Wise Women Wednesday: Susan Watson

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Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. Mom & Mamaw, pilgrim of off the beaten path travel, beachcomber, reader, labyrinth walker, life-long learner.

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure this out. You keep trying the pieces of the puzzle until they fit and you can see the picture. My work is coaching, mentoring & encouraging women & entrepreneurs to overcome obstacles and take their next step forward.

Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. Of course I cannot narrow it down to one, there are two and they are related. Through my work with the Women's Resource Center in Alamance County we are exploring an entrepreneurship program encouraging women to create another stream of revenue when what they are doing is not enough or to simply follow their ideas for a small business. We've added some workshops to our programming to support those early skills that an entrepreneur needs to develop. We've partnered with CoWorking on Main, ACC, & Elon to provide some of these offerings to our clients & supporting members. We aren't sure of the outcomes yet, but taking small steps forward.

Which brings me to the next project which is my personal side gig, a new business called Delegating 4 Success. I'm the connector between entrepreneurs who are not ready to hire employees yet but need small project management that can be delegated to my team of virtual assistants. I'm exploring, networking, taking small steps, small projects such as data entry, social media, database management, email marketing, bookkeeping. I'm coaching entrepreneurs to build a let it go list, have coffee with me and think creatively about how to pass off administrative work to my team of virtual assistants.

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Q. What is the one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. Again, 2 things:)

I jumped in the deep water, literally and figuratively. 5 1/2 years ago I left a safe career to follow my heart to a nonprofit in a community where I did not know anyone and had no prior experience other than some transferable skills, past volunteer experience and a heart for empowering women to overcome the obstacles to their success. It has been an incredible journey, I've met wonderful women who inspire me. I've made friends and been welcomed into the Alamance community. Our board of directors is so talented and dedicated to our work.

Deep water: 3 years ago I followed my son Jeff to Thailand where he was leading 4 day live aboard scuba diving tours. He said if I visited, I needed to become certified. No problem, right? It turned out my fear was paralyzing! I actually had a full blown panic attack. Here was my son, my underwater buddy, my instructor and I could not even jump into deep end of a swimming pool with all of the equipment on. Once on the boat and in open water I found that I was way more frightened bobbing around at the surface, tossed by the wave action than once I could descend below and be able to see. I was still frightened beyond belief but determined to be certified so I didn't disappoint him. We spent 4 unbelievable days with total role reversal. This son who was no longer a little boy, but a grown man was now in charge and I was in his care in a foreign country under the water. We completed 9 out of 13 dives together, sometimes with me holding on. His most humbling comment to me was "MOM, you are going to have to let go of me and swim alone!" Jump in, it was the most incredible thing I've ever done, 2nd only to becoming a mother and grandmother. It was life changing, giving me perspective I would have never had without the experience.

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Q. What is the work you most want to be doing, and are you doing it?
A. I'm blessed to say yes, every day our team of the Women's Resource Center in Alamance County provides individual coaching & mentoring to women in transition, we provide educational workshops, networking events and programming which empowers & encourages. We serve victims of domestic violence, women re-entrants coming out of prison, your neighbor, your co-worker. Women from all walks of life take their next step forward and share their personal goals & struggles with us.

I'm also creating a business of my own which I hope also empowers entrepreneurs, those ready to grow and those just getting started.

Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Slow down, listen to the wisdom of your heart. When making a decision, play it forward and make the best decision with the best information you have, listen to wise counsel. Be open to different ways of thinking, different people, change is good. Have courage, compassion & commitment.

Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you live by?
A. It's not always about you. Someone's attitude, response or lack thereof is not always about you. You have no idea what they are dealing with Today

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Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. That's hard, I'm an introvert and need quiet downtime to process and think creatively.

Q. Anything else you’d like to share?
A. Greatest gifts: My children, Julie, Jeff & Justin: same set of genes, same set of family dysfunction, 3 wonderfully different perspectives on the world, same dry wit sense of humor that keeps us laughing. Looking at the world through the eyes of my grandchildren Ava, Harrison & Jack, watching them grow.

Q. Favorite yoga pose?
A. Tree pose for the balance and concentration it takes.

Q. How do you live a life of Abundance?
A.
I'm trying to do a better job of setting boundaries. I created a vision board years ago that has turned out to be my guide. The connecting thread on the board are watches, different designs placed randomly throughout the vision board. They are there to remind me that I'm working for the time to do the things that bring me joy. When my schedule becomes too full and I've said yes too often, I try to step back, unplug and reconnect with the things that bring me joy. I'm working for time.

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