Author: Charli K. Matthews
This week, I took some time to reflect on my last nine years of being a business owner. I found it hard to pinpoint one lesson or theme to the journey. I believe it is because I constantly grow and change each year. So, I’ll focus on this last year and three things that became very clear to me.
I have always felt that I didn’t quite fit in this industry. Not because I am a woman, WOMEN fit here. I had felt at odds because I didn’t make or design anything. I often join organizations where I am listed as a media partner without “real” membership, a right to vote, or permission to be present in certain settings. This created doubt in my mind if I truly belonged. I questioned if I could truly make a difference in the industry. This had been my limiting belief. After much reflection, I know I create and design things all the time. Having said that, I think my asset to the industry is my voice. Communication, our voice, is one of the most valuable tools we have in the toolbox! I understand now the value of communications and how much our community needs media to share stories where the world can understand them. It is also our job to use our voice to share the hard stories and to let leadership know when something is important to our industry. As I worked with my team to create the #EmpoweringIndustryPodcast, I felt myself come alive. The voice of industry… a mission that I could proudly champion. I am truly interested in the lives of the people who help our world run. I have met so many people over the last 17 years in the pump & equipment industry, and I am happiest when I am giving back to this community. Connecting engineers and operators, sales and marketing, CEOs to interns, and welders to fashionistas! This really inspires me, and I can see the difference it makes in the lives of others. So my purpose hasn’t changed – I am still very much a part of this industry, and I love connecting and sharing stories of the amazing workforce that makes up… Industry!
Taking Care of myself
Ok. I am not an expert in self-care, but I have made time to study it and improve. To be able to improve, we must be able to focus. If you want to focus, your brain must get the H2O it needs to work! Otherwise, there will be no real focus happening… So, drink more water! It’s a habit worth forming! That wasn’t the hard part for me. My biggest challenge was giving myself permission to rest. I like to work. I like to travel. I like to meet with the best in our industry, but I found that I didn’t make time each day to reflect or reset. Looking back, I think breathing was just too much of a pause sometimes 🙂 I have been learning how to stop and take time to just breathe. As a woman of faith, I start my day with a moment with God. It is wonderful to know there is a purpose for your life each day and that you are loved without having to earn that love through works. If you start your day looking at how you can add value to other people’s lives, it really makes a difference in your conversations and your work. Then, I plan my breaks throughout the day. As a person who doesn’t like routine or stopping when a project isn’t finished, it was hard. But, I realize I am a better thinker when I shift gears for a bit when I feel my body tiring. This doesn’t even have to be just sitting and doing nothing (this is stressful for me). I can just do something different for a while. Usually, I walk outside and check on my roses or go play a quick tennis match with my daughter (this is me just running after balls really). Sometimes I take a moment to paint or color, or take a good nap with my NapBar box! Then, I can come back to the project refreshed and with a renewed mind.
Encouragement from a network
I think the number one reason for our company’s success is the power of our network. This Community has embraced my #charlimagic and continues to support me every day. They have also supported our team, and for that, I am truly thankful! I have an amazing team who loves our community as much as I do and enjoys serving the needs of our customers each day. I am truly thankful for everyone who has helped me grow the Empowering Pumps & Equipment platform where we connect, inform, and educate the industry with purposeful content. We will continue to be your information and connection hub for the pump & equipment industry! I would also like to recognize the women and men who have joined the Empowering Women in Industry Community! You have encouraged and inspired me this year to chase those big dreams and know that I absolutely belong in this industry with all you amazing leaders. I am truly thankful for you and look forward to another amazing year together!
Listen to my unfiltered interview of my story on the Empowering Industry Podcast.