As women, we’re natural caregivers. We take care of our family and friends, and as women business owners, we also care for our employees, customers and vendor partners, often putting our own health and wellbeing last on the long list of priorities. This can result in stress, wreak havoc on our health and, ultimately, take away our ability to care for others in the way we like.
That’s why I love this January edition of NAWBO ONE with its “health” theme. As women business owners, it’s so important that we not only make our personal health a priority so that we are always at our best, but that we also stay on top of our business health to ensure its long-term success.
A few years back, First Lady Michelle Obama told Barbara Walters in an interview that she makes herself her first priority. When asked if that could be seen as selfish, she remarked: “It’s practical…a lot of times we slip pretty low on our own priority list because we’re so busy caring for everyone else. One of the things that I want to model for my girls is investing in themselves as much as they invest in others.”
Deborah Farnell, former president of NAWBO’s Greater D.C. chapter, might agree. As she currently battles a relatively unknown type of breast cancer, she took the time to bravely share in this issue of NAWBO ONE her health story and offer valuable advice about how to make your health a priority, listen to your body, work with your doctor and be your own health advocate. It’s advice that could truly save your life. Thank you, Deborah, for sharing such a personal story with our extended NAWBO community.
In this issue, you will also find articles designed to support your business health. The member spotlight, for example, is on Laura Sniadecki of NAWBO’s Indianapolis chapter—a second-generation woman business owner and NAWBO member. Laura provides valuable insight into how she’s built a healthy business, including the role NAWBO has played in supporting this success.
You will also hear from one NAWBO member, Sharon Johnson of our Charlotte chapter, who lost her health and her job. Then in the process of recovering, she found her true passion and became a woman business owner overnight when she purchased an exciting travel business (from a NAWBO member!).
The journey to making health a priority affects us all. The struggle does not discriminate against age, income or gender. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that losing weight is the number one resolution of Americans each year. A classic example is Oprah who has publicly fought her weight issues for years and has decided to be the spokesperson for Weight Watchers in 2016. As one of the most famous and inspirational women of our time whose mantra has long been “Be your best self,” she announced that she wanted 2016 to be the year of her best body.
As we move forward together as women business owners and NAWBO sisters and partners, let’s lend support to one another and find courage to challenge ourselves to “be our best self.” Not just for 2016, but for good. Here’s to a happier and healthier you in the New Year!
—Crystal Arredondo, 2015-2016 NAWBO National Chair