It began with a simple divine directive. “Online Coaching“. I had one idea in mind; but Heavenly PAPA had quite another. As is so often the case; His idea’s are much larger than our own. Such is the case with Neighborhood Boutiques. Part n’ parcel of a plan much larger than I ever dreamed when His words blazed across my synapses on a warm May day, 2006.
It would take a year to begin and over the course of those long 12 months; I continued to believe that I would just be inviting women 40+ who desired to transition in life, to the opportunity for small group coaching done via the marvels of modern technology. The concept of “blogging” was simply a way to attract them while sharing some of the ‘vintage wisdom’ gained over the years.
As Glenn Antoine and I worked our way to the first website, an idea began to form. I was impressed with what Ebay had been able to do and studied it with vigor. I wanted something similar for women.
But not just any woman. Women who are often left in the shadows because those with bigger names and louder voices get the attention. Women who juggle family, home and career with greater agility than an Olympic athlete. Women I dubbed as “ordinarily extraordinary women”. Women who didn’t want it all; just a piece of the American dream of financial success doing what they are most passionate about – without jeopardizing home and family happiness.
I shared my dream with Glenn. A dream that included an online “mall” that would bring numerous ‘ordinarily extraordinary women’ under one umbrella so that the power of numbers would give them opportunities they might not otherwise enjoy! But there was one hitch in the idea. There was no what we call “open source” software that would permit us to build such a site. And to have him do it from scratch was out of the question given the time and cost involved.
The dream went on the shelf. At least for the time being. It would be there when the time was right and the software became available. Time passed; I blogged and “coached” via the web, and we began other aspects of the unfolding dream PAPA had in Mind. An idea He slowly unveiled piece by piece so I could get used to it’s size and scope!
Now the dream has become reality. It’s in what I call it’s “awkward” stage. You know what I mean. The stage immediately following “Wow, the dream lives”. The stage when we take the “out there” to the “here and now” which feels almost dream-like but is as real as the header which flashes across my screen when I type in the URL each morning!
So now the question is “WHY”. Why build a website to house numerous women in small business? Why spend the hours upon hours bringing it to reality. Why turn our attention from the technical to the practical with loads of excitement and an equal amount of trepidation we try to hide?
“We’re passionate about women having every opportunity to fulfill their God-given destiny. That’s why we do what we do. That’s why NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES came to be!
Women deserve every opportunity for success! Success they define for themselves. I once read a billboard with the following message: “The world’s largest untapped natural resource is Women!”
Women bring to the world something unique that has long gone unrecognized. Although over the past decade or so, women have enjoyed greater recognition, the “gender gap” still exists.
This is especially true for women in business. Women who struggle as solo-entrepreneurs. Women who start, manage and grow a business other’s consider “small”. Women whose faith is an integral part of their lives. At home. And in their business! Women all too often lost in the shuffle of a busy world focused only on the big and powerful!”
That’s the essence of the plan contained in a simple divine directive – “online coaching”. A directive that seemed so small and easy to do, I never gave another thought that more might eventually be involved.
How many times over the years has that been the outcome of the “divine directives” you’ve received?
NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES is not an EBay. Or an Etsy. It’s not designed to overwhelm the world of women in small business. Overwhelm to the point those who buy-in to the concept suddenly find themselves lost in a sea of others jostling for position among the big – loud and powerful!
NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES will become a powerhouse among online sites where women and their content congregate. (Tweet this by clicking the link).
It will be the right fit for women whose passion is to make it by giving as much to others as they get. It will be a place where women in small business consider 33 cents a day or 49 or even 65 cents a day a pittance to pay for the value they receive. But more than that; the opportunities to rub shoulders with other ordinarily extraordinary women whose knowledge, expertise, heart and soul make each of us a better person – and a more successful woman. In all aspects of our lives!
I chuckle as I close this 1st in a series introducing NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES to a sea of women who wonder what in the world it is. Chuckle because I’m not known as a “woman of few words“.
But how does one put into a few words the beginning of a dream that began so subtly and simply with a divine directive and is unfolding in ways we can only imagine, hope for and dream is possible. “But with PAPA, all things are possible!” And they are. . .
Tomorrow, I’ll continue the series via our AWI Neighborhood Boutique; so watch for the unfolding story of the unfolding dream that is NEIGHBORHOOD BOUTIQUES!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Neighborhood Boutiques GRAND OPENING Coming Soon!
Empowering Women to Thrive
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/2382941337/pjm5n494765lxfks49h7_400x400.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]My passion is to see women become all they are designed to be – personally and professionally. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]