(My very first NAWBO event!)
In 2012 I learned about NAWBO through a friend at my gym. She invited me to an event in Pasadena,CA and my life as a business owner changed FOREVER.
One of the first game changers was meeting Deb Snyder, who at the time was the membership chair for the LA chapter. (Now is the VP of membership for NAWBO National). Deb, gave me some great advice, she said “After you join, GET INVOLVED.” With her guidance and introductions I quickly joined the membership committee.
I didn’t know much at all about NAWBO and felt like I didn't have much to add to the conversation. Looking back, although I didn’t say anything - it was valuable to have another person in the room. Someone who was learning and later would be willing to move the NAWBO mission forward.
Shortly after I joined I received an email advertising the Women’s Business Conference hosted by NAWBO in Miami. Many of you have heard my NAWBO story where I share how I registered for the conference almost unsure of how I was going to pay for it. Something in me was committed to investing my time and resources and going ALL IN to the NAWBO NATION (I actually first heard this term in 2019 by Jeanette Armbrust, NAWBO National Chair - loved it!).
Attending the national conference was a big deal, I did it, and again it was a game changer for my journey as a business owner.
All these years later I’m still ALL IN. And in my experience, and I know I speak for many NAWBO members - the organization has given me:
Education on business owner issues
Access to influential business owners across the country
A safe space to discuss challenges
Serious business owners who hired my company for marketing services
A platform to not only attend national public policy events, but education on how to reach out to my own representives
Life long friends who get it. They understand my life as a business owner, because they’re in the same boat
I also really appreciate that whatever NAWBO puts together is always with the members best interest in mind. The national events are always inspiring, education, and fun! I’ve never regretted any event I attended. I have always left fired up and encouraged to grow my business.
Here’s my PSA to other Women Business Owners, those who either don’t know NAWBO or choose not to be a member:
It’s important that we (WBOs) understand that in 1975 NAWBO made it possible for us to do what we do. Their first order of business was to advocate for us to the have the right to own a business and apply for credit without a male co-signer. They created NAWBO so we could have a group that we could network with and learn from. Because every other business group was MALE ONLY.
We are standing on the shoulders of NAWBO. Even if you didn’t know it or don’t care YOU are standing on the shoulders of NAWBO. And I can’t stress enough the importance of revisiting your relationship with this national organization. Because they are doing big things, STILL advocating on behalf of women and small business. They have a seat at the table that they’ve earned, and as women business owners they invite us to join in.
As a membership organization, they are strengthened by members and sponsors. Let’s give NAWBO the support they need to advocate for US. Let’s ask what can we do, how can we help. NAWBO is an amazing national organization with events throughout the year. In some areas you also have a local experience that you can tap into as well!
When you show up it matters.
When you show up your life changes and so does the life of someone else.
NAWBO has taught me that as I continue to grow and succeed and climb the entrepreneurial latter, that I should reach back and bring another woman with me. This past year I’m honored to be extending my hand to my sister. She recently went full time running her incredible event firm, meetingnerd.com.
Join me at an upcoming event, NAWBO.org/events. Let’s have some fun!
Twitter and Instagram @MargMarieB