by Laura Gallagher, Chairwoman of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Wisconsin, Founder and CEO of The Creative Company
How did you land where you are and are you where you hoped you would be? What more could you do if you had more knowledge, connections and resources? What would happen if you invested more in yourself? Could it be better?
These are some of the questions I started asking myself a few years ago. I also began to pursue the answers.
When I started this company, I didn’t have two nickels to rub together or even a job for that matter. I had just lost my job which paid a whopping $6 an hour, in fact. I was 21 years old in what should have been my last semester of college. But I saw owning a company as a way to carve out my own place in the world. And so, in 1989, I began.
I could tell you that it was all roses but it was anything but roses. I failed fast and often. I found clients, did good work, rented space, moved, rented better space, wasn’t properly resourced, moved it home, landed better clients, rented space again, had awesome space, had dumpy space, had employees, didn’t have employees, grew it to the top 2% of women owned businesses in the U.S., nearly lost it all in 2008, got married, divorced, had two kids, won awards, landed on a national board, tried and invested in things and people that worked and other things and people that didn’t. I loved it. I hated it. Got drunk on it. Fell in love with it. Wanted to break up with it but couldn’t. I was committed from the beginning, more committed than I even knew, to this life.
Like you probably, I like to play as much as work and to some extent, I’ve been able to do both because business is endlessly creative. Even with this conference, it’s the hardest work of my life and yet I’m more creative than ever when I’m making something new. And I get to do it on a landscape that includes many people and in this case, even many cultures, in addition to my own. It’s the challenge of a lifetime and yet it’s like being an artist too.
“First I dream my painting, then I paint my dream.” Vincent Van Gogh once famously said. So it is in business. YOU get to dream the painting and then YOU get to paint it. It really doesn’t get any better because where else in life are you both the creator and the implementor?
There’s something about the entrepreneurial mindset that allows us to be flexible, to build and answer the call when no one else does. We take gutsy calculated risks now and again too and that’s not for the faint of heart but that’s when you know you’re alive.
This happens not just in businesses where you’re the owner but also in companies where they need the kind of thinking that moves ideas forward and in non-profit organizations where new and creative ideas are necessary to raise the funds to meet the needs.
This mindset is helpful when growing just about everything.
Which is why I decided to put it all on the line and produce a conference for women by women. Your seat is waiting for you.
You will absolutely be changed and challenged. If you want to make things better, make plans to attend.
With the help of an Advisory Board that includes twenty women leaders ranging from tech to business, the sciences, non-profit, and education, the program is unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced. In one day, you will:
More About Our Speakers
The inaugural women’s Entrepreneurship Day Wisconsin (WEDWisconsin) is setting the stage to celebrate, empower, and support women entrepreneurs in all types of businesses, at all stages, and all ages. The first-of-its-kind conference on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at Monona Terrace will also present powerful speakers sharing their real-life stories to help every woman build her dream, by linking learning to action.
“Life Under Construction” will be the Keynote Address from best-selling author Allison Liddle who has been building her life since she started her first business as an entrepreneur at the age of twenty-three. She then went on to found the national, award-winning financial planning firm, Prosper Wealth Management, and has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, and many other national media outlets.
Other featured speakers include:
- Christina Outlay, a UW-Whitewater Associate Professor, and creator of colorcoded who is on a panel about social entrepreneurship moderated by Madison Community Foundation’s Brennan Nardi.
- Jan Eddy, a Board Chair at Kilo, Inc., and successful Angel Investor who is on a panel with the SBA, WWBIC and Monika Wingate, about funding at any stage and any age.
- Sarada, a PhD and entrepreneurial economist from the UW-Madison’s Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship will be doing a live “think tank” exercise.
- Mary Burke, Founder of Building Brave
- Corinne Neil, Co-Founder of the Jills of All Trades about solo-preneurship.
- Anna Stern, President of Tri-North Builders, a nationwide home grown construction company about making it in a man’s world.
- Dina Nina Martinez, founder of Lady Laughs Comedy Festival and Artemis Bow Productions talking about the Success Matrix
- Jenny Herritz, Principal at SVA on using data to move your ideas forward, building confidence and trust.
It will be a full day focused on building something new beginning with you. Whether you’re starting a company, running a business, working for a business or in non-profit leadership, having an entrepreneurial mindset will help you grow right where you’re at.
Tickets are just $100 in our inaugural year and includes all conference materials and sessions, healthy snacks at breaks (healthy home made granola bars and chia seed pudding!) and a beautiful Mediterranean lunch catered by the amazing team at Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin.
I’ll close with a quote from Wendy Diamond, the Founder of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. This day is celebrated all over the globe in 144 countries because when women have opportunities, everything changes for the better. “When women are empowered in business, they have self-confidence and dignity and are more capable of standing up for one another’s basic human rights,” Women’s Entrepreneurship Day founder Wendy Diamond says. “These types of returns are life-changing for entire communities. The more people understand the impact of empowering women in business, the more they will get involved and encourage others to do so, too.”
Let me know if you have any questions! We still have a few table sponsorships and other opportunities available but mostly, I just wanted you to know you’re invited to opportunity, possibility and community on November 14th at Monona Terrace!
Laura Gallagher is founder and president of The Creative Company, Wisconsin’s leading PR and Digital Agency where missional leaders go when they need to build, grow or change their story. Clients experience a responsive, connected, creative and data centric results-oriented leadership team of marketing professionals who believe one person can change the world.
The Creative Company is certified by the State of Wisconsin as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise. Laura Gallagher was recognized by the Governor in June of 2016 as a Trailblazer in Wisconsin at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Her book #180in120 – How to Recharge Your Business in 120 Days is available on Amazon and at 180in120.com.