Women’s History Month ~ Create your Legacy
Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives is this year’s theme and gave me pause to look back at those who forged the path of opportunity we have today. Women like Rebecca Lukens, who in 1825 turned her family’s failing ironworks business into a thriving company or Clara and Lillian Westropp who in 1922 launched the first Women’s Savings & Loan. Then there’s Margaret Rudkin, whose bread recipe eventually launched the company we know as Pepperidge Farm and Pauline Trigere, who’s at home tailoring business became Estee Lauder and has been an industry game changer for over 80 years….and the list goes on and on.
This walk through history sparked my thoughts; what does it take to create a legacy in business? How did these women impact their industries? After some pondering on this subject, I found a couple of compelling traits that I believe led to their success.
First is a love of learning. When Rebecca took over the family ironworks business she saw the home market was completely ignored, so she created various methods of using iron for home based products as well as industrial manufacturing. Paulina used her knowledge to not only create beautiful hand-made dresses, but a line of natural skin care and make up to add to the beauty of her customers. It seems this love of learning sparked a greater understanding of their industry allowing them to look beyond the obvious to find a need that was not being fulfilled or not being fulfilled in the best way possible. I’m sure there were successful bread companies, but Margaret Rudkin found a way to do it better.
Their most important trait? They were fearless. I don’t mean that didn’t experience fear – I mean they forged on regardless of their fears. Imagine the fuss their actions created? These women had a greater belief in what they could achieve then the possibility they would fail and be damned those that would stand in their way.
In honor of those who have come before us and our responsibility to those who will come after us create your legacy. What game changing ideas have you talked yourself out of? What would you – could you achieve? Be damned your fears and GO FOR IT. Perhaps, someday, you’ll be a part of history and they’ll be writing about you.
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