Feeling “stuck” is not a foreign concept to Georgeanne Wimberley. Before becoming a female entrepreneur, she was very familiar with the daily grind of a corporate environment in her job as an HR Manager at a Fortune 500 company. “I drove 50 miles to a job that I loved but wasn’t my passion,” Georgeanne said. “The time on the road to and from work made it very difficult to give time to my family.” These days, Georgeanne owns her own dog training business, and her life has turned around significantly. “Now that I have my own business, I’m able to work at home, spend time with my family, and live my passion: dogs and helping them become valuable members of their families.”
Georgeanne’s business, RW Canine Retreat, boards and conducts in-kennel training for dogs and clients. “Our facility is like no other in the Texoma area,” Georgeanne said. “Our business has grown by leaps and bounds over the last five years!” Her once part-time hobby of training dogs has now become her full-time job. However, quitting her dependable corporate job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship required some support. ”I was able to resign that position in January 2012 with the coaching and support of Diane,” Georgeanne remembered. “I began marketing and implementing the vision I had for the business. I was praying for three to five trainees per month to begin, and to my amazement, I have never had fewer than eight trainees since I began.”
Since then, Georgeanne’s facilities in Henrietta, Texas have grown and thrived. Just last year, she expanded to a new 16-kennel facility that includes a kitchen, reception area, and large training room. They have been enjoying the new facilities since August of 2014, and they are already making plans to expand again to accommodate new customers. “Our training waiting list is now into June, and we’ve increased our prices twice,” Georgeanne said.
Georgeanne is grateful for the opportunity to support herself doing something she loves in an environment that allows her to express her faith. “My relationship with God and prayer is how I make decisions in my business,” Georgeanne said. “My faith shines through in my business through the care that I give my ‘fur baby’ clients and their owners. It’s nice to be able to talk about God in my job, whether it’s with my employees or my clients—you have to be careful discussing your beliefs in a corporate environment,” she added.
Georgeanne joined NACWE as a charter member in 2010. “At the time, Diane was my executive business coach,” Georgeanne remembered. “When she told me she was starting NACWE, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to join, especially as a charter member! I knew the vision she had for this association was something special, and wanted to be a part of it!” From the first annual NACWE conference, Georgeanne knew she had made the right decision to join. She felt confident in Diane’s leadership abilities and connected with the “awesome sisterhood” that now surrounded her. “NACWE has been a safe place to connect with wonderful sisters who believe in the same God I do,” Georgeanne said. “Additionally, the one-on-one coaching with Diane, trainings, and valuable toolkits has taken my business to another level! Learning to use social media as a marketing tool has been invaluable.” Over the years, she has hired several NACWE members to help her with graphic design projects, building her website, and designing her logo.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, and Georgeanne knows that just as much as anyone. “The main struggle I faced was a lack of confidence that I could truly be a successful business owner,” Georgeanne said. “The possibility of failure is always at the back of your mind.” Her tips for a new entrepreneur include getting a business coach, understanding how to use social media for marketing, and joining an association or having some sort of support group.
That last point rings especially true for Georgeanne. “Joining NACWE is one of the best things I have done for myself!” she said. “I continue to be a member because I know if ever I need support, assistance, or just to bounce an idea off of someone, our members are there! Although my business takes up much of my time, I still go online and watch videos from Diane to learn new tools.”
She looks forward to seeing what is in store for NACWE in the future. “My only hope is that NACWE keeps putting God first,” Georgeanne said. “NACWE has grown leaps and bounds because of this!” Georgeanne’s favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13, supports the values she holds for NACWE and for her own business: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
written by Callie Revell