the Finishing School?” It takes a lot of resources and hard work to pull this off. I have a full-time business development consulting business that I love. Doing community work and volunteering time to groups and projects is very important to me too. It can get exhausting.
The quest for advice for tough decisions always starts with Mom. She gives great guidance and is a loving truth-teller. She reminded me that when projects no longer hold a fun challenge, I get bored. She also helped me realize how much I’ve accomplished from what I’ve done already with the school. I am a much better teacher, speaker, writer, consultant, and person than I was when I started. That’s what makes the stress and risks worthwhile.
I got great counsel from the rest of my family over Christmas in Colorado. I didn’t stop there. When I got back to town, I started meeting with what I call my Worthy Women trusted advisers.
I’m lucky to know a lot of smart women that know how to keep their lip zipped, are interested in what I’m doing, have clever opinions to share, and won’t get butt hurt if I don’t take any of the advice they give. We all call on each other when we need a wise counsel, a strong shoulder, or kick in the behind.
The advice I got was a testament to the kind of Worthy Women I have on my team. They all told me that the Finishing School is a big success, and I have nothing else to prove. These problem-solvers gave me advice and insights on lots of options and let me know they supported me in whatever direction I decided to go.
I believe that being open to possibilities is as important as setting goals. As I was researching what to do next, I got an email newsletter from Debra Lee, the founder of At the Market, announcing the opening of her new space. Perfect timing!
For the past 18 months, Debra has held monthly markets. She leases women entrepreneurs without brick and mortars booth space to do business at a market she promotes to the public. Next month she’s opening a 6,000 square foot space in the Plaza West Shopping Center at Central and West Street, where she’ll hold weekly markets.
What caught my attention in her email was a call for people looking to lease classroom space to teach their classes. Thinking this might be a creative possibility, I sent Debra an email and set up an appointment. The most important thing to me was how comfortable my Modern Women would feel in a different space.
The learning environment I teach in is essential to me. It can make a big difference in how much adults learn and whether they’ll come back for more classes. It can’t be cramped or stuffy, and more than anything else, it must be comfortable. There is an old teacher saying, “The brain can only absorb as much as the butt can withstand,” so I’ve made sure to have the most comfortable, sturdy chairs possible.
I liked Debra immediately. Our mission and philosophies align, and the way we look at doing business seems to be compatible. Even though we’re not forming a partnership, I always want to be affiliated with people whose values line up with mine. We’ve had lots of meetings and email exchanges over the past month. I’ve done my due diligence and talked to people she’s done business with.
After a lot of soul searching, I have decided to relocate the Finishing School for Modern Women to the At the Market! Retail & Development Center, Plaza West Shopping Center, 601 N West Street, Suite 232 as of March 15, 2020! It is directly behind Taco Shop, next to Sally’s Beauty Supply.
Letting go of my office at Main and Waterman has been a tough, gut-wrenching decision. While I love lots of things about my happy space, it is woefully underutilized. I have so many new things I want to do. Plans are already in place for exciting projects I’ll tell you more about soon. I can’t justify the space when I’m doing only three or four classes a month.
There are still lots of details to work out. I’ve got to pack up to move and decide where everything will go. I do know my comfy tables and chairs are coming with me to the new location. I’m looking for a small office space around the downtown area for my consulting practice, where I can work and meet with clients. This is the part of the change that’s my least favorite. Despite all the work ahead in the next month, I’m excited about the changes I’m making.
Debra has set up a supportive environment where women help women be more successful. There will be a lot going on in the space besides the weekly Saturday markets. Other teachers will be offering classes, like our friend Dawn Monroe that co-teaches our LinkedIn to Win class. There will be mixers and other fun events we can be part of. There will be a big open house party in March, and I’ll let you know more as we get closer.
I’m excited about all the energy that will be going on in the space and bringing our communities together. Change is tough, but I believe this is the best possible solution for all of us.
I look forward to continuing our journey together!
Because We’re Never Finished
The Finishing School for Modern Women, located in Wichita, Kansas, offers classes to help women find their authentic selves; not because we need finishing, but because we’re never finished. We bring together women of all ages, to learn from experts and each other, how to claim our power in business, finance, communication, and life.
Learn More about our in-person and online classes
https://www.finishingschoolformodernwomen.com for our online classes and free social membership.
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