375 MINISODE Amy Gannon: You’ve Got This, Girl
Women Innovating Networking Growing Scaling – that’s WINGS … I’m Melinda Wittstock, my mission is to help women soar to success in business and in life – without tradeoff or apology, stepping into the light to have a transformational impact on the world. So on this mentoring Minisode of Wings of Inspired Business … we talk about why women often fall into the trap of questioning their abilities and thinking, “who am I to do this”. There’s an underlying perfectionism driving this belief, and fact is, no successful entrepreneur ever knew everything or had every skill or qualification starting out. It is about the journey and building the plane as you fly it. And here’s the thing though – it’s impossible to do it alone. We talk about why you need a community and your sisters to succeed.
Here with us today to provide her insights and inspiration is …
Amy is dedicated to bolstering entrepreneurial ecosystems outside of the usual startup capitals – focusing in particular on encouraging women and minorities to start and scale businesses as the co-founder and director of entrepreneurial development for Doyenne.
And if this is something you think you don’t have time for …you probably are exactly the person who needs to make time. Because you’ll get further in those 4 days than you will in 4 months plus we’ll show you how to turn time from a scarce resource into a limitless one – we call it “return on time” … so you to have all the time you need for business, love, parenting, friends and fun. Wingsexperiences.com/apply
And now to the inspiring Amy Gannon.
Amy calls herself a “change agent” and her mission is to diversify the entrepreneurial talent pool by catalyzing more inclusive ecosystems for women and minorities.
She’s the Co-founder and Director of Entrepreneur Development for Doyenne, where her mission is to create communities where women are the designers, builders, and beneficiaries of the ecosystem, not just guests at someone else’s table.
She also leads Doyenne’s investment committee and accelerator, and she’s busy expanding Doyenne beyond Madison Wisconsin to an initial 5 cities with plan to make it one of the largest, active communities of women entrepreneurs in the country.
Melinda Wittstock: Amy Gannon, welcome to Wings.
Amy Gannon: Thanks for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: I'm excited to ask you what's inspiring you right now?
Amy Gannon: What I think is most inspiring right now for me is that I see many, many women who are no longer tolerating some of the things that for many years we tolerated their expectations of themselves and of other people, and if I'm honest, then particularly men have risen. They're just not going to sit on the sidelines anymore, and so when I see women being out there being vocal, being active, demanding their place in productive ways, I am super inspired by that.
Melinda Wittstock: It is inspiring. I mean, there's always challenges along the way too. I guess the challenges change over time. I like to de-stigmatize those because it's really part of the entrepreneurial journey. What are some of your challenges?
Amy Gannon: Some of our challenges as entrepreneurs is figuring out how to keep the wheels on the bus going round and round of the day to day, but simultaneously making movement toward our strategic vision down the road and creating space for both of those things to happen. For us in building our company, that's a particular challenge right now.
Melinda Wittstock: Put a little bit more meat on the bone, if you will, about what that actually means. Give us an example.
Amy Gannon: For example, we are currently based in Madison, but we have a vision of being in five different cities within five years, and so how do we keep the Madison programs running, keep the Madison membership growing while also putting the infrastructure in that would allow us to scale to be in five cities. You need the scale to get the resources, but you need the resources to get the scale, this chicken and egg problem that many entrepreneurs experience, and so the pinch of we need to lay the foundation while also we have enough work to be a full time job in itself to keep Madison running.
Melinda Wittstock: Right. I get it. Along the way, I mean you work to advance female entrepreneurs and you are a female entrepreneur. What have you learned along the way that if you had to give three pieces of advice and only three to women entrepreneurs, what would they be?
Amy Gannon: Keeping me to three is a bit of a challenge, but I think number one, I would say I think a lot of women entrepreneurs ask, “Well, who am I to do this?” I say, “Well, who are you not to do it? If not you, then who?” If you're passionate about solving a problem that you see, if you're passionate about a product or service, if you're passionate about your customers, why not you? I would suggest, “Just don't question your ability or authority. Just bet on you. Number two is, I think, many of us and I think many entrepreneurial context communities, there's this notion that you have to be brilliant and you have to get it all right.
Amy Gannon: I've worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and I haven't met one that doesn't have some version of chaos going on behind them. Sort of the nature of the beast, it's not unique to the person you are. It's the process that you've engaged in, and so I say reach out. You can't figure it out on your own. Reaching out and being real about where you are and finding safe spaces to do that to get feedback is actually one of the strongest entrepreneurial things you can do and makes you a good business person to do that rather than sitting in your home office and spinning and spinning in isolation.
Melinda Wittstock: Don't isolate. Absolutely. Well, those are all good pieces of advice. Amy Gannon, how can people find you and work with you?
Amy Gannon: Our organization, you can find us on our website. It is Doyenne Group, D-O-Y-E-N-N-Egroup.org. We are a nonprofit. On our website, you can find ways to contact us. We have a digital magazine that comes out once a month, and so you can keep in touch with what's going on and find us there.
Melinda Wittstock: Wonderful. Well, thank you for putting on your wings and flying with us today.
Amy Gannon: Thank you.