Blazing New Trails

By wendymerrill Uncategorized No Comments on Blazing New Trails

Anyone who has met me knows I am a curious person. I’m always asking questions so that I never stop learning.

As I journey through my 40’s, I like to fancy myself a perpetual student—something that I would likely have been ashamed of in my 20’s.

I vividly remember finishing my 20’s and entering my 30’s wishing for knowledge that I hadn’t yet acquired. I couldn’t wait to develop my professional confidence, something I believed would only come from sharpening my technical abilities. I remember staring in awe at colleagues that seemed like the world was their oyster. They had swagger. They projected confidence and charisma. People trusted them. I coveted all these things and dreamed of the day when I, too, would be a business rock star. I surrounded myself with people that knew more than me, hoping to gain wisdom.

I was a late bloomer. I didn’t feel as though I’d “hit my stride” until my mid-to-late 30’s. It was during this time that I started to reap the rewards of all the hard work that was driven by my curiosity…and insecurities. I certainly didn’t stop learning at this time, I was just able to better apply the information I had gathered over my career.

Like most of my Gen X sisters and brothers, my career was the product of the school of hard knocks. The sophisticated training programs of today weren’t an option, and there were no self-help blogs to inspire us. It was all about paying dues and climbing ladders. I now feel fortunate to have had to navigate the stormy waters of my early career, as my experiences are what prepared me to launch my business almost five years ago. And now I really love what I do.

My strong sense of curiosity continues to be my constant companion, and as I approach StrategyHorse’s 5th anniversary this year, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on where I’ve been, the people I’ve helped and where I’d like to go. As they say, the cobbler’s children are usually shoeless—and I’m no exception. Connecting the dots for others is something I do every day, but doing so for myself? Not so easy.

I am exceedingly proud of StrategyHorse’s journey thus far. I’ve loved every minute of it and wanted to be sure that the next 5, 10, 15, etc. years allow me to remain relevant and valuable to those I serve. This was a pretty tall order and definitely something I couldn’t do on my own. So I asked for help, lots of it. I received incredible support, innovative ideas and most of all, the sensation of having stakeholders in my success. For years, I’ve counseled others that asking for help is the most valuable business development tool there is. Now was the time for me to take my own advice.

The genesis of the name of my company comes from the proverb about leading a horse to water and not being able to make it drink. Forcing a horse’s head into a trough when it’s not thirsty is a colossal waste of time—yet so many of us do this in our lives. StrategyHorse is about working with “thirsty horses” and showing them how to find their own water sources.

As a “thirsty horse” myself, I considered the sage advice of others, a deep-dive reflection on the markets I serve and a refreshing reminder to myself of why I do what I do. I was able to distill down the message and hone in on my mission. And it felt amazing.

Understanding the process of how I arrived at this point is essential to successfully promoting my services because my perspective is a big portion of StrategyHorse’s value proposition. My experience “in the trenches” (working for and with Baby Boomers, having Millennials work for me) is what allows me to effectively bridge/close the generational gap in the organizations that engage me. I can intimately relate to the challenges my clients face and derive joy from sparing them a few battle scars.

So, 2018 has me off to the races. StrategyHorse is saddled up and ready to prepare the next generation to take the reins and lead their organizations into the future.

 

 

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