Unlike any of the other past articles I have shared so far on my new www.christieruffino.com blog website, this post will mostly be directed and dedicated toward supporting my members. That is, the dynamic, professional, loyal, dedicated and super awesome members of the Dynamic Professional Women’s Network www.OurDPWN.com .
It’s hard to believe we started our very first chapter almost 10 years ago, although it has been only seven years since we finalized the foundation of our organization and began expanding. Many of you have already heard the story of how things got started, some of you numerous times (smile). And although depending on the situation and the time I have to share, the part of the story that I always mention is that my initial intentions were never to create a big company around networking. I was actually terrified with that aspect of my job. Like most women, I was willing to rise to any occasion to create a successful career as a newly single mom. My formal education was in graphic design and marketing plus I accumulated a good foundation of knowledge from marketing and managing the internal operations of my husband’s auto repair business locations. But I was now faced with the reality that I had to do more than just support a business; I had to create, manage and monetize my own successful business. To say I was scared would have been the understatement of the century in my mind. I was literally terrified. I was out on my own with what I thought was the weight of the world on my shoulders and I had to build my commission based business by “networking”. That may not seem so bad to some of you, but what I failed to tell you so far is that I am an introvert. Which if you know anything about the traits of introverted people, you would understand that the prospect of having to base my success by purposefully talking to strangers was the last thing I wanted to do.
So now back to our story. So here we are years later with 20+ chapters’ currently in three states (so far) and with more than 1500 women having joined DPWN recognizing it as a driving force behind the success and profitability for many of their businesses.
What is the Secret Sauce?
Why at a time when there are so many opportunities out there for business owners to attend some sort of networking event or another with a fair amount of them for FREE?
It is great to have options. Even though our options seem to be limitless sometimes making the whole decision-making process feel to be utterly overwhelming. But having these options is what allows us to embark on a journey of discovery to determine where we should spend our time, energy and financial resources that will provide us with tangible results. It is easy to be lured towards the free options. Or toward the options that are big and flashy that excite us with promises of “too good to be true” results. And although attending one or more of these events may yield temporary results, my objective was to build a strong foundation of multiple referral resources that would ensure my funnel would remain continually full.
What makes our organization “special” and productive is that we focus on more than just networking. Our “secret sauce” if you will is that we focus on building relationship with each other and investing in each others success. We act like we are literally an extended sales force and business family for our sister DPWN members resulting in a big and powerful female business tribe.
A very popular book on this subject is Tribes by Seth Godin. In Tribes, Godin describes a tribe as a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. He shares how human beings in general, as the result of our one of our most powerful survival mechanisms, need to “belong”; to contribute to and take from a group of like-minded people. Even as children, we long to be chosen into various groups with our peers dreading the rejection and feelings of inadequacy of being the last one picked for the team. But in the business realm, we can take whole concept one step farther and meet that need while also building a team that focuses on supporting each other. And even better, our team is composed of women. Do I need to even say anything further on the subject? (Big Smile!)
Let’s face it; women are God’s most beautifully imperfect and powerful creation. We can, if we choose to, accomplish anything we set our minds to accomplish and when we unite, we can change the world. That is what is so great about women. We are motivated by people, by a cause, by a valuable purpose and by vision. Although we enjoy money, it is usually not the sole motivator for us. We need to connect to the “reason” which is why DPWN has been wildly successful. Women find and join us because they want to get connected into a group or a tribe. They value the opportunity to partner with other women who are united by the same shared vision and who will work together following a structured system that will allow them to achieve the same purpose, which is to generate business and create success together.
That is what they are searching for and that is what they find when they visit one of the chapters of the Dynamic Professional Women’s Network. And as we continue to build our tribe, it becomes stronger along with the resources that become available to our members. Right now we are working to build and strengthen our tribe and learning first hand from our women what resources they feel would be helpful for their personal and professional development. We have created a SUPER IMPORTANT Global Expansion Survey where every question is designed to guide us in the right direction as we work our expansion plan. -> Members can take the survey here Once completed we will be analyzing the results so we can continue in the right direction with our global expansion plan. The members who participate in this effort will have an opportunity to win money for their efforts in our global expansion contest. Members can read all about the contest here.